There’s something very Floridian about exploring the pristine wilderness of the Everglades on an airboat. Feeling the breeze on your face, and stopping just feet from a basking gator or a nesting osprey is an unforgettable experience. And who better than a native Miccosukee Indian to take you on such as adventure!
Exciting Everglades Airboat Rides
A one-hour airboat ride is an exhilarating way to zip over the still dark waters of the gently moving “River of Grass”. Among the endless acres of sawgrass you’ll see wading birds, herons, egrets and other less common birds such as glossy ibis, limpkins and possibly even rare spoonbills. Frogs, turtles and fish can be seen in the shallows while high overhead, ospreys and bald eagles circle. You may be lucky enough to see them swooping down and scooping up a sizeable fish to carry off in their claws to a nearby branch to feed.
You guide will point out alligators, often floating motionless in the water with just their bulging eyes and nosetip showing. Cutting the engine, the airboat drifts silently closer so you can get great photographs of these scaly reptiles before they sink, leaving just a muddy swirl in the water as evidence of their former presence.
The highlight of the airboat tour is a stop at a genuine Indian Camp on a hammock. See how the Miccosukee built shelters, hunted and cooked over an open fire in an isolated existence.
Located on US-41 at Mile Marker 35, between Naples and Miami, the Miccosukee Indian Village offers amazing airboat rides into the Everglades – and so much more besides. With one hour airboat rides from just $20 per person, this is an experience that all the family will thoroughly enjoy. Just show up and join the next tour – they depart every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tour the Miccosukee Indian Village
Before or after your airboat ride you can tour the Indian Village with a local guide and see the traditional native homes with their thatched roofs. The history of the tribe, the culture and lifestyle are amazing to learn about. You’ll see demonstrations of many different Indian crafts such as beadwork, woodcarving, silverwork, basket weaving and patchwork.
Inevitably, the Miccosukee tribe have learned to live in harmony with their fellow neighbors – alligators! Tours allow visitors to get upclose and appreciate how these reptiles have survived in the Everglades for thousands of years. The Alligator Show is an entertaining way to learn more about these creatures, which can reach up to 13 feet in length. Demonstrations show tribesmen handling the alligators and performing traditional rituals.
The onsite Indian Museum includes a film and a collection of artifacts, clothing and documents as well as cultural paintings by tribal artists. Photographs capture the contemporary life of this isolated society.
Finish your Miccosukee experience by enjoying a meal at the restaurant, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. As well as the usual American cuisine, you can try frog legs, gator and catfish along with delicious pumpkin bread and Miccosukee fry bread. It’s a truly cultural experience!