Marco Island Shelling Tour Guests

TOUR 411

This Seashell Kayak Tour launches out of Marco Island, Florida. Ready to pedal kayak, shell, revel in the sun, maybe go for a swim?!  Let's go Shelling! We'll either go to sand flats (usually the best choice for summertime low tides) or to Kice Island (usually best in the winter months). Kice is an uninhabited island, part of the Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge! While the sand flats are just that, an expansive flat sandy terrain, usually only accessible during low tides, Kice's terrain is unique. Kice is more "dangerous" in that it is very rugged and thick with tree roots, stumps, mucky peat, and shells. Both areas contain many shell species where you are free to collect as many empty (unoccupied) shells as you can carry! 


I will determine our shelling destination based on the season, tides, time of day, and recent shelling history to ensure your shelling experience is the best it can be!  


From the launch, the kayak ride to our shelling destination is usually 30 minutes, sometimes more or less depending on conditions and abilities of guests. The Hobie Kayaks in my fleet are all tandem (2-seaters) and each is a pedal boat kayak (sit-on-top model) with foot-powered propulsion. As long as 1 guest in each kayak is able to pedal with their feet (think stair-master back-forth motion), then the other guest does not necessarily have to pedal or exert any effort if they choose not to - but 2 pedalers are always better than 1!  

The backwaters stay relatively calm and flat year-round - as the barrier islands protect us.  Our backwater path to shelling should be calm!


I have hand-picked each of my available tour dates and times to account for the tides, currents, and optimal shelling. It is much easier to pedal WITH the current than against it!  


Unless otherwise agreed, all tours launch from the boat ramp at Caxambas Park - 909 Collier Court, Marco Island, Florida, 34145


The Park opens at 7am, and there is usually a line of cars waiting to get in. Starting January 1, 2022 there is a $10 fee to park (unless you have a Collier County resident beach sticker). Car spaces are severely limited! All guests are strongly urged to ride-share or taxi/uber or get dropped off at the park!


Recommendations if staying on Marco Island and in need of a ride: 

If you must drive, remember the gate automatically opens at 7am.  Be sure to be in line by 6:45am during Season if you have booked my 7:30am tour.  If your tour is later in the afternoon, be sure to allow extra travel time to account for traffic and finding a parking spot!

Please remember to check-in with your Guide and sign waivers fifteen (15) minutes prior to your scheduled launch time! 

Here are a few other parking options should you need them:

  • South Beach Parking Lot - 930 Swallow Avenue, Marco Island.  Parking fee is $8/day, pay at the self-pay credit card machine.  This lot has 60 parking spaces, restroom access, and a foot shower.  This lot opens at 7am and closes at sunset. Walk the two blocks to Caxambas (0.6 miles away).

  • Turtle Lot Parking - 711 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island.  Parking fee is unknown at this time, but it is a flat daily rate.  There are 80 parking spaces in this Lot.  You will most likely need to catch a ride to Caxambas from here (1.8 miles away).   


Please allow extra travel time during Season (November - April) as traffic to Marco Island builds during the day, and parking spots become a rare commodity! 

Please remember to check-in with your Guide and sign waivers fifteen (15) minutes prior to your scheduled launch time! 


There are restrooms at the Caxambas launch site, but no showers nor washdown stations. The restrooms close at 5pm, so for afternoon tours there are no restrooms to use once we return. There is also the Ship Store in case you need any last-minute purchases of sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, etc.!  Ship Store closes at 5pm. 

SWFL Shell Guide Kayak Tour Guest
SWFL Seashell Kayak Tour Guests Shelling


  • HAT
Be sure to wear close-toed water shoes or old sneakers or rubber boots! The terrain may be rough and rugged if we're headed to Kice Island. Even if we're headed to the sand flats there are still several sharp shells and objects you don't want to step on barefooted! Kice is not your typical white sandy beachfront; it's teeming with tree roots and stumps, and sometimes slimy slippery muck! Sometimes shelling requires us to cover a lot of ground on foot, both in and out of water - make sure your shoes are broken-in and fit well to avoid rubbing and blisters! Footwear is so so important!
There's no shade from the blazing sun on the kayaks or on the island or sand flats! Be sure to bring sun protection: long-sleeve water shirt, lotion, cream, sunglasses, hats, even an umbrella to create your own shade if needed - whatever you use!   
Of course, feel free to bring your own desired food and beverages. 
No tools are really necessary, but you're free to bring your preferred shelling tools such as scoopers, diggers, snorkels, goggles, walking sticks, etc! I do provide hand rakes to each guests if there are any piles to dig! I also provide small plastic boxes to hold fragile finds such as sand dollars, urchins, crab carapaces, etc.  




I'm happy to provide water bottles and snacks (trail mix) for each guest. 


Each guest will also receive a complimentary custom-designed (by yours truly) shell bag, which we will set to work filling with seashell treasures (collecting only empty shells, of course)! If you're lucky enough to book a tour when there are piles of shells (as opposed to smatterings), I provide a hand rake for your use in raking thru the piles. 


Should you collect fragile beach finds (sand dollars, urchins, crab carapaces) I have plastic boxes to keep them separate (and hopefully safe) from the shells.


I'll also have some insect repellent on hand, usually necessary during very early morning or near-sunset evening times of day during Spring and Summer months!


You will also receive a souvenir waterproof cell phone/keys pouch to keep them safe and dry while kayaking.  


Remind me after the tour to give you the Seashell ID Card (also designed by yours truly!) as a keepsake!


Usually within 3-4 days after the tour you will receive an email with a link to a google album containing your tour snapshots for your scrapbook!  Jump Shots are kinda my schtick, so... save a bit of energy to get a few feet of air! 

Marco Island Shell Collecting Bags