Escape from busy modern life to the gentle island beauty of Cayo Costa State Park, a nearly 2,400-acre nature preserve fronted by nine spectacular miles of beaches rich in shelling, fishing, and walking and biking trails. 12 miles west of Cape Coral, Cayo Costa Island is part of Florida’s largest undeveloped barrier island chain.
With no road access, Cayo Costa's greatest gift is its seclusion. Once inhabited by the Native American Calusa Indians, two archaeological sites remain visible vestiges of this pre-Columbian culture. Both standing almost 15 feet tall, Old Ware Mound and Faulkner Mound are a contrast to the rest of the island’s low skyline covered in undeveloped beaches and acres of Florida pines, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove forests.
Today, this barrier island park flourishes as a Gulf Coast paradise. Visitors can relax under the Southwest Florida sun on fine white sand amongst spectacular shelling and warm, gentle Gulf water. A shaded picnic can lead to offshore sightings of West Indian manatees and pods of Bottlenose dolphins, as well as an impressive variety of native birds. The nature trails that crisscross the island invite hiking and off-road cycling. Saltwater anglers can drop lines from their boats, or cast out from the shore. Primitive cabins and tent camping sites are on reserve for overnight stays.
Accessible only by boat, Cayo Costa Island exists within the gentle wilderness that is undeveloped Southwest Florida. To find your way there, try a charter cruise with Captiva Cruises.
For more information visit www.floridastateparks.org/cayocosta, or call 941-964-0375.