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Snorkeling Key West - Snorkeling in Key West

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Although many people opt for Key Largo when it comes to snorkeling, there is still some spectacular snorkeling in Key West. If you are planning a trip to Key West, you should understand that the area is all about nature and relaxation. Few people visit Key West for anything outside the vast and diverse ecosystems of the beach and the surrounding waters.

Snorkeling in Key West is popular because there are many beautiful natural reefs filled with exotic sea life. It also doesn’t require special certification like scuba diving, and in fact, requires very little training at all. If you have never snorkeled before, at most, you will need about 15 or 20 minutes of practicing from the beach before you venture any further. Once you understand how to adjust your mask so that you can tightly seal it while remaining comfortable, you’ve got it made.

You can dunk your head in the water to test whether the mask is sealed properly. After you are assured that it is not leaking, it is time to practice breathing. At first, stay atop the water face down and simply breathe normally through the snorkel. This a good time to also practice moving along by using your flippers. Swimming with flippers should always been done slowly and gracefully, with long kicks using the entire length of your leg. You will discover that it is much easier than it sounds.

Snorkeling in Key West is so fun because the water is never very cold. It is warm in the summer, and in the winter, the most you will need is a light wetsuit. The snorkeling company should provide you with a wetsuit if you need one, but always ask first. If, for some reason, they don’t have a wetsuit, find a different company. There are plenty to choose from. There are also plenty of location in which to go snorkeling. The snorkeling company should be able to take you out in their charter boat wherever you would like to go, but they usually all have their favorite spots with which the crew is most familiar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make requests, but always follow the advice and recommendations of the crew.

Here are some of the top spots for snorkeling in Key West:

  • Key West Marine Park – This is the only good Key West snorkeling available from the shore. It is located on the south side of Key West and is maintained by Reef Relief, a local non-profit organization.
  • Nine Foot Stake – This is a shallow patch reef in water that is only 10 to 25 feet deep. It has some beautiful coral and large concentrations of young ocean life.
  • Sand Key – Sand Key is one of the most popular sites for snorkeling in Key West. It is a small islet with abundant marine life and over ten full miles of coral reefs.
  • Ten-Fathom Ledge – This site is for more advanced snorkelers and divers but it has some of the most unusual coral in the area.
  • Kedge Ledge – Kedge Ledge features beautiful coral amid two giant anchors lost from ships in the 1700s.

You have a choice of several charter companies that specialize in snorkeling in Key West. Many offer other services also, such as fishing, sailing, swimming, and kayaking. Here are some of the most popular:

Delphine Charters
King’s Pointe Marina
5950 Peninsula Ave Slip 613, Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-619-0731

Delphine Charters offers some of the best snorkeling in Key West. For only $69 per person (4 to 6 people), you get four hours of snorkeling and fishing from Western Sambo Ecological Reserve.

Dream Catcher Charters
Ocean Side Marina, Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-745-2114

This company has very nice boats and specializes in snorkeling and dolphin viewing for groups of 6 or less. They are also very affordable.

Sunny Days
Key West Historic Seaport, Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-296-5556

Sunny Days has a large fleet of vessels including a high-speed catamaran that goes out to Dry Tortugas National Park. Half-day snorkeling charters are also available. This company is very professional, and 3-hour snorkeling trips are only $38 for adults and $22 for children. Included is all the gear, free soft drinks, and expert instructors.

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