Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cayo Costa....Unspoiled Island Park

Cayo Costa State Park is a 2426 acre barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, between Boca Grande Pass and Captiva Pass.

Not my photo!  But, it shows the 9 miles of pristine beaches.

You can only get to Cayo Costa by boat, either private or by ferry from Pine Island, or by tour boat from Punta Gorda.  Here is the Island Star out of Punta Gorda (and part of the Kingfisher Fleet) off loading at the park dock.
On the trip over you are likely to see dolphins, and if you are lucky, a Magnificent Frigate bird (Frigata magnificens)!
Park facilities include dockage, rest rooms, primitive cabins and campsites.
The beaches are groomed only by Mother Nature.

Shore birds love Cayo Costa too!  Here are some White Ibis (Eucocimus alba) practicing their close order drill (that's an echelon left maneuver).

Here's the view looking north across the Boca Grande Pass to Gasparilla Island.  The BG Pass offers the best Tarpon fishing in the world.

More marching Ibis!

No gift shops, no hot dog stands, no worry about parking your can just anchor off the beach.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) fishing.

Perfect for snorkling.  But, keep a sharp eye out for sharks....BG Pass is also home to some huge hammerheads.

Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria intaerpres).

Shelling and beachcombing is great fun.  Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphenmus) here.

Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)

Black -bellied Plover in flight.

Sanderling (Calidris alba).

Great day at the beach!


  1. Great blog and photos, Steve! I especially love the ibis all in a row. And horseshoe crabs...I love pics of horseshoe crabs!

  2. Lovely -- the "Ruddy Turnstone in Flight" is actually a black-bellied plover!