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“Low keyed snorkeling trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Boca Chita Key

Boca Chita Key
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Attraction details
Owner description: Key in Biscayne National Park offering nature hiking trails.
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
76 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Low keyed snorkeling trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Our family took this trip out to snorkel around outside of Boca Chita on some coral formations. The boat is open to the wind, with a roof over about 2/3 of it. The trip must be a about 30 minutes each way, though I did not time it.

The crew is generally very good, being both humorous and informative.

The snorkeling area has some very good coral formations, particularly the fan coral, and is really quite pretty. On the other hand, the fauna is not as extensive as at other reefs. Overall worth the time and money to go out.

The boat operation while good, could do a few things a bit better. First, they might offer folks a wet suit top when there is much of a chance the folks will get cold. They should also tell the folks to take something warm out to the site as the trip back, after being in cool water for about an hour, can get very cold. They might think of having some hot and cold beverages (depending upon the temperature) for folks when they get done. In our case, some hot drink would have been appreciated. I can see on hot sunny days the trip back could be quite the opposite, and folks would be longing for a drink when they get back, so cold water would be good. Maybe they should add this to the "you should probably take ... with you." list.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Anonymous-Atlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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English first
Hagerstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great way to see Biscayne National Park!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

The boat is not operated by the National Park Service but rather a company called Zerve. The boat leaves from the visitor center dock and the captain and his crew were great! They were very informative, funny, and safe. We especially liked Marty, who was our guide once the boat arrived to Boca Chita. He led us around the island and was full of fun facts about the plants, the island, and the area in general. He's a talker - and relates his tour to his own life as someone who grew up and played in the Biscayne area - made the tour that much better! Get out and enjoy your National Parks! And since this park is 95% water - do it on this boat tour! :)

Helpful?
7 Thank Rangers33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Beautiful little key”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

My wife and I booked this trip for a Saturday, but it was canceled. I was happy it was canceled since the weather was unusually cold and there was a threat of rain. A word of advice--don't book the tour too far in advance. They are non-refundable and you cannot change the dates. I booked the tickets a week in advance and regretted it once I saw the weather forecast. We had to drive an hour from Miami to find out it was canceled. But the next weekend the weather was perfect. Boca Chita is a tiny key full of campers, but it is very pretty. We were given an hour to explore the island while the boat took the snorkelers to a nearby reef. There's a beautiful lighthouse where you get some amazing views. The water at the key is crystal clear and we saw a stingray and several tropical fish just from walking around. One part of the island has red and black mangroves along a beach full of shells. If you can do this on a beautiful day it is definitely worth a 3 hour tour.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank jackstraw22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
254 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Oops. Captain Hit a Channel Marker”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

We took the boat trip out to Boca Chita Key. It was nice until on the return trip the captain hit a channel marker post which went down the starboard side of the boat and destroyed a ladder used for snorkeling and scuba diving. We were moving at a fairly high speed at the time. It was a close call. Lucky he didn't hit it straight on. As far as I am concerned, that makes the whole trip a bummer. The captain said the sun was in his eyes. OK. You have to really question the overall safety of the boat operation when something like this happens. If you try to book this trip ask them what they have done as a result of this incident to assure safety of future operations.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank swift98b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maplewood, Minnesota
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Ho hum”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Boca Chita key should be renamed Picnic Area Key because that’s all it is. Sure, there is the ocean all around, but I don’t know if I would pay to go out there again just to be around water. A fake lighthouse marks the key. The cruise itself wasn’t bad. The captain and assistants were nice and helpful. The same boat had both snorkelers and sightseers and I think the snorkelers had more fun.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jim O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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