Planning a trip to Florida? How about visiting the western side of the peninsula? While many people go to Florida for the built-up beach fronts of Mamai and the like, Florida is home to many stunning untouched coastlines. Cayo Costa State Park is one of the stunning remote state parks that can only be reached by boat and offers some truly rustic accommodation.
Cayo Costa State Park is home to some of Florida's best beaches that fly under the radar. Here, visitors are far from the comforts and distractions of modern life and have the chance to relax and unwind. Having off-the-grid, rustic accommodations is one of the great ways to have a really memorable vacation. If going to Costa Rica, consider staying at its off-the-grid rustic treehouse accommodation.
Cayo Costa State Park - The Untouched Island Of West Florida
The Cayo Costa State Park is located to the south of Boca Grande and is around 12 miles west of Cape Coral. For those wanting to get away from the crowds, Cayo Costa may be the option as it is only accessible by ferry, charter (or private) boat, and helicopter. There is a ferry service that runs to the island from several mainland locations.
- Ferry: There Is A Ferry To The Island
- Access: By Boat or Helicopter
The island is more than stunning beaches; for centuries, Native Americans inhabited the island and built a number of shell mounds on the island.
Cayo Costa Island is one of the barrier islands and is known for its soft and white sandy beaches. It also has pine forests, oak palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps. The Cayo Costa State Park offers a majestic piece of untouched Florida while protecting the Charlotte Harbor Estuary.
- Ranger Station: Open Until 4.00 pm Daily
- Fee: $2 Per Person
At the park, visitors can explore the wind-shaped trees, the beaches, and the dunes that characterize the island. Central to the allure of the island is the 9 miles of undeveloped shoreline.
Activities include swimming, shelling, fishing, bird-watching, snorkeling, and sunbathing (or otherwise getting sunburnt).
Campsites On Cayo Costa
If one is visiting Cayo Costa, then certainly one should spend a night (or two or three) there. The island has both campsites and cabins available for overnight stays. If one is planning to camp on the island, then it should be kept in mind that camping is only permitted at designated camping sites.
- Boat Camping: Currently Unavailable
Cayo Costa has 30 tent sites that offer primitive camping, and the campground is situated near the beach. Each of these sites comes with a ground grill, potable water, and a picnic table (but don't expect other luxuries like electricity). Not only is electricity not available, but it is also not permitted to bring a generator either.
- Electricity: No Electricity
- Rate: $22.00
- Reservation Fee: $6.70
Facilities include cold showers and flush toilets.
There is, however, a tram service that runs between 10 am and 4 pm that carries campers and their camping gear to the campground. Outside of these hours, campers will need to hike the one mile from the docks to the camping area by themselves.
Reservations can be made online on the Florida States Parks website.
If one is planning to bring a hammock, keep in mind that in order to protect the vegetation, it is not permitted to affix items to vegetation. But there is approved hammock camping at the primitive tent sites numbered 8, 9, 15, and 22.
Rustic Cabin Accommodation On Cayo Costa
For those not so keen on camping, there are also rustic one-room cabins on the island. These offer a break from the normal hustle and bustle of life and are located near the beach, and are accessible by trails on the island.
- Rate: $40.00
- Reservation Fee: $6.70
The cabins sleep up to six people and come with three bunk beds and a table (so a little spartan). Like the campsites, there is also no electricity.
- Capacity: Up To Six People
- Minimum Stay: Two Nights
There are cold water showers, and visitors need to bring all of their own provisions (so plan ahead). Guests can also use the tram service from the docks.