Reaching out from the southern tip of mainland United States is a tropical watery wonderland dotted with small islands and colorful living reefs.
Explore the pristine blue waters of Biscayne National Park in search of manatees, dolphins and stingrays. Relax in the sun on one of the idyllic keys or dive with sparkling angelfish and barracudas.
Leave the noise of Miami behind and immerse yourself in the magnificent seaside landscape of the country’s largest marine park. A staggering 95 percent of the park is water, spread between sheltered Biscayne Bay and the long coral reef that hugs the gently slanted coastline.
Join a friendly guide and set off across the sheltered bay on a guided kayak tour. This will give you the perfect opportunity to learn about the park’s unique ecosystems and feel the balmy, clear water on your hands. As you paddle, look for dolphins gliding gracefully by and manatees perusing the sea-grass bottom in search of food.
After your first wildlife experience of the day, climb aboard a glass-bottom boat and head out of the bay to marvel at the brightly colored corals and sponges of the outer reef. Shimmering damselfish and angelfish swim slowly past while stingrays hover just above the seafloor and barracudas dart off in pursuit of their next meal.
Put on your snorkel and mask to admire the reef environment up close. Dive along the Maritime Heritage Trail to see six shipwrecks from 1878 to 1966. Some are accessible to snorkelers.
Follow a morning on the water with a visit to one of the secluded keys. Hike through the mangrove forests of Elliott Key or picnic in peace on charming Boca Chita Key nearby.
Biscayne National Park is in southern Florida, just east of Everglades National Park. Drive south from Miami to Homestead. From here it is 20 minutes east to the park entrance at Convoy Point. At the visitor center here, book trips and find out more about available activities. The park is open year-round although boat excursions can be affected by bad weather.
U.S. national parks offer affordable adventure for all types of travelers to all kinds of lands, including the plentiful waters of Biscayne National Park.