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“A trip you will remember your whole life”

Manatees In Paradise
Ranked #2 of 51 Tours in Crystal River
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: No Walk-ins Accepted - Small boat tours - We no longer offer tours: May-October due to the water quality and manatee numbers. Tour Reservation Confirmation Required by email only -We are a private tour company owned and operated ONLY by the owners/captains. We give each tour the "personal and educational" attention you want and allow the manatees to feel comfortable while we explore their world. While on tour if you ask, we'll even explain how manatee rescues are performed and what we do in our spare time as manatee volunteers to help PROTECT and PRESERVE, this incredible species for future generations. LOOK- DON'T TOUCH the wild manatees, touching/rubbing/petting manatees reduces their chance for survival as you habituate them towards boats and people. Keep wildlife wild.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
806 reviews
477 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 603 helpful votes
“A trip you will remember your whole life”
Reviewed 10 July 2012

While planning our holiday in the USA, swimming with Manatees was an asolute must do. From tripadvisor we contacted cpt Stacy and she was very honest with us about the probability to see manatees in June and left it to our own decision making. We thought even without Manatees a nice private trip on a boat is always welcome and so we made the arrangements, and she was more than helpful in all this.

The morning we came to the marina she was already there and waiting for us and it became clear very fast that she is an absolute expert on manatees and also an absolue expert in how to inform and entertain passengers. In the beginning you see a video about manatees and the rules and then off you go.

We met several manatees along the 3 hour trip and had wonderful encounters with them, watching them, touching them, it will be something that we will certainly see as a highlight of our vacation trips. All the time Stacy was very entertaining and friendly and at the same time making sure we kept the rules of interacting. We also did the spring itself, very clear with lots of fish inside and a very nice little forest around.

Additionally to the manatees we saw several birds, some turtles and otherwise we enjoyed the warm and nice day.

Manatees in Paradise sets itself apart from other operators as the boat is small and you can make the trip just as a couple which gives you much more time individually with the manatees and much more privacy around them. They are very active in conserving those animals and I am sure my money contributed much to the future wellbeing of those gentle giants.

Words can hardly describe it you gotta be there yourself. One last tip: In the end I swam without the vest, if you are familiar with swimming and can stand the temperature for some time it will leave you with much higher maneuvrability in the water.

Visited June 2012
Thank Florian254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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793 reviews from our community

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Rockville Centre, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastical tour with a terrific guide...I heart manatees!! You better do this!”
Reviewed 6 July 2012

So I might not be dying of any Incurable life threatening disease, but if I was, and if I had one last dying wish, it would be to hug and kiss a manatee.....my make a wish foundation wish came true when my boyfriend Kyle (who is A-maZing) took me to crystal river on a manatee expedition...which I might add is over an hour away from Kissimmee Florida where we stayed for a Disney vaca. Not only did I get to see my baby and momma manatees, but I swam with them (snorkeled) and pet them....even whispered underwater to them how much I love them....it was fantastical..... Shout out to our very knowledgeable and super generous guide Stacy. The tour price was very reasonable ($50.00) per person...includes snorkel, wetsuits and Stacy took numerous pix of me and Kyle w/ the manatees and emailed them to us the same day. The tour was completely private and Stacy took us to 3 sister springs, showed us the sights and hooked us up w/ impt. Info... It was all really fun and really cool....this is coming from a girl who isn't easily satisfied (kyle can vouch for that!). We will Absolutely be back in winter when the manatees runeth over !!!,!,!,

Visited July 2012
Thank diva3727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westport CT
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Incredible experience”
Reviewed 3 July 2012

We went out with Capt Stacy the day after Tropical Storm Debby blew through Crystal Springs. Despite the high waters and the the wrong time of year in general to see manatees, we had an amazing experience. Capt Stacy was so friendly and knowledgeable, it was fascinating to hear her stories of the wildlife in the area. She is really determined for all of her guests to have a great experience meeting these gentle giants, but also for the manatees to be respected in what is after all, their environment. My 10 year old daughter was a bit nervous at first in the water so close to these giant creatures, but Capt Stacy talked her down, and we were all able to have the incredible experience of meeting a baby manatee eye-to-eye! We had a few encounters with different groups of manatees- Capt Stacy was in touch with fellow operators sharing info about locations- and we even saw a group of dolphins feeding as one of the other reviewers mentioned. She even sent tons of great photos for free so we can all remember our fun day. Incredible- the experience was even more meaningful than I had hoped for! I spent a lot of time reading reviews and contacting different tour operators in the area, and settled on Manatees in Paradise because they seemed to be an outfit that really cared about the animals primarily. We were not disappointed, and if our travels bring us back to central Florida we would love to go out with Capt Stacy again.

Visited June 2012
Thank Amylu1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very Special”
Reviewed 2 July 2012

I can recommend this trip with absolute confidence that Capt Stacey will do everything she can to get you up close to Manatees.
Our family of 5 aged from 7 years to 57 years have varying degrees of confidence in the water, but Capt. Stacey was very patient and we all got to see several Manatees. We spent time around Crystal River where we encountered both adult and baby Manatees, they were swimming around us but it was difficult to see them unti they were directly underneath as the water was quite murky, however Capt. Stacey guided us with great expertise and enthusiasm till we got close enough to touch them, amazing, we felt so priviledged.
We then went to the springs where the water was very clear and we were thrilled and lucky to see a Manatee as they are not usually in the springs in the summer months. Capt Stacey spent a lot of time with us in the springs to allow us to have a fantastic experience with the Manatee, even though we had already been out on the trip for about 3 hours.
She was friendly yet professional throughout, instilling confidence and showing absolute respect for the wildlife and environment. An extremely pleasurable experience from start to finish, Capt. Stacey was very welcoming and put us at ease, giving a clear explanation of do's and don'ts and imparting lots of interesting information about the area and of course her beloved Manatees.
And then of course the fabulous photo's that she e mailed to provide us with lasting memories of a very special experience.

Visited June 2012
Thank VandPSheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Experience!!!”
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Prior reviews are spot on, Capt Stacy's tour is awesome. We had an amazing day after Tropical Storm Debby finally passed. Although she has a disclaimer about the water clarity this time of year, the lack of clarity really doesn't diminish from the interaction with the manatees. The tour is more than seeing the manatees, it is an afternoon to live like a local, thanks to Capt Stacy!

Visited June 2012
Thank sandiegomom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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