Islamorada Diving and Snorkeling
The coral reefs, shipwrecks, walls, ledges and tropical fish around Islamorada Florida make it a top destination for water-based activities. Even if you’re not certified for SCUBA diving, you can still experience the underwater world on your Islamorada vacation with a snorkel trip. Colorful coral, sponges, schools of fish and marine animals such as sea turtles and manta rays can be seen relatively close to the surface. Half and full day excursions can be booked from your Islamorada resort.
Islamorada snorkel spots
Alligator Reef is named for the USS Alligator that sunk in 1825 while trying to protect a fleet from pirates. Ballast stones are all that are left from the ship. Snorkelers can try to identify the many species of fish, coral and sponges that populate this beautiful spot. At 136 feet tall, the Alligator Reef Lighthouse marks the area.
Crocker Reef and Wall
Crocker Reef features beautiful coral formations and a small canyon. Crocker Wall slopes slightly from the reef and goes from 40 to about 90 feet. Turtles, barrel sponges and eagle rays have been spotted on this Islamorada travel destination.
The easily navigable Davis Reef is popular with snorkelers, divers and underwater photographers. Water depths range from 10 to 30 feet, and moray eels, turtles, a statue of Buddha and massive schools of fish can be seen.
Hens and Chickens Reef
From above, the coral formations at Hens and Chickens Reef resemble a mother hen with her chicks. Popular for both SCUBA diving and snorkeling, this patch reef contains giant coral heads that create caves and holes that come very close to the water’s surface.
San Pedro Wreck
The San Pedro was part of a Spanish fleet sailing from Cuba. It succumbed to a hurricane in 1733. Bricks from the San Pedro can still be seen in this area, which is known as the San Pedro Archaeological Preserve.
Beginner and advanced Islamorada Florida Keys divers enjoy the V-shaped Victory Reef for its walls, coral, caves and ledges. Sharks, eels and turtles can be seen beneath the 40 to 90 foot depths.
Islamorada diving spots
Intermediate and advanced SCUBA divers will enjoy deeper dives such as the Duane Wreck and the Eagle Wreck. The Duane is a Coast Guard Cutter that sunk in 1987. Standing upright in about 120 feet of water, lower sections are at 110 feet. The Eagle was intentionally sunk to function as an artificial reef. The ship is accessible at 70 feet, and bottom sections are at 110 feet. Giant groupers, tarpon and turtles can be seen. Both of these wrecks feature colorful coral growth and interesting architectural details such as ports, crow’s nests, masts and railings.