Water Parks and Swimming with Dolphins in Cancún

Spectators watch as two dolphins leap synchronized out of the water.
Depending on your comfort and price range, you can interact with dolphins with a simple “fin shake” or enroll in a “trainer for a day” program. Photo © Britt Reints, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Also known as Parque Nizúc, Wet n’ Wild (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 25, tel. 998/193-2000, 9:30am-5pm daily, US$49 adult all-inclusive, US$43 child all-inclusive) is a small but classic water park with a handful of twisting slippery slides, high-speed water toboggans, and family-size inner tubing. It’s a great way to cool off, especially if you’re traveling with kids (or want to channel your own inner five-year-old). The all-inclusive plan includes all rides, meals, and drinks though, oddly enough, not the inner tubes. BYO towel too.

Located within Wet n’ Wild water park, Dolphinaris Cancún (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 25, tel. 998/881-3030, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/365-7446) offers dolphin interaction programs that include “fin shaking” and receiving a “kiss” (US$79, 1 hour), as well as swimming with and getting a foot push from them (US$119, 1 hour). For those toying with the idea of working with dolphins, visitors also can help out as Trainers for the Day (US$199, 8 hours).

Delphinus Dreams Cancún (Dreams Cancún Resort, Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 7.5, tel. 998/206-3304, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/335-3461) offers similar dolphin interaction programs in a group setting (US$99-149, 1 hour), as a couple (US$399, 1 hour) and one-on-one (US$499, 1 hour). Trainer for the Day programs are offered too (US$199, 8 hours). Check the website for online deals.

Interactive Aquarium (La Isla Shopping Village, Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 12.5, tel. 998/883-0411, 10am- 6pm daily, US$10) has a disappointingly small display of fish and other sea creatures, but its raison d’être are the interactive dolphin and shark exhibits. Like other dolphin programs, activities range from receiving a “kiss” and getting a “foot push” (US$85-135, 30-55 minutes) to a Trainer for the Day program (US$250, 8 hours). Shark “interactions” involve climbing into an acrylic booth and being lowered into the aquarium’s huge shark tank to get a close-up look at bull, brown, and nurse sharks (US$30 pp, 30 minutes).

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