Paddle with the Manatees Kayak Tour from Naples

Paddle with the Manatees Kayak Tour from Naples

This tour is a great way to see one of America's most popular endangered species. Be sure to bring your camera!

Led by a Florida Master Naturalist Guide, this small group manatee tour will teach you the little known facts about the Florida manatee and its relationship to the Florida ecosystem.

In comfortable sit-on-top kayaks, you will launch and explore the manatee habitat through a Port of the Islands canal. Single and tandem kayaks are used, as that means there are fewer crafts to disturb these wonderful creatures. It is about a 10-15 minute paddle to the manatees, leaving plenty of time for viewing and photographs.

A "must do" experience while in Marco Island, Naples or Everglades City!

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Tour/Activity Details


1.5 hours


9:30 am, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm on Thursday

48 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required. Tour does not include hotel pick up. Please order online or call to order or for more information.


The Florida manatee inhabits coastal waters and rivers throughout the State. They can easily move between fresh, brackish and marine habitats and live in many Florida waterways, including where you'll paddle! While you can see manatees anywhere, anytime on other tours in the warmer months, they still frequent their favorite year-round haunts. In the cooler months, in order to stay warm, they seek warm water, discharges, springs and in this area, deep water passes and canals. The deeper water retains heat and helps keep the manatee's stabilize their body temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any previous experience to participate in a kayak tour? -- The tours are for all ages and all people. Many of the guests are first time kayakers. The inexperienced paddler easily enjoys all of the experiences. As the tours are outside and on the water, weather can be a factor. Your guides do ask that you bring along a good attitude and the willingness to be flexible if you encounter the unexpected.

Can I bring my kids? -- Absolutely! Children are welcome on all kayak day tours and your guides encourage families to experience things together. However, only you know your children and their limitations. Generally, your guides encourage the use of tandem kayaks. As important using tandems kayaks reduces the number of boats on the water and keeps guests closer to the guides so all can hear and communicate better. Generally, for a single kayak, 11-12 years seems to be the appropriate age. Guides are prepared to be helpful if the paddling becomes difficult. For the night tours there is a minimum age of 5.

What variety of wildlife can I expect to see on the trip? -- It is nature and it is wildlife and every trip is different. Some days, tours are fortunate to see a lot of wildlife, some days less. You can view only what is there at the time that you are. Most days, you can see ospreys, various species of herons and egrets, pelicans, numerous species of shore and wading birds. Most every tour, in the warmer months, manatees are spotted. However, guests also commonly see dolphins, rosette spoonbills, bald eagles, various hawks, white pelicans, owls, sea turtles, kites and black vultures. You'll really never know until you are on the water.

What are the chances of seeing manatees and dolphins? -- Manatees are very sensitive to cold water. When the water is warm, you can see them often on tours all year round. During a cold snap and water temperatures drop and stay low, they will move to warmer waters that can be away from the paddle area. When the water is warm, they will often let you paddle next to them. Dolphins are around all year round, but they are fast and move around constantly, so you never know till you are on the waters.

What equipment do I need to bring and what is provided? -- The tour includes all basic paddling equipment including tandem kayak, personal flotation devices and a whistle in the price of the tour. In the evening, your guides also a provide flashlight and a glow-stick. Conditions can become extreme quickly in Florida. It is important to prepare well to gain the best enjoyment from your trip. Your guides are very familiar with your paddling environment and conditions. Feel free to ask any questions you would like in order to understand all you need to be confident about your trip. Please understand, you will not paddle in unsafe conditions including high winds and thunderstorms.

Can I bring my own equipment? -- The tour provides everything you will need to have fun, but if you'd like, you can bring your own equipment. There is no reduced rate if you'd like to do so.

Can I bring food? We don't recommend bringing snacks with you, maybe granola if you'd like, but we strongly encourage you to walk with water to keep you hydrated.

What should I bring/wear? -- Your guides recommend clothes you don't mind getting a little wet. Swim suit/board shorts, shirt. On cooler days, cover-ups (avoid cotton). Water Shoes or sandals that can be worn in the water and bring an extra change of clothes just in case. Of course your hat & sunglasses are great and sunscreen. Also, camera, dry bag (optional), bottled water, snacks, a towel (left in car), any special personal paddling gear if you like, bug repellent, lock valuables in your trunk.

What can I expect? -- First of all, you can expect lots of outdoors fun! Great guides who enjoy their work and keep you safe, and a drive that is 10-15 minutes from the beaches of Marco. Not all launch sites have a restroom. Get ready to enjoy two hours on the water for a leisurely paddle and expect to get a little wet - depends on you (or possibly your friends). See wildlife and stretch those muscles a little, learn some basics about paddling and more about local wildlife and to actually wear your life vest & whistle.

Are the tours strenuous? -- No. It is about your outdoor experience on the water. On most day tours, you'll paddle three miles or less and are usually less than two hours on the water. You do, on occasions, encounter stronger winds that will require a higher level of exertion. Of course, your guides try to avoid these situations when possible. The beach experiences are longer - about three miles out and three miles back. However, there is plenty of recovery time on the beach while exploring and picnicking. Guides are prepared with all safety equipment and tow ropes if any situation proves to be too difficult for a paddler.

What is an appropriate gratuity for our guides? -- Gratuities are not required, but are customary and appreciated. Depending on the level of service provided, a gratuity of 10-20% is appropriate. A 15% Gratuity will be added to a party of 6 or more.

How far will we kayak? -- The day tours are about two hours on the water and about 3 miles of actual distance covered. The tours are relaxed. There is a tidal flow and daily breezes, so your guides will adjust each tour to the day's actual conditions and your group. The beach picnic trips are about 3 miles out and 3 miles back with plenty of time on the beach.

Can I bring alcohol on the kayak? -- On general tours, there is a no alcohol policy. Your guides reserve the right to refuse service to any patron deemed incapable of paddling should they arrive for their tour already intoxicated. If your guides make a judgment call based on alcohol abuse the patron in question will not be allowed to paddle nor receive a refund for the trip cost.

How many participants will be on a trip? -- Your guides try to keep the group size to eight guests with each guide so that the tours are intimate and personal.

What kind of kayak will I be using? -- Your guides primarily use double kayaks on the tours. Most all are Ocean Kayak Malibu 2's. The kayaks you will be using are chosen with comfort and stability in mind. On most tours, guests share a double kayak; however a limited number of singles are available at our discretion. Singles are used mostly to meet the need of odd numbered parties.

I am in a wheelchair. Can I still go? -- If you are able and willing, then of course you can go! If you need a little help, the crew will be more than happy to assist. If you would like to let us know in advance about your specific situation, please feel free to make a note when purchasing your tickets.

What if there is bad weather the day of our trip? -- The weather in the area is generally nice. The months of June- October can produce strong afternoon thunderstorms that are carefully monitors. The morning tours these months are preferred. December- February sometimes get colder. Your guides will not paddle in thunderstorms, high wind or any weather that is dangerous. They do sometimes paddle in a light rain if there is no threat of lightning. The policy, if thunderstorms, threaten is to "wait it out" if the radar indicates it may pass through or dissipate. You should continue to the meet location unless you hear from your guides. Having a schedule that is a little flexible in the summer is also a help if you have to delay a little while to let a storm pass through. Some of the best bio paddles happen just after a thunderstorm when everything gets calm.

Are there a lot of bugs? -- This is Florida so there will be bugs. In some areas you may encounter biting insects (mosquitoes or no-see ums) but, a little bug repellent usually takes care of them! Summer tends to be a challenge on the shore line after the rains begin and then primarily around dusk or dawn. Once you get on the water there is usually little problem. Occasionally there is an evening with no breeze, so bug repellent is a good thing to have on hand just in case.

Are there restrooms at the launch site? -- At most launch sites, there are restrooms available. However, the Shell Island Road and the Goodland Bridge launch sites do not. If you are short on time a quick stop is likely your best bet.

48 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required. Tour does not include hotel pick up. Please order online or call to order or for more information.

Cancellation Policy

There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change policy

If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.

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October 26, 2017

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