A large percentage of the Ten Thousand Islands is located within the boundaries of either the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge or Everglades National Park, providing a haven for numerous rare and endangered animal and bird species.Bird watchers and adventurers can easily access this water wonderland from Marco Island.Canoes and kayaks are readily available for rent, with both short and extended tour routes available. Beachfront water sports operators provide guided Waverunner tours through nearby mangrove islands with information on the mangrove estuary and its inhabitants, including bottlenose dolphins, manatees, sea otters, alligators, crocodiles, wood storks, brown and white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets and more.

Access to this nearby wilderness is possible through the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Collier-Seminole State Park, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Big Cypress Preserve National Park and Everglades National Park.

These conditions provide a paradise for nature photographers, anglers and outdoor adventurers.

FISHING Backcountry fishing is very popular around Marco Island and fishing enthusiasts reel in plenty of snook, tarpon, redfish, trout, pompano and many other species.

- Marco Island, the largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, is located at southern tip of Southwest Florida's Paradise Coast.

A beachfront paradise located just north of the Gulf Coast entrance to Everglades National Park and 15 miles south of Naples, the island is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and pristine mangrove estuaries on the other.

Marco Island is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches and offers world-class golf courses nearby, shopping and dining on Marco Island and in nearby Naples, the world famous Everglades National Park immediately adjacent, and immediate access to both the Gulf of Mexico and the mangrove-lined estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands for shelling, fishing, boating, bird and wildlife watching, kayaking and canoeing.A NATURAL CHOICE FOR RELAXATION AND ADVENTURE The natural environment in and around Marco Island provides the perfect backdrop for both relaxing and adventurous activities.Marco Island's beach and surrounding sand bars offer some of the best shelling in the world.A stroll along Marco Island beaches will reward the shell seeker with a wide variety of shells including whelks, olive shells, scallops and hundreds of other varieties.A number of island tour operators provide short trips by boat to deserted sand bars and beach islands that are covered in shells and free from crowds, providing a relaxed atmosphere to search for these treasures.The Ten Thousand Islands stretch endlessly from Marco Island's southern edge, winding past Everglades City and Chokoloskee all the way down to Flamingo at the southern tip of Florida's mainland.