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Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

star-5
271 Reviews
Open year round, attractions open during daylight hours.

The Basics

With a name derived from the Spanish word for “turtles,” it might not come as a surprise that wildlife is the main attraction at Dry Tortugas National Park. Escape to these secluded islands on a high-speed catamaran cruise from Key West, during which you can swim and snorkel with dolphins and sea turtles around the park’s coral reef, explore 19th-century Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, and learn about your surroundings from an on-board naturalist. Avid scuba divers can head to Loggerhead Reef, made famous by the Windjammer Wreck—the remains of a Norwegian ship that sank in 1907. If you like bird-watching, take a boat ride to Bush Key, a nesting site for seabirds such as sooty terns and brown noddies.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Key West

star-5
Must experience!
Jessica_A, Sep 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
This trip was amazing! Fort Jefferson and snorkeling were magnificent! The yankee freedom was clean and comfortable but the staff was even better!! This is a must do/see trip!
star-4
pleasant, relaxing
AMC, May 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
This was a lovely trip and the staff was wonderful. The only reason I didn't rate this excellent was because the snorkeling didn't live up to my expectations, but that has nothing to do with trip experience. The food was good and complete. The adjustments that have been made due to Covid were completely acceptable. Staff was always there to help with any and everything.
star-5
Wonderful Experience!
Jacob_A, Jun 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
This was such a wonderful day! Thank you so much to the Yankee Freedom III for a great trip to and from the Dry Tortugas National Park. We were blown away by the history and beauty of this park. We really enjoyed snorkeling around the reef and seeing all of the fish as well! Highly recommend this trip.
star-5
Dry Tortugas
Christa, Sep 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
Amazing experience. The island was beautiful and peaceful. Great snorkeling. It would be better if there were bathrooms and showers on the island.
star-5
Snorkeling around the old...
Ken_M, Sep 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
Snorkeling around the old structures and touring the fort. The ride to and from the fort was amazing.
star-5
Fort Jefferson
Audrey_K, Aug 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
The fort tour was wonderful. The snorkeling was very fun cool place. My daughter and I completely enjoyed the entire experience. The boat ride was fast and amazing.
star-5
Fantastic
Travis_B, Aug 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
The entire staff was very attentive. Answered all of our questions. Had a blast. Would definitely recommend.
star-5
Awesome trip with an amazing crew and awesome scenery!
Sheri_D, Aug 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
The tour of Fort Jefferson with Hollywood was awesome and very informative. The crew were amazing and took care of us well. Glad we didn’t miss this awesome trip!!
star-5
Amazing
Rose, Jul 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
the boat ride itself was beautiful; catching the wind and watching the vast ocean waves in front of the boat. and dry Tortugas was amazing.
star-5
One for the bucket
Karma_J, Jun 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
One place I have wanted to go for years. The day was perfect, calm seas sun, and great snorkeling. boat and crew were great food selection was real nice given the times they adjusted well. Would go again.
star-5
Best tour from Key West
Michelle_B, Jun 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
While it didn’t seem like a catamaran it was a great trip. I would highly recommend it to all - breakfast and lunch, we paid for drinks coming back and the staff was wonderful.
star-5
Dry Tortugas
Patricia_S, May 2021
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West
The crew was wonderful, they were incredibly attentive. They were so nice to me while I was seasick. The boat ride was a little rough but the crew was great at reassuring everyone on board.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Plan to drink plenty of water during a day trip to the Dry Tortugas; tours can last 10 hours or more, and it’s easy to get dehydrated without even feeling thirsty.

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

  • Some charter boats are wheelchair accessible, but visitors should give advance notice. Fort Jefferson has three floors, with only the first accessible to wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

Dry Tortugas National Park is located roughly 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Key West, Florida. It is accessible only by boat or seaplane. Public ferries and seaplanes depart regularly to the park, and fishing and dive charters can be booked from the Florida Keys and Naples. Private boats and seaplanes must acquire a permit before entering the park.

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When to Get There

The park is open year-round. Most visitors choose to visit in winter and early spring to avoid summer’s high temperatures and humidity. During the rainy season (May through October), warmer waters and crystal-clear visibility make for superb snorkeling, swimming, and diving. The Middle and East keys are closed from April through October for sea turtle nesting, while Bush Key is closed from January through September for bird nesting.

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The Windjammer Wreck

The history of Dry Tortugas National Park resides both above and below its waters; here, shipwrecks are almost as abundant as marine life. The most famous of these is the Windjammer Wreck. Built in 1875, the NorwegianAvanti—a triple-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship—wrecked on Loggerhead Reef in 1907. Today the site is a perfect spot for both snorkelers and experienced scuba divers. Because it serves as an artificial reef attracting dozens of species of fish, the site is a veritable aquarium of reef-dwelling, free-swimming, and bottom-dwelling life.

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