If you’ve never swam with dolphins you are missing out on an experience of a lifetime! You will feel like a child again and remember that for the rest of your life. It truly is a most remarkable thing!
There are a few places to swim with dolphins in the Mayan Riviera and the one closest to Tulum is called Xel-Ha. It is a beautiful natural water-park that was originally inhabited by the Mayans but when the Spanish arrived they found the place abandoned. One look at the beauty of this natural setting and you will ask yourself the same question I did which was ” Why would you leave this?”. The park has lot’s to offer. Snorkeling, riding the river on a tube, a floating bridge, zip-line, manatees, ruins, an abundance of flora and fauna, and of course swimming with dolphins, just to name a few. They recommend that you take at least two days to see the place and they are right. You can’t do it all in one day. The entry fee lets you enjoy most of what the park has to offer at no extra charge along with three buffet style restaurants and three bars that are also included. That’s all you can eat and drink for the price of admission! Otro Cerveza por favor!!! Other activities do cost extra but they are well worth it, especially swimming with the dolphins. It is an incredible experience and had been on my wish list for decades.
The first year we travelled to the Mayan Riviera we decided that this was a “must do” activity and planned to go. We arrived early at the park and the first thing we did was book a spot to swim with the dolphins. I highly recommend that one does this as spots are limited and you don’t want to miss out if they are full. We had a few hours to kill before it was our turn so we checked out the rest of the place. The food was amazing and the beers were nice and cold! It was a very hot sunny day and conditions couldn’t have been better for our visit. Soon it was time to go swim with the dolphins.
They gave us lifejackets (mandatory) and we watched a short orientation video on the do’s and don’ts of swimming with dolphins. I felt like a kid in school who couldn’t wait for recess anticipating what was coming up! Soon we were headed to the dolphin lagoon to begin our swim. We got in the water and we were in a small group of just four of us. The other couple with Anne and myself just happened to be from Saskatchewan as well, go figure!
The first thing I noticed was how gentle the dolphin was with us. I can’t describe what their skin felt like. And soon we were playing with the dolphin. We splashed each other, danced, it sang to us, and then it kissed us and we got to give it a hug! Then we did the foot push in which two dolphins each put their nose under one of your feet, you stand up, and they push you through the water! Amazing and thrilling at the same time!
Even though the swim lasted 40 minutes it seemed like we had just started and it was over. We found out our dolphin was named Boxo and he had been born at Xel-Ha. They have a sign with all the dolphins names on it but none are named Flipper!
If you ever get the chance to swim with dolphins then do it, you’ll never forget your first dolphin kiss!