Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin Swamp


The Great Atchafalaya Basin and Swamp

Atchafalaya Swamp, Henderson Louisiana Louisiana's Atchafalaya Swamp at Henderson
(Staff Photo)

The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of the nation’s most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes.

The Atchafalaya River meanders from near Simmesport southward past Pierre Part down to Morgan City and the Gulf of Mexico. The Atchafalaya Basin is a unique combination of wetlands, bayous, marshes, estuaries, and river delta area.

It is often called "America's Wetland", and covers an area 20 miles wide and 150 miles long.

Some interesting facts about the Atchafalaya Basin:

  • It’s larger than the Florida Everglades.
  • It’s five times more productive than any other river basin in North America.
  • About 65 species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the Basin.
  • Over 250 known species of birds fly in the Basin.
  • Other species of animals found in the area include the Florida panther, black bear, bobcat, nutria, mink, fox, muskrat, beaver, otter and raccoon.
  • The Basin is home to the largest nesting concentration of bald eagles in the south central United States.
  • Atchafalaya Visitor's Center at the Butte LaRose Exit from I-10, near Henderson, Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin Swamp Visitors Center in Butte LaRose, near Henderson on Interstate Highway I-10
    (Staff Photo)
    There are more than 100 different species of fish and aquatic life in the Basin.
  • The Basin has an estimated average annual commercial harvest of nearly 22 million pounds of crawfish.
  • The Basin contains the largest contiguous bottomland hardwood forest in North America and is the largest overflow alluvial hardwood swamp in the United States.

An American-Indian word, "Atchafalaya" (ah-CHA-fa-LIE-ah) means long river. Established in 2006, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area stretches across 14 parishes in south-central Louisiana.

It is among the most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions in the United States, home to the widely recognized Cajun culture as well as a diverse population of European, African, Caribbean and Native-American descent.

Beautiful Louisiana Cypress swamp
Beautiful Louisiana Cypress swamp
(Photograph courtesy of the LA Office of Tourism)

 


Swamp Tours in the Atchafalaya Area

One of the most popular things that visitors to Louisiana love to do is touring the swamps!

Airboat used in a Louisiana swamp tour Airboat used in a Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin swamp tour (Staff Photo)

The area between Lafayette and Baton Rouge offers a number of Atchafalaya Basin swamp tours, operating from communities such as Breaux Bridge, Henderson, St. Martinvile and Plaquemine (see map below).

Swamp tour operators provide a variety of options, boats, tour length and cost. Some use flat bottom boats, other airboats. Kayak and canoe tours are also available.

Some operators offer online reservations but others accept reservations only by phone. Some tours accept credit cards but others require cash, so make your plans accordingly.

Map showing locations of swamp tours in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin

 

 

We have no connection with any of the tour operators listed below ... we just know of their existence and offer their names, web addresses and phone numbers as a starting point in choosing the right tour for you and your group. We also offer links to TripAdvisor to read reviews for many of the tour companies.

List of Selected Atchafalaya Swamp Tours by City

Swamp Tour Operator, Website, Address & Phone Number City

Cajun Country Swamp Tours

1209 Rookery Road. 7 miles off the I-10 Breaux Bridge exit 109

Flatboat tours in the Cypress Island and Lake Martin Swamps. Owned and operated by Walter "Butch" Guchereau and his son, Shawn, who are proud to offer eco-swamp tours that are done with as little environmental impact as possible through a beautiful surreal cypress/tupelo swamp.

p 337.319.0010

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Champagne's Cajun Swamp Tours

1151 Rookery Road

Swamp tours on Lake Martin. Handicapped accessible dock. Tours in French are available as are custom photography and bird watching tours. Kayak and canoe rentals and/or tours. Reservations are required. RV and tour bus parking is available as is a store with drinks, snacks, sandwiches, etc.

p 337.230.4068

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Houseboat Adventures

Cypress Cove Landing, 1399 Henderson Levee Road

Tours into Henderson Lake in the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp.

p 800.491.4662

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Swamp Tours of Acadiana

1209 Rookery Road

Lake Martin swamp tours. Night tours by request.

p 337.342.3867

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Couret's Swamp Tours

Ernest Couret operates a custom all-welded aluminum 16 foot long, wide bottom boat, into the Atchafalaya Swamp near Henderson.

p 337.296.1173

Butte La Rose, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin Landing & Marina

1377 Henderson Levee Road

Airboat tours in the Henderson Swamp

p 337.228.7880

Henderson, Louisiana

The Atchafalaya Experience

338 North Sterling Street (mailing address)

Expeditions by Coerte Voorhies and Kim Voorhies for photographers, birders and lovers of nature into the Atchafalaya Swamp

p 337.277.4726 or 337.233.7816

Henderson, Louisiana

McGee's Landing

1337 Henderson Levee Road

Atchafalaya Swamp tours and airboat tours; kayak rentals. Restaurant and cafe on the premises. Cabin rentals and campground are also available.

p 337.228.2384

Henderson, Louisiana

Mequet Swamp Tours

1399 Henderson Levee Rd.

Jude Mequet and Mitch Mequet provide swamp tours and airboat tours in the Atchafalaya Basin

p 337.258.0700

Henderson, Louisiana

Miss Sandi Houseboat Rental

637 N. Belle River Road

p. 337.298.2705

Pierre Part, Louisiana

Last Wilderness Tours

33115 Highway 75

Personalized day and night swamp tours, by appointment, into the Atchafalaya Basin. Night tours in the summer. Family owned by Albert (Al) Wilson.

p. 225.385.9562 or 225.692.4114

Plaquemine, Louisiana

LeBlanc Swamp Tours

4939 Main Highway

p 337.654.1215

Saint Martinville, Louisiana

Acadian Swamp Tours

58235 New Camp Road

Tours into the Atchafalaya Basin and Bay Natchez. Minutes from Nottoway Plantation.

p 225.247.4156

White Castle, Louisiana



Boats in a tranquil Louisiana Cypress swamp
Boats in a tranquil Louisiana Cypress swamp
(Photograph courtesy of the LA Office of Tourism)

Photographs of the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp

Cypress swamp in Louisiana

Cypress knees in a Louisiana swamp

The beauty of a Louisiana cypress swamp

Towering cypress trees in a swamp in South Louisiana

The quiet and beauty of a shaded Louisiana cypress swamp

Green cypress trees and green water in the Louisiana Atchafalya swamp

Interactive Map of the Atchafalaya Basin Area in Louisiana