Key Largo Diving Upper Reef
List and GPS Coordinates
When Key Largo diving, it's rather like hitting the jackpot in terms of being in the middle of this vast Florida Keys diving mecca.
The combination of warm, pristine, often gin clear water, plus a vast variety and abundance of game and tropical fish make exploring the miles and miles of coral reef a thrilling adventure.
The exciting part of scuba diving Key Largo is that there are so many different coral reefs to explore.
Anyone scuba diving Florida Keys on a regular basis will have undoubtedly discovered a favorite, not much heard of, and kept close to the vest dive site.
Often a Key Largo dive shop
will have several such 'secret' Florida Keys dive sites they choose not to share with the 'general public'.
Upper Keys and Key Largo Coral Reefs
That being said, it's physically impossible to list and identify all
the coral reefs in the area for anyone planning a vacation Key Largo scuba diving.
Instead, the most popular
diving sites and Florida Keys snorkeling locations are listed here. Since there are many wonderful places to explore, I've broken the following list down into further detail for you.
The Florida Keys dive sites that are especially worth a more in-depth look are linked to their own separate pages. These pages include a topographical map so you can see water depth, markers, buoys and other important dive features.
For easy reference, I've also highlighted in color the Florida Keys snorkeling information for those who prefer not to go Key Largo diving.
Queen Angelfish are Commonly Seen When Scuba Diving Key Largo
www.noaa.org, Photo Dr. Dwayne Meadows
You'll find that Turtle Reef, White Bank Dry Rocks, Tollgate Rocks, Little Conch Reef, Crocker Reef and Victory Reef are all on one page. When you click on any of their links you can then scroll down to read about that specific reef.
An at-a-glance look of the Key Largo diving sites and Upper Keys dive sites are listed immediately below. They appear in their geographical order from north to south, and when it's appropriate to group them, I've done so.
Keep in mind that GPS coordinates are not always exact. Where the coordinates were taken, and who provided them, can impact their degree of accuracy.
If you treat these Florida Keys GPS coordinates as a general reference and remember there could be a minimal variation or discrepancy, you won't be disappointed. Most likely you'll be well within your Key Largo diving target, if not on top of it.
Carysfort Trench/Wall/Ledge, Carysfort North & Light, S. Carysfort Reef
25 14.91N 080 12.14W - Reef
25 14.91N 080 12.14W - Trench
25 12.482N 080 13.162W - Light
25 08.61N 080 15.44W
Horsehoe Reef, North North Dry Rocks (Double North), North Dry Rocks
25 08.362N 080 17.641W - Horseshoe
25 08.221N 080 17.435W- North North Dry Rocks
25'07.840N and 080'17.660W - North Dry Rocks
Christ of the Abyss (Key Largo Dry Rocks)
25 07.361N 080 17.843W
25 06.639N 08018.241W
25 02.072N 080 20.975W
25 01.54N 080 23.68W
Pickles Reef (Pickle Barrel Reef)
24 59.26N 080 24.84W
24 58.92N 080 25.300W - Snapper Ledge
Flamingo Tongue Snail
Conch Reef and Wall
www.noaa.gov, Photo Paige Gill FKNMS
24 57.38N 080 27.39W
Hen and Chickens Reef
24 56.15N 080 32.84W
24 55.50N 080 30.21W
Cheeca Rocks (Cheeca Gardens)
24 54.13N 080 36.94W
24 51.10N 080 37.10W
The following additional Key Largo dive sites
are listed together by north to south positioning on the Diving Key Largo
Turtle Reef (Turtle Rocks)
25 16.54N 080 12.493W
White Bank Dry Rocks (White Bank Gardens/White Bank North & South
25 02.33N 080 22.28W
Little Conch Reef
24 56.52N 080 28.5W
Crocker Reef (Davey Crocker Reef)
24 54.46N 080 31.66W
24 50.186N 080 43.691W
Florida Keys Sanctuary Preservation Areas
When scuba diving Key Largo, you'll also find that much of the area is protected.
Preserving the fish and other marine life, along with the delicate coral, is vital. Not just for the enjoyment of future generations, but for the overall health and ecological balance of these waters.
Towards that end, in 1997 the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary was
redesignated as a 103 square nautical mile Existing Management Area.
This created 6 Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA's) within the Key Largo Existing Management Area which are dedicated to sustaining important marine life and habitat.
They are Carysfort Reef, Elbow Reef, Christ of the Abyss aka Key Largo Dry Rocks (with it's dive map previewed here), Grecian Reef, French Reef, Molasses Reef.
Christ of the Abyss, Key Largo Dry Rocks
One of the Popular Florida Keys Dive Sites
In the Upper Keys there are 11 SPA's in total. The ones outside the boundary of the Key Largo Existing Management area are Conch Reef, Hen and Chickens Reef, Davis Reef, Cheeca Rocks, and Alligator Reef.
When Key Largo diving you should know that all of the SPA zones have mooring buoys in place to protect the coral reefs from boats dropping anchor and then damaging their fragile structure. Within the SPAs these are the activities that are prohibited:
. Discharging any matter except cooling water or engine exhaust
. Fishing by any means, removing, harvesting, or possessing marine life
. Touching or standing on living or dead coral
. Anchoring on living or dead coral or any attached organism
. Anchoring when a mooring buoy is available
Exceptions to some of the rules are:
. Catch & release by trolling is allowed at Conch Reef & Alligator Reef
. Bait fishing
is allowed in the SPAs
Most of the coral reefs
are also excellent for Florida Keys snorkeling. The reefs are often situated in shallower water, and even those that are further out and deeper will have shallow ledges, and ridges.
Brain Coral at John Pennekamp State Park
US National Archives, Photo credit Flip Schulke
It's important to remember the SPAs golden rule about touching coral when Key Largo diving. It's also important to remember this for self-preservation as coral is very sharp and jagged.
When Florida Keys snorkeling, if you're further from shore and you encounter a bit of current, be especially careful. Often you'll discover that some of the coral heads have towered up close to the surface, or even exceeded the surface when it's low tide and they can cut and scrape you very easily.
When scuba diving Key Largo, or exploring any of the other Upper Keys reefs, every level of diver certification can be accommodated. You'll also find that an extensive variety of dive opportunities presents the need for additional equipment and tools.
Florida Keys Dive Map and Diving Gear
The Key Largo area is one of the world's most popular dive areas for reefs and wrecks. Exploring the wonders beneath the sea is easier and more fun if you have the right gear.
In our Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Store we have a good selection of dive maps like these of Grecian Rocks and Molasses Reef. We also have dive maps for the more frequently dived wrecks in the Upper Keys such as the Spiegel Grove, Bibb, Duane, Benwood and the Eagle.
By clicking on either the following link or Preview Page below, you'll enter our Diving Online Store loaded with a strong selection of products geared towards snorkelers and all levels of divers from novice to technical.
The online store is broken down into a number of categories that include items such as sea scooters, wetsuits, body gloves, tanks, regulators, weights, fins, gloves, DVD's, books, knives, and waterproof items such as cellphone covers, flashlights, and cameras.
Ranging from fun and funky you'll find diver themed products such as diver street signs and cool trailer hitch caps. There's also a broad selection of professional dive patches and log books.
As a trusted affiliate of Amazon.com, I'm able to provide you with a variety of quality products from a respected source, known for it's superior return policy.
Also, if you don't find just what you're looking for at our eStore, you can simply browse around Amazon.com until you do. Enjoy exploring the handpicked selections as you look for dynamite gifts and handy items you'll want for yourself or someone else.
Preparedness is critical for scuba diving Florida Keys. Get what you need, make sure it's in proper working order and then get out and have fun. Florida Keys snorkeling opportunities are absolutely boundless even for the most skilled aficionado. Plus after a day of deep Key Largo diving, you'll find exploring the reefs will be the perfect relaxing end to an adventure packed day.