Because it is home to a national marine sanctuary, Key Largo can be proud of some of the most amazing and spectacular marine scenery and wildlife in the world.
Diving and Snorkelling
Key Largo styles itself as the dive capital of the world, and arguably some of the world’s best tropical dive sites are found there. In front of the shallow reefs of Key Largo Dry Rocks sit one of the most famous, the ‘Christ of the Abyss’ statue, which was placed in the water in 1965. It is eleven feet tall and its base sits twenty-two feet beneath the surface, so it is accessible to snorkelers as well as divers.
This area also offers divers the opportunity to see a large variety of soft corals, most especially so at Molasses Reef. This coral also offers the opportunity to see at first hand the various sea creatures, such as lobsters, turtles, moray eels, and even sharks who make their home or visit here. It is an extensive area with excellent visibility for divers and is closely protected to ensure the coral suffers as little damage as possible.
French Reef is magnificent with its caves, tunnels and ledges too. The caves and tunnels are large enough to swim in or through, and also are home to much sea life.
As well as natural phenomena, there are a number of wrecks in the area which can be accessed and explored.
One of the most famous wrecks is the wreck of the City of Washington which went down in 1917, it now acts as a host to a huge fish population.
The Benwood, an English built wooden ship, sank in 1942, torpedoed by a U boat, and it offers great dive spots. A variety of coral can be found here, and many species of fish. Benwood is especially known for its beautiful nighttime diving because of the bioluminescent creatures found in the area.
Finally, USCG Cutters Duane and Bibb were deliberately sunk in 1987 to serve as artificial reefs. The sites offer advanced level dives and offer experienced divers the opportunity to see the various fish in the Keys and possibly even a couple of varieties of shark.
As well as diving, the Key Largo area offers many fishing opportunities to enthusiasts. Different types are available, and charter companies who arrange all the necessary permits, bait and even gear can be arranged through Key Largo hotels.
One of the most popular of types of fishing here is game fishing, or offshore or deep sea fishing, where there is the chance, in season, to catch tuna, dolphin, marlin, and shark among others.
Reef fishing is also an alternative, offering fishing opportunities around the coral reefs. The waters around the reefs are calm and sheltered and among the catch, you may find grouper, mackerel, snapper and even barracuda among others.
Should you wish to take your catch home, most of the charter companies will offer a fish cleaning and bagging service.
It’s no wonder that Key Largo prides itself on its fishing and diving activities, they really are some of the best in the world. So if you’re an enthusiast, make sure this is your next destination!