5 Useful Tips For Taking A Dolphin Trip In Mexico
As we've been traveling, I've slowly been crossing items off my bucket list. Since coming to Mexico, I've seen pyramids, rode a horse on my own, watched the monarch butterfly migration, released baby sea turtles, and even ate bugs! One item I've since checked off my bucket list is taking a dolphin trip. We were lucky to be able to do this while in Puerto Escondido. It was truly an unforgettable experience!
Puerto Escondido is a small town located in southern Mexico, along the Pacific coast. Primarily a port town, it has long been a haven for surfers. In fact, Playa Zicatela has one of the best pipeline surf breaks in the world. In recent years, Puerto Escondido has been attracting more travelers than just surfers. Many Europeans (and some Americans and Canadians, too) who come to Puerto Escondido come here seeking the natural beauty and wildlife that can be found in the area.
This post was updated on May 20, 2020.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. But don't worry, this will not result in any extra costs to you.
Experiencing dolphins in Mexico
Besides the beautiful beaches, Puerto Escondido has an abundance of marine life. It's a great place to see whales in Mexico, as Puerto Escondido sits along one of the "whale highways" in the Pacific Ocean. It's right along one of the migration routes for humpback whales and blue whales.
In addition to being a beautiful place for whale watching in Mexico, you can also find dolphin tours in Puerto Escondido. We recently took a dolphin trip with a company called Omar's Sportfishing, located in Puerto Escondido's Playa Angelito. It was one of the highlights of our week last week! Riding alongside dolphins swimming in the open ocean was absolutely incredible.
One of the things we love about traveling with kids is that you can incorporate so much learning into your travel experiences. You can get your kids exciting for their dolphin trip by reading books about dolphins beforehand. We like the National Geographic Kids Everything Dolphins book. Your kids might also enjoy the Absolute Expert: Dolphins book.
Read here for tips on making sure your wildlife travel experiences are ethical and sustainable!
Where to find dolphin tours in Mexico
Dolphin tours in Mexico abound in Puerto Escondido. Most of the tour companies you find in Puerto Escondido will offer their own version of a dolphin trip or offer opportunities to see whales in Mexico. You can find many companies just walking along the main road on Zicatela Beach, or on the main drag near Carizalillo Beach! Alternatively, you can head to TripAdvisor to read reviews of some of the companies and make your own decision on what company to use.
For our dolphin trip, we chose to go with a company called Omar's Sportfishing. A friend of ours recommended this company to us. Besides dolphin tours, Omar offers sport fishing excursions for those who are avid anglers. You cna find Omar's Sportfishing online, or look for his sign at Puerto Angelito beach.
Omar's Sportfishing prices are a bit on the high side for sport fishing excursions in my opinion, at $400 USD for a half-day trip. But we thought the sea safari prices were fairly reasonable. They are 500 pesos per person for a two hour boat tour. The best way to get in touch with Omar is through his WhatsApp number listed on the his website.
Tips for a dolphin trip and whale watching tours in Mexico
If you're planning on seeing whales or dolphins in Mexico with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind before going on a sea safari. Here are my top tips for doing a dolphin trip with kids.
1. Review water safety with your kids
First, make sure that your kids understand water safety. This means discussing with them ahead of time what they should do if they fall overboard. We usually advise our kids to try and stay afloat until we can throw them a lifesaver. This is much better than having them attempt to swim to land.
2. Start your dolphin trip early
Another tip for dolphin and whale watching in Mexico is to plan your excursion in the morning. Most of the marine animals are closer to the shore and the surface in the morning, when the sun and water isn't so hot. If your kids are late sleepers like ours, make sure you give yourself a lot of time to wake up in the morning. That way you don't risk missing your tour!
3. Listen to your captain and crew
Additionally, ALWAYS listen to your captain, as well as your crew. Don't try and do anything that may be considered unsafe. Keep your hands and body in the boat unless instructed otherwise.
During a dolphin trip, the dolphins will like to swim up to the boat and swim alongside the boat. You may be tempted to reach out and touch them. But please DO NOT! These dolphins are wild animals, and we need to keep a respectful distance so as not to disturb their habitats or negatively influence their behaviors.
4. Leave no trace during your dolphin trip
Just like when you're hiking in the outdoors, you want to make sure that you leave no trace while out in the ocean. That means making sure trash doesn't leave the boat. And it also means that you shouldn't take anything from the water back to the shore with you. Also, if you come across animals, dolphins or otherwise, avoid making direct contact with them.
5. Tip your boat crew
After taking a tour, it's common courtesy to provide a tip to your captain and boat crew, so be sure to include this in your Mexico trip costs. This allows you to show your appreciation for the crew's time and service. In Mexico, an appropriate amount is typically between 10-20 percent.
If possible, give your tip in peso, so the crew doesn't have to do extra work to exchange money. You can read here for more general tipping etiquette for travel.
Want to explore more things to do in Puerto Escondido? Read my Oaxaca state posts.
An unforgettable dolphin trip
As a traveler, I naturally have many items on my bucket list. Chalk it up to wanting to see as much of the world as possible! I loved taking the dolphin trip, and am so glad we had a chance to do it recently.
Seeing dolphins in Mexico is an excellent activity for families coming to Puerto Escondido, or any of the beach towns for that matter. We are always so in awe of what nature has to offer. Here in Mexico, it's easy to find natures beauty, on land AND in the sea!
Have you had a chance to see dolphins or whales in Mexico? Share your whale or dolphin tours experience with me in the comments!
Need help thinking through how to budget for a family trip? My Travel Budget Worksheet is just the tool you need! Click here to receive your free copy by signing up for my newsletter.
Want to connect with me on social media? Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. And for those of you who are dedicated to traveling more responsibly, sustainably, and ethically, join over 200 like-minded families on my Facebook group, Responsible Family Travel.