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“Wonderful Experience, but BRING WATER SHOES”

Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Dolphin Dreams by Dolphin Discovery is the largest habitat in the Riviera Maya providing a unique experience with our friendly and playful dolphins, all of them born within our successful and worldwide recognized breeding program. Known as a luxury community, Puerto Aventuras is visited by international and local tourists seeking a warm, sunny and comfortable vacation distant from the crowds.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Swimming with dolphins has been on my bucket list since as long as I can remember. My family of five and I visited the Dolphin Discovery location to participate in the Ultimate Dolphin swim package (purchased with resort credits from Playacar Palace). The experience was free with the credits, but there was still a $15 per person fee for the drop-off and pick-up.

First, it should be noted that this is more than dolphins. This beautiful marina area is home to many dolphins, sea lions, manatees, and sting rays! All of which can be viewed no matter what package you purchase. I thought it was wonderful that we were also able to enjoy seeing the sea lion put on a little show (including teaching it's baby to swim!!) even though it was not part of our package.

For the actual Ultimate Dolphin excursion, I can really say we had a great time. Our dolphin guide was Priscilla, and she was excellent with both us and the dolphins. The dolphin kissed us on the lips and cheek, danced with us, we held it like a baby (they even close their eyes during this), the dolphin spun us around, and we also were able to ride the dolphin! They also gave us goggles so we could go under and watch the dolphins swim. Which brings me to my next point...

My GOD, was the water disgusting. Not only was it murky and swarming with algae, but the rail on which you stand is COVERED in furry algae. It was very distracting from the experience because I was thinking of how absolutely grossed out I was by this. So, my suggestion, BRING WATER SHOES. It will at least help a little. I saw other groups doing a different dolphin excursion, and they were in crystal clear water. That would have been much more enjoyable.

Finally, the photos. The whole experience is really centered around you getting your photo taken. And, I will say, they photos are pretty good. However, Dolphin Discovery wanted $25 PER PICTURE or $250 for the disc of my family of five's photos. Outrageous.

Overall, a really great experience with some wonderful animals.

Thank Katie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,723 - 1,727 of 2,990 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2013

I went to this excursion through my hotel - Playacar Palace - with my 13 year old son> I must first start out by saying being able to touch, kiss, swim, etc. with an actual dolphin is simply amazing. Living in NY, this is not something we have a chance to do. That said, here's my detailed experience. Bus picked us up from the hotel for about a 30 minute drive. When we got to the place it was a bit unorganized. No one directed us where to go, but we figured to just go inside. I headed in to get my wristband and they said I owed them $15pp for transportation. Now I forgot my wallet and this was my fault as it said on the voucher I needed to pay for transportation (a big rip off). I asked them to call my hotel to see if they could charge my room. They said no, and that I'd have to take a taxi cab back and pay them whatever. Fortunately one of the people on the bus with me heard this and lent me the $. Anyway, once we got that out of the way, we were told to go out the doors and make a right. We basically wandered around asking more and more people where to go until we finally found it. FYI - you can't bring your camera with you if you have one (more on that later) and you get free lockers to put your stuff in. NOTE - don't forget a towel.So we receive some basic instructions on what to expect, which was difficult to hear. We then get directed with about 15 people or so to a dolphin tank. I expected beautiful blue, clean water. NOPE> this water was filled with God knows what. They said it was a form of algae, but it looked like poop. The floor was covered in disgusting green slime, and the water was so murky, you could barely see the fish that were swimming by your legs. The thought of going under water here actually made a few people feel a bit sick (myself included). The interaction with the dolphin was great - although mostly geared towards them taking pictures of you with the dolphin, which they intend on selling to you later. We kissed it (picture), held it in our hands(picture), let her kiss us (picture), swam with her pulling us by her fins (picture), and a few other interactions (picture, picture, picture...get it?). There were too many people so it took a while for each person to go through each thing. When we got out, I felt dirty. There were some showers outside to rinse off (no soap...) though that didn't make me feel any cleaner. When we got back into the main building, they showed us pictures that they took. They were trying to sell them for $25 PER PICTURE! If we bought all of them I think it was around $180-$190. WHAT A RIPOFF> I have no pictures from this experience b/c of this fact. I just couldn't bring myself to purchase them for this price. My son said "don't worry, I'll remember the experience" which I thought was awesome. Anyway, while it was fun and exciting, I suspect there must be at least a half dozen places that are better. Do your research!

1  Thank BLTZ4G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Swam with Dolphins/Stingrays and Manates. Beautiful place, very natural enviornment. Wee picked up from the hotel at 10, back by 3. Great day and the staff and teams there were great.

Thank Louferris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

I was expecting a small pool with crowded groups, but that was not the case at dolphin discovery. We purchased the trip though Olympus tours at our resort. We paid for sea lions, dolphins, and sting rays for$169 pp. We arrived there and we're immediately welcomed with great attitudes, probably because my new wife and I are so outgoing.

Priscilla allowed us to go first with dolphin activities and let us do more activities with the baby dolphins as part of their training.

Juan or johnny was great he allowed us to do manatees which was not part of our ticket. The manatees are a must if you go. SO docile and lovable.

THe trainers were so knowledgable and great with the animals. tHe animals truly loved being there.

You must go and check this out!

Thank Elliot O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2013

The employees were able to make a good deal for us and the trainers were concerned about everyone´s enjoyment. I recommend their unit in Puerto Aventuras, as the reatives/friends who are outside of the water are able to take good pictures, as they stay very close to the swimmers (the pictures are expensive to be bought). And this unit offers food/drink included.

Thank Curinthia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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