Within the protected bayside waters of Pine Island Sound, this tour treks to the 100-acre island of Cabbage Key and then on to the 8-mile long paradise of Cayo Costa. The deserted beaches are excellent for fishing, swimming, shell collecting, sunbathing and escaping from life’s stresses. This tour is available for experienced kayakers only. There is a minimum total group size of 6 people for this tour to launch.
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Skill Level: Advanced
Duration: 10-12 hours
Do you have to be an experienced kayaker for the Cayo Costa/Cabbage Key Tour?
Yes, most definitely. You need to be an experienced kayaker and strong paddler due to the changing weather conditions, currents and duration of the paddling time.
Where is Cayo Costa Island located?
Cayo Costa (La Costa Island) is one of the last remaining barrier islands on the Gulf coast of Florida, just south of Boca Grande and north of Sanibel/Captiva (100 miles south from the Sarasota/Bradenton area). This Florida State Park is only accessible by boat/kayak, and is approximately 8 miles long and 1 mile wide.
What do you see on Cabbage Key?
Cabbage Key has the largest population of porpoise in the United States. So get ready to see an abundance of porpoise, dolphin, fish and possibly manatees as you paddle towards Cabbage Key. Once on the barrier island you can explore the one hundred acres of tropical vegetation and the panoramic views of Pine Island Sound atop a 38-foot Calusa Indian shell mound. Also, Jimmy Buffet wrote the tropically famous song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” on the tranquil beaches of Cabbage Key.
What do you see on Cayo Costa?
Once on Cayo Costa, you will paddle through and around a series of mangrove islands within Pine Island Sound. There will be opportunities to see dolphin, manatees, a variety of tropical birds, and birds of prey, including Ospreys and Eagles. There are numerous activities including swimming, fishing, shelling, or just relaxing on the beautiful white sand beaches. There are also a variety of primitive hiking trails on the island that give you the “old Florida” feel – untouched beauty!
Are transportation and lunch included in the cost of the tour?
Yes, transportation and park entrance fees are included in the cost of the tour. A designated meeting point will be determined when you book your tour. Lunch is available (for an additional cost) at the Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant or you can pack a bagged lunch.
What should I bring on the Cayo Costa/Cabbage Key Tour?
We highly recommend bringing a few bottles of water and items that you would normally have while you are out in the sun (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses). Cameras are okay, but we suggest putting them in a zipped plastic bag. You may also want to bring a bagged lunch or some extra money for lunch on Cabbage Key. A dry change of clothes is also recommended for the ride home.
Is the Cayo Costa/Cabbage Key Tour for me?
This combined tour is ideal for experienced kayakers wanting to explore winding nature trails atop ancient Calusa Indian shell mounds and immerse in the "old-Florida" atmosphere.
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Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key are located south of Boca Grande, Florida and north of Sanibel/Captiva (100 miles south of the Sarasota area).