Kayaking Tour “Cypresses, Blue Springs, Alligators & Birds”
April 13 — 17, 2022.
Tour start and finish — Jacksonville, FL
Dates: April 13 — 17 of 2022
Price: $ 1450 per participant (limit: 7 participants).
Instructor: Alex Mironyuk
Deposit: $ 350 (payments accepted for the remainder of the balance)
Come explore one of the most unusual, picturesque ecosystems in southern USA — cypress swamps and rivers, where old trees are growing in the middle of the water. Those places are very seldom visited by tourists due to their remoteness, lodging problems, luck with restaurants, and so on. In addition, most of the time the weather is hot and humid.
But we’re going there during the most comfortable season when the temperature usually won’t go higher than 75°F and won’t go lower than 50°F.
These swamps and rivers are home to countless bird species, deer, rabbits, raccoons, turtles and other beautiful animals as well as to Florida’s infamous gators. With that in mind always be alerted to encounter all of them nany times during our tour!
You will get a chance to explore the area like you have never even imagine it before. I will lead you to all my favorite places all around the cypress swamps, rivers and springs.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. This Workshop Involves some kayaking at the cypress lakes and rivers.
Fitness Level: Like with any outdoor activity, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Airport: Jacksonville, FL.
Transportation: included in the tour’s price
Lodging: hotel and simple forest cabins lodging is included in the tour’s price (2 people per room/bedroom). Each forest cabin furnished with 2 queen beds with linens, towels, blankets and pillows. Also each cabin has a shower, coffee machine and tabletop stove. You can upgrade your stay to a single occupancy for $580 (subject to cabins availability).
Meals: are not included in the tour price. Last two nights of our tour we will live close to the lake in comfortable forest cabins. We can cook for ourselves (there are several different options such as: grilling, stove-top cooking, and of course the age old microwavable food).
Canoeing/kayaking: you tour’s payment includes 2 person canoe so you will ride it with another participant. You can upgrade it to single ride (canoe or kayak) for an additional $320.
No level of kayaking experience is necessary for participants. Whether you are just beginning or are a experienced kayaker, I am happy to help you with operating of your Canoe (kayak).
Day 1. April 13, Wednesday
Our group will meet at a car rental facility near Jacksonville International Airport at 5 PM where we can meet everyone and get to know each other. After short introducing meeting we will go to our very first dinner together. After dinner we will drive for about 1.5 hors to our hotel.
Night in hotel
Day 2. April 14, Thursday
That morning we will get in our canoe at about 8 AM to start the adventure on one of the most amazing Florida’s river with countless springs along of the river banks.
Believe it or not but for about 6 miles the water would be blue and crystal clear so you will be able to see the river’s bottom almost all the time throughout our journey on the water.
First 4 miles we will paddle our canoe through the real wilderness full of egrets, herons, ibises, hawks, ospreys, deer, turtles and maybe even some small gators.
Another 2 miles brings us into amazing small township on both side of that river with picturesque piers, docks, boardwalks and beaches (swimming places) and we will have a lunch there (you need to bring your own lunch with you) and if you want — you can swim at that crystal clear warm water too!
As soon as we will pass that township we have to paddle another 6 miles on brown water sharing the river with some small motorboats and pontoon boats. Along these 6 miles we will have a chance to watch for different birds and again for some gators
The total length of our today’s river’s journey would be something about 12 miles. But don’t be afraid that this would be a hard workout — a regular not trained person can make it for about 5-6 hours in a very relaxing pace because the river’s currant will work for us too!
After that long day full of physicals exercises we definitely will deserve a good dinner in local restaurant.
Night at Hotel
Day 3. April 15, Friday
At the morning after breakfast we will check out from our rooms and load all our luggage to our cars. This day we will explore Santa Fe river with countless springs and unique cypress sceneries along the river. Perhaps we will see less birds and reptiles than yesterday, but we definitely will make more stops at many Florida’s springs and will enjoy truly Florida’s experience other than beaches and palm trees.
Today again we roughly will paddle downstream for about 6-7 miles. And like yesterday everyone needs to take a lunch to the canoe. Even if you didn’t swim yesterday today most likely everyone wants to try swim at some warm spring. All year around the water temperature in these springs is 72°F, so you wouldn’t be cold.
As soon as we finish our trip we have to drive for about 2 hours to our next destination — to a huge cypress swamp full of cypress and alligators.
For the next 2 days we will live close to the lake in comfortable forest cabins. We have to cook for ourselves So most likely this evening we will have some BBQ dinner
Day 4. April 16, Saturday
After breakfast (we have to cook it for ourselves) we launch our canoes and start paddling into the remote part of the swamp to see thousand of cypress, birds and alligators. Unlike our previous days our trip today can be described as out and back, so we don’t have to paddle some certain distance. We will go while we feel comfortable to return back to our cabin. It would be approximately 6-8 miles round trip with very slow water currant. Other words, we again will spend pretty much all day on the water.
At the evening we again will grill (cook) some delicious dinner for ourselves and enjoy some glass of wine or bottle of beer.
Day 5. April 17, Sunday
After breakfast we are checking out from our cabins and driving for about 40 minutes to another part of that swamp. The very last time during this trip we will launch our canoe and start paddling to the most wide open part of the swamp, where we can see cypress alleys with amazing spanish moss hanging on all trees.
As yesterday we are going out and back, so we will paddle until we will have enough time to get to the airport on time. Most likely it would be 4-5 miles paddling trip.
We will come back to our cars by 3-4 PM, and by 5.30 — 6 PM can be at Jacksonville international Airport and our trip will be official over.
Payment schedule and cancellation policy:
The full price for the trip is $ 1450
A deposit of $ 350 is due during sign up to reserve a space in this trip.
Cancellation policy — Your deposit is fully refundable for up to 60 days before trip start (to February 13, 2022). If you will decide to cancel your trip after that date than your deposit became non-refundable.
The final balance of $ 1100 is due by March 1, 2022. Full payment is due at this time, and there will be no refunds on the full amount owed if you cancel after the final payment. However, if we find another client to fill your space, you will receive a full refund, minus your non-refundable deposit.
If we will cancel this trip— you will get a full refund.
What is included:
- Double occupancy room* in a hotel and in a forest cabins;
- Rent of a canoe for 2 persons (so you will ride it with another participant) and some help in their using. You can upgrade it to single ride (canoe or kayak) for an additional $320.
- guidance to a wonderful variety of locations;
- An incredible, unforgettable experience, full of adventure with amazing people and loads of great photos!!!
* You can upgrade your lodging to a single occupancy for $580 — just send this inquiry before you will book the workshop.
What is NOT included:
- Meals and snacks;
- Medical Insurance & Incidental Costs;
- Air fare to and from Florida;
- Travel passports, visas, and other travel documents;
- Alcoholic beverages.
Recommended Personal Gear:
- Rubber boots or water shoes — you might to step into water in order to get in to a canoe or get out from it.
- Dry bag to care your gear and lunch in the canoe
- Waterproof sleeve or case for your phone
- Rain jacket and rain pants
- Fleece jacket
- Extra warm clothing for possible cold weather condition including long underwear, hats and gloves
- sun glasses
- sun screen
- anti-mosquito repellant
Questions? Please feel free to call me at (386) 627-1449 if you have any questions, or send me a message.
A follow-up email with schedule details, recommended gear, and a liability release will be sent to registered photographers.