Who says a safari is only reserved for the jungles of the Amazon and Africa? You can have one right in the southernmost tip of the country. It's called an underwater safari where you savor the more colorful sights of fish, flora and fauna of the coral reefs. You can take a private boat with your family and friends and marvel at the colorful aquatic wildlife of the Florida Keys. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida some of the most unique underwater attractions are home to the only living coral reefs in North America.
There are quite a number of reef snorkeling and diving tour packages from many cruise and yacht operators who offer the service together with sailing and parasailing as well. Block off 3-4 hours of the day for your sea adventure and spare time for an underwater adventure of a lifetime. Some, like the Fury's Ultimate Adventure package or you can charter a yacht if you travel with your family or friends for a whole day of diving and snorkeling safari.
You will need to bring your SCUBA certification with you on a diving expedition which usually have snorkelers in them as well. You can have yourself certified while in Key West and there are diving courses you can attend for a few days. So where do you go for some really serous diving fun? There's the Sand Key Lighthouse reef that extends up to 10 miles of varying depths that is a favorite among deep see divers and snorkelers as well. Then there's the Looe Key Reef Marine Sanctuary located 30 miles from the Big Pine Key. Another is the Ten-Fathom Ledge dotted with caves and undersea overhangs that shelter various species of aquatic life that includes groupers and lobsters. Its main attraction is a pair of barnacled and coral-encrusted anchors from an 18th century ship.
Talk about anchors, there are a few sunken ships around Key West notably the General Hoyt S. Vandenberg which was the 2nd largest ship purposely sunk as an artificial reef in 140 ft of water 7 miles of the Key West shoreline. Then there's the Cayman Salvager, a 180-foot buoy intentionally sank as an artificial reef in 1985 to provide shelter for large marine life. Real wrecks are rare and one of them is the Atocha, a Spanish wreck off the coast of the Marquessa Keys. When a team headed by Mel Fischer discovered the wreck, it was a true-to-life treasure find as they brought up a king's ransom in gold, silver and precious jewels. Unfortunately, this wreck is off limits from prying eyes of divers. .