Snorkeling With Bottlenose Dolphins at Lanai, Hawaii

By Jay
I wanted to share a story about snorkeling with Bottlenose Dolphins at Lanai, Hawaii. Our family took the 6:45 am ferry from Lahaina, Maui to Lanai, Hawaii on July 15, 2011. Immediately after arriving, we walked the short hike to the beach at Manele Bay Four Seasons and we saw the dolphins breaking water.

We got our snorkel gear on and began to position ourselves out in the bay. The water was fairly deep and sandy bottomed, and after about 10 minutes the girls got nervous in the deep water.

They began the swim back to shore, and shortly thereafter the dolphins began to swim around my son and I. It seemed to be a large pod of 60+ maybe, and most were in smaller groups of 3-5.

We were able to swim with them for an hour before they ventured out of the bay to the open waters. They made several laps around the bay during this time.

There were only a handful of folks who were out there with us. We spoke with one couple that was a Four Seasons guest, and they said the the resort discouraged guests from swimming with the dolphins.

It is worth the ferry ride over to get the unique experience of swimming with them. Get an underwater video camera for a special souvenir.

This may have been the highlight of our trip to Maui, especially for my son and I.

There is a small reef there too, and a neat cove to explore at Sweetheart Rock. We made a day out of it and ate lunch at the resort pool. The key was to get there early!

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Galen & Nicole – Nov 22, 2012 – Wonderful!

Thank you Jay for sharing your beautiful story.

UPDATE: As of October 28, 2021, you are no longer allowed to swim with Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins in Hawaii. This rule likely applies to swimming with Bottlenose Dolphins too. Read more here.

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