If you are planning to scuba dive and snorkel, the Dry Tortugas national park is an amazing place to visit. It´s the perfect destination to enjoy a tropical family vacation. So let’s explain a little about this incredible place and provide you with a scuba dive Dry Tortugas guide.

For those of you who have never heard of this place, you are probably asking yourself ‘What are the Dry Tortugas?’ Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park consists of 25,900 hectares of open ocean, protected coral reefs, and seven small islands. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, the national park can only be accessed by air or sea. Dry Tortugas is known for its blue waters, exotic wildlife, and the famous landmark of Fort Jefferson.

Where are the Dry Tortugas?

map of Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas location is 70 miles west of Key West, which is located off the southern coast of Florida, USA. The national park is a sanctuary for birds and marine life. This park has some of the healthiest coral reefs off the coast of North America.

The park is open all year round, tourist numbers reach their peak in April and May when the weather is at its best. Fahrenheit temperatures range from the low 50s to mid 80s, providing a comfortable year-round climate. Despite its comfy climate, there is a tropical storm season that lasts from June to November.

Ways to get to Dry Tortugas national park

There are two ways to visit the park, so let us look at transportation to Dry Tortugas. There are no roads leading to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It can only be reached by boat or seaplane.

You can organize a private boat to Dry Tortugas, but the vessel must be completely self-sufficient. A special permission (US Coast Guard Geodetic Survey Chart No. 11438) is required in order to navigate to Dry Tortugas.

Public transportation, both ferry and seaplane, constantly transport people from Key West to the national park. In Key West there are numerous tourist agencies that organize Dry Tortugas tours from Key West.

Boat rentals for fishing and/or diving can be chartered in the Florida Keys and Naples. Chartering a private yacht to Dry Tortugas will provide you with a totally customized experience.

So what are some of the things to do at Dry Tortugas national park? Besides scuba dive Dry Tortugas, there are other fun activities you can enjoy in this tropical paradise.

Dry Tortugas National Park Activities

Coral Reef at Dry Tortugas

Tourists from all over the world visit Dry Tortugas to enjoy a variety of experiences. You can camp, snorkel, bird watch, fish, or just enjoy the view from the top of Fort Jefferson. You will quickly realize how magical this place actually is.

Ranger-led tours are regularly available, however you may have to book ahead. Be sure to stop by the Garden Key Visitor Center for the latest information on tours and transport. An independent tour of Fort Jefferson is possible, just follow the interpretive signs or check with the Visitor Center.

The Dry Tortugas National Park is carefully managed to ensure that resources are protected. This way visitors have the best opportunities to experience the park and enjoy amazing views. One of the best activities is to scuba dive Dry Tortugas.

Dry Tortugas water temperature on average is 74.1°F, therefore suitable for comfortable swimming. The best way to experience everything the park has to offer is to get in the water.

To scuba dive Dry Tortugas and/or do some snorkeling is a one-of-a-kind experience that should not be missed. The park offers shallow, crystal clear waters that are ideal for novice divers.

There are many colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, starfish, and so much more. More experienced divers can explore deeper waters and visit the Dry Tortugas shipwrecks.

Scuba Equipment

Dry Tortugas shipwreck

To be able to scuba dive Dry Tortugas you will need some scuba equipment. On your way to Dry Tortugas, visit the Key Largo dive center, or stop by one of the dive shops in Key West. Be sure to ask about local conditions and the best Dry Tortugas dive sites. If you have your own scuba gear, that´s great. Just remember to organize an underwater camera (highly recommended).

Help Protect Dry Tortugas National Park

All Dry Tortugas coral reef (living and dead) is protected from collection, so please do NOT disturb coral or shells. Shipwrecks and all historic artifacts are also protected by law. For your safety, never scuba dive alone. If you dive outside of the designated area you must use an approved dive flag. If you want to scuba dive Dry Tortugas and have fun, just be sure to also be safe!

Dry Tortugas Scuba Diving

If you want to scuba dive Dry Tortugas and experience a truly unique adventure, this place is a hidden gem. Dry Tortugas has great historical value and offers wonderful activities. US residents don’t even need to travel overseas to enjoy such a beautiful, tropical paradise.

The national park is the ideal place to totally relax and unwind, the perfect destination really. We recommend that you bring lots of fresh water and remember that it rains quite frequently during summer.

Be sure to visit an information center and obtain a Dry Tortugas national park map. Stop missing out on all the fun! A scuba dive Dry Tortugas adventure awaits you, so start planning a trip to Dry Tortugas today!

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