Dolphin Bay Preserve
Dolphin Bay Preserve
4
About
The Dolphin Bay Preserve EcoTour is unlike any other tour in Bocas del Toro!Go beyond dolphin viewing, jungle hiking, and snorkeling and experience nature like never before!This is your chance to taste the fruit of cacao fresh from the pod, get close enough to touch poison dart frogs, caimans and sea urchins, and learn about the rich socioeconomic and cultural history of Bocas del Toro. Itinerary:• 10:00 (flexible): Our guide picks you up at your hotel• 10:30: Arrive at Dolphin Bay for dolphin watching• 11:00: Arrive at Dolphin Bay Preserve and begin hike• 1:30: Locally prepared lunch • 2:00: Snorkeling• 3:00: Return to your hotel
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles632 reviews
Excellent
232
Very good
187
Average
137
Poor
40
Terrible
36

allezlesbelges
New York City, NY1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Just returned from Bocas. We took our three children on the day outing and it was beyond expectations for all of us. We saw dolphins, endless colorful frogs, a great variety of butterflies, birds and other wildlife. The kids loved eating all the fruits and a few live termites. After the hike we spend another hour snorkeling in a very beautiful reef and through the mangroves. The guide, Donna, was extremely well informed and great fun. I would recommend this to everybody, with or without kids.
Written 25 August 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dMarrion
Whitehorse, Canada1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Couples
We signed up for a sailing and snorkelling tour with Bocas Sailing on a catamaran, I highly recommend this!! It was an all day trip that started with going to Dolphin Bay. We saw a lot of Dolphins, however there were several motor boats in the area that would chase them around and scare them away. Our sailing Captain Hardy told us that there had been 2 dead dolphins found due to the motor boats chasing and circling them. I would definitely recommend seeing them on the catamaran, we went through a little cove where no motor boats got to see a mother and baby playing around. The tour then took us to snorkel by man groves and coral reefs after which they provide you with sandwiches for lunch and take you to another snorkel location where you see many different types of fish. The Captain was great, full of information and very humorous. This is a must do!!
Written 22 February 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

allancr24
San Jose, Costa Rica111 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
This is a small area where dolphins come to eat and play, because there is jellyfish and is very calm, so swimming is a terrible idea, but tours usually come here and stay around 15-25 mins until a few dolphins are visible.

You can't touch them here or play with them, this is only a sightseeing tour, which is great for me, I prefer to see them free from far that pay to see them locked in a small pool.

The only fee is for the boat you pay to bring you here, usually they come here and then headed for crawl cay, which is around 20 mins from here
Written 1 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JJOH
Doha, Qatar698 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
This is really NOT what we should be doing when we visit special places. Basically a few small dolphins are hounded by large groups of motor boats ferrying groups of tourists. Once spotted they are encircled and pursued so people can catch a fleeting glimpse of their fins and capture an image on 5heir beloved mobile phones. It all feels wrong.
Written 11 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vanessa K
Washington DC, DC12 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
Our group went to Dolphin Bay as part of a package tour that went to Zapatilla and Cayo Coral. While we loved visiting the other two places, Dolphin Bay was not what we expected at all. We were very disappointed with the disregard for the dolphins. Multiple (~15) tour boats were present in the Bay at the same time and as soon as a dolphin was spotted all boats raced to as close to the dolphin as possible. This type of nature tourism is unsustainable. Recent research by scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute shows that boat noise in the Bay negatively impacts their social behavior and feeding patterns as well as poses danger of physical injury. Sustainable wildlife watching is in practice in Santa Catalina on the Pacific Side (near Isla Coiba) and Bocas could learn some lessons from their practices.
Written 23 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CJP
Kleinostheim, Germany34 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Friends
I called it hunting dolphins,it's not a good choice to take any powerboat tours to dolphin bay,the taxi's are overpriced and the chances to see the dolphins with the tours are a poor choice,there are no dolphins left if there keep doing this tours in the future the dolphins are going to stay away there are scared in there one habitat ,there destroying the bay ..... It's better to take tours with the sailingcharterboats under sails,so the dolphins are not get scared best choice to see the animals....
Written 13 February 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jordan T
British Columbia, Canada9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Friends
Skip this, and look at pictures of dolphins on the internet. None of the local guides demonstrate any knowledge of, or respect for, marine mammals. The few dolphins that have not fled the area, are constantly harassed, chased, circled, and menaced by the many (11 when I was there) tour boats, manned by short-sighted and poorly-educated captains, trying to curry favour of their customers for tips by getting them close to dolphins. I saw one boat nearly run over the one pair of young dolphins that were spotted. It was like a virtual boat rodeo, with boats packed with clueless tourists snapping pictures of distant fins.

The ads all show "Flipper" style encounters, and you will be promised a unique experience, but this is just for money. No visitor should support such reckless operations until they adopt and enforce a code of conduct that protects the marine life for its own sake, and for the good of the local tourism industry. Tourism is still new in Bocas Del Toro, and they have a long way to go to figure out how to run their industry without destroying the natural features that make it magical. Unfortunately, the locals are poor and lack education on many important and sensitive matters. Dolphin Bay is one of the most poorly managed marine areas I have ever seen. If you are really interested in dolphins, consider writing a letter to the Panamanian Government expressing your concern about the situation in Bocas Del Toro, and stating you will not support their tourism industry until the state does more to help the local people become more educated about their environment and to take steps to ensure the dolphins remain healthy and protected so future generations of Panamanians can share their beauty with the world.

To be clear, if you pay to visit this area with any major local operators at this time, you are supporting the harassment of wildlife, and wasting your money.
Written 3 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElenaIS
Iasi, Romania87 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
Well, I was so attracted to see dolphins in the wild that I befooled myself and took for granted the information from some advertisings writing that captains of the boats pay attention to minimalize any harm to dolphins and their environment.
Now I precisely know it isn't true. If the captains stop the motor when approaching the bay is because they do not want to make the dolphins leave the place. And actually the motors of the 7-9 boats at a time are not completly swiched off. So inevitably they polute the water beside the sound polution which they produce. And the dolphins are harrassed. The captains speak between them and have together some sort of a strategy with chaseing and circling the dolphins. Despite their strategy the dolphins didn't show up too much. Just few times and very, very shortly. My souvenir is about the guilt, and shame I felt while being in the boat chaseing a dolphin. Now I think one could have greater experience by watching dolphins in the wild on a good documentary, on a high resolution TV screen.
Written 17 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chibooster
Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Business
I have not taken a "dolphin tour" but have had several occasions to watch the touring from a distance. The boat drivers surround the pod of dolphins and it is awful to watch. They surround them, take off chasing them and don't leave them alone. Dolphins should be watched from a distance and allow them to come up if they want to but these captains act like they are on a cattle drive.
Written 5 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beny Wilson
Panama City, Panama68 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
I do not advice to do this activity. Boat captains harass dolphins for people to get a simple picture of a very distressed animal. The total number of dolphins had dropped and more animals are showing up with scarce from propellers.
If you are on the eco, smart and responsible side of tourism: STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOBIE TRAP
Written 23 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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DOLPHIN BAY PRESERVE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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