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“Touch Nature: Kayak in the Mangroves at Sunset”

Tour The Glades - Private Wildlife Tours
Ranked #3 of 34 Tours in Everglades City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Tour The Glades is the Only exclusively Private tour operator in the Everglades! Quality instead of quantity is our goal...which means our guests receive 100% of our attention. We can only do one (maybe two) trips per day which makes each one very special. This approach is better for the environment and hands down the best way to explore the Everglades....just you and your own personal guide. We provide tours year round and all excursions are led by Native Naturalist Guides that provide EVERYTHING you'll need. Fresh seasonal fruit, cold bottled water and all the necessities are included. You won't need to purchase any additional items because we've thought of everything! We are priced the same as the group tour companies but only do Private Tours because Private is Best. You are our #1 priority.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed 15 September 2012

I wanted to go where no car could take me, to see, touch and hear the everglades in it's real state. I wanted an adventure, but I wanted to feel safe. Having Tod as our private guide was all of that at an affordable price. He is warm, personable and knowledgeable. The first thing he said was that he would keep us safe from the alligators. He did. He knew their habits and their habitat.

Although I was quite familiar with a canoe I had never kayaked. I was afraid of swamping myself next to an alligator never to return. Tod gave easy instructions. Don't lean and if you run into the mangroves just push away. I got the hang of it quickly. It was easy and I ran into the mangroves many times without incident. Use your canoeing "j" stroke to steer.

My biggest fears out of the way, on to the adventure. Very close to the beginning of the entry point is a rookery. Take your time here. There is more than enough time for everything. There are so many varieties of birds all roosting in the same area. When we were there in May the little ones had crazy looking feathers sticking straight up from their heads with their big, bulging eyes. Blue herons and green herons. We were so close. The birds were not scared. This was the most awesome view.

We continued on. The long roots of the mangroves reflected in the water. It was hard to capture the beauty with the camera. Tod provides a waterproof box that you can put any of your valuables in for safe keeping. I started out with my camera in the box, but by the time we reached the rookery, I spent the rest of the experience with the camera around my neck snapping away gathering memories.

He showed us a place in the grass where a gator had gone in to make a nest. He's well informed and interesting. You can tell Tod likes people and he likes adventure. He used to produce a couple of reality TV shows. You can ask him about this yourself. In spite of his Hollywood work, he's humble, earthy and the nature type.

Tod knew it was our anniversary. He made this a special trip providing us with cut up melon and a bottle of champagne as we reached the clearing. We toasted to the sunset and relaxed in this calm, wide space to watch the sun go down and the sky light up.

We strapped on the headlamps and made our way back. Tod provided the headlamps, bug spray if needed and netting to wear over our heads. In the winter months there are no mosquitoes, in the summer months, there are many mosquitoes. We were there in mid season. We only had to wear the netting when going through the mangroves.

During the first set of mangroves that were wide and spacious I led. Tod led for the next two, shining a large spot well ahead giving the gators plenty of room to slip away before we arrived. We could see the glowing white eyes of spiders settling in for the evening. We paused in an open area looking up at the stars in one of the darkest areas in the US far away from city lights. It was spectacular.

We spotted one gator in the pitch dark, its eyes and snout illuminated by the spot light. Tod was able to keep it's attention as we got closer by making a clucking sound that the baby alligators make. It was a beautiful sight.

I felt extremely comfortable with Tod. He's flexible and accommodating. There's a customizable adventure for everyone. This is highly recommended privately guided tour into the wilderness.

Thank tellalltraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"mangrove tunnels"
in 109 reviews
"kayak trip"
in 54 reviews
"own pace"
in 18 reviews
"bug spray"
in 35 reviews
"guide josh"
in 9 reviews
"fakahatchee strand"
in 8 reviews
"perfect guide"
in 15 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 31 reviews
"four hours"
in 9 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 21 reviews
"florida trip"
in 10 reviews
"open water"
in 18 reviews
"his passion"
in 8 reviews
"great pictures"
in 10 reviews
"took pictures"
in 10 reviews
"highly recommend this trip"
in 8 reviews
"saw dolphins"
in 15 reviews

718 - 722 of 891 reviews

Reviewed 8 September 2012

We have to agree 100% with the all the positive reviews of this tour. My wife and me visited the Everglades during the labor day weekend and were initially booked to take this tour in the evening. When it came time for the tour, the weather had worsened and there was a very distinct possibility of thunderstorms. This combined with the large number of bugs and the fact that my wife had never kayaked before, made us jittery about taking the tour. Tod was extremely accomodative. Not only was he fine with cancelling the tour if we wanted, he did not charge us a penny. He even went beyond that and gave us very good suggestions on what other activities we could do during our trip.

We ended up rescheduling the tour a couple of days later in the morning. The tour was awesome. Tod is highly knowledgeable of the everglades ecosystem. He showed us a number of birds, bird nests with chicks and alligators. The route on which we kayaked was great. We were looking for solitude and we got it. Throughout the tour, we saw no other people other than the 3 of us. Tod shared many valuable tidbits about the area, the animals and the people.

We came out of the tour satisfied. We would love to return here and do the tour again, this time in the evening and maybe in the dry season.

Highly recommended!!

Thank Sunil_AJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2012

On our recent vacation on Sanibel Island we took a side trip to kayak in the Everglades with Tod of Tour the Glades. Can't say enough positive things about dealing with Tod. He was very friendly, accommodating and responsive. Working mainly by email he set up a morning kayak trip just right for our family of four (two adults, a fourteen-year-old and an eight-year-old). We set out around 7:30 a.m. using a mix of his single and tandem kayaks and spent about 4 hours navigating open waterways and dense mangrove tunnels. It was a ton of fun, and even as beginner kayakers, we felt very safe and comfortable. Tod was prepared with snacks and water to share mid-trip and lots of bug spray (happily, biting insects were completely absent from our visit!). We saw lots of wildlife -- our daughter liked the egrets nests with tall but still fuzzy chicks. And we saw several alligators, which shyly disappeared underwater as we went by. Tod also was a treasure trove of knowledge about the nature around us and the history of the native Indians of the area; it's clear he takes great pride in this unique area and his enthusiasm is infectious. When we finally paddled back to our launch site, he had recommendations for places to grab lunch in Everglades City as well as some nearby drives we could take (our son loves to look for snakes wherever we go, and Tod suggested a drive down a nearby loop of unpaved roads, and, sure enough, we were able to watch two snakes crossing the road). We're so glad we made the hour-and-a-half trip from Sanibel to take Tod's tour; it was one of the highlights of our vacation.

Thank Jim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

We booked with Todd after reviewing all the kayak tours on TA and we're glad we did. Communication was excellent before our trip, trading emails regarding details of our tour for a family of 2 adults and 3 kids. The early morning tour was perfect, cooler temperature, very few mosquitos and extremely peaceful going through the mangrove tunnels. Seeing the gators out in the wild was the highlight for the kids.
Thanks again Todd!

Thank Wayne Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 August 2012

First off, thanks to Stan from the Keys. We meet briefly right after his tour with Tod and he told us about their trip and how much better it would be than an air-boat ride that we had planned. I called Tod that evening and he got back to us right away. We met him outside of Everglades City at 8am two days later to start the tour. Side note... while we waited at the Marathon gas station, he pointed out 2 test cars that were disguised. Tod said they are there quite a bit since it's a desolate area for them to road test cars without curious eyes.

Back to the tour... drive a few miles to the kayak landing and shoved off with two of us in one kayak and Tod and our college student in the other. Right away there were a couple of gators lurking right there. We paddled past the mangrove islands that doubled as bird rookeries. Saw many different birds. Paddled thru quite a few mangrove tunnels all the while Tod gave a running description of what were seeing. Our college student is a big eco nut and he provided many facts and info during the whole trip that kept her interested and informed.

I was skeptical at 1st since I'm not at all fond of water deeper then the bath tub, but it was so easy and safe that I was not concerned at all. It was the highlight of our vacation (besides Kenwood Grill in Fort Myers). Thanks Tod!

Thank Capgard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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