Love Dolphins? Here Are The Best Places To Dive With Them

Everybody loves dolphins. With their enigmatic smiles and playful antics in the water, they charm the fins off many a diver. Diving or swimming with dolphins is simply unmissable.

There are some great places around the world where you can dive with dolphins, or just grab a snorkel and swim with them.

From the crystal-clear Bahamas to far-flung French Polynesia, we’ve got your top dolphin diving destinations right here.

The Bahamas

The clear waters of the Bahamas are ideal for dolphin spotting

The warm blue waters of the Bahamas are ideal for diving with dolphins, with plenty of these mammals seen near Bimini Grand Bahama.

You can enjoy almost guaranteed encounters with the resident dolphins found there.

Atlantic Spotted dolphins are a real Bahamas treat. These dolphins gather in shallow waters during afternoons to play and socialise.

Other Bahamas dolphins seen include spinner, spotted, striped and bottlenose dolphins.

Atlantic Spotted dolphins are a popular choice for photographer visiting the Bahamas

When to go: All year

Which liveaboards: Bahamas Master | Bahamas Aggressor  

 

The Galapagos Islands

 The Galapagos Islands offer unparalleled diving and wildlife spotting opportunities

The UNESCO-listed Galapagos Islands need no introduction as an epic dive destination with an abundance of wildlife to enjoy. It is high on many divers wish lists.

As well as numerous encounters with sharks and rays, marine iguanas and sea lions, the Galapagos offers great dolphin diving.

You can dive with pods of resident bottlenose and common dolphins at the islands.

Other Galapagos Islands dolphins seen include spotted, spinner and Risso’s dolphins.

When to go: All year

Which liveaboards: Nortada | Galapagos Master | Majestic Explorer  

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 Fury Shoal, Egypt

Fury Shoals offers impressive coral formations and reefs as well as playful spinner dolphins

Sha’ab Sataya is renowned for its large pod of spinner dolphins hanging out in the natural lagoon there. Located at the very south of the Fury Shoals reef system, this Egypt diving destination is not to be missed.

When you’ve had your fill of swimming with dolphins, you can enjoy great reef dives with impressive drop-offs.

Keep your eyes peeled when diving, as you may also see the occasional bottlenose, common or Risso’s dolphin passing by.

When to go: All year, but May to June are the best months

Which liveaboards: Emperor Asmaa | Blue | Miss Nouran

 

 Socorro, Mexico

The remote Socorro Islands host pods of bottlenose dolphins from January to March each year

The Socorro Islands are paradise for marine megafauna diving, offering encounters with friendly Giant Pacific mantas, humpback whales, whale sharks, hammerheads and more.

Socorro Island itself is also a great destination for diving with dolphins.

Socorro’s many bottlenose dolphins are keen imitators of the manta rays, following their movements whilst also copying scuba divers in the water.

Confident Socorro Islands dolphins come close to divers, mimicking thier movements at they dive

When to go: January to March for dolphins

Which liveaboards: Valentina | Quino el Guardian | Nautilus Belle Amie

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Hawaii

 

Hawaii’s striking volcanic landscapes, underwater lava formations and flourishing coral gardens are a huge draw for scuba divers.

Add to that the chance to night dive with manta rays and enjoy resident dolphins, and you’ve got Hawaiian diving paradise.

Oahu and Big Island host spinner dolphin that delight divers with their acrobatics as they pass by.

There are also resident pods of bottlenose and spotted dolphins that make frequent appearances.  

 When to go: All year

Which liveaboards: Kona Aggressor II

 

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat, one of Indonesia’s most stunning regions, has over 1500 islands to explore in the Coral Triangle. If you can tear your eyes away from the diverse fish life and manta rays found there, you can also spot dolphins.

Dolphins are regularly seen on boat crossings at Raja Ampat, making your Raja Ampat liveaboard cruise even more special.

Keep your eyes to the horizon as you sail and you might see spinner, spotted, common, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins.

When to go: October to April

Which liveaboards: Pearl of Papua | La Galigo | Emperor Raja Laut

READ MORE: THE BEST PLACES TO DIVE WITH MANTA RAYS

 

French Polynesia

French Polynesia is frankly idyllic, offering white-sand beaches, incredible shark diving, humpback whales, and an escape from daily life.

Dive the famous Rangiroa atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and you can dive with bottlenose dolphins at the Tiputa Pass entrance.

This pass gives Rangiroa its claim to fame, thanks to exhilarating diving there with huge schools of grey reef sharks, mantas, Napoleon wrasse and dolphins.

When to go: All year

Which liveaboards: French Polynesia Master | Aqua Tiki II