Swimming with manatees is one of the most memorable experiences in Tampa, Florida. These gentle giants are commonly known as “sea cows” and can weigh 1,000 to 3,400 pounds. While their size can be deceiving, manatees are harmless creatures. In fact, they are just as curious about humans as we are about them. Before you dive into your manatee adventure, you’re going to need some essentials. So, pack your bags and buckle up in your minivan from Carl’s Van Rentals.

What You'll Need to Swim with the Manatees

A Wetsuit

Manatees enjoy the warmer waters that come with the coastal waterways around the state. But they are most frequently found in Crystal River, FL. While the water here is warmer than in the Gulf, it’s still rather chilly. Therefore, you’re going to want a wetsuit that you either own or rent. This swim gear will help keep you warm, but it will also help you float in the water as you enjoy swimming with the manatees. 

Water Shoes

Water shoes are another must when you’re swimming with the manatees. They’ll help keep your feet warm and protect them from anything lurking on the bottom of the riverbed. However, you shouldn’t wear water flippers as you could accidentally kick a manatee. In fact, many experienced guides discourage flippers as they can often become more of a hassle than regular water shoes. 

A Partner or Group

If this is your first time swimming with the sea cows, then you’re going to need a partner. Swimming with these gentle creatures alone for the first time is strongly discouraged. Inappropriately swimming with manatees could land you in jail or cost you hefty fines. So, it’s always best to go with a group or a trained professional as a partner. 

Enjoy Florida’s Gulf Coast Wildlife

If you’re interested in exploring all the wildlife up and down the coast, then you’re going to need a reliable van rental from Carl’s Van Rentals. Our Tampa, FL, lot offers every type of van you’ll need for a wildlife excursion, including SUVs, minivans, Sprinter vans, and passenger vans of all sizes. So, get your rental reserved today when you call (813) 872-7111