Discover Miami’s underwater treasures!
There’s no doubt that South Florida is home to some amazing flora and fauna, but what many of us often don’t realize is that there’s also plenty of natural wonders to discover under the sea. A world-class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, Miami lies at the entrance of the uppermost stretch of the Florida Straits, the third-largest barrier reef in the world, which extends south to The Florida Keys, while Miami Beach is essentially a limestone coral reef island, making it another great spot for diving right in the 305. So if you’re a fan of underwater wildlife, make sure to keep on scrolling and discover eight awesome spots to go diving around Miami!
Located just off the coast of Fort Lauderdale Beach, the 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is a giant underwater gallery that promises to restore Florida’s living coral reefs population and bring a unique adventure for Ocean lovers and adventurers alike.
2. Maritime Heritage Trail at Biscayne National Park
With 95% of its park underwater, Biscayne National Park is one of the best destinations to go scuba diving around the 305. Its Maritime Heritage Trail will take you exploring the remains of several shipwrecks spanning a century as well as natural reefs and a lighthouse. Plus, with both shallow and deep waters, the trail is perfect for divers and snorkelers of all levels and experience.
3. Neptune Memorial Reef
Located three miles east of Key Biscayne, Neptune Memorial Reef is one of the largest man-made reefs ever created. The reef was built in the image of the lost city of Atlantis and at 40-feet deep is best explored with scuba gear so you can enjoy the full experience of swimming through its magical temple-like ruins.
4. Emerald Reef
This shallow coral reef just a mile away from Key Biscayne is said to be one of Miami’s most beautiful reefs. The average depth is around 20 feet making it a prime destination for snorkeling as well. Here you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of elkhorn and pillar coral, a variety of sponges, and schools of tropical fish like sergeant major, blue tang and other damselfish.
If you’re looking for some adventure, the park is home to the Devil’s Spring System, a three-spring cavern system, that produces 80 million gallons of water daily. Professional divers can descend into Devil Spring, a four-foot-wide fracture located at the head of the run, and explore the intricately decorated underwater cavern. The waters down at this mesmerizing cave are so clear, that those who descend to the bottom can look up and still count the leaves on the trees above!
6. Devil’s Den
Located near Williston, FL, about four hours away from Miami, the Devil’s Den is one of the best destinations for those looking to do some cavern diving. This prehistoric underground spring is home to countless of extinct animal fossils dating back to the Pleistocene Age, crystal clear waters, ancient rock formations and more!
7. Half Moon Shipwreck, Key Biscayne
Located just between the Virginia and Biscayne Keys, the Half Moon Shipwreck lies in shallow waters of approximately 10 feet in depth. Named for the 154-foot German sailing yacht captured by England during World War I, the Half Moon eventually made its way to Miami where it sunk in 1930. Nowadays, the wreckage into an underwater archaeological preserve covered in soft coral and full of tropical fishes.
8. Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West
Located in Key West, this destination is one of the best ones for scuba diving in the whole of North America. The shallow waters make it a perfect spot for beginner snorkelers and is full of colorful corals, several varieties of tropical fish, starfish, queen conchs, and other marine wildlife.
[Featured image: Shutterstock]