Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Tours
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Named for a legendary 19th-century pirate, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve includes six sites scattered throughout Louisiana that offer outdoor activities, history lessons, swamp tours, and more. See them on an airboat tour of Barataria Preserve in Marrero—a 26,000-acre (10,521-hectare) wetland rich in wildlife.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and the Barataria Preserve are within easy reach of New Orleans and can be visited in a half day or less. Choose an airboat tour that fits your style, from a slow, sleepy crawl to watch wildlife to a thrilling high-speed ride through cypress swamps. Nature guides onboard point out alligators, turtles, snakes, and other swamp critters.
Explore the history and traditions of the Acadian or Cajun people through exhibits, dioramas, crafts, and live performances at the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette, the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice, and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux. History buffs should visit the site of the War of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans at the Chalmette Battlefield and Chalmette National Cemetery.
Things to Know Before You Go
- For your safety, never approach alligators or other wild animals.
- Louisiana is often hot and humid, so stay hydrated and wear sun protection.
- Ask about the preserve’s Junior Ranger program for kids.
- The visitor centers at all sites and the environmental education center trail at the Barataria Preserve are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The six sites that are part of the park and preserve are scattered throughout southern Louisiana. Detailed maps and directions can be found on the National Park Service website or from the visitor center located at 419 Decatur Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Most swamp tours include transportation from New Orleans.
When to Get There
The Barataria Preserve is open Wednesday-Sunday from morning until afternoon, and the French Quarter Visitor Center is also open Tuesday-Sunday from morning until afternoon. All sites except the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice are closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras.
Understanding Cajun Culture
Cajuns are descended from the Acadian people who emigrated from Northern France to Canada and later Louisiana, and Cajun culture is distinct from the more urban Creole heritage found in New Orleans. To experience Cajun country and culture, book a swamp and bayou tour. Visiting swamps and cultural centers such as those in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is a great way to explore the history and traditions of this ethnic group.
Address: 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero, Louisiana 70072, USA
7 Tours and Activities to Experience Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Experience the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve on this pontoon excursion led by a local guide. After a convenient, optional pickup from your accommodation, learn about Southern Louisiana’s distinctive ecology while cruising past magnificent cypress trees and watch for native wildlife like gators and egrets. Enjoy flexible timing and opt for a delicious lunch at Restaurant Des Familes with the 10 a.m. tour.
Nature and Wildlife
Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Sail down this Mississippi River on a classic Paddlewheeler boat on this New Orleans river cruise. Enjoy illuminating narration from a licensed historian and stop part-way through the trip to learn about the Battle of New Orleans. Then, get back aboard the vessel and enjoy a cash bar while admiring the views.
Experience the best of New Orleans on your own schedule and at a discount of up to 50% with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. Save big at top attractions like the Audubon Zoo, Mardi Gras World, the WWII History Museum, Houmas House Plantation, and the Cabildo, and get around town hassle free with an included hop-on hop-off bus pass. Choose the pass that fits your plans, with 1- to 5-day options available.
Experience the best of the Big Easy at a great value with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. With immediate activation, the pass gives you access to your choice of three or five of the city’s top attractions and tours, from Mardi Gras World and paddlewheel cruises to plantation, cemetery, and swamp tours. It’s valid for 30 days, so keep your pass handy and customize your visit on the go with a guidebook listing opening hours, directions, and other helpful info.
New Orleans quickly brings thoughts of Mardi Gras and jazz music to mind- but don’t let that limit your experience of this fascinating city! There’s plenty to explore outside of the main streets, and this day trip is what it’s all about. Let your local host show you another side of New Orleans on a private day trip. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! Who doesn’t love some scandalous history and hidden stories? The Barataria Swamps have plenty of those! Visit the Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Reserve and learn about infamous pirate gangs, and see just where they conducted their black market businesses. You’ll be surprised at some of the turns the story of this outlaw takes. Get a unique look at the history behind plantations and slavery in the south as you visit the oldest plantation in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Take a walk through history as you explore the old plantation home.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Are you ready to experience one of the best excursions New Orleans has to offer? Adventures of Jean Lafitte offers personal Alligator Tours through Louisiana’s beautiful backcountry. Gather your whole crew and come experience the “road less traveled”! You’ll be touring 20,000 acres of tidewater cypress swamp. During your 1 hour 30 minute tour you’ll have opportunities to see alligators, snakes, turtles, egrets, herons and ibis, and we sometimes see hawks, owls and bald eagles. We are approximately 35-45 minutes from New Orleans. If you do not have transportation to our location we offer pick-up and drop-off services to all hotels located in the Greater New Orleans area for an additional fee. Because we are located about 40 minutes outside of New Orleans, cab and uber services are not available.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve?
The best ways to experience Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve are:
- 90-Minute Jean Lafitte Swamp and Bayou Tour
- New Orleans Airboat Ride
- Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Mississippi River Cruise
- The New Orleans Sightseeing Day Pass: 20+ Attractions & Tours in The Big Easy
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