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This is one of the most amazing eco-tour experiences you can have – anywhere! And we have it right here in the Orlando area for our guests. The manatees in Florida love the warm waters of the Indian River. They laze the day away in the coves and lagoons of this brackish estuary. Kayak with us (quietly) into their little paradise, and you will feel the essence of these mythical gentle giants. Thought to be the original mermaids, manatees, (sea cows) seem to awaken something spiritual in those who come into close contact with them. Feel the magic in their presence as the come up along your kayak to curiously check out who this new sea creature (you) is! Manatees are friendly and curious. They like to get to know our guests.
We ask our kayakers to take as many photos and videos as they like, but to be quiet and not try to touch the manatees. It is important to respect their environment and not disturb them. But don’t be surprised if you get a splash or a spray as they come up for air!
Please read – How to paddle with manatees before going on the tour.
Daily departures multiple times per day – morning & afternoon. Times vary depending on the seasons. Please take a look at the day on our booking calendar to see possible departure times. Tour must be booked 2 hours before departing.
415 lbs total for 2-Person Kayak (neither participant should weigh over 250); some participants may need to use the clear kayak as a single person based on weight limits. Additional charge may apply.
Private group, school, church or businesses tour is available upon request. Call for more information and rates.
More about the Indian River Wildlife and Manatees
The Indian River Lagoon is an estuary that is fed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean making it a unique natural habitat. 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 and Giant Blue Herons. In the summer months, night tours offer a rare view of glowing seaweed that is “bioluminescent.” Yes – it glows in the dark!
Check our Twitter updates to see how the wildlife has been lately on BK Adventure Tours.
Get directions to Haulover Canal here.
Haulover Canal is a beautiful launch site on the Wildlife Refuge. We use this site for our Bioluminescence Kayaking tour, and other tours, like the Sunset Tour. * We rarely have to change the location of your tour, but sometimes we will suggest a location that has better conditions or access for whatever reason. Please remember that our kayaking launch sites are restricted by federal and local government agencies, and sometimes they require us to make last minute changes. The Wildlife Refuge must coordinate with NASA.
We had a great tour with leader Katy. She is professional, nice and kind-hearted. The team was pretty helpful during the trip, and their expertise and knowledge really help a …
We had a great tour with leader Katy. She is professional, nice and kind-hearted. The team was pretty helpful during the trip, and their expertise and knowledge really help a lot during the tour. We did see many comb jellies and many other interesting things.
We came down from East Tennessee and Ram made our trip as easy as it could have been. The guiding was great and fun. We saw dolphins and manatees as …
We came down from East Tennessee and Ram made our trip as easy as it could have been. The guiding was great and fun. We saw dolphins and manatees as well as a large assortment of birds. I would honestly have rather booked two tours with BK after having somewhat of a disappointing experience at Disney. For two adults in their early 30s with out kids sea kayaking was way better than any park experience could have been. 10/10 would book again and would repeat the same trip all over. Thanks guys!!
We were able to see manatees and dolphins. Plus, we watched the sunset. It was incredibly beautiful and romantic. I didn’t capture the photo of the sun because I was …
We were able to see manatees and dolphins. Plus, we watched the sunset. It was incredibly beautiful and romantic. I didn’t capture the photo of the sun because I was too busy enjoying the experience. I did get a shot of the beautiful sky after the sunset tour was finished. Our guides Bailey and Josh were awesome and made our trip unforgettable. They are very outgoing and knowledgeable about the wildlife in the area. The bioluminescence was beautiful that night. It was so dark that we were able to see millions of stars in the clear night sky. We were very lucky with the weather. I definitely recommend going with BK Adventures for the sunset tour and bioluminescent tour package. Oh, and don’t forget to tip the guides, even though it is optional. They work really hard to make the trip enjoyable, and they have to keep track of everyone and keep them safe. It can be a high pressure job because people on the tour have different levels of kayaking experience, so be generous.
We had a great bike tour with Ram and Christian and were thoroughly impressed with the high level of caring and commitment palpable in this whole outfit. The service of …
We had a great bike tour with Ram and Christian and were thoroughly impressed with the high level of caring and commitment palpable in this whole outfit. The service of coming to pick you up at your hotel, providing all the equipment necessary, and even providing drinks and snacks all contributed to our feeling that we were in very capable hands with our guide. Really fun bike trip and we would highly recommend this adventure company!!
Our tours rarely cancel due to weather. If it is raining the day of the tour, chances are, with Florida weather, it will clear up by the time your tour starts. Sometimes we will hold the tour by 30 minutes for the weather to clear. In the case of lightning, high winds, or some other reason that we cannot paddle, we will re-schedule all guests to the very next tour available, or at a convenient time for you. Rainchecks are valid for 1 year.
We recommend you do the “Sunset Tour” if you have time. That way you get to see dolphins, and possibly manatees and all the amazing birds. Then, take a break, and go out for the Bioluminescent Kayak Tour later. It’s just $20 more and it’s an amazing tour! Click here to book that.
For our single kayaks, the weight limit is 275 lbs. For the tandem kayaks it is 550 lbs. The night kayaking tours are done on tandem kayaks.
Some people are naturally athletic, and they pick up any kind of activity easily. If that’s you, pick either launch location. If you are a beginner, or not sure about kayaking abilities, or have small children, you may want to choose the Haulover Canal kayaking location. You may also want to ask about our new rafting options where you join others in the raft for an easy paddle in a big boat.
We like to think so, but we cannot guarantee it. Here are the best conditions: hot weather, right after a rain storm, dark night. Sometimes the night is dark even when the moon is supposed to be bright. Sometimes a barely visible moon occurs on such a clear night, that even the slightest shine makes it seem bright. So, there are many factors that make the bioluminescence more/less visible. The BEST TIME for glowing algae (dinoflagellates) brightness is usually July to October. But we see it all year round, and in November, we see amazing flashing comb jellies! So, don’t miss out because your vacation does not fall during the summer months.
This depends on your launch site: either Kelly Park is near Port Canaveral right off of Hwy. 528 (about 45 mins from Orlando), or in peak-season also, Haulover Canal in Titusville, Florida (1 hr; 15 mins from Orlando). Kelly Park near Cocoa Beach is the closer launch site to Miami.
Lots of people who love kayaking with their dog have asked about this tour. We can not allow dogs on our tours per the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge rules.
Because of wildlife and environmental protection we have a limited number of kayaks we can launch at one time. So, we use 2 person tandem kayaks in order to get all of our guests out to see the bioluminescence on the dates they want. That does not mean you will be in a large group. Only 8 boats go out with 2 guide boats at one time.
Because of the limited availability of our equipment, they tend to book up quickly. Please call us if there is a time/day you would like that is not available for online booking. We may be able to get you on.
Sunset Kayaking with the Manatees.
On this AMAZING tour, we visit Manatee Central, where you see manatees in their natural habitat. As the sun goes down, the dolphins like to play. In summer you will see bioluminescent sea life glowing after dark. Makes a fun, romantic date!
STAFF PICK - BEST TOUR!