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Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Discover wildlife in their natural environment with this half-day tour in Puerto Vallarta. Climb aboard a boat with a biologist guide and utilize a hydrophone to find dolphins based on their sounds. Go swimming with wild dolphins and keep an eye out for a range of marine life including turtles, rays, and more. Support marine ecology research with this wildlife-focused tour.
  • Encounter bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat
  • Explore Puerto Vallarta by boat in search of wildlife
  • Swim in the sea with curious bottlenose dolphins
  • Contribute to the protection of wildlife in Puerto Vallarta
Saved to wishlist!
Use of Snorkeling equipment
Bottled water
Soda/Pop
Snacks
Opequimar Centro Marino , Av. Paseo de la Marina Sur 214, Marina Vallarta, 48450 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
9:00 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • No es recomendable para personas de mas de 7 meses de embarazo
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Wildlife Connection
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "We were able to get in the water with the dolphins (it isn't guaranteed), and it was incredible!" See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
303 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 303 reviews
star-5
Awesome adventure!!
Hugo_G
, May 2022
We had a wonderful time! Christi was very knowledgeable and showed passion for these animals! She made sure we had the best encounter we could but not bother the animals so much! Would recommend this to anyone who wants to see these animals in their wild habitat and roam freely!
star-5
Worth it!
Stephanie_K
, May 2022
Awesome! Definitely a must do! Great guide and captain! Everyone got a chance to swim with the dolphins and even a second chance!
star-5
Unbelievable experience
Maureen_H
, May 2022
It was a small group of 14, educational, respectful of the dolphins, informative and a lot of fun. We all had a chance to go in the water with the dolphins in groups of 2 or 3. No gimmicks, such as food, to attract the dolphins.
star-1
Sorry but not sorry
Stephen_M
, May 2022
Honestly this was very informative but there was no way in hell anyone has ever succeeded in swimming with them with them. I mean I jumped in and saw green and was in the middle of the ocean but no way. I give it .5 stars. Sorry.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
The activity is not done in the middle of the ocean, we never leave the bay and normally we are not even in the middle of the bay, the dolphins we visit are coastal dolphins so must of the times we are close to shore, that is also explained when we describe the 2 ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins. And many people gets suprised of how close to shore dolphins are. We are in the Pacific Ocean and not in the Caribean so we can´t control the visibility of the ocean, that depends on ocean currents and nutrients in the water. Some days the visibility is poor and some others it can be clear, but we can never tell how it will be as is unpredictable.
star-2
Disappointed, safety concerns.
Nakiyah_W
, Apr 2022
MUST READ: Why did I give a poor rating? Our tour guide asked for volunteers to check for sharks (didn’t like that, but ehh we are in the ocean — but why wasn’t there a professional to do it?). One adult and a CHILD volunteered. The child was immediately scared and crying when jumping out of a boat into the the middle of the ocean (kinda duh right?) why was that even allowed? So they tried to get her back to the boat, but the ladder wasn’t even set up yet! So they had to wait for it.. Is safety not a concern? Tbh, the parents shouldn’t have allowed it, BUT there has got to be rules? & what if there were a shark? There was no ladder set up by they time they swam to the boat. It made me uncomfortable to even get it. They don’t really tell you any rules until after you’re in the water. They just yell “Swim to the dolphin!” I understand we are in the ocean, but give those instructions BEFORE the semi dangerous territory. The water was murky, so you can’t see underwater. We DIDNT have snorkels. The only reason I gave two stars is because I got to see (above water) and hear (under water) the dolphins. It was thrilling. Partly because I was in the middle of the ocean & second, the water was so green you literally can’t see & living on the edge really made my heart pound! I liked the feeling — but I’d also appreciate knowing there was some structure for a worse case scenario. Tip: orient (as much as possible) the boat so that the people can jump off on the side with a ladder. If anything goes wrong, they are closer to safety. DRIVE THE BOAT as the swimmers go away from the boat.. people swam away so far and the driver just sat there like wtf?? What is this biologist researching? That wasn’t discussed.. maybe to see if there are sharks nearby? That’s what it seemed like. There was an irrelevant presentation in the beginning about sea animals. It was cute, but not relevant to what mattered — safety.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you for your comments, let us clarify your opinion as our answer has to be a MUST READ TOO... we will answer using your text Before putting anyone in the water we always evaluate the situation and see that it is completely safe to get in. Guide never asked for volunteers to check for sharks, sometimes a joke about sharks is made when asking for volunteers but after the joke it is explained that the first volunteers is to check how dolphins will react that day with people swimming around them (to check their mood)... On that day you went by yourself and there were 2 families with several kids of different ages, an adult of that group and one of the kids volunteered to be first in the water as they were very excited. Just as it happens to some persons (adult or kid), the child that got in the water didn't feel comfortable once she was in and started to cry, but boat is always beside the swimmers and there are 2 different ways to get in the boat, one is using the side ladder, and the other and faster is using a backside ladder. There was no need to put in the girl using the back ladder, so captain proceeded to put down the side ladder as it is easier way to get in the boat. As we explained in the talk we always put in the water 2 persons maximum 4, for safety, better control of persons in the water and also for not being invasive with the dolphins. We were not in the middle of the ocean, we never leave the bay and we were not even in the middle of the bay, the dolphins we visit are coastal dolphins so must of the times we are close to shore, that is also explained when we describe the 2 ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins. It`s not true we don´t give instructions previous swimming as some rules are told even on the educational talk we give previous getting on the boat? We are in the Pacific Ocean and not in the Caribean so we can´t control the visibility of the ocean, that depends on ocean currents and nutrients in the water. Some days it can be murky some others it can be clear. If you want to know What is this biologist researching you could ask it during the tour, sometimes people ask about it and it is answered. Also part of that is explained during the educational explanation. I think you are the first person in more than 20 years that don´t like the educational talk we give prior the tour. The talk is designed in the way everyone learns about the dolphins and what you are going to see, and of course we give some rules. We always get congratulations and thanks for the talk, so again you are the first person not to like it I will finish my answer saying that, we are never in the middle of the ocean, boat is always close to people swimming, and guide is always ready to get in the water if needed. The species of sharks that are reported in the bay are small and medium, not dangerous for people, the Bay is not an area where you find big neither dangerous sharks. Safety is very important for us, we care about people safety and dolphins safety too. Since 1998 we have never had an accident and we are always checking and evaluating the activity during each tour to keep it like that with no accidents
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Best shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta
Richard_M
, Apr 2022
The crew was great . Christina and Cesar really made the excursion a pleasure..very knowledgeable and attentive..
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
So much fun!
Julee_A
, Apr 2022
We loved our experience with Wildlife Connection. They were professional and obviously very knowledgeable. They took their time on the water to make sure we all had a chance to swim with the amazing dolphins. My family and I would recommend highly.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Amazing!
Elise_B
, Apr 2022
It was a great experience and also educational! We saw dolphins, whales and even a sea turtle. The staff on the boat were friendly and knowledgeable. We had multiple opportunities to get in the water and swim along side dolphins in their natural habitat!
star-5
Everything I hoped for
Kelley_K
, Apr 2022
Knowledgeable staff respectful of the dolphins. Had an amazing experience. Bonus was seeing some humpback whales. We all got to get in the water and swim close to several dolphins. Nice, small boat experience
star-5
A great outing!
Craig_S
, Mar 2022
A great time! Very informative and we did swim with dolphins and also got very close to Humpback whales. Do it!
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Only way you should swim with dolphins
Leslie_E
, Mar 2022
A very cool experience that I will try again sometime in the future in hopes of getting closer to the dolphins, we must remember that they are wild and unpredictable sometimes it's about how lucky you can get sometimes the dolphins aren't in the mood to be playful sometimes they are. I enjoyed my experience regardless.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
A dream come true!
Bradley_T
, Feb 2022
Absolutely incredible! Highly recommend. Crew is so caring and knowledgeable. They know the perfect spots, and take a lot of care in their approach. We saw a few pods and they were super interactive. Swam all around us. Recommend getting a waterproof phone case for videos. We got one right there at the shop at the marina for like $4 USD. Worked like a charm and have videos to last a lifetime.
3 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
A really great experience!
Cameron_J
, Feb 2022
What a great experience! Our English speaking tour guide gave us a lot of interesting facts on marine mammals. Both our guide and our boat captain, were very accommodating in trying to find pods of dolphin for us. We must have spent two to three hours on the water and searched around for dolphin for several swims with them. It was a total blast to be able to swim with them, and everyone pretty much wore themselves out swimming and meeting the dolphin before they even thought about heading back into the marina! We also got to see two or three humpback whales with their newborns up close although not in the water. It was a really great experience. Note that the location of the tour May come as somewhat of a surprise as it's in a boatyard, a somewhat industrial area. Just look for the number 214 on the security hut in front of the boat yard and you're at the right place.
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Amazing!
Rachel_M
, Feb 2022
Amazing! We had so much fun! I can be tricky to see the dolphins cause the water visibility is bad so you just have to happen to be looking in the right direction above water to see them or they have to come super close under water. But we had many attempts to try and overall got in a few great moments with the dolphins. It was a thrill and so much fun! We also saw multiple humpback whales and one with a baby. So cute!! Great guides! Definitely would recommend!
3 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
The Best Experience
David_G
, Feb 2022
The dolphins swam so close to us. Within 3 feet. We could have touched them, but we didn't. It was a great experience.. Our guide Gina was great. We loved swimming with wild free dolphins. 🙂👍 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Once in a lifetime!!
Amy_K
, Jan 2022
Christina was amazing!!! She is very educating and truly devotes her life to these mammals of the ocean. We swam with dolphins very close to us, but of course 🙏 they are wild, so they didn’t come up and give us kisses. But 100% worth every penny and we got to see humpback whales (many) as a bonus. I highly recommend this experience and hope people will STOP paying for dolphins to be stolen out of their home and families, so they can be held prisoner to give humans kisses. Leave animals where they belong. I was so serene to see them playing and loving each other within their own freedom
star-5
Magical Dolphins
Ilka_N
, Jan 2022
Christina, our tour guide had given us valuable information about oceanic creatures. The details about dolphins and whales were very interesting. On the boat and in the water: It was magical to experience the dolphins so close....a strong urge to touch them. Why was I not afraid, they were bigger than me?
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Amazing!
Gabi_B
, Jan 2022
Most memorable diving under and seeing two 🐬 diving right next to me💕 I really appreciated the presentation before we left … I learned a lot. Thank you!
star-1
I am not a sardine, get me off this boat
Kate_R
, Jan 2022
So I will start by saying I understand December is high season and that all the tours are very busy but this was ABSOLUTELY ridiculous. So when we arrived the people were very nice offering us coffee while we waited ‘for the rest of our group’ which was 17 people besides my husband and myself. Again high season so no problem until they show us to the dinghy that we are supposed to go out on which is not nearly big enough for the number of people they want to cram on there .. so we are supposed to sit four people across on bench seating with no room to stretch out or move around for hours, oh and only 4 people can be in the water at one time so you are literally sitting on top of someone you don’t know for hours!! We got off the boat and decided not to go, I sure it would be a lovely tour if they allowed you a little space to move around on the boat. If I could I would give them zero stars
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
So we will start by saying we understand your feeling and want everyone that reads your comment also understand it as you mentioned us you are CLAUSTROPHOBIC, we also suggest that you may have some other phobias such as AGORAPHOBIA as our activities are in nature, in open space not in an enclosed area. As you well mentioned December is high season and from approximately Dec 20th to Jan 5th are the highest and most busiest days of all year. All these days are the X-mas holydays and these means families will travel together to celebrate, some families are small some are big but that is how this time of the year is as it is totally a family time. Also let´s clarify that our boat it´s not a dinghy if you search for the meaning a dinghy is a type of small boat, often carried or towed by a larger vessel larger vessel for use as a tender. One of our boats is a 33ft zodiac type for passengers, the capacity of each boat is determined by harbor master and they use a formula that includes large, width and other factors, so our zodiac boat is for 20 pax plus crew. Due to the activities we have, and specially for the dolphin tour we rarely put that boat on it´s maximum capacity, even during the holidays we reject tons of people in the way to maintain a less number, but sometimes we need to be flexible on space specially with big same group or family that was the case on the day you went, it was a single group but with many kids, having kids on a group can helps us being flexible as they are smaller that means less body volume (helps when more people on board) and by experience we know that not all kids will like to get in the water. As you well also mentioned only 4 persons at the same time are allowed in the water with the dolphins, the reason we have this rule is to have better results with the dolphins, not being invasive and respecting them, we learned that through many years of experience with them, and when we have a bigger group on board what we do if needed is extend the time of the tour in the way every one gets the best experience as possible (that always depends on the dolphins not on us). We have been doing this tour for more than 23 years and we have enough experience to handle small and big groups, we adequate to each particular situation and each particular person, we can mention that we have taken on board pregnant women, elderly even around 90 y.o., babies of few months old, persons with back problems, recent surgery, mobility limitations, deaf and blind people, adults and kids with autism, down syndrome and other health conditions, even with some phobias, most of them have contacted us previous tour and we suggest or arrange what will help to each one’s situation and crew knows about each situation too. When you told us your condition that day we explained all these above and also offer you another day after the big days where there will be less people, you never answered yes or no. It was in certain way good you didn’t go out that day and that we full refunded you, as it is better that, than having someone that can ruin the tour to others pax on board (we don't run after the money as you said we are always seeing for all our costumers)… We HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DUE YOUR PHOBIAS to research about what can cause them in any place you are going to be in, contact your host (hotel, restaurant or tour operator) before you are there so you don’t freak out in that moment… Also avoid touristic destinations during high season or big holidays as you can face into people on planes, hotels, streets, restaurants etc… if you do some of our suggestions will make a huge difference to you and your host…
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Highly recommend!
Olivia_P
, Dec 2021
This is a great adventure, the animals safety is the most important thing which I love. The biologist was very knowledgeable. We were surrounded by the wild dolphins multiple times.

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