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Biscayne Park Exploration, Paddle & Snorkel

Join us for an intimate exploration of the waters of Biscayne National Park on our 23′ powerboat. On a full-day guided trip, with only 6 people, you might paddle Jones Lagoon looking for the rare Roseate Spoonbill, snorkel a shipwreck on the Maritime Heritage Trail or watch the amazing diversity of life on the coral reef. Where you go each day will be based on the day’s weather and your group’s special interests. Many times we see dolphins, rays and sea turtles, and of course, the many varieties of birds that live here. Your captain/guide is a member of the Biscayne National Park Institute staff who will teach you about the different habitats in the park and how they interact with each and also will tell you about the history of the area.

  • Full day guided trip on a 23′ powerboat with a maximum of six passengers.
  • Trips start at 10:00 AM and return by 4:30 PM and are designed for active adults and kids over 12 who are good swimmers.
  • The cost is $129 per person with a minimum of 2 people or $690 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people.
  • Weather and condition dependent options include: paddling watery mazes of mangrove forests, snorkeling a shipwreck on the Maritime Heritage Trail or watch the amazing diversity of life on the coral reef.
  • Mask, snorkel, fins, snorkel vests and paddling equipment are provided. If you have your own snorkel gear please bring it to ensure the best fit. Paddling is on stand up paddleboards that can also be used sitting with a kayak paddle.

Trips start and end at Biscayne National Park Headquarters in the harbor behind the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. This trip is for active adults and older kids who are capable swimmers. A good alternative if you do not fit this profile would be our Biscayne National Park Sailing Trips  because they are suitable for all ages and swimming abilities

Arrive and check in at the park bookstore after 9:30, and then at 10:00 the Visitor Center will provide an informative 20-minute movie about the park. Board your boat at 10:30 AM to begin the trip across Biscayne Bay to where you will begin your morning adventure in the water with our paddling and/or snorkeling equipment. Stop for lunch ashore on a barrier island with restrooms and then continue your afternoon adventure paddling and/or snorkeling. Lunch items you bring with you can be stored in our cooler and are also available for purchase at the bookstore. Our return trip across the bay to the Visitor Center arrives there at about 4:30 PM. Departures are scheduled every day of the week as long as the weather allows for a comfortable trip. Singles are welcome but we do require at least 2 passengers to run the trip.

Sailing tours with bay paddle, snorkel exploration & island visit offered daily:

  • Features a 40′ sailboat with a maximum of six passengers allowed.
  • Full Day sails start at 10:00AM and finish at 4:00PM and are suitable for all ages and swimming abilities.
  • The cost is $149 per person with a minimum of 2 people, or $775 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people.
  • The tour includes opportunities for sailing in the largest marine national park, snorkeling and paddling in protected back water mangrove lagoons and sight-seeing while ashore at Boca Chita Key or Adams Key. Please note trips do not go to the reefs on the Atlantic side.
  • Getting on/off the sailboat includes several uneven steps depending on the tide.
  • Trips may be booked at BiscayneNationalParkSailing.com or by calling tel:786-335-3644
Half day sailing trips
  • Features a 40′ sailboat with a maximum of six passengers allowed.
  • Trips are from 10:00 AM to 12:30PM or 1:30PM to 4:00PM and are suitable for all ages.
  • The cost is $59 per person with a minimum of 2 people, or $300 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people.
  • Participants are welcome to help sail the boat or just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the bay and the park. Half-day sailing trips do not go ashore or have any in water activities like paddling or snorkeling.
  • Getting on/off the sailboat includes several uneven steps depending on the tide.
  • Trips may be booked at BiscayneNationalParkSailing.com or by calling 786-335-3644.

Camping trip transportation to Elliott Key:

  • Transportation is provided daily on a 23′ powerboat.
  • Boat departs from the park visitor center at 8:00 AM. Campers departing Elliott Key return to the visitor center at 9:00 AM.
  • The cost is $59 per person round trip with a minimum of 2 people, or $300 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people. Personal kayak transport is $20 per kayak.
  • Campers need to provide their own equipment. Amenities on the key include picnic tables, grills, restrooms with sinks, and un-heated showers.
  • Particitpants camping on Elliott Key can explore the key through swimming, wildlife watching and hiking trails.
  • Informantion on Biscayne National Park regulations for camping can be found here.
  • Trips may be booked at BiscayneNationalParkCamping.com or by calling 786-335-3644.

Location

Trips start and end at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. We tailor our itinerary to the day’s weather and your interests. We slip by the rustling mangroves and quietly slide through the waters of Biscayne Bay in harmony with the wind and the water just as the earliest residents did when they paddled through these waters hundreds of years ago. Explore a shipwreck or the coral reefs and watch for exotic birds, dolphins, and manatees.

Who We Are

Biscayne National Park Institute is part of The Everglades Association which operates under Congressional authorities as the official private, non-profit partner supporting educational, interpretive, and historical and scientific research responsibilities of Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Everglades National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve.

Our boats are run by US Coast Guard licensed captains. They will share their knowledge about the ecosystems in the area and the park history. Our boats have all the required US Coast Guard equipment for safe operation.

Equipment

In order to more closely explore the reefs, shipwrecks and mangrove forests, we supply SUP’s and paddles. SUP boards can be used sitting, kneelling or standing and we supply kayak paddles or SUP paddles. Snorkeling gear is available in a limited supply, so for the best fit, please bring your own gear if you have it. Some of the books we have on board include fish, bird and invertebrate identification manuals. Our boats are rigged with shade, but there are also some areas where you can relax in the sun.

Plan a trip today!

What Customers have to say…

Can't get out to explore your park today? No problem! Come along for a virtual reef dive with us.

Posted by Biscayne National Park on Friday, February 24, 2017

Your ability to educate and teach is incredible. Thank you for a lifelong memory . . . Again, thank you for the great adventure last week. We all had a great time and spent the entire return flight talking about our adventure. It really was an experience we will never forget.David C., Kansas City, Kansas

What an inspiration for our boys–the snorkeling was great and the company was wonderful. Thanks so much for the memories!–Dan T.

Your gift of teaching and providing a positive example . . . was a blessing. Thank you both for the enlightening experience. We wish you the best in life and happiness.–David C., MN

Great kayaking, great diving, awesome sailing. A fantastic learning experience. Captain created a great atmosphere for our group.–Warren S., Colorado Springs, CO

PRICING

Day Trips

Your boat tour includes a U.S. Coast Guard licensed crew, a safety-inspected vessel and up to 6 guests. Lunch items are available from the book store or you may bring your own. Daily tours start at 10 AM and return at 4:30 PM.

This trip is for active adults and older kids who are capable swimmers. Mask, snorkel, fins, snorkel vests and paddling equipment are provided. If you have your own snorkel gear, please bring it to insure the best fit. Paddling is on stable, stand-up-paddleboard that can also be used while sitting with a kayak paddle.

If booking as individual passengers, children should be over 12 years old. If you book the whole boat, younger children are accepted but may have an impact on where we are able to go on the trip. A better choice for those of a younger age, non-swimmers or for anyone who is less active would be our Biscayne National Park Sailing trips which are suitable for all ages and swimming abilities.

Rates and Hours

We are happy to accept all major credit cards and cash.
Please book online here. Same-day trips may be possible. But to assure your spot, please make an advance reservation. We are required to collect Florida sales tax on the prices listed below.

  • Full Day tours start at 10 AM and finish at 4:30 PM. The cost is $129 per person with a minimum of 2 people, or $690 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people.

PHOTO GALLERY

The Islands and the Bay

The shallow waters of the bay are dotted with remote, mangrove islands and are a shallow-water nursery for young plant and animal life. The subtropical climate and simple beauty of the Park make this both an American ecological treasure and a great tropical destination that should not be overlooked.

Touring the bay side of the park gives us access to areas that are seldom visited. Weather permitting we will snorkel the coral reefs or shipwrecks on the Maritime Heritage Trail.

Paddling the Mangroves

There are many islands to visit in Biscayne National Park. Once you leave the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point, you are transported to a tropical marine environment that is like no other in the United States. It is a special privilege to paddle in these waters, where you will enjoy beautiful vistas with amazing wildlife in mother nature’s nursery.

Tom Schroder of the Washington Post talks about finding protection in the mangroves on a windy day:

Peter caught up, and we sheltered in a small cove in the lee of the mangroves. As we caught our breath, we stared mesmerized into the universe of arcing roots. They rose above the inflowing waves like so many twisting stilts, merging into thick grey trunks that slanted skyward, holding a crown of green above our heads. After the tempest, it was a haven we weren’t eager to abandon.

Join us for your own exploration of one of natures treasures.

Wildlife Under Water and in Air

Snorkel the underwater world of Florida Bay and the coral reefs. The clear waters are full of life. Did you know that 70% of sport fish caught on the reefs spend some part of their life in the bay? Even as we motor over the shallow waters, enjoy the view since many species of fish can be seen directly from the boat.

Surrounded by beautiful views and clear waters, glide over the shallow natural underwater habitats of Biscayne Bay.

CONTACT US

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Booking Telephone: 786-335-3644

Captains Telephone for after hours or weather questions after booking 305.877.7307

 

Charter Departure Location:
Biscayne National Park‘s Dante Fascell Visitor Center
9700 SW 328th Street, Homestead, FL 33033

 

Bookings

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Mobile Number: 305.877.7307
Email: info@biscaynenationalparkinstitute.org

   
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