Last Updated on May 15, 2023

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Kayaking stands to be one of the most popular things to do in the southern Florida islands of Key West.  The ecosystem in Key West is well-maintained and preserved.  Because of this, one of the best ways to explore the protected parks, marshes, and mangroves of Key West is with one of their kayak tours. 

With these 7 best Key West kayaking tours, you’ll find a variety of experiences with guides to educate you on the diverse wildlife and their habitats.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced kayaker, searching for a couples day out or a family vacation, you won’t regret exploring the Keys by kayak! 

 

Top Choice √ Best Key West Kayaking Tour

Best Half-Day Key West Kayaking Tour:

Half-Day Key West’s Ultimate Sandbar Adventure with Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour

Best Full-Day Key West Kayaking Tour:

Key West Full-Day Island T’ing Eco-Tour: Sail, Kayak and Snorkel

 

 

Booking a last-minute trip to Key West?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended hotels and accommodations!

Top Hotels In Key West

Douglas House – (Budget Inn Perfect For Couples)

The Capitana Key West – (Top Rated Luxury Hotel)

Hampton Inn Key West FL  – (Best Rated Key West Beachfront Hotel)

Simonton Court Historic Inn & Cottages – (Top-Rated Cotatge In Downtown Key West)

 Looking To Get Around In Key West?

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗

 

 

 

Key West Kayaking Tours- 7 Highest Rated!

 

Photo Credit- Blue Moon Kayak Key West

Great for beginner or advanced kayakers, this private tour of the Mangroves is perfect for groups of up to 15 guests.

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 95 reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 3 hours

Great for beginner or advanced kayakers, this private tour of the Mangroves is perfect for groups of up to 15 guests.

Your guide will teach you about the history of Key West, South Florida, and the ecosystems you’ll be paddling through. 

On the way to the Mangrove, you’ll also go through the Gulf of Mexico and Cow Key Channel.  You never know what you’ll find on your way to the Mangrove Maze!

You’ll have knowledgeable guides who will help you navigate through the Gulf and channels for a safe and fun kayaking experience. 

Included in your tour: 

  • Bottled water
  • Kayaks, Life Jackets, Paddles, Whistles

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

Kira was our tour guide and she set such a fun vibe right from the beginning – very upbeat and friendly! She was also very knowledgeable and made sure to point out the interesting fish and nature along the way. She even found a napping nursing shark for us to see. The mangrove maze is beautiful and fascinating – we have never seen anything like that before coming from the Northeast. It was so much fun making our way through and there were lots of laughs along the way!

 

Maureen_E 

 

 

 

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 8 reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 2 hours

 

Enjoy a peaceful evening on the water.  This sunset kayak tour is the perfect start to your date night out! 

Your tour guide will help you navigate through the wildlife surrounding you as you enjoy an unforgettable sunset.

You’ll want to capture these views, so don’t forget a camera! When you’re done, you can head to Conch Island for dinner, drinks, and music to end a great day on the water.

Included in your tour

  • Water
  • Kayaks, paddles
  • Safety equipment (lifejackets, whistles, lights)

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

My husband and I went out with Aaron on the most perfect evening with smooth as glass waters for our sunset kayak tour. Aaron was so friendly and accommodating, making sure we experienced all the delights that were available on these peaceful waters… birds, ocean life, beautiful homes and – of course – a gorgeous sunset!

DJH-WJH

 

 

 

Photo Credit- Danger Charters

you’ll kayak and learn about the Key West National Wildlife Refuge ecosystem from the knowledgeable guides at Danger Charters.

This company is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 970 reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 4.5 Hours

 

If you love adventures on the water, this half-day cruise is for you! 

First, you’ll kayak and learn about the Key West National Wildlife Refuge ecosystem from the knowledgeable guides at Danger Charters.  This area is only accessible by boat and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. 

During your trip, you may find nurse sharks, sea turtles, rays, and more!  After, you’ll hop in the water to snorkel with these creatures in their protected habitat. 

Included in this tour:

 

  • Soft drinks, water, beer, wine
  • Snorkeling equipment 
  • Kayaks
  • Wetsuits in winter
  • Light snacks

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

This trip was truly spectacular! Captain Mary and mate Jack were amazing guides. The kayaking was incredible- we saw a sea turtle, interesting fish and birds, and horseshoe crabs in a mangrove tunnel.

Susan_P

 

 

 

Photo Credit- Sunset Watersports

Tour off-the-beaten-path with Sunset Watersports

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 25 reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 5 Hours

 

Tour off-the-beaten-path with Sunset Watersports.  Their guides will take you through the Florida Marine Sanctuary where you can keep your eyes peeled for the hundreds of species living in and out of the water. 

When you finish kayaking, you’ll be served a delicious lunch.  While you eat, your crew will take you to the highlight of this tour – a secluded sandbar with warm, crystal-clear waters.

You can hang out at the sandbar, sip drinks from the open bar, and enjoy your vacation! 

What’s included in your tour

  • Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages
  • Kayaks, paddle boards
  • Lunch
  • Snorkeling gear

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

Great excursion. Highly recommend!! Staff was amazing. The whole family had an incredible time, and it was great for all ages.

Ellen_B 

 

 

 

This self-guided tour includes a map so you know the best spots to search for marine life through the seagrass

This tour is rated 5 Stars On Viator With Over 70 Reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 4 Hours

 

This family-friendly adventure comes with everything you need to explore the Key West marine life on your own.

You can choose from single or double kayaks, making it perfect for families that want to stick together. 

This self-guided tour includes a map so you know the best spots to search for marine life through the seagrass.

Plus, go as slow or as fast as you want, take as many breaks as you want, and simply enjoy the calm Key West waters. 

Included: 

  • Kayak, paddle 
  • Life vest
  • Map
  • Introductory kayak lesson

Here is what a past guest said about this tour:

Great time with family. We did the self guided tour which was simple, carefree was able to stop at any time and enjoy.

tsullivan63 

 

 

 

Photo Credit- Get Up And Go Kayaking

This small group tour with Get Up And Go Kayaking comes with a special twist - clear kayaks!

This tour is rated 5 Stars On Viator With Over 115 Reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 2 Hours

 

This small group tour with Get Up And Go Kayaking comes with a special twist – clear kayaks!  These kayaks give you the unique opportunity to explore everything above and under the water. 

You’ll visit a mangrove tunnel and shallow lagoon while learning about the wild and marine life in the area.

Your guide will help you navigate the surroundings and teach you about everything you find on the way!

Included in your tour

  • Knowledgable tour guide/instructor 
  • Clear kayaks and paddles
  • Dry bag to keep your belongings water-free!

Here is what a past guest said about this tour:

We saw nurse sharks, bonnet head sharks, multiple types of sponges, some sting rays, some sea turtles, and jelly fish!! Mike was so enthusiastic about the wild marine life! Floating through the mangroves was an experience I’ll never forget!

Casey_c 

 

Photo Credit- Sebago Watersports

With this tour, you’ll hop in your kayaks and explore a one-hour kayak tour with your guide.<br />

This tour is rated 4.5 Stars On Viator With Over 520 Reviews!

 

Tour length- Approximately 6 Hours

 

Sail to the mangroves on Sebago’s cozy catamaran.  Keep an eye out for dolphins on the way while you sip beer, wine, or their homemade sangria!

When you arrive, you’ll hop in your kayaks and explore a one-hour kayak tour with your guide. 

You can search for sharks and rays in the water or keep an eye out for the many species of birds flying above. 

On the boat, you’ll get a full breakfast and lunch to keep your energy up all day!  This tour offers everything you need for a full day of fun in Key West. 

What’s included in your Full-Day Key West Kayaking, Sailing, and Snorkeling tour: 

  • Kayak tour
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Soft drinks
  • Snorkeling 
  • Beer, wine, sangria

Here is what a past guest said about this tour:

The trip was very well planned and organized. Both the snorkeling part and the kayaking part were fantastic, even on a day with higher wind and taller waves. The kayaking part brought the group close to the mangroves and the birds there were very fun to watch. Plus, the crew members were fun and considerate! Very pleasant experience!

Naibin_C 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kayaking in Key West is one of the best ways to explore the protected lands and wildlife refuges in the southernmost part of Florida.

Key West Kayaking FAQ’s

Where Is The Best Place To Kayak In The Keys?

It’s hard to find bad kayaking in Key West!  But, like most of these tours, visiting the mangroves is popular because of the calm waters and diverse ecosystems.

Bahia Honda State Park is a popular spot with launch sites and rentals available.  Smathers Beach, Blackwater Sound, and Saddlebunch Keys are also great spots to explore the clear waters of Key West on your kayaking adventure!

What Should You Bring When Kayaking In Key West?

You should wear athletic clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, and a bathing suit underneath if you plan to jump in!

A towel may be necessary as you’re likely to get a little wet in a kayak. 

And of course, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. 

To hold your belongings, a waterproof backpack that you can easily carry on the kayak will really come in handy!

Here are more essentials for your trip!

 

Never hit the water without your sunscreen.  You’ll want at least SPF 30 to protect from the Florida sun.

 

Sun Bum Sun Screen 

 

If you’re planning a boat cruise, quick drying beach towels are an essential item to pack.  Unlike regular towels, quick drying beach towels are made from materials that dry quickly, meaning you won’t have to worry about them getting wet and heavy as the day goes on.

 

 Quick Drying Beach Towel

 

Bring back memories from your underwater adventure with this waterproof camera!

Waterproof Camera

 

Keep your phone dry and take beautiful pictures under water with a waterproof phone case. 

Waterproof Phone Case 

 

 Summary Of The Best Key West Kayaking Tours

There you have it, the best Key West kayaking tours for your next adventure through Florida! 

Kayaking in Key West is one of the best ways to explore the protected lands and wildlife refuges in the southernmost part of Florida. 

Best half-day Key West kayaking tour: Half-Day Key West’s Ultimate Sandbar Adventure with Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour

Best full-day Key West kayaking tour: Key West Full-Day Island T’ing Eco-Tour: Sail, Kayak and Snorkel

The sunny skies and clear waters make Key West an incredible vacation spot year-round.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water or a long kayaking adventure, Key West is definitely the place for you!

Travel Resources

 

Book Your Next Trip!  For Accommodations and short-term rentals, I recommend Booking.com as they are the best in the business when it comes to rates and places to stay.

To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!

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