Merritt Island Kayaking: Manatee and Dolphin Encounter
204 Ratings
Embark on a magical kayaking adventure on Merritt Island, encountering endangered manatees and playful dolphins. Observe Florida's native wildlife in their natural habitat.
Duration: 2 hours
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Haulover Canal Launch Site - It’s a unique experience as you drift serenely in the morning through the preferred hangout areas of the endangered manatee within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. These gentle giants of Florida are known for their affectionate behavior, often approaching to bump, hold, and snuggle against your kayak, creating an enchanting start to the day.

The kayaking journey doesn’t stop there, as you go on to look for frolicking dolphins, commonly seen hunting in the vicinity. Witnessing these noble sea creatures in their natural setting is a sight to behold, and you’re also likely to encounter a host of other local wildlife such as pelicans, osprey, roseate spoonbills, horseshoe crabs, and sometimes even an alligator.

While visiting the manatee’s domain, anticipate the chance to watch and learn about the renowned Sea Cows. It’s important to remember that our goal is not to interfere with, overpower, or alter the manatee’s innate activities, but to allow you to witness them as they are.

What's Included
  • 2 hour kayak tour with professional guide
  • Kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device (PFD) included
What's Not Included
  • Gratuities
Additional Information

Experience a morning like no other, as you drift peacefully through the beloved haunts of endangered manatees within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. These affable vegetarian citizens of Florida will enchant you as they approach, touch and even hug your kayak, offering you an enchanting start to your day.

Your sea adventure extends beyond manatees to seeking out frolicking dolphins, often found actively fishing in the vicinity. Seeing these splendid sea creatures in their natural setting may be awe-inspiring, but Florida’s diverse fauna including pelicans, ospreys, roseate spoonbills, horseshoe crabs and occasional alligators will keep you further engaged.

As guests in the manatee’s domain, we aim to observe and learn about the renowned Sea Cows, rather than intruding upon or disrupting their natural behavior. The objective is to cherish their presence as they choose to share it.

  • What to bring:
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting a little wet. Towel (left in car)
  • Water Shoes – sandals or Crocs that can be worn in the water
  • Bring an extra change of clothes just in case
  • Camera & Dry bag (optional) These are fairly useless to capture bioluminescence, but great for capturing people.
  • Bottled water, Snacks
  • Any special personal paddling gear if you like
  • You may bring a flashlight, though we will provide a safety light.
Haulover Canal Launch Site
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(204 Ratings)
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May 25, 2024
Perfect day on the water - Had a great time doing the manatee encounter kayak tour. We showed up early and our guide Drew was friendly and got us on the water quickly. He was very knowledgeable about the area and kept an easy paddling pace for beginner kayakers to keep up with. We went to a few spots to view the manatees, and were able to get very close to them. Highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to see some manatees, Drew was a great guide!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
May 11, 2024
Great experience - It was amazing! A manatee actually hugged the front of my kayak!! We also saw dolphins, flamingos and pelicans. Our guides Mercy and Zoey were exceptional
Review provided by Viator
Apr 15, 2024
Manatees everywhere! - We had a great time! We saw so many manatees and comb jellies right next to our kayaks, plus a gator! Chaz was our tour guide and was fun and knowledgeable!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Apr 3, 2024
Amazing way to connect with nature - Chas was awesome and provided so much insight on our tour. We were able to see several manatees, a gator and even dolphins playing. Highly recommend this experience!
Review provided by Viator
Apr 2, 2024
Martin - Trip was great! Chaz gave us a quick lesson on kayaking and then spent the rest of the time paddling a couple of areas. We saw 15+ manatees that came right up to the kayaks - amazing experience. We found 1 decent size gator and chased a pod of dolphins. Highly recommend!!!
Review provided by Viator
Mar 14, 2024
Great Kayaking Tour - We thoroughly enjoyed our kayak tour with guide Chaz. He was very knowledgeable and was sure to point out all wildlife and provided historical facts. I would us this outfitter again.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 12, 2024
A Day Away Was Great! - We did this tour with Chaz as our guide - he was great - very knowledgeable, fun, flexible. Kayaking was great and we saw many different animals - alligators, many manatees, dolphins, turtles, birds (large blue herons and flamingos plus others). Our scheduled tour with another company was cancelled and Chaz worked it out so we could still do a tour - he even extended his planned day. Thanks very much Chaz! We had a terrific day!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 11, 2024
Fantastic experience! - Chaz was super awesome! He was super funny, engaging, and very thorough with his explanations. Overall, he was very thoughtful and knowledgable about all things Florida Wildlife. He was a pleasure and I hope he continues his tour-guiding for many years to come!!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Feb 26, 2024
Great experience! - The experience was great! The guide Chaz was awesome! His knowledge and personality totally made the kayaking a great experience!
Review provided by Viator
May 12, 2024
Great Day on the water - We totally loved our guide Zoe ! We saw manatees, birds, and dolphins! The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of five is because we tandem kayaked which is not for us! But I would do it again , just single kayak instead!
Review provided by Viator
Select Date and Tickets
up to 15 guests
1 Adult
July 2024