Buzzing across Lake Cypress on a Wild Florida Airboat Tour is magical. Gliding on the water is an exciting way to connect with nature. It’s fast! It’s fun! And when your captain catches a patch of cattail bushes just right, it feels like you’re soaring alongside the birds.
On a hot, sticky Florida day, an airboat ride is refreshingly windy, and in the winter, a jacket is recommended even if it’s not exactly “sweater weather” on dry land. When the propeller is shut off, the flat-bottom boat just floats atop the water like an alligator. And yes, a Wild Florida airboat is the best way to see an alligator in the wild!
Anyone who visits Florida becomes some of the biggest airboat enthusiasts. Many visitors want to explore the gateway to the Everglades in Osceola County as much as the local theme parks. That’s because it’s a unique experience, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for many out-of-towners. From honeymooners to families from overseas, checking out the pristine wetlands on an airboat ranks high on any Florida vacation to-do list.
Locals also love to airboat and participate in ecotourism opportunities throughout the Sunshine State. Wild Florida is the airboat expert out there in the Middle of Nowhere, Florida.
Wild Florida’s fleet of large and small vessels is docked off Lake Cypress and waiting to whisk you away day or night. Daytime rides make spotting wildlife and soaking in the scenery easily. The moonlight, on the other hand, reveals a hushed, inky backdrop where the swamp comes alive at night!
All of Wild Florida’s swamp tour guides are licensed Master Captains through the U.S. Coast Guard. It’s the most stringent and comprehensive inland tour boat operations licensing process. It also means that all their airboats are regularly inspected by the Coast Guard. Keeping visitors safe out on Lake Cypress is Wild Florida’s top priority.
(Bonus facts: The Coast Guard has its own fleet of military-grade airboats used for quick-response patrols and rescue missions throughout the country. Law enforcement agencies also use them for similar emergencies.)
Curious to learn more about how airboats work? An airboat is basically a flat-bottomed boat (aka a jon boat) powered by a giant fan. It’s more like an airplane propeller than your typical outboard/inboard boat motor. Since the engine doesn’t sit in the water, it can go all kinds of places a regular boat can’t.
Older airboats were known to have aircraft engines, but when service and parts were difficult to come by, they began to be replaced by V8 automotive engines. Every airboat might also have a different type of engine with varying degrees of horsepower depending on its purpose.
Wild Florida airboats need just about six inches of water to high-tail it across the swamp, although they occasionally ride ‘em up onto the shore (without passengers, of course!)
Thanks to the Wild Florida crew and the local airboat club, there are a few well-worn paths on Lake Cypress. It’s home to about 1,000 gators, and on any given weekend there can be several dozen airboats out on the lake. Florida locals know how to have a good time on the swamp.
A Wild Florida Airboat Tour is one of the most adventurous ways to get up close and personal with wildlife and really get into the thick of it while you visit the swamp. There are a variety of Wild Florida Airboat Tours, and they also offer private ride packages for special events.
So on your next Central Florida vacation, put an airboat ride on your bucket list. Wild Florida would love to help you check it off!