Cayo Costa State Park

4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island
941-964-0375

With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll along the beach, especially during the winter months. The nature trails that crisscross the island provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the island's ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping which can be reserved through Reserve America up to 11 months in advance. Captiva Cruises (link is external)offers ferry service to the park from locations in Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Reservations are strongly recommended.


Reviews

sarah grossman

Rating:
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Great place! Unspoiled Florida, minimal impacts from people, a place to experience a barrier island in it's true state. Great birding, beach walks and exploring by bike or kayak. If you seek mature and solitude this is wonderful. Rustic cabin was comfortable for what it was, a sheltered camp. Loved it and will be back again.

Joe Morris

Rating:
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Cayo Costa is a great for a day trip or overnight camping. The cabins provide basic cover from the elements and wild life. Keep in mind this is a protected island and you should expect bugs and wild life.

Sham Wow

Rating:
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Those visiting Cayo Costa are really free to choose their experience. Day trips are common with people coming across the harbor on ferries. Things to do include, kayaking, biking, hiking, bird watching, exploring the historical (secluded) graveyard and quarantine dock, camping, fishing nearly everywhere. Most come for the pristine beaches, located on the gulf side of the island. A magical experience I had when visiting was waking up from my tent and listening to the crashing waves on the fog covered beach as the sun rose. Only complaint is the sheer amount of bugs during the rainy season (late spring to early fall.) During this time, be sure to bring bug spray and avoid standing water.

Jessica Dietz

Rating:
Friday, March 9, 2018
We take our boat out here every weekend in the summer. The water is so clear and the island is so nice. Its so accessible by boat. So peaceful. So pack a lunch bring some beer enjoy the water. We make a full day of it. Sure going to miss it when we move to Jacksonville. I will make sure we visit when we come back

Daniel Esposito

Rating:
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Rangers were great, volunteers that work there not so much; rude, inconsiderate, treated everyone like steerage. No hot water for showers which were somehow colder than the ice water in our cooler. Camp store doesn't have a whole lot more than a few snacks and drinks and ran out of ice early in the day but promised to have more after they closed (yay?). Docks and store are a mile from the campsites/cabins. Cabins and sites are placed very close together in two small areas; from out cabin, we had a direct line of sight to two others within throwing distance and the camp showers. No ranger programs at night but got to listen to several volunteers complain about how everything is budgeted, has it's own budget, budget is not enough. Fishing wise, there are several areas nearby to fish, but appear greatly over fished with little grass to be found in the flats. There is a great manatee viewing area nearby, 1/4 mile from boat dock. Sunsets are great on the beach. The trails don't offer much in the form of viewing areas, however one does go through an area where people have not only dumped fridges, car parts, and just about every kind of junk you could imagine, but a few remains of boars the locals affectionately call the bone pit. You think there would not be many people here, maybe it's just a campground for campers, but it's not. Ferry's dock here and offload hundreds who share the island during the day and leave at 3-4. Although perfectly capable of doing so, the tram service to the campsites do not pick up campers gear after 11am.. they drop them off until 4pm, but no pickups in an effort to get you to leave at checkout time.. great unless you want to leave a day early and can't without having to haul everything by hand over a mile. I would avoid this place unless you like less than mediocre everything

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