Scuba diving in Marathon
Marathon, also known as "The Heart of the Keys", is on
the mid-point of Florida Keys' chain of islands.
diving sites suit all levels of expertise. Its marvelous
wrecks, drop offs and reef sites such as Sombrero Reef and
Looe Key are home to plenty of aqua life like lobsters,
stingrays, nurse sharks and the magnificent 7000 years old
soft corals. Most dive sites are just minutes away from
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with
centers for safety, additional information, level required
for each dive site and without being accompanied by a
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 25° C
(70°F and 78°F)
Visibility often averaging: Visibility is between 100 feet
Coldest time: January
Warmest time: July
Possible to dive all year round.
Marathon is one of the most famous diving destinations. It
has the largest live coral reef system in the Florida Keys.
Marathon dive sites vary from deep and shallow reefs to
artificial and historical wrecks. A good number of the dive
sites are only minuets off shore and they are home to plenty
of beautiful tropical sea life like schools of silversides,
barracuda, Spanish and spiny lobster as well as angelfish,
moray eels, jacks and nurse shark. You will have the chance
to see many kinds of corals growing in the area with its
beautiful colors like brain, elkhorn, staghorn and fire
Some of Marathon dive sites.
Adolphus Busch is an artificial dive site. A ship was
deliberately sunk in the area to form this artificial reef
at a depth of 85 - 110 feet (26 - 34 meters). The ship is in
great condition, intact and upright. Its holes are easy to
swim through and this site is great to observe sea life such
Coffins Patch is a series of reefs named after a ship that
sank carrying a cargo of coffins in this area. It is at a
depth ranging from 10 to 25 feet (3 to 8 meters). The reef
is home to some rare pillar coral and other coral species.
Vast amounts of sea life inhabit the reef like schools of
French grunts and mutton snapper as well as Spanish lobster
and spiny lobster. Angelfish are also spotted in this
location. You will find some of the largest brain coral that
can be seen in the Keys.
Delta Shoals is an excellent site for both snorkeling and
scuba diving. It is at 10 - 25 feet (3 - 8 meters) deep. You
can find many sunken ships on this reef. The reef offers a
great opportunity to divers to see many kinds of corals like
elkhorn, brain, and star coral heads. Many aqua life kinds
found home on this site such as spiny lobster, grunts, moray
eels, jacks and nurse sharks.
HMS Looe is a good snorkeling area marked by mooring buoys.
It is one of the most recommended dive sites. The reef is at
depth range from 20 to 25 feet (6 to 8 meters). A British
man of war called HMS Looe sank in this area at 1744 forming
this beautiful reef. Not much of the wreck can be seen now
but it is still a great site for beginner divers. Many kinds
of corals have grown on the wreck. The reef makes a good
home to great numbers of spiny lobsters.
Looe Key Reef is at a depth of 15 to 105 feet (5 to 32
meters). It is a great area for photography by its large
overhangs. The site is marked by 70 mooring buoys and is
home to large populations of spiny lobsters, barracuda and
jacks. Looe Key Reef is famous for its 7000 years old
Sombrero Reef is a great site for snorkelers and divers of
all levels too. It is one of the largest and most
magnificent coral reefs in the area, home to the most
beautiful and varied corals in the Middle Keys. Gorgonians,
brain, finger and lettuce corals can be seen as you dive
deep. Schools of colorful tropical fish are also seen here
such as southern stingrays, large barracuda and nurse
Thunderbolt is an advanced dive site at depth ranging from
85 to 120 feet (26 to 37 meters). A ship called Thunderbolt
sank in this area and to date it's intact and easy to
explore. It became home to a variety of encrusting sponges,
hydroid and soft corals. Groups of silversides inhabit the
area. The wreck provides refuge to many kinds of sea life
such as large angelfish, jacks and barracuda.
Duck Key Wreck is also called the Boiler Patch. The wreck
lays at 25 feet (8meters) deep. It is home to many sea
creatures and many kinds of coral heads.