On the northwestern side of the pint-sized island of Aruba is a small, secluded bay called Boca Catalina.
Some visitors come to the bay for its soft sand. Others visit for its warm, clear turquoise waters. But this area has more to offer travelers than your typical beach.
Boca Catalina is one of the most popular places in Aruba to swim with dolphins. The friendly creatures are native to the Caribbean Sea and can be spotted traveling past the island’s famous beaches. But they tend to linger in the waters just off Boca Catalina, making the bay a must-stop for visitors who want to swim with dolphins during their trip to Aruba.
Hardy swimmers can approach the dolphins on their own. For the best experience, however, join a snorkel group that specializes in dolphin encounters. Snorkeling is a better option than scuba diving, as the scuba’s bubbles may scare off the animals.
Swimming with wild dolphins is different, and often more enjoyable, than swimming with dolphins at a zoo or park. Since they’re in their natural habitat, wild dolphins are usually less stressed than their captive cousins.
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the water is the sound. Dolphins communicate with each other via clicks and whistles. And you can bet they’ll have a lot to say to each other about the humans in their midst. Used to traveling in packs, the social animals appear to enjoy the company. You’ll feel like you’re part of the pod as you swim with them.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up. It’s just as impressive to watch the dolphins somersault and twirl around you.
Remember, these are wild animals. Unlike captive animals in zoos, wild dolphins aren’t used to having humans touch or ride them. Just swim along as they frolic and feed in their natural habitat. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Want to swim with dolphins? Have a story about a dolphin encounter to share? Join the conversation with other Aruba travelers on Facebook.