Everglades tours are among the most popular tours in southern Florida. The allure of these tours lies largely in the region's landscape, as there aren't too many landscapes like it in the world. Also of great interest are the Everglades animals. Hundreds of different species call the lowlands region home, with alligators and panthers figuring among the most renowned creatures. There's certainly a lot to take in, and plenty of tour operators are available to help regional visitors make the most of their time.
Airboat tours are especially popular in the Everglades region. Airboats are ideal for cutting through the area waters, not to mention the abundant saw grass, and it's not hard to find a tour operator in and around regional cities like Miami. In fact, one of the best airboat tour outfitters is only some twelve miles west of Miami. It is known as Gator Park, and it offers more than just airboat tours. Guests also have the chance to enjoy a wildlife show, and there are other shows that revolve around things such as alligator wrestling and risky stunts with stinging scorpions. Gator Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the airboat tours leave every 20 minutes.
Some Everglades airboat tour operators claim that they can take people into Everglades National Park. This, however, is not permitted, as airboats aren't exactly known for being the most environmentally friendly watercrafts. As such, the airboat tour outfitters most often set up shop just outside of the park's boundaries.
For those who have their hearts set on boat tours in Everglades National Park proper, there are some options to consider. Motorboats are used to ply the area waterways and often have the Ten-Thousand Islands area as the preferred destination for sightseeing. This area helps to comprise the Western Hemisphere's largest stand of protected mangrove forest. Smaller, six-person boats can get where some of the larger boats can't, so this is something that is worth keeping in mind when it comes to the boat tours in Everglades National Park. Either way, chances are good that guests will spot a variety of interesting creatures along the way. Taking a canoe tour in the Everglades is just one more option for those who wish to get out on the water for some sightseeing.
As for staying on dry land, tram tours are quite popular. These tours, the majority of which are available at the Shark Valley entrance on Highway 41, see guests hopping on open-air buses of sorts for a trip through the wilderness. The excursions generally last around two hours, and as is common of Everglades tours in general, a knowledgeable guide is in place to provide wonderful insight into the local ecosystem. It takes about an hour to drive to the Shark Valley entrance if you are coming from Miami.
There are a few main places to enter Everglades National Park. They include Everglades City, which is found to the near southeast of Naples on the western side of southern Florida, and the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center near Homestead and Florida City. These are both great places to arrange Everglades National Park tours, as is true of the Shark Valley entrance.
The Everglades region isn't totally contained within the boundaries of Everglades National Park. As such, anyone who is interested in Everglades tours is encouraged to keep all of the regional destinations in mind when trying to expand their options. It's not difficult to arrange an Everglades tour in Fort Lauderdale, for example.