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“Highly recommended with some caveats….” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Garl's Coastal Kayaking Everglades

Garl's Coastal Kayaking Everglades
99010 Overseas Highway, Point of View RV Resort, Key Largo, FL 33037
+1 305-393-3223
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Garl's Coastal Kayaking is the ultimate tour service of the Florida Keys and Everglades. We are the first and original kayaking/slogging tour in the Everglades with the most experienced guides.We offer kayaking, hiking, and fishing in pristine, often unexplored areas of south Florida, the Everglades and Key Largo. We offer a variety of tours and trips 7 days a week and can customize any of our trips. See our website for trip details!We now have rentals- call or see our website for rates. Kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Highly recommended with some caveats….”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

The Everglades park is a UNESCO heritage site, but we definitely would not have seen its true beauty without a guided tour. What you can see of the Everglades from the visitor centers and roadside is not the same as being inside a cypress dome! And, there is no way we would have felt comfortable trekking into a cypress dome on our own.
We chose a private tour for several reasons, and we think we made the right choice. We didn’t want to be in a larger group and miss what the guide pointed out at the front of the group. We also aren’t really “group people”. More importantly, we wanted the ability to be able to call it quits if we got tired. We were told that we would need to reserve a full day for private tours which I completely understand. As long as we would be able to stop early, we would be fine.
The first and most unique activity was hiking through several cypress domes. You would never imagine what the inside of a cypress dome looks like based on the outside. The interior was several degrees cooler than outside with a ton of wildlife. Our cameras couldn’t even capture the beauty of the filtered light. We saw plants that I had never seen out in the wild including orchids. We saw several alligators, a large (nonvenomous) snake, lizards, fish, frogs, and over a dozen species of birds. At times, the water level was up to my knees. I definitely made use of the mud shoes they offered.
We continued on to freshwater kayaking among mangroves. It was enjoyable but not as unique as the cypress domes. We continued to see several alligators and bird species. At the end of the freshwater kayaking, it was about 6pm.
We chose not to continue on to the saltwater kayaking because it had already been a long day. OK. I admit it. I’m a wimp, but I’m not used to being outside in the sun and the heat for more than a couple of hours. I hadn’t seen a bathroom for six hours. I had previously emailed that stopping early was going to be likely for us, but we felt that we had to apologize that we were stopping. Also our guide spent a lot of time taking photographs. I had assumed that the photographs would be for us, but we never received them.
In summary, unforgettable experience but I’m glad we had an exit plan. If I had been with a group, I would have continued on and felt sick for the rest of my vacation.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Tour in the everglades with Garls Kayaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

Dear all, so far I have seen a lot of things, but after this tour I was really impressed. Walking in through the water to Aligator Wholes and Kayaking the everglades, enjoing the sunset in the Kayak, a lot of birds, some Alligators and sharks. Everytime I felt safe and is was probably the best expierence I ever had.

You have to be a little bit sporty because the tour takes 7 or 8 hours. Not only on Kayak. If you are a couple I would recommend a double kayak, seems to be easier.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Tour, Great Value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Did a full-day Everglades tour with hiking and kayaking. Our guide was fun and had terrific knowledge of the flora and fauna. While many operators are over-priced, Garl's gives you great value. I hope to come back at other times of the year to see the various migrations and seasonal cycling of the ecosystems. I would especially like to see the birds that winter in the Everglades. Next time, I will definitely do another tour with Garl.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Educational family outing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Our full-day guided tour of portions of the Everglades was quite a day (all 12 hours of it!). My husband and I did this tour with our 14 year old son. Great outing for kids. Each kid is different in their interests and abilities, so consider this before taking yours.

Folks of all ages should be prepared for and comfortable with getting dirty and walking in water up to your calves and mucky mud (at least this was our experience in the "dry" season, early April). You will need water shoes (they have all sizes if you don't have your own). For some mud is fun, but not for all. For myself and our son, it was worth the dirt because we got to learn so much and see so much nature. My husband probably would have been fine just on a boardwalk tour - but that's just his style. We all really enjoyed the kayaking (about 1/2 the day included kayaking). Our 14 year old had his own kayak, but if he were 10 or younger, I would have kept him in a tandem with a parent. Again, condiser each person's endurance level.

We were expecting Garl, but Don (a snake/frog researcher) took us out and he was an excellent source of information and a very nice guide! He knows the paths well and we felt very safe with him (considering this place is teeming with alligators).

Watching the sunset from our kayaks was a highlight. So awesome to just be there quiet in nature. Another highlight was the night walk on the Anhinga Trail. Very cool!

NOTE: The folks with us that only did a 1/2 day tour did not get to do the sunset or night walk. Too bad!

Highlight for our taste buds was the stop at "Robert Is Here". WOWWWIE! Wish we had all that delicious fruit in the Upper Midwest (they do ship!). Guanabana milkshake was amazing. Have you ever heard of Mamey Sapote? Try it! We reutrned the next day for MORE YUMMINESS!

If you are looking for a good, educational family trek though a unique setting, and you have an appreciation for nature, I would recommend this tour if it is in your budget. You will remember it for a lifetime!

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“I'd go higher than excellent if I could”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The reviews speak for themselves. I did the full day everglades trek. You get your money's worth 10x's over. Garl is a small operation, he doesn't take many people so you really feel like you're on a special excursion. He knows his gators and where they like to hang out. We saw gators/snakes/birds/lizards/orchids/bugs. He also will sell you pictures, very worth the price because he also works with National Geographic. Can't recommend him enough. Be prepared to walk through water/mud.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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