Everglades National Park

The Everglades are among the USA’s greatest wildernesses, the largest subtropical wetlands in North America with diverse landscapes inhabited by alligators, crocodiles and abundant birdlife.

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Some 1.5 million acres of sawgrass marshes, mangroves, tropical hardwood hammocks, cypress and pine forests are protected in Everglades National Park. The source of the Everglades, known as the River of Grass, is actually the Kissimmee River, and these mesmerising wetlands stretch 60 miles wide and 100 miles long to Florida Bay.

This World Heritage Site, which supplies drinking water for nine million people in south Florida, is home to diverse wildlife – turtles, snakes, otters, panthers, black bears, and the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live together. Alligators are commonly seen throughout the park, while crocodiles can be more elusive. The vast array of birdlife includes storks, herons, cormorants, hawks, vultures and bright pink roseate spoonbills.

There are various ways to explore the Everglades. An airboat ride is an exhilarating experience, allowing you to cover more distance, while hiking and kayaking are popular, but guides are recommended for safety. Many visitors arrive on day trips, although camping is popular with 48 designated sites in the park, many built on ‘chickee’ wooden platforms on the water.

Highlights of the park include Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which has the largest old-growth cypress forest in North America, the 15-mile Tram Loop from Shark Valley Visitor Center, and the 0.8-mile Anhinga Trail on a raised walkway over sawgrass marsh to view alligators and other wildlife.

Everglades City on the coast is a great base for exploring not only the Everglades but also Ten Thousand Islands in Florida Bay. Somewhat misnamed because there are a few hundred coral islands in total, the scenery is stunning with white-sand beaches amid one of the largest mangrove forests in North America. Watch out for bottle-nosed dolphins and manatees in the waters.

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Joshua Salter - Travel Expert

Joshua has been travelling to the USA since childhood, visiting his father and four siblings on the west coast. He is fortunate to have travelled to 42 of the 50 US states, and hopes to complete the set by his next big birthday.

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Mallika’s love for North America first began when she attended an American boarding school as a teenager. Her mother’s side of the family lived in the USA, so she enjoyed frequent trips across many states.

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Dominique caught the North America travel bug when she was in her late teens and has travelled extensively throughout the USA and Canada, particularly drawn to the countries' outstanding natural beauty and wildlife. With over 10 years of product and marketing experience in North America, Dominique’s passion for the destination is infectious.

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