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10

DIVING &

SNORKELING

The stunning reefs and intriguing wrecks of the Lower

Florida Keys are the underwater equivalent of Paris’ most

beautiful gardens. Life springs from all directions in this aquatic

playground and whether you prefer to float lazily across the

surface or descend to the sea floor, chances are the ideal trip

awaits you.

The Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area, part of the Florida

Keys National Marine Sanctuary, is widely regarded as one of

the most spectacular reefs in the Florida Keys. Named after the

H.M.S. Looe which sank in 1744, the sanctuary varies in depth

from less than 10 feet to more than 100 feet, making it an ideal

snorkeling and diving site for beginners and experts alike. Looe

Key boasts an impressive array of large star and brain coral, as

well as colorful parrotfish, barracuda, loggerhead turtles and

even the occasional Caribbean reef shark.

To the west of Looe Key lies the wreck of the Adolphus

Busch, Sr., which sank in 110 feet of water in 1998. Despite

its recent arrival, the artificial reef already bursts with marine

life. An oft-seen 350-pound goliath grouper counts itself as one

of the wreck’s first tenants and diving aficionados say life is

developing at an astonishing rate.

Numerous reputable dive shops offer snorkel and scuba trips

for all skill levels. For more information, contact one of the

dive shops listed in our Directory.

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