Imagine having the opportunity to spend the day exploring the wild side of Naples and Marco Island, Florida in the company of a local biologist! That’s what Rising Tide Explorers offer on their relaxing kayak tours through Rookery Bay Reserve and the 10,000 Islands. This experienced company has picked up a bevy of awards and is ranked #1 for Guided Kayak Tours by TripAdvisor, based on feedback from many past clients.
As well as being Certified Master Naturalists with advanced degrees in biology and environmental sciences, all the guides at Rising Tide Explorers are trained in first aid and CPR and are certified kayaking instructors with the American Canoe Association (ACA) to ensure a safe and educational experience.
Guided Kayak Tours with Rising Tide Explorers
Rising Tide Explorers turn an ordinary kayaking experience into a wildlife adventure. Qualified biologists with expert local knowledge allow you to see a side of Southwest Florida you will never experience from a car window or beach chair! Imagine kayaking down a shady tunnel of leaning mangroves, their tangled web of roots creating a natural nursery for small fish to hide and grow in relative safety.
Back bays around Naples and Marco Island provide mudflats and oyster reefs that attract many birds especially during the winter and migratory season. Keep a watchful eye for bald eagles and ospreys soaring overhead, sea stars, conchs, and urchins resting on the sandy bottom of the clear waterways. You may even encounter dolphins, batfish, and manatees on your kayaking tour. Best of all, your guide will be able to give you plenty of information and answer all your questions as you paddle gently through these protected waters. Plus, every kayak tour includes free high definition photography so you immerse yourself into the experience without worrying about capturing the moment!
The Mangroves and Mudflats Tour is approximately 3 hours and departs daily from the Isle of Capri Paddlecraft Park in Naples. Groups can be from 1 to 12 paddlers and are suitable for anyone who is capable of gentle paddling, including first-timers.
Rookery Bay Sunset Birding Kayak Tours
Those who prefer an evening kayak tour, out of the heat of the midday sun, will enjoy the Sunset Bird Rookery Kayak Tour. It departs from Shell Island road Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday between 5 and 6:30 p.m. depending on the time of year and lasts around 2 to 2½ hours.
Up to 12 paddlers can join the biologist guide on this peaceful kayaking adventure through Rookery Bay Reserve. This unspoiled wilderness area includes two islands that are bird rookeries. You could see hundreds of herons, egrets, pelicans and anhinga flocking home to this nesting site at sunset and settling companionably onto their chosen perch for the night.
The stunning backdrop to this amazing experience is the red sun dropping into the Gulf of Mexico and creating a rosy sky that will surely take your breath away. After identifying many common and rare birds, you can turn your attention to other bay wildlife. You may encounter pods of dolphins, manatees, and fish.
After sunset, crack your glow stick and paddle silently back absorbing the sounds of nature at nightfall. Rising Tide Explorers’ Sunset Rookery Kayak tours can accommodate up to 12 kayakers.
Kayak Rentals in Naples and Marco Island
Kayak rentals are available with free delivery to your home or launch point in the Naples/Marco Island area for those who know the area well or prefer to explore independently. Rising Tide Explorers offer rentals by the hour, day, or week. Rentals include paddles, life vests, dry bags, maps, and even digital maps of some hidden gems that are perfect for kayaking. It’s a great way to explore on your own with the advantage of local knowledge for route planning.