Manatee Tour Locations

Manatees are a HUGE part of my city tour October thru April , with 6 spots on the city tour that almost always have manatees in the winter. One spot is great for watching a family swim under the bridge, another spot gets so close you could almost touch. Also two great out of the way manatee spots in North Miami and north of the Design District.

This has been a horrible year for Florida’s manatee population, estimated to be 7500 manatees. 2018 saw 715 deaths, most due to the toxic algae from Naples to Tampa. Manatees in Miami this winter are not as affected by the toxic algae, so we should continue seeing plenty all winter.

Manatees in the Everglades are seen from farther away, sometimes our boat captain follows the mud trail manatees leave behind while chewing up the seagrass. Sometimes manatees can be found keeping warm in rivers when the Gulf gets real cold. For maximum manatee pleasure, schedule your city tour for optimum tidal conditions by calling a few days beforehand.

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 private tours can be customized. Upgrades include:

  • 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

Rates

  • Adults (3-4 People) – $150 each
  • Adults (5-6 People) – $140 each
  • Adults (7-12 people) – $120
  • Seniors and Children < 12   $20 less
  • Veterans on groups of 5 or more are half price (one per group)

Note:  This is a long tour for infants and kids.  Bring ipad and games.
I have a CDL and access to mini buses.  For groups > 12, please call me.

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Everglades

Everglades’ Archaeology is overlooked by 99.9% of visitors. Our boat captains lived on these islands for generations before the National Park kicked them out after WWII.  While our Calusa mounds aren’t as impressive as Mesa Verde or Tikal, they are older, worn down my hurricanes and rising sea levels

Miccosukee Tree Island

  • Airboat ride to tree island where Miccousukee lived for generations fleeing the US Army
  • Tour highlights the unique history of Miccosukee tribe
  • How they differ from Seminoles even though both came into Florida fleeing Andrew Jackson
  • We also see remains of the Calusa, the dominant tribe in Florida when the Spanish arrived
  • For Downtown pickups, we cover the Tekesta tribe history and some of their archaeological sites.  Also covered on our city tour.

Ten Thousand Island Boat ride to Gulf of Mexico

The Almost Always Bucket list:
Dolphins   Roseate Spoonbills  Tons of wading birds   Calusa Shell Mounds    White Pelicans

The sometimes bucket list:
Sawfish     Sharks       Rays     Turtle nests   Manatees

Miami Native Tours’ Everglades

  • Cross section of habitats all the way to Gulf of Mexico
  • Big Cypress, Mangrove, Prairie, Sawgrass
  • Hundreds of gators thru May
  • No selfies with gators – No animal show.
  • Airboat to Miccosukee tree island 40+ minuteswhere Miccosukee lived for generations
  • No stopping for other guests (unless shared. 2 stops max on shared)
  • No commission from Miccosukee.  I prefer the referral

Typical Everglades Tours

  • Sawgrass region
  • Hand fed gators
  • Animal show and selfies
  • Airboat on Man made canal 22 minutes
  • Possible 5-12 pickups & drop offs
  • Transfer to bus
  • Sticker placed on guests with group number required for driver’s commission on food and gifts bought
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