Baby Friendly Jamaica: Swimming with Dolphins at Dolphin Cove

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Swimming with Dolphins, Dolphin Cove Jamaica

Swimming with Dolphins in Jamaica

Swimming with dolphins has always been a dream of mine. I was very fortunate to do it twice. The best time was at Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, when my family and I were guests of the Jamaican Tourist Board.

Swimming with dolphins may not necessarily be an activity that comes across as baby friendly, but Dolphin Cove is definitely a place you can relax and enjoy with baby, while other members of your family are enjoying the more active pursuits that Dolphin Cove has to offer.

Admission is Free for Under 6s

If you’re not participating in any of the dolphin swim programs, than admission for children aged six and under to Dolphin Cove is complimentary. There a great trail to explore with loads of beautiful birds, ginormous insects, and other interesting flora and fauna to look at.

The trail itself is not particularly stroller-friendly. However, a decent jogging stroller should be able to manage ok.

Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Dolphin Cove Jamaica
Dolphin Cove, Jamaica

More at Dolphin Cove

There’s a small beach protected by a small breakwall which keeps the big waves at bay. There are plenty of beach loungers, and the sand is very soft. The boardwalk that extends along the little gift shops makes for a nice stroll. However, bolting toddlers need to be kept on a short leash (I guess both literally and figuratively!) The inconsistent guard rails are not exactly substantive.

The restaurant had a number of local dishes (the jerk smelled divine) as well as choices that might appeal more to those with a picky palate.

If you plan to be there for more than a couple of hours, you should definitely pack your own water and healthy snacks.

Swimming with Dolphins in Jamaica

My daughter and I were fortunate to take part in the Dolphin “Encounter Swim,” where we both donned life jackets and entered the water to touch and interact with our dolphin, Nina. This program is for all ages and the ability to swim is not required.

My daughter, then aged four, was a little nervous. And she was equally as delighted as I was to be in the water with such a beautiful creature. Pregnant women are not permitted to participate in any of the swimming with dolphin programs. This is something to do with dolphins having acute sonar and the possibility of them being unpredictable if their sonar picked up on the baby in your tummy.

Minimum Age to Swim with Dolphins

However, mamas-to-be AND little toddlers may participate in the dolphin “Touch Encounter” program, where you stand in knee deep water and can interact with and pet the dolphins.

This is free for children under five so long as they are accompanied by a paying adult and kept in hand with a grown up. My son was only 16mos at the time, which I figured was too little. Now that he’s older and adores all animals, I can really envision him loving the dolphins.

Dolphin Swim, Dolphin Cove Jamaica, Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Off for our “Encounter Swim”!

More to Do at Dolphin Cove

More activities at Dolphin Cove are swimming with stingrays (barbs removed), glass bottom boat rides, snorkeling, mini-boat rides, as well as watching the shark show and the dolphins at play.

Be sure to pack extra towels, snacks and water, biodegradable sunscreen, as well as extra money should you decide to purchase a photo from your dolphin encounter. Cameras are permitted, but not in the dolphin areas or while participating in the dolphin experiences. They request that you apply sunscreen after your dolphin experience, as the chemicals can be harmful for the dolphins. I suggest to wear a rashguard or other swim shirt so you’re protected during the program as well.

Bringing a Baby to Dolphin Cove

There are no change tables, but lots of places where you can easily change baby. And there is lots of shade in different areas to sit and quietly nurse or feed baby. The freshwater showers are quite refreshing. They may be chilly for smaller babies however older ones may enjoy the splash.

There are quite a lot of stairs going down from the parking lot and main entrance area to the main Dolphin Cove areas. Once there you should be fine using a stroller along the boardwalk and beach areas. Again, a jogger or all-terrain stroller should handle the jungle trail just fine.

How Much Does It Cost to Swim with Dolphins in Jamaica?

Swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Cove is expensive. Prices vary depending on the season and they often have deals on their website if you book in advance.

All of the encounters include admission and access to all the activities. If you pack snacks and make a day of it, it’s a definite treat that your kids (and you) will love.

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2 Responses to Baby Friendly Jamaica: Swimming with Dolphins at Dolphin Cove

  1. A lot of great tips here for those coming to visit the dolphins in Jamaica. This sounds like a lot of fun for families and adventurers of all ages.


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