Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review – Dolphin Tour

We managed to fit a lot into our four night stay in St Augustine. One of the things we managed to go on was a boat trip out in the bay. After some research beforehand we decided on Eco Tours. Mostly because it was number one on Trip advisor for boat tours at the time. But also because not all of the boat trips run in the winter time. I was also hopeful of seeing some dolphins although I knew our chances weren’t in our favour. There are plenty of boat cruises from the City harbour in St Augustine during the warmer months. Eco tours appear to focus more on the wildlife which was a draw for us.

If you are looking for more day out ideas in St Augustine why not check out my other posts –

Eco Tours Boat Trip in St Augustine Florida

We booked online and reserved our place on one of their trips. They also offer kayak adventures, sailing excursions, private hire and different excursions such as the dolphin, birding and nature tour, photography tour and the beachcombing tour. All tours and hire are subject to the weather. If it’s bad weather they won’t go out so please bare this in mind when booking and planning your excursion.

Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review - Dolphin Tour
Our boat seated approx. 15 people

Dolphin, birding and Nature Tour – Eco Tour

We booked on the dolphin, birding and nature tour which, subject to the weather, sail every day. The price of this tour is $40.00 per adult and $35 for a child aged 3 to 12. Children aged 2 and under are $15.00 each. The duration of the tour is 1 hour 30 and the skipper will try and tailor the tour as much as possible to what you are hoping to see. There was just ourselves plus one couple on our tour so we didn’t go out on a particularly large boat. Our four year old was given a life vest which he wore for the duration of the trip.

A view of St Augustine from out on the bay

Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review – Dolphin Tour

Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review - Dolphin Tour
He wasn’t a massive fan of his life vest

Our guide for the trip was incredibly knowledgeable. No question was left unanswered. He took us into all sorts of nooks and crannys to see the wild birds as close as he could get without scaring them. I was surprised by how close we could get to some of them.

Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review - Dolphin Tour
A lot of the birds seemed very unafraid of the boats and didn’t fly away
Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review - Dolphin Tour
I loved all the seagulls chilling out on the pier
Apparently, the two darker birds are very rare

The skipper took us all around the bay and right to the edge where the bay becomes the ocean. It was incredibly rough and choppy here so we didn’t hang around long. It was a fun element though to an otherwise chilled out tour. We weren’t short of birds to spot, did we spot any dolphins though?

Bird spotting near where the bay meets the ocean

Did we spot any dolphins on our Eco Tour Boat Trip?

The answer is yes but barely. I, for some unknown reason, was the most eagle-eyed out of all of us. The skipper took us to a few areas that are well known for dolphins. I managed to spot one rising out of the water. He did his best to drive us over to that spot but try as we might we didn’t spot it again. Then just as we were moving elsewhere I spotted another a bit further away so off we went to that one. This happened 3 or 4 times and I was really the only one to spot them. Maybe everyone else was struggling with their eyesight? I don’t know but I was the only satisfied person. I wasn’t expecting them to jump up out of the water but it was a shame we only had glimpses. It’s not every trip that they are spotted though and some trips out provide better spotting action than others.

Our son drove the boat

For a bit of fun the skipper let our 4 year old drive the boat. He had a whale of a time and didn’t want to stop. He drove the boat well and we were soon zooming across the water. Hopefully, your kids will be allowed to do the same.

Our four year old was allowed to drive the boat

Don’t forget to bring a jacket or cardigan in case it gets chilly, sun hat, sun cream, water and a camera. Make sure you use the toilet at the marina before you board the boat as there is no toilet onboard.

One of the highlights for me was when we headed to the perimeters of the bay. The skipper got us to try some very salty plants that were growing by the water’s edge. It was very pretty and tranquil in these areas by the bay.

Heading to the perimeters of the bay
We even spotted a bird of prey out on the bay

I think my husband would have preferred to have been fishing. It was however nice to be able to see St Augustine from a different angle and perspective. The City felt like a completely different place out on the water and amongst the wildlife. It was a very pleasant cruise around the bay and I wouldn’t hesitate to go again. They welcome all ages on their boat trips.

Search and Compare Family Friendly Hotels in St. Augustine

If you are looking for other things to do in Saint Augustine why not check out my other posts about the city. Including a ride on the Black Raven Pirate Ship and Our Visit to Castillo De San Marcos St Augustine Florida and my post for my Top 8 Things To Do With Kids in St Augustine Florida.

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Eco Tours St Augustine Florida | A Review - Dolphin Tour

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