Dolphin Quest Hawaii
Dolphin Quest Hawaii
The Hilton Waikoloa
425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa, HI 96738
Science & Nature Museum
Dolphin Quest Hawaii Description
With 12 playful Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins (including several calves) that sometimes have a mind of their own, you never know what's going to happen during a Dolphin Quest encounter. Whether the dolphins are in the mood to cooperate or not, you'll certainly get to feel their sleek rubbery skin, feed slimy dead fish to them, hear them vocalize, and see them jump. One of the most popular ohana ("family") activities on the Big Island, this chance to swim with dolphins is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Toddlers & Pre-K: Unless yours is very comfortable in the water and does not spook around large animals (the smallest dolphins weigh more than 300 pounds), this activity may be too intense for preschoolers.
School-Age Kids: A special program, "Kids Quest" is set up especially for children 5-9. It includes a 20-minute encounter with the dolphins as well as Hawaiian-themed games.
Pre-Teens & Teens: This age group has the most options, including the Sea Quest encounter, which lasts an hour and 45 minutes and involves snorkeling and riding water scooters to view tropical fish.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get there. If you're not staying at the Hilton Waikoloa— and even if you are — make sure to go early. It can take more than 20 minutes to walk from the parking lot to Dolphin Quest, and there can be traffic on Highway 19.
- Check in 45 minutes prior to the encounter. You'll be asked to come 45 minutes in advance in order to check in, sign waivers, and get fitted for a lifejacket.
- Bring your own towel. Though there are open-air showers on site no towels are provided.
- Bring an ID or a room key. You'll leave this with the check-in clerk in exchange for a free locker key.
- Wear contacts if you have them. You'll be given face masks that don't fit over glasses in order to see the dolphins under water.
- Ask for parking validation. You won't have to pay the $15 parking fee as long as you remember to get your ticket validated at Dolphin Quest.
- Bring a credit card. Photos, a DVD, and all things dolphin (like stuffed animals and T-shirts) are available for purchase at the gift shop. Don't be surprised by the prices: this is a very expensive activity.
Just the Facts
Hours: Office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Encounter times vary.
Fees: More than $40.
Recommended Time: 2 - 4 hours