CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA – DIVE WITH THE MANATEES
Crystal River is located in Citrus County, approximately 90 miles northwest of Tampa near the Gulf of Mexico. This tranquil community is known as the place ‘Where Man and Manatee Play.’
Manatees abound in the year round 72-degree spring fed waters in Crystal River from the months of November through March. You can go swimming with these gentle creatures that sometimes let you get close enough to scratch their bellies! Crystal River offers manatee safaris, manatee snorkeling tours and dive tours. Built around Kings Bay, near the Homosassa River, Crystal River also offers fishing, boating, camping, nature trails for hiking, canoeing and kayaking. There are nine area golf courses near Crystal River. Some of the other interesting places to visit near Crystal River includes the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, the Naber Kids Doll Factory and the Crystal River State Archeological Site. This area boasts a wide variety of restaurants, hotels, motels and other vacation rentals. Crystal River, located on Florida’s ‘Nature Coast,’ is an eco-tourism paradise that visitors of all ages are sure to enjoy.
The so-called Nature Coast keeps its secret: the river-riddled, marsh-mellow coastline of Citrus, Hernando and Pasco Counties is tailor-made for fishing, boating and kayaking among manatees, otters, bald eagles, swallowtail kites and more than 200 other species of birds that have been spotted there. Northernmost Citrus County alone holds four of Florida’s designated Outstanding Waters – rivers Withlacoochee, Homosassa, Crystal and Chassahowitzka. All empty into Gulf of Mexico bay waters mottled with verdant, gnarly mangrove islands. Each year, October through March, the warm waters of spring-fed Crystal and Homosassa river hosts the largest herd of manatees in the U.S.
The homey town of Crystal River has become synonymous with the gentle sea giants, in fact, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was created specifically to protect the endangered species and can arrange boat and kayak tours designed for spotting them in their habitat. Those who want to get closer take to the waters with snorkels or scuba gear to swim among them, but no touching allowed!
- Divers: $299
- Students: $349
- 2 Night Lodgings
- 1 Day of Unlimited Dives at Catfish and Manatee Springs
- 1 Morning of Snorkeling with the Manatees and Afternoon Diving the Springs
- Tanks and Air Fills