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 Go Key Largo Snorkeling At North Dry Rocks, Double North, And Horseshoe Reef

Snorkeling and diving Key Largo at the North Dry Rocks (NDR) area is very popular because it combines a variety of options.

First, at Double North you benefit from being on a super shallow reef where you'll find some of the best snorkeling Florida Keys has.

The colorful fish and coral are plentiful, and some of the coral is absolutely massive in size.

This is a more relaxing Key Largo diving area and it's also known as a place for spectacular underwater photography.

Part of the reason this reef is a popular underwater photography site is that it's home to an exceptionally large number of angelfish and other stunning tropical fish.

If your dive trip takes you just a bit further south to North Dry Rocks, you'll discover one of the most incredible experiences a diver can enjoy.

The popular Minnow Cave is alive with thousands of darting silver glass minnows that swim around, completely engulfing you.

If your diving trip takes you a bit north and west, or from Double Rocks, basically due west, you'll come to Horseshoe Reef. Aptly named, this reef is a long stretch of coral with a "U" shaped hole in it.

This reef is also close to shore so it's a good stopping off point on the way back if you've been diving and snorkeling the other reefs in this grouping.

Since Horseshoe Reef is close to shore, the penalty is usually the visibility which can be somewhat poorer than further out. However, it's still a good Florida Keys snorkeling site as the coral and tropical fish are impressively abundant at this healthy reef.

Horseshoe, Double North and North Dry Rocks Map

Double North, NDR, and Horseshoe Reef Map
Courtesy of http://floridakeys.noaa.gov






At-A-Glance Reef Diving Description
And GPS Coordinates

Name
Horseshoe Reef
Location
4 miles southeast of Vaca Cut, 5 miles southeast of Key Largo
GPS Co-ordinates
25 08.362N 080 17.641W
Markers
1 mooring buoy at northeast corner with another just southeast of that
Level
Novice. Primarily a snorkel site
Depth
5 - 25'
Visibility
Varies. If inward Gulf Stream is present visibility can be quite good
Dive Site Description
The shallow reef is U-shaped giving the reef it's name. There are east - west sandy ledges where marine life congregate. An old anchor along with occasional pieces of pumice can be found
Snorkel Site
Excellent snorkel site when visibility is good

Marine Life
Star and elkhorn coral mostly at the northeast end, sea turtle, jack, snapper, octopus, nurse sharks, numerous tropical fish





Name
North North Dry Rocks (Double North)
Location
Directly east of Horsehoe Reef and north of NDR Reef
GPS Co-ordinates
25 08.221N 080 17.435W
Markers
3 mooring buoys
Level
Novice - Intermediate
Depth
25 - 30'
Visibility
Good
Dive Site Description
One of the more beautiful Key Largo diving sites with good spur and coral formation on this ridge, colorful coral, and numerous tropical fish
Snorkel Site
Good snorkel site at lower tide

Marine Life
Stony and gorgonian coral, large coral heads, elephant ear sponges, angelfish, yellowtails, shrimp, vast variety of other tropical and game fish





Name
North Dry Rocks (NDR)
Location
5 miles southeast of Key Largo
GPS Co-ordinates
25'07.840N and 080'17.660W
Markers
N1 - N3
Level
Novice
Depth
1 0 - 35'
Visibility
Good
Dive Site Description
Home of the popular "L" shaped Minnow Cave, divers can enter and then be surrounded by thousands of silver glass minnows. Grouper, snapper and other fish frequent the cave to feed on the minnows. Exceptional underwater photography site
Snorkel Site
Good snorkeling reef

Marine Life
Numerous tropical fish, game fish, barracuda, spiny lobsters, shrimp, nurse shark, eel, colorful varieties of fan and finger and other coral





The North Dry Rocks area is a good place to plan a diving trip, even if it's just to wind down after exploring the nearby wrecks. It's also relatively close to Elbow Reef and Christ of the Abyss so you have the opportunity to enjoy a very full day of Key Largo diving or Florida Keys snorkeling.










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Local Weather Zip Codes

Key Largo - 33037
Marathon - 33050
Key West - 33040




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