National Park covers a vast area of southwest Florida of some
1,500,000 acres of subtropical wetlands. The park, which is one
of the largest in the US, was created in 1947 and is a World
Heritage Site of international importance.
Located just a few miles southeast of
Marco Island, our guests
staying at Villa Fiore, will be able to fully appreciate and
explore the Everglades at your leisure. In fact, if you arrived
Miami International Airport, the chances are you might have
already driven across edge of the vast expanse of the Everglades
on the Tamiami Trail from Miami (US 41).
The closest entrance to the park is the Gulf Coast Visitor
Centre which is just south of Everglades City (From
Naples or Marco take
the US 41 towards Miami and after about 20 minutes driving turn
south on the Route 29 for 3 miles (5 Km) to Everglades City. The park
entrance and Gulf Coast Ranger Station is beyond Everglades
Everglades City is
also a good place to pick up an airboat ride with many companies
offering excursions from an hour or more. The ride will provide
some thrills and also hopefully a glimpse of an Alligator or two
and other local wildlife. Airboat tours are actually banned
within the park boundary, so although appearing quite authentic,
the airboat will most likely be on privately owned land just
outside the park.
The Everglades National Park provides a home for many endangered
or rare species such as the Florida Panther, Manatees and the
American Crocodile. American Crocs and Alligators are quite
similar and the Everglades is the only place they co-exist in
North America. These Crocs are not quite as ferocious as their
African or Australian cousins and prefer coastal or salt water
habitats where as the Alligators prefer fresh water. As well as
Mexico and Central America, American Crocs are found on Cuba,
Jamaica and Haiti in the nearby Caribbean.
Fewer than one hundred Florida Panthers are thought to still
inhabit the Everglades, so unfortunately the chances of seeing
one during your vacation are quite unlikely. Other more common residents include
Black Bears, Coatis, Raccoons, Skunks, Armadillos and Deer.