Dive Into Adventure At Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios

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Most people who go to the Dolphin Cove Habitat in Ocho Rios, Jamaica describe the experience as outstanding. It is an exciting place to go to spend time with incredible sea creatures like dolphins, sharks, and stingrays. The most popular activity at Dolphin Cove is swimming with the dolphins and during this experience, you’ll get to see firsthand how friendly, cuddly, and smart these creatures really are.

Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios is located on the north coast of Jamaica in a natural park that spans over 23 acres. If you sign up for a Dolphin Cove adventure in Jamaica, you’ll get to see sea life in their natural habitat and interact with them in special programs. In addition to the swimming programs, there are also opportunities to pamper and feed the marine animals at Dolphin Cove and learn intricate details about them. If you love marine life, this is one tour you should definitely include on your vacation agenda. Here’s what you can expect at Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

Expert tip: Swimming with dolphins is just one of many great activities for kids in Jamaica! Get ready for your stay in paradise with our Jamaica packing list and check out these Jamaica travel tips dos and don’ts before you fly in.

Things to do at Dolphin Cove

Dolphin Cove is an exciting place to visit in Jamaica with plenty to do. In particular, you’ll be drawn here because of the opportunity to swim with dolphins and to see sharks and stingrays in their natural habitat. During the tour, you can get up close to these amazing creatures which can be a thrill for all ages. We’ve listed some of the most popular things to do at Dolphin Cove below:

Swim with dolphins


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At Dolphin Cove, there are various dolphin-oriented activities that guests can participate in. This includes the Dolphin Encounter, Swim Adventure, Dolphin Royal Swim, and the Yaaman + Dolphin Encounter. The Yaaman + Dolphin Encounter includes a jitney ride, swimming with dolphins, a visit to a bird aviary, a cooking tour and lunch buffet, a visit to a secret Blue Hole, and non-alcoholic drinks. This tour is ideal for families, groups of friends, and adventure seekers. More information on this tour is available on the Dolphin Cove website.

Explore the jungle trail


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With a special package known as Admission Plus, you can trek a rugged jungle trail which can be a great way to relax and spend time in nature while in Jamaica. Along the way, you’ll spot lots of colorful birds and iguanas. This package includes the jungle trail expedition, a stingray encounter, a buffet meal and drinks as well as water and fruit punch. This pirate-themed adventure will include a visit to Treasure Island, which is a replica of the old pirate haven, Port Royal.

Go on the Cawabunga water slide

Going on the huge water slide at Dolphin Cove is probably one of the most fun things to do during a visit. The water slide is fun for all ages and you can enjoy this before or after swimming with the dolphins!

Head out on a kayaking adventure or a mini boat


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An exciting kayaking adventure awaits at Dolphin Cove. Whether you’ve tried kayaking before or it’ll be your first time, the scenic views and peaceful ambiance while kayaking at Dolphin Cove will certainly be memorable. The major advantage of kayaking here is that glass-bottom kayaks are available. These can really take a kayaking adventure to the next level.

Good to know: Mini-boat adventures are available at Dolphin Cove as well. Hopping on a mini boat can be a great way to explore the coast.

Snorkel with stingrays


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You’ll be able to snorkel with stingrays if you so choose during your visit to Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios. The stingrays are friendly and the guides will be there the whole time just in case you need some guidance or have questions about the rays.

Meet the sharks


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During the Shark Encounter at Dolphin Cove, you’ll be able to get up close to Caribbean sharks which are known to be a bit more docile compared to other shark species. You can learn about these sharks as you swim with them in the shallow water and take photos to capture the memories. The Shark Encounter at Dolphin Cove includes access to the nearby Dunn’s River Falls. Shark shows are available at some Dolphin Cove locations. The Shark Encounter provides access to Dunn’s River Falls and more.

Expert tip: Being one of the largest waterfalls in the Caribbean, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the many things Jamaica is known for. Ocho Rios in general is a great place to stay if you are looking for an adventure (like zip lining on Mystic Mountain) or hidden gems (like the cool Blue Hole in Ocho Rios).

Go for a stroll or hike


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Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios is located in a scenic and spacious park with lots of natural paths. During a visit, you can explore the grounds and see some of the wildlife therein as well as the rich flora and fauna. Be sure to take lots of photos along the way!

Go to the beach club

When you’re done with the activities or even in the midst of your visit to Dolphin Cove, you can visit the Dolphin Cove Beach Club for a breather. Drinks and food are available here as well as light snacks. Beach chairs, umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, and a bar that offers drinks and snacks are available at the beach club. In addition to visiting the beach club, you’ll also be able to relax with some freshly brewed Jamaican coffee from the Buccaneer’s Coffee Shop while at Dolphin Cove. The shop can be fun to visit, and there's a restaurant on the property as well.

Collect your photos from the Photo Center

After your tour, don’t forget to go to the Photo Center to pick up some professional photos of your Dolphin Cove experience. It can be worth it to purchase these photos since a Dolphin Cove adventure in Jamaica can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Videos may also be available at the Photo Center.

Do a combo tour of Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls


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Dunn’s River Falls is located right next to Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios. If you want to get two great activities out of the way in one day, you can sign up for a special Dunn’s River Falls experience that includes swimming at the waterfall and other cultural activities. You’ll also be able to spend time with the marine species of your choice at Dolphin Cove as part of this package.

How to get to Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios

Picture: Beaches Ocho Rios, Jamaica

There are several things to consider when traveling to Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios, including distance and traffic. Fortunately, getting to Dolphin Cove isn’t too tough. If you are staying in the northeast region of Jamaica at a lodge or resort or if you are coming by cruise ship, you can take a taxi or “route taxi” to this location. Dolphin Cove is** about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the cruise terminal** at Turtle Beach Road.

If you will be staying in the Montego Bay area, it would be a good idea to visit the Dolphin Cove Montego Bay Habitat. There are some great Jamaica resorts in this area for couples.

Expert tip: The Ocho Rios resorts and Negril resorts in Jamaica offer some of the best family-friendly resort experiences on the island. Kids love the pirate-themed Caribbean waterparks at these resorts and parents love the included Kids Camps that keep their little ones entertained and supervised!

Dolphin Cove Jamaica — the price breakdown

Before going to Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios, it is a good idea to take a look at the available programs and what they cost. Keep in mind that the price you’ll pay overall will depend on the programs that you will be participating in and how many people will be going to Dolphin Cove with you. Generally, admission to Dolphin Cove starts at $49 USD for adults and $45 USD for children. This price tends to increase slightly when you add the various sea life encounters. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for the activities at Dolphin Cove (all in USD):

● Admission Plus (from $69, or $45 for kids)

● Shark Encounter (from $69, or $69 for kids)

● Dolphin Encounter (from $109, or $109 for kids)

● Dolphin Swim Adventure (from $149, or $109 for kids)

● Dolphin Royal Swim (from $189, or $109 for kids)

In terms of the costs, keep in mind that children aged 1-5 years will only need to pay for the transfer to Dolphin Cove. Children in this age group can participate free of charge with a paying adult (this is limited to one child per paying adult). For older companions, even if they will not be participating they will still need to pay the park’s admission fee of $49 USD per adult and $45 USD per child. Children 8 years and over (and taller than 140 cm / 4’7”) will be able to participate on their own. This age group is required to pay the regular adult price.

Expert tip: If you’re planning on going to Dolphin Cove in Jamaica, it is a good idea to factor in additional costs for extras including photo packages, souvenirs, restaurants, lockers (to store your belongings while at the habitat), transportation, and tips. The costs of these are not typically included in tour packages.

Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios — what you’ll need to bring along

If you’re planning to go to Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios, some of the most important things to bring along are swimwear, sunblock, insect repellant, and dry clothes to change into once you’re out of the water. These are the main items you won’t want to leave behind if you plan on getting into the water and swimming with the dolphins at this location. If you’ll be bringing children to Dolphin Cove with you, make sure they have everything they need for the day as well.

FAQs about Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios:

What are the different Dolphin Cove locations in Jamaica?


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There are Dolphin Cove locations in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Moon Palace, Yaaman, and Puerto Seco, Jamaica.

Are multiple programs with sea life available at Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios?

Yes, there are multiple programs with marine life on offer at Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios as well as other Dolphin Cove locations in Jamaica (five habitats in all). The number of programs on offer with dolphins, sharks, or other sea creatures daily varies. This can depend on weather conditions, visitor demand, and operational aspects as well.

How long is the dolphin encounter at Dolphin Cove?

The duration of the dolphin programs at Dolphin Cove depends on which one you choose to participate in. The Dolphin Royal Swim in Ocho Rios Jamaica for instance includes a 30-minute interaction with two dolphins in their natural habitat. This program also includes a 30-minute orientation during which visitors learn more about dolphin behaviors and other interesting facts.

Can I swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove if I can’t swim?

All participants in the dolphin swim program at Dolphin Cove must be able to swim. If you’re not able to swim, you will not be able to participate. All participants must use a life jacket in the water programs at this establishment as this is a requirement.

How old do kids have to be to participate in the dolphin swim?

In order to participate in the dolphin swim adventures, children must be eight years and over and taller than 140 cm/ 4’7”.

Is Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios wheelchair-accessible?

The Dolphin Cove facility in Ocho Rios, Jamaica is wheelchair-accessible. At this park, you can make your way around fairly easily if you or someone in your travel party will be using a wheelchair, collapsible wheelchair, walker, or motorized scooter.

Are there any restrictions for participating in dolphin swim activities?

There are some restrictions when it comes to swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios. For starters, only participants eight years and older will be able to enjoy this experience. A minimum height of 4’7” is also required, and there is a weight restriction of 115kg/250 lbs. The swimming with dolphins experience at Dolphin Cove is not suitable for expectant mothers or guests with back problems.

Can I take photos with the dolphins?

It will not be possible to take your own photos during dolphin encounters at Dolphin Cove as the use of personal cameras is not allowed during the programs for security reasons. However, professional photos are usually taken during the experience which you’ll then be able to purchase at the Photo Center afterward.

Who owns Dolphin Cove in Jamaica?

Dolphin Cove, which is just across from Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, was first the home of the Burrows family. Realizing the potential of this space, they transformed it into a 23-acre marine park. Opening its doors in February 2001, this park started with around four dolphins as the main attraction — that number has increased over the years and Dolphin Cove has become one of the most popular visitor attractions in Jamaica.

So many reasons to swim with dolphins in Ocho Rios, Jamaica!

Swimming with dolphins certainly is a bucket list activity for many people and getting to experience this in the warm and wonderful waters of Jamaica makes this experience even more fantastic. As this is a very popular activity in Jamaica that makes it possible to get better acquainted with the island’s sea life and island life overall, it is a good idea to book your Dolphin Cove tour as early as you can before your trip.

If swimming with dolphins and spending as much time as possible on white, sandy shores is your idea of a dream vacation, then staying at a Sandals Resort will be ideal! Sandals Resorts in Jamaica are located steps away from some of the best beaches in Jamaica. Couples love the quality inclusions at these resorts, which include gourmet dining at multiple restaurants, day and night entertainment, unlimited land and water sports, and more. Added to that, you’ll be able to book your swimming with dolphins tour or any other tour or excursion in Jamaica through your resort for a vacation that’s filled with island thrills!

Picture: Sandals Ochi, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!