Barbados is a relatively small island with beautiful beaches. It is the most easterly island of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. Many dolphins live in the waters of the Caribbean but they are only seen infrequently off the coast of Barbados. The island is surrounded by barrier coral reefs, and dolphins are encountered more often outside the reefs. There are no organised swim with dolphins encounters on Barbados.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Book accommodation at one of the many resorts on Barbados. There is a possibility that you could encounter wild dolphins while swimming off a beach, but the chances are fairly slim. Book with one of the tour operators who take people out to the reef for snorkelling and scuba diving and you will increase your chances of getting to swim with the wild dolphins.
Book a sailboat tour that goes outside the reef. Tell them you are interested in dolphins as they will have local knowledge of recent sightings in the area and can take you to the best locations. If you enter the water near dolphins there is a good chance that they will swim close to you as they are very curious animals as long as they do not feel threatened.
Enjoy swimming with turtles while you are searching for dolphins, as there are plenty of hawksbill and leatherback turtles around Barbados. They can be found feeding and playing along the inshore reefs, and have become accustomed to humans as they are protected in the region. There are sailboat cruises with snorkelling and a picnic that offer this experience.
Book a day trip to another Caribbean island if you have not seen dolphins and your holiday is coming to an end. There are organised swim with dolphin programs at Tortula in the British Virgin Islands or at Anguilla. Other Caribbean locations with dolphin encounters are Roatan, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
Tips and warnings
- If swimming with dolphins is a priority. then it may be best to visit a different Caribbean island.
- Be cautious with your movements when approaching wild dolphins, as they can be startled.
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