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Everglades National Park, Florida: how to get there, prices and tips

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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The Everglades National Park is Florida a nature reserve which occupies about 6.250 sq km of land and is described as a "river of grass". Inside this spectacular place, usually to be discovered aboard an airboat, car or on foot, it is possible to admire coastal mangroves, swamps covered with cladium, pine forests, palm groves and willow forests and meet animals such as Caribbean manatees, panthers, crocodiles and alligators, leatherback turtles and birds of various species.

Here is a driving on the Everglades National Park, Florida: how to get there, prices and advice.



Index

  1. Where is it and how to get there
  2. Hours and prices
  3. Tours, guided tours and tickets online
  4. What to see and how to visit the Everglades National Park
  5. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  6. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  7. User questions and comments

Where is it and how to get there

Everglades National Park it is located on the southern tip of Florida, 79 km from Miami, 440 km from Orlando and 340 km from Tampa. It extends from the southern borders of the city of Naples on the Gulf of Mexico in the west to the east on the Atlantic Ocean.

There are 4 entrances: two in the south near the town of Homestead, Ernest F. Coe and Flamingo, and two more further north, the Shark Valley, closest to Miami, and the Gulf Coast entrance near Everglades City, to the west.

  • By car: for those coming from Miami, the most convenient entrance is Shark Valley, reachable along the SW8 Th ST (79 km, 50 min) - Get directions / for those coming from Naples, we suggest the entrance on the western side Gulf Coast Visitor Center via US-41 S (60km, 45mins) - Get Directions / For those arriving from Key West, we recommend entering Homestead from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center (214km, 3h) - Get Directions
  • Organized tours: you can also visit the park by participating in organized tours, thus avoiding to rent a car. Tour from Miami with Airboat Ride and Wildlife Show, and Tour from Orlando with South Beach (Miami) and Everglades

Hours and prices

The park is open 24 hours a day all year round, but the visitor centers where you can get information, organize tours and where some excursions depart from have different hours. The price, on the other hand, remains unchanged.



  • park accessible all year round / Ernest F. Coen and Gulf Coast Area admission mid-April-mid-December 9: 00-17: 00, mid-December-mid-April 8: 00-17: 00 / Flamingo admission from mid-November to mid-April 8: 00-16: 30 / Shark Valley Area admission daily 8: 30-18: 00
  • Best time to avoid queues: in the morning between 8:00 and 9:00
  • car admission $ 30,00 (€ 25,40), motorcycle admission $ 25,00 (€ 21,20), on foot or by bike $ 15,00 (€ 12,70), all passes are valid for 7 days / annual pass $ 55,00 .46,50 (€ )
  • Free: children under 15 and holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass / free for all on January 20, April 18, August 25, September 26 and November 11

Tours, guided tours and tickets online

What to see and how to visit the Everglades National Park

Although the habitat and features of Everglades National Park are very similar throughout the park, depending on which visitor center you enter from is It is possible to carry out different activities and excursions.
Here's what to see and do in the different areas.

Southern area of ​​the park: Pine Island and Flamingo

This area is ideal if you want to discover the nature of Everglades National Park through hiking and it is also the best area if you decide to visit the park in just one day. There are numerous activities that you can experience here, such as boat rides, kayaking and walking tours!

Here are two main areas, namely Pine Island and Flamingo, as well as the Ernest F. Coea Visitor Center



  1. Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center: here there is a museum, a room where an orientation film is shown, a bookshop and access to nearby hiking trails. Additionally there is an information desk for advice and info on range guided tours
  2. Pine Island: past the Ernest F. Coe Visitor center and taking State Hwy 9336 by car to the left for 3,5 km, you will reach Royal Palm Visitor Center. From here on foot you can follow the Anhinga Trail, a simple path on an elevated walkway of 1,2 km, where you can spot different animals and birds in the grass on the water. The other trail is the 600m long Gumbo Limbo Trail featuring gumbo limbo trees, royal palms and ferns
  3. Flamingo: at the end of Hwy 9336 is the entrance to this area most exposed to the ocean. Here you can take the short Eco Pond Trail, an ideal path for birdwatching, as flamingos, American storks, cormorants, ibises and birds of prey are often stationed among oaks and bushes. Also from here it is possible to go on boat and kayak excursions

Central area: Shark Valley

This part of Everglades NP is crossed by a 24km long road which can be traveled by bike (to rent on site for $ 9,00 / € 7,50), car or tram (the tour departs from the visitor center, lasts 2 h and costs $ 25,00 / € 21,00).

Halfway through the path is also located an observation tower from where alligators can be seen and you can enjoy a splendid view of the endless river of grass. If you want, it is possible follow 2 paths on foot:



  1. Otter Cave Hammock Trail: 400 m long, deviating from the main road allows you to walk in the forest
  2. Bobcat Boardwalk trail: it is an 800 m long wooden platform that winds between the sedge

Western area of ​​the park: Gulf Coast

The western area of ​​the park is spread around Everglades City and the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, which extends on the western side of the park to Flamingo. This whole area to be discovered absolutely with an airboat ride!

From here they depart several tours that follow the aquatic labyrinth made of mangrove islets named Ten Thousand Island.

Also noteworthy is the historic Smallwood Store, a small museum of local history inside a wooden shed lying on a stilts

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal is to be at the entrance early in the morning so as to have the whole day to visit the park and avoid queues
  2. Park Pass: if you move independently, you can buy your ticket online directly on the park's official website, to avoid queues at the entrances
  3. Minimum time: we advise you to consider at least one day to visit the Park, although 3 days are ideal for those who want to see more areas and do different activities and excursions
  4. Visit from Miami: If you are staying in Miami, we recommend a day tour with pickup from the city
  5. Clothing and equipment: wear light and clear clothes, bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun, glasses and sunscreen, mosquito spray, water and food (there are no refreshment points inside the park but only picnic areas)
  6. Visit independently: If you travel with your car, make sure you have petrol as there are no petrol stations inside the park.
  7. Night in the park: a particular experience can be that of staying overnight in the park, in campsites or in bungalows.

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

Everglades National Park is a protected natural area of ​​the United States of America, which protects the southern Everglades but represents only 20% of the original area. The area, declared a national park on May 30, 1934, was then named a biosphere reserve in 1976 and in 1979 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma swept through Florida destroyed a large part of the park, especially serious damage was found in the Flamingo area, which remained closed for about 6 months.

  • Best time: during the dry season, from October to mid-April, when there are fewer insects but it is possible to admire nature in all its splendor
  • Where stay: the park offers some options for camping inside the Everglades, eco-tents, tents or campers and houseboats, all bookable through the official website. However, remember that there are no bars or restaurants inside
  • Beware of the heat: pay attention to the heat, which in the central hours of the day is rather torrid. Remember to have enough water and a hat with you to protect yourself from the sun
  • Pay attention to the local fauna: when walking alone, without rangers or guides, always pay attention to alligators and snakes that live in this area
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