Blue Springs State Park Manatee Kayak Encounter
See hundreds of manatees on a guided kayaking tour through a park full of these slow-moving swimmers. Follow your naturalist guide as you learn about all sorts of local Florida species that call this state park home.
What You Will Do
- Pick up a paddle to explore Blue Springs State Park, which has one of the largest populations of manatees in the state
- Stroll along a spring to glimpse these graceful creatures gliding through crystal-clear waters
- Learn all about the flora and fauna of Central Florida from a knowledgable naturalist, who's there to answer all your questions
- Glide over gentle waters as you bask in the warm Florida sun and immerse yourself in this natural paradise
- Guided kayaking tour
- All required equipment
- Park entrance fees
All laws regarding manatee interactions are followed. Please bring sun protection, clothes that can get wet, and tips for your guide.
We refund 100% for all cancellations made more than 24 hours out.
- 106 Ratings
Very nice guide!
Excellent guided tour! Gave us options and communicated well with travel arrangements. I would highly recommend!
Thanks for a great day! Fun river, our guide was very informative, and we even got to see a few alligators!
I cannot express how impressed I was with this trip! I have lived in Florida for 18 years and I am very active in the outdoors, hiking, swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, etc. I saw ore wildlife and learned more about Florida on this trip than I could ever imagine. My guide, Jeff, was amazing. Not only did he make the trip fun but he is very knowledgeable - he has a degree in Marine Biology! This was the best experience exploring Florida and learning about Florida's wildlife that I have ever had! I would encourage everyone to experience this Kayak trip in Florida's backcountry! Make sure you get Jeff as your guide. He is amazing!!!
We had an amazing time with Todd last week! He is very knowledgeable and friendly. The experience exceeded our family's expectations - we saw manatees, alligators, turtles, fish of all types, birds, birds and more birds. What a morning! Thanks Todd and see you when we're back again next year!
Our host, Todd, was very friendly and engaging. He made us all feel confident and safe on the water too. Luckily for us, Todd very early on managed to spot a Manatee from just ripples in the water, from there were got to follow this manatee and encounter further, a really memorable experience. Not only this, but we got to see all sorts of birds, fish and alligators in a beautiful setting. We learnt so much from our trip and went away wishing we could do the night time tour! If we're back, we'll rebook and defiantly recommend to others! Many thanks, great adventure, worth every penny! :D
We were more than satisfied with our tour. Our guide Jeff was extremely knowledgeable and pointed out many native and invasive species of snails, birds, and fish. We saw manatees adults and juvenile. Alligators adults and juvenile. Not to mention, bald eagles, turkeys, deer, turtles and several different species of fish. The springhead was absolutely spectacular, especially with Jeff pointing out the soil composition along the banks. I would highly recommend this tour!
I am so delinquent in this review, but I have to say that my daughter Elly (18) and I had such an incredible time kayaking with Todd mid-March 2017. Forget about him saving us from a rental car that wouldn't recognize the key (Ford Fiesta from Hertz) and driving us to the Sanford airport to get another car . . . he was such a great guide and person. We saw manatees even though it was late in the season, a bald eagle diving down and grabbing a fish right in front of us, alligator babies and a couple of full grown gators, lots and lots of big birds, kite birds, a tour of the state park - their hot spring area which is a a great walk into the park - and a genuine kindness and knowledge that is hard to find when your traveling. Todd is highly recommended!
Todd was wonderful! He was fun, pleasant and very knowledgeable. As for the trip, the scenery was beautiful and we saw manatees, alligators, and all kinds of fish and birds. All around a great day.
We kayaked on April 1 so a bit late in the season. Fortunately we saw a momma and her baby and were able to hang out with them for a long while. We also saw three gators thanks to Todd's keen eye. He answered all our many questions and was so knowledgeable. What a great experience. I wish more families would escape Disney to see the manatees and Florida's wild spaces. Beautiful.
Our guide gave us exactly what we wanted - a beautiful morning on the river, manatee siting (mom and babe) despite the late timing. alligators and birds and opportunity to relax. We had an awesome day!
Our guide, Todd Watson, was fantastic!!! He put us at ease, gave us options that suited our various skill levels (there were 7 of us) and his knowledge of the area and wildlife was extensive. He cares about conservation of the wild, and that was very important to us too. The equipment was all in great shape and the value for the price was excellent. We saw a manatee with its cub, alligators, turtles, tonnes of fish and birds... terrific day! I look forward to going again.
The experience was awesome because we got to see lots of wildlife, and do some more advanced kayaking through small creeks.
My friends and I are on holiday from England and were looking for an opportunity to see manatees in Florida. We stumbled across this tour and booked on easily. The guide Jeff was phenomenal - he was friendly, knowledgeable and entertaining - he put me and my friends at ease throughout the experience and even lent me a hat! His enthusiasm was infectious and even though we didn't get to see manatees (too late in the season), the experience was still worth it. We went swimming in the natural spring and were shown the local wildlife, of which his knowledge was endless. What a guy-ide!!! Lizzy Walkden
Jeff was a attentive , informative guide . He made sure everyone was comfortable including my husband who unsure if he would be able to paddle and keep up. I would recommend a tour with Jeff. We hope to bring frIends on this adventure!
Despite a chilly day, we were so excited to do this activity. We were not disappointed. It was a. beautiful day and we saw all we hoped we would. Manatees, crocs and lots of birds. Jeff was an amazing guide. Age range of group of 6 was 13-49. Definitely doable for kids. Activity takes about 3 hours. Kayaking is awesome. I would put this on a "must see"
Jeff was great. I learned a lot and had a great time.
We saw some great wildlife and nature scenes! Extremely satisfied with the kayaking portion of the trip, our guide Todd was very helpful and entertaining. Slightly disappointed with the hiking aspect, was expecting more of a real hiking experience instead of a board walk stroll, but overall very fun and worth the money.
It was a bit too late in the season to see many manatees, but I still had a great time. Our guide was very knowledgeable about local wildlife and knew where to look for what animals. Thank you for a lovely day! I hope to come back when more manatees are around.
What a great experience! Todd was a very knowledgeable about our location and the many creatures we encountered, but also the surrounding area. We later hiked the Blue Spring State Park using Todd's suggestions. When I the area again, I will make sure to schedule another guided tour. Thank you for making this a bucket list event!
Our guide Todd was great- very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful! It could not have been a nicer experience for us. We saw many beautiful birds, manatee, and alligators while out in our kayaks. It was just fantastic to be so close to such amazing creatures. We never felt rushed on our tour and all questions were well received and answered with respect and the best information possible. I would recommend this tour and this company to anyone interested in getting close to Florida's natural beauty and wildlife. Thanks for some of our very best memories of Florida!!
Loved the scenery and paddle. One particular manatee followed and stayed with my kayak for a good 10 minutes. An amazing experience. Guide was very professional and knowledgeable.
Very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Really tried to find some manatees for us and we did see a couple. Relaxed trip, a lot of fun.
David was a great guide! I loved the creek he took us around. Thank you
This is an excellent choice for anyone looking fo something outside the usual amusement park scene. The guides are amazing, they make sure you don't miss anythin. The manatees are breathtaking. We had a few come right up to the boat and pop their heads up to take a look at us. Then you move on to the alliance gators, bird, turtles, and anything else that happens to show up that day. It was an amazing experience that you shouldn't miss.
Had a great time! Todd was excellent guide! There were 455 manatees at the park that morning & we encountered a good number of them! Saw alligators & many birds too!
Jeff was great! We really had an amazing amazing experience. This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Todd was a great tour for the Manatee encounter . He spotted all the alligators through the trip . He was funny , very knowledgable, and made the trip very relaxed . I would recommend any of the adventures offered with this company if Todd is a representative , it could only be a success . Will do another myself in the future.
- Wilfredo and Jackie
We really liked our guide Jeff. He was very informative. We stayed out 3 hours and it was the right amount of time. Loved seeing the manatees, gators and turtles. Would defiantly recommend this tour to other people.
My son and I were looking for something outside of the Orlando theme parks. We both enjoy kayaking, so we searched for a good kayak tour and found this one. It is a 3 hour kayak in Blue Spring State Park, which is an hour and a half drive from Orlando. We thought we'd give it a shot. From the moment we got to the ramp in the park to the time we finished, this was 5 stars.Jeff, our guide, was fabulous. His knowledge of not just the animals, reptiles and birds, but the area and the "ecosystem", was remarkable. Because it was just two kayaks, I think we got a little special trip. But we saw everything. And all of it up close. It was truly a wonderful morning. We'd love to join you again on our next visit. Thank you.
Great Tour! Highly recommended. Ask for Todd as your guide.
Beautiful location friendly and knowledge able guide
The Encounter was amazing. Jeff, our guide, was informative, fun, relaxed, and had many stories to tell! The customer service was A+. Better than any of the theme parks. Well worth it.
We really enjoyed the Manatee Encounter tour. It was the hilite of our vacation and Todd was an outstanding guide. We saw birds and animals we had never seen in the wild before - seeing them in their natural habitat was a very cool experience. Blue Springs State Park is an awesome environment as well. It made for a perfect and memorable day.
We had booked the Manatee 3hr tour and the adventure was terrific. Jeff, our guide, was extremely qualified, friendly and very accommodating for me and my two boys. We not only saw Manatees, but crocodiles, turtles, and fowl. Would recommend this trip to everyone. Quite the adventure.
Our tour guide Todd was very informative and knew what he was doing. Had a great time!
My husband and I went on the Manatee Encounter kayaking experience with Todd as our guide. We totally enjoyed the experience. After a day at Magic Kingdom, we really needed something that was quiet and low-key. Todd was super friendly and informative. He made sure we were comfortable in a kayak before starting (we both had previous experience), and got us situated in the water. We took a short trip over to the opening of the spring that is currently roped off due to the high population of manatee in the small area. It was amazing! There were so many manatee to see - some came right up to our kayaks but we saw many more in the cove. After spending a good amount of time at that incredible place, we continued on a short way until we docked our kayaks (with Todd doing most/all of the work) at the park. We spent a good amount of time at the park - visiting every overlook. Todd was great and stayed with us, pointing out alligators and different types of fish. We were able to really relax and enjoy the serenity of the park. My guess is that we were there for 90 minutes or more. We got back to the kayaks and went around an island. We saw a couple more manatee and got pretty close to the largest alligator we saw that day. After we got the kayaks back on shore, Todd gave us a recommendation for lunch, at our request (Swamp House) which also did not disappoint. The excursion was a highlight of our trip to Florida!
We had a great guide and an overall wonderful experience. However, I was very concerned that there was not an appropriate life vest for my 9 year old. I listened all info in the registration information and when we arrived the only life vests available where adult l/XL and had a minimum weight rating of 90 pounds. My child is no where near 90 pounds. Both my children are competitive swimmers and there were enough adults present that I let her go out but had she gone in, I think it is very likely the vest would have slipped over her head. This is a significant safety for children and a huge liability issue for the owner. I hope this feedback is helpful.
Wonderful experience with knowledge local guide. Can't beat The subterranean swamp scenery and wildlife. On our 4 hour trip we encountered manatee (lots of them!), alligators, turtles, lizards, white heron, blue heron, ergrets, vultures, tilapia, catfish, and alligator gar. Incredible!
This tour was absolutely amazing!! Definitely one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Our tour guide was a great guy, the manatee were everywhere and super fun to see, the rivers were gorgeous, overall it was a mind blowing adventure! Highly recommend!