Crystal River, Florida
You’ve come all the way to Florida, so it makes sense to actually see as much of it as possible, and no other tour provides such a wide-ranging, in-depth experience as our carefully crafted Real Florida Adventure.
This action-packed day starts with an inclusive breakfast and a full overview of what’s in store as we head out to the beautiful Crystal River area on the Gulf coast, 80 miles north-west of Orlando. This is the Manatee Capital of the World, and the only place in America where it is legal to swim with manatees.
It is also home to stunning natural springs and lots of wildlife, and you’ll get to meet an essential part of it as we gear up for the signature Manatee Snorkel under the supervision of a Coast Guard Certified Captain *. You will learn all about the unique West Indian manatee – and then get to see some of them, up close and personal in the crystal-clear waters!
Then we head off to 210-acre Homosassa Springs State Park, a genuine hidden gem of Florida nature, where there is plentiful local wildlife to see and hear about, including the endangered Florida panther, black bears, red wolves, bobcats and alligators, as well as a profusion of birdlife, notably whooping cranes and flamingos.
Also here is the unique sight of Nature’s Fish Bowl, an underwater observatory built over the mouth of the main spring where a huge number of fish hang out, while the Park has its own manatee rehabilitation program to provide another exciting glimpse of these rare sea mammals. Lunch is included, here, too.
Finally, the day will conclude with an exciting airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River, another natural haven where you can see more wildlife in its natural habitat and enjoy the thrill of skimming the water at up to 45mph in these exhilarating, flat-bottomed craft.
* NB: any person wishing to do the manatee swim must hire a wetsuit prior to boat departure. Snorkel equipment is provided free.