This is a fantastic trip! I chose the 5 day trip and loved every minute.
The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and easy going. I never once worried about my safety with them around. They know how to navigate the tides and the twisting maze of mangroves. They welcome any questions you have about everything from the plants and animals to kayaking to camping. They take care of you completely and make the trip truly worth it!
8-Day Everglades Kayak Tour
Kayak Entire 99 mile Wilderness Waterway
Strenuous Active Rating
Included Shuttle Transportation
Paddle the entire 99-mile length of the famous Wilderness Waterway through the full length of the Everglades from Flamingo in the south to Everglades City in the north. Experience a complete eight day immersion in the largest wilderness backcountry in the eastern U.S. You will see Everglades National Park, and nobody else, on this trip!
Why Choose This Tour:
Entire Wilderness Waterway - You will paddle the entire 99 mile length of the famous Wilderness Waterway. You will be completely immersed in the most remote wilderness backcountry in the eastern U.S.
Included Shuttle Transportation - You and all the gear will be shuttled from Everglades City to Flamingo at the start of the tour. This shuttle normally costs over $500 for self guided kayakers.
Included Camping Permits - You wont need to worry about arriving in advance and sorting out camp permits, we'll handle everything.
Guide Services - Don't get lost or waste time searching for markers or campsites. Rest assured you'll be looked after in any emergency situation.
All Inclusive - All our tours are fully outfitted and guided to the highest standard- at no additional cost. This includes premium kayaking equipment, quality camping gear and freshly-prepared meals.
“Strenuous” Rating- The Wilderness Waterway tour is designed for very fit and experienced kayakers. It has up to 19 miles and 10 hours paddling per day with limited breaks. The trip also requires breaking and moving camp every day with no rest days. Proof of experience and a doctor's release may be required.
Strenuous level – Only for very fit individuals and experienced kayakers. This trip requires breaking and moving camp every day to reach our required campsites with potentially limited breaks and no rest days. Proof of sea kayaking experience may be required for this tour.
99 miles in total (up to 19 miles and 10 hours paddling per day).
Day Tour Runs:
Any day of the week. Typically runs Sunday-Sunday, one/two tours per season. See calendar for currently scheduled tours.
Departure and Drop Off:
Departure: 9am from the Canoe/Kayak Access at the Everglades National Park Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Drop Off: 4pm (same location).
Click here to see the map.
Max group size 4 | Min group size 2.
18 years old.
Winter dry season, November to April.
The Everglades enjoys a subtropical climate and the “winter” months are the best time of year to visit! November to April is the tropical dry season with abundant sunshine, warm days, cool nights, low humidity and little rain. The infamous clouds of biting insects are also greatly reduced.
What to Bring:
A specific personal packing list is provided with our Overnight Tour Information sheet.￼
About Your Guide:
Your guide will be an ACA kayak instructor, NOLS wilderness first responder, and certified Florida master naturalist.
Read more about our guides here.
Price: $2400 (See below for what's included)
|Incredible wildlife viewing opportunities
|Transport to and from your home
|Professional and certified guide
|Pre/post tour accommodations
|All meals (no dehydrated meals!)
|Pre/post tour meals
|Accommodation (2-person tents)
|Personal travel/trip insurance
|All kayaking and safety equipment
|Gratuities for your hard working guide
|All camping gear (no need to bring anything!)
|National park camping fees and permits
Your 8-day adventure begins at 9:00AM in Everglades City. After introductions, we’ll shuttle to the kayak put-in at the national park marina in Flamingo. Flamingo is a tiny outpost at the southernmost tip of the state – named after the colorful birds which occasionally pass through the area, but now live more abundantly in the Caribbean. Here we say goodbye to civilization and head out into the wilderness! Our first day will take us through the other-worldly eeriness of this beautiful landscape and along the coastline of Florida Bay, where we will spend a night under the stars surrounded by nature at the East Cape campsite. After unloading the boats and setting up our first camp, we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner. Our hearty meals are a highlight! We provide fresh, plentiful, and delicious food. With our backcountry experience, we’ve learned that depending on bland and unhealthy dehydrated meals is not necessary.
Paddling distance: 5 miles. Lunch and dinner included.
After our first day of paddling, we´ll recharge with a freshly-made breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, cereal, cold milk, fresh fruit, juice and coffee. Throughout the day, we’ll stop for leg stretches, bathroom breaks and a buffet picnic lunch. Long and undeveloped Cape Sable is completely exposed to the open Gulf of Mexico. This beautiful and wild coastline is fronted by long beaches completely devoid of the condominiums backing most of Florida’s coast. We camp tonight on Middle Cape where our own 5 mile long beach with an unobstructed sunset view awaits us.
Paddling distance: 11 miles. All meals included.
We continue north today in the Gulf of Mexico. This wild coast is regularly thrashed by hurricanes. The area’s isolation and the dead trees have earned it the name “Desolation Coast”. Late this afternoon, we reach Ponce de Leon Bay where we’ll paddle approximately three miles across open water at the mouth of the bay. In the open water, we have a great opportunity to spot dolphin, sea turtle and white pelican. If the weather does not cooperate, we’ll head east toward the protected inside of the bay. We camp tonight on a wooded ground site at Graveyard Creek.
Paddling distance: 17 miles. All meals included.
We head inside today from the open gulf and into the narrow, twisted and shallow Nightmare Route. This route was named by motor boaters who became stranded at low tide and swarmed by clouds of mosquitoes. It is actually a very pleasant paddle for kayakers through a shady canopy of mangrove tunnels. Our destination tonight is Rogers River Bay Chickee. Chickee is the Seminole native word for “house” and is what the national park calls their camping platforms. These platforms are wooden decks with metal roofs constructed over the water on stilts. We´ll set up our tents and sleep directly over the water tonight for a unique experience listening to fish jump and manatees surfacing for a breath.
Paddling distance: 19 miles. All meals included.
Following the Wilderness Waterway all day, we´ll paddle through shallow bays and creeks. The route is marked by the national park with consecutively numbered posts from #1 in Flamingo to #137 in Everglades City. All day we’ll be counting up toward our destination. This area is also the farthest inland we reach on the trip and the freshwater here is preferred by alligators. Take advantage of fantastic alligator-sighting opportunities along your journey, especially in the aptly named Alligator Creek. Don´t worry, these reptiles shy away from kayaks, but look great on camera! Our campsite tonight is Plate Creek Chickee at Lostman’s Five Bay.
Paddling distance: 13 miles. All meals included.
Today we head down Chatham River to a destination of historical significance, the infamous Watson Place. Around the turn of the century, the notorious Ed Watson, a headstrong and violent tempered man with a shadowy past, lived and farmed here. The campsite is in a clearing on a man made “shell mound” constructed by the Calusa natives, the original people in southwest Florida. The Calusa constructed dozens of these engineered mounds over generations as dry land for home sites. Our camping destination, the Watson Place mound, is one of the Everglades largest at 38 acres.
Paddling distance: 14 miles. All meals included.
This morning we leave the waterway behind and paddle down the Chatham River back to the Gulf of Mexico, where we will arrive at our destination – a breathtaking sandy beach at the northeastern tip of Pavilion Key. The powder soft and sparkling white sand is composed of calcium carbonate produced from the shells of marine invertebrates. Stretch your legs and shell hunt along this beautifully remote coastline. We’ll enjoy our last night in the backcountry sharing memories around a blazing beach campfire and taking in the glorious Florida sunset.
Paddling distance: 8 miles. All meals included.
By the end of our 8-day adventure, we’ll have locked into the backcountry rhythms and forgotten our concerns from the outside world, but unfortunately the fun has to end! Before we say our goodbyes, we´ll enjoy our last paddle weaving through the 10,000 Islands. This vast tangle of “islands” is actually a maze of mangrove trees growing in a shallow tidal estuary. A fantastic opportunity to witness our abundant migratory and resident birdlife, including flocks of ibis, diving osprey and vibrant pink spoonbills. We end our trip back in Everglades City before 4:00PM with our heads and hearts full of memories of the Everglades.
Paddling distance: 12 miles. Breakfast and lunch included.
This is a fantastic trip! I chose the 5 day trip and loved every minute.
We are fairly experienced outdoor “adventurers,” having hiked, kayaked, and white-water rafted uncountable times. But the five-day kayak/camping trip we took, guided by Dave K. and “Bonesy,” was remarkable. A rigorous physical experience for a couple in their 60s and 70s, challenging but rewarding. Nights on the ground, in a tent, surrounded by the sounds of buzzing bugs but also the splashes of leaping mullet, the puffs of manatee breathing, the hooting of owls.
I had an incredible time with the FOA. Very knowledgeable and passionate about showing others the Everglades! I learned so much about the flora and fauna.
We fully enjoyed our kayak trip with Dave K. His love and respect for the history of the area and the Everglades environment shows in how he runs his tour. We had quite a windy and rainy trip and Dave was careful to choose routes and camp spots to accommodate the weather when it blew in. The trip requires some physical and mental stamina, but it was well worth it to experience this remote area. I am very glad we were able to find Dave and paddle with him.
In short, this is a trip very much worth doing. But listen to Dave’s instructions and do some Googling so you know exactly where you are going and boned up a bit on the flora,fauna and local history. It will enhance your experience.
Trip was amazingly on every level. Dave is professional and knowledgeable about nature. Food was beyond my wildest expectations. Dave worked around the weather and adjusted our destinations to ensure the best possible camping locations and kayak routes. We saw an array of wildlife, but not a single python
I am SO grateful for the 5-day kayak tour that Dave led, exactly the way that he led it. All seven of us appreciated Dave’s extensive experience, excellent fresh food, and first-rate equipment. Above an beyond them, Dave gave us an element of discovery such as when we approached coves with dolphins, or walked past the cemetery on Fakahatchee Island. He led us to them without introduction, and quietly let us appreciate them for the first time. Many thanks for sharing the remote islands of southwest Florida with us!
Dave and Bonesy were great experienced guides. We saw so much wildlife and really enjoyed our three day trip!