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Visit Everglades National Park

Ever engaging, ever beautiful and ever surprising - that's the Everglades, the jewel in the crown of South Florida. This massive prairie wetland, with its endless miles of saw grass, its tangled mangrove thickets and treasure chest of rare animal and plant life is one of the world's most unique environments - which makes Everglades National Park tours an absolute must for anyone holidaying nearby.

Think Everglades and you think 'swamp' - but it's actually a 50-mile wide, slow-flowing river that's rarely more than a foot deep and where one gallon of water takes a month to meander its way south to the ocean. It's also a wonderland of amazing plants, with 'rivers' of saw grass, tree islands studded with cypress and tropical hardwoods, and rare orchids, as well as a haven for wildlife: look out for bottlenose dolphins, manatees, alligators, crocodiles, bald eagles and herons.

Everglades National Park tours are made easier with the help of some top-class visitor centres stationed close to the park entrances and areas of interest. Here you can find out all about this mesmerising region via films, interactive exhibits and live talks. You can also book onto a ranger-led walk or activity and get to see the Everglades through the eyes of an expert.

But just how you explore the park, and how close up you get to its spectacular scenery and wildlife is up to you. For the most intimate of experiences you might want to hire a canoe and paddle through channels arched with foliage, where otters dive for cover. Or you might want to cruise through the backcountry on a guided tour, or walk one of the marked trails. You can even take a two-hour tram ride.

Whichever way you choose to experience the mind-blowing beauty of the Everglades, it'll be a trip you never forget.

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The Florida Panther

This rare and endangered species was once a common sight throughout south-eastern US, but today its numbers have fallen to around 100. With their sleek beige fur and pale-green eyes, the panthers make for a stunning sight - so keep your eyes carefully peeled and you may even be lucky enough to spot one.

The Shark Valley Tram

Named for the river that runs through it, Shark Valley plays host to a 15 miles of track. Trams glide along it throughout the day, and offer captivating two-hour tours with commentary by a knowledgeable guide plus the chance to spot alligators, turtles, watersnakes and all manner of birdlife. And if you don't fancy the tram, you can bike round the loop instead.

A Walk on the Wild Side

The 50-minute Anhinga Trail provides a perfect introduction to the park and is packed with wildlife; you can expect to see alligators, lizards, turtles, river otters, herons and egrets. The nearby Gumbo Limbo Trail is just as enjoyable and meanders through a jungle-like wonderland of gumbo-limbo trees, royal palms, ferns orchids and air plants.

The Right Season

Everglades National Park tours are at their best in the dry winter season between December and April. When it's humid and hot during the summer months, some of the tours won't run, you're likely to see fewer animals, and the local mosquitoes will be out in force!

Airboat Ecstasy

Nothing conjures up an image of the Everglades more than skimming over the water in an airboat, with the saw grass parting as the boat speeds forward. But airboats are prohibited from the park itself to preserve its delicate ecosystems - although you'll find plenty of options to take an airboat tour outside the park's perimeter.
 

Fly Drive Holiday: Sunshine Trails

Miami - Key West - Everglades National Park - Naples - Sarasota - Silver Springs - St Augustine - Orlando

Take a whirlwind tour around the coast of Florida on this sun-drenched fly-drive holiday, starting in Miami and taking in subtropical swamps, unspoilt beaches, fascinating wildlife and phenomenal sunsets en route to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world. Don’t miss the chance to meet a veteran astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center or test your snorkelling skills at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Click here for more details

Time Difference:
GMT- 5 hours

Closest Airport:
Miami International Airport (approx. 9 hours and 10 minutes)

Getting around:
Hire a car and explore the surrounding areas. Car hire is available from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
Don’t miss the 0.8 mile paved Anhinga Trail and boardwalk at Royal Palm. This is the best and most reliable place to see alligators and Everglades wading birds surprisingly close within the Everglades National Park.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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Deposits from £59pp 

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Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

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