Dry Tortugas Seaplane from Key West – Half Day Tour

The Fastest Way to Get to Dry Tortugas National Park

The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was the first to discover this chain of seven coral islands 70 miles west of the Florida Keys. And now you can discover the same natural beauty of this spectacular destination from your personal Dry Tortugas Seaplane Charter! Seaplanes are the fastest way to get to the Dry Tortugas, named for the giant sea turtles (“tortugas”) that Ponce de León’s 1513 expedition found there.

The sea plane flight to the Dry Tortugas is so spectacular, it’s an attraction all its own. As you fly west to Dry Tortugas, you will cross over 70 miles of beautiful islands and ocean at an altitude so low that you may see dolphins, sharks, birds, sea turtles, coral atolls, and even historic shipwrecks.

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Dry Tortugas Half-Day Seaplane Tour Departure Times

  • 8:00 a.m. morning tour
  • 10:00 a.m. late morning tour
  • 12:00 p.m. noon tour
  • 2:00 p.m. afternoon tour

What’s Included in your Dry Tortugas Seaplane Charter trip?

  • You’re guaranteed a window seat so you don’t miss a minute of the scenery on your journey to the Dry Tortugas.
  • You’ll get a headset so you can listen to your pilot’s guided tour of the seascape and marine life you’ll see along the way.
  • You’ll get your own set of sanitized snorkeling gear (or you can bring your own).
  • You’ll enjoy a cooler full of complimentary soft drinks.

What will you see during your Dry Tortugas Seaplane Charter flight?

Right after taking off, look out your window and you will have an unparalleled view of Key West’s harbor and city center. Soon after, you will come to the “Flats” — a sensitive ecosystem located in the National Marine Sanctuary, where the water is less than five feet deep. Bird and marine life are abundant.

About 25 miles west of your departure point, you’ll fly over the Marquesas Islands, a circular coral atoll. Beyond the Marquesas, you’ll fly over the “Quicksands.” The seabed in the Quicksands resembles an underwater desert, with giant sand dunes beneath the surface which are constantly being displaced by the tidal currents. It’s a great place to see the sea turtles that the Dry Tortugas are named for! This is also where famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher located the wreck of the famous Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which went down in a 1622 hurricane with a cargo hold full of silver, gold, gems, jewels, and jewelry.

When you arrive at Dry Tortugas National Park, the seaplane will fly low over Fort Jefferson so that you can snap a picture. The pilot will then circle the fort and glide in for a smooth landing on the water. Once the seaplane reaches the beach, you can disembark and enjoy everything that the Dry Tortugas have to offer.

Dry Tortugas Sea Plane Charters: Know Before You Go

  • Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure time.
  • FAA Manifest rules apply.
  • Full payment is required at time of reservation.
  • You must call 1-888-667-4386 after booking to confirm your reservation, as seating is very limited and specific information is required to confirm your reservation.
  • Food is not supplied with this charter. It is recommended that you eat before or after the trip, as there is no food available in the Dry Tortugas. (Unlike Ponce de León, you are not permitted to eat the sea turtles!)

What To Bring

  • If you plan to swim or snorkel, bring towels, your bathing suit, and a change of dry clothes for the return flight. There are restrooms where you can change clothes.
  • Bring your camera and sunscreen.
  • Please bring $10.00 cash Park Entrance Fee for all visitors 17 years of age or older. This fee is collected on behalf of the National Park Service at check-in time.
  • You do not need to carry cash with you to the Dry Tortugas, unless you plan to purchase souvenirs at the Dry Tortugas National Park Gift Shop. However, a pilot gratuity is appreciated.

What Not To Bring

Because of space and weight limitations on the seaplane, please do not bring dive tanks, weights, dive knives, flammable liquids, gas stoves, large coolers, dogs, beach chairs or shade umbrellas. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables provided by the National Park Service.

Dry Tortugas Seaplane Cancellation Policy

If you have to change or cancel your reservation for any reason, you must do so 24 hours prior to flight. After this time, your reservation is non-refundable. This tour has a very small capacity and seats may sell out quickly. However, if the pilot needs to cancel the flight on the day because of bad weather, you may opt to either reschedule your trip or get a complete refund.

Looking for more Key West EcoTours and Dry Tortugas excursions? We’re the Florida Keys travel experts with all the top things to do in Key West.

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