Everglades National Park
Villa Fiore - Marco Island - Florida

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Villa Fiore Vacation Rental

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican
Alligator in the Everglades
Alligator in the Everglades (photo credit KS)

The Everglades 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 via 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 City).

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.

Airboat Ride Everglades
Airboat ride near Everglades City (photo credit EB)

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