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Nothing says wildlife like Florida’s flora and fauna! Welcome to a kayaking adventure like no other—this guided all-women trip promises an immersive experience in the pristine waters of Homosassa and Chassahowitzka Rivers, where we’ll paddle with the gentle giants of the sea, the manatees. Get ready for expert-led kayaking sessions and wildlife sightings of shore birds and colorful fish in Homosassa Springs State Park. We’ll also hike the Salt Marsh Trail at the end of our Homosassa Springs kayaking trip. So, whether you’re seeking thrilling encounters with wildlife or simply craving a rejuvenating escape, spending four days in manatees’ winter home sure sounds like a good idea. The manatees can’t wait to meet you!

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  • Wildlife encounters up close

    Paddle alongside manatees, observe various fish and shore birds such as Snowy Ibis and Great Blue Heron

  • Kayaking lessons

    Refine your kayaking skills and get personalized instruction by the experts

  • All-women retreat

    Enjoy the company of like-minded women, bond, and uplift each other while exploring Florida’s waterways

Itinerary

Join us for a guided all-women kayaking adventure through Florida’s pristine waterways, where we’ll explore the Homosassa and Chassahowitzka Rivers, and witness manatees in their natural habitat. This 4-day trip includes expert-led paddling sessions, hiking along the Salt Marsh Trail, and wildlife viewing, complemented by a visit to Homosassa Springs State Park. With all meals and sports equipment included, we ensure a seamless and immersive outdoor adventure. Create lasting memories while kayaking in Homosassa Springs!

  • Hello, ladies! We’ll meet at Tampa Airport at 10:15 am, then go for a 1.5-hour drive to Chassahowitzka Hotel. After settling in, we’ll enjoy a welcome lunch before hitting the water for a few hours of kayaking instructions on the Homosassa River to the back side of the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

    We’ll learn how to paddle safely and efficiently, as well as how to spot gentle manatees—keep an eye out for soft exhalations of air! Despite weighing multiple tons, they are very slow moving and pose no danger to us. After our kayak lesson, we’ll return to the hotel and our group dining area, enjoy a delicious dinner and discuss our upcoming plans.

    Meals: Lunch and dinner
    Accommodation: Chassahowitzka Hotel

     

    Group of women on a guided kayaking trip in Florida
  • Today, we’ll enhance our kayaking skills by heading up the scenic Halls River, potentially spotting manatees along the way. Depending on conditions and location of the manatees, we might choose a different destination. After lunch at the hotel, we’ll visit Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park by land.

    As a haven for rescued wildlife, the park will give us the chance to see recovering manatees and various fish through the underwater viewing station and to learn about native wildlife. We’ll return to the hotel after a couple hours in the park and conclude our evening with a delicious group dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Accommodation: Chassahowitzka Hotel

    Close encounter with manatees
  • On Day 3, we’ll explore another spring fed river, the Chassahowitzka, for an enchanting kayaking experience. With its Spanish moss draped palm trees and over 30 springs, some of which are well hidden, “the Chaz” feels ancient and primitive. We’ll paddle through crystal-clear waters, abundant with colorful fish.

    We’ll also keep an eye out for manatees in the turquoise blue water and watch for shore birds feeding in the waters. Afterward, we’ll return to our rooms to freshen up before visiting Three Sisters Spring. There, we can walk out on a boardwalk to three different springs where manatees hang out. We’ll cap off the day with a farewell dinner together.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Accommodation: Chassahowitzka Hotel

     

    Manatees swimming in Homosassa Springs
  • After breakfast, we’ll check out from our riverside hotel and embark on one last adventure! We’ll spend about an hour in the woods, hiking the Salt Marsh Trail. The trail offers a sweeping view of a vast span of salt marsh from an observation tower. It’s a perfect opportunity to stretch our legs before heading back to Tampa airport. You’ll be back by 1 pm and can book flights after 2:30 pm.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Flamingos in the river
  • Plans for any specific day are subject to changes due to weather conditions, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and the collective preferences of the group.

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Meet your guide

Adventures in Good Company
5.00
Adventures in Good Company
With over 100 destinations and 1,000 travelers each year, Adventures in Good Company strives to create hand-curated experiences of a lifetime. They offer empowering small group adventures for women seeking to (re)connect with themselves, other women, different cultures, and the natural world. As local experts for women’s active travel in the US, they handle all logistics, offering solo travelers, bucket-listers, and milestone event participants a full immersion in breathtaking locations. Adventures in Good Company focuses on camaraderie, support, and unforgettable challenges in the company of like-minded women and experienced guides.
5.00 (6 reviews)
Jennifer P. (source: Guide’s Website)

I love getting to learn how to kayak and experience the Manatees up close. The other ladies and guides were amazing. Great hotel with good food.

Mary M. (source: Guide’s Website)

The waterways we kayaked were beautiful and full of manatees. The guides were incredible, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, organized, and fun. This trip delivered!

Amanda L. (source: Guide’s Website)

Seeing the manatees in the “wild” was amazing! I’ll never forget how magical it was sitting in my kayak having a manatee swim under my kayak. Or to sit in silence and listen for the intermittent sounds of the manatees coming up for air. The other women on this trip were all fun and the guides were excellent!

Debra M. (source: Guide’s Website)

First, the two guides were great. Positive, informed, had everything planned out. I love kayaking and being part of nature while being with the manatees in their natural habitat was wonderful. I also appreciated that we had accommodations in and got to enjoy and absorb the local community.

Tamara V. (source: Guide’s Website)

Seeing so many manatees! Excellent guides and great trip participants. The accommodations were conducive to allowing the group to socialize and get to know each other. The food was fantastic and I enjoyed the family style meals. I especially liked having lots of fruits and vegetables.

Morgan L. (source: Guide’s Website)

Great personalities and organized trip with clear and casual communication.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • 4-day guided all-women Homosassa Springs kayaking adventure
      • Experienced guides with extensive knowledge of the area
      • Three nights double occupancy lodging
      • All meals from lunch on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 4
      • Round trip transportation from the Tampa airport to Homosassa Springs
      • Kayak rental and instruction
      • Entrance fees

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation, i.e., flights to and from Tampa airport
      • Alcoholic beverages
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional, but strongly recommended
  • To join this Homosassa Springs kayaking trip, you should have a moderate level of fitness. If you maintain a regular exercise routine including activities like walking, biking, or swimming for 20-40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week, you’re good to go! This trip is suitable for active women in basic good health with enough mobility to enter and exit the kayak when necessary.

    The pace is leisurely, perfect for those who enjoy active adventures but prefer a slower pace. Whether you know you love paddling or are trying kayaking for the first time, this trip offers a perfect blend of instruction and wildlife exploration amidst the stunning Florida wilderness. Homosassa Springs kayaking is ideal both for beginners and for seasoned paddlers.

    No previous paddling experience is required, as your guides will teach you everything you need to know about safety and kayaking strokes on stable boats on Day 1. You’ll learn basic kayak strokes on calm waters and by the end of the weekend you will be a competent and confident paddler! Even if it turns out that you don’t like kayaking, you’ll paddle in rivers while manatees stick their snouts out of the water beside your kayak! How amazing is that?!

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to hold your supplies for the day (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (1L capacity)
      • Comfortable shoes for paddling and walking
        • For winter, neoprene paddling booties/shoes are ideal
        • Solomon or Keen type water shoes, Teva/Chaco sandals or athletic shoes are also suitable
      • Comfortable clothes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
      • Paddling gloves — optional
      • Sunhat
      • 1-2 bandannas
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, shampoo, etc.)
      • Personal first aid/patch kit (Band-Aids, 1 safety pin, moleskin, Compeed or blister bandages, ibuprofen)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses (100% UV protection) with retention strap — polarizing sunglasses recommended
      • Ear plugs
      • Binoculars and camera — optional but highly recommended

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Meals during your Homosassa Springs kayaking trip will include breakfasts and most dinners provided by the lodge. Before you leave in the morning, the guides will put out lunch “fixings” and you will take a packed lunch. One evening, you’ll dine out, while other nights you’ll relax in the lodge and have dinner there.

    Dietary preferences like vegetarian, lactose-sensitive, and gluten-sensitive can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices may be limited. However, a completely gluten-free diet cannot be guaranteed and your guides cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination.

    Fully vegan diets may be challenging to accommodate due to location constraints. If you are gluten-sensitive, bringing gluten-free snacks is recommended. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please let us know before registering.

  • Accommodation for this Homosassa Springs kayaking adventure is at the charming Chassahowitzka Hotel, which you’ll have to yourselves. Nestled beside a majestic oak tree, the hotel exudes a nostalgic Florida charm, with a lovely veranda for relaxing. It is a classic “sportsman” hotel that has been renovated to accommodate groups and individuals alike.

    Rooms feature simple furnishings with one or two twin beds, and while they lack ensuite bathrooms, ample shared bathrooms are available in the hotel. You’ll be sharing a room with a fellow participant. If you’re coming by yourself, you don’t have to pay a single supplement unless you want to guarantee you have your own room. For those seeking privacy, there are limited single rooms at an extra cost and you can book a single supplement upon checkout.

  • Your guides have a very high success rate for finding wildlife. However, these are wild animals and sightings are not guaranteed. While wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed, kayaking in Homosassa Springs offers optimal opportunities to encounter protected Florida manatees in their natural habitat. You’ll also explore nooks and crannies to see the outstanding array of shorebirds wading, feeding and drying their wings: Great Ibis, Snowy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Anhinga, Cormorant, and Wood storks all call this area home.

    Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, where manatees gather during winter to conserve the energy necessary to survive the cold Gulf waters, provides an ideal setting to observe these gentle giants. While your guides aim for up-close encounters, it’s essential to respect their space and practice your “manatee manners”—look, don’t touch! While wildlife sightings are likely, they remain unpredictable, adding to the thrill and wonder of each moment spent in their presence.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this group all-women Homosassa Springs kayaking adventure, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate. The maximum number of participants should not exceed 12.

    Kayaking in Homosassa Springs can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Tampa, FL, the starting point of your Homosassa Springs kayaking adventure, most people fly into Tampa International Airport (TPA), 1.5 hours from your hotel. Once there, your guides will meet you at the airport at 10:15 am and drive you to Homosassa Springs.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A $300 USD deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to ninety-one (91) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund of the deposit.
      • For cancellations ninety (90) to forty-five (45) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total trip cost.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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