Biscayne National Park Welcomes You Back!!!
As marinas, parks and green spaces reopen in our city, Biscayne National Park is a fantastic place to come and catch some rays and fresh air while practicing safe social distancing guidelines.
Monroe County will be closing beaches over the 4th of July weekend. At this time, State Parks have not been asked to close or limit beach access for the upcoming holiday weekend but this may change. Do check out the latest status before you head out. Here's what's happening at the park:
- Park grounds are OPEN from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Visitor Center is CLOSED
- Snorkeling Tours through Biscayne National Park Institute have resumed: only small-group and private tours are being conducted to comply with social distancing guidelines
- Guided Paddle Tours in single and double kayaks have resumed. At this time there are NO Canoe, Kayak or SUP rentals
- The kayak launch and restrooms at Convoy Point are open on a limited basis.
- Boca Chita, Elliott and Adams Keys are also open on a limited basis. Boat tours to Boca Chita Key have NOT resumed yet
- Park waters remain open.
For more info check out Biscayne National Park Institute: Keeping You Safe From Covid-19, Miami Dade County Reopening Rules For Boaters and Marina Rules.
Boca Chita Key in Biscayne National Park is easily accesible with the boat trips provided at the Park. The Park through its concessioners conducts boat tours to Boca Chita and this is a great way to get out in the waters of the bay and explore a bit of these
Currently 3-hour boat tours are being provided daily by Biscayne National Park Institue. The tours depart in the afternoon at 1:30 pm. aboard a 25-passenger USCG Inspected powerboat from the Park's visitor center.
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.
Overnight camping is available at Boca Chita Key. There are restrooms but NO showers or drinking water available.
Camping fees are $25 per night including tent site and boat docking. Camping is available at Elliott Key also. Here's more on Camping at Biscayne National Park.
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.
Booking a Boca Chita Key Boat Trip
Daily at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm, reservations highly recommended. Temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 precautions
Duration Approximately 3 hours
How Much? Adults $44 Children (5-12) $34 Under 5 FREE
More Info and Booking: Biscayne National Park Boca Chita Guided Tours
All-Day Sailing Trip
There is also a Sail, Paddle, and Snorkel Island Visit conducted daily. These are full-day trips that bring you to one of the keys, either Boca Chita or Adams Key where you have lunch ashore and then anchor in a protected area where you can swim, paddle, or snorkel. Note that the snorkeling is NOT in the outside reefs. Cost is $159 per person. More info and booking.
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