Orlando: 3-Hour Manatee Encounter by Kayak

5 / 5

30 Reviews

Orlando: 3-Hour Manatee Encounter by Kayak

From US$ 80 per person

Enjoy a kayaking tour in Blue Springs State Park, the winter home of one of Florida’s largest manatee populations. Spend some time paddling and some time walking along the spring-side trail. Spot a wide variety of native wildlife on this 3-hour adventure.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Mobile ticketing
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Duration 3 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Paddle a kayak in the clear waters of Blue Springs State Park
  • Observe manatees, alligators, otters, and large wading birds with a professional local wilderness guide
  • Enjoy loads of opportunities for photographing manatees and other wildlife
Full description
Blue Springs State Park outside Orlando is home to the largest spring on the St. Johns River and a designated national manatee refuge. On this 3-hour excursion your group will paddle to the entrance of the spring run, park the kayaks, and then walk the entire length of the spring run with a guide to spot and photograph the native wildlife. Afterwards you’ll retrieve your kayak and paddle to the Snake River or Hontoon Island. The Hontoon Island area of the river is packed with manatees, otters, and sun-worshipping gators. Overhead bald eagles, ospreys, and red shoulder hawks scan the water and marshes for their next meal. On the riverbank, large wading birds, coots, morehens, and the occasional wild hog can be seen. There’s a nature trail on the island that leads to an ancient Indian shell mound. The park is noted for its large owl population and extensive Indian artifacts including the state’s largest totem pole.
  • Guide
  • Kayak
  • Paddling gear
  • Dry bag
  • Water
  • Permit

    Select participants and date



    Prepare for the activity

    Meeting point

    French Landing 2398 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763 Driving directions from Orlando: Take I-4 east toward Daytona Beach, and take exit 111B toward Orange City. Follow the signs to Blue Springs State Park. When you reach the Park located on French Avenue, pass the park and follow French Avenue until the road ends in about 3/4 of a mile. The road ends at a boat ramp on the river. If you use a GPS do not drive on Blue Springs Road or Magnolia! You will get stuck in sugar sand!

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    Important information

    Not allowed

    • Jeans

    Know before you go

    • Single kayaks and tandems are available, as are both sit-in and sit-on tops. Please call the tour provider after you make your reservation if you have a preference.
    • What to bring:
    • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen)
    • Clothing that can get wet and possibly dirty
    • Waterproof camera
    • Tip for your guide
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    5 / 5

    based on 30 reviews

    Review summary

    • Service
      5.0 / 5
    • Organization
      4.8 / 5
    • Value for money
      4.7 / 5
    • Safety
      5 / 5
    Sort by

    It was fun even without seeing manatees. The water was just over 66 ° F and therefore too warm for the Schnuffies. Our guide knew a lot about the flora and fauna and pointed out everything worth seeing. The 3h went by quickly, but in the end we had a lot of A-Ouch from sitting ...:))

    March 20, 2020

    It was really a great experience in a wonderful, natural and quiet environment. After a few days in New York and Orlando Universal Studios, the perfect moment to start quieter days. Here we experienced the REAL Florida. Our guide bill was really great and friendly. He could tell a lot about nature and the animals there and always spoke slowly, clearly and with a certain charm. With Bill we were 3 people. This is of course luck, but of course you get a lot more. We were also lucky enough to see two manatees with calves and a semi-strong bull - a unique experience! We can recommend this tour 100%!

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    September 20, 2019

    Highly recommended!!!

    My husband and I booked the tour as part of our honeymoon. The meeting point was a bit difficult to find at first, but we were able to help us over the phone. We were lucky and had a private tour because we were the only ones who booked the tour. Our guide bill was very friendly and accommodating and we understood everything very well. The tour was very interesting and Bill adapted very well to our pace in the kayak. We saw several manatees and alligators, as well as all kinds of turtles. Bill had a real eye for it and you could see his enthusiasm for all animals and plants. He told us a great deal about the origin of the river and the various animals. We can only recommend this tour to anyone who wants a bit of adventure away from the World Disney Park and is keen to get to know the real Florida.

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    June 27, 2019

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    Product ID: 51118