Guided Eco-Tours by Kayak, Boat, Bike or Plane

Guided tours help you get the most out of exploring the beaches, waterways and exotic landscapes of Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands of the western Everglades.

Kayaking is one way to get up close and personal to Florida's Paradise Coast, as kayaks can maneuver through mangroves and are fit for shallow as well as deep waters.

Around Naples, Marco Island and the western Everglades – a destination known as Florida's Paradise Coast – you can experience the area’s magnificent environment in a variety of interesting and adventurous ways. Expert tour guides, numerous paddling routes, eco-cruise boats and nature-based education opportunities represent the core of the area’s eco-adventure menu.

Canoe & Kayak Tours

What’s your choice? Kayak or canoe? Or maybe you prefer paddleboards? All are ideal to explore the many coastal estuaries, rivers, creeks, canals and lakes in this stretch of southwest Florida.

If you want to incorporate education and adventure in your paddling experience, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve conducts guided kayak trips through backwater bays and mangrove forests. A must-see is the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, where exhibits and a 2,300-gallon aquarium display more of the area’s natural attractions.

Everglades Area Tours is the region's only paddling ecotour company certified by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism. They specialize in education-focused paddling experiences in the saltwater portion of Everglades National Park as well as in Big Cypress National Preserve. Other companies include Naples Kayak Tours, Kayak Tours with Mike Devlin, and Up A Creek Kayak Tours.

The Paradise Coast Blueway is a GPS-coordinated network of routes through the mangroves and Gulf waters through the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Work is underway to extend mapped paddling routes throughout the region from north Naples to Everglades National Park, and find new and improved methods of displaying and sharing those route coordinates. 

Eco-Cruises & Sightseeing Boat Tours

Your personal eco-education tour should include a cruise on the Dolphin Explorer. Cruising the waters of the Ten Thousand Islands and Rookery Bay, you and your fellow passengers will serve as Citizen Scientists, assisting dolphin researchers with the ongoing 10,000 Islands Dolphins Project.

Many other cruises combine sightseeing with dolphin watching or manatee watching. It’s not at all unusual to spot a glimpse of dolphins frolicking near a boat, or manatees lazily swimming by.

Guided Bicycle Tours

On land, a bike tour gives you a chance to explore urban as well as natural environments while enjoying the year-round Florida sun. There are many reputable tour companies to choose from in our nature tours and attractions listings.

In Naples, pedal through the attractive downtown area and take in views of the Gulf while surrounded by lush landscaping. Marco Island is a treat for nature enthusiasts, with a chance to see dolphins, manatees and rare creatures such as the burrowing owls that make their home around the island. The Wave, the student newspaper for Marco Island Academy, has an article about biking the challenging Indian Hill region of Marco Island and other good bike ride locations. Read it here.

And it’s not surprising that exploring the Everglades by bike will reward you with a panorama of natural wonders: diverse landscapes including prairies, swamps and marshes, and an abundance of fascinating wildlife. Perhaps you’ll spot a black bear, alligator, bobcat, deer or turkey. Naples Bicycle Tours offers guided biking tours in both Naples and the Everglades. 

Air Tours & Swamp Buggies

Seeing the picturesque Gulf of Mexico, the labyrinthine 10,000 Islands and the wild vistas of the Everglades from a bird’s-eye view is something you simply won’t forget. Several private companies, such as Salt Island Sea Planes, Wings Aero Tours and Island Hoppers, offer guided flight tours for the ultimate sightseeing experience.

For an equally fascinating but more grounded experience, climb aboard an elevated swamp buggy for an eco-tour of the Everglades. These vehicles with massive tires can get you right out into the swamps and prairies of Big Cypress National Preserve, and up close to the astounding array of wildlife in the legendary River of Grass. The Everglades is one of the world’s most treasured environments – no trip to the Paradise Coast would be complete without a visit.

Back to top of page
Read More »
Map It! Collier County Government Webaward Winner IAGTO - Golf Destination of the Year 2014 ACCREDITED - Destination Marketing Organization