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Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary

Looe Key Existing Management Area, Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Complex, FL 33040
305-809-4700
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Ranked #10 of 169 attractions in Florida Keys
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Scuba diving, Snorkeling
Owner description: Looe Key reef has been federally protected since 1981, first as a national marine sanctuary and now as an Existing Management Area* within the Florida... more » Owner description: Looe Key reef has been federally protected since 1981, first as a national marine sanctuary and now as an Existing Management Area* within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This area includes a Sanctuary Preservation Area* (SPA) that is a popular snorkelling and dive destination for new and experienced divers alike. A diversity of fish congregate here – parrots and surgeonfish on the north side; barracudas and jacks on top of the reef; grunts, butterflyfish, and angelfish on the reef crest. It is located approximately 5.5 nautical miles south of Ramrod Key and about eight nautical miles southwest of Bahia Honda State Park. *Special use regulations apply here. « less
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105 reviews from our community

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English first
Springfield, VA
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
59 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014 NEW

We snorkeled Looe Key using the purveyor from the state park. We went on a weekday morning to try to avoid crowds. HA. The boat was full and has limited space to store stuff, but the key snorkeling area is quite big. When we reached the key, there were 2 other full boats there so lots of people bobbing around.... More

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Wilmington, North Carolina
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014 NEW

Be warned, if you get sea sick or are not experienced swimming in 2-4 swells, you may not enjoy this trip. Seriously. Otherwise, if you are a good swimmer, this reef gives you a great chance to see the apex reef predators. My family (children 12 and 15) booked a trip through Bahia Honda State Park at 1:30 Monday, 8/18.... More

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Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

Went snorkeling here in July 2014. I have snorkeled and gone scuba diving many places but this is in the top 5 for sure. Nicest reef I have seen in the Florida keys. Saw three sharks, two reef sharks and a black tip, many large barracuda and some of the most gorgeous reef fish I've ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous, could... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sebastian, Florida
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Absolutely beautiful! A must see if you are anywhere near the area and enjoy the ocean. Snorkel over one of the most beautiful reefs in Florida! It's only about a 30 minute boat ride from Big Pine Key area.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

I recently went on a snorkelling & diving tour of Looe Key reef. It was my 6th time snorkelling and definitely the best thus far. (Previous 5: Cuba, Dominican, Bermuda x2- Somerset & Church bay (close 2nd overall), Key West). We took the tour with Strike Zone based out of Big Pine key. They were friendly and accommodating, although a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

I go every summer and it is always a great experience. Go on a day when the water is calm so visibility is good, otherwise it can be difficult to see the marine life. I have seen sharks, dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and countless species of fish. You will not regret going. If you can, rent your own boat... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

Our 10 year old twins loved their 1st experience snorkeling . We took the trip through Bahia Honda State Park to Looe Key, captain & mate were informative and friendly. Hubby & I have been to many Caribbean Islands scuba diving and snorkeling and found Looe Key to be just as good, which was a pleasant surprise.

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Charlottesville
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

We just visited Looe Key for a couple of days. It was the first time I had been there in 20 years. The protected Sanctuary is relatively small and the dives are shallow, 30' max and often shallower. It is a great reef for snorkelers, beginning divers, and even experienced divers. Generally, you drop in at either the west or... More

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Denver
Top Contributor
187 reviews 187 reviews
62 attraction reviews
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

This reef is amazing. We saw all of the marine life mentioned before. I want to mention that we used Mike from Lower Keys Adventure Charters, which you can find here on Trip Advisor. I can highly recommend him as your snorkel outfitter. I see that there are several. We did not want to go with a large boat full... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Palo Alto, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

No need to add to the extensive descriptions of Looe Key in other reviews here, and I can't compare Looe Key with other coral reef dive sites in the Keys, because we only Looe Key, in late May, for four dives on two consecutive mornings. However, I can compare it with other places I've dived--West Palm Beach, the Caribbean, the... More

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