Vacation Guide to Southwest Florida

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Rides

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Rides is one of the top guides for tours of the Everglades! Whether you choose to explore via airboat or swamp buggy, or if you’re simply interested in visiting their animal sanctuary and alligator farm, a trip to Wooten’s is definitely something you’ll want to consider adding to your Southwest Florida vacation itinerary.

SWFL is composed of Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and other wilderness areas. Here you will find incredible and unique natural spaces that are home to countless species of animals and plants in a verdant and lush ecosystem. To really appreciate it though, you need a guided tour. 

This article will answer the following questions: One, Where is Wooten’s Alligator Farm?  Two,  what type of tours do they offer on the farm? Three, do I want to ride a Swamp Buggy?  (Hint, hint, yes you REALLY do!) And finally, what is there to see in the Animal Sanctuary and Alligator Park? 

Let’s take a look at all of the essential details you’ll need to know if you’re thinking about booking a tour with Wooten’s, getting up close and personal with their family of exotic animals, or both.

Where Is Wooten’s Alligator Farm in Florida?

Wooten’s is located in Ochopee, Florida, less than ten minutes away from Everglades City. From Marco Island, Naples, and Fort Myers, the drive takes about thirty minutes, forty-five minutes, and an hour and fifteen minutes, respectively.

Just down the road from the Big Cypress National Preserve Headquarters and the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center, Wooten’s Animal Sanctuary is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for some South Florida wilderness adventuring.

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Rides

An airboat ride is one of the best ways to experience South Florida’s wilderness and swamps.  An airboat is a boat that is used to navigate shallow waters just like those in the Everglades. The water in these swampy areas are too shallow for a standard boat motor with a propeller. So these boats are instead propelled by an aircraft engine (hence the name airboat.)

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Rides tours come in a number of different varieties, allowing you to choose a tour that best fits your interests, schedule, and wallet.

Wooten’s Grassland Airboat Tours

Lasting about 30 minutes or so, Wooten’s Everglades Grassland Airboat Tours are open to people of all ages.  They are also handicap accessible with some limitations.

On this tour, you’ll be able to experience the beauty of the Everglades’ unique grasslands. You’ll get to ride along with experienced captains and escape into more than 250 acres of private grasslands.

While you’re on the tour, you’ll get the chance to learn about the history, plants, and animals of the area. For instance, you may even spot some birds, alligators, and other animals.

For people over the age of eleven, tickets cost $32.50 before taxes and fees for the Grassland Airboat Tour. Children between the ages 4-10 are admitted for $20 a piece. For infants under 3 and under, tickets cost $7. If you book your tickets online, you can gain free admission to Wooten’s Animal Sanctuary.  A live alligator show is part of the Sanctuary experience.

Wooten’s Extended Small Airboat Tour

This extended airboat tour lasts nearly an hour and is open to people of all ages. This tour is perfect for people looking for a more personalized experience. This tour gives you a chance to get closer to the ecosystems created by mangroves.

These smaller airboats allow you to explore areas the big boats can’t!  If photography is one of your hobbies, this tour offers better opportunities for taking photos. You’ll get to explore more than 250 acres of private grassland area.

Before taxes and fees, the tickets cost $45 for people 11 and up. Finally, it’s $27 for children between four and ten, and $7 for infants under the age of 3.

Wooten’s Everglades Private Airboat Tour

A private Wooten’s Everglades airboat rides tour is a great option if you are part of a larger group.  Avoid sharing the boat with other passengers if you reserve a private small boat tour. This is also a 50 minute tour where you and your small group can learn and explore with an experienced captain.  Accommodating parties of up to 10, you’ll have the chance to see the mangrove swamps up close and personal.

For a party of between one and six people, the rates for a private airboat tour start at $300. If you have additional people in your group, it costs $30 for each extra passenger.

Wooten’s Swamp Buggy Rides

What exactly is a swamp buggy? A swamp buggy has an elevated, open platform that can seat up to 20 people. It  uses huge tractor tires to travel across both muddy marshes and dry land.  Think monster truck in a swamp and you have it!

Looking for a classic Everglades experience? Then, you’ll want to hitch a ride on a swamp buggy at least once. What are the avantages of a swamp buggy? Well it allows you to see better!  The Swamp buggys raised platform gives a better view than an airboat. These tours are perfect for slowing down and experiencing the incredible lush cypress forest.

Lastly, a swamp buggy can travel across dry land for some amazing sites.

Along the way, you might get to spot all kinds of different wildlife including alligators, deer, bears, or birds. A Native American campsite and burial ground is one of the attractions while on the tour.  Also, as well as educational opportunities to learn about the Everglades from an expert tour guide.

If you join one of these tours between the months of November and April, you might even get to see wild manatees in the aptly named Manatee Pond!

These tours last about 30 minutes and are open to people of all ages. Before taxes and fees, tickets for these tours are $27.50 for people over the age of eleven, $20 for children between the ages 4-10, and $7 for infants 3 and  under.

Wooten’s Animal Sanctuary and Alligator Park

While there’s a good chance you’ll see some alligators and other animals, nature doesn’t ever offer guarantees.  So, don’t miss the Animal Sanctuary and Alligator Park.  There are many exotic animals, you’ll get to see lions, tigers, turtles, crocodiles, and otters. Oh and they are an alligator park…  More than 100 alligators of all ages and sizes are there.

Live alligator shows run every hour between 10 am and 4 pm with the final show of the day starting at 4. During the show, the handlers will offer fascinating alligator trivia and even let you hold an alligator. Don’t forget your camera for this one!

Before taxes and fees, tickets cost $9 for adults over 11, $7 for children between the ages of four and eleven, and $5 for those 3 years old and younger.

Wooten’s Airboat Rides Combo Deals

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Rides also offers a number of combo deals to help you get the best bang for your buck.

The Original Combo includes a grassland airboat tour, a swamp buggy tour, and free passes to their Animal Sanctuary and Alligator Park complete with a live alligator show.

If you’re hoping to take a longer airboat ride on a smaller boat, you’ll want to check out their Extended Combo option.

For a more private experience, they also offer a Private Combo so you can experience the Everglades without sharing your airboat with other passengers.

For parties of twenty people or more, Wooten’s also offers Group Tours and Field Trips. The Group Tours are perfect for family reunions, weddings, business retreats, or other gatherings, while the Field Trips are specifically designed for students in grades K-12.

Is a Tour of the Everglades on Your Southwest Florida Vacation Itinerary?

While there are many different tours available in the vast natural areas of South Florida.  Wooten’s Everglades tours are some of the best known and best-loved. Here you won’t be bothered by other tours or traffic, as the guided excursions all take place right on Wooten’s private 259-acre property.

If you’re planning out the perfect trip to Southwest Florida, we’re here to help.  Check out What to do on the water in Fort Myers.  With endless resources on things to do, places to eat, and where to stay while you’re exploring the Gulf Coast, Southwest Florida Traveler is your go-to guide for everything you could ever want to know about this incredible region.

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