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The Everglades [boating, walking & kayaking]

  • Everglades National Park, Florida, United States of America (USA)

  • https://www.nps.gov
  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

This 1.5-million-acre park, dubbed the ‘river of grass’, is the US’s largest subtropical wilderness. Alligators, endangered mammals like the Florida panther and more than 360 bird species all dwell here.

Happily, excursions into all that raw nature can be as adventurous or tame as you’d like, from strolls on boardwalk paths to kayaking trips and boat tours into the thick of things.

The most thrilling means to explore is on one of the famous airboats – they don’t damage underwater vegetation with props, and can glide over otherwise inaccessibly shallow areas.

Dive in.

Who to go with: tour operators

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The Ahinga Trail

  • Everglades National Park, Florida, United States of America (USA)

The Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park

Experience

A great way to enjoy the Everglades without much effort – this short, 0.8-mile paved walkway and boardwalk winds through a mix of forest and freshwater sawgrass marsh; expect to see alligators, turtles, anhingas, herons, egrets, and many other birds, especially during the winter. The trail starts at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, about 4 miles from the park entrance.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 1 hour

Logistics

Price from: £25
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Several official park entrances can be accessed from points in the Florida Keys and along the east and west coasts of South Florida.

Stop into a visitor centre once you’re on park property to ask about trails and get a feel for nearby offerings. Some of the best trails with easy walking terrain for all levels of fitness can be reached from the Flamingo Visitor Center in Florida City, about 30 minutes south of Miami.

Loud and thrilling, airboat tours aren’t allowed inside the park but sign up for a fun way to see the swampy alligator-infested exterior.

Everglades Area Tours offer guided camping and sea kayaking tours into the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangroves and sandy islands on the western edge of the park.

Even during the milder winter months, biting bugs can be an annoyance. Apply plenty of insect repellent as soon as you get out of your car and carry plenty of backup.

When to do it

The park is accessible all year round. Visit wildlife viewing areas early in the morning or at dusk, when the animals are most active and the strong sunlight is more bearable.

Winter’s dry season, from November through March, is the best time to visit. Temperatures are cooler and water levels are lower so more animals, especially alligators, can be seen.

Avoid the summer months, especially July and August, when the heat, humidity and bugs (mosquitoes in record numbers) are particularly intense. June and September can be borderline, too.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

4 - 5 hours Everglades Tour from Miami

  • Miami

4 - 5 hours Everglades Tour from Miami

Viator

Explore the Everglades on this 4-5 hour start to finish tour from Miami. Glide along the water on an airboat ride and listen to expert commentary from both your tour guide and airboat captain. Most of the times small groups. We use most of the time small vehicles. Elegant, comfortable High Roof Black Sprinter Vans, to transport people to the park. Many times we are flexible to pick up people from out of the route locations. We use good and prompt communication pre tour with our guests.

Price $77

Min age 0

Rating 4.70 / 5 [1301 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Everglades National Park Biologist Led Adventure: Cruise, Hike + Airboat

  • Fort Lauderdale

Everglades National Park Biologist Led Adventure: Cruise, Hike + Airboat

Viator

Explore the real Everglades on a full-day guided tour, led by an experienced master naturalist. This is a comprehensive Everglades experience! Take a 1-hour, guided boat tour of the beautiful 10,000 Islands. Chance to see bird species: like roseate spoonbills, white pelicans, and ospreys. See manatees and dolphins up close. Go on a 1-hour dry nature hike led by a master naturalist, where you will immerse yourself in incredible wildlife and rare plants and orchids, under a canopy of huge cypress trees. Hold onto your hat on an exhilarating 1-hour air boat ride, the best in the Glades. Discover the remote beauty of a Native American tree island village where they used to live, one can only get to by boat. Witness alligators and other wildlife where they should be spotted, in the wild, and up close! Visit a historic trading post and other intriguing cultural and ecological stops. A delicious lunch is included. Wild Lime Adventures is the highest rated tour company in South Florida!

Price $259

Min age 5

Rating 4.90 / 5 [453 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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60 min. Everglades Airboat ride & pick-up ,small group +pro guide

  • Miami

60 min. Everglades Airboat ride & pick-up ,small group +pro guide

Viator

Our Everglades Tour is led by a real guide with over 10 years of experience in Miami. Personal connection is super important to us, that's why we keep our tour groups small to medium-sized, ensuring that every question gets answered. We make sure no question goes unanswered! The Everglades have faced new challenges over time, from urban development and drainage to the invasion of exotic species from the tropical rainforests of South America. We want to show you how much we care about the Everglades, and that's why we've been actively involved in protecting them for years. During this tour, we'll also share ways you can actively contribute to preserving the Everglades. Looking forward to having you with us!

Price $63

Min age 2

Rating 4.26 / 5 [443 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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1-Hour Air boat Ride and Nature Walk with Naturalist in Everglades National Park

  • Miami

1-Hour Air boat Ride and Nature Walk with Naturalist in Everglades National Park

Viator

With your expert naturalist guide, head out on an amazing nature walk in Everglades National Park. Immerse yourself in the beauty of different ecosystems in the actual National Park. View a wide variety of birds, alligators, and other wildlife up close! And where it should be experienced, in the wild! We never go to places with animals in cages and pens. With your guide discover the flora and fauna of this wetland wilderness, and the role of water and conservation in this unique national treasure. Go on an exhilarating 1-hour air boat ride way far out in the River of Grass. This is no touristy type of trip. Become immersed in the fascinating native culture as you visualize their remote way of life. You can only get there by boat and on this tour!  Take in a scenic narrated drive through the Everglades, led by your master naturalist guide. Wild Lime Adventures is the highest rated tour company in South Florida! If you book this directly with us, we can offer a dsicount to you.

Price $169

Min age 5

Rating 4.83 / 5 [441 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Semi-Private 1-Hour Airboat Tour of Miami Everglades

  • Florida

Semi-Private 1-Hour Airboat Tour of Miami Everglades

Viator

Whip and slide around the river of grass on our airboats with all the beauty this one of a kind ecosystem has to offer.

Price $80

Min age 0

Rating 4.96 / 5 [200 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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