Searching For Alligators On An Everglades Airboat Ride

Last Updated on May 10, 2022

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 are all the things you need to know before taking an airboat ride:

Table Of Contents

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.

Why Try An Airboat Ride?

Have you ever wanted to try something new and exciting? Something that would give you an adrenaline rush? If so, then an airboat tour is definitely for you! Airboat tours are a great way to see the sights and get a thrill all at the same time.

Cruising through the air on an airboat is an unforgettable experience. You’ll feel the wind in your face and the sun on your skin as you zip around. And best of all, you can see everything! There’s no better way to take in the beauty of nature than from atop an airboat.

An airboat tour is a perfect way to add some excitement to your trip.

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.

How Fast Do Airboats Go?

The airboats will not exceed speeds of 35 to 40 mph while exploring the Florida Everglades.

Kids ready for an airboat ride

How Much Is An Airboat Ride In The Everglades?

Cost: Adults: $27.99, Kids 1-5 ride free, Kids 6-11 are $18.99, at Gator Park when you buy tickets online. (Updated for 2022)

Everglades National Park

Are Airboat Rides Safe?

Airboat rides are the most efficient way to navigate through the Everglades terrain.  Airboats are unique vessels that are unlike any other type of boat. They have large fan blades that propel them through the water at high speeds. Airboats can generate a lot of noise, which can be harmful to your hearing if you’re not wearing ear protection (provided for you). However, as long as you exercise caution and follow the safety rules, airboat rides are a safe and enjoyable experience.

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

Are Airboat Rides Bumpy?

They are the single, most efficient way to navigate the Everglades terrain. Airboat rides can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a bit bumpy. That’s because airboats travel across the surface of the water, rather than through it. As a result, they can bounce around a bit when they hit waves or bumps in the water. However, most airboat rides are relatively smooth and provide a fun way to explore the great outdoors. So, if you are looking for a bit of adventure, an airboat ride is definitely worth considering.

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Do You Get Wet On The Airboat Ride?

Airboat rides are a fun and unique way to search for alligators. We did not get wet on the airboat ride but were told that it can depend on a few different factors, including the temperature, the humidity, and the speed of the airboat. In general, if it’s a warm day with high humidity, you’re more likely to get wet on an airboat ride. That’s because the airboat produces a lot of spray as it moves through the water. The warmer temperatures can cause that spray to evaporate more quickly, resulting in higher levels of relative humidity. However, even on a warm day, you may not get wet if the airboat is moving slowly.

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 or bring a change of clothes with you if you want to ensure that you stay dry.

Gator during Everglades Airboat Ride

Learning About Alligators And Crocodiles

If you’re looking for an up-close and personal encounter with some of Florida’s most iconic wildlife, then you won’t want to miss the Gator Park Wildlife Show. The Gator Park Wildlife Show features a variety of animals, including alligators, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, and turtles. Visitors can watch as the animals are fed and cared for, and even get the opportunity to hold a baby alligator. The show is also educational, providing information about the natural history and habitat of these amazing creatures. So whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for some fun family entertainment, the Gator Park Wildlife Show is sure to please.

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 were an additional $3 per person.

Gator in Everglades National Park

Holding a baby gator in Everglades National Park

Have you ever seen an alligator up close?