A word from founder Bruce Smith

“Welcome to Seascape Kayak Tours. This company began as an outgrowth of my passion for paddling, outdoor education and sharing special marine environments with others. I love introducing people to wild places and helping them feel comfortable and reach their potential on the water. Whether you choose to join us for a sunset paddle, a day trip or an extended expedition, you will travel with just a few others, in a safe, sensitive and environmentally sound manner.”

Client Corner Recent Posts

Preserving the Three-Wattled Bellbird in MonteverdeApril 22nd, 2010

Bruce and I just returned from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a deep green magical forest with tall old-growth trees that seem to be from another place and time. As we hiked for six hours along lush trails through mist that evaporates as sunlight streams down from the canopy, we were mesmerized by an eerie yet lovely soundtrack of high pitched “eeenk” sounds followed by what can only be described as a “metallic bonk,” like the amplified plunk of an out-of-tune piano key.


Following the “eeenk; bonk” sounds from one opening in the thick tropical forest to another, Bruce finally spotted the enthusiastic vocalist, a male Three-Wattled Bellbird! He is a beautiful creature with a ghostly white head, neck and shoulders, and a chestnut-brown torso, perched on the very tip of a craggy branch, not too high up in the trees, mouth gaping open to project his territorial call for up to two miles! We were enthralled and enchanted by this new animal sighting. And we felt a connection.

A couple of nights before, we had visited La Calandria Private Reserve and Lodge, where we heard a presentation by Debra Hamilton about the Three-Wattled Bellbird. Debra is a conservation biologist, a mom, a bird research specialist, owner and manager of a small bookstore and café, the director of the Costa Rican Conservation Foundation – and those are just a few of her titles. She has devoted her life to studying the rare and endangered bird species that make the mystical Monteverde Cloud Forest their home, and is heading up many projects to help save these hauntingly beautiful birds.


Debra, who has been working in the Monteverde area since 1992, explained that there are only a few Bellbirds still in existence in the very special humid forest habitats where their favorite food, the wild avocado, grows. This is because, sadly, much of the tropical forest containing the bird’s food supply has been cut down, in Costa Rica and in other Central American countries. What was once a large area of forest is now only in small fragmented pieces. Along with several other scientists, Debra has studied diversity of understory birds and the use of agricultural windbreaks as biological corridors for birds moving between forest fragments. She is currently involved in a long-term study of the Bellbird, including investigations of migratory patterns, population locations and sizes (which means taking a Bellbird census!), and the possible impact of climate change on Bellbird populations.


Debra and her colleagues know that in order to save the Bellbird from extinction, its remaining habitat must be preserved and protected. So they have begun to focus much of their energy on reforestation projects. Seascape wants to help. We’d like to hear from anyone who would be interested in a voluntourism experience staying in Monteverde at La Calandria Private Reserve and Lodge and visiting the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You could combine this trip with paddling on either coast of Costa Rica, or you could do it without a kayak component. You would join us in planting trees that will help expand and enrich habitat for the Bellbird so that its voice will always ring out over the cloud forest canopy.


Read more about the Bellbird and Debra Hamilton

Read more about La Calandria Private Reserve and Lodge

Brilliant CombinationJanuary 21st, 2010

I’ve returned from the Jan ’10 KaYoga trip a couple of days ago and still can’t stop thinking about it.

Combining kayaking and yoga is brilliant. The two practices build on each other philosophically, making the whole experience richer than the sum of its parts. And there is a more earthly benefit, too: Because of the yoga, I felt no pain or stiffness at all from the paddling.

Bruce is an extraordinarily knowledgeable and devoted instructor and guide. His deep love of the sea—and of the natural world in general—is infectious. And he is the most patient teacher I have ever met, answering the same questions over and over, never exhibiting even a hint of annoyance. He pays close attention to each individual and his/her needs, which made us all, regardless of our level of experience or ability, feel comfortable and relaxed on the water and on land from beginning to end. He’s also a terrific cook!

Lauri’s yoga instruction is warm and supportive. She also pays an extraordinary amount of attention to each individual, tailoring every pose to each person’s needs and abilities. But her caring doesn’t end when the yoga practice closes. She’s always watching, always caring, always supporting. Ahhh. “It’s all good,” she says. And it really is.

Logistically, every step of the trip was beautifully executed. All the connections were flawless, and every single person we dealt with was friendly, professional, and helpful.

In closing, I want to express my appreciation for your ability, Bruce, to convey a sense of place during the trip. On the plane home I sat with a couple who’d been on the Windstar when we were there. They had a nice enough time, I think, but they knew nothing of the places they’d been, not even the names. They did not recognize the word “Curú.” And when I asked about the highlights of their trip, they said vague things about seeing a lot of crocodiles in one place and monkeys in another. Sensing the superficiality of their experience made me realize and appreciate anew just how deep mine was. Muchas gracias, again.

I came home with a profound appreciation for the deep and outrageously positive experience I had. Muchas gracias to Frances, Bruce, Lauri, and todos mis amigos del mar.

-Sharon AvRutick, Pleasantville, NY, El Espiritu del Mar, 5-day Yoga and Kayaking in Costa Rica

A Special GiftDecember 19th, 2009

The season in Costa Rica so far has been very busy: three multi-day experiences and a number of day trips with guests from Tambor Tropical. It is wonderful to be back in this warm, colorful Latin American country. Costa Rica is home. I have several days off prior to the arrival of the next group on December 26th.


Christmas is crazy in Costa Rica; families preparing special tamales for “La Navidad” and making sure regalos (gifts) are ready. It still seems slightly strange to see Christmas lights twinkling from palm trees and a Santa poking out from lush tropical vegetation.

kinkyA couple of days ago I received a very special early Christmas gift. Frances and I traveled to Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in the nearby coastal community of Cabuya. The sanctuary cares for and tries to rehabilitate injured mammals, birds and reptiles. One of the animals at the center is a Kinkajou, a small nocturnal mammal which is also called a “night monkey.”

When we entered the animal’s enclosure in the late afternoon, Kinky was just starting to stir from a full day’s slumber. I slowly reached into its den and softly stroked its silky soft fur and Kinky opened her huge round eyes and peered out. The connection was immediate….trust….caring….love and recognition. Kinky poked her head out of her nest and yawned, exposing a long, narrow tongue, and proceeded to reach out to hold onto me with her little paws as she stretched to her full length. We looked at each other for quite some time, acknowledging a kindred presence. Then, with almost a smile and a nod, Kinky moved lazily back into her den for a little more rest before waking for the night.

Several days (and nights) later, I still find myself reflecting upon this encounter. The physical sense of touch is very powerful… It can often convey a feeling or message that words cannot.

I believe in the true spirit of Christmas; however, I find it very difficult to accept how commercialized Christmas has become. Too often we are more concerned about what Christmas dinner will be, how the house will look for guests, or finding the perfect gift than reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.

It is important to touch people and animals and demonstrate love, kindness, acceptance and understanding. This is the true gift of Christmas.


Wishing everyone a very simple, peaceful holiday season.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel

Bruce and Frances

You can read more about Kinky and Rainsong here.

Photos courtesy of Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary, Frank Postma and Bruce Smith.