Manatees are here and in large numbers!

Crystal River is a small town along the West coast of Florida, and is home to some very special residents year round. The Florida Manatee, a large and docile mammal, often calls Kings Bay in Crystal River its home. Learn more about this amazing species below!


Photo above taken on a recent trip by one of our in water guides

Weighing upwards of two-thousand pounds, this marine mammal posses very little to no body fat. During the winter months, water temperatures in the Gulf can drop below fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Waters this cold can be very harmful and potentially fatal to manatees. Fortunately the Florida Manatee is no longer on the endangered species list. With cooperation from boaters and help from both federal and state Fish and Wildlife, rules and regulations to protect manatees have been effective.

Kings Bay’s natural springs produce a warm temperature of seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). Hundreds of manatees migrate here each year to stay warm for the winter. During these months, our 630 acre bay holds the largest congregation of manatees in the world. The ecosystem here is very unique, only being 7 miles from the inlet to the Gulf of Mexico. This makes for a short and easy swim to warm waters from their normal habitat. Click here for more information about the manatees.

Crystal River’s wintertime manatee population is the healthiest bunch of sea cows there are. This special place also has a special use permit allowing people to come and snorkel with these gentle giants. Citrus County is the only legal place in the world you can get in the water and engage in some manatee fun. Travelers from all over the world come to swim with them, and it’s an experience that will never be forgotten. Manatees are truly a remarkable species, and what other one-ton wild animal can you get within feet from while snorkeling? Right now manatees are piled into the springs, and awaiting you and your party to join them on a snorkeling adventure.

Interested in a manatee snorkeling trip? We’ve got everything you need to have an amazing experience swimming with manatees! Click here for more information or to book a tour.