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Scuba Dive with Dolphins in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

By John McNamara
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For many years I have scuba dived and always wondered if I would ever see a dolphin while under the water. It has never happened. So the only way to really accomplish this is by going to Puerto Plata Dominican Republic to Scuba Dive with the Dolphin in a contained facility. I was more than happy to experience the dolphins this way and pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed having the instructors explain and assist with this mini adventure, loved interacting with the different behaviors of the dolphins, and took great photos and memories home. I have been to Puerto Plata and did the dolphin swim there before.

The professional instructor, Jacky, greeted me at the planned time and she prepared me for this experience with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Before filling out the paperwork, she asked to see my PADI dive card. You have the choice of either taking this experience as a certified diver, or resort coarse diver, or get trained as a certified diver.

scuba dive instructor puerto plataThe difference being the three options is that certified divers have already taken diving certification, like PADI or NAUI. A resort coarse diver may be a great option for many non-divers, where Jacky and her staff will take you give you the basic training, equipment usage, clearing the mask, depressurizing under the water, and you are ready to dive in one day, but no certificate. Then the non-diver may decide that they want to become a certified diver and this takes 3 days, classroom time, pool time, dive time and test time. Remember being certified gives you many opportunities to dive in many tropical resorts around the world, a worthwhile investment of time.

Scuba Diving with the Dolphins - Resort Coarse and Certified Scuba Divers

scuba diving equipmentOnce Jacky knew I was certified, she gave me the paperwork to fill out and to start receiving my equipment. You don’t need to bring anything because they have everything you need, mask, fins, BC regulator, and wet suit. I tried all the equipment on for a good fit and I was comfortable to go. Of coarse, by then I was getting really excited about my experience under the water with the Dolphin but the instructor needed to explain to me exactly what was going to happen with the Dolphin and signals she was going to give me under the water.

She assured me that it was quit simple and I just needed to follow her lead. We were ready to go into the water and scuba dive with Dolphins, Chico. Jumping into the water, my heart to race because my dream was coming true of diving with the Dolphin, under the water and seeing them from another perspective. I was a little nervous but my instructor comforted me with her pleasant ways and reassuring smile. My instructor was also my photographer. We had another diver who was a trainer go in the water with us. So I knew I was in good hands and was ready for this experience.

scuba diving toursI had on extra weights so I would stay on the bottom, which was important since the instructors did not want me floating around during the behaviors. I got to participate in some amazing behaviors with these beautiful and graceful dolphins. The three of us were on our knees as the dolphins glided to stop to our instructor. The Dolphin just floated there, patiently waiting for me to pet him and feel the power of his muscle and tight skin. Seeing the dolphin in the underwater element is a whole different perspective and my nerves started to calm down and enjoyed what was happening. Next we did some hugs with the dolphins, where I put my arms above my head and the dolphin laid there. Also I did this in front of myself too to hug the dolphin at a different angle.

scuba dive kiss dolphinThen came the kissing part, putting my hand next to my cheek the dolphin came in for a soft landing and gave me a peck. I asked for a special request to take my mask off which Jacky let me do. Since she was taking all the photographs, I wanted a photo of my face. After all when I showed all my friends by posting these photos on Facebook and My Space how could they be sure it was me if I kept my mask on!

The most fun behavior for me was where I got to hold onto theHolding dolphin pecks while diving peck fins of the dolphin and he drove me around the pool area. I felt like I had transformed and become a dolphin myself…it was a surreal experience that not many people may relate to unless you have tried it. Seeing the dolphin, eye-to-eye while he towed me around effortlessly made me wish I could move that quickly and gracefully under the water. The final behavior where the dolphin opened his mouth and I got to feel his tongue and teeth was truly another unique experience. The dolphin was so gentle and cooperative…he seemed to enjoy human touch and interaction. For the dolphin’s efforts, I was able to feed him with some fish and then the time can to an end. It was a great 30 minutes (although I wished it lasted for 3 hours) under the water with the dolphin and I have photos to prove to all my friends that I did it. I will miss Chico the Dolphin he made it a lot of fun!

We surfaced and were helped out of the water. We headed back to the scuba dive office and all I could think about were the photos. I could not wait to see them. Jacky took some amazing photos of me with the dolphin and she showed me the digital shots. She was putting the photos on a disc for me to purchase afterwards. I told her my wife got certified as a diver and I need to bring my wife here to enjoy this once in a life experience. From my knowledge, the Puerto Plata Dolphin Facility is only one that does a scuba dive with the dolphins program. You might want to plan your next vacation here. There are great all-inclusive resort in Puerto Plata and use to help plan your trip. You might want to plan your whole trip here. Jacky, who is from Germany, and her fellow Dominicans were a real blessing to be around and I would highly recommend this program to all divers and non-divers alike, you need to enjoy the dolphins under the water, it is an experience you truly will never forget.

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