The Do’s and Don’ts of Kayak Tours at San Juan Islands

Kayak Tours

In the picturesque San Juan Islands, embarking on kayak tours is a must-do experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers. With its stunning views, diverse wildlife, and calm waters, kayaking in the San Juan Islands offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature. However, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, there are certain do’s and don’ts that every kayaker should keep in mind. Let’s explore the essential guidelines for making the most of your kayak tour in the San Juan Islands.


  1. Do wear appropriate gear: Before setting out on your kayak tour, make sure to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. A sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Additionally, wearing a life jacket is non-negotiable for your safety on the water.
  2. Do paddle with a buddy: It’s always a good idea to paddle with a companion, especially if you’re a beginner. Not only does it enhance the fun factor, but having a buddy by your side also adds an extra layer of safety in case of emergencies.
  3. Do respect wildlife: The San Juan Islands are home to various wildlife, including seals, otters, and even whales. When kayaking, maintain a safe distance from animals to avoid disturbing their natural habitat. Remember, you’re a guest in their home, so treat them with respect.
  4. Stay hydrated: While paddling under the sun, getting dehydrated is easy. Be sure to pack plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your kayak tour. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and cramps, so drink water regularly to keep your energy levels up.
  5. Do follow tour regulations: If you’re on a guided kayak tour, listen to your guide and follow their instructions. They are experts in navigating the waters and ensuring your safety. Respect their rules and regulations to make the most of your kayaking experience.


  1. Don’t litter: One of the cardinal rules of kayaking is to leave no trace. Make sure to pack out all your trash and dispose of it properly when you’re back on land. Keep the San Juan Islands pristine for future generations to enjoy.
  2. Don’t stray too far: While it’s tempting to explore every nook and cranny of the islands, avoid straying too far from your designated route. Stick to the planned course to avoid getting lost or running into trouble.
  3. Remember to underestimate the weather: Weather conditions in the San Juan Islands can change rapidly, so don’t underestimate the power of nature. Check the forecast before heading out, and be prepared for wind, rain, or fog. Safety should always come first.
  4. Don’t disturb marine life: As mesmerizing as the marine life in the San Juan Islands may be, it’s vital to observe from a distance. Avoid chasing or harassing animals, as this can disrupt their natural behavior. Enjoy the beauty of nature without causing harm.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun: Amidst all the guidelines and precautions, don’t forget the most important aspect of kayaking – having fun! Take in the stunning scenery, breathe in the fresh air, and savor every moment of your kayak tour in the San Juan Islands.

Kayak tours in the San Juan Islands offer a magical experience unlike any other. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable adventure on the water. So grab your paddle, gear up, and get ready to explore the beauty of the San Juan Islands from a whole new perspective. Happy paddling!

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