Marco Island, Collier County Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Marco Island, Collier County Nature & adventure

Marco Island: 10,000 Islands Shelling Tour by Boat

1. Marco Island: 10,000 Islands Shelling Tour by Boat

Learn the fine art of shell collecting on the remote barrier island beaches of Florida’s 10,000 Islands, and escape the shelling hordes of Marco Island and Captiva. Make your own way to Goodland Boating Park to climb aboard a boat that will take you to remote beaches that have not been picked over by others. Few shell collectors know about - or can get to - the beaches of these islands, resulting in pristine shelling opportunities. Touring in small groups, you will be led by a shelling guide with decades of experience. Learn about the nuances of the tide, winds, and locations that affect shelling, and the life cycle and habitat of different species. Your guide even has the knack of finding the Gulf Coast's most prized shell treasure; the junonia!

Marco Island: 2-Hour Dolphin, Birding, and Shelling Tour

2. Marco Island: 2-Hour Dolphin, Birding, and Shelling Tour

On this 2-hour tour near Marco Island, explore the Ten Thousand Islands with a Florida Master Naturalist Guide. Enjoy the wild dolphin show before visiting an uninhabited barrier island beach to collect shells and other treasures. Depending on the season, expect to see manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, bald eagles, ospreys, herons, egrets, pelicans, alligators, rosette spoonbills, and numerous species of fish and shorebirds. Learn about the Everglades eco-systems, flora and fauna, rich heritage, and long history. The area's wildlife moves around so each tour is different. Many species are seasonal and inhabit different areas depending on environmental conditions. Be sure to bring your camera, binoculars, sunglasses, snacks, favorite drinks, a hat, and towels.

From Naples, FL: Marco Island Mangroves Kayak or Paddle Tour

3. From Naples, FL: Marco Island Mangroves Kayak or Paddle Tour

Hop on a kayak or paddleboard and experience the magic of Florida's natural mangrove formations. Follow your guide through the intricate tunnels that make up this unique coastal forest and head toward Marco Island for the possibility to spot dolphins, manatees, and seabirds. Begin your journey in Naples with a short briefing and immerse yourself in the maze of tunnels on your way to the island. Enjoy a relaxed experience surrounded by the saltwater and freshwater species that call the mangroves home. Rest assured there are no alligators or dangerous animals around. Weave your kayak or paddleboard through and under the branches, always accompanied by your guide. Find hidden coves and stop at Marco Island to discover the beautiful untouched habitat.

Marco Island: Guided Dolphin Tour with Beach Stop

4. Marco Island: Guided Dolphin Tour with Beach Stop

Go on an adventure in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge on a tour around Marco Island, Florida. Take part in a photo-identification study of the local dolphins and interact with these unique animals. Later, enjoy free time on a remote island beach. Travel in comfort aboard a small boat with cushioned seating. A limited number of passengers ensures that you enjoy an intimate experience with easy access to your guide. For children, there is a citizen science activity that lets them be scientists for the day. Start your adventure at the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Within minutes of leaving the dock, you will be immersed in a scenic and varied coastal wilderness. Traveling through the largest intact mangrove forest in the western hemisphere, observe a rich variety of wildlife. In addition to dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, stingrays, and a variety of birds can be seen here. Get a chance to explore the subtropical mangrove forested backwaters or head out to Coon Key Pass and make your way to Cape Romano Island and the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Next, observe the resident communities of bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. View these animals in a respectful manner that does not interfere with their normal behaviors. Contribute sighting data to a 15-year photo-identification study of the dolphins. Once home from your adventure, you will have access to this study online. You can visit the site to track the individual dolphins you saw and learn more about them. Later, get a chance to explore a remote barrier island. Take a walk, swim, marvel at the amazing variety of seashells, observe shorebirds and wading birds, or just relax in the sun. At the end of your tour, return back to the dock with new knowledge and a deeper appreciation of this unique habitat. Amazing memories of wild dolphins, photos, and the shells you collected on the beach will stay with you forever.

From Goodland: 10,000 Islands Guided Sightseeing Cruise

5. From Goodland: 10,000 Islands Guided Sightseeing Cruise

Experience the natural world around Marco Island as you spot sea turtles and other local wildlife, collect shells, and admire the Cape Romano Dome Homes on this boat excursion. Begin with a boat tour among the Ten Thousand Islands. Take in the local wildlife and search for dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles with your naturalist guide. Encounter ospreys, bald eagles, ibis, roseate spoonbill, egrets, herons, and a large number of shorebird species. Enjoy commentary from your Florida Master Naturalist guide who will talk about the area's ecosystems, history, and culture. Next, explore a remote barrier island beach, an island only reached by boat. Learn about beach dynamics, stroll through the tidal flats, and wade the tidal pools. Collect shells, sand dollars, and other treasures on island beaches that are untouched. Learn about individual shell animals and how to shell from your naturalist guide. Have a hands-on experience, perfect for the young and old alike. From here, venture to the edge of southwest Florida, the Cape Romano, and the Gulf of Mexico. Here, you will see the well-known Cape Romano Dome Houses. Hear how they were once on the beach, but have slowly moved into the water over time. Snap some memorable photographs here.

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What people are saying about Marco Island, Collier County

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 13 reviews

Our tour could not have been better. Our guide, Jeff, arrived early as he had anticipated that we would like to be out shelling as close as possible to low tide. We saw dolphins on our way out and viewed gorgeous scenes on our way back. But the best part? We found great shells! Our guide was attentive and patient about identifying shells we were picking up. We had the best time and would love to go again. And again.

This was a blast! Wife and I booked this during our trip to Marco Island and kayaking through the Mangrove Tunnels was amazing. Victor was an amazing guide and kept us laughing throughout the whole trip. I highly recommend! But you better be in shape. Us oldens were making the youngens look old.

Great few hours on the water seeing dolphins, different birds, the dome houses and sea shell hunting water was perfect and learning some history of the islands highly recommend and would do again

We loved this tour so much! Jeff was our tour guide and he was AMAZING!!! We loved everything about this!! Definitely would rebook and highly recommend

Great experience. Worth the time and money. We saw dolphins, birds and manatees. The captain was friendly and knowledgeable.