Kayak & Swim with Manatees at Three Sisters Spring

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The highlight of visiting Crystal River is kayaking and swimming with manatees. Kayaking along Crystal River is a remarkable and almost magical experience. The water is incredibly clear as long as you avoid stirring the sand at the bottom. The gorgeous and pristine springs of Crystal River are open for kayaking and snorkeling from April 1 to Nov. 14 and only for snorkeling from Nov. 15 to March 31. That means you can plan your tour and enjoy a wonderful time on the water any time of the year whether or not you see manatees. But if you’re able to have your tour in the winter when hundreds of manatees flock to the springs, then your tour would be even more exciting.

Navigating the waterways

From the time you launch your kayak, you can follow the shoreline, enjoying a relaxing paddle under the King’s Bay bridge and up the canal leading into Three Sisters Springs. While you’ll be able to spot manatees as you kayak through the canal, you should head to the springs because that is where you’ll be able to see and swim with hundreds of manatees. You can tie off your kayak at the entrance to the springs, then wear your life jacket and swim into the springs. Since the springs have warmer water than in the canal, you will find the conditions there ideal for snorkeling with manatees.

Avoiding manatee sanctuaries

There are areas that have been roped off as sanctuaries for manatees and you are not allowed to enter these zones. Such zones are a safe and serene refuge for manatees, allowing them to chill out and move about without interference. While there will be a lot of manatees in these sanctuaries that you’ll not be able to interact with, you can still watch them from a distance. The sight of these huge marine mammals clumped together, sleeping or resting in the sandy bottom, moving gracefully to the water surface for air, or just moving out and about is quite impressive. Just stick to the rules, relax and enjoy your time out there with the animals even if you have to watch from a distance.

Renting your kayak to own your schedule

If you want utmost freedom during your tour and intend to go on your own schedule, then renting a kayak may be necessary. Kayak rentals cost as much as set tours, but in most cases you will have the boat for the day instead of just a few set hours. With your rented kayak, you can paddle through the clear spring water at your own pace, swim with manatees for as long as you desire and create a perfect adventure for yourself. You don’t have to worry that you do not own a boat since you can easily get started with one of the rented kayaks. Captain Mike’s Kayak Rentals is only a few minutes away and they will haul your boat, paddles and life jackets to the launch, making it easier for you to embark on your manatee tour.

Going with a tour provider

You also can go on a kayak and swim with manatee tour using a tour provider. But when choosing your manatee tour provider, be sure to carefully check out the company and what it offers. Some tours take people out in big groups where everyone on the tour is taken to the same spot. Too many people will mean there will be a lot of noise and commotion, making it harder for manatees to approach the group for interaction. Make sure to reserve your tour with a provider who will enable you to swim freely and get close the manatees.

Want to go alone or with your family or friends on a kayaking tour of Crystal River? At Captain Mike’s Kayak Rentals, you can find the perfect boat to deliver that thrilling outdoor adventure you seek. Whether you are a beginner or an expert kayaker, Captain Mike’s has a wide range of kayaks that suit the needs of paddlers at any skill level. We also are friendly, knowledgeable and can provide all the information you will need to find and swim with manatees and to have a great time out in the springs. Our location is great too — just a 15-minute ride into Three Sisters Springs. For those who prefer set tours, we have tailored manatee tours that include going to the springs on a kayak, available wetsuits and goggles, captains to guide tourists to manatee spots and access to all the essentials that will make paddling fun and unforgettable for you. For more information on kayaking and snorkeling with manatees, visit the “Captain Mike’s Swimming With The Manatees” site.

Swimming with the Manatees boasts the best water adventure in Crystal River, Florida with lots of things to do for you and your family. For more information, contact us online, or call us at (352) 571-1888.

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