May – November Dinoflagellate Bioluminescent plankton light up the waters of the Indian River Lagoon as you paddle through the canals and kayak trails of this unique estuary. In the early days of summer the bioluminescence begins to show, and by the height of summer it shines and sparkles bright when it is stirred with your kayak paddle, hand, or even the myriad of Mullet fish flying around. As if the lighted warm water was not enough, on these dark summer nights – look up! The sky is filled with it’s own light show of millions of sparkling stars! Because there is no light pollution on the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, the night skies are spectacular. Peak season is July – September. In other months, bioluminescence will be present, but may be more like sparkles than glowing water.
October 15 – March 15 Bioluminescent Comb Jellies (NOT jelly fish – they do not sting) are pre-historic sea creatures that have been on the planet for over 500 million years. As the waters of the Indian River Lagoon cool down, the Comb Jellies move in. But are they Jelly Fish? No, not really. They do not sting like their jelly looking cousins the Jelly Fish. Comb Jellies protect themselves by giving off bioluminescent glow. They think it will scare any predators that might come their way… just like cavemen used fire at night to keep animals at bay, the jelly lights up at night when touched. Join us for this evening tour of the magic waters of the Indian River Lagoon. NOTE: The colder the season the less we see bioluminescence – so weather does affect the experience.
Many kayaking companies in the area get as many people out on the water as possible. They use two person sit on top kayaks, with group size of about 60 people. At BK Adventure Eco Tours, we like keep our groups smaller to give you a more intimate feel with the nature around us. We think this creates a better outdoor experience. Join us for an exploration of the bioluminescent Indian River Lagoon in one of Florida’s most eco-diverse rivers. On very dark nights, the water glows with each stroke of your kayak paddle.
This tour departs every evening June – October (or upon request for times not listed).
Private group, school, church or businesses tour is available upon requested. Call for more information and rates.
Full Moon Night Notification: During the full moon phases, the bioluminescence does not appear as brightly as when it is very dark. However, full moon kayaking is an amazing, mystical experience itself. Please check out this moon calendar before you decide to go on the tour.
Duration: 90 minutes
Price: $55 per person
Includes: pfd, guides, fun, kayak and paddle.
Age range: 8+
Weight Limit: 300 lbs for Single Kayak & 600 lbs total for 2-Person Kayak
What You Should Bring: Sunblock, insect repellant, and water bottle
(Please check your email for launch point directions.)
Note: This tour is in tandem kayak only due to kayaking restrictions by National Wildlife Refuge.
The Indian River Lagoon is an estuary that is fed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean making it a unique natural habitat. The high salt content in the water here makes it a perfect home for dinoflagellates which create a natural light to protect themselves. This neon light produced by these tiny sea plankton is called bioluminescence. However, they are not the only marine life that create bioluminescence. Check out this amazing TED Talk about this natural phenomenon.
Florida has more endangered or threatened species than any other state, and the Indian River is home to 36 rare or endangered wildlife. The West Indian Manatee is one of them. Manatees love this river because of the abundance of seagrass beds.
Other rare wildlife you are likely to see are: Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Loggerhead Turtles, Blue Crabs, Seahorse, Otters, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tri-Colored Heron and Bald Eagles.
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Check for emails Check directions Wear quick dry clothes Wear flip-flops/sandals Bring sunblock Bring insect spray Bring cash (tips optional) Call for questions Be ready for fun