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Boca Chita Key & Campsite

Updated: Oct 26, 2023



Boca Chita Key is a small island located in Biscayne National Park, about 12 miles from the southern tip of Key Biscayne. Looking north you should still be able to see the Miami Skyline and the Sky Scrapers in Miami Beach, though they will seem to be rising directly from the water.


The island has a picturesque limestone lighthouse built in the 1930s by Mark C. Honeywell (the same guy for whom the Honeywell Company is named after).


The waters around Boca Chita Key are very shallow, but on a kayak you should have no problems with water depth approaching the island from any direction. You will notice some current on the inlets with the adjacent islands depending on the strength of the tide.


If you land in the harbor with your kayak, you will find it difficult getting out of your kayak onto dry land, especially at low tide. Your best landing point is the beach on the north of the island on the channel that separates Boca Chita Key from the southernmost of the Ragged Keys. You will be right on the campsite and you should see some picnic tables.


Technically there is a fee for camping overnight on the island and being in the National Park, but I have never seen anyone come by to collect it. There is a kiosk with a drop box and some envelopes by the harbor. Things works on the honor system, mostly.


There is no freshwater on the island. Be sure to bring enough for whatever length of time you plan on staying here. Phone reception can also be patchy at best, so don't count on it.


Bring bug spray with you. The island is infested with mosquitos and when the wind dies down you will be eaten alive.


During Columbus Day Weekend there is a regatta that sails from Coconut Grove to the island. The island will be packed with overnight campers. The event has a reputation for being rowdy with alcohol flowing freely, and certain things being done old men and grandmas in the open that would be considered inappropriate for children. Avoid the island during these time at all costs.


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