Florida Guide > Other Activities
Swimming with the manatee.
Everyone who has been to Florida knows about the manatee; they are those gentle cow like creatures that inhabit the oceans around Florida.
But have you thought of swimming with them? Well I have and I discovered an easy way to have a day out that encompasses a swim with these mammals and transport both ways.
Included in your day is transport from many places in the Orlando area, as much as you can eat breakfast, an air boat ride, lunch, entrance to The Homossassas State Park, a cruise on the Crystal River, snorkel and mask rental and of course your swim with the manatees.
The cruise is fully narrated and lasts around an hour and a half. If you have not been down this river before it is almost glass like in its purity and the scenery is typical original Florida. No wonder they made so many films here.
There are qualified dive staff on board to instruct you and look after your safety.
Lunch is a picnic at the sanctuary and you are then free to explore this wonderful park. Make sure that you mark off the animal talks on your schedule as the are very interesting and you get to handle some of the animals.
As I write you can take these tours on tuesdays and fridays from april to october and tuesdays only in november.
Allow 11 hours or so for this trip and you will depart at around 7. 30 a. m. from your meeting point in the resort area.
The tour costs around $120 and children may go if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. They do not absolutely guarantee you will see some manatees so bear that in mind.
And learn from my experience; take bug spray! ! ! the mossies are aggressive in the summer in this area. Also take good sun screen, singlasses a sun hat, towel and a t shirt that covers your shoulders.
Water is also a good idea and some trail mix for your journey back. You can buy some handy water bottles in Walamrt; get the ones that you can carry over your shoulder. Walmart seem to spread these around the store so ask a member of staff. Fill them with Crystal Light powder and ice cubes and water to the top and you are good to go.
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Page added on: 20 July 2012
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