Everglades Kayak Tours

Explore and truly experience the REAL Everglades!

Picnic Key Beach, Everglades 10,000 Islands
After acceptance, your reservation will be confirmed by paying a $200 per person deposit. We will email you a PayPal invoice with secure link make a credit card payment. Upon receipt of the completed reservation form and deposit, we’ll send you a reservation confirmation email, detailed Overnight Tour Information sheet with personal packing list, and Liability Waiver. Your trip is scheduled to go at that point. Please do not make additional travel arrangements until you receive this confirmed reservation from us.
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime. Why wait? Many trips fill fast, reserve your adventure today!
18 miles total
"Easy Active" rating
$650 per person
WHAT'S NEXT?
​Does this sound like something for you, but you still have more questions? Feel free to contact Dave K directly at evergladesdave@gmail.com or (386) 295-1850. He’ll be happy to personally answer all your questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
​Click on the Tour Calendar below to see currently scheduled trips. Parties of two or more are welcome to schedule a new tour on any open dates. Simply complete and submit the online Tour Reservation Form and specify the days that work best for you. Solo travelers may book any of the scheduled trips with available spots. This 3-day tour typically departs on Sundays, Tuesdays or Fridays with a maximum of ten people.

NOT INCLUDED
● Transportation to and from your home. All trips start and end at the Canoe/Kayak Access at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in
Everglades City. In order to arrive at the start point on time, you will be required to travel to Florida prior to the tour and drive to Everglades City. See our Overnight Tour Information document for more details.
●  Pre- and post-tour accommodations. For convenience and comfort, we recommend spending the night before and after your tour at the Ivey House in Everglades City. See our Overnight Tour Information document for details.
●  Pre- and post-tour meals. Breakfast on the first morning and dinner on the last day is not included. See the above Detailed Itinerary for all included meals.
●  Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. We provide plenty of fresh drinking water for the duration of the tour along with a small amount beer and wine. If you enjoy soda, beer, wine or alcohol, you are certainly welcome to bring additional with you. Although be aware that it's not possible to keep drinks cold.
●  Personal travel/trip insurance. Insurance which offers comprehensive coverage and peace of mind is strongly recommended for all participants. These policies are designed protect you in case of lost or damaged luggage, flight cancellations or delays, family emergency, medical expenses, emergency evacuation costs, trip cancellation and other covered situations. Inexpensive and short term policies of this sort are routinely issued by most travel and insurance agencies (available online).
●  Gratuities for your hard working guide. The generally accepted practice for tipping is 15% of the tour price or an average of $30US per person per day.
​●  Personal items. Please see the specific Packing List in our Overnight Tour Information document. 

● Two nights camping accommodation in shared 2-­person tents. We provide free­-standing dome tents with fine no­-see­-um mesh.
● Single or double expedition quality sea kayaks (your choice), including all kayaking and safety equipment.
​● All necessary camping gear including freshly laundered sleeping bag, comfortable self­-inflating mattress, packable camp pillow and several dry bags for personal items. Of course, if you own and prefer your personal tent, sleeping bag, mattress or even kayak you are welcome to bring them from home.
​● All required national park camping fees and permits. You won't have to arrive 24 hours ahead to stand inline and risk being shut out of a campsite.
WHAT’S INCLUDED
● A variety of paddle routes as described above in the Detailed Itinerary. We will paddle throughout the 10,000 Islands area of Everglades National Park including the mangrove estuary, tidal rivers, protected bays, open Gulf of Mexico, mangrove tunnels, hidden shell mounds and remote white sand beaches.
● Wildlife viewing opportunities including Bottlenose Dolphin, West Indian Manatee, Loggerhead Seaturtle, Spotted Sting Ray, Bonnet Shark, Tarpon Fish, American White Pelican, Double­-Crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, American Oystercatcher, Royal Tern, Common Racoon, American Alligator, Burmese Python, plus many others.
● Three days professional guide services and quality leadership of your experienced kayak guide. Dave K is an ACA certified Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor, NOLS certified Wilderness First Responder and Florida Master Naturalist graduate.
● All meals from lunch on the first day through lunch on the last (2 breakfast, 3 lunch, 2 dinners, 7 total meals). We provide tasty and plentiful food, including fresh and delicious camp made meals and carry along brown bag lunches. We don’t use tasteless and unhealthy dehydrated boil­-in­-bag meals.
 Day 2 - Gulf of Mexico. You'll awaken this morning to a soft pink Florida sunrise and the mangrove jungle coming alive with the sound of birds. Soon your guide will set out a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, juice and hot coffee. Our meals are a highlight! With years of backcountry camping experience, we've learned that depending on bland and unhealthy dehydrated meals is not necessary.
Today we'll kayak further through the Gulf of Mexico, or you may take a day off from paddling to explore Picnic Key by foot. If you choose to kayak, we have a chance to encounter giant sea turtles, pods of leaping dolphins, flocks of resting white pelicans or even a massive tarpon fish at the water surface. We'll stop frequently to stretch our legs and explore the many gulf facing beaches. These beaches are fronted by tidal flats full of fascinating sea life. Some beaches also contain ruins of human settlements from the days before the national park. At lunch ask your guide to share Everglades folklore including tales of early settlers and modern day squatters.
​This afternoon we'll explore the mangrove tunnels which penetrate deep into the interior of the islands. These narrow and twisting passages often require stowing your paddle and pulling yourself along the overhanging branches by hand. These sun dappled tunnels offer a shady break from the brilliant Florida sun. Late in the afternoon we'll return to our base camp on Picnic Key. Tonight we'll marvel at another spectacular Florida sunset from our remote beach with a “happy hour” drink in hand. After dinner we'll enjoy the company of our new friends while warming ourselves around a blazing campfire. Paddling distance: optional 6 miles. All meals included.

Day 3 - 10,000 Islands. After breakfast we'll break camp and load the kayaks for our return trip. But first, we'll explore deep into the interior of the Everglades. Here you'll enter the maze of 10,000 Islands in the brackish mangrove estuary. Keep your eyes open for manatee as we follow calm tidal currents. As we paddle further into the estuary, numerous channels will attempt to confuse us but your guide is a highly experienced navigator. At lunch you may ask, "How did you find the right way?"
​Today's lunch break may be on a "shell mound" which is a term used to describe the midden islands constructed centuries ago by the Calusa natives.This afternoon we sadly return to civilization. We'll take­out where we started in what may seem a lifetime ago in Everglades City before 4:00PM. After several days in the backcountry, the simple comforts of a cold drink, soft mattress and warm shower are greatly appreciated. Here we say our good-byes to new friends until your next adventure with us. Paddling distance: 6 miles. Breakfast and lunch included.
DETAILED ITINERARY
​Day 1 - Picnic Key.
Your tour begins at 9:00 AM in Everglades City. After introductions, we’ll distribute kayak and camping gear and then take as much time as you need to pack and load your personal items. Before launching, we’ll thoroughly review the basics of sea kayaking including a paddling demonstration, safety procedures, how to get in/out of your kayak when stopping for a break and tips on what to do when a sea turtle or manatee surfaces next to you. After this orientation, we’ll launch our stable sea kayaks on the warm and calm waters of Everglades National Park! Today, we’ll paddle through the great maze of mangroves weaving our way closer to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, we'll encounter many migratory and resident birds, observe leaping mullet fish, maybe paddle along side a curious dolphin and possibly catch a silent manatee coming up for a breath. Around midday we'll stop for a picnic lunch and leg stretch. Come afternoon we'll reach the open water of the Gulf of Mexico and kayak to our designated campsite at Picnic Key where a white sand beach awaits us. A delicious dinner of appetizer, local seafood, fresh salad and dessert will surely recharge your energy levels. Tonight you will fall asleep beneath the countless stars from the comfort of your sleeping bag. Paddling distance: 6 miles. Lunch and dinner included. 

Client Testimonial ­ “We had a fantastic three day trip with Dave K. Our group consisted of nine family members from age 8 to 70. Dave led us out into the 10,000 Islands where we camped on a solitary beach and spent time exploring the mangroves and beaches. Dave was good natured, good humored, and calm - as well as an excellent cook! He was particularly great with the kids in the group insuring that everyone had a good time. The whole family enjoyed the trip tremendously and the kids are begging for the next adventure already. We got to see tons of wildlife and places most people never get to go. All of the equipment was provided and was in good shape. We would highly recommend Dave K. If you want a highly enjoyable, but low stress backcountry adventure, you will find it here!” Anna Small <annagsmall@me.com> Dec 22-24, 2014

 HIGHLIGHTS

  • The “Real” Everglades - You will get off the beaten path and fully experience the remote Everglades backcountry in only three days time while paddling a maximum of six miles on any day.​​
  • Up Close and Personal Wildlife -­ Kayak quietly and unobtrusively in the middle of feeding dolphins, float by gentle manatees, watch giant sea turtles swim by, plus observe countless birds.
  • First Class Camping ­- Spend two nights on a wild, remote and undeveloped beach. Only set up camp once and enjoy a full day of exploring in an empty kayak.
  • Guide Services -­ Go directly to the hidden places without the risk getting lost in a place where everything looks the same. Learn fascinating natural history from a certified Florida Master Naturalist.
  • Included Backcountry Permit -­ You won't have to arrive 24 hours ahead of time to stand in line and risk being shut out of a campsite. Let us handle the details!
  • All Inclusive -­ Our tours are fully outfitted and guided. Unlike “bare­boat” guides, all kayak equipment, camping gear and food is included at no additional cost. Don’t waste your valuable vacation time packing and hauling gear to Florida or trying to run down a supermarket in an unfamiliar city!
  • Safety -­ The internet is full of stories about dangerous gators and venomous snakes lurking in the Everglades. But, the fact is, we have never had a guest or guide harmed or even threatened by any wildlife. Please don’t let exaggerated fears or uninformed opinions stop you from coming!
  • “Easy Active” Rating -­ This is our easiest overnight trip and is suitable for beginning kayakers and families with children. It is perfect for newcomers to active and adventure travel. No previous kayaking or camping experience is required. We paddle a maximum of six miles each day over three hours.

This 3-day tour allows you to fully experience Everglades National Park. You will spend three days kayaking in the Everglades backcountry while only setting up camp once on a remote beach. On this tour, we will guide you through the maze of 10,000 Islands, take you out onto the open Gulf of Mexico, find ancient shell mounds to explore and lead you to hidden mangrove tunnels. You will sleep under the stars on a powder soft sand beach, spot shy manatee in their natural environment, paddle in the middle of frolicking dolphins and watch pelicans dive for their dinner at sunset. Not to mention enjoying fantastic food, first class camping and great company! All of this while paddling less than six miles per day. The tour is rated "easy active" and is perfect or beginning kayakers and families with children.

3-Day 10,000 Islands Base Camp Tour