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Airboat Rides in The Everglades - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Activities

We have visited Florida many, many times but have never ventured any further south than Orlando. With so much to do in the area why would you ever need to go anywhere else? Well, how wrong can you be and we found this out during our recent two-week tour of Florida.

Whilst staying in Naples, on the south west coast of Florida, we decided to visit the Everglades. Only a fifty-minute drive along the Tamiami Trail and we were to experience a whole new adventure.

Turning right off the Tamiami Trail, at the sign post for Everglades City, we made our first stop at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Centre to pick up the many leaflets and brochures on offer. A few people were making free phone calls to the airboat rental operators to book their tours in advance, but as there were so many to choose from we decided to take pot luck and just turn up.

We chose Eden of the Everglades for our tour. Turn right on Dupont Road before crossing the Everglades City Bridge. I really don’t think that it matters who you choose in the end as they all run the same route and even though we paid at Eden of the Everglades we were actually sent across the road to another company who had a boat all ready and set to go within five minutes.

We were given our ear defenders when we boarded the boat, and as we steadily glided along the water I began to wonder why. A pelican landed on our boat for a few minutes to enjoy the free ride. As we rounded a corner the pelican flew off and I couldn’t put on my ear defenders fast enough! ! The roar from the engine was deafening and the ringing in my ears was vibrating through the whole of my body, but it was absolutely fantastic. Tears were streaming down my face from the wind but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

We eventually slowed down and as we rounded the next corner we stopped to watch a couple of alligators swimming past. They seemed oblivious to the fact that we were there but it might have been a different story if one of us had fallen overboard! We were surprised to see feral hogs on our tour, one boat had stopped to feed them and they tried to board their boat. Apparently, you would never see them if it wasn’t for the constant source of food that the visitors bring along. After an hour our ride was over and, although I had been a little bit nervous at first, I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the Everglades.

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