I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Field Trip to Cayo Costa

I thought I'd share some of the pictures from our trip to Cayo Costa, and it has been hard to pick just a few.  We had a really good time!  The weather was perfect, the beach was beautiful, the trails were interesting and beautifully kept.

 We had the beach to ourselves most of the time.  There are miles of beaches there, and because the island is only accessible by boat, there aren't many people there.
 The kids swam from morning till evening....
There were dozens of different types of birds around us all the time.

We enjoyed taking hikes on the trails, discovering new native plants, and even a pioneer cemetery...

Pioneer Cemetery
 There were no letterboxes in Cayo Costa, so we planted one near the cemetery.  Letterboxing is one of our favorite things to do together.  We've discovered many interesting places in our letterboxing expeditions.  Letterboxers like to lead you to beautiful, out-of-the-way sites that are not well advertised, and Cayo Costa fits that description well.

Michael's first catch
 The beach was teeming with fish...  We saw large schools of them jumping out of the water.  We caught enough to make a meal out of them.
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)- Florida native, source of edible swamp cabbage
See our cabin in the background?

 I took this picture when we were about to leave.  We had a hammock on the porch and a few chairs, plus towels hanging on the line which provided shade in the afternoon.  The cabins are rustic, with three bunk beds and a picnic table inside.  There is no electricity or running water in the cabins; however, there are bathrooms and showers available there.

Osprey - sea hawk or fish eagle
  Did I mention the bird population?  We watched as the ospreys, pelicans, and seagulls fished their meals out of the water.

Scrub Morning Glory Bonamia grandiflora
Native wildflowers decorated the landscape.  These morning glories were scattered everywhere.  They are an endangered species.  It was good to see how the rangers have been taking care of this island and its native plants and animals.  Maybe this is what the entire state of Florida was like just 100 years ago. 

wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
There were numerous cacti and sea grapes with their edible fruits along the trails. We also found several wild coffee bushes, like this one, loaded with berries.

One of the things Cayo Costa  is known for is the abundance of shells along its beaches, and it didn't disappoint.  The girls came home with a big bag to add to their collection.  They also found many sea urchin shells, which they will be writing about in their nature journals this week.

We never caught sight of Ol' Henry, but that's not a bad thing.  We've already made reservations to go back  next year!

Here are my top ten favorite things about Cayo Costa:

1. It is remote - This means less crowds, noise, pollution, and more wildlife
2. The wildlife - It was like being on a safari...
3. The combination of beach and hiking trails - It gave us two very different things to do
4. It is a state park - there is always a park ranger on call
5. It was close to home - Only a three hour drive
6. It was inexpensive - Even though we had to pay the ferry which added to the cost...
7. The cabins - I don't really like tent, trailer, or RV camping.  RV camping generally means generator noise, plus it usually brings crowds
8. Privacy - The cabins had lots of space between them.
9. Great fishing
10. Nice beach - clear water, lots of shells, calm waters...

I'm linking with Hip Homeschool Hop, and Top Ten Tuesday today.


  1. Wow, beautiful pictures, and beautiful place. I've got to admit that's a field trip I'd be more than happy to go on! ;)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jessica!

  3. What a wonderful field trip... the landscape is so different from here in Northern Illinois!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad to have found yours as well.


  4. Visiting from Top Ten Tuesday. This sounds so cool! We're homeschoolers, and my folks live in Orlando. I should really look this up and find out more about it! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for stopping by!

    Kari - Just make sure you go between October and May. Otherwise, the mosquitos are really bad.

  6. Simply beautiful! Now I wanna go..


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