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Cayo Costa State Park

4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island
Cayo Costa, FL 33922

941-964-0375

Cayo Costa State Park protects the Charlotte Harbor Estuary and provides visitors with a majestic piece of untouched Florida.

An unspoiled Gulf Coast island evokes images of wind-shaped trees, dunes, beaches and freedom to explore. This especially rings true for Cayo Costa Island. Accessible only by boat or kayak, this former fishing ground of the Calusa Indians features nine miles of undeveloped shoreline for swimming, snorkeling, shelling, fishing, birdwatching and exploration along with several walking and bicycling trails through the island’s interior. Shorebirds are numerous and one might spot manatees, porpoises and sea turtles offshore.

This is coastal Florida at its best! Campsites and cabins are available for overnight stays and a ferry service runs to the island from several mainland locations. Visitors are reminded that camping is only allowed in designated camp sites in the campground on Cayo Costa.

Experiences

Bicycling
Enjoy a leisurely bike ride on our trails, which meander through our beautiful barrier island. Bicycles are available at the gift shop for half or full day rental.  Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

Boating
Boaters may stay overnight at our bayside park dock, with our bayside restroom facilities conveniently located for their use. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.

Camping Boat
Boaters may stay overnight at our bayside park dock. Slips do not have water or electric (generators are not allowed on the island). Restroom facilities are conveniently located nearby. All slips are first come, first served and subject to availability. Please stop by the Ranger Station upon arrival to register your vessel.

If you plan to arrive after 5 p.m., please call the Ranger Station at 239-633-1654 to let them know of your late arrival.
In order to protect our park and camping areas, please remember that no items (ie: tent lines, wires, ropes, hammocks, etc.) may be affixed to vegetation. Thank you for helping to protect your Florida State Parks.
 
Camping Primitive
Cayo Costa has 30 tent sites in a primitive environment. Each site has a picnic table, a ground grill and access to potable water. There are no sites with electricity. The campground is fairly sunny and near the beach. Restroom facilities are located nearby and have cold showers and flush toilets. Tram service is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to carry gear and campers to the campground. Before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., campers are responsible for transporting their gear in and out. It is about 1 mile from the docks to the camping area.

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Camping on the island park is reservable year-round, but the park is only accessible by private boat or passenger ferry service. Reservations are required for ferry service. Call Captiva Cruises at 239-472-5100 for ferry reservations. Parking is available at the ferry service for a fee.

In order to protect our park and camping areas, please remember that no items (ie: tent lines, wires, ropes, hammocks, etc.) may be affixed to vegetation. Thank you for helping to protect your Florida State Parks.
Generators are not allowed in the campsites. Hammock camping is also available in the primitive tent camping area. Primitive tent sites 8, 9, 15 and 22 are all approved for hammock camping. Visitors are invited to hang your hammocks on the approved post in these designated areas.

Fishing
Surf fishing can yield catches of flounder, snook, trout, redfish, snapper, whiting, sheepshead and tarpon. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.

A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.

Hiking
Enjoy a leisurely walk on our nature trails, which meander through our beautiful barrier island. Along the way you can see many species of birds, including several rare and endangered, that visit our island in the spring and fall, during their migratory journeys. Some of these species use our island’s natural resources for their nesting activities.

Picnicking
A picnic pavilion, restroom facility, tables and grills are available on the island.

Scuba Diving
Scuba diving can be done off of the beaches.

Shelling
Beach combing or shelling is a favorite pastime of many visitors, and the beaches of Cayo Costa State Park are a great place to find them. Collectors can find a multitude of shells, including clam, scallop, oyster and olives. Plan your shelling around the low phase of the tide, which exposes the most beach area. Please be aware that most everything you find on the beach was, is, or still could be alive.

Snorkeling
Snorkel is a favorite activity in the pristine, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You must provide your own equipment.

Swimming
Enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the pristine, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Our nine miles of beautiful beaches are excellent for sunbathing and shell collecting, contributing to an overall wonderful experience.

Wildlife Viewing
Manatees, porpoises and a multitude of shorebirds are just some of the animals you might observe during your visit. Sea turtles and many species of shorebirds use our beaches to nest. Bird nesting season is generally late winter through spring. Sea turtle nesting season begins in May and continues through October. All nests are protected by law and are well marked and easily recognized.

Amenities

Amphitheater
Located in the day-use area, our amphitheater provides a centralized location for our interpretive programs. These programs, given by our Rangers, Volunteers and Naturalists, cover a wide variety of topics including the history of the island and interpretation of the natural resources found on the island.

Beach
The island is approximately seven miles long and has nearly 9.5 miles of pristine beach on the Gulf of Mexico. This beach is perfect for shelling, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking and sunbathing. There is a scheduled tram service between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Shower Station
Cayo Costa has modern restroom facilities, conveniently located in the camping areas, equipped with flushable toilets and cold water rinse-off showers. Potable water is also available at the restrooms.

Cabins
The rustic one-room cabins offer a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of modern living. Here you can spend the day on the beach and the evening gazing at the stars with a view unobstructed by artificial lights. Keep in mind that Cayo Costa State Park is accessible only by boat. Cabins are located near the beach and nature trails. Each cabin sleeps up to six people and is furnished with three bunk beds and a table. Though the cabins have no electricity or water, outdoor grills are provided for cooking. Restrooms, cold water showers and potable water are located in the park. Several charter boat services provide access to the island park. Visitors must carry in all food and drinks. All items must be taken off the island upon departure.

Tram service is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to carry gear and campers to the campground. Before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., campers are responsible for toting their gear in and out. It is about 1 mile from the docks to the camping area. Cabin 1, cabin 2, cabin 3, cabin 7 and cabin 12 offer park visitors a large screen porch, while cabin 4, cabin 5, cabin 6, cabin 8, cabin 9, cabin 10 and cabin 11, offer campers a spacious open porch.

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Camping reservations on the island park are year-round, but the park is only accessible by private boat or passenger ferry service. Reservations are required for ferry service. Call Captiva Cruises at 239-472-5100 for ferry reservations. Parking is available at the ferry service for a fee.
There is a minimum two night stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved.

Campfire Circles
Two fire circles, located in the camping area, offer campers a place to relax and enjoy a taste of the Real Florida.

Recycling
We have recycling containers in all common use areas for aluminum and plastic.

Restroom Facilities
Bathroom facilities are available and ADA accessible. Facilities are also available at the bayside/boat slips and conveniently located for boat camper use.

Interpretive Exhibit
You are invited to visit the Ranger Station to see exhibits. Additionally, educational films are for sale.

Pets
Pets are allowed in this park, however, not on the beaches or in the cabin area. They must be well-behaved and kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash at all times. Pets must not be left unattended, nor taken into restroom facilities or onto playground equipment. Service animals are welcome in all areas and buildings of the park, as required by law.

Picnic Pavilion
Pavilions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please call the park for more information.

Canoe Kayak Launch
Kayak rentals are available through the gift shop. Please contact 239-224-8134 for more information.

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