Take a relaxing, scenic dolphin tour by waverunner! We have the experience to take you to the best spots in the area where you can see many of nature’s attractions. Our guides are knowledgeable of the local wildlife, dolphins and manatees. They know the area so well they will lead you to the best viewing areas.
Mid Island Water Sports has the two best island locations for the dolphin tours hands down! Our close proximity to the dolphins natural feeding areas gives the riders the most viewing time to see them in their natural, uncaged freedom often just a few feet away from you.
Tours begin on the Gulf side of the Beach and go as far as Bonita Springs through Lover’s Key. While in the Back Bay area, you’ll travel near Estero Island’s mangrove forests. These provide the chance for an up-close look at plant life and wildlife such as dolphins, birds, fish and rays. We generally come across pods of dolphin and occasionally even a manatee. Sit back on your jet ski and view the wildlife in her natural habitat and take in all beauty!
The tour lasts at least an hour and a half and is the best way to explore the island from the water with an experienced local to guide you! Travelers return year after year to repeat the tour because it never disappoints. It is the perfect mix of an eco tour and exciting family fun. Make sure to book at least a day in advance, though. We want to be sure you don’t miss your chance!
Where are you located? Where can we park?
We have two locations that are mid to south end of FMB.
*Behind The Sandpiper Gulf Resort @5550 Estero Blvd 33931 Park in the hotel lot and the attendant on the beach will give you a parking pass to use during your activity. If the parking lot were to be full there is a public beach access with metered parking (number 16 at Dakota Avenue)
*Behind the Wyndham Garden Resort @ 6890 Estero Blvd 33931. Parking is free most of the year. During busier times or events a $5 to $10 fee per day may be required.
What are the payment options? Cash, Master Card, Visa, Discover and Apple Pay are accepted.
What is the appropriate tip for tour guide? Tour guides are generally tipped along the same scale as a server. You will be given the option to tip on the credit card ahead of time or in cash at any time.
What should we bring/wear? Phone? Where will we leave our things?
You may bring towels and shoes and leave those next to the booth. If you have keys or a wallet we can put them in a lock box for you. Some people bring a small bottled water and sunscreen along on the WaveRunner. There is a small semi waterproof compartment for that. Phones may be brought along at your own risk. Tour guides generally bring phones along as a means of communication if needed and they love to take pictures when they are able to do so safely. This isn’t part of the service as safety comes first! Feel free to ask them to share them with you and they are happy to text them to your phone upon your return to the beach.
What is the cancellation policy? You are committing to the number of waverunners you reserve on the dolphin tour as space is limited. Please make changes a minimum of 24 hours in advance. If we deem the weather to be unsuitable for the tour we will happily reschedule you or refund your deposit.
Will there be traffic? Traffic varies during the time of the year AND the time of day. If you are here in season you should plan ahead by checking out Maps and other preferred traffic apps. Don’t hesitate to ask our staff for timing tips and routes.
Are we guaranteed to see dolphin on the tour? It is very uncommon NOT to see dolphin. It IS nature and Mother Nature will always show us beauty in many forms of wildlife, sealife and island vegetation.
How old do you have to be?
You must be 18 years of age to rent a waverunner. You will be asked to show a valid photo ID (driver’s license or passport) in order to start the rental process. Although you must be 18 to rent the vessel, participants 16 and 17 years of age are allowed to drive a rental waverunner on Ft. Myers Beach. We require all drivers to show a valid driver’s license or other photo ID. A parent can rent a waverunner and let a child drive (as long as the child is 16 or over). The waverunners have a small compartment where you can store your ID if you choose to take it with you on the waverunner, or we can hold it for you at our rental booth. Passengers are allowed on the waverunner. We do not recommend children under three as a passenger.
Do I need a Boating License?
The state of Florida requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 to have a NASBLA approved Safe Boating License in order to drive a vessel (waverunner or power boat). If you do not have a NASBLA approved safe boating license (from any state), you can get a Temporary Boating License in person at any of our Water Sports locations. The procedure to obtain a license in person at our beach location is to let the rental agent know you wish to obtain a temporary boating license. You will need to show your ID to prove your age. You will receive a study guide that instructs you on safe boating practices and laws. Once you know the material, you return the study guide and the rental agent will issue you a test. The test is multiple choice and it costs $3 each. Our rental agents are not allowed to assist with the test. Once you have completed the test, the rental agent will grade it and if you pass, you are issued a temporary license. You must have this license with you while operating the vessel.
OR follow these directions to complete the test online.
For drivers born after 1-1-88
I have attached the free study guide so you can study it and take the test at the website in the subject line without paying the additional $6.99 fee. Or you can follow their instructions and study online and take the test online.
If you want to skip the online study guide
1. Study the attached guide
2. Go to the site and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see this and click on exam only
The state of Florida also makes a $3.00-only option available to you via a paper test, which is administered at the rental agent. If you choose the exam-only option and fail, you will have to re-register and pay to take the exam again.
3. Then scroll down that page until you see this and click on here.
Price and Payment
How much does it cost to get my Florida Temporary Boating Certificate?
The total cost is $9.99. This includes $3.00 for the exam fee and $6.99 for access to study material and unlimited exam attempts.
The state of Florida also makes a $3.00-only option available to you via a paper test, which is administered at the rental agent. If you would like access to only the exam (with one exam attempt and no access to study material), click here. If you choose the exam-only option and fail, you will have to re-register and pay to take the exam again.
4. Follow those directions, take the test and you are good for one year. Bring the certificate and you i.d. along for your ride.
After all licenses are approved, participants must fill out a release of liability and waverunner instruction form. These forms explain liability of participants and outline driving instructions and rules/laws on the water. It is important that these forms are read carefully and filled out properly. Payment is made when the forms are done. You can either charge to your room if you are staying at a resort location, pay with a credit card or in cash.
Once all the paperwork is completed, you will be sent to an instructor to receive a verbal instruction on how to operate the waverunner. The instruction will go over local waterway rules and regulations, safe driving of a vessel, how to operate the waverunner and other important items including wildlife viewing regulations. You will receive the rules in writing, verbally in the instruction and they are also posted on our rental booth.
We will pass out lifejackets and then it is time to go have fun. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be allowed to drive our waverunners.
If you are taking the waverunner out on our guided Dolphin Adventure Tour, the instruction will include all of the above information plus other items necessary to keep you safe while traveling in the back bay areas. Dolphin Adventure Tours are very popular and we recommend advanced reservations, especially in March and April.
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