Coral reef within the waters of Biscayne National Park

Coral reef within the waters of Biscayne National Park


From November through April, a variety of daily, land-based Ranger programs are held at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. The only way to find out what is going on is to either drop by the Visitor Center or call the park at (305) 230-1144. You can also check out the park’s Calendar web page, but this is not a complete listing. When I recently called, the Ranger told me about a half dozen events, but the Calendar page only listed one, and it wasn’t even an event that I was told about.


Since Biscayne National Park is 95 percent water, you need a boat for most activities. If you live in the area, you may own one or know somebody who does, but for everyone else this means joining a fee-based excursion. Currently there are a handful of authorized concessionaires offering such services. For any company to bring paying customers into Biscayne National Park, it must have a contract in place with the National Park Service. You can, however, rent a boat from anywhere and enter the park if you operate it yourself.


The Biscayne National Park Institute is a non-profit organization that is authorized to conduct tours within the park. The organization actually has an office in the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, so you can book tours on the spot if spaces are available. This is also where you come to sign in for tours you booked online in advance.

I did the following tours and have provided a detailed review and photographs:

Heritage of Biscayne Cruise
Sightseeing cruise with a stop at Boca Chita Key

Snorkel and Paddle Eco-Adventure
Snorkel shipwrecks and coral reefs and paddle on Jones Lagoon

Kayak the Mangroves
Paddle the bay near the Dante Facscell Visitor Center on Convoy Point

Stiltsville Guided Historic Tour
Sightseeing tour to Stiltsville, a collection of houses built on stilts in Biscayne Bay near Key Biscayne

See the Biscayne National Park Institute website for a complete list of tours.


There are other authorized concessionaires that bring guests into Biscayne National Park. See the National Park Service’s official Guided Tours web page for a complete list.

Paddling excursion on Jones Lagoon in Biscayne National Park

Paddling excursion on Jones Lagoon in Biscayne National Park

Back to the Top

With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on November 1, 2023
Share this article