to Miami | Attractions | Guide Services
One of the highlights
of a visit to South Florida is an airboat ride in the Everglades. An airboat
is a flat-bottomed vessel propelled in a forward direction by an aircraft-type
propeller and powered by either an aircraft or automotive engine.
put one fallacy to rest: These vessels are prohibited to operate within the Everglades National Park meaning that rides offered to the public
are operated outside of the park boundaries. You should also keep in mind
that the Everglades is not a jungle or a swamp. It is a unique bioshpere
found nowhere else in the world. It is a vast, shallow, slow moving river
which appears as a grass-covered open prarie streaching for miles. There
is no dry land except tree covered islands called hammocks, inhabited by
deer, boar and raccoons. Nonetheless, the likelihood of seeing fauna, other
than alligators, will be remote. At certain times of the year, birdlife
is prolific, usually during the winter December to March period. You will
most definitely see alligators at some time during your ride.
airboat operators are located along the Tamiami
Trail (US 41), which runs across the peninsula from Miami to Naples
on the west coast of Florida, and passes the north
(Shark Valley) entrance to the Everglades National Park. There is also
one airboat operator located before the south
(Ernest Coe) entrance past the city of Homestead.
airboat rides are better? Well, to be honest, and airboat ride is an airboat
ride. Possibly the airboats run by the Miccosukee Tribe to the north of
the Tamiami Trail are somewhat more authentic. The rides that run south
of the Trail are more developed and slicker. Prices are between US$ 20 to
US$ 25 and usually include wildlife exhibitions and demonstrations as well
as a nature trail.
of you will take an organized tour from Miami, so you will have little choice
regarding which airboat operator you will be using. Fear not, as most of
the rides will be fast and furious! You should be aware that the airboat
is very noisy, though hopefully you will be provided earmuffs. The boat
operators are usually very well versed in the Everglades, but keep in mind
they are guides that do the same thing ten times a day, and probably eek
a living from your tips.
is a list of airboat operators on the Tamiami Trail and their respective websites,
in order of distance from Miami:
- 11 miles from Miami.
Gator Park - 12
miles from Miami.
Safari - 15 miles from Miami.
Airboat Tours - 20 miles from Miami.
- Near Homestead before arriving at the main entrance to Everglades National
Usually from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily all year
Rates vary, but are usually between US$ 20 and US$ 25.
Lower rates for children up to 11 years of age.
Not recommened for children under 5
Plus 7% Florida sales tax
On site parking free
Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St.) is exit 25A
(from the north) and exit 25 (from the south) off the Florida Turnpike.
From Miami Beach take SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway), which starts as 5th.
Street and continues as the MacArthur Causeway past downtown Miami. Continue all the way to the end at 137th. Avenue.
Turn right on SW 8th. Street, which is Tamiami Trail. You will see the various
airboat operators well signposted along the way.
Photos at Johnny Tigertail's Airboat Tours
Waiting to start the tour
Airboat in action
Indian island in the Everglades
Johnny Tigertail and Big Bertha