3 Great Key West Diving Options

Of all of the adventures in Key West, few compare to Key West diving. Key West diving gives vacationers, tourists, and visitors an educational and hands-on look at the exotic flora and fauna that lie just beneath the water's surface. From exotic fish and plants to wrecks, sharks, and dolphins, there are many things to see and experience under the sea. For those unfamiliar with Key West diving, there are many things to learn and take note of. The first is the need for certification, which will be discussed later. Another important aspect of any Key West diving experience is location. There are many places to dive in the area and every spot has its own unique flair and character. However, the places to dive just off the island generally fall into one of two categories: living reef and shipwreck.

This article will take you through both types of locations and will give you insight into the need for scuba certification as well as a few options for obtaining certification on the island.

Explore The Living Reef

The first kind of Key West diving destination is the living reef. Of all of the places mentioned when considering a diving excursion on the island, the living reef that sits off the island is perhaps the most popular. The reef is the third largest of its kind on the entire planet and the largest in the United States of America.

When exploring the living reef, visitors will be amazed by the amount of fish, animals, and plants to see under the sea. Tropical fish of varying colors and sizes will easily catch your attention, as will the reef's plants. With some attention and a little bit of luck, you may get to see a dolphin, shark, or sea lion scamper by.

Dive The Ruins

The second main diving destinations are shipwrecks. There are numerous wrecks dotting the bottom of the sea. These wrecks, for the most part, are manmade and planned. Typically, the ships seen on the ocean floor are decommissioned boats purposely sunk to add to the living reef. Many are located in the shallows and are easily accessible by even novice divers.

When visiting the wrecks on a Key West diving adventure, visitors will be treated to many of the same sights they may see if they were diving the reef. However, there is a twist. When Key West diving to a shipwreck, you will witness the strange tranquility of seeing a mighty ship on the ocean floor.

Get Certified On The Island

Of course it bears repeating, in order to go Key West diving, you need to be certified. This rule is both a safety and legal concern. Because scuba diving is a skill, it needs to be learned correctly. If you have an interest and taking a class seems like a long and expensive proposition, you should know there are many options in Key West that will allow you to get in the water without a huge time commitment: usually only 3 to 4 days.