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“GATORS! Gators on the path!!!”

Shark Valley Tram Tours
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Shark Valley Everglades Guided Tram Tour
Ranked #14 of 228 Tours in Miami
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Port Townsend, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
246 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“GATORS! Gators on the path!!!”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We didn't expect much of this entrance-to-the-Glades tram tour because of the crowds (we were in line to get into the parking area for almost an hour -- on a weekday!) and because its run by the government. But OMG! THIS was a peak experience.

We took the tram around mid-day. It was hot! Our guide and his wife, our driver, were knowledgeable and friendly and deeply committed to showing us the sights and the animals. We saw dozens of gators during the tram tour-- big ones, babies, even some with mouths open. Couldn't have been more interesting. Or so we thought...

When we stopped at the observation Tower, husband and I were hot and decided to walk the path into the hammock, instead of climb the tower. It was a gorgeous walk -- and even a bit more than gorgeous. We walked a winding shady course, bounded on both sides by a lagoon full of water lilies and alligators. Yep. Gators, hundreds of them, all stacked up next to and on top of each other, mosying about the lagoon, and resting on the banks. We walked in deep, intending to complete the circle of the path. But, as we rounded a bend, we drew up against two mammoth gators lying nose to tail across the full width of our path!

Yes, we briefly discussed leaping over them. That is how husband's mind works. But not mine. Instead, we stood transfixed, like statues, no more than five feet from the pair. They blinked a lot but gave no other acknowledgement of the fact of us. After about 8 minutes, their even-bigger brother glided from mid-lagoon to the edge of our path and prepared to make land and join them. You will understand that we did not turn our backs as we retreated back the way we came.

If you are the type of person who is thinking about going to the Everglades, you already know what a bucket-list thrill this experience was for us. When we rejoined our tram group and reported the experience with "our" gators, even our guide was astounded. In the heat of the day, gators are almost always stretched out in the water. Ours were up on our path, at least 20 feet from the edge of the lagoon. And in the shade! As our guide said: "They know better than that!"

We loved the Shark Valley Tram Tour.

When you reach the Tower stop, take the hammock path instead. It's on your left, just past the first big lagoon-viewing area, before you plow forward toward the Tower. Keep your eyes open, and your wits about you! And say hey to my gators!

Visited April 2013
8 Thank ccmccall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Trion, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Birds, birds, and more birds!!”
Reviewed April 16, 2013 via mobile

We did the 9am tour the first week in April. Our tour had only a few people in it, which was very nice. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the driver did a great job of sighting birds for the group. They did try to give everyone a chance to see whatever the 'find' was and a chance to photograph it - when possible.
Make sure to bring the zoom lens and your binoculars.
The only warning would be to brace yourself for the starts and stops of the tram. It was very jerky to us.
Overall, do not pass this excursion up. Unless you have the time and the birding knowledge to hike/bike it on your own.
If doing the tram tour, I suggest the earliest one possible to avoid the crowds and to get a parking space.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Roaming_Rowes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holiday, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Super great”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We drove to Evergalde City and took the "Evergalde City Airboat Tour Company" airboat ride and it was excellent. Very professional and very informative tour guide. The ride was thrilling and the entire experience was superb. After leaving Everglade City we continued towards Tamiami Trail once there we headed towards Shark Valley quite a ways down the Trail but well worth the trip. Once in Shark City we took the Tram tour through the Evergaldes and this is where we truly got to see the alligators up close!! Super exciting and we saw so so many alligators from great big ones to little baby ones The Tram Tour guide was funny and informative. Really the best way to see alligators and a host of other wildlife.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Jacquie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saginaw, MI
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Saw lots of alligators (or was that a crocodile?)”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This was a very interesting tram tour and the two hours flew by. The guide was very knowledgeable and gave a great narrative. I feel the tour would be nicer if there was not a double tram. The driver would stop the front tram next to something interesting leaving the back tram to hopefully get a glimpse as the driver took off. We also sat in front of two young children who would not stop talking. This tour is not for young children! I did not pay to listen to your kids talk! There were also some older teenagers on the tour who looked totally bored but to the credit of their parents, were very well behaved. I only mention this in case you are trying to decide if this is right for your family. There was much in this area to see and the next time we visit, we will rent bikes or just hike around a bit.

Visited April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great way to see Alligators, very informative”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a great tour. Guide was informative. Gives you a great overview of Everglades if you only have a half day. Reservations recommended in advance. Tours will fill up. Open air tram ride. Up close to alligators and babies.

Visited March 2013
Thank KentuckyPeeps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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