The tiny 7 square mile island of Islamorada is located just off the coast of Florida in the northern part of the Florida Keys. The “Purple Island” as it’s translated to in Spanish, offers great beach destinations just a jump, hop and a skip off the United States mainland. While sport fishing is largely popular on the island, an often overlooked but great activity to try while on the island, is Islamorada snorkeling scene.
While snorkeling around the island you can expect to see fish species such as French grunt, goatfish, and queen angelfish. The pristine coral reef provides a great feeding source for a large congregation of green moray eels that can be found gliding in and out of the dips and valleys in the coral. Below we will look at a handful of shipwrecks, mini walls and of course coral reefs to check out while in the area.
Crocker and Conch Walls
The Crocker and Conch Wall are two walls that play host to not only a wall of coral but are a hotspot for some of the islands most unique and popular fish. The Conch Wall offers a different style of coral than other places you will find Islamorada snorkeling, as it is a sloping wall that goes to the ocean floor where you will find the indigenous barrel sponge. The Crocker Wall is over 400 feet long, and features deeper water which plays home to everything from yellowtail and grouper fish to spur and grove coral that covers the wall.
The Eagle shipwreck
Unlike many other shipwrecks you may encounter in the world of snorkeling, this 285 feet ship was actually sunk intestinally as a dive and snorkel attraction. This Islamorada snorkeling attraction is covered in covered in colorful sponge and coral, and plays home to enormous schools of fish including tarpon and jack.
An excursion to an Islamorada snorkeling would not be complete without a trip to Alligator Reef. This unique landmark is home to the USS Alligator which in 1822, was grounded and sunk in an effort to protect a US convoy from pirates. Now also home to a towering lighthouse, the site of the ship wreck are absolutely devoured in coral reef. Given its shallow nature of 25 feet and great visibility, the bustling coral are a sight to see for snorkelers of all skill levels.
Whether traveling to Islamorada Island for fishing or just passing through, be sure to spend a couple hours Islamorada snorkeling, you won’t regret it.