If you are looking for outdoor things to do in the Sarasota area, then this family-friendly, eco tour is for you. Come travel through the exotic mangrove tunnels, and explore Sarasota Bay, which is frequented by manatees and dolphins. This tour is a favorite for all ages and skill levels.
Mangrove Tunnel Paddleboard (SUP) Tour
Take a guided tour of our most popular area on South Lido Key which includes a search on the open bay for Manatee, dolphin, and many other types of wildlife followed by a route through incredible Mangrove Tunnels for a wonderful trip you won’t soon forget!
The tour lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes give or take a few. The first hour or so will be a loop on Sarasota Bay, where the guide will try and find wildlife both large and small, and will give lots of fun facts and information about the local ecosystem and some history of the area. The second leg takes you to to another world through amazing Mangrove tunnels, which are canopy covered trails through an enchanting Mangrove forest!
Manatees are frequently seen from March through December, when the waters are warm. The remaining months of the year, manatees can be seen, but it is less frequent. Dolphins may be seen year round as they feed and travel through the surrounding mangrove islands and channels.
The Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnels Tour is ideal for all ages.
No…we get this question all the time! There are no alligators on the Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnel Tour. However, our Myakka River Tour has lots of alligators.
Yes, this tour is great for beginners, as well as advanced paddlers. We start each tour with on-water paddling instructions for those who need it. Then your guide will provide feedback and help along the way.
Depending on the time of year, a wide variety of tropical birds can be seen on the Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnels Tour. Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Snowy Egrets, Green Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, Cormorants, Pelicans, and occasionally Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets, Bald Eagles, White Pelicans, and many more.
There are an abundance of live shells on the Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnels Tour that can easily be seen in these shallow protected waterways. The Florida Horse Conch (the state shell), Lightning Whelks, True Tulips, Banded Tulips, Clams, Scallops, and Crown Conchs are quite common. In addition to these beautiful live shells, you can also view Sea Stars (Starfish), Sea Urchins, Sea Anemones, Sea Cucumbers, and many more invertebrates. We stress the word “live“ because the shells are living creatures. They’re protected and must stay in the water, but you can certainly enjoy viewing and even holding them on your tour.
Your safety is paramount. So cancelling a tour depends on the weather conditions. If the forecast is a light drizzle, then the tour will launch at the regularly scheduled time. If there are thunderstorms or any hint of lightning, then the tour will be postponed or cancelled. However, if you choose not to go on the tour due to weather conditions, or if your tour is cancelled, you will receive a full refund.
This tour is in shallow, protected waters of Sarasota Bay, so there is limited influence from wind and currents. The water is usually very clear which makes it great for viewing sea life.
If you would like to tip your tour guide we have two options.
#1) You can tip your guide on the tour in Cash.
#2) Include a tip during your reservation on a credit card.
The Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnels Tour launches from the NORTH entrance of South Lido Park, referred to as the Ted Sperling Nature Park on Lido Key (190 Taft Drive, Sarasota, Florida 34236). It’s located about one mile South of St. Armanda’s Circle. Some people confuse this location with the south entrance of Lido Park that is located at the south end of Lido Key. Please note that this is not the physical address of Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures. This is a Sarasota County Park.
The nearest address for the Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnel Tour launch is 190 TAFT DR. SARASOTA, FL 34236. Once you arrive at this location, take a left onto Taft Drive and go straight into the South Lido Nature Park. This road dead-ends into a small parking lot. Just ask for Almost Heaven when you arrive!
We have boards for all shapes and sizes. We will assist you with finding the right SUP at the time of your tour. Our goal is to make sure that you are comfortable and enjoy your adventure.
We highly recommend bringing a bottle of water and items that you would normally have while you are in the sun (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses). Cameras are okay, but we suggest putting them in a drybag if they are not waterproof. We can provide small drybags to hold cellphones, keys, etc.
Most people wear t-shirts, shorts and/or bathing suits. During the winter months we suggest a light windbreaker or a sweatshirt depending on the temperature and the wind conditions. The most important thing is to be comfortable. As for shoes, wear something that you don’t mind getting wet flip-flops, water shoes, or old sneakers are ideal.
This tour is ideal for anyone interested in having fun while learning more about one of our more popular local ecosystems. It’s a hands-on experience that is perfect for all ages, skill levels and physical conditions…making the Lido (Sarasota) Mangrove Tunnels Tour our most popular paddling adventure. Depending on the time of year, manatees and dolphin frequent this area. If you never have had the opportunity to experience manatees up close and personal, here’s your chance!
Paddle with us through otherworldly Mangrove Tunnels which are home to a plethora of birds and all sorts of marine life! Keep a lookout on the open water portion of the tour for a chance to encounter Manatees or Bottlenose Dolphins up close!
The best way to see Siesta Key is from the water! A relaxing loop through a marine preserve with a stop on a secluded beach known for great shelling is a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon in paradise!
Kayak and Paddleboard (SUP) Rentals. If you'd rather spend the day exploring the beautiful Sarasota Bay and enchanting Mangrove Tunnels at your own pace, a rental option may be for you! We even offer delivery!