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Best Scuba Diving In Key West

Quick Tips To Consider While Scuba Diving In The Florida Keys

Best Key West Snorkeling
  • Make sure that you enquire about the weather before going out for a dive. If you find out that the weather is highly windy or bestowing poor visibility, it is better that you keep your plans for another day. Make sure you are carrying all the essential scuba diving equipment.
  • You need to know that even a slight touch on the coral polyps by your hands or any other diving staples can damage it and cause hindrance to the lives of the small animals that together constitute the soft and hard corals at the coral reefs. Thus, you have to be very careful while proceeding for a coral reef trip.
  • Practice buoyancy control in advance
  • Harvesting coral is illegal
  • Divers should never feed the fishes in the waters of Florida Keys as this act can destroy the natural feeding routine of the marine creatures.
  • Be well fledged with all the best snorkeling gear and buoyancy control vest for withstanding gear adjustments.

Located Right Next To The Courtyard Marriott Resort In Key Largo Fl

Why is this important? Because it’s nice to stay in an water front room that is only 50 feet from the dive boats. We also get discounted room rates for our divers, so it’s easy to make 1 custom package for your diving and your stay.

It’s also important if you are training, we have our own 12′ deep pool ON-SITE, so there is no need to load up a car with equipment, figure out how to get to the pool, drive to the pool, unload, and then load it all back up when you are done.

Best Scuba Diving & Snorkeling In Key West

BY Amber NolanTravel Expert

The Florida Keys are home to the only living barrier reef in the United States meaning the reefs are found in the deeper waters further from the shore. They are abundant with marine life including hogfish, butterfly fish, blue tang, snapper, swordfish, and barracuda not to mention some gnarly species of coral. Since the reefs are so far off the coast, youre going to have to make a day of it on one of Key Wests copious snorkeling excursions. While many opt to join the masses on a catamaran for a booze and snorkeling trip, we recommend catching a ride on smaller vessels that offer a more personalized experience. Divers also flock to the area to explore the Vandenberg and other modern shipwrecks and Spanish galleons, some of which the famous treasure hunter, Mel Fisher, made his fortune on. Adventure Watersports and Dive Key West are just two of the many outfits that offer dive trips. Here is our list of 10Best scuba diving and snorkeling companies to help you plan your underwater venture.

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Dive Boats In Key Largo

At Rainbow Reef Dive Center, we feature a range of EIGHT custom dive boats, all of which have engines that are EPA Tier III rated – the best for the environment – versus the smokey, nauseating diesels of days past. The boats are designed for maximum functionality and comfort for divers – not some sort of “cattle herding” operation – featuring larger boats to handle some of the bigger groups who use our services. Our larger boats also handle the weather better, which will make your diving trip with us the best experience possible.

All eight Rainbow Reef Dive Center boats are equipped with well maintained equipment and engines, along with the latest in technology such as GPS, depth finders, ship to shore radio, and EPIRB’s – all for your safety and comfort while on board with us.

Speaking of safety, our dive center is located only a few miles from the state of the art hyperbaric chamber at Mariner’s Hospital.

Quality Of Dive Sites

Top Ranked Scuba Diving Charters

We cannot really take credit for this, but it is important to note. From our location in beautiful Key Largo, we can take you to all the popular Pennekamp State park locations, and frequently dive Molasses Reef, French Reef, The Christ Statue, and the Spiegel Grove just to name a few. You can dive over 75 dive sites in the upper keys with just one reservation.

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To Cave Dive: Devil’s Den And Blue Grotto

Devil’s Den: Near the small town of Williston, this fern-draped sinkhole offers a unique geological setting and was actually once thought by early settlers to be the den of hell, as steam rising from the warm waters in winter does bear resemblance to its name. Divers know better, as do snorkelers who enter the open steps from this window above to enjoy the underground basin 60 feet below. The water’s depths range around 50 feet but the cave systems are closed to divers.Blue Grotto: Just about a stone’s throw from the Devil’s Den is the Blue Grotto, a large clear-water cavern. Open to divers of all skill levels, the maximum depth you can reach is 100 feet. A highlight to this site is the compressed air-supplied bell at 30 feet. You can enter and take the regulator out of your mouth mid-dive and talk to your buddy. This area is known as having some of the best scuba diving in Florida.

To dive with sea turtles head to West Palm Beach.-Lauren Tjaden

When Should I Visit The Florida Keys

If you are all set to venture for the Florida Keys but dont know What is the Best Month to Visit Florida Keys, then the answer lies within you. Many people like to visit during the winter season for the balmy temperature. Also, the Keys invite the thickest crowds in winter. While, on the other hand, some prefers to evidence the flavors of festivals of different months in the Keys. Therefore, there is no such preferable time or month to visit the Florida Keys.

However, the thing that you should consider before visiting the place is What is the Weather Like in the Florida Keys. Although the Keys hold a subtropical climate with warmth even in January, still there is a bit different that might be suitable for different people. Generally, in the midsummer, the heat is stifling and with its cooling down, the peak hurricane season arrives. By the time of August, the crowd gets low with the room rates, but the heat remains the same. In November to mid-December and late April to early June, both the temperature and weather is very soothing in the Florida Keys. The sun is not that blazing during that time and not too crowded as well.

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Best Key Largo Dive Sites

Island Ventures is located Oceanside in Key Largo Fisheries marina in the centre of Key Largo. Our boats go to the Best Key Largo Dive Sites as far north as the beautiful Carysfort Reef to Snapper Ledge in the south and everywhere in between!

The reefs in Key Largo are all around 30 feet deep so are suitable for both divers and snorkelers. The reef systems are largely spur and groove and at some points are only feet away from the surface . This allows divers can get some depth in between the grooves and snorkelers can see the fantastic wildlife from the top to the bottom of the reef.

On average it takes 45 minutes to get from our dock to the Best Key Largo Dive Sites reef with the exception of Carysfort which is around an hour.

Spectacular Reefs & Wreck Dives

Snorkeling in Key West

Southpoint Divers has been in business since 1991 and is consistently voted the best dive shop in Key West!

Southpoint Divers is located in the heart of Old Town, Key West on Front Street. Our shop, stocked with all your dive essentials and ScubaPro gear, is at 606 Front Street and our custom dive boat, The Phoenix, docks directly across the street at the Hyatt Resort and Marina.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. The Vandenberg wreck is the second largest artificial reef in the world.

Looking to advance your diving skills? Our PADI 5-Star dive center offers all courses up to and including DiveMaster.

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To Explore Historic Wrecks: Pensacola Destin And Panama City

Pensacola: This military town has not only shaped the city’s commerce, but its dive sites as well. Pensacola area wrecks include the 500-foot World War I battleship, USS Massachusetts, the Russian freighter San Pablo, a Navy barge and an A-7 Corsair that fell off the deck of the carrier USS Lexington. You’ll find Vietnam-era tanks and various other naval ships. USS Oriskany, a retired aircraft carrier, is another massive Pensacola artificial reef.Destin: Military buffs will find the waters off this beach town littered with sunken barges, tugs, liberty ships, landing craft, airplanes, army tanks and bridge rubble populated with grouper, flounder and cobia.Panama City: The marine institute has sent ships, Navy scrap metal, pontoons, towers, bridge spans, tanks, hovercraft and even a Quonset hut to the bottom of the Gulf since the 1970’s. Perhaps the most famous wreck is the Empire Mica, a 479-foot British tanker that was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1942. It now rests in 115 feet of water 20 miles off Cape San Blas.Editor’s note: Diving, and especially cave diving, requires special certification and training.

Vacation At Your Pace In Key West

Everyones version of the perfect vacation is different. For some, it looks like lounging by the pool at The Paradise Inn, while for others, their ideal escape is exploring the best scuba diving spots in Key West. No matter what your dream vacation itinerary looks like, Key West has something that fits the bill.

With its quaint cottages and cozy rooms, our hotel near Mallory Square provides you with a tranquil and relaxing space to call home. Call to learn more about our adults-only hotel and its amenities or how to save on your stay.

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Dive Into The Details

Our boutique style Key Largo scuba diving experience is laid back, relaxing, and different from the rest. Enjoy at least 1 full hour in the water at each dive site. Our no rush approach ensures you remain on island time even while on the Florida Keys reef.

All dive trips include 2 tanks, weights, and 2 different locations. Gear rental is available if needed.

Guided dive trips are offered daily. All of our scuba guides hold a minimum of instructor rating. Safety is our number one priority. The best way we can keep everyone safe is by providing you with a certified open water scuba instructor on your trip. Group guides or private guides per your request.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Scuba Dive In Key West

USS Vandenburg wreck dive, Key West, FL. We are so addicted to this ...

The Florida Keys have a warm climate all year round, but the summers can be too hot and humid for some visitors.

Many people will see this as a great reason to be in the water scuba diving rather than sweating on land.

While the winter does have lower temperatures in the air, the sea is also considerably cooler, and there will likely be choppier surface conditions and lower visibility on dive sites.

Hurricane season usually runs from mid-August to late September, so its generally better to avoid these times.

The peak season for seeing sharks is usually when the waters are colder, between around January and May.

Manta Rays might be spotted later in the year, during the months of June to August.

Turtle sightings are most common between May and September.

On balance, the best scuba diving season in terms of temperature and wildlife is generally accepted as between March and July.

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To Dive With Sea Turtles: West Palm Beach

Gulf Stream-powered drift diving is the name of the game. The fast moving corridor of water brings a unique blend of excellent visibility, beautiful corals and a rich life source of marine estuaries that provide a breeding ground for marine life. Drifting effortlessly over mile after mile of spectacular coral reef and clouds of fish is like visiting an underwater zoo.These fishy waters offer the diver more opportunities to interact with big critters such as sea turtles than just about anywhere else in the world. During the season between May and September, it is not uncommon to see a dozen or more of these big cruisers drifting alongside you and your buddy. It is also not uncommon when keeping your eye to the blue to see a shark or sailfish drift in just remember you are on the migratory path of whales and other oceanic creatures.

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    Scuba Diving Key West: 4 Incredible Dive Sites Not To Miss Out On

    The southernmost part of the continental US Key West is famous for several things, including outstanding diving. A scuba diving Key West trip is on almost every divers agenda due to the phenomenal reefs and wrecks that lie in the waters off Key West.

    With a subtropical climate, gorgeous weather, and lots to do outside of the water no wonder Ernest Hemingway chose to reside in key west. The archipelago is a little bit of paradise tucked away at the southern tip of the US.

    You can visit and dive Key West all year round, although the weather can be more unpredictable in the winter months with choppier seas and wind. The water temperature drops in the winter to 75f/23c, necessitating a thicker wetsuit. During the summer months, conditions are ideal above and below water, with water temperatures hitting a balmy 85f/29c. If you love diving, then you cant go wrong with planning and taking a Scuba Diving Key West trip.

    Looking For Something A Little More Private

    AMAZING Key West SNORKELING Reef!!! | Snorkel in Paradise

    Key Largo Scuba Diving offers exclusive dive packages to accommodate nearly all requests and budgets. Private dive trips, vessel choices, and private scuba instruction are offered year round. If you are in search of that bucket list dive trip contact us to get the planning started.

    You will be assigned a personal scuba instructor that will guide you through whichever dive sites you choose to visit on your adventure in the Florida Keys. In addition to being your personal underwater gps your instructor can also provide different types of instruction or specialty certifications.

    All of our private trips are full service. Complimentary gear valet services and concierge services are offered throughout your stay in Key Largo, Florida.

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    Are You Interested In The Ultimate Wreck Trek Experience

    The ultimate wreck trek trail begins in Miami and ends in Key West, Florida. This encompasses more than 100 nautical miles of open ocean. Most of these waters are within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Theres an estimated 1000 shipwrecks within the sanctuary. The most notable wrecks are right here off the coast of Key Largo, Florida

    Based on your interests we will customize a wreck trek of a lifetime. This scuba diving experience can be completed as part of a private charter or with other dive shops that we partner with.

    We can even provide you with a personal certified scuba instructor to accompany you on the entire scuba adventure. Transportation, gear valet, and concierge services are available for all of our ultimate scuba diving experiences.

    Usns General Hoyt S Vandenberg Wreck

    This wreck is one of the greatest attractions and most famed dive sites of Key West. The Ex-Military Missile Tracking Ship was only sunk in 2009, but signs of marine life and coral structures have quickly made their home in its nooks and crannies. This ship is a massive 524ft , with the honor of being the second largest vessel in the world ever purposely sunk to become an artificial reef. Sitting at depths of 70-100ft , this advanced dive is a must for those planning Key West diving and looking to complete their Florida Keys Wreck Trek.

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    How Is Snorkelling In Key West

    For non-divers, snorkeling in Key West is the perfect way to experience the beauty of the coral reef!

    Key West is an ideal snorkeling location with many readily accessible, sheltered areas featuring plenty of stunning wildlife to see.

    As the waters in most areas are relatively shallow, snorkellers can get a fantastic view of the reef and have a chance to spot larger marine animals such as turtles on the sand or seagrass covered areas.

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