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Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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posts: 8
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Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen


I am going to Mexico with my family in June and we're celebrating a few birthdays.

One member of the family is 40 and would really like to swim with dolphins, the other 4 of us would like to go and watch her but not neceserily take part.

We have been advised by Thomson (our travel agent) we can do this. We don't want to book this however and then when we get there be told this is not possible and end up not being able to witness her swim with the dolphins.

Does anybody have any tips or first hand experience in a situation like this? Just to clarify we would like 1 Adult swimming with the dolphins and there would be 4 spectators.

Many Thanks in Advance :)

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya
posts: 16,152
reviews: 6
11. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

"Maybe they use different techniques. "

Not to be argumentative Tacopants but from what I understand of dolphin swims, dolphin programmes etc. it is the very act of keeping dolphins in captivity that is the issue. How they are captured and how they are treated thereafter is, to a certain extent, academic.

Kinda like keeping a human under house arrest for their entire life in a small, one room apartment. Sure, if you're fed well, allowed interaction with your own kind and generally taken care of it sure beats being starved, isolated and abused ... but confinement is still confinement, no matter how you cut it.

posts: 1,293
reviews: 1
12. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

I understand the "captivity" argument but to say they are starved or mistreated is complete nonsense unless you've witnessed it. That was my point.

posts: 8
reviews: 60
13. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

With all due respect, I understand we all have different views on this subject. Just like we have different views on a lot of subjects. However, I would appreciate it if you took these comments to an alternative forum, as I'm simply after advice on the original subject posted. (IE Spectators)

Many Thanks :)

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 4,320
reviews: 1
14. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

"Maybe they use different techniques".


Care to elaborate? What 'different techniques'? Please, be specific. And, do *you* know anything about the dolphin swims in Mexico?

I've been traveling to this area for over 21 years, and am intimately familiar with the culture, business practices, and lack of regard these places have for the animals they capture.

Now, tell me what you know.

The only thing challenging about debating the misguided motives of these programs is doing so with individuals that chose their name and avatar as some on this board.

posts: 1,293
reviews: 1
15. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

Lol I'm not the one assuming anything. Just because you go to an area does not make you anymore of an expert on the dolphin swims that a first timer lmao. Where are your facts? Please share them.

FYI I don't get offended by silly retorts on the Internet lol.

Green Bay, Wisconsin
posts: 308
reviews: 63
16. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

Sorry guys, my bad. I agree capture = bad. I was under the assumption successful breeding programs. When I read the views written on that site I just seen a lot of similarity to my pet (who I think has it pretty good)

I will do more research on my own or start another forum

To the O.P. I contacted the people at Dolphin discovery at Maroma (opening in may) in my attempts to find out cost and transportation before moral aspect of the program to see if it was in our price range. They told me there is plenty of room for bystanders but a little to far for personal pictures.

Sorry for argument but Thanks for your opinions

posts: 1,293
reviews: 1
17. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

I know that the "trainer for a day" program at Dolphinus allows spectators. It's very educational and you will see first hand how well the dolphins are treated and even fed lol. I've done this twice with friends and its a great experience.

posts: 450
reviews: 11
18. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

TacoPants, 6 years ago in Ixtapa I met 2 dolphin trainers. We became friends, they are very nice people. One of them has been a dolphin trainer all over Mexico, including a place in the Yucatan. I'm sorry I don't remember which one. The other trainer was just learning. In the past 6 years he's traveled all over the world training dolphins. My niece is still in contact with him.

Neither had any degrees, there was one person working at the dolphin place who did have a degree (in biology I think) but the rest of the staff were just animal trainers.

The techniques they used were the same all over. They do keep food from them to get them to do tricks, they do use loud noises to keep them away from areas they don't want them to be. Dolphins are smart and easily trained, they know they'll get fed if they jump, flip and let you pet them.

Dolphins do get aggressive and when they do, the trainers separate them and discipline them. They withhold food, they hit them on the nose when they bump too hard or swim too fast, they blast loud sonic noises underwater.

A dolphin is quite capable of killing a person with a "punch" or nose butt to the chest or a whack of the tail. They can also bite.

So if you want to swim with them remember that you are there at your own risk and if that dolphin has had enough you or your child could be seriously injured. And in Mexico you won't get too far suing them.

Knowing what I know now I'm embarrassed that I ever swam with captive dolphins. If it's something you really want to do, please do some research first.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
posts: 10,365
reviews: 29
19. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

dreaminofsun- that facility in Ixtapa is pretty bad compared to most others I have seen. That tank looked particulary shallow and for the longest time, there was a Carlos and Charlies right next door, blasting music until all hours...their poor ears.

I have to say - thinking all faclities are equally bad makes about as much sense as thinking all dog owners are wonderful to their pets. Places like Sea World I think are vastly better than many or most places in developing countries would be.

And being 'against' training or domesticating dolphins or other marine mammals is a bit puzzling to me when they are far from the only animal we train and domesticate or profit from. Most dolphins are born in captivity, too, not captured a la the propoganda film 'The Cove'. It's true we humans do a lot of horrible things to animals, but trained dolphins and SWD programs are nowhere near the top of my list of the worst examples.

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 4,320
reviews: 1
20. Re: Swim with Dolphins - Playa Del Carmen

"..Most dolphins are born in captivity, too, not captured.."


Reference, please.

And while you're searching, here are a few suggesting you are incorrect: