Key Largo Scuba Diving
Key Largo scuba diving has long been famous for the quality and variety of its underwater world. Key Largo and the rest of the Florida Keys are home to one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse marine ecosystems. With shallow reefs and excellent underwater visibility, it is perfect for both divers and snorkelers.
Key Largo is the first in a string of limestone and coral islands that stretch from the southern tip of Florida 120 (miles 180 km) into the Gulf of Mexico. The importance of the Keys rich underwater ecosystem was recognized as far back as 1960 with the establishment of the first marine park in the United States. John Pennekamp Coral Reefs State Park was just the first of several underwater preserves that cover an area over 2800 square nautical miles.
Scuba Diving Key Largo
Key Largo scuba offers some of the best tropical diving in the world. The reef is about 3-5 miles offshore and runs parallel to the island chain. Because of the location of the reef, most of the diving is from boats.
The reef is made up of spur and groove formations. Towering coral arches and rock formations create a maze of swim throughs, overhangs and underwater canyons. The outer parts of the reef provide shelter for a diverse range of Caribbean marine life.
The inner reef offers shallower depths. This makes a great area for diver training and for novice divers to safely gain experience. The inner reef is also home to many manatees.
Another great thing about Key Largo scuba diving is the many wrecks available for divers to explore. The wrecks offer diving for novice as well as experienced divers. The most recent wreck to grace the waters of Key Largo is the USS Spiegel Grove. The 510 foot Navy transport ship was sunk in 2002. The cost of sinking the ship was over one million dollars. The USS Spiegel Grove is the largest ship to be sunk as an artificial reef. The site of the wreck is located near Dixie Shoals. She sits at a depth of 130 ft (40 meters) and lies on her starboard side.
Setting the Standard
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has set the standard for marine conservation and is one of the reasons Key Largo scuba diving is so popular. Along with the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary there are over 18 protected areas providing cover out to 3 miles (5 km) beyond the reef.
These conservations efforts have helped protect the only living coral reef in the Continental United States. This unique coral reef is home to an abundance of marine life and offers a pristine underwater world that is perfect for snorkeling and diving.
Key Largo Scuba Diving Shops
There are many experienced dive operators in Key Largo. These dive shops offer daily dive trips, equipment sales and service, tanks fills and professional training with recognized certification agencies. Here is a list of just a few of the many shops offering scuba services in Key Largo.
(305) 453-3535 / (800) 984-3483
(305) 451-3446; (800) 516-0110
(305)451-0118; (800) DIVE-USA
(305) 451-3252 / (800) 966-DIVE
Other Essential Information
Key Largo scuba diving conditions are some of the best in the world. Warm, clear waters and a tropical ecosystem make diving possible year round. The water temperature averages 70-84 F (21-29 C).
There is not an airport on Key Largo so the only way to get there is by car. Just follow US1 (the overseas highway) south out of Homestead. You can't miss it.
When you come to Key Largo scuba diving, there are three things you must see.
Due mainly to early conservation efforts, Key Largo scuba diving has one of the most spectacular marine environments on the planet. When people come to scuba dive Florida, Key Largo is at the top of their list of dive spots. From wrecks to reefs, divers of all levels can have a world class adventure when they scuba dive Key Largo.