Airboat rides are a poplar tourist attraction in and around the Florida Everglades. Since much of the area is covered by long tall grass, accessing the wildlife and being able to enjoy the beauty of the environment can be quite difficult. Airboats are not actually permitted in the Everglades National Park, but rides can be taken in the Big Cypress area and other regions outside of the park. Don’t worry; you won’t miss anything by taking a ride in the areas surrounding the park. You’ll find many enjoyable sights to see, and plenty of alligators and crocodiles, which is probably why you’re visiting in the first place.
Finding airboat rides isn’t hard to do when you visit the Florida Everglades. All that you have to do is type in a basic search for them in any search engine and multiple companies will come up that provide airboat tours of the area.
There are a variety of types of tours available, including:
- Family tours
- Large group tours
- Individual tours
- Species-specific tours (such as alligators or crocodiles)
- And more!
Airboat rides and tours can last anywhere from 30 minutes to more than 3 hours depending on what you want to see, how much land you want to cover, and how much time you have. Every tour company has a different schedule and format for their rides, so you should always make sure that you are aware of what each one offers.
Tips for Airboat Tours
- Safety is key on airboat rides, which is why everyone will be outfitted with lifejackets
- Ensure that you listen to your airboat operator and remain seated at all time when the boats are moving, no matter how excited you get. Although the airboats glide through the water at fairly slow and safe speeds so as not to disturb the wildlife, it is still dangerous to be standing or moving around unless the vessel is completely stopped.
- Typical airboats look like speedboats or skiffs with a giant fan on the back, but you can find larger boats that look more like a passenger vessel complete with railings and half-walls to protect people from falling overboard or being confronted by wildlife. The fans tend to be quite noisy and most tour operators will provide you with free earplugs. Wear them!
- If you wear your hair long, you may want to tie it back in a pony tail so it doesn’t get in your eyes and bother you. It can get pretty windy sometimes, especially when the boat speeds up.
- If you’re traveling with young children, you can have them sit closer to the center of the boat, both for their protection and your own piece of mind!
Choosing your airboat rides is about finding a company that offers a tour that you enjoy and can afford. Airboat rides are not generally expensive, unless you take a private extended tour of the area, for example. You have the chance to get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even marine life of all kinds. However, you’ll likely find that any tour you take will come with the disclaimer that there are no guarantees as to what you’ll see on your airboat rides, because tour guides and companies cannot predict when and where the wildlife will be on any given day.
If you want a fun and exciting way to get into the swamplands and see more than you might ever see from the walking paths and guided tours in Everglades National Park, you should check into Florida Everglades airboat rides. This will provide you with a chance of a lifetime to see the best of the Everglades, up close and personal.