Burnham Guides
Great Calusa Blueway
Southwest Florida

Guided kayaking expeditions along the
Beaches of Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva

Other Florida Trips:
Florida Keys ~ Ten Thousand Islands ~ Everglades


Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail to reserve

Great Calusa Blueway

4 and 6 day options

Paddle with dolphins, manatees and wading birds on Florida's southwest coast. Pass the famed beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, enjoy hiking, biking and swimming on Cayo Costa, Florida's least-visited state park accessible only by boat, and delve into Sanibel Island's Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Four-day/three-night Trip:
We have received special permission to camp one night at an interpretive site of the Calusa Indians, namesake of the water trail. We will be able to walk the trails up the shell mounds and camp on the very spot where this sophisticated people, now extinct, had a large settlement. Next, we'll paddle to Cayo Costa State Park, Florida's least-visited, accessible only by boat. Spending two nights here gives us time to enjoy the hiking and biking trails, a day paddle through Lover's Tunnel mangroves, and swimming on the beautiful beach. We'll camp just steps from the wild beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Average distance: 8-12 miles per day.

Cost: $795 per person includes sea kayaks, camping gear, meals, and camping fees. Arrive the night before to stay in quaint cottages that are right at the launch in Bokeelia, FL. Not included: airfare, pre/post trip lodging, alcohol, and bike rental.

Six-day/five-night Trip:
A complete circumnavigation of Pine Island that takes in the complete island chain: Sanibel, Captiva and Cayo Costa. For more experienced paddlers, confident in potentially rough, open water, and able to do a wet exit and assisted re-entry. We average 10 to 17 miles daily, 70 miles in all. We start and end in Bokeelia at the top of Pine Island, spend a night in the funky little village of Matlacha, pass through Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, traverse the outer islands of Sanibel, the Captivas and Cayo Costa, camping two nights there for hiking, biking and swimming on the Gulf of Mexico wild beach. There is one primitive island night, and one night in a beach cottage on Captiva. Arrive the night before and stay in efficiency cottages right at the launch in Bokeelia, FL (cost not included).
Cost: $1,500 per person double occupancy, $1,650 single: includes sea kayaks and gear, camping equipment, meals, cottage and camping fees, and one night in a historic cottage on Captiva Island. Not included: Pre/post trip lodging, airfare, and alcohol. See below discounts for bringing your own kayak or camping gear.

Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail for more information or to reserve your spot!

Scroll past map to see more trip details and transportation information.

Trip Details

Include sea kayaks, all camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc.), camping fees, lodging, guides services, instruction, all meals & snacks. Our groups are small, allowing us to provide personalized service.
Optional restaurant dining or hotel stays are at customer's expense.

Discounts cannot be combined.
-10% off for bringing own sea kayak at least 16 feet long with double bulkheads, paddle, PFD, and sprayskirt. Kayak must be approved by Burnham Guides as appropriate for open water expeditions and carrying communal gear, food and water. Burnham Guides is not responsible for loss or damage to personal boats or gear.
** OR **
-10% for bringing your own camping gear: small tent, packable sleeping bag and pad and associated drybags. Gear must be approved by Burnham Guides, backpacking-style and able to fit into the hatches of the kayak, leaving enough room for communal gear, food and water.
-Group Discounts available for 6 or more.
-20% for children under 15 in a tandem with parent

A 20% deposit required at time of booking. We will email you a link to pay online at a secure site. Balance is due one week before trip and is non-refundable.
30-day notice is required for cancellation to receive a refund of your deposit. Refund may be subject to any nonrefundable reservations we have made on your behalf. Trip Insurance is highly recommended for longer trips.

The night before launch, we recommend staying at Bokeelia Cottages, adjacent to our launch at the north end of Pine Island, FL. We are happy to make the reservation for you, or you may contact them at (239) 283-0015. Matlacha also has several places to stay.
Closest Airport: Southwest Florida International (Ft. Myers).com. Taxi service is available from the airport to the launch. Call Pine Island Taxi

What to bring?
We supply sea kayaks, life jackets, paddles, sprayskirt, and all camping and cooking gear. Let us know if you'd like to bring any of your own gear. Click here for the personal gear and clothing list of things you should bring.

Food & Alcohol
All meals & snacks are included. We strive to provide healthy, fresh, and nutritious meals, and to accommodate your dietary preferences and restrictions, be they allergies, vegetarian or gluten-free diets. But we do need to know about these well in advance for provisioning. As soon as trip is booked, you'll receive a detailed questionnaire to list dietary restrictions and medical issues. Our insurance does not allow us to serve alcohol, but you are more than welcome to bring your own to enjoy at the end of the paddling day.

We're Green
We practice Leave no Trace camping and along the way you can participate in a beach clean-up.

Sign up for trip updates!

About us: Bill & Mary Burnham

Bill & Mary Burnham

Burnham Guides LLC combines our work as guidebook authors and kayak guides. Over the last 15 years, we've written eight books, and hundreds of magazine articles.

In winter, join us for multi-day trips in the Florida Keys, paddling from the pages of our award-winning Florida Keys Paddling Atlas. The rest of the year, we guide trips on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

We are American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors and co-authors of Knack Kayaking for Everyone.

Paddle with the Authors of the award-winning "Florida Keys Paddling Atlas."

We are members of the Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA). Please consider joining to support paddling and Florida's community of paddlesport enthusiasts.

Visit Burnham Guides