If you’re turned off by the idea of dolphins in captivity, skip this park and go snorkeling or diving in the open sea. If the concept doesn’t bother you, this long-established center at the “Delfinario,” located midway along the island on the east side facing Cancún. The center appears to take good care of the dolphins, which reproduce frequently enough to keep the program going without adding new ones. The mothers and babies are kept in a separate enclosure without human contact for several months before trainers gradually introduce training. Along with enclosure for dolphins and manatees, the center offers snorkeling programs to El Farito.

During the Dolphin Royal Swim ($159 per person) groups of up to eight people swim with two dolphins and a trainer. Swimmers view an educational video and spend time in the water with the trainer and the dolphins before enjoying swimming time with the dolphins. Reservations are necessary.

There are less expensive programs that allow you to learn about, touch, and hold the dolphins (but not swim with them), starting at $99 ($69 for kids). The Sea Life Discovery package includes encounters with dolphins, manatees, and sea lions. The price is $189 for adults and $129 for children.  Other packages include entry to both Garrafón and Dolphin Discovery. Fees include food, an open bar, use of a freshwater swimming pool, lockers, and showers.