You might be surprised to learn that the largest tract of wilderness east of the Rocky Mountains is in South Florida, thanks to Everglades National Park. Explore with us on foot, by sea kayak, and by canoe, camping for one of your nights in the farthest reaches of this unique subtropical wonderland. Equal parts exciting adventure and eye-opening education, the journey quickly slips you past the ruckus of gator shows and airboats. Suddenly you’re in a peaceful, timeless world of sloughs, sawgrass prairie, and hardwood hammock and mangrove forests sheltering a great variety of birds and wildlife, including manatees, crocodiles, herons, and spoonbills. You probably won’t see a panther, but they’re there too. The adventure begins on land with short hikes and interpretive tours. After touring by land, you’ll explore the farthest reaches of the area on a remote island camping excursion where you will paddle into rarely visited areas and immerse in the heart of the ecosystem. The trip is capped to perfection with a transfer to Naples to a comfortable hotel and a final night of celebration. The quiet of the Everglades is remarkable, the environment like no other on earth, and the experience pure Off the Beaten Path.
“Everglades National Park is one of three places in the world to be declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. We’re thrilled to be able to offer an adventure to this incredible destination.” –Cory Lawrence, OBP CEO
Day 1 (Fort Myers to Everglades National Park, Corkscrew Audubon nature trail, 10,000 Islands) Your guide meets you in Fort Myers this morning
and the adventure begins
As we make our way to Everglades National
Park, we’ll stop along the way to explore
other places and features that make
the Everglades area unique among all
the world’s wild places. Possibilities
include the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp
Sanctuary and 10,000 Islands National
This afternoon settle into your
accommodations in Everglades City, on
the doorstep of the park. (Everglades City
Day 2 (Fakahatchee Strand State Park, Shark Valley in Everglades) With a full day to explore, you’re joined by a local Florida Master Naturalist who will open your eyes to the unique ecosystem surrounding you. The day progresses through the various habitats that make up the Everglades—sawgrass marshes, hardwood hammocks, cypress domes, and marine estuaries. Your guides also educate you on the wildlife and natural history of the area and share what it takes to restore and protect the Everglades in the face of human impacts on the native ecosystem (Everglades City Motel)
Day 3 (Kayak through mangrove tunnels) This morning it’s “Guide’s Choice,” with an activity selected especially for the group. After lunch, we’re off to paddle through a “mangrove tunnel,” part of the largest mangrove forest on the continent, composed of brackish “lakes” surrounded by mangrove forest, which serve as nursery grounds for herons, egrets, stilts, ducks, wood storks, spoonbills, alligators, otters and a gamut of fish. Interconnecting the lakes are narrow, flowing tidal creeks, over which grows a canopy or a tunnel – that’s where we come in! Back on dry land, we return to Everglades City to relax and have dinner. (Everglades City Motel)
Day 4 (Paddle around your wilderness camp and explore) The camping adventure begins today! You and your Off the Beaten Path guide will meet our partner, a well-respected eco-tour operator, to embark on the camping excursion. A power boat transports the kayaks, all the gear, and guests to a remote location where a comfortable base camp is set up. From the base camp, we paddle out in sea kayaks and canoes on daily excursions for an up-close and personal look at this dynamic and diverse ecosystem. We get to places that most paddlers don’t have the time to reach, and so far fewer people have experienced. As you’ll learn, sunrise and sunset paddles are part of this camping tradition! Hearty meals cooked by your outfitter while you relax around a campfire and stroll on the beach highlight your island camping experience. If you think “being there” is more important than “paddling there,” this is the perfect set up. (Deluxe Island Camp)
Day 5 (After a sunrise paddle, return to civilization) Begin the last full day of your trip with a sunrise paddle around your island (that’s right, your island!) before returning to civilization refreshed and energized by your experience and the memories you’ve made on this unique and eye-opening adventure. We head to Naples in the afternoon, where a celebratory dinner awaits, capping a fantastic trip. (Inn on Fifth)
Day 6 (Departure home from Fort Myers) Enjoy a leisurely morning in Naples, then relax and recount all your great new memories as the guide takes you to Fort Myers to catch your connections home. Or, extend your stay in some of Florida’s other fascinating corners!
Everglades City Motel, Everglades City, FL , The newly renovated rooms in this well-situated motel just minutes from Everglades National Park are clean, spacious, and comfortable.
Island beach camp, Everglades National Park, High-quality, well-maintained equipment is provided, and the camp is fully catered with excellent meals. All you need are your personal items.
Inn on Fifth, Naples, FL, Unwind in fashionable luxury, timeless charm, and downtown chic after your camping trip! The famous white sand beach is a short stroll down 5th Avenue.
|Journey price:||$$3,345-$3,745 per person, based on double occupancy|
With Off the Beaten Path, your trip cost always includes arrival and departure days, as well as accommodations, meals, ground transportation, site fees, professional guide services (except fishing guides), and gratuities associated with lodging, meals, and organized group activities. Rates do not include transportation to and from arrival cities, alcoholic beverages, optional equipment rental in some cases, personal expenses such as laundry or spa services, trip insurance, or some intra-region air transportation.
Off the Beaten Path welcomes solo travelers on Guided Group Journeys. If the traveler wishes, we will try to arrange for shared rooms, as appropriate. For solo travelers occupying a single room, single supplement pricing applies.
If you have questions about this journey or would like to receive a detailed trip brochure, call 800-445-2995.
Off The Beaten Path
7 East Beall Street
Bozeman, Montana 59715
1-800-445-2995 • Fax 406-587-4147