Christ Of The Abyss Statue
The centerpiece of Key Largos circular reef is this sunken statue of Christ.
Though recorded in Scripture as walking on water, this nearly-9-foot tall, bronze Christ is anchored 25 feet beneath the surface. Shrouded in sculpted robes , this Christ stands with his hands outstretched and his gaze turned ever heavenward. His stance evokes a sense of benediction as well as for prayerful petition. The light from the surface cuts through the water to illuminate his face, a common stained-glass depiction of Jesus brought to life in an understated, yet breathtaking, way.
Originally sculpted by the Italian artist Guido Galletti in 1954, the Key Largo Christ is actually the third casting from the original mold.2 A memorial for those lost at sea, the first statue resides in the Mediterranean Sea where Gallettis friend, the first Italian SCUBA diver, Dario Gonzatti, perished.
The second statue is located in Grenada and commemorates the successful rescue of all passengers from the Bianca C. shipwreck.
Known as the Titanic of the Caribbean, the Bianca C. sank in 1961 after an explosion in the boiler room caused the entire ship to catch fire. The residents of St. Georges, awakened by the terrible noise, put together a makeshift fleet of luxury yachts and fishing skiffs to save each of the 672 people on board.3
Scuba Diving Grecian Rocks And The Statue Of Jesus
Not for nothing, but I fell completely in love with both of these dive sites! Like I mentioned before, the statue of Jesus is very impressive.
But to actually see it underwater is out of this world amazing!
Overall, I really loved my whole dive leading to the statue of Jesus. The crystal-clear blue water allows you to become fully mesmerized by the beauty of the coral reef.
Diving here was like floating through an underwater maze full of vibrant colors. I was kept entertained the whole time by the beautiful fish swimming in the reef.
And suddenly, there it was. On a tiered pedestal, and shining bright underwater, the Christ of the Abyss statue accentuates the beauty of it all. To finally see it in front of me gave me an instant sense of awe!
All I could hear was the sound of the bubbles as I breathed, and my own voice in my head repeating the word Wow!
And just like that, it became one of the best travel experiences of my life!
Christ Statue Snorkeling Charter Key Largo
We offer several snorkel tours daily to the shallow water reefs of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Snorkeling is a great fun activity for the whole family. The snorkel boats offer many amenities, just bring your swimsuit, reef-safe sunscreen, and towel! To make your snorkeling trip a memorable one here are a few things you need to know when planning your adventure:
All snorkeling will be in water too deep to stand up in, so everybody entering the water must know how to swim, no exceptions, please! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, on the boat and in the water. To exit the water and to get back on the boat snorkelers must climb up a ladder which may be tricky for people with knee or back problems. We do not recommend these trips to very young children.
This tour is on Schedule Boat 1!
Enjoy a one location snorkel tour on board this vessel that never takes more than 15 passengers. Onboard you will find free reef-safe sunscreen, snacks, and water, a freshwater shower to rinse off the saltwater and a cooler box with ice for your personal snacks and beverages.
Check out some pages and listings you may be interested in:
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Snorkeling Dos & Don’ts In Key Largo
You can access Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park by car, but to reach offshore spots around the island, youll need to come on a charter tour by boat. If you see a destination listed here that you like the look of, ask your charter captain if a visit is part of their normal tour, or if they charge extra to take you there.
Also note that some local snorkel sights have a relatively shallow bottom, so follow proper snorkeling etiquette and keep your feet and flippers as far from the coral as possible. Touching coral, or even the force of a strong kick, can irreparably damage the reef.
The Best Spots For Snorkeling In Key Largo From Wrecks To Reefs
The best spots for snorkeling in Key Largo, from wrecks to reefs
The Florida Keys dangle off the southern coast of the state like a string of pearls floating in Florida Bay, linked together by the Overseas Highway, more formally known as US Rt 1. But thats just the view from the land. Get out onto the water, all part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and youll discover an underwater playground.
The waters of the Keys are home to some 260 species of tropical fish, from toothsome barracuda to a rainbow of wrasses . Throw in some turquoise waters, coral reefs, and plenty of underwater scenery a giant underwater statue of Jesus, anyone? and youve got a great snorkeling destination that rewards beginners and seasoned snorkelers alike.
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Most visitors associate the islands with Key West, the last island in the chain that you can reach by car but Key Largo is the closest major island to the mainland, to the point that it can feel indistinguishable from it. There’s still great snorkeling to be had though here are the best places to mask up and dive in.
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Slow Down For The Scenery At Molasses Reef
Molasses Reef is the most visited reef in the Keys, and a highlight of any snorkeling trip to the islands. The reef, perhaps most famous for its brain coral, is located about 6 miles offshore, and thus attracts a wider variety of bigger marine fauna, including a good number of sea turtles. The drawbacks? As mentioned above, Molasses Reef is popular there are some 32 mooring buoys for snorkeling boats here.
The snorkeling here is also highly weather-dependent, and tour companies will be more cautious coming this far offshore in choppy conditions. Still, if you can find a willing captain and a clear day, this is some of the finest snorkeling in the Lower 48.
Snorkeling At Dry Rocks
After you see the statue, you can also snorkel around the reef area at Dry Rocks.
Its a really pretty area with plenty to see. I really enjoyed seeing huge schools of colorful fish that werent too spooked by my presence.
You might see eagle rays, turtles, barracuda, or whatever else wants to swim by that day. Just keep your eyes peeled.
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Discover The Secret Of Sea Gardens
Okay, we admit that “secret” is an exaggeration, but Sea Gardens is one of the less-visited snorkeling spots off Key Largo, partly because this is a shallow reef area. The reef is also known as Mosquito Bank although thats obviously not quite as appealing as a name! and it lies between Molasses Key and Key Largo. Youll find some fish here, but the big draw is large clusters of soft coral, which bend in the tides like a grove of underwater trees.
Spot The Snappers At Snapper Ledge
Many of the sites described here are good for both snorkeling and diving, and the shallow reef at Snapper Ledge is no exception, with coral from 15ft to 25ft. Get in the water here and youll see how the ledge earned its name there are clouds of Yellowtail Snapper here, coruscating through the currents like a lemon-hued tornado. Also be on the lookout for giant boulder brain coral, nurse sharks, and moray eels, among other impressive marine life. The reef is about 7 nautical miles south of Key Largo.
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Where Is The Christ Of The Abyss Statue Located
The statue is located at an area called Dry Rocks in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
The boat crew will point out where it is when you get there. As you swim in that direction and get close, its easy to spot from the surface because its not too deep the depth is about 25 feet.
Plus, I mean its a statue of Jesus underwater so it kind of stands out.
Christ Of The Abyss: A Heavenly Snorkeling Experience In Key Largo
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place. . .the waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1:9-10
Like the majesty of the night sky, the vast expanse of the sea, teeming with a universe of undiscovered life in the deep, reminds us of how small we really are but also how good it is to be alive!
Part of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the clear, blue waters of Key Largo Dry Rocks are home to the impressive Christ of the Abyss statue, a section of Americas only living coral reef, and an abundance of aquatic life.1
And whats not to love about that?
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Break Out With A Boat Tour At Pennekamp
You cant swim out to the coral at Pennekamp, but the park operates 2.5-hour boat tours that get you out onto the reefs . These tours can be crowded, but again, theyre a good option for beginners, partly because you can hire park staff members as snorkeling guides . You’ll see a wide variety of sea life some of the more iconic species spotted include parrotfish and spiny Caribbean lobsters.
Faq For Snorkeling To The Christ Of The Abyss Statue
Can you swim to the Christ of the Abyss statue?
No, you need a boat to visit the statue. Taking a snorkel tour is your best bet to see it.
How much does a tour cost?
I took a tour with Pirates Cove Watersports and it cost $55USD plus tax.
How long does it take?
The entire snorkel tour is 3.5-4 hours long.
What skill level is required?
- I like to have an Energy Gel for after snorkeling too
Theres a dry box on board where you can leave your bag while you snorkel.
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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Know Before You Go
The playground is temporarily closed for repairs. Please enjoy the beaches, nature walks and other park amenities while the work is under way.
Nature Trail Closure
The Mangrove Nature Trail is closed while repairs are being made to the boardwalk, but you can enjoy a view on the new bridge. We thank you for your patience while we work to improve your park experience.
8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year
Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway Key Largo FL 33037
Limitations Of The Snorkeling Tours
Its worth adding a reminder that its an outdoor adventure and Mother Nature doesnt operate according to any travel itineraries.
The weather has its own program.
Its possible that during your visit, the tours arent running to this specific location because of the conditions or visibility.
Your best bet is to tell the boat crew that youd like to see it when you book so they can make a note of requests, then hope for the best with the weather.
If it doesnt work out, its not the crews fault. Theyre making the best decision to keep you safe based on the conditions out there.
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You Can Snorkel With Jesus In The Florida Keys This Easter
Theres at least one day a year youre sure to find devout Christians and the nominally religious in the same place: Easter Sunday. But traditionally, that call to worship takes place in a church.
For a Resurrection Day celebration where the required attire is a bathing suit rather than your Sunday best, you can snorkel with Jesus in the Florida Keys this Easter.
Submerged about 25 feet in the sea in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the 4,000-pound Christ of the Deep sometimes called Christ of the Abyss is a bronze statue by Italian sculptor Guido Galletti. The underwater effigy depicts a pacific Jesus, robed and barnacled, with arms outstretched and gaze raised to the light above. Christ of the Deep was the third iteration made from the artists original cast the other copies are in Italy and Grenada.
Pennekamp as the locals abbreviate it is located in Key Largo, the northernmost island of the Florida Keys.
Its a piece of domestic paradise that has earned a reputation as the diving capital of the world: The mild, clear waters provide consistently good visibility to the coral reefs below. Snorkelers and scuba divers can explore above and around Christ of the Deep, who stands nearly 9 feet in height, surrounded by gardens of coral and teeming sea life.
To get there, boatless visitors can book one of the many dive and snorkel tours that make daily trips to the reef.
Key Largo Snorkeling: Best Spots To Pick From
If you want to go Key Largo snorkeling, you need to get on a boat. Two locations are starting points for boat tours: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo beaches. The best snorkeling locations are around or near the barrier reef. Although it is neither free nor particularly good, the state park is the sole option for shore snorkeling in the vicinity. Snorkeling in Key Largo is significantly better than in the Key West area. However, there are often more outstanding snorkeling opportunities in the keys between Key Largo and Key West, which we refer to as the Middle Keys.
Regardless, this article will assist you in making the most of your Key Largo snorkeling. Read recommendations on picking a boat tour and learn about the areas healthiest, greatest snorkeling reefs.
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What To Expect On Your Christ Of The Abyss Snorkel Tour
Its funny because when I had asked some locals about it, they had said its a bit overrated and not that cool to see. I guess if youve seen it a bunch of times it gets that way.
For me, Ive snorkeled all around the world but Ive never seen a statue of Jesus while snorkeling so it was something different for me. I love to see new things while Im traveling, its part of the fun.
In my opinion, its unique and iconic for Key Largo so well worth trying to see while youre there.
I really liked seeing it because it was so different to anything Id seen in the water. Theres something mystical about it being there with the arms wide open, especially if the light is coming in from above it.
I also like the adventure of swimming in the direction of it and waiting for the moment where I get close and its finally revealed.
You can expect to see the statue covered in fire coral and sea decorations. I dont recommend touching it for that reason.
Its one of the most popular spots in Key Largo, so you can expect to be sharing the moment with other tourists.
The only thing I didnt appreciate about the tour was having to wear a life jacket while snorkeling. I am a confident swimmer and the life jacket was more annoying than anything. It wouldve been nice if that was optional for those who prefer it.
Other than that, it was an awesome tour and full credit to the crew who created such a fun atmosphere for us guests.
John Pennekamp Snorkeling Coral Reef State Park
This massive underwater park is the most popular snorkeling destination in Key Largo, and its stunning for reasons other than its underwater life. There are several lovely beaches to visit and numerous walking trails through mangroves and lush flora. This is the only snorkeling location in the snorkeling key largo, but dont expect to see many corals here. There will be fish, seagrass, and a shipwreck to explore, but this location lacks the diversity and abundance of marine life found on offshore reefs.
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Christ Of The Abyss: Do We Get To See It
Sometimes, but it isnt guaranteed!
The underwater christ statue in Key Largo is a favorite bucket list item for many, and we wish we could guarantee it as a reef stopbut we cant. It sits on the outside of our protective reef line, which means when the wind is blowing, sea conditions can be rough and even dangerous at times.
Other factors play into our decision to go, too, such as currents, jellyfish blooms in the area, and overall traffic.
Our priority is your safety and enjoyment. Your captain will let you know if stars align and we can go see the statue that day.
Where To Stay In Key Largo
I recommend staying at the Reefhouse Resort and Marina when you visit Key Largo.
This is where I stayed during my visit and it was simply fantastic. From the amenities, to activities, to value for money, it was all top knotch and I would absolutely stay there again.
Best of all, its super convenient for taking the snorkeling tours because Pirates Cove Watersports is located on the resort grounds. You can easily stroll over for your tour and charge it to your room.
Heres my full review for the resort if youd like more details.
If you prefer to stay somewhere else, I recommend searching Booking.com. This is what I use to book accommodation when I travel and how I booked this trip. I can always find a good deal there.
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