The deal you have selected is not available

Babcock Wilderness Adventures

Punta Gorda

Give as a Gift
Limited quantity available
Over 320 bought

In a Nutshell

Converted school buses navigate 73,000+ acres of preserve’s woods, prairie, and swamp; guides point out wildlife and divulge historic facts

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Jan 15, 2013. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Reservation required. Children 2 and younger are free. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Panthers are unpredictable creatures, which is why you should never approach them in the wild or depend on them to babysit your pet squirrel. Have a brush with the animal kingdom with this Groupon.

Choose from Three Options

  • $11 for a wilderness eco-tour for one (up to a $28 value)
  • $22 for a wilderness eco-tour for two (up to a $56 value)
  • $40 for a wilderness eco-tour for four (up to an $112 value)<p>

Passengers board converted school buses for wheeled treks through the preserve’s four defined ecosystems—a freshwater marsh, prairie, pine flatwoods, and the 10,000-acre Telegraph Cypress Swamp. Guides may point out endangered animals such as fox squirrels, wood storks, and Florida panthers—which passengers may observe up-close without the hassles of dressing up like a rock. Participants may also have an up-close meeting with Saylow, the preserve’s resident 19-year-old southern cougar. During each tour, guides divulge a history of the founding Babcock family and discuss the flora and fauna within each ecosystem. Buses make a stop at the swamp boardwalk, where visitors can disembark and walk over swamp territory before reboarding.

Babcock Wilderness Adventures

Guide Cheryl Dierken was driving her camouflaged tour bus down the swamp road when she felt a loud thud under the tires. Her passengers gasped. A ripple of water, and an alligator leapt from the water beside the bus. It splashed down, and then paddled away between thick trees and hanging vines. Though this was one of the most startling encounters that Cheryl has experienced leading a Babcock Wilderness Adventures tour, it hasn’t been the only one; she’s greeted snapping turtles in the bus stairwell and been approached by young wild hogs. Aboard a converted school bus with doors and windows removed, she and the other guides lead narrated tours through sections of the preserve’s more than 73,000 acres of freshwater marsh, prairie lands, functioning cattle ranch, and pine forest, as well as the 10,000-acre Telegraph Cypress Swamp.

On many of these tours, guides may point out photography opportunities as endangered fox squirrels, wood storks, alligators, and rare Florida panthers saunter by. At the Crescent B Ranch, guides point out horse-mounted cowboys herding cracker cattle; the native breed introduced to the ranch in the early 1900s. Staffers also introduce visitors to the original ranch commissary building and museum; built in the style of a rustic hunting shack for the 1995 film Just Cause. Inside, visitors peruse ecological exhibits on local snakes and see a stuffed three-horned cow that once lived on the ranch. Walking trails free of traffic lights connect the piney woods and swamps with a central visitor’s center, where picnic tables sit covered from the elements and a gift shop proffers barbecue sauce, alligator jerky, and local honey.

Customer Reviews

Had a great time. The being able to touch an alligator was awesome. They have the best gator bites too! Thank you :)
Connie H. · January 20, 2013
Merchant replied
View Comment +
Great to hear you enjoyed both the tour and the Gator Shack on your visit. Hope to see you again soon!
Merchant replied · January 24, 2013
Cant believe I've lived in this area for 30 years and had never done this tour. It was beautiful, educational and fun. Our tour guide was great. I would highly recommend this to anyone, visitors and locals alike!
Gina R. · January 18, 2013
Merchant replied
View Comment +
Glad to hear you enjoyed your tour. Thank you for the great review, we look forward to seeing you again in the future!
Merchant replied · January 24, 2013
The Babcock Wilderness Adventures exceeded our expectations. The tour guide was friendly as well as informed. Beautiful grounds, frequent animal sitings, and an education about the area's history and wildlife were the highlights. Don't miss this jewel!
Angela S. · January 18, 2013
Merchant replied
View Comment +
Thank you for your wonderful review. We are so glad you enjoyed and look forward to seeing you in the future.
Merchant replied · January 24, 2013

By purchasing this deal you'll unlock points which can be spent on discounts and rewards. Every 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 Off your next purchase.