11 Best Everglades Boat Tours – Unique Landscapes and Wildlife

We’ve compiled a list of the top reviews for each of the best everglades boat tours.  Airboat tours of the Everglades are some of the best ways to experience the lush vegetation and wild animals of the Florida Everglades. Escape the bustle of Miami and explore the beautiful landscape of southern Florida on one of these 11 best airboat tours.

Everglades Boat Tours Near Earnest Coe Visitor Center

The Earnest Coe Visitor Center is is south-east most entrance of Everglades National Park. Here we share the 3 best Everglades boat tours near Earnest Coe Visitor Center.

Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tours and Rides

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.4 stars with over 9,360 reviews

Everglades Holiday park is a 29 acre action park that offers a gator show and airboat tours. Board one of their state-of-the-art vessels for a 1-hour-long unforgettable airboat ride before experiencing a live alligator presentation featuring the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Team. One of the best Everglade boat tours and all-around experiences in Southern Florida.

Top Google Reviews:

In Keith D’s 5-star review he shared how awesome “Captain Dillon was.” Mentioning he had a “Good sense of humor. [was] Very educational and will get you up close to the wildlife for some great pics.” He continued by sharing that the “Food was great. [He] Never had Gator before but, Damn it’s good.” Their experience topped off with “a great Gator show”. Keith and his “wife loved every moment of it.

Jamie shared that she “had a great time on the airboat ride, [her] Captain, Jody Ray, was fabulous and [she] thought [he] went above and beyond with his knowledge and history of the area, trees, and wildlife. Made it a really enjoyable time for everyone. The gator show was very good also, very entertaining and educational at the same time. Great for all ages. The park is a great place to bring the entire family for a fun day.”

Everglades Swamp Tours – Airboat Rides

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.9 stars with over 1.1K reviews

Everglades Swamp Tours has been offering Airboat experiences for over 60 years. Their knowledgeable guides guarantee the ride of a lifetime, full of education and wildlife. Everglades Swamp Tours is known for bringing you where no other swamp tour can! Their company goal is to provide unique, private or semi-private airboat rides and tours that leave visitors with more than just a memory.

Top Google Reviews:


Nicole K shared that “although [their party’s] tour time had to be changed due to a glitch in the website, [they] didn’t mind at all. This was one of the most fun experiences [they’ve] ever had. Thomas, [their] guide, was experienced and so knowledgeable. [They] saw so many different species of wildlife thanks to his keen eyes. There were turtles, snakes, birds of all varieties, fish jumping everywhere, and of course lots of alligators. The ecosystem was absolutely stunning! The ride was exhilarating and fast at times but [they] never once felt unsafe.” Nicole continues to thank Thomas and Everglades Swamp Tours for the amazing experience and memories. 

Kim K has great things to say about Everglades Swamp Tours. She shared that their flight was canceled and they had to reschedule; Everglades Swamp Tours was “very responsive and gave us no issues whatsoever to switch our reservation. Thankfully they still had the availability while we were in the area.” She and her boyfriend loved the tour! They “thought it was a great experience and well worth the cost. Tyler was an awesome tour guide who was incredibly knowledgeable of all things nature. [they]  saw so many alligators and more. Would recommend this tour and do it again!”

Macks Fish Camp – Gladesmen Airboat Tours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.7 stars out of 371 reviews

Macks Fish Camp offers both private airboat tours and bass fishing. You must call ahead and reserve your boat in advance as the only negative reviews come from walk-ins who couldn’t book a tour. Take a private Everglades airboat tour with a 5th generation native gladesmen and expert guide for an experience you won’t forget! 

Top Google Reviews:

Gentleman’s Journey felt that their tour with Macks Fish Camp was an “absolute awesome experience!” It was in the “top 3 things we’ve ever done and could not have been with better folks! Feels like you get the whole Everglades to yourself and the guide has knowledge that goes on for days. Stop scrolling and book now!!”

Stephanie F and her family had an “amazing experience! Marshall was [their] airboat tour guide and was so knowledgeable about the Everglades ecosystem, plant life, history of the waterways, and answered all of our questions. He knew where the alligator nests were and pointed out the different wildlife. He also had some awesome stories to share about his family history, growing up swimming with alligators, and a one-eyed gator that lived under his mom’s house. It was really hot and he also had water and sunscreen to offer us too, which was much needed. I picked this experience over some touristy locations where they keep animals in cages and support local businesses who know and respect wildlife. You won’t be disappointed if you choose this!”

Best Everglades Airboat Tours near Shark Valley Visitor Center

The Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park offers a visitor center, hiking trails, a tram/bike to an observation platform, and a gift shop. There are a lot of boat tours available along Tamiami Trail, here are some of the best Everglades boat tours in this area.

Everglades Airboat Expeditions

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 stars of 460+ reviews!

Everglades Airboat Expeditions offers semi-private and private high-performance airboat tours. They also offer sunrise and sunset tour options with their private tours package. Their goal is to leave you in awe of the unique landscape with lasting memories of the Florida Everglades. It’s important to know that you’ll be meeting your tour guide right at a public ramp. In his 5-star review Steve M.shared that “it was a bit disconcerting pulling up to a public launch point with no branding other than a tiny sign stuck in the ground. I had been expecting a bigger presence for some reason.”

Top Google Reviews:

Chad L. thought that his tour guide, Ray, “was fantastic!! [Ray was] Knowledgeable, funny, [and] super nice. He found us some gators along with a mom with some babies. Definitely recommend this to anyone. Booking the service online was easy. They called shortly after we booked and then again in the morning to confirm.”

Mackenzie K thought “The guides were very knowledgeable and fun. They had a great sense of humor while sharing interesting facts about the alligators and their habitat. We were excited about how many alligators we saw on our one-hour trip. Our guide has a great eye to spot the gators, even when they’re up on the banks of the river hiding in the grass. We got to see a ton of babies that were born in August, which was an awesome surprise. This company gives you a more authentic experience than what we read about some of the other airboat companies in the area. We will 100% recommend them to any friend or family member traveling to the Everglades!”

Everglades Airboat Rides

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4.0 stars out of 30+ reviews

You will find the launch for Everglades Airboat Rides on the Tamiami Trail. From the reviews I’ve read and the lack of website, it appears as though this independent Airboat guide might not be a professional guide. I would be leery of this location and suggest it is not in the best Everglades boat tours grouping!

Top Google Reviews:

Anna K’s 3-star review read, “The ride should start at 3 pm but our driver went away and we started maybe at 3:20. I understand that 20 min is not so much but when you stand under the direct sun at 104 F this is not very pleasant. We also came 15 min before the ride to take front seats, so we’ve been waiting for half an hour which was quite challenging. And I think the whole ride took less than 30 min. We also expected to watch alligators as it was claimed but we see only one far away. Nevertheless, the ride itself was very fast and we felt some adrenalin which was cool.”

José V left a 2-star review stating it was a “nice trip of 25 minutes. We paid 20$ for a 30 minutes trip. The Airboat driver was claiming for a TIP since minute one. Was a very uncomfortable situation. By the way, we saw two (sleepy) alligators…”

Everglades Nature Tours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.7 stars out of 290+ reviews!

Everglades Nature Tours is associated with the National Park Service and offers multiple types of tours. Choose from a semi-private airboat tour, a walking tour, the swamp buggy mud tour. This eco-naturalist company shares the raw Everglades beauty and knowledge with its’ visitors. 

Top Google Reviews:

Steven S. “had a blast taking the airboat tour. It was fun and very informative. Afterward, they offer a presentation showing different gators and answering questions. You can tell these people are passionate about what they do and they enjoy it. It also isn’t very expensive so I highly recommend this!!”

Whitney S. thought this was a great tour for her hard-to-please 6.5-year-old son! She shares that her  “family of 4 had a great time on [their] 1.5-hour semi-private tour with Lorenzo.” Her family “learned a great deal about the river, and the flora, fauna, and indigenous people of the Everglades region. This afternoon involved all 5 senses and kept my 6.5-year-old son (who loves video games) entertained and interested throughout.”

Everglades Safari Park

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.4 stars out of 5,090+ reviews

Join Everglades Safari Park’s expert captains on an unforgettable 30-40 minutes educational tour of the Everglades! This company allows you to travel inside of Everglades National Park on a private tour. They also offer a wildlife show and extensive gift shop. This is one of the best Everglades boat tours for people who are also loking for a wildlife show. Discover next-level family fun with this National Park Service authorized concessioner. 

Top Google Reviews:

Melanie K gave the Everglades Safari Park a 4-star review stating it  “was a fun experience for the entire family.  The time from beginning to end includes the ride, the short show, a picture with Snappy, and a walk on the grounds was perfect for our 10 and 12-year-old boys.  It was informative, fun, and even funny.  I highly recommend this place.”

If she could have improved her visit, “cleaner bathrooms would be nice, more available snacks in the restaurant would be nice, and the person at the check-in booth was unpleasant but maybe she was just having a bad day.  Enjoy this place and take in the amazing scenery.  Oh and don’t forget to leave with your picture souvenir.  We had fun with it and this picture is a reminder of our fun family vacation.”

This was Mark Z’s “third time in the Everglades and this was the best tour.” He appreciated the “friendly and knowledgeable staff. Actually saw active alligators in the wild (in January). Unlike other tours, this was an open-air boat, with no cage on top.  The pilot will let you stand up to take photos.  I highly recommend sunglasses (maybe even a Buff, or hoodie, the pilot will go full throttle a couple of times).  The show was a little lacking due to the Winter Season, the gators were not coming out of the water, and I respect the animal welfare displayed. This park has a raised (boardwalk-style) nature walk. We did see wildlife (American alligator, lizards, fish, birds,  and insects).   Restaurant (didn’t eat there…typical fare: deep-fried everything), and a gift shop.” The park is “U.S. National Park affiliated (discount for members). [and]  If you are Active Military or a Veteran bring I.D. for a discount.”

Tigertail Airboat Tours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.8 stars out of 260+ reviews

Tigertail Airboat Tours specializes in guided tours through the Miccosukee Reservation close to Miami. As one of only 4 companies allowed to run in this area, you’re sure to have a unique experience. There are multiple tour options available; their walk-in tour is 30 minutes long and brings you to their private hammock where they care for and rehabilitate injured or nuisance wildlife. If you’re looking to experience a longer tour, be sure to call ahead and reserve your spot. 

Top Google Reviews:

When referencing their experience, E Calderone writes “Awesome!!! Fan boats are so much fun to ride around in and our guide was hilarious. Saw a few alligators as well as other birds in the area. There is a gift shop, an area to have photos taken of you and your family (or whoever you want), and after the fan boat ride, there is an outside area you can walk through that holds all kinds of reptiles and alligators. Pretty cool to see!”

Nancy F was in agreeance stating that their Tiger Tails Tour was “an amazing experience for [their] first trip to the Everglades! Humberto is so passionate about the animals and the habitat and the history of this place and the people who have inhabited it for millennia. And the opportunity to get REALLY close to the animals is fantastic. Wholeheartedly recommend this trip.”

Best Everglades Airboat Tours Close to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center

Some of the best Everglades boat tours belong to the Gulf Coast region of Everglades National Park. They offer some of the most unique tours and the best reviews.

Capt Mich’s Everglades Private Airboat Tours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.6 stars out of 460+ reviews

If you’re looking for a private airboat experience, Capt Mich’s is the company for you! Take a small boat tour in their private Airboat ride park to experience gators, birds, fish, snakes, and other Everglades friends!

Steph F writes, “Ummm hello??  Best time ever. We had Captain Dwayne and he was great. This was something I had on my bucket list and they made it spectacular. From the phone call talking to Teresa getting the reservation to being on the boat with Dwayne. Thanks again, guys. Have a great year!!!”

Brian B thought his experience was “well worth the money. [because] They give you BOTH grasslands and mangrove experiences.” His party was “out for about an hour.” He writes, “ Very friendly staff. Would highly recommend Captain Mitch’s.”

Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tours

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5.0 stars out of 90+ reviews

Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tours are a small-town family-owned and operated experience. The company is founded on the pure enthusiasm and pursuit of exploration and living in the Everglades. If you want to experience the biodiverse paradise of the Everglades with passionate and professionally trained naturalists, this is one of the best Everglades boat tours for you.

Top Google Reviews:

Kurt B. thought Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tours were a great experience!  They said, “I booked a sunrise kayak tour with Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tours because I wanted to experience the Everglades directly rather than from a boardwalk or the deck of an airboat.  Jenny was fantastic!  Her knowledge of the Everglades was extensive and her commentary on the plants and animals of the swamp greatly enriched the trip.  Her tour was easily the best part of my four days in the Everglades!  The sunrise tour also provided me with lots of opportunities to get some great photos in the early morning.”

Laura E. thinks that “Jenny offers a beautiful, serene sunrise kayaking trip. When we arrived, she had everything ready and helped make us feel comfortable and safe. Her passion for wildlife, water, and vegetation makes for an exciting trip of discovery.  We saw a blue heron, many egrets, a singing white-eyed vireo, red-winged blackbirds, a wild orchid, and a beautiful swimming alligator. The glassy water and cooler temperatures made it worth getting up early. Jenny’s Eco Tours is a superb experience and we highly recommend it.”

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.8 stars out of 2,800+ reviews

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours provide exciting rides, natural beauty, and educational fun for the whole family. You can glide across 259 private acres, watch a live Alligator show, or experience lions, tigers, otters, and gators in their animal sanctuary. Wooten’s is one of the best Everglades boat tours because it’s been around since 1953; that’s a whole lot of experience!

Top Google Reviews:

T R and their family did the airboat and swamp buggy tours with Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours. They wrote “They were both excellent! The tour guides shared a lot of history and knowledge and took us up close to the alligators. They had some lions and other animals as well. We watched an alligator show on the grounds and were able to hold a baby alligator as well. The whole experience was exciting! Highly recommend this location. The bugs weren’t bad when we were there. But I imagine they could be pretty bad so definitely be prepared with bug spray. Great for all ages!”

Candy S shared their trip was a blast, and that everything was spectacular! “All of the staff were very informative and great with our young boys.  Highly recommend upgrading to the private package for your group. Our airboat captain was awesome with our 4 and 6yr olds, and very patient.  We had some happy boys!”

What Kind of Wildlife Will I see on an Everglades Airboat Ride?

There is an abundance of wildlife in the Florida Everglades. People commonly see American Aligators, many species of bird, soft shell and sea turtles, deer, and fish. Animals less likely to been include the elusive Florida Panther, black bear, and bald eagles. 

Many tour companies offer a wildlife show at their location, however, the best airboat captains will make sure you see wild animals in their natural habitat on your tour. The best way to see this unique environment is by hiring an experienced captain for your airboat adventure.

Aside from wildlife, the incredible landscape is full of such unique plant life as well! You will learn so much about the fragility of this unique ecosystem that you’ll feel inspired to protect and preserve it. The best Everglades boat tours will share the importance of conservation with their guests!

Published by Kaitlyn Fortier

Hello everybody! My name is Kaitlyn Fortier. I'm a Middle School Teacher and 3-season Athletics coach in Central New York. I utilize this platform to share actionable tips, 'best-of' lists, and budget-friendly travel guides for explorers of all travel interests.

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