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.
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.