The Ultimate Bali Dolphins Guide: Everything You Need To Know To Meet Man’s Best Aquatic Friends

If you want an unforgettable experience while you’re in Bali, then spending some time with the most exciting marine life in Indonesia is a great idea.

Our guide to Bali dolphins will help you spend some time with friendly dolphins which are among the most intelligent animals on the planet.

Dolphin Watching From Lovina Beach

Dolphins jump out of the sea in Hualien harbor of Taiwan

The most popular experience with Bali dolphins is a dolphin-watching expedition from Lovina Beach in North Bali.

This allows for very little direct dolphin interaction but means you can see the dolphins up close in their natural habitat.

There are boats leaving Lovina Beach every morning to head off dolphin watching but it’s worth noting that these trips have become very popular in recent years and that some animal welfare groups have genuine concerns that the tours may cause the creatures distress.

We would note that not only do the animals not appear distressed, but they continue to swim and play in the same places that they always have done.

That doesn’t mean that they’re not stressed, mind you, we’re not dolphin psychologists, just that the animals aren’t exhibiting any of the usual various indications of being stressed.

However, the crowds and large numbers of boats can feel a bit overwhelming to some visitors and you certainly can’t feel like a bold explorer when surrounded by hundreds of other people all just as involved in a session of dolphin spotting as you are.

Don’t Forget Bondalem

Dolphins on the island of Wasini Kenya

That’s why we like to remind our guests that there are other places to see a Bali dolphin outside of Lovina.

While there are tours that seek Bali dolphin appearances leaving from Nusa Dua and from around Denpasar, we’d opt for Bondalem, instead.

Bondalem is in the North of Bali not that far from Lovina.

However, most tourists have never heard of Bondalem and that means the dolphin spotting exercises off the coast of this part of Bali are much less busy.

Essentially, you’re exploring the same waters as the Lovina people but a bit earlier in the day, so you’re guaranteed to see some dolphins without having to deal with the crowds at Lovina.

We can’t promise it will stay like this at Bondalem for long, but for now, it’s your best option.

Swim With Dolphins: Bali Exotic Marine Park

Dolphin Jumping

The Bali Exotic Marine Park has the largest dolphin lagoon in Bali and an additional separate quarantine pool.

It is the only place on the island where you can swim with a dolphin (though children must be accompanied by an adult participant) and the only place where any kind of dolphin interaction is permitted (apart from chance encounters in the wild).

Caring For Rescued Dolphins

The primary focus of the park is to provide educational opportunities for people to understand the needs of dolphins in the wild and to offer a place for injured and handicapped animals to recover, get treatment and obtain long-term shelter if needed.

They have state-of-the-art filter systems provide the pools with comfortable and healthy water for the animals to feel entirely at home in.

Dolphin Therapy

In addition to dolphin interaction experiences, they also provide rehabilitation programs for the dolphins themselves and “dolphin therapy” sessions for disabled children and adults.

They say that this therapy has had a dramatic impact on the quality of life for various people with Down’s, autism and other mental conditions.

Eco-Tourism

The park funnels part of its profits into ventures that promote eco-tourism in Bali and they fund rescue programs for marine creatures including, of course, any members of the local dolphin species that get into trouble at sea.

Research

The park is also involved in academic research programs of various types that, mainly, relate to dolphin wellbeing and the examination of various interactions between a dolphin species and humans, a dolphin species and its environment, etc.

Internships

Bali Exotic Marine Park helps students interested in gaining therapeutic experience working with human beings in a dolphin therapy environment and Indonesian veterinary students seek to work with these mammals in captivity.

The Different Experiences On Offer

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There are various levels of interactive experience on offer at the park and they include:

  • A 2-minute meet and greet with a dolphin – this doesn’t involve any swimming but does give you time to quickly pet a dolphin. It is much cheaper than swimming and there are a few more places for this kind of activity each day.

  • A quick swim with a dolphin – the best form of dolphin interaction, if you want to ensure you’re not stressing the animal out

  • A long swim with a dolphin group – this is quite expensive and needs 6-8 participants to take place but it gives you the chance to spend about an hour with the creatures which is an amazing thing to do

Note: Children must be accompanied on all of these programs, while each session is very safe, an adult is required to keep an eye on young guests.

Obviously, these programs are separate from the therapy programs on offer at the Bali dolphin park.

You will need to contact the park directly regarding these programs to see if they have something suitable for any particular conditions.

FAQs

Are There Any Dolphins In Bali? Does Bali Have Dolphins?

Yes! There are plenty of dolphin species in Bali and they are a major attraction for adults and children who come to the island.

Are Dolphins Native To Bali?

Yes! There are various dolphin species that are native to the waters of Bali.

It’s not possible to guarantee that you can interact with every species but a visitor to Bali has a great chance of seeing some dolphins if they book a boat trip from Lovina or even from near Denpasar (though you have to go further out from Denpasar than from Lovina).

How Much Does It Cost To Swim With Dolphins In Bali?

Swimming with dolphins in Bali is not cheap. The experience is in high demand and there are a limited number of places available to do so each day.

The only ethical place to swim with dolphins in Bali (in a contained environment) is the Bali Exotic Marine Park and as they work with rescued animals, they are very keen to ensure that an unforgettable experience for a tourist is as fun for the dolphins and that it doesn’t stress them out.

Thus, you can expect to pay 1-2 million IDR, per person, to swim with a dolphin in Bali.

Where Can I Snorkel With Dolphins In Bali?

It is possible to snorkel in the area around where dolphins are found but they are not tame dolphins and that means you can only see dolphins if they decide to venture out to you.

Otherwise, you would need to be content with enjoying the other marine life in the area at the time.

If you want to swim with dolphins that are not wild anymore, you can go to Bali Exotic Marine Park.

What Kind Of Dolphins Are In Lovina Bali?

There are, at least, 14 different species of dolphins and whales living in the waters around Bali.

These included spotted, bottlenose, Fraser’s, Risso’s, and rough-toothed dolphins and spinners too.

You can find both Spinners and Fraser’s dolphins off the coast of Lovina nearly every day and the same is true in nearby Bondalem.

We would note that Bondalem gets fewer visitors and if you want to see a Bali dolphin close up without as many people around, you will have more fun in Bondalem.

It’s a great location that very few people seem to have heard about for dolphin watching, though it’s only a matter of time…

How To Book A Holiday To See Dolphins In Bali

We always recommend that you book a holiday in Bali and any experiences such as a dolphin experience through the Bali Res Centre.

They are a locally owned and operated travel service specializing in Balinese trips, holidays and tours.

They can ensure you get very competitive pricing and that you have a great time with some friendly dolphins too.

 

Final Thoughts On Bali Dolphins

Bali is one of the few places in the world where you can see dolphins in the ocean and swim and play with dolphins in a pool.

If your family is curious about enjoying some educational sessions with a dolphin program, Bali is a great place to do it.

We should note that these experiences are in very high demand and there are only a limited number of guests allowed each day.

Thus it’s often fully booked and if you want to enjoy a dolphin interaction experience and avoid disappointment, while you’re on holiday here in Bali, we recommend that you book a program in advance before you arrive in Bali.