A Quick Guide to Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys

A Quick Guide to Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys

Are you planning your trip to the Florida Keys? Do you like to explore marine life? Are you seeking the best scuba diving places in the Florida Keys? If yes, then you’re in the right place. The waters of Florida Keys have an unmatched elegance to bestow and a beauty like nowhere else all around the globe. Owing to the crystal-clear waters, underwater surprises, and marine life, this place witnesses’ tourists all-round the year.

So, for those wondering about Where are the Florida Keys Located, here comes a short introduction of its location. The Florida Keys are nothing but a coral cay archipelago that is located on the southern coast of Florida. The Overseas Highway’s 42 bridges link these keys. Apart from housing numerous marine life sanctuaries, stunning coral reefs, shipwrecks, barrier reefs to explore, this place is best known for its scuba diving spots.

It is known as a scuba diving paradise as it offers numerous opportunities to the scuba diver enthusiasts to traverse the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys. Also, divers can find joy in exploring different sites of reefs that add on to the glory of the waters of Florida.

Heading with your friends or family to this blue ocean world may force you to perform some research to land down at the best scuba diving spots in the Florida Keys. But if you don’t have much idea about How Many Islands are in the Florida Keys, then, here are the top diving sites that you can explore to flag your scuba diving goals in the waters of Florida Keys.

Top Scuba Diving Places in the Florida Keys

Key Largo

Key Largo

If you are planning to go out for a shallow reef driving or large shipwreck diving, you can consider visiting this place to calm down the nerves of the holidaymaker in you. Being at Key Largo, one can also take a tour of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This park is highly recognized due to the 3-meter-tall bronze statue of Christ of Abyss that welcomes the divers and snorkelers at a depth of 25 feet. This statue was donated to the Pennekamp park by Egidio Cressi, who is known as a legend in the scuba diving history and had set some scuba diving records.

In the upper keys, molasses reef is one such popular thing that you can explore as a beginner. These reefs are also known as the crown and heart of Key Largo. It is famous for its crystal-clear waters, various fish species, and the beautiful corals that are worth delving within 100 feet of the clear waters of the place. This place boasts about more than 30 diving sites that can be accessed easily by all the diving enthusiasts and can also give you a chance to spot moorings, marine creatures, reef sharks and eagle rays.

If you are a diehard diver and want to experience all the thrills of enjoying best scuba diving in the Florida Keys, then a dive in the US Coast Guard cutters Bibb and Duane and the Spiegel Grove should essentially be there in your list.

There are some luxurious and grand hotels at Key Largo that you can consider staying at to enjoy your holidays in the lap of luxury. On the other hand, if you have a strict budget, you can also opt for budget-friendly hotels that can treat you well on your scuba diving holidays.

Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key

Now, if you are finding the answer to What is the Most Beautiful Beach in the Florida Keys, then Big Pine Key is the answer. Big pine key is also known as a natural key, wherein a visit to Looe Key is a must. Looe Key expands in an area of 5.5 square miles and stands out as an underwater protected ecosystem. In 1744, a frigate sank in this area, and though the wrecks of the same do not exist any longer, it showcases some of the top living reef sites. The corals of the place design an unrivaled oasis in the underwater and are also marked by an array of mooring buoys.

Another place worth visiting is the Adolphus Busch Sr., which is known to be a freighter of approximately 210-foot and is found unscathed in a depth of 100-foot in the blues of this place. For the divers who have a knack for reconnoitering underwater life and wrecks, this place should not be missed at any cost.

For all the wanderlust cravings, you can consider freaking out the best scuba diving in the Florida Keys in the US 1 Dive Center that offers various personalized diving trips. This diving center is hardly a half-an-hour long boat ride from Looe Key, but yes, it is a place worth visiting for all the passionate scuba divers.

Key West

Key West lies towards the southern part of the continent of the US and is known as a snowbird destination. It is also known for the Best scuba diving in the Florida Keys. It witnesses tourists all year long and is well known for its laid-back islands, majestic sunset sightseeing, rich history, and yes, of course, for scuba diving.

Key West

For scuba divers and snorkelers, Sand key islet, situated at a distance of about seven miles in the southwest direction of Key West, is well known for its calm waters. It offers a multitude of options for scuba divers to dive deep down below the blues to enjoy the coral reefs of the place. Marked by a light tower 100-foot in height, sand Key islet stands as one of the most enjoyable scuba diving sites for the globetrotters.

If you want to spot a massive wreck, then moving ahead, you can land at Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, which is an artificially created coral reef and is a shelter for many marine creatures and plants. Another magnificent place to delve into is the Joes tug that is situated at a depth of 65-feet below water and is about 75-feet tall to award an eye-pleasing retreat to all the scuba divers and snorkelers. This place stands apt for beginners and pro divers both and is a magnificent place that will give you all the reasons to click some awesome photographs to take you down the memory lane. The visibility is usually high at this place, and thus you can consider going out for a dive to unearth the unexplored marine life of the Key West waters.

Also, dropping down in the vicinity of Dive Key West Inc. will allow you to enjoy a full day dive advantage in the Florida Keys. This place allows you to take a plunge in the National Marine Sanctuary of the Florida Keys, which houses both inner and outer reefs with a 30 and 45 feet depth, respectively.

The best part about this landscape is that one can show a thumbs up for wreck dives and also get to explore the marine life and waters in the dark. Yes, we are talking about the night water diving facility of this place that can run down some electrifying vibes down your spine. Also, this is the best shopping and party place. Thus, if you are a shopaholic or party animal and thinking, Where should I Stay when Visiting the Florida Keys, then Keys West is the best place for you.


If you are a hard-core scuba diver who is desperate to get scuba diving therapy, then this premier location should definitely be there in your scuba diving itinerary in the Florida Keys. Islamorada, apart from Best scuba diving in the Florida Keys, is also popular as a fishing destination and allows fishing fanatics to have some jolly good time fishing near the shores.


Also, the villages in the nearby vicinities of Islamorada offer some unparalleled diving sites for scuba divers to enjoy some peaceful and grand scuba diving. The best highlight of this place is the Dutch freighter known by the name “The Eagle” that lies 110 feet below the sea waters and is well lit for every diver to be charmed by its beauty and history. Deep-water diving in the submerged waters of the place allows one to fathom the depth of the waters coming across a few rare aquatic species and spotting grunts, silversides, nurse sharks, etc.

Alligator Reef is another place worth expediting and boasts of being one of the most extensive reefs in the upper keys. It houses over 500 species of aquatic life creatures and also has a renowned 136 feet light tower that adds to the glory of the place.

One can also consider probing to the Pickles reef, which has shallow waters and is a great place worth clicking pictures while scuba diving in the Florida Keys. Tropical fishes and marine life are the specialties of this place, and being a snorkeler, we are sure that you are going to have a great time while spending your holidays in the best way.

Islamorada dive center casts out a magical spell for the diving freaks as it offers more than forty diving sites for the wanna-be divers and pro divers to give wings to their diving instincts. Hens and Chicken Reef, Davis Reef, Eagle Wreck, and Crocker Wall are the best focal points of Islamorada and promises you a fantastic experience in its water surroundings.


Marathon is acclaimed as the heart of Florida Keys and witnesses’ excursionists all-round the year who drop in the proximities of this remarkable land and water horizon, which extends to about ten miles in length. For enjoying a family time out in the scuba diving territories, Marathon should top the list as it treasures some of the exotic fishing spots and seafaring traditions that you will enjoy from the bottom of your heart.

Being at this place will never give you a reason to complain as it has a laidback lifestyle that will make you fall in love with this diving destination. Apart from enjoying best scuba diving in the Florida Keys and water thunder activities, you can also laze around sightseeing and unearthing the history behind the olden day wrecks and reefs underwater.

Talking about the pinnacle of this haven, a military ship, known by the name “The Thunderbolt”, stands as a major attraction that narrates the unsung history of this yesteryear ship. This ship is about 188-foot tall and is situated deep below 115-foot of waters and has the might of enticing the divers with its colorful sponge. One can also sight the various large-sized fishes, namely Jacks, Angelfishes, Barracuda, deep in the waters of this pristine water location. You can even capture them and the exotic view, but make sure to have the best scuba camera so that you can relive all these moments in the future with the same essence.

Also, consider paying a visit to the Sombrero reef, which stands as a major attraction in the middle keys and is blazed by a lighthouse 140 foot tall. This marine resort is all praised by divers and snorkelers for the multiple opportunities as it allows the enthusiasts to chase their dreams of scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

Scuba Diving in Marathon

When Should I Visit the Florida Keys?

If you are all set to venture for the Florida Keys but don’t know What is the Best Month to Visit Florida Keys, then the answer lies within you. Many people like to visit during the winter season for the balmy temperature. Also, the Keys invite the thickest crowds in winter. While, on the other hand, some prefers to evidence the flavors of festivals of different months in the Keys. Therefore, there is no such preferable time or month to visit the Florida Keys.

However, the thing that you should consider before visiting the place is What is the Weather Like in the Florida Keys. Although the Keys hold a subtropical climate with warmth even in January, still there is a bit different that might be suitable for different people. Generally, in the midsummer, the heat is stifling and with its cooling down, the peak hurricane season arrives. By the time of August, the crowd gets low with the room rates, but the heat remains the same. In November to mid-December and late April to early June, both the temperature and weather is very soothing in the Florida Keys. The sun is not that blazing during that time and not too crowded as well.

Quick Tips to Consider While Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys

  • Make sure that you enquire about the weather before going out for a dive. If you find out that the weather is highly windy or bestowing poor visibility, it is better that you keep your plans for another day. Make sure you are carrying all the essential scuba diving equipment.
  • You need to know that even a slight touch on the coral polyps by your hands or any other diving staples can damage it and cause hindrance to the lives of the small animals that together constitute the soft and hard corals at the coral reefs. Thus, you have to be very careful while proceeding for a coral reef trip.
  • Practice buoyancy control in advance
  • Harvesting coral is illegal
  • Divers should never feed the fishes in the waters of Florida Keys as this act can destroy the natural feeding routine of the marine creatures.
  • Be well fledged with all the best snorkeling gear and buoyancy control vest for withstanding gear adjustments.


The US is an all-time tourist spot with the Florida Keys Island chain extending up to 120 miles that witnesses backpackers throughout the year. This place houses some of the best coral reefs and marine life that can give you all the good reasons to visit this place once in your lifetime.

So, what are you waiting for? If you imagine yourself meandering in the coasts of Florida Keys, take out your bucket list diary and start planning your trip soon! Florida is waiting for you to discover the undiscovered!