The original site of the village of Flamingo, the Flamingo Visitor Center is located at the Everglades National Park’s southern entrance, about 38 miles from the main entrance. What was once a robust center has deteriorated in the past years due to hurricane damage. The marina at Flamingo is popular with boaters and offers limited services including a marina shop, rentals for water activities such as canoes, kayaks and skiffs as well as fuel. Guided boat tours (the only boat tours allowed inside the park) depart approximately every 30 minutes from Flamingo, offering fully narrated tours by national park-trained naturalists. Opportunities for camping are plentiful and houseboats are available for rent.
While the rangers stationed at Flamingo provide free, guided programs such as canoe tours, bird walks and tree walks, programming is limited to specific times of year, usually in the cooler winter months. There are a wide variety of hiking and canoe trails accessible from Flamingo Visitor Center for those looking to explore the area and spot wildlife. Flamingo is also the best place to try and catch a glimpse of a manatee, though these shy creatures don’t appear on command.