Directions to Dry Tortugas National Park

You might have already noticed that Dry Tortugas National Park is a series of islands, 70 miles away from Key West, so you’ve probably gathered that you can’t drive there. Dry Tortugas is actually one of the more remote parks of all the parks in the National Park System. You can only get there by private boat, charter boat or seaplane.

Commercial airplanes do not have access to the island, and I’ve already said that you can’t drive there, so those are your choices. Once you get there you’d better also bear in mind that there are no facilities except a small gift shop at the fort, so make sure that you take everything with you which you might need. You won’t find any fuel, charcoal, water or food anywhere at the park.

Getting to Dry Tortugas National Park

Public transport sets off for Dry Tortugas National Park from Key West, so that’s where you’ve got to head for, although fishing and diving charters can also be also be arranged in the Florida Keys and Naples.

Boating to Dry Tortugas National Park

  • Private boat – private pleasure boats are very welcome at Dry Tortugas National Park, but be aware that you must be self sufficient and must also make sure that you have a permit from the Park Rangers at Garden Key. For navigation to the park you’ll need US Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey Chart #11438.

Visitor boat slips are available at Dry Tortugas National Park which you can use short term to load and unload or take a tour of the fort. You may not dock there overnight, if you want to stay overnight then you’ve got to anchor your boat in the harbor.

Flying to Dry Tortugas National Park

  • Private sea plane – private sea planes are also welcome at Dry Tortugas National Park, which means boats which are not for hire. You do need to have a special permit to fly your private sea plane to the park, but there’s more about that on our fees and reservations page. Remember also that there are no facilities at Dry Tortugas National Park, so you’d better make sure that you’ve got enough fuel, water and other supplies for the round trip.


Well that all seemed pretty straightforward . . . have a nice trip!