How to Snorkel and Swim With Dolphins in Barbados

by Brian Adler

Barbados is famous for its tranquil waters and beautiful beaches. The seas around the island teem with life. Coral reefs are home to colorful tropical fish. Dolphins frolic among among marlins and sailfish. Vacationers can enjoy this bounty up close. Snorkeling and swimming with the local wildlife are popular activities.

Begin your marine adventure in Barbados by booking a trip to one of the island's many resorts. The Coral Reef Club on Barbados' calm West Coast features single rooms and suites from $245 a night off-season to more than $1300 a night in season for a luxury suite. The nearby Folkstone Marine Park includes an artificial coral reef. A special in-shore Recreational Zone offers snorkelers a chance to swim in shallow water. Explore this area on your own or brave the deep-water reef a half-mile out. Eco Dive provides educational guided excursions to the actual reef for $65 a tank during the day and $85 a tank at night.

Snorkel at almost point along the Island's coast. Waters are especially calm at all areas along the West Coast. Barbados Blue at the Hilton lies on the peninsula that divides the West Coast from the South Coast. A total of 14 sites offer an unparalleled chance to observe the variety of the area's marine life. Barbados Blue provides free snorkeling lessons everyday. Snorkelers receive a flotation vest, fins, flippers and mask. You can even get a boogie board. More adventurous snorkelers can head to the Atlantic side of the island for a chance to see sharks and other more dangerous fish.

Visit the different sides of Barbados for distinct opportunities. The calm of the West Coast gives way in the East to cliffs that plunge into the wide open Atlantic. Beaches on this side are almost deserted. And at Bathsheba, the ocean has scooped out gigantic volcanic boulders that stud the sea in an unusual panorama. Barbados Tours takes visitors on a trip down the West Coast and around the island's southern tip into the Atlantic. Stop at several locations to snorkel and scuba dive. A full day tour is $101.95 for adults. But if you book in advance on the Internet you get a discount rate of $96.95. Children under 13 enjoy the same activities for $57.95.

Snorkel in Barbados and you will almost certainly see turtles. Sea turtles are a major attraction along the island's shores. You must look for dolphins and with a little luck you will find them. Barbados does not have any of the organized swim with dolphin opportunities found in many other Caribbean resorts. But dolphins are friendly and inquisitive creatures. They frequently come in near shore. Go into the shallow water along Barbado's beaches and you just may meet some dolphins. Do not disturb the dolphins. Wild dolphins do not naturally seek out human company. However, many will interact with people under the right conditions. Snorkel often and you might just be able to stroke a dolphin as it swims by.

Tip

  • For a planned swim with dolphin program check out other Caribbean islands and locations in Florida and Mexico.

About the Author

Brian Adler has been writing articles on history, politics, religion, art, architecture and antiques since 2002. His writing has been published with Demand Studios, as well as in an online magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Columbia University.