Kayak Dave's Adventures | South Florida Kayak Tours

Phone: 305.395.0355


Kayak Dave Surf Kayaking in Florida wavesKayaking photos - Kayak in the Florida mangroves

about Kayak Dave's Adventures

Kayak DaveKayak Dave, a.k.a. David Kaplan (me) is living the "life". As a lifelong waterman in South Florida, I am a kayaker, surfer, former competitive swimmer/diver and a certified SCUBA diver. I also fish, spearfish, dive, paddle, sail, bike and climb. For the last ten years I have owned and operated a professional kayak company, leading eco-friendly kayak tours in and around the Florida Keys. Now, I have taken my expertise back to my roots, offering private guided eco-tours of my childhood home of South Florida. For the true adventurer, vacationer or casual visitor, I proudly offer adventures for you to discover the fascinating natural world of south Florida including the areas around Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Everglades, Florida Keys and the beaches. Kayaking, biking, surfing, hiking...you name the adventure, I will make it happen.

Picture yourself in a kayak, bobbing silently on the quiet crystalline waters of South Florida or the Florida Keys, wearing a T shirt and shorts, and maybe a hat, not a care in the world. Sound like a dream? I can make it happen. As a guide and naturalist, I've been playing in the waters of South Florida for more nearly 40 years. I know where the manatee hang out, the sea turtle and dolphin like to frolic and where the banyans climb out of the soil. I know the best hiking spots, the most secluded beaches, the swamp in the Everglades with all the critters, the places to get away from the crowds. I can make your dream vacation a reality.

Want to get away? How about a private guided kayak adventure in the wilds of South Florida? Explore the natural world with me. See wild sea turtles, dolphin, snakes, or alligator, maybe even a manatee, all from the comfort and safety of a kayak. Tours are tailored to your specific interests: quiet backwaters, exhilarating open water kayaking, or excitement in the surf, gentle thrills through the mangroves...you name it.

Come have fun! Contact Kayak Dave to get out and paddle.


Cool things they say about us....

New York Times

Kayak Dave is featured in this NYT slideshow and story Exploring the Florida Keys by Kayak January 29, 2009


Go the distance in Fla.
Marathon, a coral island cluster, offers sights, sun, and surprises

By Necee Regis
Boston Globe Correspondent / December 29, 2004
" MARATHON, Fla. -- ...There are many ways to get out in the environment in Marathon, including snorkeling on coral reefs, fishing charters, scuba dive tours, sunset sails, and walks on nature trails through tropical forests and mangroves. From the plethora of available choices, the Red Mangrove Eco-Tour offered by Marathon Kayak caught my eye.
" They call me Kayak Dave," said the voice on the other end of the phone when I called to ask about the trip.
David Kaplan, or "Kayak Dave," is a native Miamian and whitewater kayaker now in his fifth season renting kayaks and giving tours in the Keys. He buys new boats every year, updating his bright rainbow-colored fleet to ensure you a reliably seaworthy vessel. This particular three-hour trip, billed as something a beginner can handle, launches in a quiet canal where recreational yachts nestle bow to stern, and then moves into the larger waters of Boot Key Harbor.
Kaplan offers a wealth of information about the flora and fauna of the area.
A yellow crown night heron flew past as we entered a smaller tidal channel, steering toward lagoons that only paddlers can access. Eventually, Kaplan guided us through a bower of mangroves. The light dimmed as we maneuvered single file through tunnels of twisting roots, at some points so narrow we laid our paddles down and pulled ourselves forward by the branches.
Soggy and happy, we returned to the dock precisely three hours later..."
read the whole story

Diana Nyad Swim to Cuba
Summer 2012
What does it take to swim from Cuba to Florida?
" A dream, friends, unwavering commitment, a mother ship, an escort boat, the shark shields, fuel, kayaks, airfare, hotel rooms, 25 person crew, a doctor, an ops team, food, skin care, gear, advertising, cameras, weather experts, and so much more!"

Former Olympian Diana Nyad will attempt her dream of a lifetime by swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

Diana looks to Kayak Dave to help keep her safe on this epic swim. As a member of Nyad's Xtreme Dream team, he will paddle a safety kayak along side her in her swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, USA. Follow her quest for a world record...

Conde Nast Traveler on Concierge
Places & Prices: Our 115-Mile Playground
by Joyce Pendola | Published August 2005
... An unusual and informative kayak tour of the mangroves—among other options—can be had with the very personable [Kayak] David Kaplan of Marathon Kayak...

Budget Travel
Florida Keys
The most dramatic drive on the East Coast, from party-hearty Key West up to the Everglades

By Shax Riegler, December 2006/January 2007 issue


photo: Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys
credit: "Kayak Dave" Kaplan