New Orleans is one of the best swamps to visit in Louisiana.

The wetlands are home to a wide variety of animals, including alligators, turtles, raccoons, snakes, and birds.

Escape from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans for some wildlife searching among the lush green swamps.

We’ve picked out the best swamp tours in New Orleans for visitors to enjoy the outback wildlife in the area.

Table of Contents

1. New Orleans Swamp & Bayou Sightseeing Tour

Departure – French Quarter

Duration – 4 hours

A coach will drive your group across the infamous Mississippi River to your boat.

Once aboard you will embark on a fantastic 2-hour boat ride through Louisiana wetlands.

Expect to see plenty of rivers, lakes, and waterways amongst boggy ground and plenty of wetland plants.

Keep your eyes peeled and you may see alligators, native birds, snakes, and raccoons as well as other native wildlife.

This tour is great for all the family.

As your bayou boat glides through the water your informative guide will tell you all about the swamp, wildlife, and local Cajun culture.


  • Return transport by air conditioned coach.
  • 2 hour bayou boat tour.
  • Local guide.
  • All fees and taxes.

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2. New Orleans City and Swamp Tour

Departure – Hotel Pick up

Duration – 7.5 hours

Perfect if your time in New Orleans is limited.

Combine a fantastic 3-hour long tour of the city with your choice of a fast airboat or more sedate tour boat.

Your tour around New Orleans will pass most of the major attractions, including a 15 minute stop at St Louis Cemetery.

You will be able to explore and appreciate the uniqueness of New Orleans’ above-ground cemeteries.

Following a short break when you are free to have snacks, you will head to the swamps.

One option is a high-speed airboat tour to thrill you as you whiz through the wetlands at speed.

The stadium seating means your view will be unobstructed.

Along the way, there’ll be opportunities to take plenty of photos as the boat slows down at vantage points.

The second option is a more sedate tour boat, where you are likely to see wildlife from much closer.

Have you ever looked an alligator in the eye? This could be your chance.


  • Hotel pick up and drop off.
  • Professional guides.
  • Entry to St Louis cemetery.
  • Boat ride of your choice (6 passenger airboat, 16 passenger airboat, or tour boat).

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3. Bayou Small Airboat Ride

Departure – Hotel pick up

Duration – 4 hours

Enjoy the thrill of seeing the swamps on a high-speed airboat.

The airboat can travel at speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kmh).

The smaller boat (14 passengers max) and high speeds mean you will be able to explore more of the swamp, including secluded bayous.

With the open-air experience, you will feel like you are part of the swap as you feel the breeze rush past along with the scenery.

There will be plenty of chances to see local wildlife and take photos during your explorations.


  • Hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • transport by 14 seat air-conditioned van.
  • 1.5-hour airboat ride.

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4. Large Airboat Swamp Tour

Departure – Downtown hotel pick up

Duration – 2 hours

Your skilled driver will maneuver the airboat through the wetlands at speeds of up to 25 mph.

Their skilled maneuvers and speed will be sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will tell you about the swamp and local wildlife.

This fun and educational trip is one that families especially will love.

You are likely to see plenty of wildlife, including alligators close up.

As well as the high-speed thrills you will cruise at a gentler pace, perfect for photo opportunities.


  • Hotel pick up and drop off.
  • Professional guide.
  • Transport.
  • 2 hour boat road on a 16 passenger airboat.

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5. Small-Group Bayou Airboat Ride and Plantation Tour

Departure – Hotel pick up

Duration – 5.5 hours

Visit the wetlands and Destrehan Plantation to discover New Orleans’ wetland and history in one fantastic tour.

Your tour begins with a 1.5 hour small airboat ride in the swamp.

Marvel at marshes, sneak down secluded bayous, and spot local wildlife including alligators.

Afterwards you will travel to Destrehan Plantation, where you will have a guided tour.

The antebellum mansion was first a plantation for indigo and then sugarcane.

It is one of the oldest and most impressive in Louisiana.

The mansion was constructed in 1787 and nowadays is a piece of living history.

You will learn a lot of history and enjoy strolling in the grand mansion and gardens.


  • Hotel pick up and drop off.
  • transport in 14 seater air conditioned van.
  • 1.5 hour airboat ride.
  • Entrance and tour of Destrehan Plantation.

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6. Honey Island Swamp Boat Tour

Departure – French Quarter Hotels (if selected)

Duration – 4 hours with pick up, 2 hours without pick up

Honey Island swamp is 70,000 hectares of protected wetlands, excellent for enjoying close up wildlife encounters.

The flat bottomed boats carry 20-24 people, so you will have plenty opportunities to see local species close up.

Your informative guides are experts in wetland geography and nature.

Your guide will regale you with stories of Bigfoot, pirates, and prehistoric creatures said to roam the swamp.

You will pass a Cajun fishing village and see the locals hard at work, catching redear sunfish, largemouth bass and bluegill.

Choose to arrive independently or with hotel pick up from the French Quarter.


  • 2 hour guided tour on flat bottomed boat.
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (if chosen)

Tour with Pickup Tour no Pickup

7. Private Boat Tour of the Honey Island Swamp

Departure – Your hotel.

Duration – 4 hours

Groups of up to 14 people have a fantastic opportunity to explore Honey Island swamp by themselves, along with a professional local guide.

Following your arrival at West Pearl River you will embark on a 2 hour boat trip along the lush bayous of Louisiana’s wetlands.

will have the freedom to stay at places along the way for as long as you like.

This is great for wildlife spotting, as there is no need to rush off once photos have been taken, you can stay and watch the animals go about their daily life.

Your guide will also explain the ecology of the wetlands, and answer your questions along the way.


  • Hotel pick up and drop off.
  • Private tour of 6-14 people.
  • 2 hour guided boat tour.

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8. Manchac Swamp Wildlife Kayak Tour

Departure – French Quarter hotels (if option selected)

Duration – 2- 3 hours

For a serene, intimate encounter with the swamps look no further than this Kayak tour.

Your small group of 2-8 people and lack of a noisy engine improves your chances to see more elusive wetland wildlife.

It doesn’t matter if you have never kayaked before, or if you’re an expert, this tour is suitable for all.

In the Manchac swamp you will paddle between mossy cypress trees and expansive wetlands.

You will really feel a part of the wetlands, rather than an observer, as you will be traveling the waterways under your own power.

Kayaks are all double unless the group is an odd number.


  • Expert Guide.
  • All kayaking gear and essential equipment.
  • Paddling lesson.
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (if option selected)

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9. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Swamps Tour

Departure – Fleming Park Road (self drive option) or Downtown and French Quarter hotel pick up (if selected)

Duration – 2 hours

Embark on a thrilling 2 hours airboat ride on a tract of cypress swamp near the  Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

You can choose from an intimate small airboat of up to 8 people, or a larger airboat of up to 25.

Both tours give you ample opportunities to catch alligators sunbathing, herons fishing or turtles swimming.

There is plenty of wildlife you could see.

Your expert guide will help point out the wetland animals, talk about swamp ecology and the intricate ecosystem.

At the embarkation point is an indoor alligator exhibition which is well worth a visit.

They even have an albino alligator there.


  • 2 hour guided airboat ride.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (if selected).

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10. New Orleans Sightseeing Pass

Departure – New Orleans

Duration – 30-day pass expiry

The pass is great if you are spending a few days in New Orleans, making multiple visits in a short time frame, or a local looking to explore.

You can choose 3 or 5 tours from a choice of over 20, and book them anytime within the 30 day expiry.

Check which tours need to be booked in advance.

Some of the best tours you could choose are the Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour and Transportation, African and Creole Tour, Paddlewheeler Creole Queen cruise, and Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.

The flexibility to choose which tours and when is great for ensuring you get the most out of your time exploring New Orleans.

The pass includes a local guidebook with more information about each of the tours offered.

The difficulty will be in choosing your top 3 or 5 tours to do.


  • 3 or 5 attractions.
  • Comprehensive guidebook.

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11. New Orleans Power Pass

Departure – New Orleans

Duration – 1, 2, 3, or 5 days

If you are spending a few days in New Orleans this 1, 2, 3, or 5 day pass will give you great value for money and the ability to see multiple attractions during your visit.

The pass must be used on consecutive days.

This pass also includes fast track, so you won’t have to wait in queues for long.

There is a choice of over 25 attractions.

The 2 swamp tours available are Cajun Pride Swamp Tour by Boat and the Ultimate Swamp Tour.

Both are excellent ways to explore Louisiana’s wetlands.

The guide included with the pass has plenty of information to help you decide which is best for you.

It also contains details of other tours offered, including Audubon Aquarium, San Francisco Plantation House, and Music of New Orleans Walking Tour.


  • Admission to over 25 attractions for up to 5 days (depending on the option selected).
  • Guidebook detailing tours available.
  • Fast Track at many attractions.
  • Discounts at some restaurants and top retailers.

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A trip to New Orleans should include a tour to Louisiana’s wild wetlands, where you could see interesting wildlife such as turtles, alligators, snakes, and nutria.

Explore secluded bayous and expansive wetlands by your choice of transport, including an airboat, flat bottomed tour boat, or kayak.

You will have a memorable experience however you choose to see New Orleans swamps from these tours.

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