Diving & Snorkeling: Florida Keys

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The Florida Keys have been one of the world’s most popular dive destinations for decades, and one of the sport’s most recognizable icons. If you asked people who have come in the past what word best described the diving here, the top five answers would most likely be: shallow, coral, wrecks, easy and fishy.

All those words certainly apply, but there is much more to diving in the Keys. It’s true that many dives are in the 10 to 50ft (3 to 15m) range, and the snorkeling is great on reefs that are even shallower. However, there are also some excellent dives as deep as 130ft (39m). The coral reefs are definitely the heart of the Keys, but the live coral cover is significantly lower than many Pacific reefs, and about on par with much of the Caribbean. Wrecks abound, from ancient to recent, and the accessibility is incredible.The diving is easy—most of the time. Some sites are subject to very strong currents, and when the wind kicks up, surface conditions can get boisterous. As for fishy, no qualifiers are needed; the Keys may be the fishiest sport diving destination anywhere.

There are certainly more dive sites available in the Florida Keys than are described in this book. However, these sites include the most popular dives and encompass the whole range of available diving.

Reproduced with permission from D & S Bonaire 2, 2006, Lonely Planet Publications.

Note: This text contains standard British spelling.

Published: 15 Jan 2007 | Last Updated: 13 Dec 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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