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From structured to wild, this guide will answer all your questions about swimming and snorkeling with dolphins while visiting Aruba.
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The island of Aruba really does have something for everyone.
The Dutch paradise offers visitors some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, a beautiful landscape in every direction, and some of the most glorified sunsets imaginable.
If you are a lover of the sun and the sea, Aruba is an ideal destination.
While Aruba is an island, there are obviously endless amounts of water activities to partake in while visiting the island.
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Whether you are looking to swim and relax on the shore, take a paddle board around the coastline, or go diving with colorful marine life, water dogs won’t be left disappointed after visiting Aruba.
Snorkeling is a big draw to the islands, and many visitors ask; can you swim with dolphins in Aruba?
Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Aruba – Boca Catalina
Dolphins are native to the Caribbean sea, just knowing where to spot them is the trick.
Many of the friendly creatures are often seen around Aruba, and oftentimes, swimmers have encountered them out in the open.
While they are timid creatures and aren’t found everywhere, it’s crucial to visit a location where dolphins typically frequent. In Aruba, that spot is Boca Catalina, just off the northwestern coast.
Boca Catalina is a small sandy bar out in the open water, a few hundred yards off the coast. It is possible for strong and confident swimmers to visit the island on their own, or, many visitors opt to take a guided snorkeling boat trip.
Taking the boat trip with local guides often gives visitors a better chance of knowing where to look.
Keep in mind, when your sole goal is to swim with dolphins, avoid scuba diving tours.
The bubbles from the tanks are often frightening and annoying to dolphins, causing them to leave the area rather quickly.
Curacoa: Dolphin Academy
Oftentimes, swimming with dolphins in the wild can be hit or miss. Some visitors see a multitude of dolphins, while others see none at all.
If you are looking for n alternative option where you are guaranteed a dolphin sighting, take a day trip to the neighboring Dutch island of Curacoa, part of the ABC islands, including Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacoa.
The Dolphin Academy offers an array of interactive activities with dolphins. For a brief introduction to the creatures, the academy offers a 15-minute encounter Program in the shallow depths of the tank.
Visitors can touch and play with dolphins under the supervision of the trainers.
In the deeper end of the tank, a 30-minute dolphin swim is available, involving swimming and stunting opportunities. For even more dolphin interaction, head over to the dolphin lagoon.
There are 2 different 30-minute programs to choose from; snorkeling with dolphins and scuba diving with dolphins.
Keep in mind, while the Open Water Dolphin Dive is the most adventurous and exciting of the activities, those wishing to scuba dive must already possess previous dive training or certification and be above the age of 12.
When visiting the Dolphin Academy, there are a few things to remember:
- Guests are encouraged to bring their own swimming gear, towels, and sunscreen.
- The academy will provide all other equipment needed for your dolphin experiences, such as wetsuits, goggles, snorkels, and flippers.
- Be advised children under the age of 8 may not participate in the dolphin experiences without an adult.
Getting to Curacoa’s Dolphin Academy
Taking a day trip to Curacao is one of the best options for swimming with dolphins when visiting Aruba. To get to Curacoas Dolphin Academy, visitors must first get from Aruba to Curacao.
The 3 neighboring ABC islands are easily connected by small commuter flights, typically lasting most of the day and evening.
Flights are less than 30 minutes in length and are quick, simple, and affordable.
Guests can leave for Curacao in the morning and easily get back to Aruba well before the sun sets.
Once you have arrived, grab a taxi and direct your driver to the Dolphin Academy, just a hop skip, and jump away.
While swimming with dolphins in Aruba isn’t always easy, it’s not impossible.
Whether you are wanting to have a natural encounter in the wild, or play with trained dolphins in a structured setting, both options will provide you with a pleasant experience.
We hope you have enjoyed this guide and refer back to it when planning your next dolphin excursion in Aruba!
Hello, I’m Emma! I’ve been exploring the world since 2015. People always ask me lots of questions when I travel and come back. So, I started a blog to answer them all and share with the world. If you are curious about something, use the search bar on my site or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org