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Capt. Sterling's Everglades Eco-Tours

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Key Largo, FL, USA
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About Capt. Sterling's Everglades Eco-Tours
Guided personalized boat tours thru the Everglades National Park, Pennekamp Park, and Florida Bay. We are the Manatee experts in Key Largo!
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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Capt. Sterling's Everglades Eco-Tours
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Kelly wrote a review Jan 24
Lake Forest, Illinois1 contribution
Captain Russ was an excellent captain. His knowledge of the history of Key Largo was excellent and the fact that he grew up here and went to high school here added a personal touch that was informative and delightful. We wanted to see a manatee up close and personal and Captain Russ made that happen. I would recommend Captain Russ to any adventurers who want to explore the mangroves and the Everglades. Thank you Captain for a great experience.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Kec/Kir wrote a review Jan 5
1 contribution
The tour started off by our Captain (Dave) pretty aggressively telling us that they’re beholden to Trip Advisor and don’t want any misunderstandings, so if we thought we were getting an Everglades air boat tour with Jimmy Buffet and margaritas that we didn’t have to go on the trip or pay anything. He then went on to say that the trip they offer is very educational and based on ecology and nature. Given that was exactly what we were looking for, we eagerly paid our money and hopped aboard the boat. So first, the good things. There was definitely some interesting information presented on the trip. Dave told us about the fossilized coral the islands are made from and we did learn about the ecology of the mangroves. How they handle the salt, grow and reproduce. But that was it. Now, the bad things. This tour doesn’t take you into the mangroves at all. I was expecting to go down the small side creeks into the mangrove tunnels, away from other boats and jet skis and to be able to see wildlife in the natural environment away from the hustle and bustle of the busy bay. After all, it’s an ECO tour, right? If you’re expecting that, that’s not what the tour is. It’s a slow boat ride through the busy, main waterways with other boats whizzing and zipping around. We did go up reasonably close to one mangrove island that was being used by birds as a rookery, but even then, it’s in the main waterway. So, really, there’s just not that much nature/wildlife/ecology on this so called eco tour. After doing a circuit through the bay and the cut, we went up a side canal (lined with houses and docks, not a mangrove canal) to see some Manatees. Now, we hadn’t seen a Manatee yet on the trip, so it was great to see one. But, on the other hand, it was about the least natural place in the world to see one. The Manatee was hanging out drinking fresh water that was dripping into the canal from someone’s ice maker. Better than not seeing one at all, but once again, not what I expected from something that touts itself as the best Eco tour in Key Largo and the Manatee experts. Finally, Captain Dave took us to the back side of the really sad, dirty, run down swim with Dolphins facility that they share a parking lot with. He then went on and on about how wonderful the place was and how the only way the dolphins that lived there could be any happier was if they allowed them to work for more hours beyond federal regulations. Any company that thinks that dolphins living like that couldn’t be any happier should not be advertising themselves as a provider of eco tours focused on nature. Don’t buy the “this place is awesome” spiel. Do your own research on the health and welfare of captive dolphins. If I had known that this so called eco tour company was associated with a captive dolphin swim facility, I wouldn’t have given them my money. I thought they were simply sharing a parking lot, but should have read more reviews before booking. I would give 2.5 stars if possible. They earned 2.5 for the 30 minutes of interesting information we got out of the two hour tour.
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Jeff7520 wrote a review Dec 2020
Castle Rock, Colorado188 contributions50 helpful votes
We found this tour because we really wanted to see manatees and found a review for this tour. I want to say we were very happy with this tour and my two sons really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit fro Captain Tony. He took us to not only see manatees but multiple species of birds, iguanas, fossilized coral, a mangrove forest, etc. I highly recommend this tour while you are in Key Largo.
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Date of experience: December 2020
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Shelly B wrote a review Dec 2020
Tampa, Florida60 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
My husband and I went on this tour on December 16th with Captain Dave as our guide. There were 5 in our group and we were on a very comfortable tritoon boat (Captain Dave said it's a pontoon boat with 3 hulls instead of 2). We had a great time learning all about the mangroves and their importance. Captain Dave is extremely knowledgeable about the area and the natural world of the Florida Keys and it was a pleasure listening to all he had to tell us. On our tour, Captain Dave pointed out several different bird species, manatees and iguanas. He told a couple of funny stories, showed us the fossilized coral that makes up the bedrock of the keys, and shared his knowledge of the history of the national parks of the Florida Keys. We also got to watch the dolphins play in their lagoon at Dolphins Plus Bayside for a few minutes. This would be a perfect tour for families with school-aged children because it is so educational. It's fun and interesting and very memorable! I hope we get to do it again someday!
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Date of experience: December 2020
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Lisa D wrote a review Dec 2020
Owens Cross Roads, Alabama2 contributions1 helpful vote
Everyone had a great time. Capt Dave was great! Very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend this company!
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Date of experience: December 2020
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