Our Excursions

Snorkeling the pristine "Spur and Groove"  reefs of the Ecological Reserve

Snorkeling the pristine “Spur and Groove” reefs of the Ecological Reserve

Welcome to Namaste Eco Excursions. We specialize in ecologically focused coral reef and mangrove wilderness excursions. Our excursion destinations are all hand picked for their health, beauty, and distance from heavily trafficked tourist areas. We offer three types of excursions:

 One Stop : Departs at 9:00 returns at noon $99/guest

 Two StopDeparts at 1:00 returns at 5:oo $129/guest

Private: Custom times and destinations $799/up to 6 guests

 

Snorkelers examine a sea cucumber

Capt Trish shows one of our guests a sea cucumber. Did you know they are shape shifters?

Namaste Eco Excursions is proud to support the tenets of sustainable tourism which is crucial in the responsible use of our precious marine resources. We absolutely love what we do and invite our guests to learn as much about us before booking. For current information and pictures of our most recent excursions we invite you to visit our Facebook Page and check out our reviews on both Yelp and TripAdvisor.

To help promote the cause of coral reef preservation and sustainability Namaste’ Eco Excursions actively employs the following sustainable practices:

  • Strong focus on reef ecology: Each trip includes a 30 minute reef presentation presented by our professional guides and captains who are well versed and educated in coral ecology, species identification, and positive coral interaction.
  • Small group tours: We never take any more than 8 guests at a time to the reef. Our staff to guests ratio is about to 3 guests per staff member. The more trained staff in the water, the better the experience for our guests as well as the coral reef.
  • Commitment to “reef friendly” products: From the use of carbon reduced fuels like Biodiesel to reef safe sunscreen, Namaste’ Eco Excursions humbly promotes low impact reef encounters.
  • Commitment to Support Reef Science: Namaste’ Eco Excursions actively supports coral restoration programs like Coral Restoration Foundation and Mote Marine

 Need more information on Florida Keys Snorkeling?

Snorkeler swimming under coral

Thumbs up for another great experience with us!

Whether you choose us or another tour provider we encourage to browse our site. The following information may prove useful in planning for the perfect day on the water. 

 Local Information:

  • Types of excursions

  • Weather

  • Destinations

  • Mission statement

Types of Keys Excursions:

There are basically three choices for snorkeling excursions in the Florida Keys.

Choice #1 -The “Cattle Boat” Tour

Cattle Boat Herd

Cattle Boat Herd

Cattle boats are a very popular choice because they are inexpensive and provide free beer. The average cattle boat holds anywhere between 20 and 150 snorkelers and will cost you anywhere between $40 and $95 per person. Cattle boats will take you out to the most popular destinations which are saturated with up to 150,000 snorkelers per year (not so good for the reef). Once there, you will encounter some reef fish, a few patches of live coral, and up to 250 other snorkelers. You will be allowed to snorkel for about 45 minutes, after which someone will blow a whistle and herd you back to the boat (hence the term cattle boat). If this your idea of a fun time, then by all means enjoy!

Choice #2 – Private Charter

Private Charter

Private Charter

The private charter is a great way to see the reef but can be a bit cost prohibitive, especially if there are less than 4 people. The boats range in size from 28 to 50 feet, and they typically serve good food and beverages. With a little advance knowledge and favorable weather, you can usually persuade your captain to take you to some of the better “locals only” reefs which are really nice.  You will experience lots of fish, lots of healthy live coral, and most of all, no crowds kicking you in the face. Some captains and mates will accompany you in the water and, if you’re lucky, will point out some of the really cool reef creatures.

Choice #3 – Namaste’ Eco Excursions

Ecology professional presenting reef information to guests

Capt. Trish gives us a great preview of the reef

Of course, we have saved the best for last. Yes, we are heavily biased about our product, but after 9 years of running ecoexcursions in Key West, we have good idea of how to do it right. First, unlike the cattle boats, we are not the cheap seats. We provide an excellent experience and must charge accordingly. Also, our business model is based entirely on the merits of sustainable tourism. Our guests share our philosophy and are happy to pay a little extra to insure that their experience is crowd free and the least stressful on themselves as well as the reef. We have three main excursions that start at $99/guest. For your investment you will get a high quality experience that far exceeds anything else available in the Florida Keys. That is the truth. Check out our Facebook posts, Read our TripAdvisor reviews (both good and bad). Better yet, call us directly. Well informed guests are always the best!

Here is what we offer:

Snorkelers examine a sea cucumber

Capt Trish shows one of our guests a sea cucumber. Did you know they are shape shifters?

 

  • In water ecology guides that are not happy until you see what all the fuss is about,
  • No more than 8 guests per boat, guaranteed!
  • Plenty of healthy snacks including fresh fruit, cheeses, and fresh spring water,
  • Complimentary eco-friendly, reusable souvenir water bottle,
  • Comfortable and safe destinations that we hand pick for calm conditions, abundant ecology, and few people!
  • “One-on-One” in-water instruction for beginners and timid swimmers.
  • Both morning and afternoon excursions

All day excursions include a 30 minute ecology presentation of which we are quite proud. Basically, we have condensed 12 years of acquired knowledge into a short presentation complete with anecdotal stories, props, and visuals. Its fun, informative, and complements your time with nature.

Our Destinations:

Abundant-Patch-Reef

The best and most colorful reefs we travel to are the secluded offshore barrier reefs. These reefs are anywhere from 4 to 12 miles from our location on Stock Island. Barrier reefs are accessible and safe on calm days (winds less than 15 mph). Near shore destinations feature calmer conditions which makes for easier snorkeling. Near shore excursions tend to favor the smaller patch reefs and mangrove estuaries.

To increase your chances for a offshore experience here are some tips:

  • Book with us well in advance (Early planning will go along way to guaranteeing a spot on a offshore trip).
  • When booking, pick the earliest date you can go out and leave later dates in reserve in case we need to reschedule.
  • If you are planning for the best snorkeling season, then consider May through September
  • Know the weather!

 The Truth About Weather!

Key West sailing adventures with Namaste Sailing

Your view from the Namaste

Starting in late April and ending in early October we are blessed with many days of light wind, calm seas and an occasional afternoon thunderstorm. These conditions translate into great coral viewing and comfortable snorkeling conditions. In addition, the water temperature is as good as it gets during the summer season.

Starting in late October the weather starts to change and planning offshore snorkel excursions becomes more problematic. Our cold fronts don’t really drop the temperatures too much, but they do increase the seas and stir up our normally “gin clear” water. For this reason we plan for the passage of theses cold fronts.  On days when the wind and seas are higher, we absolutely will not put you in at the offshore barrier reefs. Quite honestly, on the rough days,  offshore snorkeling is not an experience we would choose for ourselves, much less our paying customers. On the days when offshore conditions are not conducive to a comfortable experience, we will opt for our inshore destinations which include inshore patch reefs, mangrove estuaries (natural fish nurseries), and inshore mangrove lakes.

Our Weather Cancellation Policy

On those unusual days, when the both near shore and offshore conditions are too rough we will give you the following options:

  • Reschedule for a better weather day
  • Cancel your reservation and provide you with a full refund.
Key West Snorkeling and Sailing Adventures-Overnight Excursions-Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts at the Helm

Mission Statement:

What makes us so special?

We are very proud of our excursions and give 150% to all our guests. We are self-admitted “reef geeks” and proud of it. We love sharing our passion, and if authentic coral discovery is your thing, then we certainly have just the trip for you.

We specialize in accommodating novices and are very adept with folks who may be a little skittish with the challenge of aquatic adventures. We customize each trip based on what we see and hear from you.

Thanks to all of our good friends like Cathleen and her merry group of "pugsters"

We never put anyone out in bad conditions. If the weather is not right for a trip, we work with you and plan around your schedule so that you see the reef on an optimal day. For us, the bottom line is not the money in our pockets, but the smiles we see at the end of the day.

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