Boca Chita Key in Biscayne National Park is easily accesible with the boat trips provided at the Park. The Park conducts two and a half to 3-hour boat tours to the island during the winter/spring months and is a great way to get out in the waters of the bay and explore a bit of these undeveloped islands.
Currently boat tours are being provided and guided by Biscayne National Park. The tours feature the Miami-Dade Parks' Pelican Skipper, a comfortable riding, ADA accessible, 45 foot power catamaran and depart from the Visitor Center's docks.
To get out on a boat in Biscayne Bay on a sunny day is just wonderful, fresh salty air, blue skies, the wind on your face... enjoying the beautiful landscape and nature. The mangroves along the coastline... shorebirds overhead and wading nearby... cormorants, pelicans, seagulls... the Miami skyline in the distance, and if you're really lucky, dolphins will show up and perform a trick or two... you never know what you will see along these waters.
It takes about 45 minutes to reach the island and as you approach Boca Chita, the first thing you see is the 65-foot lighthouse overlooking the small harbour where the boat drops you off.
Normally you will have about an hour to enjoy the surroundings. In most cases, a park ranger or volunteer comes along and gives an introduction into the history, wildlife and ecosystems of the park and the Keys in particular.
You can start by going up the lighthouse and scoping out the views or just wander around the island.
Boca Chita Key is quite tiny, you can literally go from one end to the other in minutes, and there is absolutely no danger of getting lost.
There are paved paths to bring you around, lots of palm trees for shade and picnic tables.
You can bring a cooler along and refreshments and snacks to
enjoy during your outing.
Aside from the little marina maintained by the park and the restrooms, there are no facilities in the island, no cafeteria, no shops, no nothing. You must bring everything AND take away everything you brought including your garbage.
There is also a small beach with a protected lagoon which is great for swimming and catching some rays.
Along the mangrove shoreline and the shallow seagrasses, look for tiny critters and crabs, also along the sandy banks. There are no remarkable snorkeling spots around the island, the excellent snorkeling is at the coral reefs which are quite a few miles offshore.
You used to be able to bring a tent and camp out overnight. If interested, check at Park's headquarters and make arrangements for the boat transportation with the Park Concessioner as well. Camping is also available at next door Elliott Key.
There are views of the Miami skyline from the north end of the island.
Overall, plan on about three to four hours for the trip. It is a pleasant and easy outing from the Biscayne Park Visitor Center and a great way to enjoy the bay for a few hours.
During weekdays Boca Chita Key is peaceful and quiet. On weekends though, the island is very popular with local boaters that come for the day and can be crowded and noisy.
Another thing to beware of is the mosquitos which can be quite vicious even during the cooler season so be sure to bring mosquito repellent.
2016 Trips available through May 1, 2016.
When? Several dates and times available Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:30 am and 1:45 pm
How Much? Adults $29 Children (5-12) $19
More Info and Booking: Biscayne National Park Guided Tours or call (786) 335-3644
Island Dreamer Sailing an independent outfit has daily sailings to Boca Chita or Adams Key that depart from the park. The all-day tours include paddling, kayaking, hiking in the islands, and snorkeling in the bay.
When? Daily, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
How Much? $149pp with a minimum of 2 people, or $775 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people. Custom box lunches can be provided for $25 per person with advance notice.
More Info: Island Dreamer Sailing or call 561-281-2689
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Things to do at Biscayne Bay National Park Quicklinks:
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