Florida Everglades Thrill: Ride Airboats Through the Swamp

Recently, when traveling in the Fort Lauderdale area, we decided to drive north up Florida’s boot about 40 miles to experience the state’s famed Everglades. The area is easily accessible from Florida’s resort areas and makes a great natural diversion to shopping and spending time at the beach. We booked an airboat water ride with Loxahatchee Everglades Tours and had a great time.

Everglades Habitat
It’s a fantastic way to see the still-unspoiled habitat as the flat boat glides over miles and miles of swampy water, flanked by native trees and overgrown with all kinds of green flora. There are no houses nor any other signs of civilization in sight as the boat passes through carpets of water lilies, sawgrass and cattails. Everything, including animals and birds, live as they have for eons, undisturbed by man’s encroachment. The entire Everglades area is part of the Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.

As we were boarding the boat, an alligator circled us in the water from within just a few feet. The guide said it was a gentle animal and wouldn’t bother us. However, just seeing those beady eyes and enormous jaws was enough for us to heed his warning to keep our hands within the boat at all times during the venture.

Animals and Birds
While we skimmed at about 30 miles an hour on the airboat through the swampy water, above us and in nearby thickets were colorful birds native to the area, including hawks, herons, ospreys, egrets, cranes and other species. We watched as they sought out their prey, and we especially admired the speedy hawks as they dove down from great heights.

Along the ride, we spotted more alligators, as well as frogs, snails, turtles and snakes. Although we didn’t see any, the guide told us other tourists have also seen an occasional Florida panther, black bear, grey fox, key deer, manatee, otter and raccoon. The guide frequently slowed down the boat or stopped it when there was something interesting to see and discuss.

Everglades Are Forever

He said the Everglades are protected areas for wildlife, and all of the species of animals, birds and flora remain in their natural state. The guide further stated that great care is taken keep everything as it has been undisturbed for thousands of years.

There’s a small museum onshore, and while we were waiting for our ride, we saw stuffed versions of native animals and birds, including a 30-foot crocodile, and other exhibits. We certainly enjoyed our airboat experience in Florida’s Everglades, and look forward to the next time we can do it again.

The cost for the one-hour ride was $44 for adults, $22 for children age six to 12, and $8 for children ages three to six. Tours are available seven days a week, the company opens at 9:30 A.M. and the first tour is at 10 A.M. The last tour is at 4 P.M.

Loxahatchee Everglades Tours
15490 Loxahatchee Road
Parkland , FL 33076-9703
(800) 683-5873

You can follow travel writer Ted Sherman on twitter, @travel4seniors and check out his blog, travel4seniors.com

More from this contributor:

5 Most Haunted Hotels in America
Four Incredible Dream Hotel Suites Around the World
Macau Travel Guide

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *