Being on Vacation means no hassle, no alarm clock and especially nothing to stress you out. Everyone seems relaxed, sipping their 4 o’clock cocktails by the beach. Spending time with friends, family and loved ones. What’s better than exploring your surroundings and going for a walk or taking guided tours? There’s nothing I like more than coming back from vacation and having the feeling that I learned something, the knowledge of travel. Nothing beats it!
On my last trip to Florida I decided to explore the Everglades. Everyone seems to be curious or even aware of these surroundings, therefore I was convinced to live the experience of the swamp life during my stay!
By Charlie Brais
Everglades Gator Park
The Everglades is a protected landscape with numerous endangered species. It is actually the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. If you want to see alligators, now that’s the place to find them!
My family and I decided to reserve a guided tour at the Everglades Gator Park in Miami, where we could observe alligators in their natural habitat. When I arrived, I was surprised by the number of boats adorned at the edge of the platforms! A dozen or so with large propellers floating on the water.
A main dock which was bigger than the other ones, served to embark people onto the propeller boats. The ticket booth was also close by, offering plastic rain ponchos; yes unfortunately it was raining; and earplugs, a very convenient must have when you ride around the everglades.
The Airboat Ride
We embarked on the airboat, which can accommodate roughly twenty people at a time. Our guide helped us board, and we then set sail towards our swamp journey! The boat was surprisingly low, the side edges were no more than 12 inches high keeping us from falling off.
Throughout the tour, our conductor explained the luscious growth of vegetation, describing different plants growing in the Everglades as well as animals, birds and reptiles, it was very magical and especially educational. Who would have known that the everglades was so populated!
We noticed approximately six alligators throughout our tour, which was very surprising since apparently alligators tend to come out when it is sunny, and of course it was a rainy day. Our guided tour lasted 30 to 40 minutes. These lazy alligators would pop their eyes out of the water and just flow around the swamp. They were definitely used to seeing airboats going around since we would get very close to them and they would stay put as if they were greeting us. It was an unforgettable experience!
After this great swamp tour we headed towards the park enclosure where alligators live. Their habitat is monitored, it is very wide, and contains several ponds, sand and palm trees where they can relax in the shade on hot days. They seemed to be enjoying life! We then walked towards the outdoor museum where you can find the jaws of alligators and crocodiles and all kinds of reptiles exposed. It’s quite an exhibition.
To conclude I would say that the Everglades Gator Park is quite an experience, for every age group. Children will be amazed to see alligators up close. You learn a lot on board the airboat as well as walking through the museum of reptiles and crocodiles. On the boat, you will discovery all sorts of swampy vegetation and live the experience of many species habitat. While at the museum, you will learn more about the history of these animals. It is definitely an experience worth living. Besides, isn’t this what vacation life is all about?