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“Excellent Adventure”

Garl's Coastal Kayaking Everglades
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Full Day Kayak Adventure in the Everglades
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Owner description: Garl's Coastal Kayaking is the ultimate tour service of the 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, and the Everglades We offer a variety of tours and trips 7 days a week and can customize any of our trips. Please note: We are located in Homestead, Florida out of Robert is Here at 19200 SW 344th st, Homestead, FL.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 18, 2014

Wow, this is such wonderful experience. Our guide Geoff was knowledgeable, respectful and enthusiastic. On our 2 cypress dome walks he showed us lots of facets of the Everglades that you don't witness walking around the boarded trails let alone zipping by at 70 mph on the roadways of I75. He took the time to explain what he was showing us. Loved seeing the brown water snake napping in a stump and seeing the apple snail eggs on the stalks of grass. The orchids were beautiful even though the butterfly orchids were the only ones in bloom that we saw. I loved seeing how large the cow horn orchids grow. The different ferns and water plants were so varied and interesting they took me back in time, away from the busy paced life we lead. Although we didn't get to see the alligator couple, Snaggletooth (bull) and Princess, it wasn't for the lack of trying. They were just out and about. We did get to see 2 hatchlings by a culvert, juvenile Gar fish and various other fish.

Next stop was a fresh water kayaking trip at 9 mile pond. Paddling through and under bridges of mangrove trees was mesmerizing for me. We saw countless red winged blackbirds, egrets, herons, gulls, a lone kite, hawks, woodpeckers and many more. We did come up upon a 7-8' alligator under a mangrove canopy just watching us cruise by. On our way out of the mangrove trails I got to see an alligator hatchling bobbing in the water among the tall grass. At first I didn't know what it was, it caught my eye because it would disappear under the water and then pop back up after a bit. We watched each other for a while. Saw a soft shell turtle crossing a grassy area headed to the water.

Next stop was Flamingo for our salt water kayaking. We saw a mama crocodile and a couple of babies hanging on the sea wall. We headed out with large thunderheads building all around and got rained on for a bit. We made our way to Snake Bight to see the Roseate Spoonbills gathering together to roost along with a myriad of other shore birds. It was a canvas of pink. We saw many lemon sharks and tarpon chasing the bait fish. 2 salt water crocodiles lazily swam past, what a sight. The water was dead flat calm, making it difficult to be sure where the sea and the sky met. It was soothing and mesmerizing. We made our way back to the point to enjoy a spectacular sunset.

On our drive out of the park we passed an 8-9' python and made a note of the time and location to notify the park officials. We saw owls and other night birds and a couple of other snakes disappearing off the tarmac as we approached.

Kudos to Geoff Scharnow for a spectacular, educational and thought provoking day. Our Everglades are fragile and resilient as long as we don't meddle with what nature has provided. , we need to educate all on this slow meandering river of grass. Ask for Geoff to be your host for the day, his passion for one of the most unique ecosystems is unrivaled.

4  Thank Meg H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 6, 2014

This is a really easy drive from Key Largo or Miami and will bring you to parts of the Everglades that you'll wonder if anyone other than Don & Garl have ever been to! Our tour guide (Don) is an Everglades expert, who’s enthusiastic and friendly. He catered the tour to our fitness/ experience level and was able to answer every question we had (plus more) about the area. Don went out of his way to show us different types of plants and animals, something that I wouldn’t have felt safe exploring without someone so knowledgeable. His love for the area was obvious. It was great to get off the beaten paths of Florida to experience the Everglades, as well as the back roads and landscapes of Florida countryside. The Robert Is Here fruit stand was great! I definitely recommend this tour and think it's well worth the cost. It's an experience you'll never get anywhere else in life.

2  Thank Skyler H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

I was with a group who wanted to snorkel, and I didn't. This place was easy to find, had great service, they texted me directions (I recommend getting directions from them instead of trip advisor) and they texted me a receipt. They take cards and cash. They put into the water next to an RV park, which had clean bathrooms and a covered picnic area to wait to be picked up. It was a last minute plan that turned out to be well with it. I explored a mangrove island, saw tons of fish and jellyfish, and explored the docks. The kayak had a nice seat and back support as well. I strapped my cooler to the back of the kayak and ate lunch as I floated. The rental was for four hours, I came in after 2 and still felt like I got my money's worth. If I came back, I would book the day tour of the everglades.

1  Thank kylet3415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2014

We had the distinct pleasure of being led on an adventurous trip through the Park by Geoffrey; it was great b/c he is a science teacher and knows all SORTS of stuff about the Everglades!
- Very good price for a full day of fantastic adventure
- They provide all sorts of stuff to make your trip better (i.e. bug spray/suits if seasonally needed)
- We never felt rushed, we got to see tons of gators and other critters and Geoffrey was excited for us, it wasn't old news to him, it made our experience feel really exciting and fun.
- The style is so adventurous you feel like a kid again, you will have a grin on your face all day long...
This was by far the VERY BEST day of our trip to the Keys. We would come back just to do this trip again, it's like the best day of summer camp you ever had in a totally magical place.
You will really enjoy this trip.
btw, I think it's appropriate for all types of people b/c they customize the trips (couples, families, kids, flying solo, I think anyone who's interested in the Everglades would really enjoy Garl's Coastal Kayaking)

2  Thank Cara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

My husband, and teenage son and I had a wonderful peaceful private tour with Garl. It was about $75.00 a person which was well worth it. We were well cared for and expertly equipped with kayaks and snorkel equipment. Garl even shared some Gatorade and fresh fruit on our adventure. We paddled to a mangrove island and observed the quiet serenity of being under the trees and just listening and watching the creatures. Then we snorkeled in and around the mangroves and even saw a sunken boat teaming with fish. We felt very safe and had plenty of time to enjoy. Our guide has a wonderful friendly black lab dog that comes along on the trip. The sweet dog only adds to the enjoyment. We stopped after about 3 or 4 hours because thunder and lightening was moving in. I enjoyed this adventure more than the trip to pennecamp reef the day before!
If you are a novice snorkeler, this trip to the mangrove is so much easier to learn to snorkel. Garl shows you how to snorkel and changes out equipment if you need it. Also if you panic you are permitted to stand up and adjust your mask. You are snorkeling in calm shallow water and can see such beautiful colorful fish swimming in the mangroves.

When you do the ocean snorkel you cannot stand up! If you have trouble with your breathing you must keep your feet from touching the reef. The ocean at John Pennecamp can be much more intimidating! So do Garls Kayak, snorkel in key largo first. Then once you feel confident of snorkeling then try pennecamp ocean snorkel. Love Garls, can't wait to go back!

2  Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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