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Over 100 Fantastic Florida Keys Diving Sites Detailed Here
Diving Florida Keys Courtesy of YouTube and a1chilidog
Florida Keys diving is what most often comes to mind when picturing Florida Keys vacations.
Below you'll find links to the different Florida Keys dive sites for the many wrecks and coral reefs that lie offshore.
These dive sites are broken down by Upper Keys, Middle Keys, Lower Keys and Dry Tortugas.
Each area is then broken down into sections for reef diving and wreck diving and includes detailed information on the different scuba diving sites for the areas.
Just some of the diving information I've included are dive site GPS coordinates, dive site descriptions, information as to whether it's good for Florida Keys snorkeling, history of the dive site, and even maps and videos when possible.
With so many amazing dive sites capable of accommodating a variety of diving certifications from novice to technical, you'll easily find superb spots to include on your next Florida Keys vacation.
As anyone knows who's been scuba diving Florida Keys even once, you'll end up with a great diving story and terrific pictures, perhaps even a video.
We'd love to hear about your exciting diving trip, and the incredible fish and other marine life you've encountered on your Florida Keys scuba diving vacation.
If you have a best story, helpful tips or advice to share, please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page. We'd love to hear from you!
Multi-hued Coral and Tropical Fish Blend in a Riot of Color www.noaa.gov, Photo FKNMS
Florida Keys Diving Wrecks and Reefs
There are over 100 great Florida Keys scuba wreck and reef dive sites listed on this website. Some of these sites are also suitable for snorkeling as the waters are shallower.
I've broken up the Florida Keys dives sites for reefs and wrecks by their region and their category. From north to south they are:
Detailed Descriptions For Diving And Snorkeling Florida Keys Reefs And Wrecks
Each reef or wreck site identified on the above pages also indicates the level of diving certification required, along with dive site GPS coordinates and other helpful dive site information.
One helpful diving tip you should get in the habit of following is checking the marine conditions before going out on your Florida Keys dive trip. This link to the National Weather Service marine provides Florida Keys marine forecasts that can make all the difference in how successful your diving vacation is.
The Diving Capital of the World
Of course if you've been to Key Largo diving, or any other part of the Florida Keys, you know why this area is so famous. But for those of you who are new to the area, you may be wondering exactly why Florida Keys diving is so famous? And why is Key Largo called the diving capital of the world?
This is America's only living coral reef structure, and it teems with a wide and exotic assortment of marine life. Scattered along the path of the reef are the remnants of hundreds, perhaps thousands of ships from centuries past, who ran afoul of these shallow, reef infested waters.
Combine the history of the ships that sank to their watery graves, along with the lives and treasures lost. Then factor in the mesmerizing, warm tropical water, and it's easy to picture the allure scuba diving Florida Keys has.
From Space It's Easy to See Why Florida Keys Diving is Spectacular Photo Credit www.nasa.gov
Without question Key Largo diving is considered to be the epicenter of the area. From there, the Florida Keys dive sites stretch south following the length of the Keys, including Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary between Marathon Key and Key West FL and then south and west to the Dry Tortugas National Park.
Since the Florida Keys are extremely dive oriented, anyone coming to the area for the first time or the twentieth, won't have a problem finding a reputable Florida Keys dive shop. They'll be able to provide you with current diving information and accessories. Most dive shops also provide Florida Keys scuba charters so you have the convenience and security of an expert taking you to the dive site.
When Florida Keys scuba diving, please remember that many of the wreck sites are in various stages of decay - so exercise caution.
Also, don't forget to take a good underwater camera so you can record those amazing moments of discovery. Watch for the small fish darting in and out of the nooks and crannies because the big fish are often lurking nearby.
As always, there are standards you need to adhere to when scuba diving Florida Keys. You'll need to remember to display the 'diver down' flag and use mooring buoys to prevent any anchor damage to the sites you're diving.
The living coral that is abundant around you is also protected by Florida Law and must not be disturbed. The same applies for any found artifacts.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Designated by Congress in response to a series of large vessel groundings, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1989.
One of the projects developed was the Shipwreck Trail which has resulted in a tremendous escalation in Florida Keys diving.
They're also tasked with the responsibility of protecting the largest coral barrier reef ecosystem in the United States. Due to the protecting blanket of The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the various fish and marine life including the coral have had a chance to flourish. Over 600 species of Florida fish have been cataloged in these waters alone.
This protection and subsequent escalation of marine life, has helped to make these beautiful waters one of the most sought after regions for diving in the world.
Another magnet for Florida Keys diving aficionados are the wrecks. The number of vessels that have met their untimely demise in these waters are many. Plus there are an increasing number of vessels that have been scuttled to enhance the area's ecosystem.
The amazing diversity of marine life alone is reason enough to spend time in these warm, clear waters. However, the history tied to the wrecks reaching out from their watery graves are the huge drawing card that repeatedly bring divers back.
To be able to touch, see and feel ancient artifacts from centuries ago, reposed in their final resting place, gives even the seasoned diver an unexpected thrill and insightful look into the past.
The mysteries shrouding these sunken ships is enough to pique anyone's interest. If you scuba dive Florida Keys, you may even have an important nugget of history fall into your hands.
While diving Florida Keys in the National Marine Sanctuary, it's important to know that any artifacts discovered are protected, and should not be removed. Instead, make a note of what you've found, along with the co-ordinates and report this to the appropriate authorities at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary authorities. In Key Largo they can be reached at 305-853-0877, and in Key West at 305-809-4700.
This link to a map of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary gives you an overview of the area and includes many of the dive sites we've listed. These are certainly a good representation of what's available when you plan dive trips for your next Florida Keys diving vacation.
Been Diving in Florida Keys? Have a Diving Trip Adventure to Share?
Whether you've been down to the deep sites or poked around in shallow water exploring wrecks grounded on Florida Keys reef, we'd love to hear your tale!
What did you see for Florida Keys fish? What condition was the wreck in? Did you meet a green moray eel or nurse shark?
Use the comment box below to share your dive trip adventures of your Florida Keys diving vacation!
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