Things to Do in Dry Tortugas National Park FISHING. And of course, you must carry out your trash with you. You will have to bring your own necessities, including water and food, shelters, and medication. Take the official Dry Tortugas National Park Ferry, the Yankee Freedom, to visit Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National park. Breakfast Lunch, use of snorkeling gear, guided tour of the fort. You bring everything yourself and you take everything home with you. If you are planning on spending a few hours on the island, don’t forget to bring your own water from the ferry. And it would most certainly be extremely expensive! My snorkeling buddy and I were completely alone. The Dry Tortugas Visitor’s Center is right at the entrance to Fort Jefferson. Or book online now. Technically, it’s never been completed. Easy parking is accessible for Dry Tortugas Catamaran & Ferry's customers. It wasn’t scary; it was peaceful. Do your homework first with a Dry Tortugas birding guide. The closest islands to the Dry Tortugas are the Marquesas Keys. He hasn’t looked back. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. There are three options that you can choose if you want to visit Dry Tortugas National Park: The great majority of visitors will arrive on the National Park Service-approved ferry, Yankee Freedom III. There are seven islands that make up Dry Tortugas National Park. However, you can take the drive to Marco Island, FL, take the ferry to Bight Ferry Terminal, take the ferry to Fort Jefferson, then take the travel to Dry Tortugas National Park. This posts may contain affiliate links to products, tours, or accommodations. Top 6 surfing spots for beginners on Treasure Coast. There are two ferry companies that go from Key West to Dry Tortugas. Go to Cuban Coffee Queen – it’s worth it! Don’t expect much from these meals – breakfast includes bagels, yogurt, cereal options, and fruit cocktail. One is 2 hours one way, the other is 2 and a half hours one way. It was 11 during the Ponce de Leon era in the 1510s. Step 1. You can coordinate with the visitor’s center regarding kayaking requirements and any more information you need. There is literally nothing here. It is a beautiful gem in the Gulf of Mexico. All in one bi-weekly email. There is no direct connection from Naples to Dry Tortugas National Park. Arrive at the check in desk by 7 am for registration and departure, and you will be back at the Key West pier around 5:30 pm. The seven small islands, including Garden Key with Fort Jefferson, are about 70 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, yet it feels like the middle of the open ocean. Subscribe to our newsletter below (mobile) or in the sidebar (desktop) to get our posts delivered to your mailbox! Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. A continental breakfast was waiting for 175 passengers, which included families and people of all ages, in the air-conditioned main cabin with cushioned seating and dinette tables. Basic lunch is do-it-yourself sandwiches – bread, cheese, tomatoes, deli meats, chips, and soda or water. The prices I am seeing to go to Dry Tortugas seem really high. Here’s how to get to Dry Tortugas, as well as a few tips on what you can expect – a sort of “rough guide” to Dry Tortugas NP. Key West Seaplane Adventures offers two different options for a flight to Dry Tortugas: They have significant discounts for children 12 and under. Plus personal stuff you won't find on the blog. Find the travel option that best suits you. The National Parks System added the Dry Tortugas (and Fort Jefferson) to its roster in 1992. It was the most isolated national park I ever have visited and the most remote in the continental U.S. It is worth coming in early to beat the crowd. Your day trip to Dry Tortugas NP includes a simple breakfast and lunch. The ferry docked next to the seaplane beach. He was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson.). The 110-foot, high-speed catamaran is the only ferry authorized by the National Park Service to get there. Bring lots of water. There is no faster and easier way of getting out to the remote and charming islands of the Dry Tortugas than aboard the Dry Tortugas seaplanes! Key West Seaplane Adventures offers a 4-hours and 8-hour adventures to Dry Tortugas National Park. Key West Seaplane Adventures offers two different options for a flight to Dry Tortugas: Half day – $356 per person for four hours. As is common in the United States, tip for great service – you’ll find a tip jar at the bar. That meant leaving our Airbnb to be at the Key West Ferry Terminal for check in at 7 am. It’s inexpensive. Private seaplane. Relevance. He’s been to over forty countries and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Read her weekly column, Laurie's Stories, on We did! Answer Save. We’re also on YouTube. I listened to a short tour with the ferry’s guide but skipped on the longer one to maximize snorkeling time. You need to sign the snorkeling waiver prior to snorkeling. The Dry Tortugas Ferry is $180 for adults, and a reduced price ($125 and $170) for children, students, seniors, or active US military personnel. You can find this information online and even purchase a bird guide at the Visitor’s Center. Just be careful! Look at this view! It was stocked with frozen and mixed drinks, as well as canned craft beer from Florida breweries. The most popular way of getting to Dry Tortugas is the National Parks Service's ferry, the Yankee Freedom III. 3. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional costs to you. It isn’t easy or cheap to get to Dry Tortugas. Even more than two weeks in advance, no spots were available. A maximum of 68 campers can stay here and space is on a first-come, first-served basis. Follow her on Twitter at @TCPalmLaurie or Facebook at So plan accordingly with the ferry schedule if you arrive on the Yankee Freedom day trip. I don't have my own boat, and can't afford to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a private charter or seaplane, so the Yankee Freedom III ferry was my best bet. I think the park itself is a little overrated. If you have the budget for it, arriving by seaplane is an adventure in itself. There are just a few ways to get to the Dry Tortugas by sea, and only Key West Charter Boat can book you on them all: public ferry, private sailing catamarans, and high-speed ocean-going powerboats. Yankee Freedom III operates a daily trip, year-round except on Christmas Day, to Dry Tortugas National Park from the Key West Ferry Terminal. While we didn’t personally camp in Dry Tortugas, here are the basics. It’s first-come, first-served. Lunch was served on the ferry from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., so I ate from the buffet as soon as possible. Ask Question + 100. Laurie's Stories: Surf's up this summer! Drinking water, brewed coffee, and tea are always available throughout the journey. Even if you walk, you will need to watch your step. Our preference was the bow of the ferry, where you can enjoy the breeze and beautiful scenery of the Florida Keys. This trip is just under 4 hours long, providing at least 2 1/2 hours of island time at Fort Jefferson/Dry Tortugas. The best snorkeling in Dry Tortugas is at the main dock, which is to the right of the main entrance to Fort Jefferson. The Yankee Freedom III is the fastest, largest and newest state-of-the-art ferry transporting passengers to Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park. September 22, 2018 By //  by Halef 3 Comments. The official rates for Dry Tortugas camping are $200 per adult and $145 per child plus a $15-$30 campsite fee. #mc-embedded-subscribe-form input[type=checkbox]{display: inline; width: auto;margin-right: 10px;} #mergeRow-gdpr {margin-top: 20px;} #mergeRow-gdpr fieldset label {font-weight: normal;} #mc-embedded-subscribe-form .mc_fieldset{border:none;min-height: 0px;padding-bottom:0px;}, Swissport Lounge Chicago O’Hare Airport Priority Pass Lounge Review, Half day – $356 per person for four hours, Full day – $625 per person for eight hours, wine and mixed drinks: $4 and $5 respectively. Any person under 16 years of age is exempt from paying an entrance fee (this includes international visitors). These islands, along with surrounding coral reefs and waters, make up Dry Tortugas National Park. What are we doing? For more, check out this Dry Tortugas vlog on our YouTube Channel: The grounds of Fort Jefferson are uneven and, in some places, even hazardous. How to Get to the Dry Tortugas. Do we need to bring our own snorkel gear? Any suggestions on the cheapest way to get there? But that’s why you want to go there, right? Top 6 surfing spots for beginners on Treasure Coast, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Take some time to unwind on one of the many lovely boats at Dry Tortugas Catamaran & Ferry in Key West. Finally, it was snorkel time. The temperature in Dry Tortugas ranges from mid 50s (12 C) in the winter to mid 90s (35 C) in the summer. Ferry … Get to the islands before the crowds to enjoy the gorgeous beaches and teeming coral reef gardens! Even if you come in your own private boat, you are not allowed to dock on the closed Keys. I’ve wanted to visit this remote island for years, so I was extremely excited when we were able to partner with Viator and hop on their Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran tour. Only three of the Keys are open to the public. 1 Answer. The ship (Yankee Freedom III) is the cheapest and most popular way to make the trip. As we got closer to the Dry Tortugas, I moved outside to the open deck. Lv 6. Departs morning & afternoon. It’s a fun 2.5 hour boat ride each way, and you will end up spending around 4 hours on the Dry Tortugas. I also briefly explored the fort on my own. On the way back to Key West, alcoholic beverages and beer are available for purchase. Return Time 5:30. #mc_embed_signup{background:#dddddd; clear:left; font:12px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} The Dry Tortugas are in the Central Time Zone. Most people sit inside for the trip over so they can enjoy the air conditioning. So climb aboard and find your nautical adventure with Dry Tortugas Catamaran & Ferry in Key West. It is possible to fish in the Dry Tortugas and there are designated areas to do so. Is it worth going there? If you are into wildlife, birding in Dry Tortugas National Park is great fun! The shallow waters had good visibility that day, making for an amazing snorkeling experience. Key West soon disappeared from my view, and I was surrounded by flat, turquoise water in all directions. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) due to its remote location, your options for visiting these beautiful islands are very limited. You can always purchase additional meals and snacks, such as hot dogs, burgers and pretzels, from the main bar. I brought my own snorkeling gear, but complimentary snorkels, masks and fins were available for passengers after they disembarked. Whatever you decide to do, and no matter how you choose to get there, we think you’ll enjoy your visit to Dry Tortugas National Park. With 300 species of birds spotted within the perimeter of the park, Dry Tortugas National Park is one of Florida’s best places to get your birding on. Halef moved from Indonesia to the US nearly two decades ago to go to college here. Departure 8:00 am. Your arrival time dictates the order of when you board the boat and choose your seats. capacity 175 passangers . You’ll also want to protect your valuables from water and sand while you’re there. Any emergency evacuation will be extremely difficult. The main activities for visitors are camping, snorkeling, fishing, and of course, touring Fort Jefferson. Experience the most unique way of traveling to the Dry Tortugas aboard the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson seaplanes! For the return trip, the snack galley inside the ferry turned into a cocktail bar. Today, Dry Tortugas is a fascinating historical site with stunningly beautiful waters in the middle of Gulf of Mexico, but it’s past is full of promises not realized. Is the snorkeling good? When I visited the Dry Tortugas, I took a seaplane and I would highly recommend it. The Dry Tortugas is a remote National Park that consists of 7 small islands, but the majority of the park is made up of the water surrounding the islands. You will need to obtain a boating permit for your vessel and follow other National Park regulations. What to Do in Dry Tortugas National Park Florida’s Best Birding. I enjoyed piña coladas — with paper straws, of course — and Cigar City Brewing’s Guayabera. Seaplanes run about $356 per person for a half-day trip. Please re-read. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. Then I found a stairwell, climbed to the top of the fort and looked down at the ferry, which appeared to be so tiny below. The grouping of tiny islands known as the Dry Tortugas is approximately 70 miles due west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully we found great Cuban Coffee just a few minutes walk away. I booked a hotel in Key West for three nights to give myself two full days. The ticket included amenities that made the ferry the easiest, most stress-free way to visit the Dry Tortugas. Of course, if you are planning on snorkeling in Dry Tortugas or lounging on the beach, bring the essentials: bathing suit, sunglasses, towels, sunscreen and hat. However, space is very limited. Unfortunately, it is not wheelchair accessible in many areas. (Mudd’s stay was cut short because of his heroic action and leadership during the yellow fever epidemic on the island in 1867. Species like the frigate bird and sooty terns nest nowhere in the continental United States other than the Dry Tortugas. See below for separate sections on each. I heard a boat trip is either $140 or $160, and bar is not an open one. A one of a kind experience for those looking to see the Dry Tortugas and Ft. Jefferson but do not wish to spend time on the ground at the fort. Camping in Dry Tortugas is rewarding for people who decide to do it, but you will have to plan . Are the Dry Tortugas on your bucket list? The ticket included amenities that made the ferry the easiest, most stress-free way to visit the Dry Tortugas. While it is possible to scuba dive in the Dry Tortugas, the ferry day trip itinerary doesn’t allow enough time to do that. Remember, it can get very hot here. While it is nice to sit inside the air-conditioned main room, some travelers prefer the upper-level indoor seating or the sundeck. Follow the links below to plan your visit. Dry Tortugas Seaplane Excursion. We have this bag and it’s great. Day trips are $180 for adults; $125 for children ages 4-16; and $170 for ages 62 and older, students ages 17 and older and active military, the latter two with identification. drinks on board: beer and wine available. You’ll want a good spot for the ferry to Dry Tortugas! All I could see was smooth sand and some shells below me until I reached the moat wall around the fort.

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