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An Information Guide  to Activities, Attractions, and Family Friendly Accommodations in the Florida Keys

Kids Snorkeling the Florida Keys



 


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SNORKELING FOR KIDS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Viewing the reef is one of the main reasons visitors come to the Keys, and with proper supervision snorkeling and SNUBA are safe ways for children to view this underwater paradise. If you children love the water and are comfortable in it they should be able to snorkel with a little basic instruction. Make sure you have provided the right equipment for them such as a mask that fits well and an opportunity to get comfortable with the concept of breathing through a tube by practicing in a pool prior to your snorkeling adventure. Also see SNUBA and Hooka Diving below.

Many of the providers listed below are located in Key Largo, home of world famous John Pennykamp Coral Reef State Park . Excellent snorkeling is also available in the Middle and Lower Keys. Tour operators in the Duck Key and Marathon areas provides trips to Coffins Patch or Sombrero Reef. Operators in the Big Pine and the Lower Keys either go to Looe Key or other favorite snorkeling areas.

Make reservations ahead of time and reshedule if conditions aren't good for children. Usually a good tour operator will cancel a tour or advise you if the water is too rough or visibility isn't good.

Several of the larger tour operators with large roomy boats or unique providers are listed below:

 

PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE FROM DATE OF THIS LISTING

. The SNORKEL CENTER at Hawks Cay Resort - MM 61 - The Snorkel Center on Duck Key is the island headquarters for Snorkeling. Located at the Hawk's Cay marina docks, the Snorkel Center is less than a two minute walk from resort rooms at the Hawk's Cay Inn and villas at Hawk's Cay Village and about a fifteen minute drive from Islamorada or Marathon. For reservations and information, contact (305) 743-9000 or snorkeling@hawkscay.com for mom, dad and the kids.

Tropical Reef Snorkel Trip - The Snorkel Center goes to Coffin's Patch Reef in the early afternoon - $30 per person includes equipment and beverage on the"Osprey" . The Snorkel Center also provides Snorkeling lessons for kids on site for patrons of the Resort.  

. SCUBA RANGER PROGRAM offered at TILDEN'S SCUBA CENTER - Certified scuba instructors and the Scuba Ranger Program are available for kids 8 to 12 at the Tilden Dive Center. Basic water safety techniques, swimming and snorkeling skills, scuba skills . They learn through fun and games

For general information on the national scuba Ranger Program visit http://www.tildensscubacenter.com/scuba-rangers/

http://www.tildensscubacenter.com

. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - MM 102.5

Entrance fee for car $4 and 50 cents a person.

Snorkel Boat - The snorkel concession at John Pennecamp offer 3 snorkel tours a day. The trip which lasts about 2 1/2 hours and provides 1 1/2 hours of water time costs $20 for children under 18 years of age. Adults are charged $25. Rental of mask, fins, and souvenir snorkel costs another $5. 305-451-1621

Sail and Snorkel - Two trips a day which includes a sail on a 38 foot catamaran out to the snorkel area and 1 1/2 hour water time costs $32 for adults and $27 for children under 18. Rental of mask, fins, and souvenir snorkel costs another $5. 305-451-1621

 . Strike Zone Charters - Big Pine - MM 29.5

Snorkeling is just one of several activities Strike Zone provides for children. Strike Zone uses a large catamaran with glass bottom to take patrons touring the back country . Visitors experience the Keys history, see an assortment of aquatic birds and marine life, fish a bit, snorkel over a coral reef, and enjoy Strike Zones fish cook-out on a private island. $45 pp. for 5 and 1/2 hour tour. 800-654-9560 or 305-872-9863

 . Capt. Anne Baxter - Adventure Tours - MM 81.5 at WideWorld Sportsman. Islamorada, 305-852-4553

Easy Adventures offers private snorkeling charters for families and groups up to 6. Snorkeling sites are shallow,  sometimes only 2 feet, ideal for beginners. Cheeca Rocks is a nearshore patch reef with 7 foot tall coral formations in 10-12 foot depth, the tops of the corals in many places only 3 foot deep. Alligator Lighthouse is an offshore bank-barrier reef with 3 foot depth in the shallowest portion. More advanced snorkelers can try their luck at catching a lobster. Lessons and equipment provided, free. For more information, click on Easy Adventures - Adventure tours for the kids and family, specialty tours, Indian key ruins, Everglades, ocean reefs, photography, wildlife identification, learn ecology and science while in search of dolphin, reddish egrets, bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and sea turtles. half day or full day of exploring the waters of the Florida Keys, remote shallow bays and narrow creeks where tropical wildlife lives.

For more information click on Easy Adventures at www.keysboats.com

. Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Hooka Diving - MM 54

Snorkel or try "Hooka Diving" with Captain Donna Browning, which requires no scuba certification, but enables youngsters to duck under the surface and see the reef and fish really close up. Hooka diving is a lot less expensive than scuba diving and is a great way for kids and beginners to experience the thrill of diving. 305-289-9933 or cell phone 305-393-9919, leaves from Rainbow Bend on Grassy Key.

 . Sharky's Snorkel and Dive Trips - MM 100

Holiday Inn Marina at Key Largo - High speed catamaran travels to shallow reefs of John Pennycamp for snorkeling three trips a day. 1-800-935-3483 or 305-451-5533. About $25 for adults and $19 for children. Snorkel gear $5 extra. A non- diving parent may go along for the ride for $15.

. Snuba Tours of Key Largo - Key largo

The SNUBA ® Adventure - Half-day Snuba/Snorkel. SNUBA ® gear, and underwater guide, Orientation and SNUBA ® diving on a guided tour of the marine environment of coral reefs of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park   - $75 per person -

Pool Lesson - one hour lesson in pool before diving, gear included - $45 per person

(305) 451-6391, E-Mail: snuba@pennekamp.com

SNUBA ® Locations - Silent World Dive Center, Key Largo, MM103.2 Bayside, (305) 451-3252 or (800) 966-3483
SNUBA ® is an exciting shallow water diving system - bridging the gap between snorkeling and scuba diving. Enjoy breathing underwater with SNUBA ®

 

. Spirit Snorkeling Catamaran - MM 47.5

Next to Porky's Bayside Restaurant in Marathon Spirit Snorkeling travels twice daily to Sombrero Reef Marine Santuary and Lighthouse on a power catamaran. Spirit takes no scuba divers and goes to only shallow water snorkeling locations. Trip includes equipment and floats and costs $26. First timers and families welcome. Free snorkeling instruction. Kids can float on toys or snorkel or watch if they choose. 305-289-0614.

. Quicksilver Catamaran - MM 100

Sailing and snorkeling combined at John Pennycamp Park on a 50 foot catamaran. Twice daily, AM trip has one stop for snorkeling $22, PM trip starts at 12:30 and includes two stops and two hours of snorkeling $30. Family rates available, Special summer rates, Holiday Inn Docks, Key Largo 305-451-0105.

 

. Key Divers - MM 100 Office located next to Wendy's, Boat at Marina del Mar Resort

Offers 3 Snorkeling tours - 9 AM in Morning for price $24, 1 stop and 1hour water time, Afternoon Tour begins 12:15, $32, 3 stops and over 2 hours water time
and Sunset trip departs at 5:30 PM, $24, 1 stop, 1 hour of water time
305-451-1177for reservation or purchase tickets dockside

. SunDiver Snorkeling - MM 103 - SunDiver Station is red building and located Bayside

Ask about family rates, feel safe and comfortable while snorkeling at Pennekamp State Park's shallow-water reefs, 3 trips daily. No Scuba allowed to assure so that crew may devote attention to snorkelers. 1-800-654-7369, 305-451-2220

 

It's A Dive - Key Largo - MM 103, 103800 Overseas Highway, 305-453-9881 or 800-809-9881 snorkel and dive trips, equipment rentals, rental boats, parasailing, eco-tours and more

 

Captain Hook's Marina and Dive center. - 11833 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL 33050

Two dive and snorkel trips daily, http://www.captainhooks.com, 305-743-2444    (800)278-4665 Email:info@captainhooks.com

 

Snorkel and Fish at Sea Dog Marina - 1/2 day fishing plus 1/2 day snorkeling 305-743-8255 located MM 47.5 next to Seven Mile Grill, Marathon - www.seadogcharters.net, wwwstarfishswimandsnorkel.com

 

KeyLypso - Snorkeling aboard power catamaran , mask, fins, snorkel included, rest room on board, safety vest - Marathon, MM 53 at Vaca Cut Bridge at Marathon Lady Docks - 305-743-7655, 1-888-248-4452 - http://www.keylypso.com

 

Sombrero Reef Explorers - 19 Sombrero Blvd., Marathon, FL 33050 , 305-743-0536  -

snorkel trips twice daily to Sombrero Reef Marine Sanctuary , children welcome. http://www.sombreroreef.com  

 

SunDiver Snorkeling - MM 103 - SunDiver Station is red building and located Bayside

Ask about family rates, feel safe and comfortable while snorkeling at Pennekamp State Park's shallow-water reefs, 3 trips daily. No Scuba allowed to assure so that crew may devote attention to snorkelers. 1-800-654-7369, 305-451-2220

 

San Pedro Under Water Archeaological Preserve - offshore about 1.25 miles south of Indian Key, 305-664-4815.

For this you need a boat. You can tie up at mooring buoys and snorkel or scuba to explore the San Pedro Under Water Archieologigical Preserve. The ship San Pedro is part of a fleet of Spanish treasure ships which left Cuba with a cargo of gold and silver for Spain. A hurricane sent the entire fleet to the bottom of the sea on July 13, 1733. Divers and snorkelers who explore the San Pedro site will see "concrete" cannons, an anchor, other relics, tropical fish and other marine life in 18 feet of water. Loran coordinates: 14082.1 by 43320.6

 Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, MM 30, Big Pine Key, (305) 872-4039.

Looe Key Marine Sanctuary is located five miles offshore. The water is extremely clear and very shallow which makes Looe Key a popular diving and snorkeling destination. Visible are a variety of coral reef formations, sdand flats, sea-grass beds, marine life and tropical fish. Kids can also view the remains of the HMS Looe, a British frigate that sank in 1744.

 

 Key Cut - snorkeling trips aboard the catamaran Key Cut, 305-294-4515, located at Sunset Pier Marina, Ocean Key Resort, zero Duval Street, www.keycat.com

 

 

 


ACTIVITIES and PLACES TO VISIT for CHILDREN and FAMILIES
in the FABULOUS FLORIDA KEYS 
To find out more about Kids' activities and places to see to make your children's visit to the Keys a rewarding and worthwhile experience, CLICK on the links in the navigtion bar to the left or provided below.
GUIDE INTRODUCTION . KIDS AND RESORTS . BEACHES . NATURE WALKS .
MUSEUMS . WATER SPORTS . MOVIES . DOLPHINS . KAYAKS . GOLF
BOATS TOURS . SNORKEL . DAY PROGRAMS . ATTRACTIONS
BIKING AND SKATING . FISHING . CHILD HEALTH TRAVEL
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ICE CREAM . READING .

 

 
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The links below are for charity organizations providing services for children in the Florida Keys.

[ CHILDREN'S SHELTER ]
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