Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, Marathon: Hours, Address, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters Reviews: 4.5/5

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
At Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters it is easier than ever to interact with marine species of all shapes in sizes in environments that closely mimic those found naturally in the Florida Keys. Our primary attractions revolve around our unique Aquarium Encounters. Our hands-on encounters immerse our visitors in the heart of the action and allow them to get up close and personal with 50+ species of tropical fish, rays, and sharks! If you're not looking to get in the water, our facility still boasts many activities sure to thrill and excite guests of all ages! Stop by Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters today and immerse yourself in the Magic of the Ocean and the native marine environment of the Florida Keys.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,108 reviews
Excellent
809
Very good
197
Average
69
Poor
22
Terrible
11

Feline
Orlando, FL5 contributions
Nov 2020
I did the certified diver experience on a day when there was no diving available in the Keys due to high winds. It's a fun thing for divers to do on days Mother Nature says no diving. I think snorkelers would get just as much interactivity out of the whole thing. The aquarium is only 10' deep, so snorkelers are still pretty close to all of the action.

You get to dive or snorkel in an aquarium with hundreds of the fish you would normally see on the reefs, and through a plexiglas wall, there are ocean predators: sharks, eels, stingrays. You can feed the predators through special holes in the plexiglas that keep you safe.

The instructor for the program, Donald, is great. Very knowledgeable, and he shares his love of the ocean in an infectious way. I highly recommend this for divers on windy days or snorkelers any time.
Written November 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review 703felines! We are sorry mother nature was not cooperating but glad you enjoyed your Coral Reef Encounter with us! It is hard to beat guaranteed sightings of all your favorite reef fish, sharks and stingrays. Hand-feeding these animals is an amazing experience that you would not be able to do in the wild. Donald and our other staff members do love to share their knowledge of these animals and the beautiful ecosystems they inhabit. We hope to dive with you again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written November 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lauren
New York City, NY11 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
We visited the aquarium twice on our visit to Marathon and our toddlers absolutely loved it! I recommend getting the feed pass, our kids loved feeding the turtles, tortoises and sting rays. They got to touch a number of animals like alligators, sting rays and starfish. They also have a really cute snack stand with a sandpit, cornhole and cocktails for mom and dad!
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review Mobile21764134404, We are so happy your family enjoyed interacting with and learn about our animals! Our touch tanks bring a variety of marine species within arms reach while our marine biologists are happy to help you interact with them and answer any questions you may have. From sharks and stingrays to turtles and alligators there is something for every age group to experience and learn about! Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written October 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DebbieC242
Amherst, OH22 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
We purchased tickets for shark petting and general admission a couple days in advance, online. Good thing, because the extra encounters sell out fast. Feeding the rays was so fun for all of us. The shark petting was wonderful, but a drawback was they wouldn’t let us take pictures on the feeding platform and it turned out their camera didn’t work! We have no pics of this experience😢The reason for 4 and not 5 stars. All in all a good hands on experience. Would recommend.
Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review DebbieC242, We are glad you enjoyed feeding and interacting with our sharks and stingrays! We are so sorry we had camera issues during your encounter. We do not allow cameras on the platform is for safety purposes. When working with sharks we need your undivided attention. We hope you visit us again and we'll give you all your photos for free! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written April 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

milwmomof4
Milwaukee, WI22 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
It’s a nice little place to view many marine animals of the keys. They had a lot of different “encounters” that cost additional money but we just paid the entrance fee and really enjoyed looking around. There are a number of biologist around that you can ask questions as you walk along. However, we also took the tour that is free to everyone and happens once per hour. Our biologist guide was very knowledgeable and took all our questions with patience and enthusiasm. We watched them feed the giant parrot fish and tarpons. You can pet the sting rays in the tank and some others in the “touch tank”. Fun for 1-2 hours!
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review milwmomof4, We are so happy your family enjoyed interacting with and learning about our animals! From our 4 different touch tanks to our public feeding presentations and guided tours there is plenty to experience with admission. Our encounters go a step further giving our guests the opportunity to get in the water, snorkel or dive, or feed and interact with our sharks and stingrays from the side of the tanks. We hope you visit us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written August 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hooked_on_travel77
Franklin, NC2,981 contributions
Jan 2022
Feeding lobsters, tarpon, rays, turtles, etc.. is certainly the draw here and sets it apart from many of the others. It is NOT an ultra large establishment by any means but offers quite a bit, from watching the staff feed the large goliath groupers to actual in the water encounters. It isn't quite up to par with swimming with the dolphins or swimming with whale sharks at other establishments but the fact that it is offered is a nice plus. It must be mentioned that feeding the assorted sea life costs extra, from 50 cents for the parrot fish, etc.. to a few dollars for the others. The all female staff (we didn't see one male) are as friendly as possible as the redundancy of the job must be tough. We went early before it became crowded and we suggest the same. It could be 'no fun' if jammed with too many screaming children and wall to wall attempts to feed the sea creatures.
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review Hooked_on_travel77, We are glad you enjoyed feeding our various different animals and checking out the public feedings by our marine biologists. We are not quite as large as the Georgia Aquarium but our facility is packed with biodiversity and numerous opportunities to get hands-on with our animals. Our friendly marine biologists are happy to guide you through these interactions and answer any questions you may have about our animals. Please visit us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written February 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MikeP
7 contributions
Dec 2019 • Family
I booked the coral reef dive and brought along our 17yr old exchange student from Italy. Amazing experience that neither of us will ever forget!

The staff was very helpful and efficient. We arrived around 12:30p and we were out the door by 2p. I've been diving for 20+ years (you don't have to be a certified diver to participate) and this was one of the more unique experiences. Our guide, Everett, was fantastic and it was just the three of us in the tank for roughly 30 minutes. We were able to feed hundreds of tropical fish. The aquarium has a really cool and unique design in that there is an acrylic wall separating the coral reef from an aquarium full of sharks. So we were able to feed sharks and a huge ray from small holes in the acrylic wall. If you book the dive, add the photo package. It was reasonably priced and we ended up with 200+ high quality pictures of our dive!

If you're looking for a unique experience in the Keys, you won't be disappointed with Aquarium Encounters! And while we only participated in the coral reef dive, they have several other interactive experiences for various age groups.

Mike
Pittsburgh PA
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review MJP412! The Coral Reef Encounter is one of our top experiences! Everett and our other dive instructors enjoy guiding snorkelers and divers alike through hand feeding fish, stingrays and sharks in our 200,000 gallon salt water tank system. We are glad you took advantage of our photo package. We offer a free print for any encounter with the option to purchase more photos that we take throughout the encounter. Come visit us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written January 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lili813
Tampa, FL44 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
For a smaller aquarium and park, it had a lot to offer and was a great (on and off) rainy day activity. It would be a good family activity. We enjoyed the hands-on feeding stations. We fed small snapping turtles, tortoises, stingrays, tarpons and carp. As other have noted regarding price, be prepared to spend a moderate amount. Kind of expected to pay a premium as an org involved in marine life preservation, rescue and relocation. (Though, we didn’t really see any messaging suggesting that the aquarium revenue supports that work). And wildlife/marine life facilities are expensive to operate one might presume. Anyway, admission was 24.50/adult. They offer a 10% Florida resident and active military discount. Feeding stations are about $3 each or you can prepay for a $15 punchcard that’s effectively but 5, get 1 free. So it was around $65 for us two adults and a punchcard. They have other experiences that you can pay more for like coral reef tank snorkeling. We didn’t try any of those.
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review 813Lili, We love that you enjoyed feeding and interacting with our animals. Our interactive opportunities create unique learning environments for our visitors and we hope these experiences inspire you to protect these animals and their natural habitats. Admission is competitively priced with similar attractions and includes access to 4 different touch tanks, public feeding presentations and guided tours by our marine biologists. Our encounters include opportunities to snorkel, dive and further immerse yourself in the magic of the ocean while you hand-feed our various species of sharks and stingrays. We hope you visit us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written July 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

WaterfallsLover
Jersey Shore260 contributions
Apr 2021
Terrific little aquarium. Could sit as long as you want to watch the fish, stingrays and sharks go by. Turtles, alligators, lobsters and stingray tank where you can go inside the water with them. Very neat! Had food to feed most of the animals. Lots of covered areas. We had a great visit! Would definitely recommend, especially to those who have kids.
Written April 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review WaterfallsLover, We are so happy you enjoyed visiting our facility. We encourage our guests to not only come in to see our animals but to feed and interact with them. These unique experiences foster a fun learning environment and we hope they inspire you to protect these animals and their natural habitats. Please come see us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written April 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bettyboop
Ortonville, MI11 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
It was pricey and small. It cost us about $75 for 30 minutes of animals. We got to pet sting rays, which was really cool and fun. Then we bought food to feed them for $15. We also fed the tortoises and the snapper off the pier. The kids loved the iguanas running around.
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review 4boys99, Feeding and interacting with our animals is a fun way to learn about the incredible marine ecosystems we have here in the Florida Keys! Our admission is $24.50 for adults, $17.50 for kids and ages 3 and younger are free. This includes 4 different touch tanks, public feeding presentations and guided tours by our marine biologists. We have a value feed pass that is $15 you can use to feed 6 different animals or you can buy individual cups. Our encounters are another way to immerse yourself further by snorkeling or diving and hand-feeding our animals! We hope you visit us again soon. Thank you, FKAE Management
Written July 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mads W
Marathon, FL9 contributions
Jan 2021 • Solo
It’s a fun place for families to go for part of a day. There are lots of touch tanks and fun things for kids to do. It’s a little pricey for what you are getting with admission which is just walking around and seeing a bunch of fish mostly. They do have a cool little alligator and turtle area, and they do a Goliath grouper feeding which is also super cool, but it is definitely a place geared toward families with children, or people coming to swim with sharks and rays.
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review madsw000! We are happy you enjoyed our facility. Our admission includes access to four different touch tanks, public feeding presentations and guided tours by our marine biologists. We encourage our visitors to get as hands-on as possible. With feeding opportunities and even more immersive experiences in our encounters you can learn about a variety of marine species while interacting with them. We are glad you got to check out Big George, our 400 pound Goliath Grouper feeding. We hope you visit us again soon! Thank you, FKAE Management
Written January 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 2 Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters tours on Tripadvisor