Sail on sailors.

Nothing warms the heart like the sight of a skiff full of Outward Bound kids enjoying Everglades’ National Park.

This shallow draft vessel is loaded to the gunnels with passengers as it slides across the sandy shoals off Whaleback Key near Key Largo. Much of Florida Bay’s waters are in the three to five foot range which necessitates the use of shoal draft sailboats or kayaks.

We encountered this scurvy crew on a recent Everglades’ Eco Tour at Azul del Mar.

Ahoy mateys!

And Baby Makes Three…

OK so we can’t take credit for everything in this world… but a little help goes a long way!

When Chris Teasdale and his girlfriend Lauren stayed at Azul del Mar he asked if we would discreetly film his proposal to her.

And here’s the result (minus a few steps along the way) – this beautiful bundle of joy!

Named Xanthe Largo, at eight months she’s the happiest little pink thing we ever saw. And while bringing kids to Azul del Mar will get you sidelined, a flying visit never hurts.

Welcome to the world baby Xanthe. You are absolutely lovely!

Our Coral Reef is Back in Business

Another stunning day at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo.

And did you know… that John Pennekamp, a former city editor at the Miami Herald, was a leader in the fight to set aside part of the Everglades as a National Park? …Great idea John!

In recognition the USA’s first underwater park was named in his honor.  

In The Beginning…

Azul del Mar won the inaugural Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice “Best Hidden Gem USA” Award back in 2006.

Since that time we’ve been awarded TA’s Certificate of Excellence every year, Hall of Fame 2011,12,13,14 & 2015 & we are pleased to announce once again in 2017 we received their Certificate of Excellence Award.

Thank you to you – the reviewers. We couldn’t do it without you!

Summer Sunsets Are Back

So here are a few sun facts to ponder….

The sun is 109 times wider than the earth and 330,000 times as massive. Meaning 1,300,000 earths would fit, squished inside the sun. Yikes!

And what’s worse – one day the sun will consume the earth. : (

However, given that light from the sun takes eight minutes and twenty seconds to reach us I’d say that’s fair warning – although the fact it will already have gobbled up Mercury and Venus might give us a clue.

Until then we’ll just have to keep watching!

And The Fight Goes On


A world-class fight deserves a world-class finish…. photo finish that is!
So when our guests Anna and Chris from Mississippi landed this 30lb grouper what better way to end the struggle than with a photo. Complete with hair, makeup, sunglasses and high-fashion gloves Anna forgot one small thing – the fish wasn’t ready. And the fight wasn’t over!
Our offshore Captain, Zane Albury, tells us that grouper can weigh-in anywhere up to 600lbs which makes this baby look like chum.
OK, quiet on set, take two…!

Some Things Never Change


In an ever-changing world it’s heartening that some things stay the same…like the migration pattern of these Great Egrets who head south for winter, traveling as far as the West Indies or southern Central America. They migrate by day in small flocks and stop at night. Yesterday our guests Christina and Florin from Germany witnessed the late arrival of this final group at our favorite little island in the Keys. Another spectacular sunset cruise. A bird-watcher’s delight!


Morning Hook Up


Before most people have had their first cup of coffee, fishing guides at Azul del Mar slip their lines and are well on their way to another adventure.

Mike and Erika, guests at the small Key Largo Boutique Hotel, were probably as surprised as this healthy Tarpon at their early morning rendezvous.

Mike’s not fishing for compliments these days but this is one fine specimen weighing in at more than 10lbs and 37 inches long. Of course once the photo shoot is over this catch of the day will be released back into the wilds of Everglades’ National Park.

What a wonderful way to start the day for at least one of the two subjects in this snapshot!

Together with back country, flats and fly fishing excursions you can also head offshore to the Gulf Stream for some deep-sea fishing action. Mahi mahi (so good to eat that you have to say it twice), tarpon or sailfish will likely be your catch of the day there – depending on season.

In this fight you’re guaranteed a ringside seat – so be sure to book ahead through the hotel.


Manatee Matinee

Our Everglades’ Eco Tours into the wilds of Florida Bay are world renown. Early morning or afternoon matinee makes no difference… you simply never know what’s going to surface! Take this little manatee aggregation for instance (yes, a gathering of manatee … Continue reading