Is swimming with dolphins in Cozumel on your bucket list? If so, you’ll want to check out Dolphin Discovery. Find answers to common questions and help planning your visit.
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My husband and I recently returned from a cruise. We visited two ports: Cozumel and Puerto Costa Maya (both in Mexico). While in Cozumel, we had the amazing experience of swimming with the dolphins. And not just being in the water with them but actually getting to interact with them, touch them and do a few tricks as well. It was so fun to check this item off of our bucket list.
If you are interested in swimming with dolphins in Cozumel, I highly recommend Dolphin Discovery. They are located inside Chankanaab National Park, which is a large beach side park. When you purchase tickets for your dolphin experience, you also gain entrance to the park. This is great because if you are like us and visiting Cozumel on a cruise, you can spend all day enjoying the park and the beach.
Should I buy my tickets through the cruise line or directly through Dolphin Discovery?
Booking excursions through a cruise line is always going to be more expensive than booking directly. Often the cruise line will include transportation which accounts for some of the extra cost. But we were able to get a taxi for $6/person each way ($12) or $24 total for transportation both ways (in June 2022). Plus, Dolphin Discovery was offering a 30% discount on their packages at the time of our booking. This saved us a lot compared to the cost for the excursion through the cruise line. You can view current deals and ticket prices on their website.
Can I wait until I get to Dolphin Discovery to book my dolphin experience?
You could, but I wouldn’t recommend it. We visited at the very end of the off-season and it was still packed. We saw many people try to make reservations when they got there and were unable to. Groups are limited to 10 people and they only have time slots available at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Save yourself the stress and hassle and buy your tickets ahead of time.
What’s included in my dolphin experience?
- Locker rentals
- Life jacket
- Sea lion show
- A meal and drink from the buffet
- Beach access
- Pool access
What should I bring with me for my dolphin experience?
- Towel – Turkish towels are great because they don’t take up a lot of room and dry quickly.
- Cash – Dolphin Discovery accepts credit cards and cash, but other expenses, like a taxi or renting snorkeling gear, may not.
- Water/water bottle
Is the photo package worth it?
Dolphin Discovery doesn’t allow any electronic devices in the enclosure (phones, cameras, GoPro, etc). They also do not allow any unpaid person to go into the enclosure, even if they aren’t participating. This means that the only way to get pictures of your dolphin experience is by purchasing the images that are taken by the professional photographer.
There is a photo package add-on if you buy your tickets directly through Dolphin Discovery. But if you don’t do that, you can still buy your pictures after your experience. They have a variety of packages that include having your photos printed and digital images. The more people you have in your group, the more expensive the package.
For example, we paid $130 for 65 digital images between the two of us, which makes it $2/image. We talked to another person in our group who had 6 people and they said they were able to talk them down in price for the digital images, but they still paid around $300 for all the files.
Ultimately, the decision about whether or not the photo package is worth it is completely up to you. Our reasoning was that it was a unique and memorable experience that we wanted pictures of.
Dolphin Package Comparisons
Before you book your dolphin excursion, it’s helpful to understand the different packages so you can pick the one that is best for you. Each experience has certain height and age restrictions so you’ll want to get additional details from their website. Below you’ll find the basic comparisons between each package. They are listed in least expensive to most expensive.
- 10 minutes instruction + 30 minutes in water
- 1 dolphin
- 4 dolphin behaviors: kiss, hug, handshake, dolphin song
Dolphin Swim Adventure
- 10 minutes instruction + 30 minutes in water
- 1 dolphin
- 5 dolphin behaviors: kiss, hug, handshake, dolphin song, belly ride
Dolphin Royal Swim VIP *this is the one we did*
- 10 minutes instruction + 40 minutes in water
- 2 dolphins
- 6 dolphin behaviors: kiss, hug, handshake, dolphin song, dorsal tow, foot push
- Manatee encounter
Our Experience with Dolphin Discovery in Cozumel
My husband and I still look at each other with a smile and say “we swam with dolphins”. It is truly a unique and magical experience that we’ll never forget.
The trainer who worked with us and the dolphins was friendly, experienced and highly informed about the dolphins we engaged with. The facilities were clean and well maintained. I was grateful for the showers that were available so I could rinse off the sea water, as well as the lockers for keeping our belongings dry and secure. We loved how much was included in the cost of our ticket and were able to stay entertained until it was time to head back to port.
The only part of the experience we didn’t enjoy was the food from the buffet. It was a strange mix of American and Mexican food. They ran out of bun so the more filling options, like a hot dog or hamburger, weren’t really options. Some of the food that should have been warm, like pasta and sauce, was cold and not very appetizing. The best thing we had from the buffet was the rice pudding and it was pretty yummy.
Overall, we had a great experience swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel. It was money well spent. I would highly recommend Dolphin Discovery to anyone looking to have a memorable time with their family and friends.