where can you swim with manatees in florida

Where in Florida can you swim with manatees?

Crystal River area
There’s only one place in North America where you legally swim with manatees, and that’s in the Crystal River area— located about 90 minutes north of Tampa, on the west coast of Florida. The headwaters of Crystal River are known as Kings Bay, where the water temperature is a consistent 72 degrees year-round.Oct 16, 2020

Where can I swim with manatees in Florida for free?

Swim with manatees for free – Hunter Springs Park
  • United States.
  • Florida (FL)
  • Crystal River.
  • Crystal River – Things to Do.
  • Hunter Springs Park.

How much does it cost to swim with the manatees in Florida?

Our public manatee tours start at $59.95 and go up to $65 for peak manatee season (November-April). Private manatee tours are $449 for a boat that holds up to six people, larger private manatee tours can be arranged for an additional $75 per person.

What time of year can you swim with manatees in Florida?

The best time to swim with manatees in Florida is from mid-November to late March. Only then hundreds of manatees are present at the springs. The total population in Crystal River alone reaches up to 800 manatees during the winter months.

Is it illegal to swim with manatees in Florida?

Their population has hit just over 6,300 animals in Florida, an increase of only 1,267 since 1991. So it is illegal to swim with manatees in their habitat anywhere in the United States except in Citrus County.

Can you swim with manatees in Crystal River without a tour?

Yes, that’s possible, but only if you are a local who knows where to go, what to do, and how to conduct yourself properly in their habitat. Swimming with the manatees requires planning and knowledge, including locating the right place to snorkel with them legally, bringing the right gear, and mastering manatee manners.

Why is touching manatees illegal?

You are not supposed to touch manatees because that can trigger a change in behavior in the animals. Manatees are already an imperiled species because of their easygoing and curious nature, which predisposes them to several risks including being mowed down by speed boats.

Can I swim with manatees on my own?

The only place you can legally swim with the Florida manatee is in Crystal River, Florida. Here, and only here, the Federal Government allows for “passive observation” in the water (keep reading to find out what this means). The best time to swim with manatees is in the winter.

Do you have to wear a wetsuit to swim with manatees in Florida?

We do require that you wear a wetsuit when you snorkel with the manatees as they help you stay warm, buoyant, and assist you in keeping your feet near the top of the water and not dangling, which often will stir up the bottom and scare the manatees.

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Where can I swim with manatees in summer?

About Crystal River

Crystal River is the only place in Florida where it’s legal to swim with manatees in their natural habitat. Located in Citrus County, the area gets busy and draws crowds because of the high number of manatees found in Kings Bay.

What time of year is best to see manatees in Florida?

The peak season for observing manatees is November through April, and the local manatee population swells to its largest size between December and February. You can spot manatees in our waterways all year round, but the population is much smaller during the summer months.

How much does it cost to go to Crystal River Florida?

General Admission
Age Summer Winter
Adult $12.50 $20.00
Senior (55+) $12.50 $17.50
Military $11.50 $15.00
Child (6 – 15) $7.50 $7.50

Where can you find manatees?

Manatees inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (T. manatus, West Indian manatee), the Amazon basin (T. inunguis, Amazonian manatee), and West Africa (T. senegalensis, West African manatee).

Are the manatees in Crystal River now?

The manatee season at Crystal River NWR begins in mid-November and ends in late March. … During the winter months, manatees come to the springs of Crystal River NWR to conserve the energy necessary to survive the cold Gulf waters. Manatees are not here to amuse visitors.

What time of day is best to see manatees?

early morning
Best time of day to swim with manatees

And the best time of day to join the manatees is the early morning. It has been said that the best day to see manatees would be early morning of the coldest day of the year. Another good reason for an early excursion to see the manatees is that there are fewer people around.

where can you swim with manatees in florida
where can you swim with manatees in florida

Is it safe to swim in the Manatee River?

That said, swimming the Manatee River is not recommended. Instead, keep your eyes on the surface and by the shore, and you may be lucky enough to spot a few beady eyes and scaly backs in the shallows. Manatee River alligators tend to sleep below the surface during the day but are often seen surfacing at dusk.

How do I attract manatees to my dock?

Manatees can be found in rivers and springs as well as congregating at fresh water drainage pipes. Some people attract manatees to their docks by letting them drink water from ordinary garden hoses.

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Is it illegal to give manatees freshwater in Florida?

Fact: It is illegal to give manatees food or water.

Manatees are protected under state and federal law. … According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, anyone convicted of violating state law faces maximum fines of $500 and/or up to 60 days in prison.

Are there alligators in Crystal River?

Re: Are there Alligators?? Well, there is gators there, but, they will stay in the more swampy, much less traveled areas, not usually where you will go to swim wih manatees.

Where can I pet manatees?

HOMOSASSA, Fla. — Chilly weather is the perfect time of year to swim with manatees, and Citrus County offers the most unique experience in the entire nation. Since the 1970s, Citrus County has been the only place in America where you can swim with and touch manatees legally.

Is it illegal to touch manatees?

According to the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, it is illegal to molest, harass, disturb or—as Waterman found out—hug a manatee. Federal laws also protect the species, which is listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Is it legal to touch manatees in Florida?

While they are lovable, gentle slow moving creatures, manatees are protected by state and federal law. You can watch them all you want, but you can’t touch them. … In Florida, touching a manatee is a misdemeanor, and the penalty is up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Can you swim with manatees in the Florida Keys?

The ONLY place to legally swim with manatees is Crystal River in the Gulf west of Orlando. You CANNOT legally swim, touch, or molest them in the Keys.

Are manatees protected in Florida?

Law Enforcement and Protection

Florida manatees were first protected through Florida State Law in 1893. Manatees are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act (§379.2431(2), Florida Statutes) and are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Where can you swim with manatees in Orlando?

Crystal River
Crystal River, about 87 miles from Orlando, is one of only two places in the U.S. where people can swim with Florida manatees. Manatee Tour and Dive offers snorkeling tours with the sea cows in Kings Bay. Snorkels, masks and wetsuits are provided.

How much does swimming with manatees cost?

How much does it cost to swim with manatees? Tours with a guide cost $65-$80 + tip for a 2-3 hour tour. You can expect up to an hour and a half in the water with the manatees. Most tours provide wet suits, snorkel, masks, towels, and additional flotation devices like a noodle.

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Can kids swim with manatees?

Kids who can swim (usually at least 2 years old) and seniors of all ages are welcome to swim with the manatees. While there is essentially no age limit, participants are expected to be comfortable in the water and parents are advised to stay close to their children at all times to ensure safety.

Is swimming with manatees worth it?

Swimming with manatees is by far one of the best wild animal encounters you can ever have, and the nature coast of Florida is the only place you can do so legally. … A very popular location where the manatees converge year after year is the Crystal River and Homosassa Springs area.

What is the best time of year to swim with manatees?

The best months to swim with manatees in Crystal River are between November and April when manatees are crowded around warm water springs.

Can you see manatees in Florida in summer?

Manatees are easier to spot in Florida in the winter months and early spring. … Winter is the time to search for these Florida giants because they are easier to spot as they flock the clear waters. They are harder to find in the summer because they migrate to different areas.

Can you swim with manatees in Florida in June?

6 answers. Yes, there are several year round residents. if coming in the summer they are harder to find- I recommend taking a tour. over a year ago.

Where can I see manatees in Florida during summer?

  • Blue Spring State Park (Florida Park Service) – …
  • Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (US Fish and Wildlife Service) – …
  • Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park (FPS) – …
  • Fanning Springs State Park (FPS) – …
  • Lee County Manatee Park – …
  • Manatee Springs State Park (FPS) – …
  • Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (USFWS) –

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