Moving into the more untamed Everglade area is an adventure. This isn’t a Disney theme park and all visitors must understand that they need to be vigilant about personal security within the Everglades National Park. The first stop for anyone to the area should be to the ranger station. Here you will learn about where you can travel, where you should avoid, what to do if you’re lost, leave a record of the route you plan to follow, the kind of wildlife you should try to avoid getting too close to (including insects), and any specific information regarding the wildlife in your chosen location of the park.
A world heritage site, the Everglades National Park is home to many rare and endangered species. Within its boundaries you can pursue activities such as canoeing, walk, and even camp (if you have a permit) to do so. Footwear is important because of the swamp areas such as that around Shark Valley which has approximately 2-3 inches of water.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your visit to the Everglades National Park is to take a guided tour. It’s not as flexible as being able to do your own thing, but given the restrictions on visitors to the park, and the dangers involved in guiding yourself, being driven around by someone familiar with the area has distinct advantages. One such tour is the 2-hour Shark Valley tour which includes a stop at an observation platform from which you can get a great overview of the Everglade area. Other tours offered within the park include fishing, kayaking and camping.
Of course if you’re familiar with anything about the Everglades, it’s the alligators and air boats. If you’re in the water, watch out for the alligators snaking their way quietly alongside you! If you’re kayaking or canoeing keep your hands out of the water! If you want to take a ride on one of the airboats, you’ll find tours that offer this experience – be prepared for noise though as these vehicles aren’t quiet!
The Everglades offer a unique vacation opportunity and even if you aren’t vacationing in Naples, but rather in Miami, or even down on one of the Florida Keys, you should schedule a day to explore the wild beauty of the Everglades. If you only have one day to spare in this area, then taking a couple of tours at the Everglades National Park will still create more memories than you’d ever believe possible from a single day’s outing.