Key Largo Diving & Snorkeling the Coral Reefs
Key Largo diving spots and snorkeling in and the Florida Keys
Key Largo diving is something you cannot miss if you want to have a complete experience of the Florida Keys. The enjoyment is out endless in the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
You will find a wide variety of marine life from reef sharks, rays, parrot fish, menacing barracuda, to the millions of small schools of tropical fish that live between the coral reefs and the coast.
The most photographed is the Christ of the Abyss , where a statue of Jesus Christ was placed at the bottom of the ocean. The bronze sculpture is nine feet and 4,000 pounds and symbolizes the peace of humanity, located in Key Largo in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
The statue is one of three made by an Italian sculptor Guido Galletti. It was originally made for Egidi Cressi, the diving equipment manufacturer, and later donated to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in 1966.
The original “Il Christo degli Abissi” statue was placed in the Mediterranean Sea off Genoa, Italy, in 1954. In 1961, a second “Christ of the Depths” statue was made from the same mold. The Cressi family of Italy donated the statue to the Underwater Society of America, which in turn donated it to the Florida State Park Service, in recognition of conservation efforts in creating America’s first underwater park. .
The Christ the Redeemer statue is one of the most famous and visited underwater sites on earth, accessible to divers and swimmers alike.
Elbow Reef is a group of reefs that have grown around some very old shipwrecks and It has excellent visibility. The color of the water is light blue since the Gulf Stream passes closer here than other reefs. This reef should be on all diver’s lists! You’ll encounter eels, sharks, angel fish, coral, rays, and sea turtles. Some of the remains of ships found are more than 100 years old and have contributed to the corals taking hold in them, also intensifying marine life.
A ship carrying train wheels sank on the reef and a train wheel, as well as part of the wreckage, can be seen 20 to 30 feet below. The deepest part of the reef is the southern section which is marked by a buoy.
North Dry Rocks popular Key Largo diving spot
Located 5 miles south east of Key Largo, it is one of the most popular snorkeling sites and Key Largo diving spots. A small reef with lots of marine life such as barracuda, grouper, parrot fish and angel fish.
This coral cave takes its name from the thousands of tiny silverfish that frequent the site in great numbers each year. The cave can be difficult to find as it is a tunnel dug into the reef, but once inside it is simply stunning.
The many crevices and passageways in the area created by the limestone ledges are inhabited by barracudas, lobsters, crustaceans, and larger fish such as groupers.
The shallow, clear waters also make this a good spot for scuba divers.
Spiegel Grove, a spectacular Key Largo diving spot
This popular reef is a great Key Largo diving site, where a ship sank on June 10, 2002. It’s so large that it will take divers more than 2 times to explore the entire site.
In May 2002, her planned sinking was unsuccessful. She sank prematurely and landed upside down, with her stern on the sand bottom below 130 feet, while her inverted bow floated like a small island 40 feet high. In July 2005, Hurricane Dennis slammed into the Florida Keys and the water filled the keel. She now stands upright in about 130 feet of water. Her main deck is between 90 feet deep at the bow and 100 feet deep at the stern.
Groupers, snappers, and other predators can often be found in and above the wreck. Corals, anemones, hydroids, and sponges have carpeted the exposed areas. Arrow crabs, shrimp, and sea urchins are abundant. The USS Spiegel Grove has been converted into a spectacular artificial reef. Because bottom currents are unpredictable, the Spiegel Grove is considered an advanced level of diving by most local dive operators.
Located near the southern end of Key Largo Cayo Marino National Marine Sanctuary, it is marked by a 45-foot steel tower. It is a popular site with divers from all over the world who visit the reef every day. Famous for its abundant marine life, such as large schools of horse-eyed cats, yellow mullet, great barracuda, turtles and parrot fish.
USCG Duane Reef
It is one of the most spectacular diving spots in the Florida Keys. The ship was built in 1935 and is located in 120 feet of water, here you can find Nurse Sharks, large schools of barracuda, lemon fish and turtles.
Care must be taken when diving here, it is preferably recommended for advanced divers, since its strong currents large depths make it dangerous for the inexperienced.
It stands upright on the sandy bottom, on clear days its outline can be seen from high above. Decks and rooms have been intentionally left open for divers to explore. Its structure is intact. She is very close to the Gulf Stream.