Florida Keys Diving

Florida Keys scuba diving offers some of the best diving to be found not only in Florida, but in the world. Off the Florida Keys, divers can explore the continent's longest living reef and the area waters offer up a series of interesting walls, smaller reefs and shipwrecks where marine life present a magical array of underwater viewing pleasure. You are never too far from a scuba diving Florida Keys adventure no matter where you are staying in the chain of Keys.

A Florida Keys scuba trip offers adventures for all levels of divers. Spots found at Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, the Lower Keys and Key West offer a multitude of sights for scuba diving Florida Keys waters, both shallow and deep, and you can expect to encounter plenty of sea life beneath the surface. You'll find plenty of qualified guides through the wide chain of dive shops in the Keys to help you arrange your Florida Keys scuba trip. It's A Dive, in Key Largo, and Conch Republic Divers, found in Tavernier, are among the most recommended Florida Keys dive shops. Florida Keys scuba diving with dive shops like these will have you visiting some of the top scuba diving Florida Keys sites.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers some of the best Florida Keys scuba diving. This significant State Park, found off of Key Largo, was established in 1963 as the nation's first underwater park. Divers here will enjoy some of the best coral reefs in the country and marvel at the life forms that make their homes around them. Brain coral and sea fans are among the 80 species of coral found here, and 100's of species of tropical fish offer an ever changing flow of colors and shapes. Enjoy the calm, clear waters at Pennekamp and snap a couple photos of creatures like barracudas and sea cucumbers to show off at home. Many Florida Keys scuba trip adventures in the Upper Keys schedule a visit to Molasses reef at Pennekamp, where the varying depths and ledges hide a nice variety of marine life.

Artificial reefs are numerous throughout the Keys and are found at wreck sites where many ships have met their demise. Many of these ships are wrecked on purpose to create these artificial reefs, providing scuba divers with scores of sights to explore. At the same time, they allow for relief of the natural coral reefs. The Spiegel Grove and the Duane are among the top wreck sites visited by divers in the Upper Keys. The Spiegel Grove, at 510 feet long, is one of the largest ships ever intentionally wrecked and holds a number of adventures for both novice and advanced divers. Sunk off of Key Largo in 2002, the Spiegel Grove is already almost a complete marine ecosystem where natural corals continue to attach to the massive structure, and fish both large and small take refuge among its mass.

Southwest of Key Largo along the chain of Keys, a Florida Keys scuba trip at Islamorada provides a number of wrecks, shallow coral reefs and mini walls where divers of all levels can enjoy beautiful Florida Keys scuba diving. Divers in Islamorada can spend days with visits to spots like Alligator Reef, Conch Wall and Crocker Wall. Alligator Reef, named for the USS Alligator that grounded and sank there in 1822, might not boast much of the actual ship's remains, but its coral reef is just 25 feet deep, offering even novice divers the chance to explore the colorful and vibrant life around the site. At 50 feet deep, Crocker Wall is 450 long, and along its declining stretch, grouper and yellowtails can be found amongst the spur and groove coral channels and block wall corals.

Along the Lower Keys, divers will want to make a point to dive at the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, found near Big Pine Key. The 5.5 square miles of protected nautical ecosystem found at Looe Key holds pristine reefs comparable to those found at the Bahamas. At Looe Key's deeper reefs, divers will find almost every type of soft coral and sponge found throughout the entire Keys. At the western Keys outpost of Key West, top notch Florida Keys scuba diving continues, and within a couple miles offshore, dive charters will take you to a host of large and pristine reefs where the converging Gulf and Atlantic make for excellent diving. Sand Key is one of the more popular reef locations off of Key West, and it offers divers of all levels some of the best diving around. Divers at Sand Key can explore over ten miles of coral reefs all found at varying depths. Diving is among the most popular things to do at the Dry Tortugas Islands some 70 miles west of Key West. Getting to the Dry Tortugas involves either a ferry or a seaplane, but the 100 square nautical miles of protected ocean found there holds captivating coral reefs and marine life.

If you are in the Florida Keys for a good stint, you should plan a Florida Keys scuba trip at some point during your stay. The long list of wrecks, walls and reefs make for excellent dives all along the Florida Keys. The variety of marine life found here, the clear waters and the system of natural reefs all combine in the Florida Keys, and if underwater photography is your thing, then the Keys is your perfect base.

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