FLORIDA,  Life On The Road, My Way

A Guide to Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is located 70 miles from the southern most Island in the Florida Keys, Key West. It’s a small series of seven islands. The largest being Garden Isle, which is home to a 19th century Fort. The island was designated a National Monument in 1935 and then re-designated a National Park in 1992.

Along the main shipping channel from the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean sits this natural harbor, which is perfectly placed in the center of a 75-mile strait into the Gulf of Mexico. Ocean currents have been used as road ways for ships for centuries, Spanish explorers and merchants would use one in particular. The Gulf Stream transversed the Atlantic from Europe to the America’s, and this current brings ships around the Florida peninsula into the gulf.

Dry Tortugas was a strategic natural port in the middle of the gulf that was in a key position for ships and vessels heading for New Orleans and the important Mississippi river. Transportation was a major factor in settling North America, and the Mississippi river providing much-needed supplies for settlements, construction, food, and was crucial tool during wars, such as the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the American Civil War. New Orleans is the center for the supply chain, and the Gulf of Mexico is the only ocean access. Dry Tortugas served as the first line of defense for this city and one of the most important shipping resources for the entire country. Control over this isolated 14 acre island was essential for winning or losing a war and protecting imports in and out of the US.

Rodman Cannon at Dry Tortugas National Park
One of six Rodman cannons at Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Construction

Construction of the Fort began in 1846 and was never completed due to the strain of the Civil War and concerns over structural damage due to the weight of the cannons and bricks, all 16 million of them. Six 15-inch Smoothbore Rodman guns were mounted on top of the bastions. Several other rifled Parrott guns were placed within the fort with plans to bring more, and arm each of the portholes located on the first and second floor.

The 27 thousand pound Parrott rifled cannon could fire a 300 lb projectile over 5 miles. The 50 thousand pound Rodman, shown here, could send a 440 pound shell over 3 and a half miles. When you’re standing on the fort looking out across the water check out the Lighthouse on Loggerhead Key. That beautiful tower is roughly three miles from the fort. So, imagine the power of these giants. The fort was designed to hold 450 cannons in total but was never fully equipped.

During WWII, scrap metal drives melted down and re purposed many old cannons. Only 12 Smoothbore Rodman guns exist today. Six of those are still located on Fort Jefferson. Their size and weight made it more trouble to remove and ship them back than they were worth at the time. The remaining Parrott guns are four of the thirteen left in existence.

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the country. Less than 80 thousand visitors a year. Simply because of how remote it is. The Great Smokey Mountain National park is the most visited with roughly 13 million visitors. Quick math here, that’s 162 times more people.

The Best Time Of Year To Visit Dry Tortugas National Park

The Florida Keys and Dry Tortuga’s big season is November through May. The weather is comfortable, the humidity is lower and people simply want to get away from winter for a little while, which also means tickets sell out quickly, especially over night camping permits, which general sell out a year in advance.

June-August are the hottest months, nearing 100 degrees with 100% humidity. It’s stifling, uncomfortable and can be dangerous. The island is mostly exposed, and the chances of getting heat stroke are high. You’re also a two and a half hour boat ride from the nearest hospital. I don’t recommend going during this time. It’s hard to enjoy the park when the heat is unbearable and could easily make you sick. Not to mention getting heat stroke and then spending a few hours on a large ferry full of people to get back to Key West Urgent Care would just make it worse. Heat Stroke, seasickness, and sever dehydration is a nightmare combination. The sunburn alone is torture.

Late August through October is hurricane season. With a multitude of large storms coming one after the other the park is closed regularly and the ferry and seaplanes are cancelled. If they are responsible for a cancelation, your ticket is offered a refund or a rescheduled trip if seats are available on those dates. If you cancel it due to weather, but the ferry or planes are still running you forfeit your ticket without a refund.

The Yankee Freedoms cancelation policy is available here.

How To Get To Dry Tortugas National Park

There are two ways to reach Dry Tortugas from Key West. Sea or Air.

Yankee Freedom Ferry:

The Yankee Freedom Ferry is a 110 foot all-aluminum catamaran. It seats 250 people but the National Park restricts the visitors to 175 per day. It’s a 2-hour trip from Key West to Fort Jefferson, and the Yankee Freedom is very comfortable, with clean bathrooms and a bar.

Check Availability Here.

$200 Day Passes are available in advance, which include, breakfast and lunch, snorkeling equipment, a 45-minute tour of the Fort, and full access to the fort and beaches. You can walk around the fort, and reach all three levels without a guide if you prefer exploring on your own.

Overnight Camping Passes to Dry Tortugas National Park are available as well through both the Yankee Freedom and the sea plane.

Yankee Freedom’s catamaran is docked at the marina in Key West and only departs once a day. Boarding starts at 7:30, and leaves at 8, the return trip boards at 2:30 and arrives at Key West around 5:30 PM

Dock Address: 100 Grinnell Street, Key West, Florida

Charter a Sail Boat

Sailboats leaving Key west for Dry Tortugas National Park

There are two forms a private charters you can book, catamarans and high-speed powerboats. Both charters are available at Key West Customs Charters, and can be scheduled for day trips, overnight trips. Several charter companies provide multi day trips in Key West but don’t assist with park permits. Prices very depending on duration, group size, and charter style.

There is a $15 a day National Park fee per person if you arrive by private charter. Overnight stays are $15 per night/per site and need to be scheduled in advance because the island has a max limit of overnight permits it allows. The main dock area on Garden Key collects the fee’s and permits through a self-service area. It is CASH ONLY. Overnight anchoring permits are only allowed within one nautical mile of the Fort Jefferson harbor light.

Key West Sea Plane Charters

Sea Plane landing at Dry Tortugas National Park

Arriving at Fort Jefferson by sea plane is an experience in and of itself. KWSP Charters has been the sole charter flights approved by the national park and have made over 20 thousands flights. Each plane can carry up to 10 passengers and it is a 40 minute flight each way.

Coolers and Ice are available with assorted soft drinks, as well as snorkeling gear. You will have to bring your own snacks or pack a lunch with you as food services are not available on the island.

Pets are not allowed, and they can not carry dive equipment or tanks.

No cancellations within 48 hours prior to flight time. $50.00 cancellation fee per passenger to cancel confirmed seat(s), if canceling more than 48 hours prior to flight time. $50.00 change fee per reservation to change the date or time of a confirmed reservation.

Check in is required at least 30 minutes prior to flight time. Late arrivals are subject to cancellation without refund.

Half-Day Excursion Adults: $451.00 Children 12 & Under $360.80 Children Under 2 are free

This trip is just under 4 hours long, providing at least 2 1/2 hours of island time at Fort Jefferson/Dry Tortugas. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes each way. Departs morning & afternoon.

Full-Day Excursion Adults $792.00 Children 12 & Under $633.60 Children Under 2 are free

This trip is just under 8 hours long, providing at least 6 1/2 hours of island time at Fort Jefferson/Dry Tortugas. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes each way. Departs morning only.
Located: General Aviation, Key West International Airport.
3471 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

What To Do If Tickets Are Sold Out

The Yankee Freedom Ferry does resell no-show and last minute cancellation seats on the ferry to the park the day of the trip. However, it’s first come first serve. People have known to arrive at 3 AM in an attempt to score a ticket on a sold out shuttle.

I was unable to reserve tickets myself in advanced and it took 5 attempts over the course of 6 months to gain my first passage. I arrived early but people had beaten me there. When the ferry announced how many tickets were available for last call, I wasn’t high enough in line to go and was turned away. Four hours of waiting in the middle of the night and I didn’t make it on, but I kept trying and eventually it happened.

There’s also no sign in sheet so you have to hold your place in line and wait until 7:30 when the office opens. You can send one person to hold the line for a group, when the office opens the office attendant will then take a list of names in order and how many people are in their group. They will also ask if you are willing to break the group up. So if you’re a group of four but there are only two seats, are you willing to send two of your group on the ferry and the other two miss out, or do you forfeit your spot to the next person in line so your group stays together?

What I Did

I made it by arriving at 3:30 AM and was still the 5th person in line. Luckily, that day there were seven no-shows so I was able to get on the catamaran for the 8 AM departure. I was tired and hadn’t had much sleep but it was worth it. Some days there aren’t any available and other days they have several. There’s no knowing how many seats may open up.

Long story short, if you know you’re going to go, book the tickets as soon as possible or risk not going at all.

Things To Do In Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Architecture Dry Tortugas National ParkExplore

There are 2,000 arches within the fort, and three stories of spectacular views to see. It’s a photographers dream. Walking along the roof and looking out over the gorgeous cerulean blue waters, wandering through the maze of staircases, brick architecture and alcoves. I spent hours walking around and taking shots of the shapes and colors. The textures and angles were so intriguing. I couldn’t get enough.

There’s also a moat surrounding the fort and a path that you can walk around the exterior of the fort. Storms have damaged some of the walkways so they aren’t passable but it’s still a wonderful way to see the fort from different angles.


Both the Sea Planes and the ferry offer snorkeling gear with their tickets. There’s no additional fee to snorkel on the island but you will have to sign a waiver. Two beaches are available for access points and you can snorkel around the moat. Dry Tortugas National Park is a wildlife preserve and coral reef. Sea turtles, fish and colorful sea fans are just a few of things swimmers will get to see right along the edge of the exterior walkway.


The preserve is also home to birds. A section of the island is cut off from visitors during the mating season of the Sooty Tern. A migratory bird that travels to Dry Tortuga from Africa. There’s also siphonophores in the mote around the fort. They look like jelly fish but are actually colonies of smaller organisms. They settle on the bottom and float to the top to absorb sunlight.

Take a Tour

Tours are included with tickets and the guides are very knowledgeable about the fort, it’s construction and it’s history as a strategic position in wars as well as it’s time as a prison. The gulf is a gateway to New Orleans and the Mississippi River which was a life source and major shipping channel during the forts construction. The only way into the gulf to get access to the Mississippi River is passing Dry Tortugas. So fortifying this critical point of access for the United States was taken very seriously.

Dry Tortugas National Park was named this way because Tortugas means turtle in Spanish. The island once homed a massive congregation of sea turtles which sailors used as a source of food so they didn’t have to store as many supplies. It’s called Dry Tortugas because the island has no source of fresh water. The name sounds pretty but it’s just a way to inform ships they need to bring extra water and there is great fishing available during port.

Prison Life

Dr. Mudd, a co conspirator in the Lincoln assassination was an inmate here and assisted in diagnosing blood born diseases caused by mosquitos. When the prison doctor died of yellow fever, Dr. Mudd agreed to take over the position even though he was an inmate.

Dr. Mudd figured out that Yellow Fever was contracting through mosquitos and suggested that the guards and inmate quarters be moved to the top floor once he realized the mosquitos mostly stayed low to the ground to avoid the heat. The number of infections were significantly reduced. Many of the guards and inmates wrote on behalf of Dr. Mudd to have his life sentence reduced. The petition stated, “He inspired the hopeless with courage and by his constant presence in the midst of danger and infection.” In 1869, President Andrew Johnson pardoned Dr. Mudd, partially due to circumstantial evidence in his conviction but also because of his efforts to save lives and his contribution to the fight against Yellow Fever.

Overnight Camping

View from the top Dry Tortugas National Park
View the Gulf of Mexico from the top of Dry Tortugas National Park Fort Jefferson

Camping permits are available through Yankee Freedom, or Key West Sea Planes. If permits are book through the ferry it departs at 8 AM, you’ll be staying overnight and not returning to Key West until 5:30 the following day. These general sell out a year in advance so waiting to decide to do this is a mistake. You won’t get permits if your procrastinate.

It’s primitive camping and you will need to bring everything with you on the ferry or sea plane. There are not stores or restaurants on the islands so there will be no way to replace or purchase supplies once you depart. Camp sites are first come first serve for groups up to 6 people. Groups of 10 or more require advanced reservations.

It’s a spectacular place to watch the night sky because there is almost no light pollution with the exception of the lighthouse. Dark sky certification is specific, there are nine levels of dark sky. One being most cityscapes with low night sky visibility, nine is the highest or darkest where views of the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye. Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the best ranked Dark Sky parks in the US.


I am a certified Fora Travel advisor and can assist you in booking this dream vacation to one of the most unique National Parks in the United States. Go to my profile at Fora Travel to check out a basic itinerary or message me at normajean.kuhr@foratravel.com

Happy Travels

See You Out There

Hey, look, it’s me.

Dashboard Destinations PhotographerIn compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site. Any/all the links found on dashboarddestinations.com are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.

Click here if you would like to learn about Affiliate Links. Hoow I fund my adventures to keep Dashboard Destinations running to bring you the best content I can. Wealthy Affiliates is Dashboard Destinations host site, and source for all my affiliate education and resources.

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20


  • skamalka

    Hi there! I’m quite intrigued by your article about visiting Dry Tortugas National Park. It sounds like such an interesting and remote place to explore. I’ve always been fascinated by historical sites and natural beauty, so this park seems like a great combination of both.

    I noticed that the park has a 19th-century fort called Fort Jefferson, which seems to have played a significant role in history, particularly during times of war. I’m curious to know more about the history of Fort Jefferson and its importance as a strategic location. What were some of the wars or events where the fort’s role was crucial, and how did it contribute to the defense and protection of the United States?

    Also, the option to visit the park by sea or air caught my attention. The Yankee Freedom Ferry and the sea plane charters both sound like unique ways to get there. I’m particularly curious about the sea plane experience. It must be quite thrilling to arrive at Fort Jefferson by sea plane! Could you share more details about what the sea plane charter entails? How long is the flight, and what kind of views can visitors expect during the journey?

    Lastly, you mentioned the possibility of camping overnight at the park, and I’m intrigued by the idea of stargazing with minimal light pollution. Is overnight camping a popular choice among visitors, and how does the camping experience contribute to the overall visit? Are there any specific regulations or guidelines for those interested in camping at Dry Tortugas National Park?

    Thank you for sharing all this information about Dry Tortugas National Park. It’s definitely piqued my interest, and I’m looking forward to learning more and potentially planning a visit in the future!

    • NJKuhr

      These are some great questions and I’ll be adding the answers to the article to help future readers. The sea plane option is roughly a 40 minute flight each way. The Gulf of Mexico is a beautiful body of water, and there are several islands and a lighthouse near the fort that the Sea planes will fly by on the way to Fort Jefferson.

      The fort itself had never been involved in direct conflict, while its construction was considered a crucial strategic point the only incident was during the American Civil War. The union army had gained control of the island and had sent a small group of soldiers to defend it. The Confederate army sent a small ship of soldiers to secure the fort as well but they arrived too late. The Union Lieutenant in charge of the defense of Fort Jefferson was notified by his soldiers that a ship was approaching. So he went out to the beach and allowed the confederate ship to come close to the shore. He then told the enemy soldiers the Union had seized control and the only reason he hadn’t ordered his men to blow their ship apart was because he wanted them to return to the confederacy and inform their leaders that Fort Jefferson was under Union control. The Confederate ship left, no shots were fired and no injuries occurred. The Union Lieutenant was bluffing. The fort was completed unarmed, the cannons and armament to stock the fort with its many cannons had not arrived yet, and the small group of soldiers had no means to actually defend the fort. The confederacy could have easily taken control and there was nothing they could have done to stop them. But due to quick thinking they left without any conflict. I do love this story and will certainly have to add it to my article. Later the fort, which was never finished was turned into a prison, which has an interested history as well. I will be doing more research so I can make sure it’s accurate before I add it. 

      Overnight camping is very popular, but there are only a few camping spots available. Both the sea plane and ferry options provide camping permits to secure you and your party an overnight permit. Once you arrived on the island, camp sites are first come first serve, and there is a per person limit so you may have to reserve multiple permits for larger groups. It’s a unique experience especially for star gazers and night sky lovers.

      Thank you so much for asking. I hope I have helped to clear up any questions you may have. If you are planning a trip to Fort Jefferson I am a travel agent for Fora Travel and would love to help you plan your next national park experience. https://www.foratravel.com/adv

  • Ryan

    What a great post!! I absolutely love history and how you have covered the history of not only this fort but also what was happening around that time and the weapons is fascinating!! This type of article really makes me want to go and visit this place.

    Very nice options and descriptions of the options to get there too. Thanks for teaching me a little more today and putting another destination on my radar,

    • NJKuhr

      I’m happy to be of help, it’s such a unique place and so hard to get tickets last minute. If I can spread the word and help people to go than I’m happy. This is one you definitely need to plan ahead for. Walk’s in are few and far between and a lot of work to get so booking in advance is the best way to go.

  • Makhsud

    Hi Norma Jean,
    I just explored your post about visiting Dry Tortugas National Park, and it’s quite informative for any adventure seeker or history buff! Your vivid description of the park, its history, and the logistics of getting there make it sound like a hidden gem in the ocean. However, while you’ve detailed the ways to get there and the activities available, I’m curious about the ecological impact of tourism in such a remote location. How does the park manage to balance preserving its natural and historical integrity against the influx of visitors, especially considering its growing popularity?
    Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive guide to this fascinating destination!

    Warm regards,

    • NJKuhr

      It’s very limited, one ferry and one Sea plane are allowed to bring guests to the fort. 175 people total are allowed on the island at any given moment, and a handful of park rangers live there to maintain and protect it all year round.

  • Marios Tofarides

    Hey Norma Jean,

    This is a very captivating and informative post! You have shared your experience of visiting Dry Tortuga National Park and how it can be a memorable and adventurous trip. You have also given some useful tips and information on how to plan and prepare for the visit. 🙌

    I was impressed by how you described the beauty and history of the park and its attractions, such as the Fort Jefferson, the coral reefs, the wildlife, and the camping. You have also shown some stunning photos and videos that capture the essence of the park. 💯

    I think that this post is very valuable for anyone who wants to visit Dry Tortuga National Park and enjoy its wonders. I think that it is one of the most unique and remote national parks in the US and a must-see destination for nature lovers. I believe that this post can inspire and guide them to have an unforgettable experience. 🙏

    Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us. You have increased my interest and curiosity about Dry Tortuga National Park and its features. I look forward to reading more of your posts and learning from your Dashboard Destinations. Keep up the good work! 👍


    • NJKuhr

      I hope so. That’s why I started Dashboard Destinations. I was showing up to places and having no idea where to go and how to get around. I missed out on a lot of really cool excursions and experiences because I couldn’t find the information before it was too late. My goal is to prevent my readers from making the same mistakes.

  • Godwin

    Hi there –
    I am a travel enthusiast and Dry Tortugas National Park seems like an intriguing place to visit.  The island is steeped in history due to its strategic location in the Gulf.  Most of the time, I book my excursions ahead of time to avoid being inconvenienced. It seems the tour organizers need to set up/create a waitlist for people who could not get tickets (being sold out)
    Besides that, the park seems worthwhile to visit due to its history, activities, and opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle.

    • NJKuhr

      It is, the waitlist would get crazy and they would still have a lot of no shows and open seats. I talked to the boat captain and they said they tried that before, it gave people a false sense of security and didn’t show up. So the system they have in place secures the most seats on the boat. So far it’s worked for them.

  • Corey

    I recently visited Dry Tortugas National Park and was amazed by its beauty and historical significance. The snorkeling experience was incredible, with vibrant marine life and clear waters. The tour of Fort Jefferson was enlightening, providing a unique glimpse into American history. I recommend bringing sunscreen and water, as it can get quite hot. A must-visit for nature and history enthusiasts!

    • NJKuhr

      Yes, even during the winter season it’s very hot. Their busy season is Nov- May. I went in February and got very sunburned. 

  • A

    Before reading the information on your website, the only thing I knew about Utah was the Utah Jazz basketball team. So, I found your post very interesting and informative. I appreciate how you have researched the best sights and activities, catering to people from all walks of life.

    Your website is also very convenient. It allows you to plan your trip and book a hotel and transport all in one place. I plan to share your site with my friends and family. Thank you for providing such a useful resource! 🙂

    • NJKuhr

      Please do. I’m also a certified travel agent so if they don’t want to go through the process of searching for hotels, and rentals through each other the links, I would love to work with anyone who wants to travel.

  • Sariya

    Hey thank you for this amazing post!

    Reading your post provided good knowledge for paying a visit to this national park. I like how you included information about everything which is needed to know, it makes booking and planning much less of a hassle.

    This is a new discovery for me and has wanting me to get to know this amazing place in more detail.

    Thanks again and have a great day!

    • NJKuhr

      I love sharing Dry Tortugas with others. It’s such a unique place but it’s so remote and the number of people who get to visit is very limited so not many people get to go. Even national park enthusiast that go to Key West have a hard to getting a ticket unless they booked in advance. I try to get any of my clients who are booking trips with me to secure their tickets as early as possible. 

  • pasindu dimanka

    Your blog post about visiting Dry Tortugas National Park is truly inspiring! The vivid descriptions and stunning photos make me eager to plan my own trip. I’m curious, what time of year do you recommend visiting to experience the best weather and avoid crowds? Additionally, your tips on booking the ferry in advance and bringing essentials like sunscreen are practical and appreciated.

    I’ve always been drawn to remote, natural destinations like Dry Tortugas, where you can immerse yourself in pristine beauty. Your firsthand account adds a personal touch that’s both informative and inviting. Have you encountered any unexpected challenges or memorable moments during your visits to the park? Sharing those experiences could provide valuable insights for fellow travelers. Thank you for this comprehensive guide—it’s definitely inspired me to add Dry Tortugas to my travel bucket list!

    • NJKuhr

      I would go between Nov and May. June-August are nearly unbearable, it’s 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. And the island has very little shade to protect people form the heat. I think the best part for me was walking along the top and just getting to explore the fort on my own. I love photography and getting to take pictures of all the different angle of the architecture, being able to take unique pictures out of the windows that were crumbling was amazing. If you’re interested in traveling to Key West to visit Dry Tortuga I am a certified travel agent and would love to work with you. The tickets sell out very quickly, they are already sold out until April for this season and April is booking up really fast. 

  • Lonnie Webster

    What a fascinating piece of history and nature! The strategic location of Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park is truly remarkable, serving as a crucial point along the historic ocean currents. It’s amazing how this 19th-century fort played a role in the maritime history of the region. The blend of natural beauty and historical significance must make a visit to Dry Tortugas a unique and enriching experience. Have you had the chance to explore this National Park? 

    Thank you!

    • NJKuhr

      I have. I’ve been there twice and was completely charmed both times. It’s entirely one of a kind when it comes to national parks. There’s really not another park like it and it’s one of the least visited simply because they have a very strict limit on the number of people allowed on the island per day. Getting tickets on the ferry is difficult if you don’t plan the trip in advance. 

  • Robin Rasmussen

    I would really love to do a whole day trip here! I would go for the sea plane flight from Ft.Lauderdale. I used to live in South Florida but never had a chance to go anywhere like this. My next vacation out that way I’m definitely going. The cost is a little bit high, but really not overly expensive comparing everything with the inflation the way it is.

    • NJKuhr

      It’s worth it, but book your trip in advance tickets sell out very quickly. I am a certified travel advisor so when you decided to start looking reach out. I can get you additional perks with a hotel reservation, upgrades, hotel credit towards spa and restaurants, even late check in and check out. 

  • joe bardsley

    Thank you for sharing this incredible post!

    Your detailed insights on the national park have equipped me with valuable information for a potential visit. I appreciate the comprehensive coverage of everything one needs to know, simplifying the booking and planning process.

    Before reading this I had never even thought about visiting the Dry Tortugas, but you have persuaded me to put it on my bucket list. The history looks so rich and the place just looks full of character.

    This discovery is a delightful surprise for me, you have sparked a keen interest in me to explore this place further.

    Thanks once more, I’ll be coming back for more travel ideas!

  • Stacie

    Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park sounds like it is rich in history, and definitely a must-see for any historian. 

    I like the fact that it is off the beaten track yet is an attraction at the same time. I believe the Yankee Freedom Ferry is the best deal for me, I like the sounds of that package, it sounds like affordable leisure, and that is right up my alley.

    I have been to Georgia several times and never ventured to Florida, clearly that was a mistake. I am going to blame my former travel partner lol and we will leave it at that.

    This will be on my list of ‘I’ll get there I swear!’ Are there any things that I should be cautious of along my journey? I plan to go in the mid to late spring time. 

    Thanks for this great eyeopening review.


    • NJKuhr

      Mid to late spring is perfect. June-September are the worst times to go because it can easily hit 100 degrees with 100% humidity and the island has very little protection from the sun, so it’s nearly unbearable to be there during the summer and late august through sept is hurricane season. The best time to go is Nov-May. Comfortable, great weather, but book your tickets in advance because that’s the busy season. Let me know if you’d like to book a hotel in Key West, I’m a certified travel agent and can get you some pretty suite perks.

  • Stratos K

    Dry Tortugas National Park offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. The option for overnight camping promises an unforgettable experience under the starlit sky. Your offer to assist in booking this adventure makes it even more enticing. Thank you for sharing this remarkable destination and providing valuable insights for travelers seeking an extraordinary escape.

    • NJKuhr

      Traveling has always been a passion of mine, and doing what I can to help others plan and book their own adventures is something I’m excited about. I get really energized working with fellow adventurers even if it’s not a trip for myself.

  • Michelle

    What an interesting-looking destination. When I first opened this webpage I couldn’t decide where this location might be, what country it could be in. It looks very tropical and exotic. So it’s in the USA. What a diverse country the United States is! This seems like a warm and beautiful destination with engaging history behind it as well. I’m curious where the name ‘Dry’ Tortuga comes from?

    Appreciate the inclusion of the additional costs and suggestions. This looks like a really exciting and different sort of an adventure trip with history, snorkelling and planes/boats in the mix.

    • NJKuhr

      Yes, dry Tortuga is in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Florida Keys. We do have every type of climate in the US. Winter high mountains, rainforests, deserts, we have it all. Tortuga means turtle in Spanish, at the time turtles were abundant and captured for food for passing ships, so the island, which is surrounded by a reef, was a great resource for replenishing the food supply after a long journey. However, there is no natural water source on the island, so it is essentially dry. Ships that were traveling through into the gulf knew that they would need extra water supplies but would have plenty of fish and seafood once they got to the island so they would carry more water and less food storage once they left the Caribbean. Hence, Dry Tortuga’s. It’s sounds exotic now, but at the time is was simply informative. 

  • Oluseyi

    The pictures and the descriptions made me imagine I was actually walking through the island. I even imagined I was listening to a guard talking about Snorkeling. However, what I think I would be most excited about would be a flight in the seaplane. It would be such a great thrill to experience the takeoff and landing on the sea. Twice in one day!  It feels like I already had my first visit. I would need to start to plan for a real (second) visit someday. Thanks for this article.

    It appears the Ferry tickets are in high demand considering that you had to get there so early to even stand a chance with no-show or cancellations. How long before my planned visit do you advice I book a ticket?

    • NJKuhr

      Last I checked they were sold out until April for this season. June-October is not a great time to go, the summer can reach 100 degrees with 100% humidity. It’s miserable and dangerous to be on the island without any relief from the sun during the peak of summer, Sept and October are hurricane season and the park gets closed regularly due to storms so I’d start planning right away, especially if you’re planning your trip for May at the latest. You have a bit of time for next season Nov-May but tickets sell out really quick. I would checkout the website for available dates and work around those. If you have any questions regarding hotels I can help out with that as well, I’m a certified travel agent. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *