Florida Keys & Dry Tortugas

Due to Covid-19 no boat trips are scheduled. Please see out land based trip in the Tours – United States Section

Archaeopteryx Birding & Nature Tours works with Florida Nature Tours for multi-day boat trips to the Dry Tortugas!

Contact us for land birding before or after your amazing trip to the Dry Tortugas or for just a few days of land birding in the Florida Keys and Miami Area!

Archaeopteryx Birding & Nature Tours have many years of experience in South Florida and the Keys. We can also arrange day trip or overnight camping trip to Dry Tortugas National Park as part of your package.

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Lead By:  Wes Biggs (Florida Nature Tours), Gallus Quigley (Archaeopteryx Birding & Nature Tours), and other great leaders!

Aboard:  TBD

Departing From:  Key West

The Destination & The Birds

Dry Tortugas National Park is the most remote park in the entire system.  Located 68 miles from Key West the park consists of 7 islands and 102 square miles of ocean and coral reefs. The Dry Tortugas is quite simply one of the world’s greatest birding destinations!!  For the North American or Florida lister it is a MUST BIRD place!! For the bird photographer it is spectacularly unique! The Florida peninsula and the Upper Keys are sub-tropical, but when you reach the town of Marathon on Key Vaca you enter the true tropics. There has never been a freeze recorded south of this location. A number of species reach their northernmost breeding range in the Keys and Dry Tortugas. The rare Antillean Nighthawk arrives in the lower keys to nest in the later half of April and is a regular migrant through the Tortugas. Brown Boobies, and Black Noddies are regular in the Tortugas as non-breeders and Red-footed Booby and White-tailed Tropicbirds are rare visitors as well. The Dry Tortugas is the only North American nesting location for the Magnificent Frigatebird, Masked Booby and Brown Noddy, and the only regular nesting site of the Sooty Tern. Migrating raptors and dozens of species of land birds are a great draw as well, but the lure of a stray from the Caribbean is like gold fever to the hardcore birder.


The photographic opportunities at Dry Tortugas are many and varied. Tropical species not found elsewhere in North America are great fun, but spring plumage migrants posing at very close range are just as exciting. Spectacular coral reefs and the most beautiful 19th century brick fort in the Western Hemisphere will keep you busy!


The human history of the Dry Tortugas began in 1513 when the islands were discovered by Ponce de Leon.

Construction on spectacular Ft. Jefferson began in 1846 and became the prison that held Dr. Samuel A. Mudd after he was convicted as one of the conspirators in President Lincoln’s murder. Every real history buff needs to visit this remarkable place.


How Do I Get To Key West?

By Air

Air service to Key West is available from the following carriers:

By Shuttle

One way we have found to be extremely successful for group travel is the Keys Shuttle from the Miami or Ft. Lauderdale’s Airport
Contact the Keys Shuttle at www.KeysShuttle.com

By Sea

Key West Express – www.seakeywestexpress.com from Ft. Myers Beach


Dry Tortugas I TBD  
Dry Tortugas II TBD  
Dry Tortugas III TBD  
Dry Tortugas IV  TBD  
Dry Tortugas V  TBD  
Price: $TBD  


Day 1

We start out about 10:00 AM with an optional day of birding in the Lower Florida Keys. Mangrove Cuckoo, Gray Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo & White-crowned Pigeon are a few of the targets. Those who will be flying in will be picked up at the airport. Try to arrange for an arrival before 10:00 AM if possible, or fly in the night before & get a hotel. We can assist with arrangements. Lunch & dinner in Key West is almost as much fun as the birding. The last few years have produced some great birds in Key West, with the first US record of Cuban Vireo last April being the biggest thrill. At 7:00 PM we’ll board the Playmate to meet the crew and have a general orientation.

Day 2

After an early morning departure we will start our search for pelagic species such as Audubon’s Shearwater, Bridled Tern and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel. We will arrive at the Dry Tortugas about mid-day. After lunch we will begin our exploration of Garden Key and beautiful Fort Jefferson. Thousands of Brown Noddies and Sooty Terns will be close at hand, Magnificent Frigatebirds will be hanging overhead and colorful migrants will be only feet away. Don’t forget your camera! A beautiful sunset & maybe a view of ‘The Green Flash’ and a night walk around the moat wall looking for sea creatures will round out the day.

Day 3

More birding at Fort Jefferson/Garden Key and a trip over to Loggerhead Key weather permitting. While enjoying lunch we will do a buoy run around the markers to the Dry Tortugas Marine Sanctuary looking for Roseate, Bridled, and Sooty Terns, get close up views of Brown Boobies and hopes for a Tropicbird flyby, followed by the Masked Boobies ‘fly in’ at Hospital Key which is always great fun. With a little luck we’ll see a Black Noddy today.

Day 4

Breakfast and a morning search of Fort Jefferson/Garden Key before we depart for Key West. With luck we may see some pelagic species before our arrival at around 3.00 PM.

The Boat

 The  motor vessel, M/V Playmate, is 60 feet long with  a twenty foot beam.  The vessel, a Gulfstream, is U.S. Coast Guard Inspected and powered by twin 8v92ti Detroit Diesel engines.

With an experienced and well-seasoned crew of 3 to 4, (2 licensed Captains) she sleeps 11 guests in four separate air conditioned staterooms.  There are two bathrooms with showers.

Your cuisine is prepared from the finest quality produce, meats and of course the freshest seafood you can get!

Please see this website for more information.

MV Playmate


The Price

Dry Tortugas Tour

$TBD  per person

$300 deposit

Balance:  90 days prior to departure

Transportation, sleeping accommodations, all meals and leaders are included.

To reserve a space: eMail Florida Nature Tours or call B.B. in the office at 407-680-4780 or Wes’ cell at 407-376-6967, and use our Registration Page to fill out and submit the Registration Form.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have- just call us, or fill out Contacts Form with your queries and we’ll get right back to you.

Cell: 407-376-6967     Email: infofloridanaturetours@gmail.com



*Florida Nature Tours is offering 3-day/4-night Dry Tortugas birding tours on a fully furnished boat weather permitting. Visit www.floridanaturetours.net for pricing and information.