Florida Keys Snorkeling

Florida Keys snorkelingDiscover Florida Keys snorkeling! We’ve got the only living coral reef in North America, It goes from north of Key Largo, down the entire chain of Keys, and out beyond Key West to the Dry Tortugas. It’s why Florida Keys snorkeling is a must-do while on vacation. Boats throughout the Keys take visitors out to the reef for half day snorkeling trips. Some outfitters combine a morning or afternoon of snorkeling with lunch or snacks and beverages, while others work in kayaking and watersports as well. Choose a package that accommodates your vacation plans. It’s easy!

Snorkeling in Key Largo

Key Largo may be one of the best places for Florida Keys snorkelingfor two reasons. One, we have John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It provides protection of the reef and its ecosystem, plus opportunities for visitors to enjoy the water. There are snorkeling trips out of their marina every day, plus glass bottom boat trips to the reef.

Secondly, out of all the Florida Keys, Key Largo is closest to the crystal clear waters of the Gulf Stream. That means snorkelers can easily see down through the waters from the surface. Often, snorkelers will be able to see bottom without diving down, even when it’s forty feet deep and more! So, even beginners can see the marvels of the ocean, the coral reef, and all the creatures and plants that exist in the underwater world.

Snorkeling in the Middle Keys

Visitors who stay in the middle keys are lucky because every snorkeling spot in the Keys is just a short drive away. If you’re staying in Marathon, you could drive west for a boat out to the famous Looe Key Sanctuary. John Pennekamp, mentioned above, is less than an hour away as well. You basically have access to everything!

Snorkeling in the Lower Keys and Key West

Key West has plenty of snorkeling outfitters and boats. From early morning til sunset, all types of boats run back and forth from shore to the reef, ferrying snorkelers to the sanctuaries for unforgettable snorkel adventures. Some of the boats are quite large catamarans that might serve a light lunch. Others are smaller boats that specialize in a more private experience while on the reef. All Florida Keys snorkeling boats carry personal flotation devices, and all safety equipment as required by law. The guides will instruct everyone on the boat on how to snorkel and how to respect the coral reef (don’t touch it!).

For variety, some boats will take you snorkeling in the afternoon, then wind up the day with a sunset cruise. Others in Key West will take you snorkeling on the reef, then head north into the Gulf of Mexico just outside of Key West harbor, where they have giant floatable setups for watersports.


Key West Snorkeling

The colorful coral reef, the schools of tropical fish, magnificent sting rays- the wonders of the marine world are yours to explore on a Key West snorkeling trip. Imagine floating blissfully along the warm subtropical waters of Key West, gazing down at incredible sea life just a few feet below you. This is what a tropical vacation is all about, and we’re here to help you make it all happen for you. Book Key West snorkeling trips online and save money by getting discounts, and low price guarantees.

The island of Key West is lined with coral reef on the south side, so Key West snorkeling can take you to many different areas of the reef for different snorkeling experiences. To start out, however, Sand Key Light is the top destination. And no wonder – with shallow reef that comes right up to the historic lighthouse within a foot or two of the water’s surface, you’ll be able to see so much! Sand Key Light has a wonderful diversity of coral, fish, rays, barracuda, eels, and other marine life living in the abundant coral ecosystem. It’s the ideal spot for first time snorkelers.

 If you just can’t get enough of Key West snorkeling and you want to venture out another day, the reef extends in both directions from Sand Key light. Heading east, there’s Rock Key, known for its calm waters even when it’s a bit windy out there. The rocks here stick out of the water, breaking any waves that might come rolling in from offshore. It’s protected, shallow, and an ideal spot for your next Key West snorkeling spot.

Heading east from Rock Key, you’ll find Eastern Dry Rocks, which are part of the main reef and therefore provide lots of snorkeling grounds. If you’ve opted for a Key West boat rental and you’re on your own, anchor up and explore the area. Don’t get too far from the boat, and watch the current!

Still heading east, you’ll run into The Sambos- western, middle and eastern. These also make fun destinations for a day of Key West snorkeling. The main reef is about six miles from Key West, and between the island the reef are gazillions of small patch reefs. If you’ve rented a boat, explore and find your own private snorkeling spot to make your Key West vacation exciting and complete.


Key Largo Snorkeling

Thanks to crystal clear water, sunny year-round temperatures and large areas of protected coral reef, Key Largo snorkeling ranks as one of the most popular vacation activities for visitors from around the world. Key Largo snorkeling even stands out ahead of the other spots in the Florida Keys, partly because of its location near the Gulf Stream.

Key Largo is the northernmost island in the Florida Keys, closest to the mainland. It’s at this point on the map where the Gulf Stream curves inward and comes closer to the reef than in other parts of the Keys. Gulf Stream water is clear water, and the combination of clear blue water and shallow water reef systems makes for some of the world’s best snorkeling. If you’re passing through the Keys, you just gotta do some Key Largo Snorkeling!

Most of the snorkeling boats that take visitors to the reef head toward Grecian Rocks, where the famous underwater attraction exists: Christ of the Abyss. This huge bronze 4000 pound statue is probably one of the most photographed underwater spots in the United States!

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the best place to start your day in Key Largo. There’s a marina with snorkel boats, visitors center, small beach, kayak rentals, canoe rentals, and a short nature walk through the mangroves. Explore the park, then go out for some Key Largo Snorkeling for an unforgettable day in the Florida Keys.