Adding a dolphin swim to the itinerary is a popular thing to do on Oahu vacations. This is partly because most people simply won't find opportunities to enjoy a similar experience back home. Another reason swimming with dolphins in Oahu is so popular is because of how thrilling it is. On an Oahu dolphin swim tour, you can either swim with wild dolphins, or you can opt to get into the water with trained animals. Both of these experiences are rewarding, so you really can't go wrong. Sometimes, when you book a tour to swim with dolphins in Oahu, it will also include other activities, such as turtle and whale watching, which is a nice bonus.
For those who want to enjoy an Oahu dolphin swim that features trained dolphins, the Sea Life Park is the place to go. You can find this marine attraction on the southeastern coast of Oahu, and a relatively short drive from Kailua or Honolulu will get you here in no time. There are three different kinds of dolphin swims for visitors at the Sea Life Park, with the Dolphin Encounter experience being most appropriate for small kids. For Sea Life Park visitors who are eight years of age or older, a more involved Oahu dolphin swim will likely be in order.
On one of the more complete dolphin swims at the Sea Life Park, visitors can learn all about dolphin training techniques from the trainers themselves. Afterward, it's into the water to enjoy such things as a high-speed pectoral fin drag, which involves grabbing onto a dolphin's pectoral fin and going for a ride. Should you choose to take part in the more interactive Dolphin Royal Swim experience, you will be treated to both a dorsal fin ride and a foot push, which involves standing on a dolphin's back while it zips you along the surface of the water. Other marine mammal experiences, such as swimming with sea lions, are also offered at the Sea Life Park.
When your preferred idea of swimming with dolphins in Oahu involves getting in the water with wild creatures, then you might head for the island's less-visited leeward coast. Specialty tours that involve dolphin swims can be booked in both Waianae and at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina. On these tours, you're all but guaranteed to encounter spinner dolphins, which are known for being quite acrobatic.
When swimming with dolphins in Oahu, especially wild ones, it's important to remember a few key things. Chasing the animals is not acceptable behavior, and in fact, you're encouraged to make as little commotion as possible once in the water. Splashing around and generally being loud will only scare the curious dolphins away, and you'll find a swim with dolphins in Oahu is much more enjoyable when they hang around for a while. Should a dolphin swim close to you, you are free to swim along with it, though it's good to keep a decent distance to respect the dolphins' space. Touching or grabbing a dolphin is illegal, so refrain from that kind of activity when you swim with dolphins in Oahu.
Swimming with dolphins in Oahu is an opportunity that many visitors can't pass up, and for good reason. The tours are relatively short and affordable, which is enough to convince some travelers to include them on the agenda. Should you plan to swim with dolphins in Oahu on an extended tour, your meals might be included in the rates, and you can also bring snacks along if you're interested. Don't forget to bring sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, and your sense of adventure, as you're bound to need all of these things at some point.