The Florida Keys is well known for its beautiful shallow reefs and Islamorada is especially a great place to snorkel. Our reefs range in depths from 4 feet to 20 feet, which make snorkeling a breeze. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced snorkeler, all of the reefs we visit are simple to navigate but are a spectacular sight. KeyZ Charters has a Captain that is very patient and willing to teach anyone. Learning how to snorkel is easy and fun. It will be done in shallow waist deep water for the comfort of the snorkeler. Once the snorkeler has mastered the art of snorkeling, they will be taken out to the reefs mentioned below to explore the wonderful life below the surface.
Alligator Reef and Alligator Lighthouse:
On an average snorkel trip your Captain will guide you on the Atlantic Ocean out to Alligator Reef searching for sea turtles and dolphins along the way. Alligator Lighthouse was built in 1873 and was named in honor of the U.S. Navy schooner Alligator
. The Alligator
ran aground there in 1822 while on a naval anti-piracy squadron protecting the US coast from Cuban pirate ships. The actual ship is no longer there because it was burned during the wreck to protect the US name, so the Cuban pirates could not salvage the vessel. The light house is approximately 3 miles east of Islamorada. While snorkeling you will see plenty of coral, sea fans, and many fish including: angel fish, sergeant majors, parrot fish, butterfly fish, and many more. You might also have an encounter with a sea turtle, a spotted eagle ray or a shark.
This beautiful reef lies about 1 mile to the southeast of Upper Matecumbe Key and is a great site for those who are hoping to capture incredible pictures. The site has many soft corals and a large collection of brain corals. Mushroom and star corals also cover a large portion of this area. Surrounding the area are sandy patches where conch and turtles can be spotted. Many are interested in the parrotfish, queen triggers, and angelfish that can be seen on a regular basis as well as the spotted rays and schools of tarpon and snook that occasionally swim by. Snorkelers looking for a thrill can occasionally come close to a nurse shark at this site.