My husband and I will be staying in Homestead over night near Thanksgiving, and we have just one day to visit Everglades NP on our way to the Keys. We want to see as much wildlife as possible in that one day, and I would like some advice on our plan. We will be visiting the Anhinga Trail at either sunrise or sunset that same day, but want to spend a good portion of the of the day paddling.
We need to rent a tandem kayak or a canoe, and since we’ll have a compact car, we won’t have a great way to transport it, so we would need to either have it transported for us by the tour company, or rent it at the location where we would start our paddle, so this may limit our options right off the bat.
Here are some questions and possibilities I’m considering:
1. Should we take a guided tour with a commercial kayak company (cost around $100-150 each person.) If you recommend this option, is there a particular company anyone has experience with?
2. Saltwater v. freshwater paddle?
Is there a good place to saltwater kayak near Flamingo? Thoughts on salt water paddle vs. fresh water paddle to see wildlife?
3. Rent a kayak at Flamingo and paddle Nine Mile Pond or Noble Hammock on our own? Is there much wildlife to see here? (This option is the most affordable, so I am strongly considering it, but I am willing to fork out for a guided tour, as long as it is one of quality.)
4. Drive to either Big Cypress or somewhere near Key Largo to kayak? I would prefer to stay within ENP, since we're spending the next day snorkeling at Key Largo.
5. Some other option?
I would really appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you in advance!!