5 hour x All Day Comparison

Dawn Patrol – Pre dawn hotel pickups are available on both 5 hour and All Day tours. Dawn Patrol usually means seeing more wildlife. Certain conditions, like cold mornings, mean Dawn Patrol is really worth it. 

Eating – There is nothing to eat on the 5 hour tour. Yes, I can stop at El Palacio de los Jugos just before entering the Everglades. The All Day Trip includes a stop at the fishing docks for lunch, usually Stone Crabs.  Both the half day and full day tours go deep into Everglades. Both go to Cypress where wildlife increases dramatically .The full day goes an extra 20 minutes for a boar ride thru the ten thousand Islands to the Gulf of Mexico,usually the highlight of the day

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Expect to see

  • Dolphins (usually)
  • Lots of alligators
  • Roseate Spoonbills (usually)
  • White Pelicans (October-April)
  • 2000+ year old Calusa Shell Mounds
  • American Bald Eagle (sometimes)
  • Manatees mostly in winter (more on city tour)
  • Ospreys and Hawks
  • Wood Storks
  • Snakes
  • Rays
  • Lots of Herons, Egrets and Ibis
  • Highlights include:
  • Hour+ boat ride thru the 10,000 Islands to the Gulf of Mexico
  • Stone crab lunch on fishing docks (not included) Oct-May
  • Airboat to a Miccosukee Tree Island for gators, birds and history
  • Fakahatchee State Park for birds (time permitting)
  • Clyde Butcher photo studio in Big Cypress w swamp traill

All day

  • Longer boat ride (My fave! I’ll even split the cost with you I like it so much). Hate to rush when dolphins are putting on their show! The longer boat trip can be decided at the last minute on early am pickups, or after lunch, when the boats are least busy.
  • Sunset on the Gulf boat tour is an extended tour great for birds
  • Kayak trip down East River (I have a guide with all permits)
  • Hiking or Swamp Walk (your guide must have a Big Cypress permit)
  • Private airboat ( max 6 pax). Unique trail into Big Cypress. A little $$$
  • Stop or drop off @ Wynwood for graffiti art. An easy 20-30 minute stop on way back. Maybe my best stop on city tour.
  • Manatees back in Miami are an easy check

Driving to reach the Gulf of Mexico 

The route is the same, with the All Day adding 15 miles to the trip, which takes us close to the Gulf of Mexico, completing a cross section of Florida. Almost always, the boat ride is the highlight of the day. The All Day is usually a much, much better tour. 

Conditions vary 

There are occasional windy or bad weather days when the All Day tour is not ideal. I will know 3-5 days ahead of time and can offer to reschedule or downgrade to the 5 hour. Those conditions are rare, once or twice a month in the winter. And the day after the bad conditions is usually a great day as everyone is hungry and tides are extremely low. 

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Kids

For kids, especially infants, the All Day may be too long of a trip. And the airboat is loud. But I have headphones. I usually do not do animal shows, but can change my routine if you insist. 

Upgrades and Custom Everglades tours 

The 5 hour is meant for those on a tight schedule. Almost anything extra means All Day. 

I always recommend extending the boat tour 30-60 minutes. It guarantees we check off more of the bucket list and spend more time when we do see a pod of dolphins feeding. 

Guests that want to upgrade and use third parties for buggy rides or kayak trips must book the All Day tour. Extra time is often needed for birdwatchers, hence the All Day tour. 

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