SWIM WITH DOLPHINS
Without any doubt, watching cetaceans in their natural environment, from a rib-boat, is an unforgettable experience. However, here in the Terceira Island, it is possible to enrich that experience with an even more exciting one - swimming with the dolphins.
Our trips to swim with the dolphins last 3-4 hours and allow each swimmer to enter the water at least 2-3 times. Sometimes it is possible to swim with more than one species at the same time.
To get the most out of the experience, some confidence with fins, mask and snorkel is necessary. However, do not worry if you do not feel comfortable with this as we can provide short courses in confined water.
THE SPECIES YOU CAN SWIM WITH
In the Azores, swimming with the dolphins is allowed with 5 different species, all belonging to the to the family Delphinidae.
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)
The biggest dolphins you can swim with in the Azores, where they are bigger than in most other areas. It is the most targeted species by ocenaria, so that it will be even more rewarding to see them living free and happy.
ATLANTIC SPOTTED DOLPHIN (Stenella frontalis)
Despite their name, only the adults are spotted. They reach our waters with the newborn in late June and stay till the end of the season.
COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis)
They are unmistakable, due to their hourglass color pattern on the flanks, whose anterior part is yellow. We sometimes see in large groups of many hundreds.
RISSO'S DOLPHIN (Grampus griseus)
Almost as big as the Bottlenose dolphin, the Risso's dolphin has a round snout which makes identification easy. Adults are covered with white scars that accumulate over time, so that the oldest individuals appear to be almost completely white.
STRIPED DOLPHIN (Stenella coeruleoalba)
Similar in size to the Common dolphin, Striped dolphins in the Azores are usually quite shy, unless associated with other species. Their tendency to porpoise at very high speeds makes them a better subject for photography than for swimming!
HOW IT WORKS
PREPARATION ON LAND
- Introduction to dolphin behaviour and biology
- Safety on board and in the water
There are a few pieces of gear you need for swimming with the dolphins. Do not worry if you miss anything as we will give you all you need at no extra cost:
Mask and snorkel
Short wetsuit (full wetsuit in winter and spring)
The dock is just a 50 meter walk from our centre! We will be heading to the area where the dolphins were spotted by our look-out on land. Once with them, the crew will evaluate the opportunity of swimming with that particular group. Should the group turn out not to be suitable (e.g. showing boat avoidance) we will find another one. If the dolphins are OK, we will swim with them 2 people at a time. There are a few golden rules, designed to give you and the dolphins the best shared experience:
- Do not enter the water before given the OK by the crew.
- After donning fins, mask and snorkel enter the water noiselessly without a splash - enter feet first holding your mask against your face and your snorkel in your mouth.
- Swim slowly and avoid making splashes.
- When in the water, look down - the dolphins often swim right underneath you or approach from behind.
- Listen underwater - often you can hear the dolphin's squeaks and whistles.
- Do not chase or try to touch the dolphins.
- Remember your limitations.
- Carefully follow the crews advice.
- You need to wait a minimum of 24 hours after your last dive, so please plan your flights and mountain hiking trips accordingly.
- If 3 pax or more (shore/boat dive).
Don´t forget to bring:
If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
The cancellation by the customer within 48 hours prior to the activity will not result on any refund.