Snorkeling the Northernmost Keys

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by reef2020 on October 23, 2000

On a great day, the snorkeling here can't be beat anywhere in the Florida Keys. The trip here is longer than what you'll find further south, because Biscayne National Park protects not only the coral reefs, but the bay and islands as well. This means it takes longer to get out to the reef, but it also means the reefs here are much healthier than many places to the south. The longer journey gives you opportunities to spot dolphins, rays and perhaps even a manatee. The actual location of the trip will vary depending on weather conditions, but some of the prime spots are Shark Reef (stop worrying -- they're rare!) and Ball Buoy Reef. Your experience will also be affected by your captain and divemaster. With Lee as your captain, and Nestor as your divemaster, you are sure to have a good time, so request them. The best time for visiting the reef is on calm, clear, sunny days. These happen at anytime of the year, but are most common during the summer months. The last time I was out, I saw a HUGE school of midnight parrotfish, with there black bodies and neon blue facial markings. Look under some of the large coral heads to spot moray eels, lobsters and perhaps even a grouper.

The price of the trip includes mask, fins, snorkel, and safety vest, as well as any instruction you might need. Snorkeling is an easy skill to learn. The toughest part is just remembering that you can indeed breathe when your face is under water!

Protecting the habitat is the main purpose of the park, so don't break, stand on, take or even touch the corals or other animals. They are extremely fragile, and damage can take decades to mend.

Biscayne National Park
9700 SW 328th Street
Homestead, Florida, 33030
(305) 230-1100

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