Swamped For Your Ultimate Florida Package Holiday?

On January 24, 2012 by Jonathan Bright

What is the ultimate Florida package holiday? Well it depends on what you want from it. I’m sure everybody is aware of Disney and Universal’s theme parks; numerous different days at the beach surfing, canoeing and stretching from top to toe of the long Sunshine State; diving the Florida Keys in the reefs of an actual Caribbean paradise. And I can’t tell you the feeling I had seeing one of the final shuttle launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Yes Florida offers such a vast array of packages for its visitors it can be easy to get swamped.

So perhaps that’s where you could start – the swamp.

It’s no day at the beach, sure, but if you’re a nature lover or just a fan of adventure, Florida’s Everglades National Park is home to some remarkably diverse wildlife and plant-life.

Hundreds of kilometres of sharp saw-grass marsh are intertwined with the twisted, undulating roots of thick mangrove forests. Islands of trees that have adapted to the wet environment dot the landscape as an archipelago of dripping leaves and poking branches, and the air is as wonderfully heavy and humid as its surroundings.

The wetlands is a place to be observed, preserved and admired. Some 67 species of flora and fauna are on the federal endangered species list, some which should be seen before they are never to be seen again.

The poster boy for this unique ecosystem is the Florida panther, characterised by its short golden fur and svelte body. A relative of the cougar, Florida’s state mascot and namesake of the Florida Panthers ice hockey team, it is the most endangered of all with only 100 of these magnificent creatures left in the state. Although those numbers have mercifully risen from about 30 in the 1970s, following successful conservation efforts.

In amongst this typical subtropical environment, you can get up close and personal with the American alligator. Well, not too close perhaps. This in particular was a massive conservation success story, saved not only from extinction – that is, after an estimated 150 million years of surviving on the planet – but in fact now thriving in the wild thanks to efforts to preserve its natural habitat here and eradicate demand for alligator products.

Nearer the coast, in amongst the saltwater you find the friendlier specimens – the passive and beautiful West Indian manatees, otherwise known as the sea-cow, and the happy-go-lucky bottle-nosed dolphin. Searching Florida package holidays you will notice a number of opportunities to go swimming with dolphins in captivity, but little can quite relate to the excitement of seeing them in their natural habitat.

I could go on, but that would spoil the surprise. The Everglades are brimming with hidden treasures and delights of the natural world, and are a true lesson in the proper preservation of this incredible planet.

Really there is only one way to experience and explore this fascinatingly rich ecosystem – the Airboat tour. Step on board one of these super-fast hover boats and see The Everglades in their incredible detail from the waters in which they sit. Many packages offer the chance to get very close to the wildlife, even at night. Meanwhile one can try fishing trips and ecological tours.

And after all that, then you can hit the beach.