Eco Tour Guides

Hire an Ecotour Guide

You’ve made your decision. You want to take the day – perhaps the weekend – and paddle coastal Virginia’s waterways.

But you don’t want to do it alone. You want to have someone well versed in the ecosystem science help point out what you are seeing. You want to understand the natural and cultural history of the region. And you want to be led.

Consider hiring a guide. Certified Virginia Ecotour Guides share fun facts about our beautiful coastal ecosystems and their wild inhabitants. They have received training in wildlife and habitat protection, customer service, interpretation, and planning – so you are sure to have a safe and enjoyable time, naturally!

Eastern Shore Northern Neck Middle Peninsula VAB & Other
Seaside Ecotours
Capt. Meriwether Payne

The Tides Inn,
Rebecca Riley
Bay Country Kayaking, Jackie Collins
Paddle On of Williamsburg, Lori Erwin
Captain Dan’s Around the Island Tours, Capt. Dan & Capt. Ray Davis
Mark Boikin
Gloucester, VA
Sally Shoemaker
Moore To See Photo Expeditions
Erik Moore
Virginia Beach, VA

Bay Country Kayaking, Shannon Alexander
  Chesapeake Bay Paddling Company, Jim Warwick
The Nature Bus
Suzanne Moss & Kevin Moss
Virginia Beach, VA
757-288-9595 (TEXT)

Big Papa SUP, Chris Nacy
    James Bell
Colonial Beach, VA

Onancock Sailing Adventures, Capt. Tom Bunino
    Mrs. Claire Neubert
Hampton, VA
The Nature Bus
Suzanne Moss & Kevin Moss
Virginia Beach, VA
757-288-9595 (TEXT)

    Charlie Winslow
Chesapeake, VA
Burnham Guides
Bill and Mary Burnham
Onancock, VA (Florida & abroad)

Puppy Drum Vineyards
Calvin Hagan
7450 Prettyman Circle, Exmore, VA 23350

North End Expeditions
Tom Finn
Cape Charles, VA

Tony Fleck
Onancock, VA

Beach and Bay Tours, Paul & Pat Brabazon

Anthony Pennino
Exmore, VA

Adalberto Rodriguez


David Denny


Edwin Powers


Jennifer Elmer


Zachary Mallette


Danielle Simmons
Nassawadox, VA

Become an Certified Ecotour Guide

Want to turn your passion for paddling Virginia’s rural coastal waterways into a paycheck? Consider training to become an official – and certified – Virginia Ecotour Guide.

The next course offering begins in January of 2020. Registration will open in the fall of 2019. To learn more contact: or visit the VDEQ VCZMP page.

Why now?

Tourism is a major driver in Virginia’s economy and ecotourism is especially important in rural coastal Virginia as it connects people to the very natural resources we strive striving to protect, instilling a strong will to take care of these life-sustaining resources.

Virginia offers an eight-week, “live” online class to provide students the certification credentials they need to lead their own ecotours. The course focuses on various aspects of ecotourism, including ecosystem science, customer service, business marketing, interpretation skills, culture and natural history. Guest speaker presentations are incorporated into the course and active discussion is encouraged and required. Interpretive materials and resources for the course are provided.

In order to qualify for an ecotourism certification, a CPR & First Aid Certification is required and can be obtained at the student’s convenience. The guide certification lasts for three years, after which time the guide must re-certify.