Manatees and Mangroves

Our Manatees and Mangrove Tunnels Tour is by far our top-rated tour. Hands down, there is no other kayak route or company in Naples and Marco Island that offers a better opportunity to spot such a variety of wildlife. Manatees and Mangroves are not even half of what this tour offers. Guests will visit numerous ecosystems, including the Saltmarsh, a heavily visited feeding ground for Wood storks, White Ibis, Tricolored Herons, and the super rare Rosette Spoonbill. As kayakers venture deeper into the 10,000 Islands Wildlife Refuge, they will encounter the county’s most extensive and complete Mangrove tunnels. As of December 2022, we are the only company on this route.

Small Groups & Why is it important?

Large group size is the most common issue causing a negative experience. We have decided to prioritize your experience over selling more tickets. You might find other companies advertising smaller group sizes, but this is primarily a function of their business and is not a decision based on choice. This is the number one tour provided by the top-ranked company in Naples. Tomorrow we could up our capacity to 12 guests per guide, selling 8 more tickets per day, but that would lower the quality of your experience. We are proud of this tour and always try to ensure each experience is precisely what we say it is. We believe that limiting our group size along with the frequency of this tour is the best way for us to control our quality. Below is a list of common issues fixed by limiting the group size.

  • I couldn’t hear the guide.
  • Some kayakers couldn’t keep up.
  • We were constantly in the back.
  • We never saw the wildlife.

Why a Shuttle?

This tour launches within the 10,000 Island Wildlife Refuge but ends outside the refuge at a public marina. Utilizing the shuttle allows us to explore multiple types of habitats. Our launch would be considered freshwater in the summer, but our end point would be fully saltwater. Just as changes in salinity will change the fish species found it will also change the plant and tree life which can then change the mammals, reptiles, and birdlife found on the water’s edge.

So what does this mean for you? In a nutshell, within a 3-hour tour, you will experience most of the types of habitats within the Everglades. At the start guests will paddle a channel covered in cattails signaling a high nitrogen content within freshwater. A consequence of farming upstream and the channeling of the historical sheet flow. After passing the cattails, you will travel through the salt marsh and popular feeding ground for log-legged wading birds such as the great egret and great blue heron. As you travel south, heading towards the gulf of Mexico, you will notice a change in the floura going from sedges and grasses to the saltwater-loving mangroves. This is where things really start to get interesting and unique.

Wildlife

By limiting our group size and frequency of our tours we increase your chances of spotting wildlife. This tour consistently spots unique and exciting wildlife. The diversity and rare opportunities to spot unique species is mind-boggling. This tour has everything from black bears to manatees and blue crabs to rosette spoonbills. Like all wildlife tours, it can be slow, but from January through April, guests always have a great chance of spotting the following.

MammalsBirdsFish
ManateeGreat Blue HeronBull sharks
DolphinGreen HeronSnook
RacoonRoseate SpoonbillMullet
River OtterWhite IbisTalapia
Bald EagleJack Crevalle
Wood storksRedfish

Mangroves

The term mangrove may refer to a specific tree or a forest. One could say this tour paddles through the mangroves, or you might hear your guide state this is a Red Mangrove and notice the roots.

Mangroves can form literal tunnels that cover the canopy above. These tunnels are world-renowned and can not be enjoyed anywhere else in the United States. The mangrove tunnels on our route are narrow long, and explored by no other kayak company. This means on a given day only 16 people will paddle through these tunnels on a given day. The lack of human contact allows for encounters with more elusive critters, such as the river otter.

  • Red Mangrove
  • White Mangrove
  • Black Mangrove

Pictured above are primarily Red Mangroves. The Mangroves will continue to grow thicker and thicker, restricting the water flow. As the mangroves grow thicker the water will ebb and flow faster and faster digging out deeper waterways.

Experienced Guides

As we mentioned the location of the tour is unparalleled, but the environment is only half of the experience. The quality and experience of your guide is what will make your tour memorable. The average time of employment for our guides is 4 years.

25000 Tamiami Tr E Naples, FL 34114

This tour meets at the Port of the Islands Resort. This resort is located South East of Marco Island and Naples. We are sandwiched between the Collier Seminole State Park, the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Reserve, and the Picayune State Preserve.

kayaking the everglades

Recent Reviews