Here are a few reasons to jump in the water with some gentle giants:

  • Florida is one of the only places in the world you can swim with a 1,500 pound mammal related to the elephant! (manatee video)
  • Manatee tours are the best family-friendly adventure — observe from the boat or jump in with the vegetarian giants.
  • Florida has lots of bugs — guaranteed no flying or crawling ones in the water!
  • You may just get close enough to you to smell manatee breath – they eat nearly 15 pounds of weeds, algae, and grasses in a day so you’ve been warned (they may release some bubbles too).
  • Florida is known for crazy drivers — experience no honking horns or stuck blinkers out on the river.
  • Be entertained by a group of frisky males — rest assured, no human has ever been harmed (or groped) in the presence of a mating herd.
  • You might get a hug like no other in your lifetime — whiskers, flippers with toes, and veggie breath all up in your grill.
  • Witness a young manatee cub nursing under the mother’s flipper — don’t worry no manatee has ever been asked to leave the water.
  • Up your game by posting your experience on Facebook & Instagram — while your friends up north are shoveling snow.
  • Florida has the best manatee guides — hire one to give you and your family the experience of a lifetime! (our map of all the manatee guides in the state)

You may just get close enough to smell manatee breath – you’ve been warned!

Need to Know Info

  • We’ve mapped all the manatee guides in the state — check out other water adventures on our directory.
  • The most popular region for tours is in the Crystal River / Homasassa area during the winter months.
  • Manatee watching is family-friendly (ages 3 & up) and average trip length is 3 hours.
  • Do not disturb sediment, grasses, or sleeping manatees on the bottom of the river.
  • Never chase after a manatee or try to grab/pet them — let them approach you.
  • Never get between or interrupt a mother manatee (cow) and her calf.
  • Many adventure outfitters provide wetsuits and gear — just ask.
  • Do not use flash on underwater cameras.


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