The Ten Thousand Islands

Some say it's more like 20,000 islands. This remote area stretches from Marco Island to past Flamingo a the very bottom of the state of Florida. The vast majority of this area is protected by either the state or Federal government. The picture above shows Marco Island in the top left corner and Goodland just to the right of it. We will be touring a section of Rookery Bay Estuarine Preserve, the nation's largest! The Calusa indians inhabited these islands hundreds of years ago. The bounty they reaped from the gulf allowed them to become one of the most advanced civilizations on the continent. They made shell mounds offshore and slept on them to get away from the bugs at night. Some of these mounds are still there, though now covered by water. They also made mounds on some of the islands. Besides touring the beautiful water and enjoying the wildlife, you'll be on bays and creeks-and islands-once inhabited by these mighty people.