Cayo Costa Camping: An Unforgettable Outdoor Adventure

The rainbow colors of the Gulf Sunset light the sky as you discover a perfect sand dollar on your evening stroll – Alone on one of the most perfect beaches in the state. That’s what Cayo Costa camping is about. Camping at Cayo Costa has become one of our annual family traditions. Isolate, primitive, and breathtaking, Cayo Costa is the perfect place to experience island camping. This is our guide to making the most of your Cayo Costa camping adventure.

How to get to Cayo Costa State Park?

Cayo Costa can only be reached by boat, so campers must arrive either by taking the ferry to Cayo Costa, or kayaking or taking their own private boat. While the cheapest way to get to Cayo Costa is likely to take your own boat, the Tropic Star ferry is an simple, easy option, and will drop you at the dock at Cayo Costa where you will have easy tram service to the tent camping sites, and the Cayo Costa Cabins.

The Tropic Star ferry departs from Pineland Marina in Bookelia, Pine Island. It costs $50.00 for adults and $40 for children 6 and under. You are allowed up to 50 lbs. per person of camping gear.

The Tropic Star ferry operates like a Cayo Costa water taxi, so if you prefer to just visit Cayo Costa for the day, round trip visits are available through them as well. The journey is very pretty, and even a couple of hours on the island are worth your time.

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What’s the weather in Cayo Costa State Park?

Camping at Cayo Costa State Park can be hot. While it is often perfect beach weather during the day, like most of Florida, temperatures can get up to the 90s in the summer. November through April are the best months to go camping in Cayo Costa State Park. The weather in December through February ranges from lows in the 50s to highs in the 70s. November, March and April temperatures start to get up to highs in the low 80s. Beyond this, highs are in the 90s and can get uncomfortable.

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How to reserve Cayo Costa tent camping?

The easiest way to book Cayo Costa camping is to use the Reserve America Ap or website. Tent camping costs $22 per night. Sites 2 through 10 are immediately adjacent to the beach, and are often booked up to four months out in advance. Some fellow campers had more trouble with rodents near to the beach than we did further inland, although the moisture made our site a bit muddy so there seem to be tradeoffs.

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How to reserve a Cayo Costa cabin?

Cabins on Cayo Costa are available for $40.00 nightly. They sleep up to six people in 3 bunk beds. They are conveniently located near the restrooms. If you want more privacy, I would recommend Cabins 6, 7, or 12. You can also reserve these on Reserve America.

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What is it like camping at Cayo Costa?

Expect camping at Cayo Costa to be primitive tent camping. There is no electricity. There are clean restrooms with drinking water, and there are showers more meant as beach showers that don’t provide much privacy.

There is a store near the Cayo Costa dock which sells firewood and ice, but is .7 miles from the campsites. There is a tram that shuttles visitors to and from the dock to the campsites. Plan to get supplies when you arrive, and bring what you need with you.

All Cayo Costa campsites are within close walking distance to breathtaking beaches, and between kayaking, shelling, and hiking, there is plenty to fill 2-3 days here.

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What are the best things to do in Cayo Costa?

There are so many activities to do in Cayo Costa. Enjoy a hike, and walk the Cemetary Trail to the Cayo Costa Pioneer Cemetery. Explore the coastline and rent single kayaks for $10/hr and double for $15/hr. If you prefer biking, there are also bike rentals at $4/hr. Be sure to plan for shelling, as the variety and size of shells on the island will take your breath away. Whatever do with your days, be sure to be out at the beach with a drink in hand to watch the tremendous Gulf sunsets over the ocean each evening.

If you are thinking of traveling to Cayo Costa with your family, be sure to check out Cayo Costa Camping with Kids.

Where to Stay Near Cayo Costa

If you are camping at Cayo Costa, but are traveling from far away, you might need lodging before or after your trip. We recommend staying in Matlacha. Matlacha is an adorable fishing village near Pine Island,

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