Swim with and Ride a Dolphin


Desiree and I. 


Love at first sight! 



Desiree pushing me on the bogie board.



Desiree doing a flip. 




Despite hearing multiple people say, “No way would I get in the water with a fish that’s bigger than me!” or “Do you know how many teeth those things have?” I could not wait to swim with and ride on a dolphin, an item that has been on my bucket list forever, that I crossed off yesterday!

My parents and I signed up for a boat ride from the island we’re currently on, to Anguilla, where the dolphin encounter was located at a place known as Dolphin Discovery. The adventure was followed by lunch and a few hours at a beach on Anguilla.

There were three options: the dolphin swim, in which you kiss and pet the dolphin, the dolphin encounter, where you do the activities in the prior option, and get a chance to ride on the dolphin, or, the dolphin royal swim, where you not only get to ride on the dolphin, but also, the dolphin shoots you in the air. I went with the second option, which in the end, worked out, since no one on our trip chose the last one and doing it alone would just not have been the same. Maybe someday!

Only two other people on the trip chose, like me, the dolphin encounter, but I was relieved I wasn’t the only one.

Our tour guide/boat captain was hilarious and continued to joke about how, like the others who made this comment, he would never get in the water with a fish that was bigger than him.

When I joked that it was nice meeting him right before getting in the water with the lovely Desiree the Dolphin, he told me he’d take care of mom and pops for me.

Getting in the water with Desiree was amazing. A photographer was there the entire time, taking tons of photos of our experience. We got a chance to pet the dolphin, kiss her, watch her spin around as we too spun in circles in the water, and do various other tricks.

The best part was when I got to lean on a bogie board, waiting for Desire to swim toward my feet until she pushed my feet with her nose, causing me to soar across the water on the bogie board!

In the last stunt, the instructor wanted to give us an idea of how fast dolphins can swim and Desiree showed us her speeds of up to 25 mph.

Although it’s pricey, I would recommend swimming with or riding dolphins to anyone. Although I sound like a big cliché, it was an amazing experience and so much fun! We also met so many incredible people through the trip and even wound up hanging out with and going to dinner with one of the couples once the boat got back to our island. I also got to cross another island/country off my bucket list, Anguilla, which is a British territory in the Caribbean.

Who else has swimming with/riding a dolphin on their bucket list? Who has already completed this experience or had a similar one? I’d love to hear from you guys!

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49 Responses to Swim with and Ride a Dolphin

  1. Oh my goodness.. I want to pet a dolphin so bad! (Not sure about swim b/c I’m not much of a swimmer)..They are such beautiful creatures. My husband is a sailor in the navy so when they are out at sea, he will get to see them swimming next to his ship and he has taken a few videos and it is just absolutely beautiful!

  2. Yes!! We went to Dolphin Discovery in Isla Mujeres, Mexico (an island off Cancun) last year on our Honeymoon. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad we did it. The place is a well-oiled machine and very touristy but really NICE. We did the Royal Swim and yes- it is pricey but worth it. I really want to feed and pet the Manatees if I ever go back- so precious! Thanks for sharing- love your blog and your big, happy smile – Erica

    • Oh wow, that sounds like a blast! But I agree that it was totally worth it, even though it was pretty pricey. I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico! And thanks so much, I love your blog too 🙂

  3. Yeah! I am glad you chose not your fear but let your adventurous side take over. I haven’t had the chance to to ride with a dolphin, but that is on my list of things to do!

  4. Well…. At least you didn’t become part of a statistic: 14 people are raped by a dolphin every year lol

    • Hahaha! It’s funny because the instructor asked the group if anyone has kissed a dolphin before and someone in the group said they didn’t remember. We were all like, “Wait what?” and making jokes like, “Well, there was that one night…”

  5. Sharon J. Gramling says:

    Really enriched by hearing of this beautiful experience! Thank you so much for sharing, and God bless you, dear. Wow…

  6. SummersDay says:

    I am envious. Riding a dolphin is now officially on my new bucket list, #1.

  7. Pat . says:

    Not many places you can do that. And, that took some nerve – well done.

  8. Mr. Wapojif says:

    I’d love to do this but I disagree with the concept of keeping dolphins in captivity. The documentary film The Cove displays why quite vividly.

  9. I also had this on my list of ‘things to experience in life’ and had a chance to do it a few years back in San Diego with my husband. What great fun it was. One of the dolphins was pregnant and she was jealous of her mate getting attention from us so it was cute to see them interact together.

  10. nicb1rd says:

    I was fortunate enough to be able to do this and it was so amazing. Dolphins are such vibrant and playful spirits! I agree it was pricey, but totally worth every penny.

  11. Awesome! My family and I swam with dolphins in April this year! Great pics!

  12. Sounds like an incredible experience and I’m glad to see that you got to do something like this! I feel cheated because, when we were on vacation in Bermuda, the family and I were going to swim with dolphins, but it started thunder-storming. We didn’t get to make it up, but I’m sure it would’ve been fun. Oh well, great pictures and posts!

  13. I’m officially jealous of you.This is on my bucket list but I haven’t gotten to it yet.Thanks for sharing such a lovely experience.

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  15. johndwm says:

    Swim with and Ride a #Dolphin by Project Light to Life – #Photography http://wp.me/p2120g-1nQ via @johndwm

  16. Owner says:

    it was so much fun i did it in discovery cove in orlando, florida 🙂 its not scary at all and there very playful and well trained!

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  18. Margo Blue says:

    AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING! Thanks for sharing- wonderful pictures and wonderful writing. This is something that I want to do also! 🙂

  19. chewnchew says:

    wow! Would love to do something like this but it’s terrifying for me! Thanks for sharing and hope to see more posts!

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  21. aiden says:

    I really really really love your blog!!! I want some activities and adventrues, too!! 🙂 Bless you!

  22. paranoiasnfm says:

    Last summer i did the same, but with wild dolphins, in the ocean! 😀
    It’s an amazing experience! 😀

  23. blackturnip says:

    I have been thinking of doing this since early this year, and it’s the fee that has stopped me from doing it. Now your story has convinced me to really save up harder so one day I get to swim with a dolphin. Thanks for sharing this story!

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