Are you ready for a once in a lifetime adventure with Common bottlenose dolphins? Get ready for a whole new experience at Dolphins Plus, Bayside. Located in Key Largo, Florida, Dolphins Plus invites visitors to swim with dolphins in our beautiful natural lagoon.
At Dolphins Plus, we’re dedicated to helping and rescuing stranded marine mammals, as well as doing all we can to promote marine conservation. We offer a variety of intimate and memorable options that allow guests to meet and swim with dolphins firsthand.
Make new friends with our resident dolphins, who love showing off their unique skills and personalities. All guests also get a complimentary educational briefing, complete with the opportunity to ask questions. We’ll even keep you up to date on the latest news about your dolphin pals when you become a Dolphins Plus Insider!
Round Out Your Dolphins Plus Adventure with an Everglades Eco Tour
We’re always delighted to help our guests find the best things to do in the Florida Keys. If you’re up for more eco-friendly adventures, then we always suggest checking out one of the Everglades eco tours available in the area.
As eco-lovers ourselves, we’ve gone on many of the local tours and have great relationships with their vendors. We’re happy to use our local expertise to point you in the direction of the best one for you!
What are the Everglades?
The Florida Everglades is composed of 1.5 million stunning acres of subtropical wilderness. Located throughout southern Florida, the Everglades are right in our own backyard!
Not only are the Everglades the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., but they are also a:
- World Heritage Site
- UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
- Ramsar Wetland of International Importance
- National Park
The Everglades is made up of nine distinct habitats, which feature a gorgeous combination of rivers, ponds, forests, hardwood hammocks, and marshes. Throughout your eco tour, you’ll discover the grass-lined, slow-moving waters that earned the Everglades the nickname “river of grass".
This delicate ecosystem is a biodiversity hotspot and home to nearly 40 threatened or endangered species. Some of these rare creatures include the West Indian manatee, the Florida panther, the American alligator, and the American crocodile.
Why Are the Everglades Important?
Did you know that the Everglades once covered over 3 million acres? Unfortunately, only half of the original ecosystem survives today, which is part of why conservation is so essential.
In addition to endangered species, the Everglades is home to a vast array of wildlife ranging from bears and bobcats to otters, deer, and foxes. This complex ecosystem is also home to hundreds of different species of birds, reptiles, insects, flora, and fauna.
The Everglades also provide several important functions for humans. For instance, an estimated 8 million residents of South Florida rely on the Everglades for drinking water. The wetlands play a huge role in improving water quality by filtering pollutants and excess nutrients.
The many Mangroves found throughout the Everglades help to bind the soil and serve as a natural storm and hurricane shield that can help protect residents from severe weather damage.
Even Florida’s fishing industry benefits from the Everglades, which supply Florida Bay with freshwater, creating an estuary. The Bay in turn serves as a natural nursery for fish.
The Everglades are also an important component of tourism, which is an industry that’s vital to Florida’s economy. From scientific research to environmental benefits, the Florida Everglades offer countless advantages to Florida’s residents and wildlife alike.
Ways to Experience the Everglades
Florida’s citizens welcome everyone to experience the beauty of the Everglades! But we also count on each guest to do their part to help protect one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.
Ecotourism is a type of tourism that involves traveling to natural areas in an environmentally responsible way. An Everglades eco tour is a great way to experience some of Florida’s most gorgeous natural scenery without endangering the fragile habitats through which you’ll likely travel.
There are now several great companies that offer guests the chance to experience all the Everglades have to offer. Vendors offer a range of options for adventurers to choose from, including experiences such as:
- Hiking through Cypress forests
- Kayaking through freshwater mangroves
- Learning about the hundreds of birds that inhabit the Everglades
- Spotting manatees, dolphins, and other marine life
- Enjoying a stunning sunset on the waters surrounding Key Largo
Whether you’re up for a one-of-a-kind adventure or looking for a little relaxation, we’ll be happy to point you toward the best Everglades eco tour for you.
Some of Our Favorite Local Everglades Eco Tours
While there are plenty of great Everglades eco tour companies in the area, we’ll help you start your search with two of our favorites!
1. Capt. Sterling’s Everglades Eco Tour
Want to depart on your eco tour right from Dolphins Plus? If so, then look no further than Capt. Sterling’s, which has been rated the #1 Everglades attraction in Key Largo.
Set out on a private charter for parties ranging from 2 – 6 people, as the captain teaches you all about the history of the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Mangrove Jungle. You’ll experience some of the most breathtaking scenery the Everglades have to offer at sites such as the legendary Hemingway's Pass.
From million-year-old reefs to playful manatees, plenty of adventures await on Capt. Sterling’s Everglades eco tour.
2. Garl’s Coastal Kayaking
Prefer to do a little paddling of your own? Be sure to check out Garl’s Coastal Kayaking, which offers customizable tours for each party. The guides at Garl’s have been exploring the Everglades for over 20 years and know the area inside and out.
Whether you’re up for kayaking, hiking, wildlife spotting, or a bit of everything, Garl’s Coastal Kayaking will help design the perfect outing for you. Want to see something in particular? Just let your guide know!
Be sure to bring your camera as you set out on a comprehensive Everglades eco tour adventure.
Dolphins Plus Is Happy to Answer All Your Everglades Eco Tour Questions
Ready to start planning the Key Largo vacation of a lifetime? There’s no better place to start than Dolphins Plus!
Book your Dolphin Encounter today and let our friendly and knowledgeable staff help round out your adventure with an Eco Tour in the Everglades.