Darkness surrounds you and gentle waves lap against your vessel as you dip your paddle into the black waters and suddenly they explode with neon life! PLAY HARD FLORIDA has you covered for a glowing adventure of a lifetime. Here are five reasons to kayak in the dark:

  1. You will be surrounded by “Dino what?” Dinoflagellates. Florida is one of the only places on the planet that has waters teeming with bioluminescent microorganisms! Those tiny organisms emit a blue glow when awakened.
  2. You will create glowing blue trails with your paddle, or your hand — paddle faster to create a wake of blue life! Or just sit back, and leave it up to a darting fish, playful dolphin, or slow-moving manatee to create a neon disco in the calm waters.
  3. You’ll get away from it all — physically and mentally! Leave the city lights behind, put your cell phone out of reach, and push off into the darkness of Florida’s backwaters. Your eyes will enjoy calming streaks of blue, the soft glow of the milky way, and the distant tail of a meteorite!
  4. You can take a date, your family, or your friends. (If you plan on proposing marriage in the flotilla it is suggested you attach a safety line to the ring — and be certain they will say yes).
  5. You will learn all about the ecosystem you are immersed in. Your professional guide will teach you about everything you see (and don’t see). The guides will also keep track of the group to ensure an exciting yet relaxing paddle.

Visit our website to find all the bioluminescence guides in the state: the Indian River Lagoon, a wildlife refuge, and just east of Orlando is a world famous bioluminescence backwater, where many of the tours take place.

This is a trip of a lifetime that your senses have never experienced

What to bring:

  • Significant other, friends, or family – don’t attempt this trip alone or without a professional guide as the remoteness of the area requires proper planning. Children as young as 8 can join if they can remain seated in the kayak for a minimum of an hour and a half.
  • Waterproof cell phone case (or a simple zip lock bag) – plan on zipping your phone up before you embark on your adventure. It will be too dark to take photos and you’ll enjoy being disconnected.
  • Bug repellant – the height of the glowing dinoflagellate activity is between the months of July and September, so mosquitoes and/or no-see-ums may be present. Wear lightweight clothing to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
  • Open mind – this is a trip of a lifetime that your senses have never experienced. Enjoy the quiet darkness mixed with surprising waves of blue energy, the splash of a tail, the snort of a manatee, the jump of a dolphin, and the streak of a falling star!

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