Given the larger underwater critters you can encounter, snorkeling Looe Key is thrilling but perhaps not for the faint of heart. Additionally, Looe Key is often a deeper snorkeling location than some individuals may want. In this Looe key snorkeling guide, we will share more details with you on how to get the most out of your snorkeling adventures.
Basics you need to know about Looe key snorkeling
About five miles offshore, Looe Key is a sizable reef with a wide range of water depths and conditions. Additionally, it is well known for hosting larger species including rays, Tarpon, Colossal Grouper, and sharks. Due to Looe Key’s proximity to the barrier reef edge and the fresh ocean currents that flow over it, almost all of the fish are larger here. Additionally, it is obvious that you are near the water. While snorkeling off Looe Key, there was no wind, so we were riding up and down on 1 to 2 foot ocean waves.
The first location had the most view and was a little shallower than the center and west spots. Yet another rather deep snorkeling location. As a result, compared to other locations in the keys, you
The second spot had several large fish but less. A large Tarpon and a really worn-out elderly barracuda would hang out beneath the boat in deep water, respectively (second pic). Healthy Looe Key Reef snorkeling with Bluehead Wrasse and Stoplight Parrotfish
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Best locations for snorkeling in Looe key
- Loch Ness
Here is where we first encountered a colossal grouper. This fish was close to six feet long and easily weighed 150 pounds. It would only float under the boat in the shadow. You may sort of get an idea of how enormous he was in the following two photos that resemble.
- Giant Grouper
On Looe Key, the third westernmost snorkeling location was deeper and had a trench that extended from south to north. It’s called Shark Alley. It often has large sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays, and other large fish. Due of its depth, it was not a good place for snorkeling, but it was still quite intriguing.
- Coral Elkhorn
At one spot, we caught a lot less fish, but we saw huge fish extremely deeply concealed under the rock ledges. A Reef Shark was often seen cruising past. It showed little interest in us.
- Shark Reef
The location of the huge parrotfish is Looe Key. Everywhere we went in the Keys, we believed we had seen the largest parrotfish ever. However, Looe Key wins the contest. They are large and numerous here. The Midnight Parrotfish next to him is really a typical-sized parrotfish that you would find almost anyplace, only to demonstrate how enormous the Rainbow Parrotfish is down below. The fish and corals we saw while snorkeling in Looe Key Reef are listed below.
Fish that you can find in Looe Key
Fish species that you can find in here include Queen Angelfish, Blue Angelfish, Banded Butterflyfish, Foureye Butterflyfish, French Angelfish, Rock Beauty, Gray Angelfish, Blue Tangs, Ocean Surgeonfish, Bar Jacks, Great Barracuda, chubs, jacks, grunts, Yellowtail Snapper, Gray Snapper, Porkfish, Bicolor Damselfish, Sergeant Major, Yellowtail Damselfish, Nassau Grouper, Colossal Grouper
Overall, the coral wasn’t as robust or abundant as other of the patch reefs we’ve seen that were closer to the coast.
We saw Christmas Tree Worms, White Encrusted Zoanthid, and Green Finger Sponge in addition to Elkhorn Coral, Lobed Star Coral, Fire Coral, little Brain Coral, a large number of fans, sea rods, and soft corals.
Should you go on Looe Key snorkeling?
Our local Key West expert/friend who lives in the Keys strongly recommends the Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center, which is fairly priced. You may go snorkeling for half a day and obtain all the necessary equipment for $39 per person. If you forget sunscreen, they also offer reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen for a few dollars (I was quite certain I would pay $20 for an 8-ounce jar). Not so!).
The diving shop may be reached by car from Key West in approximately 35 minutes, on Ramrod Key. Since we were vacationing on Summerland Key, the distance was a little shorter. You can’t miss it since it is literally just off the highway and is quite simple to locate.
What can I anticipate from my snorkeling excursion?
We boarded the boat with about a dozen other people, and the employees couldn’t have been more helpful or nice. My initial snorkeling experience led me to believe that we would be sticking close to the beach. Going farther out was obviously for scuba diving and expert folks, much above my level of fearlessness, so I assumed that was the only location you could go snorkeling.
I was unaware that we were really sailing out into the open sea. The coastline vanished quickly as we motored out into open ocean. By the time we arrived at our first dive location, I was beginning to fear I was going in over my head since our boat captain had previously assured us that we would encounter “everything and everything,” which included sharks.
I muted the worry monster on my shoulder by reminding myself that many fools go snorkeling each year. With just a little death grasp on Billy’s hand, I leaped into the ocean. I knew this excursion would be worthwhile the moment I glanced underwater (again, no experience essential; just put on the mask, fins, maintain the tube above water, and breathe).
You’ll just have to take my word for it that there were hundreds of gorgeous tropical fish within the coral reef since I’m afraid I don’t have any images of them. They follow you about with a camera, but I soon realized that I seemed lot less gracefully than I had anticipated. No pictures were taken for us.
What do you see sub aquatically?
We observed a wide variety of fish, including a goliath grouper that made me jump out of my skin. They weigh about 200 pounds, and this particular one was quite amiable and was attempting to swim right towards my face.
A blacktip shark that was rather little and swimming away from me. I managed to stay calm and even appreciate the fact that I was witnessing this really interesting species because of the herd mentality. Amazing things may occur when you’re among a gathering of people who are all eager to see a shark.
How touristic is Looe Key?
The Looe Key staff is fantastic and has the sense of humor that comes with managing a tourist-oriented establishment. On our boat, we had everyone from seasoned scuba divers to really clueless spring breakers, and we all had a fun. With the exception of one spring breaker who had excruciating seasickness, which was fantastic since he wasn’t throwing up; instead, he was just ill enough to stop talking, which was exactly what everyone wanted.
Now you know all important information that you need to be aware of Looe Key snorkeling. Keep these facts in mind and make sure that you continue to gather the best possible snorkeling experiences in here. You will surely fall in love with all snorkeling adventures coming on your way.