Searching For Alligators On An Everglades Airboat Ride

Last Updated on May 6, 2021

We have always wanted to go “ripping around” the Everglades on an airboat ride. With three young kids in tow, we knew that a longer tour option wouldn’t work, so we were thrilled when there was a ‘family option’ for a 45-minute ride at Gator Park. We were still able to take part in a narrated tour, find some gators, and the kids were still happy at the end of it. They provide earplugs for you and life jackets and headphones for the children as well; it was very safe.

Everglades National Park

Here is everything you need to know about an airboat ride:

What Is An Airboat Tour Like?

The tour took us on a sometimes thrilling, sometimes calm and scenic ride through the beautiful mangrove tunnels in the Everglades. One moment you would be zipping around and the next the guide would slow down when he noticed us approaching wildlife; giving us all a great look. There were plenty of gators to find along the way and with a little zoom lens, by the photos below, you may even think we were almost in the water with them! Gators have always fascinated me because of their prehistoric features and getting to see them in their natural habitat was fascinating. In addition to seeing several alligators, we saw several types of birds, turtles, and other wildlife.

Everglades scenery

Bring A Sweater

Make sure you dress a little warmer than you would expect. It was January and for us folks from Vancouver, it was like our summer weather. However, with the fast-moving airboat, we were happy that we still had sweaters with us.

Kids ready for an airboat ride

How Much Is An Airboat Ride In The Everglades?

Cost: Adults: $24.99, Kids 1-5 ride free, Kids 6-11 are $15.99, at Gator Park when you buy tickets online. (Updated for 2021)

Everglades National Park

Are Airboat Rides Safe?

Airboat rides are the most efficient way to navigate through the Everglades terrain. Follow the safety rules, stay inside the boat, and you will be safe.

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride
You sure wouldn’t want to get too close to this fella!

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Are Airboat Rides Bumpy?

They are the single, most efficient way to navigate the Everglades terrain. We found the ride to be smooth and quite comfortable.  There did not seem to be much bumpiness or shaking; it really felt safe for all ages.

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Do You Get Wet On The Airboat Ride?

We did not get wet, but keep in mind that it can rain frequently in Florida in the summer months. The airboat rides will run rain or shine, so keep a poncho with you if you want to ensure that you stay dry.

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Learning About Alligators And Crocodiles

The wildlife show afterward was entertaining and educational. We were shown how to distinguish between alligators and crocodiles, how fast the alligators can snap their powerful jaws, and what they like to feast on.

It was the first time that we had seen a baby alligator up close and we were able to learn a lot about them. Previously we had been cage diving with crocodiles in South Africa and that is the closest we have ever been.  The kids loved being able to get close to a baby gator afterward, feel its skin, and admire it. Photos are an additional $3 per person.

Gator in Everglades National Park

Holding a gator in Everglades National Park

Holding a gator in Everglades National Park

Holding a baby gator in Everglades National Park

Have you ever seen an alligator up close?