Swimming with dolphins
Swim with Dolphins in Tahiti
Can I Go Swimming with Dolphins in Tahiti?
Swimming with dolphins in Tahiti is an unforgettable experience. You can have the experience of diving and swimming with these amazing creatures on several different islands. No matter where you swim with dolphins in Tahiti you can be sure that you will encounter not only playful bottlenose dolphins and other species who are excited to meet you, but you will also enjoy 80 degree crystal clear water, a variety of beautiful corals and countless tropical fish!
These marine mammals share a lot in common with us, which is maybe why they are so friendly! From having live births, breathing air, and having highly sophisticated communication skills that they use to maintain strong communal bonds within their pods, there are many similarities between us and our playful friends. When you go dolphin watching you will find there’s a lot they will want to discover about you!
It’s easy to see why dolphins are highly revered in Polynesian culture. They represent wisdom when woven into a tattoo design and are common motif in art and folklore. This special relationship between Polynesians and the dolphins makes this a very unique place to interact with and also learn about dolphins in their natural habitat. The Tuamotu and Society Islands of French Polynesia attract nearly a third of all dolphin species from every ocean!
Best Islands to Swim with Dolphins
There are several ways to have a dolphin encounter during your visit. One of the best ways to meet dolphins is by going on a dolphin watching excursion or lagoon tour. Here you can watch wild dolphins enjoying their natural habitat.
In 2002, French Polynesia’s Ministry of the Environment created the “Marine Mammal Sanctuary of French Polynesia,” placing special protections for species of whales and dolphins. So when you are picking a tour make sure that they adhere to these policies.
Dolphins are in French Polynesia year round and there are some islands where they are better known to be more active.
The types of dolphins you will discover in The Islands of Tahiti include bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus), spinner dolphins (stenella longirostris) and rough-toothed dolphins (steno bredanensis).
The most famous area for seeing wild dolphins in The Islands of Tahiti is on the island of Rangiroa, located a short 1.5 flight from Tahiti in the Tuamotu Islands. Rangiroa is the second largest coral atoll in the world, meaning that the island completely surrounds a massive lagoon where many types of marine life come to relax in the calm, shallow waters.
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In Rangiroa, you can dive with dolphins on an excursion at Tiputa Pass. After slipping beneath the seas, many divers hear the cheerful calls of dolphins all around before they can catch sight of them. Suddenly they appear, sidling up beside you to say hello or even doing a barrel roll so you can rub their bellies like you would your family pet. When they have had their fun they slip away into the deep blue waters leaving you in awe. Find a dive center on Rangiroa to help you have this special experience. You can also see dolphins from just standing on the shore! Each day the wild dolphins come into Tiputa Pass to play in the tides. Book your stay at Les Relais de Josephine for the ultimate views of Tiputa Pass and the dolphins.
You can also see them by booking a tour on the island of Moorea. Wild dolphins often join the lagoon tours to say hello! If you want to be sure to have a dolphin encounter you can visit the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa. Here you can visit the Moorea Dolphin Center and swim with one of three dolphins who were born into captivity outside of French Polynesia for military purposes and, as they are unable to return to the wild, have “retired” in Moorea. These dolphins, Lokahi, Hina and Kuokoa, do not do “shows” for guests but a one-on-one encounter with a marine biologist can be arranged as an educational experience.
Enjoy dolphin excursions/tours on various islands throughout The Islands of Tahiti.
· Moorea Dolphin Center (Moorea)
· Moorea Dolphin Expedition (Moorea)
· Dolphins & Whales Spirit Adventure (Moorea)
· Tahiti Iti Tour & Surf (Tahiti)
What to Expect when Swimming with Dolphins in Tahiti
Swim with dolphins responsibly and have an amazing experience. It’s important to not chase the dolphins when snorkeling with them, allow them to approach you. Look for tours that provide in educational experience in addition to just sighting dolphins.
Things to bring:
· Camera (waterproof)
· “Reef-Safe” sunscreen is a must! Make sure you keep the dolphins natural environment healthy by only taking “reef-safe” sunscreen. Do not use sunscreens which list oxybenzone & octinoxate in the ingredients.
Swimming with dolphins in Tahiti, Moorea, and the Tuamotu Islands is a special experience. Come ready to learn about (and play!) with these incredible animals.
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