Swimming with Dolphins in Florida

By: Thomas Morva

You'll be able to swim with dolphins when you visit them in the Florida, Key Largo, Key West area, and Miami, Fort Lauderdale area.

You can choose from shallow-water swimming experiences with trained dolphins and deep-water encounters with wild dolphins. In shallow water enclave, you can spend time working with a trainer from a platform, as the dolphins perform tricks on command. You can also swim with the dolphins, as they will do toe pushes and body rubs. You can enjoy dorsal fin rides and snorkel with them.

Once the trained dolphin swim in captivity gives you an understanding how the dolphins behave in a controlled environment, you can go for wild dolphin encounter.

You will need to go out in the sea in a boat with an experienced guide and boat captain, to find pods of wild bottlenose dolphins.

There are several facilities in Florida that offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins, both trained and wild. One such facility is Dolphins Plus, a dolphin research and education facility located south of Miami in Key Largo. Dolphins Plus houses 14 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

In the Florida Keys, there are three legally registered facilities that offer you the opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins – Theatre of the Sea, Dolphin Plus, and Dolphin Research Center.

There are structured and non-structured swims with the dolphins programs. In the structured program one can have an up front and personal dolphin experience. You can swim, dance, kiss, and enjoy a dorsal tow with the dolphins. In this swim, contact is guaranteed with the dolphins.

Pregnant women are not allowed in the water.

The non-structured swim is only meant for snorkelers who are comfortable in deep water. Since the dolphins in these sessions are not trained, contact cannot be guaranteed. The dolphins set the pace, and contact is up to them.

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