Head to the Chankanaab National park to swim with dolphins and pet sea lions and manatees in the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The warm turquoise waters surrounding Cozumel are inhabited by beautiful marine life and the abundance of dolphins is the reason that most people visit Cozumel. For those who love to swim with these clever marine mammals in their natural habitat, a trip to Dolphin Discovery inside Chankanaab National Park is a must.
The word “Chankanaab” derives from the Mayan language and means “small sea or ocean.” This is a reference to the park’s lagoon, where much of Cozumel’s incredible marine life can be found.
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel offers a variety of activities involving dolphins, sea lions and manatees. Many tourists opt for the Royal Dolphin Swim: A dynamic interaction with two dolphins that are trained to push you up from the surface of the water. This type of “water skiing” is a one-of-a-kind experience!
Put on a snorkel mask at Dolphin Swim Adventure to witness dolphins in their underwater environment. You’ll also get to enjoy a “belly ride,” as if you were part of a dolphin show. Scuba divers can go even deeper and pet and hold dolphins and watch them perform tricks around them. The Dolphin Encounter is an experience aimed at younger children and takes place on a platform.
Less expensive attractions are those involving manatees and sea lions.
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel is located in the southwest of the island, in the Chankanaab National Park. If coming from Cancun or the Riviera Maya, take the regular ferry from Playa del Carmen or fly to Cozumel and rent a car or take a taxi to get there.
Facilities include swimming and sunbathing areas, showers, beach chairs and changing rooms. All animal experiences are billed separately, with the interactive dolphin encounters being the most expensive. To secure a spot at your desired time and to sign up for a scuba dive, book ahead on the Dolphin Discovery website. The center is closed on Sundays. The entry fee includes access to the Chankanaab National Park. If you plan to see the tropical fish after your Dolphin Discovery visit, you can rent snorkel gear at the park’s entrance.