Featured Day Trip: Bioluminescence Paddle

Bioluminescence Kayak tour near Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Trip Overview

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We are the closest bioluminescence paddle to Orlando! So don’t spend your  time in traffic, spend it on the water experiencing natures magic!

The source of our “living lights”—bioluminescence—is dinoflagellates,  single-celled organisms common in marine environments. Each bioluminescent dinoflagellate flashes only a fraction of a second when disturbed by water movement, but its high concentrations in the warm Indian River water create beautiful bluish-white trails of light caused by swimming fish and paddling kayakers. A swimming manatee may be completely concealed in a spectacular, other-worldly cloud of “living light!”

Upon arriving at the park, check in with the trip leaders which includes signing a mandatory release of liability and assumption of risk form. You will be outfitted with a life jacket, kayak, and paddle. After some brief instruction, we will paddle as a group in search of the “living lights.” Most tours last a couple of hours, however, if the bioluminescence is super bright and dolphins or manatee show up on the scene, well . . . time just doesn’t matter.

Scheduled Trips: Every night beginning at 8:30 pm. Private tours are available any day or time  for groups of 8 or more.

Price: $45 per person + 6.5% Florida sales tax


Bioluminescence kayaking tour minutes from Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Driving Directions

We meet at :

Kelly Park East

2550 N. Banana River Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32952

Click here for google map directions

Bioluminescence Kayak tour minutes from Orlando and Walt Disney World.

What You Need To Bring

  • Headlamp
  • Bug Spray
  • Wear clothes that can get wet and possibly dirty
  • Rain Jacket, we go rain or shine

Featured Expedition- Undiscovered Nicaragua

Kayak, paddle, and explore Grenada Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Trip Overview

Welcome to Nicaragua, the very heart of the Americas. A lush tropical land with its sun-covered beaches, clear lakes, winding mountain rivers, volcanic islands, and by far the friendliest people. Traveling by foot, kayak, carriage, and private vans our group will discover the country’s amazing Spanish towns and villages with their eye-catching architecture, picturesque backdrops, and truly fascinating history.

Kayak, tour, and feast in Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Facts At A Glance

  • Level of Difficulty: Easy paddling each day with lots of breaks for relaxing, wildlife viewing, and exploring.
  • Dates: November 21-28, 2015
  • Trip Origination: Managua International Airport
  • What’s Included: Lodging, kayaks, entrance fees, airport pick up/drop off, all ground transportation during the tour, local Nicaraguan guides, all breakfasts, three dinners, and all day tours.
  • What’s Not Included: Flights, lunches, alcoholic beverages, four dinners, and any unscheduled activities.
  • Price: $1,200 per person, double occupancy.



Day 1 — (Saturday) Arrive and meet at Managua International Airport. Once all parties have arrived, our private van will take us to Hotel Terrasol, in the lovely town of Granada. Once everyone is settled in, Greg will make introductions, go over the week’s agenda, and answer any questions regarding the trip. Dinner will be in route to our hotel.

Cultural tour with kayaking and exploring in Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Day 2 — (Sunday) After a traditional Nicaraguan breakfast, our local guide will take us on a walking/carriage ride tour of the historical town of Grenada. On our tour we will visit:

  • the San Francisco Convent and Church  The oldest church in Central America and the most striking building in Granada, Iglesia San Francisco boasts a robin’s-egg-blue birthday cake facade and houses one of the best museums in the region. Originally constructed in 1585, pirates burned it to the ground and William Walker rebuilt in it 1868. In 1989, the church was restored to its former glory. The museum’s highlights include top-notch Primitivist art, a scale model of the city, and a group of papier-mâché indigenous people cooking, relaxing in hammocks and swinging on comelazatoaztegams, a sort of 360-degree see-saw.
  • The Zapatera statuary  The main reason we visit here, are two solemn regiments of black-basalt statues looming above large men and possessed of 10 times their gravity, carved between AD 800 and 1200, then left behind on the ritual island of Zapatera. Most were discovered in the late 1880s and gathered in Granada in the 1920s.
  • The Granada cemetery  Used between 1876 and 1922, this beautiful cemetery has lots of picturesque mausoleums and tombs, including those of six Nicaraguan presidents. Most people come to see the 1880 neoclassical stone Capilla de Animas (Chapel of Spirits), a scale model of the French chapel of the same name. Close by is another scale model, this time of Notre Dame cathedral.
  • La Polvora fort  A warehouse built in 1748 to store gunpowder. We will visit its old towers, which give you an amazing view of the city. Xalteva Church and Walls: Here the Spanish met the Xalteva native population, from which the neighborhood gets its name. This is the oldest part of Granada. The church was built during colonial times and because of its location, was used as a military fort.
  • Chocolate museum and tour (Hotel Terrasol)

Kayak Ometepe Island in Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Day 3 — (Monday) Time to get on the water and get some paddling time in. Today we kayak and explore the Isletas of Lake Nicaragua.

When the Mombacho Volcano erupted thousands of years ago, it threw huge rocks into Lake Nicaragua. As a result of this violent eruption 365 islets were formed in front of Granada. The islets differ in size between a hundred square meters and over one hundred hectares. Most of the people living here are fishermen.There are also uninhabited islets with only some palm trees growing on it.

Nicaragua kayak adventure with Adventures in Florida.

The wild nature, resident birds and visitors and the day-a-day routine of the local families make it an ideal place for kayaking around the lake.

You can slowly pass by the islands and catch a glimpse of the immensity of Lake Nicaragua. The birdlife around the islands is abundant. You can see cormorants, herons, parrots, hawks, vultures, and many other birds. The lake also houses lots of fish. Sweet water shark once crowded the lake, but this unique animal is nowadays threatened with extinction and barely ever seen. You can see the huge Mombacho Volcano arise right next to the lake.(Hotel Terrasol)

Day 4 — (Tuesday) Early morning today, Our private van will be picking us up at 6am. so we can make the ferry over to the amazing Ometepe Island. On the island we will visit:

  • Altagracia church with its stone statues.
  • Balgue: Finca Magdalena a cooperative that grows organic coffee.
  • Santo Domingo: Wonderful beach between the 2 volcanoes. We will lunch at the beachfront with extra time time for relaxing and swimming.
  • Charco Verde: Home of the Mythological figure, Chico Largo. You learn about this mysterious legend while walking around the lagoon enjoying the flora and fauna of this ecological reserve.

Our hotel for the evening is Hotel Charco Verde Inn. Considered one of the island’s finest, our hotel is wrapped around a jungle-shrouded, pearl-grey beach at the very entrance to the Charco Verde Ecological Preserve and the newly opened Mariposario. Rooms have attractive locally hand made furniture, polished wood ceilings, private terraces surrounded by lush tropical gardens, and excellent modern bathrooms. Dinner will be prepared and served on the lakefront.

Day 5 — (Wednesday) Start the morning with a swim or a long walk on the loop trail through the nature preserve. Keep an eye out for the howler monkeys. Soon after breakfast we will make our way back to the small village of Moyogalpa to catch our ferry off the island. Keep your cameras handy, The best views of the Volcano Concepcion are on the boat ride away from the island.

Our hotel for the next few days will be the Backpackers Inn. Do not let the name fool you. This is not a youth hostel filled with intoxicated poor college kids who don’t know how to pick up after themselves. Just the opposite. Take a look at http://www.backpackers-inn.com/

Kayak Ometepe Island in Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Day 6 — (Thursday) Today we will spend the entire day exploring, playing, and relaxing at Reserva Natural Laguna De Apoyo. This natural gem is hidden deep into a richly forested volcanic crater created some 23,000 years ago. The crystal clear sparkling water covers Central America’s lowest point. The clean water is fed by hidden volcanic springs and is saturated with minerals that people believe have amazing therapeutic powers.

The Reserve is home to sloths, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, jaguarundis, and six endemic species of fish. Popular activities include snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, wind surfing, and relaxing on the lakeshore.

Tonight dinner will take place at Zaguan. Known as the best place in Nicaragua for authentic churrascos. This will be our consummate Granada dinning experience. The decor is delightful. What used to be a garage has been transformed into a romantic, festive restaurant.
(Hotel Backpacker inn)

Day 7 — (Friday) Masaya Volcano, just a few miles south-east of Managua, is one of Nicaragua’s most active and unusual volcanoes.

In contrast to most other volcanoes in subduction zones, it has been erupting mainly fluid basaltic lava. At the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, it contained an active lava lake and it is reported that there were attempts to extract the volcano’s molten “gold.”

Explore, kayak, and tour Nicaragua with Adventures in Florida.

Masaya is a complex consisting of a 6×11.5 km large caldera with steep, up to 300 m high walls, and a group of young cones at the NW end including Nindirí and Masaya volcano proper. There are multiple summit craters including the currently active Santiago crater, the site of the current activity. See and learn more at: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/masaya.html.

Our group will hike up to the active smoking crater and dormant crater; we will also visit the Park museum.

A short drive will get us to the Mercado de Artesanía. Here we will find traditionally made local ceramics & woodcrafts, hammocks, jewelry, and leather work. At the end of town we can visit the amazing Catarina lookout with its breath taking view of Apoyo Crater Lake.

On our drive back to Grenada we will visit a working pottery studio/school that still employs the same techniques as the early Myan.

Our farewell dinner will be in Granada at the Comidas Tipicas y Mas, the most famous restaurant for traditional Nicaraguan meals. With so much comfort food most everyone will want to walk the few blocks back to our hotel. (Hotel Backpackers Inn)

Day 8 — (Saturday) One last traditional Nicaraguan breakfast and coffee before we say our goodbyes. Greg will happily make any transportation arrangements back to the airport for folks. Everyone is encouraged to continue traveling in Nicaragua and beyond. For folks wanting to stay longer, Greg will be heading out to the Corn Islands for an additional 3 days of kayaking, beach combing, and serious relaxing.

Nicaragua kayak tour with Adventures in Florida.

Meals and Accommodations

We will divide our lodging between the amazing Hotel Terrasol and the Backpackers Inn. Both are charming and the backpackers has a great pool. Breakfasts will be provided and served at the hotels, lunches will be out, and dinners will be at the Terrasol or at a local restaurant.

Important! Be sure to download the mandatory Registration forms.

Featured Day Trip: Manatees and Mermaids

Kayak with manatee, dolphins, and alligators with Adventures in Florida on Juniper Springs, the Silver River, or Alexander Springs.

Trip Overview

Well known for its year round manatee population. Made famous by beautiful mermaids, Florida’s central west coast has become the “nature coast”. Enjoy a week of kayaking, canoeing, tubing, hiking, snorkeling with wild manatee, and exploring some of Florida’s largest springs. Every night we return to our private riverside lodge to relax and enjoy great company, river scenery, and southern cuisine done right.

Kayak with manatee, dolphins, and alligators with Adventures in Florida on Juniper Springs, the Silver River, or Alexander Springs.

Facts At A Glance

  • Level of Difficulty: Easy — no prior paddling experience necessary OR Intermediate — involves paddling 15 miles or more per day (delete the one you don’t want per trip)
  • Dates: Nov 24-30, 2013
  • Trip Origination: Orlando International Airport
  • What’s Included: Most meals, lodging, kayaks, kayaking gear, guides, permits, ground transportation, and most everything else to make your vacation more enjoyable.
  • Meals:  All meals but one lunch and one dinner is included. Your meals will be made daily and will reflect local cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood and local produce.
  • Price: $1300.00 per person



Day 1 — All participants will be picked up at one pm at the Orlando International Airport. Our private van will the take us to our river lodge near Dunellon Florida. We will stop for lunch in route. (not included in the trip price) After settling in the guides will go over the weeks schedule. Dinner and cocktails will soon follow.

Day 2 — Today finds us paddling the Withlacoochee River. This river flows out of the Green Swamp in west central Florida. The river twists and bends through the sandhill area as it moves northwest. Hardwood forests with an under story of cabbage palm and saw palmetto border the river. Further downstream the hills disappear as you paddle through lush swampland with cypress, gum and maple adorned with air plants. The overhanging limbs form a lacy canopy. Much of the river flows through the Withlacoochee State Forest, but there are scattered residential areas along the river. The variety of habitats offers opportunities for nature study. Wildlife is abundant along the river. Deer, turkey, otter and alligator are common. Wood duck, wood stork, white ibis and anhinga can also be seen.

Day 3 — We start the day early to catch an early morning boat ride to Crystal River and the year round manatee that make this area their home. Make sure you bring your underwater cameras because we will jump over board and actually snorkel with these gentle giants.

We return to the lodge for lunch then make our way to the head springs of the Rainbow River. This is a Florida classic lazy river, perfect for an afternoon of tubing and snorkeling. The crystal clear water allows us the opportunity to view otter, turtles, and alligators.

Kayak with manatee, dolphins, and alligators with Adventures in Florida on Juniper Springs, the Silver River, or Alexander Springs.

Day 4 — Our travels will find us in the Ocala National Forest. Putting in on the Silver River we will paddle to the source, the Silver Springs. A paddle trip on the Silver River in the Ocala National Forest features some of Florida’s most beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife. This short river with translucent blue headsprings has been described as magnificent and magical, but in 1873 Harriett Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin said it best with “There is nothing on earth comparable to it.”

The headwaters start at Silver Springs, the world’s largest natural artesian spring, which produces nearly 550 million gallons of water each day. Because of the substantial flow, the paddle upstream can be strenuous but well worth the effort. Seven miles downriver, the crystal clear Silver meets the tea-colored Oklawaha River.

Spending the day on Silver River will reveal why the Silver Springs attraction bills itself as “Nature’s Theme Park”. Beside the subtropical landscape, the river is famous for its abundant wildlife. Anhingas, ducks, egrets, herons, ibis’, hawks, limpkins and kingfishers are some of the many birds that inhabit the area.

The fish species is well represented by bluegill, sunfish, bass and prehistoric-looking Longnose Gar. If you have never seen one, gars are cylindrical fish up to four feet in length with long snouts and very sharp teeth. Reptiles are a-plenty too. Turtles and alligators can easily be spotted sunning themselves while lizards and snakes present more of a challenge.

One animal that you wouldn’t expect to find in Central Florida is the Rhesus monkey. Several troops of these monkeys live wild along the length of the river. Legend has it the monkeys are descendants of escapees from Tarzan films shot at Silver Springs; however the Silver Springs web site (www.silversprings.com) lists the source as a concessionaire who operated the Jungle Cruise boat ride during the 1930s. The monkeys were placed on an island in the river and they simply swam off and disappeared into the neighboring forest.

Kayak with manatee, dolphins, and alligators with Adventures in Florida on Juniper Springs, the Silver River, or Alexander Springs.

Day 5 — A very unique experience awaits us today. We will start with a visit to the large springs in Chaskawitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Then we will paddle towards the coast passing freshwater springs, thick hardwood hammocks, bayou, salt mud flats, then coastal plains.

This refuge provides habitat for approximately 250 species of birds, over 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 25 different species of mammals. Endangered and threatened species on the refuge include manatees, sea turtles, and bald eagles. The refuge consists of coastal saltmarsh, shallow bays, tidal streams, and rivers, mangrove islands, and coastal maritime hammock.

After dinner we will celebrate the full moon on a late night cruise onboard a private pontoon cruise boat down the Rainbow River or Withlacoochee River. With the bright moonlight guiding us we will seek out the nocturnal wildlife thick in the swamps, creeks, and sloughs we pass.

Day 6 — Another exciting day! We will visit the Homosassa River and the Homosassa State Wildlife Park. The park has an underwater viewing room, where you can watch schools of saltwater and freshwater fish circling the manatees, plus a bird area, reptile lectures, and a large pen full of large alligators.

In the evening we will have time for more fun at Rainbow Springs or folks can rent bikes and peddle the Withlacoochee state trail that follows the Withlacoochee River.

Day 7 — After a big breakfast and may be a morning hike, everyone will have time to pack up before heading back to Orlando and the airport. We should arrive at the airport between 2-3 pm..

Important! Be sure to download the Kayak/Touring/Lodge Gear List and the mandatory Registration forms.

Kayak with manatee, dolphins, and alligators with Adventures in Florida on Juniper Springs, the Silver River, or Alexander Springs.

Meals and Accommodations

We will be staying at The Rainbow River Club and Lodge. This is a private lodge that we were invited to stay at. Everyone will be staying in two bedroom cabins. One bedroom has a queen size bed the other bedroom has two doubles. Each cabin has a full kitchen, bathroom, and living room. The rooms are clean, there is hot water, and the showers work great. Couples will of course get the rooms with a queen size bed individual participants will be sharing the rooms with doubles.

What People Are Saying About Us

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 10, 2014     5 STARS!

We’ve lived in Florida for over 20 years, and have been to many scenic springs and beaches in the state. This nighttime bioluminescence kayaking experience was, by far, the most fun our family of 4 has had – unanimously. It’s like nothing we’ve ever experienced. The fish in the water literally look like shooting stars.

I’m not a big outdoorsy person, and kayaking was much easier than I thought it would be. It does not take Herculean upper body strength or great balance. A small stroke and you just glide through the water. The guides are positioned in front of and behind the group, which keeps everyone together, and the trip takes about 2 hours, but feels much shorter, especially when you get caught up paddling to the dolphins that are playing around.

Our kids are 13 and 12, which I think is a great age for this activity. Greg was very knowledgeable and friendly, explaining what we were seeing and offering easygoing tips to help maximize the light show. He told my son and I to dip our hands into the water – our hands came back up looking like there were tiny diamonds scattered all over them. Then the “diamonds” disappeared. This totally blew our minds. My son, who is more into video games than I’d like him to be, had a delightful reaction and spontaneously blurted out, “Oh Mom! Thank you!” I’ve never heard awe in his voice like that before. Fortunately it was dark and nobody had to see me get misty.

Get those kids that are growing up fast on this amazing, memory-making family excursion. Drive the hour from Disney if you have to. You will not be disappointed.

Visited August 2014

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