The 120-mile Florida Keys island chain is home to the continental United States only living-coral barrier reef. This teeming backbone of marine life runs the length of the Keys about five miles offshore and offers Florida Keys scuba diving vacation memories that last a lifetime. Our coral formations are famous for their abundance of fish, from impressive schools of blue-striped grunts to toothy green moray eels. The U.S. government established the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to protect our marine habitat. Preserving the reef is a top priority for a good reason. There is no more versatile marine destination in the world. We have coral-encrusted shipwrecks and intricate natural coral formations. We have shallow reefs for snorkelers, and a range of deeper reefs for experienced divers.
Most dive sites are equipped with convenient mooring buoys to save the reef from anchors and make it easy for boaters to tie off. Most sites are a short boat ride from our islands, where dozens of highly professional dive operators are ready to cater to you.
Once you visit the Keys, you’ll see why some of the some of the most renowned dive photographers and writers in the world make this their home base.
Alligator Reef — Now marked by a 136-foot-tall lighthouse, on this spot in 1822 the USS Alligator grounded and sank while protecting a convoy from pirates. Now all that remains of the wreck are the twin piles of ballast stones, but the coral reef — in just 25 feet of water — is vibrant and alive.