A Day Trip Kayaking the Weeki Wachee River

mineral sunscreen

It’s no secret how beautiful Florida springs are. The crystal-clear springs in the Sunshine State are simply magical. Getting to experience the springs in different ways besides swimming is definitely a must. This is why I loved kayaking the Weeki Wachee River so much!

This is such a great way to enjoy the pristine waters of this river. And although when I paddled the color of the water wasn’t at its very popular crystal blue, it was still an incredible experience.

weeki wachee river tannins
Tannins in the water turn the hues into amber-red

Unfortunately, it had been raining for days before my kayaking adventure. Therefore, instead of having those gorgeous hues of blue and green in the water, there were hues of amber-red.

This actually occurs due to the tannins in the water. It’s a natural ecological process that occurs in the water after it rains.

Nonetheless, you can still see how crystal-clear the water is and it still looks magical in every single way!

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kayaking on the weeki wachee river
Kayaking the Weeki Wachee River

When is the Best Time for Kayaking the Weeki Wachee River?

Here in Florida, every day is the best day to visit a river! But as for kayaking on the Weeki Wachee River, I’d say the best time is early in the morning.

During the morning you have more chances of seeing wildlife and it’s less crowded. Believe it or not, it can get packed with other kayakers and canoers who come to paddle along this gorgeous river.

By arriving early, you can rest assured that you will be able to enjoy your kayaking adventure to the fullest and take the most beautiful pictures!

crystal-clear kayaks on the weeki wachee river
This was my favorite part. Alone in the beauty of nature!

Paddling the River on a Crystal-Clear Kayak

Paddling on any type of kayak can make for an amazing outdoor adventure. But, paddling on a crystal-clear kayak will indeed make it an even more magical experience!

I’ve actually had this on my bucket list for quite some time but hadn’t really thought about where I wanted to go.

kayaking weeki wachee river
Even with the tannins, the water is crystal clear!

When I found the crystal-clear kayak tours on the Weeki Wachee River with Get Up and Go Kayaking, I knew I just had to do it. Also, I had never been to Weeki Wachee Springs so the timing was perfect.

Weeki Wachee Springs is located on Florida’s Adventure Coast. It’s a 2-hour drive from the Orlando area up to Mary’s Fish Camp.

This is the actual meeting spot for the Get Up and Go Kayaking Weeki Wachee tour and it’s where you will be greeted by your tour guide.

mary's fish camp on the weeki wachee river
Mary’s Fish Camp

Details about the Crystal-Clear Kayaking Weeki Wachee Tour

The kayaking tour takes around 2.5 hours, starting from the Mud River which eventually flows into the Weeki Wachee River.

Our tour guide was Danny and he was awesome! He interacted with everyone the whole time and was also very knowledgeable of the area and shared some very interesting facts.

I also loved that you can use one of their waterproof bags to keep your belongings for the duration of the tour.

This was great for me because…yeah, I forgot mine. It’s not at all surprising how I always forget something. LOL

get up and go kayaking weeki wachee
Get Up and Go Kayaking Weeki Wachee Crystal-Clear Kayaks

Details about the crystal-clear kayak tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking Weeki Wachee | Duration: 2.5 hours | Price: $60 per adult | Reservations required

kayaking on the weeki wachee springs
Paddling down the Weeki Wachee River

As for the experience of paddling this river on a crystal-clear kayak, I loved being able to get a full view and enjoy the beauty of the crystal-clear water.

On the contrary, the thing I disliked the most was that this kayak was not as comfortable as a sit-in kayak.

However, having plenty of legroom in this kayak is something that I really liked.

paddling down the mud river in springhill florida
Weeki Wachee Springs crystal-clear kayak tour

Usually, manatees are very visible in this area, along with a variety of birds and turtles. It can be quite an amazing experience to view the gorgeous manatees while paddling on this crystal-clear kayak. Especially getting a chance to see them swimming under you.

But as for me, I wasn’t at all lucky this time around. Therefore, I have no pictures of manatees (bummer!).

If you like spotting wildlife, wearing polarized sunglasses is always best for wildlife viewing. Keep that in mind for your kayaking trip!

What to Bring to Your Crystal-Clear Kayak Tour

I brought everything I needed except a new bottle of bug spray–which I regret not having with me on this trip. Please don’t make the same mistake I did and bring one for your kayaking tour.

In addition to bug spray, here’s what else you need to bring.

paddling on crystal-clear kayaks
Kayaking adventures on the Weeki Wachee River
  • Drinking water. Please avoid plastic bottles. A MODL reusable bottle is ideal for this kind of adventure.
  • Swimsuit or quick-dry clothing
  • Healthy snacks for after the trip
  • Mineral Sunscreen
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Change of clothing–which I also forgot to bring!
  • And of course, an action camera or any camera of your preference. Just be mindful of your gear and use the provided waterproof bags to prevent your belongings from getting wet.

I encourage you to add this crystal kayak tour to your bucket list of great outdoor adventures in Florida! It’s one of those things that you will want to do more than once.

Have you ever gone paddling on a crystal-clear kayak before? Let me know in the comments!

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kayaking on the Weeki Wachee River

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Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is one 1/2 of the Next Stop Adventures dynamic duo with 15+ years of hiking experience and adventure travel. As a PADI-certified Scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Spain.

10 thoughts on “A Day Trip Kayaking the Weeki Wachee River”

  1. I think it’s about right to paddle from a clear color kayak on a crystal-clear river. The color changes in the water is unique. I wonder how it looks like when changes ti blue or green.

  2. This sounds like such an awesome experience! I’ve really only spent time in PCB and Orlando, so I’d love to explore more of Florida. I’ll definitely be putting this on my bucketlist!

  3. Ahhh! One way to distress yourself and to enjoy every single time just to relax and unwind. This is also a good place to be with your love one and talk about things while kayaking. Btw, thank you for sharing this Yanitza! It gives me an idea on what time I should be going to Wachee River to go Kayaking.

  4. Kayaking on the Weeki Wachee River looks amazing! I think I’d take your tip and go early in the morning for a peaceful nature adventure. Too bad you didn’t see any manatees – that would have been so cool to see them swimming under the clear kayak.


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