Most of those who haven`t been to Florida Everglades might be under the impression that there`s little to do in there but swamp, sweat, getting swamped by bugs and mosquitos and of course the fear of encountering an alligator. In reality however, this is not the case. There are numerous things to do in the Everglades, specially those who are inclined to eco and adventure types of activities.
Let us start by breaking down the word Everglades, it is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. The Glades are also one of the most misunderstood and fragile ecosystems in the world and underrated in the United States for enjoying incredible outdoor adventure.
The Native Americans who lived here called it Pa-hay-Okee which means “into grassy waters.” The landscape here is primordial – swampy and marshy – and bursting with beautiful native plant species, exotic flowers, and some of the most incredible and endangered wildlife on the planet. Not only do the American alligator and American crocodile coexist here, there are also snakes, dolphins, bobcats, black bear, manatees, deer, and the elusive Florida panther as well.
Although the Glades have been reduced to less than half of its original size through over-development and agriculture, it’s still a big place. Everglades National Park spans roughly 734 square miles and the adjoining Big Cypress National Preserve adds 1,126 square miles to that area and the overall ecosystem.
As the old joke goes, there are two seasons in the Everglades: dry season and mosquito season. True that! But keep this in mind: there are always exceptions. The most pleasant time of year (and most popular) is December through April during its winter dry season, when average highs are in the upper 70s and average lows in the low 50s. Summer brings rain most afternoons, Which is exactly why you need to visit especially if you are planning to go somewhere fresh and cool during this season.