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Looe Key (Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary)

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Address: Looe Key Existing Management Area, Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Complex, FL 33040
Phone Number: +1 305-809-4700
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Description:

Looe Key reef has been federally protected since 1981, first as a national...

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.

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Best snorkeling in the keys!!

I was so glad we managed to fit this into our trip to the keys. The snorkeling here was 20x better than Key West! (However we love it in Key West also!) They boat you about 5 1/2... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed October 13, 2016
Lydia O
via mobile

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152 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 144: English reviews
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
424 reviews
167 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2016

This is a very cool place to snorkel and well worth the time and money to do so. This is a very neat reef, and it is filled with life. While there, we saw a black tipped reef shark, a big and beautiful stingray, and many tropical fish. The day we were there was very windy, and visibility wasn't great,... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank chester110105
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2016 via mobile

I was so glad we managed to fit this into our trip to the keys. The snorkeling here was 20x better than Key West! (However we love it in Key West also!) They boat you about 5 1/2 miles out to sea and drop anchor at Looe Key where the depth ranges around 2 ft- 25ft and this reef is... More 

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2 Thank Lydia O
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,248 reviews
432 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 377 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2016

Most people stop diving further north along the keys, i.e. Key Largo or Islamorada, but if you have the opportunity be sure to take the time to stop here and, at the very least, snorkel. It is not deep, less than 30 feet, so it is not like diving in the open sea. It is very easy to navigate, as... More 

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Thank Allen21096
Cumming, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
202 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2016 via mobile

My family thoroughly enjoyed our snorkeling trip to looe key reef. The fish were beautiful and we even were able to see two goliath grouper that were absolutely amazing. They were estimated by the dive master to be about 100 pounds for the baby and 250 pounds for the larger one. Seeing a fish larger than yourself can be quite... More 

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Thank rjb1122
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2016 via mobile

Absolute BEST diving available near the mainland. I've been driving here since I was a kid (50 years) and it remains unspoiled. Warm, tropical waters usually offer 50'-70' vis. Colorful fish and reef, just about 5 miles off Big Pine Key. Bring extra tanks because you won't want to leave!

Helpful?
Thank MikiW57
Rutland, Vermont
Level Contributor
208 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 318 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2016

We've snorkeled all over, including a number of Caribbean islands and Belize. Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary blew our expectations our of the water, and I can't believe there's anywhere better to snorkel in the U.S. We did a half-day trip with Looe Key Dive Center (who were great). They took us out to Looe Key and anchored at two... More 

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3 Thank lhousesoccer
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2016

We went diving in the reef, and to its credit, I saw my first Goliath Groupers there as well as the largest parrot fish I have ever seen. However, the reef is very degraded and not deep enough (25ft) to dive without lots of pressure changes killing your ears. Snorkeling? You bet. But if you dive, and especially if you... More 

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1 Thank John D
Xenia, Ohio
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2016 via mobile

We visited using looe key dive center. Reef varied from 3-30 ft. Healthy coral and many fish! Snorkelers follow the fingers, divers follow the grooves in between. Saw about 5 sharks from 4-7 ft long. Reef and bull sharks.

Helpful?
1 Thank Kristi B
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2016

We went out with the boat associated with the Park. We saw multiple sharks, barracudas, and lots of colorful fish. It was one of the best snorkeling adventures we have had! And the crew was professional and knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

Helpful?
Thank atltravler2014
Florida
Level Contributor
100 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2016

We've lived in Florida our whole lives but had never been to Looe Key. It's the kind of place you'd expect in the Virgin Islands. The water was crystal clear and the fish were colorful and plentiful. We searched Looe Key on youtube prior to our trip and saw the amazing variety of creatures that are out there. Take a... More 

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Thank FrozenMargNoSalt

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