Duration:
7 Days, 6 Nights
Activities:
Sea Kayaking
Skill Rating:
1
From:
Naples, FL
Price:
$ 1,495
Included: All ground transportation, lodging, group camping gear, meals, driver/guide, kayaks and related gear, instruction, admission fees.
Not Included: Airfare to Naples, FL, personal clothing and accessories, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes and gratuities

Join us as we explore the wetlands of southern Florida by sea kayak. The Everglades are home to a rich diversity of plant and animal species and were named a World Heritage Site in 1987. The wetlands offer the silent sea kayaker a wonderful opportunity to explore and experience the sandy beaches, striking sunrises and famous “Chickees” where we camp each night.


Itinerary:

Day 1: We meet at the Naples, Florida airport at 3:00pm. From the airport we will travel to Everglades City, our first stop within the Everglades National Park system. You will have time to explore the visitor center and quaint town shops. The evening will be spent enjoying dinner at a local restaurant to get acquainted. You will spend the night at a local hotel.

Day 2: Our first full day will be filled with kayak instruction in the local Thousand Islands area. You will enjoy lunch at the remote Chokoloskee Island. We will return to our hotel for a restful evening and dinner in Everglades City.

Day 3: We head out from Everglades City via van, visiting the Shark Valley Visitor Center and the Ernst Coe Visitor Center on the way to Flamingo. We camp at Flamingo with plenty of time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Everglades, exploring by foot and kayak. Meals during our camping adventure will be created by your professional guides on camp stoves under the open sky.

Day 4 & 5: If the group and weather permit we will load up our kayaks with our belongings and head out to the remote heart of the Everglades to enjoy a night or two on Chickees, elevated platforms, built up and around the mangroves that create our sea kayaking playground. You will paddle some of the wonderful water trails that wander the mangroves visiting some of the numerous islands and remote sandy beaches.

Day 6: After returning from our camping adventure we will check in to a local hotel and enjoy our final evening together with a dinner of fresh fish and local fare in Flamingo.

Day 7: An early departure by van from Flamingo to Naples will allow you to comfortably make connecting flights home. **Itinerary subject to change depending on conditions and availability of campsites in the Everglades. In order to provide the finest and most complete wilderness experience, we strongly encourage and expect participation in all camp chores, including cooking, washing dishes, setting up and breaking down camp. We will provide all meals on the trail, tents, all camping and cooking equipment, and all kayak-related equipment. It is essential that you know how to swim to participate in this trip. You will be sharing a tent with fellow participants each night.


Clothing & Equipment:

Clothes should be packed in suitable dry bags (heavy duty garbage bags inside of a stuff sacks will do).  Drybags should be of the size that can pack in kayaks.
This is all you will need -- anything else is unnecessary baggage and will only be extra weight to carry.

  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • 3 t-shirts (some quick drying for paddling)
  • 1 towel (small PackTowel® works well)
  • 1 shirt, long sleeved, quick drying preferable (sun protection)
  • 2 pair shorts (at least one pair nylon/quick drying)
  • Sun/rain hat (wide brim especially useful)
  • 1 pair fast drying long pants - no blue jeans (synthetic is preferable)
  • Windbreaker jacket (rain gear top can substitute)
  • 2 pairs shoes/sandals - Tevas or sport sandals work best; booties can also be good. One pair of shoes should be “closed toe” for mangroves.
  • 2 pair socks
  • Bathing suit
  • Underwear
  • Light fleece jacket (temperature can get cool in evening)
  • Bandana(s) (optional)
  • Clean change of clothing for the trip home (optional)

Miscellaneous

  • Toiletry kit (toilet paper, toothbrush, biodegradable soap and shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, nail clippers, personal medication etc.)
  • Bug repellent
  • Sleeping bag and pad (+50 F rated) A sleeping sheet bag can work very well as it can be hot at night.
  • Flashlight, batteries & extra bulb; headlamp works best
  • Pocket knife
  • Waterbottle
  • Matches (in waterproof container)
  • Sunglasses Chums®/Croakies® to keep glasses on your head are imperative
  • Energy bars/reserve food

Optional Equipment

  • Fishing rod (collapsible) and tackle.
  • Fly fishing can also be done on the cayes.
  • Camera, film, waterproof container
  • Reading matter and maps (waterproof case)
  • Entertainment (harmonica, cards, games)
  • Compass
  • Ziploc® storage bags
  • Crazy Creek® chair - very valuable for beach time
  • Snorkeling gear

What is special about this trip?
Exploring the Everglades, a world heritage site. The Everglades are dynamic and ever changing. You will encounter wildlife like no other in our world. From the cockpit of your kayak you will explore the breadth and depth of this ecosystem. The combination of the unique environment, open air, and remote, quiet waterways make it a joy to learn new paddling skills, make new friends, and discover new territory.

How do I get there?
The Ft. Meyers, Florida airport provides domestic and international air service for many big name airlines

How and where will you meet me?
A Northwest Passage guide – with a welcoming sign - will be waiting to greet you at the Ft. Meyers Airport at the designated time provided in your confirmation letter.

How long will it take me to get there?
Varies depending on connecting flights, layovers, etc.

Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to arrive early or stay late, give the office a call for a recommendation on a great place to stay.

What money should I take?
While you won’t need money while we’re on the water, you should expect to spend some in town and during our Visitor Center stop for drinks and snacks, souvenirs, film, batteries, etc.

Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
Most of the shops and restaurants in town accept major credit cards and ATMs are widely available.

What's the weather like?
The Everglades climate is primarily humid subtropical, with two seasons: the five-month rainy season, from June through October, when 70% of the year's rain falls, and most hurricanes occur; and the seven month dry season, from November through May. We plan our trips during the dry season, when we can expect sunny days with the possibility of late afternoon showers. Daytime high temperatures average from the mid-70s through about 80 F, with nighttime lows around 50 F. While there are always mosquitoes in the Everglades, they are usually less of a factor in the drier months when we paddle there.

What are the accommodations like?
During your adventure you will enjoy a mix of lodge accommodations and tent camping. The lodge accommodation may include your own bathroom and private room. Some nights we will enjoy the stars and open air from our Northwest Passage tents at a local camp site. The camp site has washrooms nearby. Camp sites on the Chickadees offer the most wilderness experience of our adventure, with a platform to raise our tents and pit toilets. We will spend the final night in a lodge, easing the return to civilization.

What do I need to bring?
We will send you a detailed gear list upon registration.

Can I drink the water?
The brackish waters of the Everglades are not suitable for drinking. However our campsite and lodging will have running potable water. There will also be opportunities to purchase bottled water. The Northwest Passage guides will be prepared with gallon sized jugs for your convenience.

What's the food like?
We plan for hearty meals! Recent menus have included fettucine and asparagus, fajitas, spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner, pancakes and potatoes for breakfast, and sandwiches and tuna salad for lunch; we also pack plenty of snacks! Please let us know about any special dietary needs and we’ll plan to accommodate you.

What time zone will I be in?
Florida is in the US Eastern Time Zone.

How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
You’ll be able to phone home from our hotel on the first two nights, but once we head out to the islands you won’t see any more phones. Give friends and family The Northwest Passage office number, as our office will be able to get in touch with the group in an emergency.

How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
The amount of kayaking varies from day to day. Each morning we’ll break camp, pack the boats, and head to the next night’s camp. Our paddling will be broken into one-to-two hour stretches, with breaks to explore on land as well as on water. We plan to be off the water by mid-afternoon, set up camp, and then enjoy hiking around the island, some short paddles in unloaded boats, or relaxing in camp!

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded plastic kayaks, expedition equipped with bow and stern hatches and rudders. We’ll bring mostly single kayaks on this trip, though we often bring our double kayak along so people can switch around and try different paddling options. Our camping equipment includes Kelty and Eureka two-person tents.

How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Our group size for this trip ranges from 5-12. The Northwest Passage sends one guide for every five participants. Our guides are drawn from our staff of kayaking instructors, all hold certifications from the ACA or BCU (the governing bodies of sea kayaking in North America), and in Wilderness First Aid.

How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
While no prior kayaking experience is necessary, taking one or two of our kayaking skills classes (Intro to Sea Kayaking, Fundamentals I and II) can greatly enhance your personal enjoyment of the trip. No conditioning program is necessary for this trip.