Looe Key snorkeling is a unique chance to enjoy the beauty of vibrant barrier reef which ranks the third place among the longest barrier reefs on Earth. Big Pine Key provides access to the healthiest part of this amazing live coral reef.
The Best Looe Key Snorkeling Spots
Looe Key Reef is the pearl of Big Pine Key snorkeling. This site is must see during Florida Keys snorkeling, but for real brave heart. The point is the reef is placed just at the barrier reef’s margin and flows of ocean fresh waters beckons huge fish. The majority of fish here is large, so be ready to encounter sharks, tarpon, giant groupers, and rays.
This spot has a big range of depth – with the average depth being 15 feet only its maximum deep is 105 feet. At deep locations even while no wind 1-2-foot ocean swells are very common.
The shallowest part of the reef is between buoys 33-39. The depths here ranges from 3-15 feet. If you are afraid of large fish just stick to this place and relish the bright tropical paradise.
East site of Looe Key Reef is shallower compared to the middle and west sides. Still in most places it is not as shallow that one can just relax floating on the surface and watching the undersea creatures. You need to free dive to see the pelagic life and corals closer. At this side, there is more fish but it is mainly middle size.
West side of Looe Key Reef is the deepest. The closer you move to the ocean the deeper are the waters and the less fish to be encountered but all of it is huge. A trench from South to North named Shark Alley runs at the west side. Exactly as its name tells it is habitat to sharks and other giant fish.
There is the shipwreck called HMS Looe resting on the Looe Key Reef’s ocean side. The ship ran aground in far 1744 and not much left from it until today. The main attraction is an old anchor covered with lots of corals. The average deep is 20 feet.
Where Is Big Pine Key and Looe Key Reef?
Big Pine Key is situated in 30 miles to the North from Key West. The closest international airport is in Key West. Shuttle buses, taxis, and car rentals are at your disposal. Looe Key Reef lies 5 miles offshore to the south of Big Pine Key.
Looe Key has a tropical climate which is a real treat. Warm and sunny days are waiting for you all year round. Summertime is the best for Looe Key snorkeling with average air temperature +29C and average water temperature +31C, still you can start snorkeling here from May.