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“Great history and ecology lesson combined with fun.”

Blue Heron River Tours
Ranked #1 of 11 Tours in DeLand
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We operate a 45 foot, 49 passenger Coast Guard licensed tour boat out of Hontoon Landing Resort and Marina in Deland, Florida.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

This 2 hour tour goes from St Johns river, to Blue Springs and around the Hontoon island. The Captian was very infromative, from the history of the great cypress trees to the wildlife.
It is a photographers dream, from birds to trutles and many gators and even a few manatees.
Of course the weather made it better at 80 degrees in January. Great off the beaten path and out of the crowds of Disney World etc.

Thank kathies768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sailor1978, Owner at Blue Heron River Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2013

I am pleased that you mentioned the photo opportunities on our trip. Our river system is a photographer's dream. So many wonderful shots. We are very happy that you enjoyed your trip with Blue Heron River Tours.

Hope to see you again on the river,

Captain Gary S. Randlett

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Reviews (354)
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290 - 294 of 354 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2013

What a wonderful tour of the St. Johns River and the back waters. Capt Gary will take you out on a clean and comfortable pontoon boat to see what Florida is really all about. The trip lasts about 2 hours and you will be wanting more. The Capt. will discuss the St. Johns, plants and trees, and of course the beautiful wildlife including a variety of birds, alligators, manatee and whatever might be waiting around the next bend. Gary will stop the boat to view the wildlife and allow time for photos. He will then take you into an old logging canal that is a step back in time and then onto the Hontoon Dead River and back to the St. Johns. If you love wildlife please put this on your list of things to do while visiting Florida. Bring your cameras to record the Great Blue Herons, Osprey, Egrets,Ibis, Manatee and the Alligators, and many more species of birds. Capt Gary loves his job and it shows in the tour he conducts.......

Thank Lynne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sailor1978, Owner at Blue Heron River Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2013

We are pleased that you enjoyed your tour. There is a lot to see out here, and I think the canal and the Hontoon Dead River make our tour special.

Hope to see you again!!!

Captain Gary

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Reviewed January 15, 2013

Thanks to Gary, we had a wonderful afternoon enjoying old Florida at it best. We saw in abundance beautiful great blue herons feeding and nesting in cypress trees, white and snowy egrets, anihingas (snake birds), manatees, gators basking in the sun, ospreys catching fish. wild turkeys, endangered wood storks, trees filled with white ibis, wild florida deer and much more. Not only do you tour the St. Johns River but you also experience the Hontoon Dead River a place unspoiled by modern civilization. Gary a former teacher and wanna be comedian, does an exceptional job teaching you about Florida wildlife and vegetation while using humor to make it enjoyable. This is better than any theme park and a must if you really want to see natural Florida.

Thank evelynmason2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sailor1978, Owner at Blue Heron River Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2013

Better than the theme parks is just what we love to hear. There are so many people coming to Florida who see nothing but the theme parks. We believe that everyone should be able to appreciate the natural side of Florida.

We hope to see you again sometime,

Captain Gary

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Reviewed January 9, 2013

The tour guide/owner, Gary, clearly loves what he does and is a treasure trove of information about the natural beauty of central Florida...all with a sense of humor, too. If you really want to see what Florida looked like BEFORE the hustle and bustle of civilization, get a great break from the noise and long lines at the theme parks and the traffic of Orlando, then you NEED to do this tour. It is off the beaten path, so you may need a GPS to find it, but it will be well worth the drive, the time and the price. Thanks Gary and what is your favorite bird, again...I can't recall?

Thank single_axis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sailor1978, Owner at Blue Heron River Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2013

The fact that we are difficult to find is exactly the reason that we can show people such a special, out of the way, natural side of Florida. We are pleased that you enjoyed your Blue Heron River Tours experience. Now if I could only remember the name of my favorite bird.

Hope to see you again on the river,

Captain Gary

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Reviewed January 5, 2013

Many thanks to Gary for a fantastic afternoon on the water and his enthusiasm and knowledge. Saw too many breeds of wildlife to mention them all but the highlights for us were at least 10 gators, manatees, vultures eating and an osprey catching, carrying then eating a fish. This is a fantastic tour and well worth making the drive from Orlando. The boat is spotlessly clean and has refreshments and a restroom. The tour officially lasts for 2 hours but can overrun as Gary is more than happy to stop the boat and even back up to make sure everyone gets a great view and photo opportunity. Hope to see you again. Thanks again. Rob & Helen Fearn (UK turtle spotters)

Thank Rob F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sailor1978, Owner at Blue Heron River Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2013

We always take our time on the river. Blue Heron River Tours wants its customers to appreciate the natural side of Florida, and you just can't do that if you are in a rush. Thanks for the wonderful comments!

Hope to see you again on the river,

Captain Gary

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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