After acceptance, your reservation will be confirmed by paying a $200 per person deposit. We will email you a PayPal invoice with secure link make a credit card payment. Upon receipt of the completed reservation form and payment, we’ll send you a reservation confirmation email, detailed Overnight Tour Info sheet with personal packing list, and Liability Waiver. Your trip is scheduled to go at that point. Please do not make additional travel arrangements until you receive this confirmed reservation from us.￼￼
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime. Why wait? Many trips fill fast, reserve your adventure today!
Day 4 - Pavillion Key. This morning we leave the estuary behind and paddle down the Chatham River out to the Gulf of Mexico. In the open water, we have a great opportunity to spot dolphin, sea turtles and white pelicans. Tonight we camp on the sand beach of Pavillion Key. Key is an English corruption of the Spanish word cayo which translates to “small island”. Pavillion Key is one of the largest and most open of the islands with a mile long west facing beach. The powder soft and sparkling white sand is formed of calcium carbonate produced from the shells of marine animals. This is very different from the more familiar coarse tan sand found on Florida’s Atlantic beaches. This afternoon we'll have plenty of time to stretch our legs and shell hunt on the long beach. Tonight we'll enjoy a vibrant Florida sunset and blazing beach campfire. Paddling distance: 8 miles. All meals included.
Day 5 - 10,000 Islands. Today we head back to civilization. But first, we enjoy our last paddle weaving through the 10,000 Islands. This vast tangle of "islands" is actually a maze of mangrove trees growing in a shallow tidal estuary. At high tide the inaccessible islands are completely flooded and at low tide they are surrounded by boat trapping mud flats. The 10,000 Islands afford a fantastic opportunity to witness our abundant migratory and resident birdlife, including flocks of ibis, diving osprey and vibrant pink spoonbills. We end our trip back in Everglades City before 4:00PM. Paddling distance: 12 miles. Breakfast and lunch included.
Does this sound like something for you, but you still have more questions? Feel free to contact Dave K directly at firstname.lastname@example.org (386) 295-1850. He'll be happy to personally answer all your questions.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Click on the Tour Calendar below to see currently scheduled trips. Parties of two or more are welcome to schedule a new tour on any dates. Simply complete and submit the online Tour Reservation Form and specify the days that work best for you. Solo travelers may book any of the scheduled trips with available spots. This 5-day tour typically departs on Sunday or Tuesday with a maximum of eight people.
● Transportation to and from your home. All trips start and end at the Canoe/Kayak Access at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City. See our Overnight Tour Info sheet for details on transportation and lodging options in Everglades City.
● Pre- and post-tour accommodations. For convenience and comfort, we recommend spending the night before and after your tour at the Ivey House in Everglades City. See our Overnight Tour Info sheet for details.
● Pre- and post-tour meals. Breakfast on the first morning and dinner on the last day is not included. See the above Detailed Itinerary for all included meals.
● Alcoholic beverages/soft drinks. We provide plenty of fresh drinking water along with a small amount beer and wine. If you enjoy soda/beer/wine/alcohol, you are certainly welcome to bring additional, although be aware it's not possible to keep drinks cold.
● Personal travel/trip insurance. Insurance which offers comprehensive coverage and peace of mind is strongly recommended for all participants. See our Overnight Tour Info sheet for details.
● Gratuities for your hard working guide. The generally accepted practice for tipping is 15% of the tour price or an average of $30US per person per day.
● Personal items. Please see the specific Packing List in our Overnight Tour Info sheet.
● Camping accommodation each night of the trip in shared 2-person tents. We provide free-standing dome tents with fine no-see-um mesh.
● Single or double (your choice) expedition quality sit-inside sea kayaks with foot controlled rudders, including all kayaking and safety equipment.
● All necessary camping gear including tent, sleeping bag, mattress, camp chair, and two dry bags for personal items. Of course, you are welcome to bring your own camping gear from home.
● All required national park camping fees and permits. You won't have to arrive 24 hours ahead to stand inline and risk being shut out of a campsite.
● A variety of paddle routes as described above in the Detailed Itinerary. We will paddle in all the major habitats of Everglades National Park including mangrove estuary, famous Wilderness Waterway, tidal rivers, protected bays, open Gulf of Mexico, freshwater mangrove tunnels and 10,000 Islands.
● Wildlife viewing opportunities including dolphin, manatee, sea-turtle, stingray, alligator, python, shark, numerous fish, tons of birds, plus many others.
● Professional guide services and quality leadership of your experienced kayak guide. Your guide will be an ACA kayak instructor, NOLS wilderness first responder and certified Florida master naturalist.
● All meals from lunch on the first day through lunch on the last. We provide tasty and plentiful food, including fresh and delicious camp made meals and carry along brown bag lunches. We don’t use tasteless and unhealthy dehydrated meals.
Day 2 - Watson Place. This morning we awaken to a sunrise view over the water from inside our sleeping bags. After a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, juice and hot coffee, we break camp, load the boats and paddle today following a section of the famous Wilderness Waterway. This waterway is the only marked route through the entire length of the national park from Everglades City in the north to Flamingo in the south. It is routed for easy paddling, following protected inside creeks and shallow bays.
Our destination today is one of historic significance; the infamous Watson Place. Around the turn of the century, the notorious Ed Watson, a headstrong and violent tempered man with a shadowy past, lived and farmed here. His employees too often disappeared and were never heard from again after disputes with Mr Watson. The homesteader met an early demise when the local men took the law into their own hands. This story was made famous in Peter Matthiessen's 1991 book "Killing Mr. Watson".
The campsite here is in a clearing on a man made “shell mound”. The mound was constructed by the Calusa natives, the original people in southwest Florida. The Calusa lived and thrived in Florida for centuries, well before the more famous Seminole people who migrated here only in the last few hundred years. Sadly the Calusa were wiped out by smallpox and warfare with the Spanish. The Calusa constructed dozens of these engineered mounds over generations as dry land for home sites. The Watson Place mound is one of the Everglades largest at 38 acres. Paddling distance: 10 miles. All meals included.
Day 3 - Sweetwater River. There is no need to break camp and load the boats today. We’ll stay a second night at Watson Place and paddle with our empty boats to explore the surrounding area. You may use this as a rest day to take a break from paddling and relax with a good book in a hammock under the shade of a tropical Gumbo Limbo tree. If you're interested in kayaking, we will leave camp and head north deep into the interior of the Everglades to explore the Sweetwater River. Slowly, jungle will close in on us as we paddle upriver and the mangroves form a canopy overhead. In these tunnels, the channel becomes so narrow it's challenging to maneuver our kayaks. This river drains freshwater from the Big Cypress National Preserve. As the water becomes "sweeter," you will notice the color change from brackish turbid green to clear tannin stained brown. These freshwater rivers are a favorite habitat of the timid American Alligator. We may catch a glimpse of several basking on the river banks before they silently slide into the water. Near the mouth of Sweetwater River is a chickee camping platform which is perfectly located for our lunch, leg stretch and restroom break.
This afternoon we'll head back to our campsite with plenty of time to explore Watson Place on foot. The 38 acre shell mound has become completely overgrown with jungle and is unrecognizable as the sugarcane plantation it was during Watson's days in the early 20th century. There are, however, still plenty of relics from those days hidden in the jungle and waiting to be discovered. Paddling distance: optional 8 miles. All meals included.
Day 1 - Crooked Creek. Your tour begins when we meet at 9:00AM in Everglades City. We’ll first distribute personal dry bags and then take as much time as you need to pack and load your gear. Before starting, we’ll do introductions and have a quick briefing covering the day’s itinerary and a review of sea kayak safety procedures.
Today we’ll paddle through the brackish mangrove estuary. Here we’ll keep our eyes open for shy manatees which gather in this warm estuary water during the winter months. These large marine mammals typically live in the saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico, but have little tolerance when the water temperature dips below 68F. Because they migrate from the open water into shallow canals, they sadly often carry scars on their backs from impacts with motor boats.
We camp tonight on Crooked Creek Chickee. "Chickee" is the native word for home and what Everglades National Park designates its elevated wooden camping platforms. Camping on the chickees allows the unique opportunity to sleep directly over the water listening to the manatees breathe and fish jump throughout the night. Upon arrival, we will unload the boats and set up our first camp before eating dinner. Our dinners are a highlight! With our extensive backcountry camping experience, we've learned that depending on bland dehydrated meals is not necessary. Dinners include appetizers, local seafood, fresh salads, and desserts. Paddling distance: 10 miles. Lunch and dinner included.
Client Testimonial "Wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I had the most wonderful experience with Kevin as our guide for the five day kayak trip. Lightening storm, crazy winds, big swells, mangrove tunnels and all! Kevin never lost his cool, rescued me three times, cooked, packed and managed all eight of us. I never felt anxious for my safety, the water was warm and Kevin was never far away. This was my first organized trip that I have ever taken on my own. Hubby and I have always coordinated our own wilderness adventures. This was one he wasn't interested in, but for me it was a childhood dream come true. Threading our way through the mangrove tunnels was what dreams are made of...for me! Kudos to you for creating this adventure and hiring a guy like Kevin. I hope to be back sooner rather than later! My sister is really jealous and wants to go." Miriam Shane <email@example.com> March 20-24, 2018
This five day Everglades kayak tour is our most popular trip because it allows you to experience all of the different habitats in Everglades National Park. You will spend five days kayaking in the Everglades backcountry on a loop route that does not backtrack. You will also camp each night at a different type of campsite including elevated wooden platform ("chickee"), ancient midden island (“shell mound”) and remote Gulf of Mexico beach. On this diverse trip you will kayak through the maze of 10,000 Islands, explore inland freshwater rivers, follow a section of the famous Wilderness Waterway, and sea kayak the open Gulf of Mexico. You will also have plenty of time to observe all of the exotic wildlife such as manatees, alligators, dolphin, sea turtles and flocks of birds that inhabit each of these areas. All of this without paddling more than 12 miles in any day. This tour is best for those with some kayaking and primitive camping experience.
Florida Outdoor Adventures
PO Box 595, 815 Oyster Bar Lane
Everglades City, FL 34139
Voice/Text: (386) 295-1850