Canoe camping on 10,000 islands, the Everglades
The best way to experience the serenity and beauty of the Everglades, which are both desolate and lush, tropical yet foreboding, is by canoeing or kayaking through the excellent network of waterways that line the northwestern part of the park. . The 10,000 islands consist of many (but not really 10,000) tiny islands and a mangrove that hug Florida’s most southwestern border. The Wilderness Waterway, a 99-mile road between Everglades City and Flamingo, is the longest canoe trail in the area, but there are shorter trails near Flamingo.
Most of the islands are fringed by narrow beaches with sugar-white beaches, but be aware that the water is brackish, not clear, and very shallow most of the time. It is not Tahiti, but it is fascinating. The best part is that you can camp on your own island for up to a week.
Getting around the 10,000 islands is pretty straightforward if you religiously adhere to the NOAA nautical and tidal charts. Going against the tides is the quickest way to turn it into a miserable ride. The Gulf Cost Visitor Center sells nautical charts and distributes free tide charts. You can also purchase letters prior to your visit – call 305-247-1216 and request letters Nos 11430, 11432 and 11433.
Parrot Jungle Island, Miami
Parrot Jungle (305-666-7834; 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, I-396 / MacArthur Causeway; adult / child $ 24.95 / 19.95; 10 am-6pm) has been a cheesy attraction since 1936, but since a 2003 move Al much more accessible between South Beach and Downtown Miami, it has become a much more elegant place to visit.
Their new 18-acre waterfront facility, planted and lushly landscaped with minimal pesticides and solidified with 27,000 tons of structural fill, is now the proud home to parrots, macaws, flamingos and cockatoos in endless varieties, some caged but many flying. outdoor. aviaries that simulate their natural environment, you can observe the birds, talk to them and feed them, or lie back and let them entertain you in one of the areas of the stage (where the trained birds chat and, sadly, dance for the public).
Other creatures include snakes, crocodiles, gibbons, and orangutans, creating a mini-zoo that children especially enjoy. Hallways are covered (both from rain and bird poop), and indoor dining, gaming, and shopping areas provide plenty of shelter from storms. Parking is available for $ 6.
Everglades National Park, Everglades
The only subtropical preserve in North America, this park is filled with an impressive variety of environments and creatures: temperate and tropical plants, marine life, and wading birds. Also, it is the only place on earth where alligators (who prefer fresh water) live side by side. The three park entrances allow you to choose the type of experience you’d like to have, whether it’s walking to the end of a wooden gazebo to watch the sunset, biking along floating marshland, or kayaking. from island to island until you find the best place to set up a camp for the night.
There are three main entrances to the park: one along the southeast edge near Honestead and Florida City (Ernest Coe), one on the north-central side on the Tamiami Trail (Shark Valley), and a third on the beautiful northwest coast (Costa del Gulf). )), past Everglades City. From the Coe entrance, follow Hwy 9336 to Flamingo, a visitor area that offers everything from boat tours to a hostel and restaurant. Shark Valley is where you’ll find the convenient trolley tour, while the Gulf Coast region is the least developed and geared toward campers and kayakers.
Author: Kenneth Ng