Florida on a Tankful: Babcock Ranch Eco Tours in Punta Gorda

By Katie Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 10:29 AM EST

How would you like to get up close and personal with some native Florida wildlife -- all from the comfort of a giant buggy?

Deep in the heart of Charlotte County, a couple of miles off the beaten path, sits 73,000 acres of authentic old Florida.

"We want the wildlife to be as wild and free as you can find out here in Florida," said Babcock Ranch Eco Tour guide Rhonda Moyer.

The land has been untouched and preserved for decades, but you can experience the unique and natural beauty by hopping on a swamp buggy and taking the tour.

During the tours, you're welcome to get up move around and get some great views of Florida wildlife.

"Not too many people get to see this kind of area anymore these days," Moyer said.

As you ride through pastures, pine flats and swamps, be on the lookout for some of Florida's most famous reptiles. Guides don't recommend getting too close!

But you will have the chance to come face-to-face and even feed some cracker cattle.

"Some of them come in right under the doorway and say hello to us," Moyer said.

And when it's time to stretch your legs, a boardwalk will lead you through a cypress swamp and leave you in awe.

"They are mesmerized by the wildlife and the beauty of the ranch and everything it has to offer," Moyer said of tour guests.

You may even see a panther along the way. The eco tour ends with a breathtaking ride through water, a trip across an alligator bridge and hopefully a greater appreciation for this piece of Florida history.

Babcock Ranch Eco Tours are open seven days a week. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes.