Local Field Trip: Jungle Prada de Navarez Park
Updated: Apr 2
Location: Park St. N & Elbow Lane N. St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Public Parking | (727) 893-7441
Hours: Opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset | Boat ramp open 24 hours
Food: Jungle Prada Tavern
Escape to an oasis that will take your breath away: plan a day trip to Jungle Prada de Navarez Park. A short drive away from Sunset Inn & Cottages is Jungle Prada, a wildlife preservation site and historical location of the ancient chiefdom of the Tocobaga peoples. On site there is a history museum, guided educational walking tours, and public park trails through the wooded paths that run along Boca Ciega Bay. We’ve curated this guide to inspire your visit to this historic location.
A Brief History:
Tocobaga was a prominent chiefdom of the 16th century in the Spanish Colonial Period, from 1513 to 1763. It’s location spanning Tampa Bay to Pinellas County, neighboring less prominent chiefdoms including the Pohoy, Uzita, and Mocos of the southern shores. By the early 1700s, the native peoples had drastically dwindled due to diseases brought by European explorers, the only survivors displaced by raids from northern indigenous groups.
In 1528 the ancient mound site was rediscovered by Pánfilo de Narváez on an expedition to expand into New Spain and North America. The land was put into preservation and divided into two, one area dedicated to the public and one to private research. The public area provided trails through the woodlands opening up to the waterfront for locals and visitors to explore, while the private sector (owned by the Anderson Family) was dedicated to archeological research, with a 10 foot deep archaeological test pit dug located in the heart of the mound. In 2003 The Anderson Mound at Jungle Prada was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and continues to be preserved by the Anderson Family today.
If you’d like to read more about the history of Jungle Prada, Trail Off Floridas Heritage has an excellent history section at the bottom of its page.
Museum & Tours:
Artifacts from the site are on display in the Greenhouse Museum, with tickets for the museum are available through booking a guided tour with Discover Florida Tours.
Sacred Lands Preservation is located on the original grounds of the ancient Tocobaga village, and is an educational resource for visitors to the area. They host events and programs featuring native speakers who educate information and stories on spirituality, culture, and the history of the land. Archeologists are invited to speak on historical findings and the land today, along with their understanding of the original peoples. Guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday at 11:00am (4:00pm on Sunday). Tours with Guides Erik & David can be booked by calling 727-430-2677.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Jungle Prada, and find this helpful in planning your day excursion. Remember to stay with us when you come visit. We look forward to hosting you.
The Sunset Team