There are few experiences in life as unique as a swim with dolphins. There is something unimaginably magical spending time with these intelligent and interesting ocean mammals. The Wedding Guys team was able to check this off our collective bucket list during our recent stay at UNICO 20˚87˚ in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
We arrived early to Delphinus as the first scheduled group of the day; which is a great recommendation from the tour specialists at UNICO. It was definitely worth getting up early to avoid the heat of the day. And, since you are not allowed to wear sunscreen, we avoided getting too sunburned. Delphinus operates seven habitats around Cancun: Xcaret, Riviera Maya, Xel-Ha, Cancun Interactive Aquarium, Puerto Morelos, Punta Cancun, and Playa Mujeres, so if you are spending time anywhere in the region you can find a location close to your resort.
After a short shuttle trip, we were excited to arrive. At Delphinus Riviera Maya we discovered a natural space surrounded by lush jungle. They offer a range of programs, so you can tailor your experience. We decided that we wanted to have a private group experience which was definitely worth the upgrade.
After checking in, we were given life jackets and our experience started with a series of videos where we would learn more about the dolphins, as well as the dos and don’ts to know before we got to jump in. A short video shared the philanthropic work that Delphinus supports which includes the donation of 10% of its revenue to animal welfare programs. We also learned they are active in beach clean up as well as education to students in the values and commitment to environmental protection.
Next, we were led down to the water and we FINALLY got to swim with dolphins! The dolphin habitat is a large lagoon that is broken up into smaller spaces for each of the small groups which is led by a dolphin guide. Our guide shared some more details on dolphins and then we were introduced to April, who is the oldest Dolphin at Delphinus. She is actually a grandma and at 32 years old, she has already exceeded the life expectancy for dolphins in captivity by 12 years! She still had energy and attitude, and when she wasn’t showing us tricks like waving, singing, and splashing, she was talking (or maybe flirting) with the male dolphin that was in the next area!
It was interesting to see how much our guide and the dolphins communicate and it was fun to be up close with several dolphins in our personal experience. Dolphins like to be pet, so April swam around us a lot allowing us to pet her back and fins. She would also swim upside down and we could pet her tummy. Her skin was smooth and felt rubbery, but more solid. She also had personality and when she decided to take a break another dolphin came over to join us and show us more of their skills.
The highlight of the experience for me was the dolphin foot push where two dolphins push your feet, propelling you through the water at such speed that you will actually rise out of the water and feel like you are flying. It was a really fun option, so make sure that you choose a package that includes the foot push.
After our personal interaction with April and friends, which lasted for about an hour, we were able to spend time in snorkel gear and swim with dolphins in another pool. This was a fun way to see them from an underwater perspective. After our adventure we were able to purchase photos and a video of our experience, so we’re able to share the experience with you.
See another one of our favorite Mexico adventures here including zip-lining over the jungle!