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diving in key largo, florida

Key Largo Diving

USA Key Largo dive guide
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Scuba diving in Key Largo

Key Largo is considered the diving capital of the world. It is the northern island of Florida Keys islands chain. Key Largo is famous for having the largest artificial reef in the world, the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove. Beside artificial reefs it offers both shallow reefs and deep wrecks diving, which attracts divers and adventure seekers. Key Largo's magnificent coral reefs are not far from the shore, which makes it easy to enjoy the beauty of its underwater life including jawfish, black grouper, barracuda, morays, nurse sharks and many more.

Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with Key Largo dive centers for safety, additional information, level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.

Average annual temperature: Between 26°C and 30°C. (77° F and 86° F)
Average Water surface temperature: Between 21° C and 30° C (70°F and 86°F)
Visibility often averaging: Visibility is between 40 and 100 feet (12 to 30 meters)
Coldest time: February
Warmest time: July
Possible to dive all year round.

The diversity of Key Largo's dive sites is what makes it a unique diving destination. Key Largo has more than 100 beautiful dive sites that attract divers of all diving skills. Key Largo's shallow reefs allow beginners to observe underwater life and give them the chance to study the abundance of Caribbean species. For advanced divers Key Largo diving offers deep wrecks diving with depth ranging from 60 to 140 feet (18 to 43 meters). Underwater visibility here is outstanding in the Florida Keys and it is great for underwater photography.

Some of Key Largo dive sites are:

Benwood Wreck was a 285-foot (87 meters) ship sank in the year 1942. Now its remains lies in 30 - 55 feet (9 - 17 meters) of water. This dive site is great for night dives. It became home to abundant sea life like goatfish, grunts, moray eels and glassy sweepers as well as snapper, lobster, grouper and hogfish. Also many kinds of corals grew in this area including brain and fire coral.

Carysfort Lighthouse is a site for snorkeling. A 112 foot (34 meters) tall lighthouse forms this reef. It is surrounded by 13 mooring buoys all marking beautiful dive spots. The coral structure here is well developed and you will enjoy seeing beautiful elkhorn, staghorn, brain, and sheet corals growing.

Christ of the Abyss is a bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ at a depth of 25 - 60 feet (8 - 18 meters). The Underwater Society of America donated the statue to the Florida State Park Service to form this beautiful reef. This shallow dive site is favorable by both divers and snorkelers as well. Large spotted eagle rays and southern stingrays inhabit the area and beautiful structures of groove and brain corals form the reef.

City of Washington is a 20 - 25 feet (6 - 8 meters) deep site. It is one of the most popular dive spots on Elbow Reef. This wreck is a great spot for snorkeling and night dives. You may spot many kinds of tropical fish including many parrotfish, grunts, snappers, barracuda, morays, and nurse shark hang out in the area.

Elbow Reef is a beautiful reef that grew around some old shipwrecks. Some of these wrecks are under the water for over 100 years. It is 20 - 55 feet (6 - 17 meters) deep and home to large amounts of sea creatures like beautiful elkhorn, schools of snapper, porkfish, goatfish, angelfish, and butterfly fish.

French Reef is the most spectacular reef in Key Largo area with dozens of ledges, tunnels, and caves. It is located on the northeast of Molasses Reef limestone. French reef's tunnels and caves are home to many kinds of corals, yellowtails, porkfish, moray eels, cooper sweepers and grunts. This reef is a great spot for underwater photography; you may want to take an underwater light with you to explore its beautiful structure. Depths range from 15 - 100 feet (5 - 30 meters).

Grecian Rocks is a popular reef for snorkeling. It is 3/4 of a mile south-southwest of the Christ of the Deep and it is in 10 - 25 feet (3 - 8 meters) of water. Mooring Buoys outline the snorkeling area in the shape of "G". You can see large amounts of tropical fish and elkhorn corals as well as queen conch seen on the white sand plateau that forms the reef.

Mike's Wreck is a sunken ship now resting on Elbow Reef. It is a great spot for underwater photography. The visibility in the area is very good and you can see abundant sea life. Beautiful elkhorn, brain and star coral as well as sea fans grow in the area and you will see parrotfish, jacks, filefish, grunts, and barracuda. Sometimes you will see rays, nurse sharks, morays, lobster and sea turtles. Mike's Wreck is 20 - 25 feet (6 - 8 meters) deep.

Molasses Reef is a complex reef with the depth ranging from 15 to 40 feet (5 to 12 meters). The reef attracts divers with its hard and soft corals formations. The current in Molasses Reef makes it a great spot for drift diving. The drop off rang in the reef starts from 50 to 60 (15 to 18 meters) and can extend to the 70-100 (21 to 30 meters) foot range. Some of Molasses Reef famous spots are Spanish Anchor Winch Hole, Fire Coral Caves and Hole in the Wall. The reef's caves are home to massive brain coral, star coral, and other large barrier corals as well as lobsters, crabs, moray eels, parrot fish, turtles and sometimes nurse sharks

Spiegel Grove is a sunken ship, now part of Key Largo's artificial reef program, at a depth of 80 - 130 feet (24 - 40 meters). Algae, sponges and coral and more than 130 species of fish including goliath grouper, barracuda, large jacks, and a large colony of gobies inhabit the area. You may use multi-level diving techniques to explore this massive vessel.

Turtle Reef, also know as Turtle Rocks, is on the northern edge of the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. It is at a depth of 20 - 25 feet (6 - 8 meters). Most of Key Largo's underwater creatures are seen here including eagle rays, plenty of nurse sharks, and moray. This site is good for shallow diving and visibility is usually great.
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