Captain Steve's Swamp Buggy Adventures, Everglades City

4.2
#15 of 25 in Tours in Everglades City
Off-Road Tour · Boat Tour
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Captain Steve's Swamp Buggy Adventures reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
369 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Captain Adam was our guide though the Everglades and he was lots of fun. There were five crazy women from Missouri in our group and we had a terrific time. He was knowledgeable about the various... 
    Captain Adam was our guide though the Everglades and he was lots of fun. There were five crazy women from Missouri in our group and we had a terrific time. He was knowledgeable about the various...  more »
  • This was my 3rd buggy tour with Capt Steve's. Shane was our guide this time (RIP Otis). Shane made our trip a wonderful adventure. We will always call on Capt Steve for an experience like no other... 
    This was my 3rd buggy tour with Capt Steve's. Shane was our guide this time (RIP Otis). Shane made our trip a wonderful adventure. We will always call on Capt Steve for an experience like no other...  more »
Google
  • Had a fun and fantastic time . There was a group of 5 of us and our guide Adam was great. He told us everything about the glades, flowers, panthers, alligators, etc. Adam was a fun guide. Will definitely recommend. Would give more stars if I could.
  • We left Naples for an Everglades adventure traveling 48 miles inland, before finding Captain Steve and his swamp buggies on Turner River Road deep in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Steve is a sixth generation Glades-man (family has been living in the Everglades since the 1870s) who loves the Big Cypress National Preserve, the largest subtropical swamp in the United States. Steve‚Äôs great grandfather (Captain Charlie Boggess) was the first to operate a tour in the Everglades National Park. The swamp buggy adventure is motored by a six-person, all-terrain vehicle outfitted with tractor tires and an elevated viewing platform. We visited in late January, just after a frost advisory. Big Cypress was calm, peaceful, and untroubled; a little glimpse of what Heaven on earth might look like. Captain Steve is a physically big man, charismatic, cheerful and a natural story-teller. He is definitely someone to have lunch with and socialize for a day. Steve explained to us that he would stop anytime for photo opportunities or to more closely observe any unusual aspect of a particular habitat. We shared great conversation with Steve and he is truly a professional guide that cares about satisfying his guests. He made sure we took along some bug spray, sun block, and binoculars. Steve began the tour by explaining that although Florida is experiencing tremendous population growth and urban development, Big Cypress remains a wilderness, inhospitable and mysterious, the domain of countless creatures of both tooth and claw. The exotic waterscape features a fragile landscape comprising grassy vistas, pinelands and dense islands of hardwoods. Our guide pointed out some old cut timber remaining from the days of logging cypress. The timber industry built railroads and cut and hauled out most of the cypress ecosystem's old growth trees. The Lee Cypress Railroad transported cut cypress trees for more than 40 years, ending sometime in the 1950s. We came across a large tree that exhibited deformed growth and a distinctive bend in a vertical plane. Steve identified it as a directional tree or marker tree. Historically, these unique trees were commonly known as Indian Trail Trees. Proponents of trail tree lore claim these unique forms were modified by Native Americans and used to mark trails, river crossings or important locations. Steve briefed us on the fascinating wading birds of the Big Cypress. The Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, the Great Egret, Snowy Egret and White Ibis are the most commonly spotted birds in the swamp. One other bird that captured our attention was the prehistoric looking Anhinga, present here in large numbers. The American alligator is the most popular reptile. The large reptile is commonly seen during the winter dry seasons when water is scarce. However, this has been a wet winter and we did observe an eleven-footer basking in the canal and some baby gators near a gator cave. Steve informed us that Big Cypress is home to 35 species of mammals, the most popular being the Florida panther which is on the endangered species list, black bear and manatee. Panthers are carnivores, with white-tailed deer and feral hogs making up most of their diet. Black bear males can weigh up to 450 pounds and are omnivores. Adult manatees are around 9-10 feet in length and females can weigh an average of 1,000 lbs. This adventure is not an animal safari, but an in-depth look at the Big Cypress habitats spectacular scenery. The tour is an introduction into this fascinating environment. Steve addressed each habitat (cypress swamps, pinelands, prairies and hardwood hammocks) as we motored through them. We observed air plants growing on the trunks and branches of the cypress. Steve said air plants attach themselves to other living plants. Air plants use photosynthesis to create their own food and obtain moisture from humidity, like fog and rain. The tour ended and before we exchanged goodbyes, the captain provided some great recommendations for other area tours and restaurants in Everglades City.

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