Key West Snorkeling at the Coral Reef

Marine life beckons. Key West reef snorkeling is perhaps the best coral reef access in the world. Part of the Southern Florida Archipelago, Key West offers infinite snorkeling opportunities for marine sports aficionados. Just seven miles from the coast, Key West’s offshore environment is filled with an amazing tropical eco-sphere of fish, corals, jellyfish, sea anemones, sponges, crabs, sea turtles, lobsters, manta rays, sharks and other marine life.

Key West’s reefs are comprised of more than one hundred ten species of hard and soft corals, and more than five hundred tropical fish species all co-mingling in a brilliant near shore, underwater world of fantasy. Just dive into the water and become part of the spectacular liquid world of tropical reef interactions. Diving is more than a sport, it is a transcendental experience. Take your stress to the water and dive in. Nothing is more therapeutic than floating amid tropical sea life.

The fact that snorkeling requires no preparation or special training in Key West, makes it a universal fun experience. Sign up for snorkeling lessons or jump in on your own. Snorkeling is an easy foray into diving. If you are seeking snorkeling instruction and require an introduction to underwater submersion, a tour guide from a dive shop or marine equipment rental location can guide you in the process.

Most Key West instructors also offer access to equipment, and provide basic safety training prior to entering the water. Ecological factors such as fragile coral reef impact are increasingly part of the training. Learn about diver and snorkeler footprint before you step on a living organism. Once the sustainability of the reef is clear, you can snorkel and dive responsibly on Southern Florida’s exceptionally dense reef.

The sport of snorkeling is easily done in almost any marine location. Tour guides can point you in the right direction. Most Key West instructors provide a map of locations in the area. New snorkelers should be aware of wave activity. Minimal wave movement is recommended. If a shallow reef is nearby, it is a good place to start. Reefs are generally sea level or 3 feet to 12 feet. Deeper reefs are best saved for diving depending on experience and level of fitness of the snorkeler.

Commercial snorkeling shops typically require safety gear be worn during dives. Supply of inflatable vests and flotation devices ensures that rules to liability are met. Snorkelers and divers signing disclosure of responsibility for risk will note there is an official side to taking the plunge. If you bring your own safety gear, make sure it is regulation quality and air tight.

Many snorkelers and divers spending time on the Keys during the winter months, opt for a wetsuit. Check that the suit fits properly and is the right thickness for the dive. Wetsuits also add bouyancy and protect against scratches that might be sustained in the deep. Be aware of resistance on descent and return to the surface.

Divers interested in underwater photography will love Key West’s colorful abundance. A natural set for documentary photography and underwater video, divers can capture a kaleidoscope of shifting light in the tropical community of the reef. The most extensive coral reefs in the continental U.S., Key West is a location well-recognized for diving the world over.

The fact that more than two million tourists visit the Florida Keys annually, illustrates the popularity of Key West’s coastal waters. Whether you are arrive to dive, fish, snorkel or jet ski, the reef is an unforgettable experience. For some visitors, once in a lifetime access becomes a return trip each holiday season. Diving and snorkeling are unique vacation experiences. Do not miss out on the most exquisite opportunity to commune with the most abundant communities of marine life in the U.S..

Join the many newcomers to Key West’s beaches and learn why snorkelers prefer Southern Florida’s Keys for underwater action. If you are traveling to Southern Florida and desire instruction or an underwater tour, Key West snorkeling specialists can guide the experience. Slip into a mask, and hop in. Key West snorkeling on the reef is the less seen side of Florida's underwater world of natural beauty.