So I had 4 days in Miami over the New Year and was determined to fit in as much as possible. With only enough cash for a couple of excursions – and having ruled out The Keys because we didn’t have time to stay overnight and it would just take too long to get there and back in a day – the Everglades was my first choice for a day trip. I had been warned by a friend and regular visitor to Miami against ‘doing the Everglades’ as it is a ‘tourist trap’. However I am a tourist and have always wanted to go on an airboat so I ignored her advice and booked a morning’s excursion to the Everglades and Miccosukee Indian Village for $45, and I’m so glad I did!
The minibus picked us up from our hotel at 8.15am on quite an overcast morning, and then drove us down to the South Beach area where we joined the larger coach and headed on out of Miami. An hour or so later – having driven through flat and rather unremarkable terrain – we arrived at the Everglades and our awaiting airboat. We were handed foam orange earplugs and then headed off into (or should that be onto) the water.
After about 20 exciting minutes of gliding over the reeds and water we arrived at a small jetty where we disembarked for a look at some Indian arts and crafts, a taste of some delicious Native American fried bread and honey, and a glimpse of a real wild alligator! Then it was back in the airboat and off to the Miccosukee Indian Village, where we wandered around some market stalls, a museum, saw more alligators and then saw an Indian dance show. Then at 11.30am it was time to get back in our coach and head back to Miami Beach.
Having been warned against the trip – I’m so pleased that I went ahead with it anyway! The airboat was exciting, loud and a bit chilly, but a brilliant experience… and the fried fresh bread and honey – delicious!