Everglades Experience: Guided Tour of Royal Palm, Nike Missile Site, and Pa-hay-okee!
A small group naturalist guided tour including the Nike missile site and wildlife viewing.
Meeting Location: Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center in Homestead, FL
Duration: 3.5 hours
Start Time: 9:30 AM & 2:00 PM
Age Requirement: Ages 5+ are welcomed to join this program. Guest ages 5+ can join in our Institute vehicle as long as the passenger does not require a child seat or booster.
* Opt to caravan with your own vehicle; radios will be provided for communication between stops (Park Entrance Fee not included).
- Program will end at the last stop in the park. Passengers will return to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center after the last stop of the tour.
- 14 people maximum.
- Make sure to read all the information below including the drop down menus to learn more about this trip.
- Before completing your booking, make sure to read our Cancellation Policy.
- Participant Price per person. Ages 5+. Drive in personal vehicle following your Naturalist. Does not include Park Entrance Fee.
- Passenger Price per person. Passenger must be ages 5 and older who do not require a child's seat or booster seat.
Discover the Everglades
Embark on an unforgettable journey through the mesmerizing Everglades National Park with our expert Institute Naturalists as your guides. Join us in exploring the rich history and intricate ecosystem of this distinctive natural wonder.
Select your preferred transportation option: join our Naturalists in the comfort of our spacious, air-conditioned 14-passenger van, which is also wheelchair accessible, or opt to follow in your own vehicle. Our thoughtfully designed program features strategic stops at iconic park locations, ensuring an enriching and comprehensive Everglades experience for all participants.
Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you:
- Royal Palm:
- Begin your journey at the Royal Palm area, where our Naturalists will lead you on leisurely walks, sharing their knowledge about the unique flora and fauna that call the Everglades home.
- Discover the historical significance of Royal Palm and its role in the park’s conservation efforts.
- Nike Missile Site:
- Uncover the hidden history of the Nike Missile Site, gaining insights into its role during the Cold War era.
- Engage in captivating talks about the park’s conservation initiatives and the delicate balance between human history and natural preservation.
- Pa-hay-okee Overlook:
- Experience breathtaking views at the Pa-hay-okee Overlook, a prime location for spotting wildlife and capturing stunning photographs.
- Delve into the intricacies of the Everglades ecosystem, learning about the importance of this unique wetland in maintaining biodiversity.
Throughout the journey, our Naturalists will provide informative talks, allowing you to deepen your understanding of the Everglades and appreciate its significance as a National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as the Everglades is home to a diverse array of species.
The advertised time for this program includes the return drive to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center for those participating as passengers, ensuring a seamless and informative experience from start to finish. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with nature and gain a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the Everglades. Book your enlightening journey today!
This Everglades National Park tour begins at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center located at 40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034. Type ‘Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center’ into your GPS to be brought to this location. It is the first visitor center at the Homestead entrance and is located before the entrance gates.
Upon arrival, please check-in with your Institute Naturalist by the flagpole outside of the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. Please arrive 15 minutes before departure.
You will then ride in the Institute Van or caravan to your tour locations. The trip will end at your last stop. If you traveled as a passenger, you will return to the Ernest F Coe Visitor Center at the end of the program. If you travelled in your own vehicle, you can continue exploring other areas in the park.
Participants must be 5 years and older to join this tour. Guest ages 5+ can join in our Institute vehicle as long as the passenger does not require a child seat or booster.
All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
We recommend bringing the following items for this tour:
- Plenty of Water
- Bug Repellent and/or bug jacket
Embark on an immersive experience with our program as you join our knowledgeable Naturalist for a ride in our Institute Van. Alternatively, guests have the option to drive their own vehicles for added flexibility.
Indulge in panoramic views of the park through the expansive windows of our vehicle, granting you an effortless journey without the need to drive. Our vehicle is also equipped with an air conditioning system that will help you stay cool and comfortable throughout your journey.
If you decide to ride in the Institute Van, we ask that all guests in the van are 5 years and older. Guest ages 5+ can join in our Institute vehicle as long as the passenger does not require a child seat or booster. Our vehicle can spaciously sit 14 passengers. All passengers must return to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center with the Naturalist at the end of the tour.
Plus, this vehicle also comes with wheelchair accessibility. Remember to add a comment to your booking, so our dedicated Naturalists can ensure your trip is tailored to your needs on the day of your excursion.
Park entrance is included for passengers that riding in our vehicle.
If you decide to use your own vehicle, you will be given a walkie to communicate with your Naturalist during the trip. Please note that if you decide to use your own vehicle, park entrance is not included. You will have to pay the park entrance fee at the start of the tour. The park entrance ticket will allow you to re-enter the park for 7 days. At the end of the tour, you may continue to explore other areas of the park on your own.
No printing necessary. You can even complete the waivers on your phone! Adults over the age of 18 must complete and submit their own waiver. Minors ages 17 and younger must have a parent or legal guardian complete and submit a waiver on behalf of the minor. There are separate waivers for adults and minors, please be sure you are completing the appropriate waiver. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. To complete the waiver process, you will need to confirm your email address through and email that will be sent by Smartwaiver.
If you have a medical condition described on the Medical Statement or any other condition that would be contrary to safe participation in any activities, you must provide documentation that you sought the advice of a physician prior to engaging in any activities.
What kinds of wildlife will we see?
- We cannot guarantee any wildlife sightings but commonly, we see wading birds, diving birds, raptors, alligators, fish, turtles, lizards, butterflies, etc.
Can I bring food with me?
- Yes, please make sure the food is not messy if you plan on going in the van with your Naturalist.
Should I go in the van or in my own car?
- That choice is completely up to you. If you’d like to continue venturing further into the park after Pa Hay Okee, you might want to drive your own vehicle. If you’d prefer to end your trip back at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, you might want to go in the van.
If I go in my own car, how will I stay in contact with my Naturalist?
- If you decide to use your own vehicle, your Naturalist will provide you with a walkie talkie so you can still hear their narration along the tour.
Do I have to stay for all 3 stops?
- Not necessarily. If you have other plans or are on a time restriction, please inform your Naturalist.
How much walking is required?
- Round trip, we walk about 1 mile in total, broken up into 3 separate sections.
Does this trip get cancelled for weather?
- Yes, if there is heavy rain for the duration of your trip, lightning, or thunder, your trip may get cancelled.
Is this trip ok for children?
- This tour is an informative, educational, and 3.5 hour long trip that might be better suited for older children and adults. However, children 5+ are welcome to attend. If your child is under 5, please contact us (786) 465-4058 to speak with a representative.
What is a Naturalist?
- Our tour guides, Naturalists, are continuous students of the natural world and provide interpretive, educational, and historical programs in South Florida’s National Parks. Each are trained by the National Park Service to ensure they are equipped with and can provide the most up to date information, research, and opportunities when connecting with guests.
What does interpretation mean?
- Interpretation is a purposeful form of communication that seeks to translate the world around us. Our Naturalists help interpret the natural environment, history, research, etc. to support guests in broadening their perspectives, deepening their understanding, and inspiring them to cultivate meaningful connections with South Florida’s National Parks.