A Beginner’s Guide to Marco Island, Florida

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If you really want to visit Florida you cannot just stop in Miami and its beautiful beaches overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, or the Florida Keys, but you must also take a trip from coast to coast to explore the part of the sunshine state that develops along the Gulf of Mexico.

There are many cities in this area: from Tampa to Fort Myers to Naples, which makes its beaches and its proximity to the naturalistic attractions of the area its strong point. In this article, however, we will deal with Marco Island, a real pearl of this part of Florida, but no less fascinating.

Marco Island is the most developed and largest of the “ten thousand islands”, has an area of 59 square kilometers with a population of almost 18,000 inhabitants and has a sub-tropical climate, like all this area of Florida.

If you have arrived in the sunshine you are landing in Miami the best way to get to this part of the state is to rent a car in Miami and then, with about two hours drive, reach Marco Island. Southwest Florida International Airport, located just outside Fort Myers, is less than an hour’s drive away, and you can conveniently reach there by booking your tickets at airpaz.com.

Tours and activities in Marco Island

In order not to lose the attractions that the island has to offer, if you do not have your own means, you can take advantage of the services of Dreamlander Tours (740 Palm Point Dr.-Goodland), a much appreciated family-run tour operator. Speaking of tours, we would like to point out a fascinating sailing experience that includes watching dolphins swimming in the waters off Cape Romano.

Dolphin watching tours at Marco Island

Marco Island, Tigertail Beach. We recommend visiting the beautiful sea of Tigertail Beach (490 Hernando Dr.), one of the largest and most spectacular beaches in Florida. The beach can be reached with a 10-15 minute walk from the parking lot (for a fee) through the vegetation. It is likely to have to cross a small ford. This coastline is an important habitat for winter migration and the nesting of pelicans, hawks and bald eagles. You can see the nests of the turtles without getting too close as they are fenced while in the lagoon you can see eels and crabs. This is a great place to collect shells and to admire a spectacular sunset. You can rent surfboards, water bikes and pedal boats, and other sports activities are also possible, not to mention kayaking .

Kayak tour by Marco Island. One of the most beautiful hikes south of Marco Island leads to Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Park. It is a labyrinth of small islands of mangroves and canals, a series of about a hundred small islands (and not 10,000 as the name leads to thinking). Two thirds of the park is used to protect the mangroves. Here it is possible to fish and in the 14,000 hectares live bald eagles, peregrine falcons, raccoons, otters, sea turtles, swans, spotted trout, dolphins and the West Indies manatee, an endangered aquatic mammal belonging to the walrus family and a symbol of the diverse marine life.