One of the country’s best natural treasures, the Everglades feature a unique combination of ecosystems that include swamps, sub-tropical jungles, saw-grass prairies and the largest mangrove complex in the Western Hemisphere. Located in South Florida, much of the Everglades are protected within the Everglades National Park and provide shelter to a wide variety of birds, fish, animals and reptiles, including endangered species like the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile and the Florida panther.
One of the largest national parks in the USA, the Everglades National Park features four different visitor centers that provide education about the Everglades as well as a variety of tours and outstanding experiences. Among the most popular of these is the Shark Valley Visitor Center, which in addition to educational displays and books, offers tram tours with opportunities to spot wildlife such as alligators, turtles, deer and herons. Also located at Shark Valley is an observation tower that presents fantastic views. From the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, visitors can arrange boat tours to the Ten Thousand Islands, a labyrinth of mangrove islands, viewing manatees, dolphins, pelicans and ospreys along the way. Also from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, visitors can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the Everglades on self-guided tours.
The visitor centers of Ernest Coe and Flamingo also offer ranger-led tours and programs. An air boat tour is one of the most exciting ways to experience the Everglades. What’s more, numerous hiking trails, biking trails, fishing and camping are also available within the national park.