Perfectly known for its white sand beaches that extends over tens of kilometers Miami has a lot to share and is full of resources. But just a little further in the water, off the beaches is a sumptuous coral reef. It is the third largest in the world and the only one in North America. The water is crystal clear and the corals are amazing. A must see!
What does the Florida coral reef look like?
The barrier reef is very large and hides many surprises. In every dive area you will discover an impressive fauna and flora. On the coral side, you cannot miss the bright yellow and the luminous red of the coral canyons, the purple of the Alcyonaceas, which sway with the currents of the sea. Tip: look but do not touch the corals. They can sometimes cause you severe burns. Moreover, the coral being a very fragile living animal, touching it would damage it. On the fish side, you can easily spot yellow-tailed snappers, parrot fish, pterophyllums, blue surgeons, groupers and captains. Sometimes there are also lobsters, rays, sea turtles and even nurse sharks that may appear.
To discover these wonders of nature, you can swim in snorkel on your own. But you also have the possibility to go a little further by boat.
Mask and snorkel: essential equipment to discover the corals
The coral reef being so imposing, you can peacefully admire the fish and corals with your mask, snorkel and fins. If you have no equipment, do not worry, you can always rent them in some scuba diving shops like the South Beach Diver’s ($ 12 for day equipment rental). Alternatively, you may also be accompanied by a guide who will take you to places little known by the general public. The Austin’s Dive Center is one of the best known centers ($ 80 to $ 150 per session). Do not hesitate to ask installation and equipment advice from professionals. Because once in the water, it is very difficult to reinstall its mask so that the water does not infiltrate. This can almost ruin your tour.
Several companies can take you to less touristic and far more abundant places. For example, the South Beach Diver’s, can accompany you by boat in the heart of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in the John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. This site is one of the most beautiful to see. Next door you will also find the Key Largo Dry Rocks coral reef that is part of the world’s first marine park, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef. Over there you will discover The Christ of the Abyss, work of art of the Italian sculptor Guido Galletti. All around are multicolored fish. It’s a breathtaking show! For each excursion, you can count about $ 80 per person all inclusive.
On Earth, Miami is an impressive modern city. Underwater, its ecosystem is even more so. Discover this fantastic barrier reef, a real treat!