Shipwrecks, statues and sting rays… Holiday Genie introduce us to some of the best diving sites in the famous archipelago south of Miami.

For a truly unforgettable experience head off on your holidays to Florida Keys. Discover an underwater world that will leave you lost for words, totally mesmerised and wanting to explore so much more.

The Florida Keys is an island chain of 120 miles and is home to the only living coral barrier reef in continental United States. The reef runs the length of the Keys and is positioned approximately five miles from shore. Under the sea it is swarming with marine life, coral reef and shipwrecks to observe – and is understandably a favourite subject for renowned dive photographers and writers.

Preservation of this beautiful and unique underwater world is so important that the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established, and it is their job to protect the area in and surrounding the Florida Keys. This area consists of 2,900 square nautical miles of water, and includes 6,000 species of marine life, mango-fringed islands, sea-grass beds and shipwrecks. As long as the Sanctuary’s rules and regulations are followed they are happy for visitors to discover the wonderful opportunities on offer such as snorkelling, world class diving and fishing. Please check their website before you visit the area to familiarise yourself with their regulations and what activities are prohibited.

As there is so much to see in the Florida Keys, it can be a bit daunting as to where to start your dive. Key Largo is a good place to begin so let’s explore some of its underwater treasures…

Statue of Christ of the Abyss

A magnificent sight, in just 25-feet of water it’s a great dive for snorkelers to enjoy. The famous 8 1/2 foot bronze statue stands proud nestled in amongst the coral formations of Dry Rocks reef.

Underwater worship. Photo credit Florida Memory.

Spiegel Grove

This impressive 510 foot ship was decommissioned late in the late eighties and then sunk in 2002. It is a dive for the more experienced and due to its size will take more than one dive to unearth all of its wonder.

Molasses Reef

One of the most beautiful and popular collections of reefs in the Keys. It is a perfect mixture of incredible reef and marine life with diving depths ranging from 10-70 feet. There is plenty for both snorkelers and experienced divers to discover here and visibility is usually excellent.

Marine life at Molasses Reef. Photo credit Wikipedia

Elbow Reef (AKA The Elbow)

Stunning reefs have latched onto the ship wrecks, some of which are 100 years old to make an impressive dive. Due to its location, not far from the Gulf Stream, the water here is usually clear blue. You will also encounter many moray eels and barracuda.

The Florida Keys amazing underwater world is just waiting for you to discover it on your next visit to Florida.

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