When Is the Best Time
Snorkel and weather conditions at the Keys
While the water is reliably flat offering good clarity in the summer, the heat and humidity can be absolutely oppressive. In September and October, hurricanes can occur as it did last year in 2017. Much got destroyed by Irma here on the keys.
The months from November thru April are much more pleasant, but there can be strong wind and waves the water clarity drops significantly. Cold fronts from Canada with strong winds arrive here in the winter. The temperature drops, and it gets chilly. Also, there can be days where the surf is too high for snorkeling. The worst month with strong winds is January, and it improves in March. The best month for snorkeling is May until Memorial Day. It is still not too hot, water is clearer, and accommodations are not as expensive as in the summertime.
With convenient ferry boat from Ft Myers, it can be very crowded during the weekends, and of course, Key West has several huge festivals so you'll want to keep their calendar to either avoid them or partake!
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Where and Tips
Located at the western end of the Florida Keys, Key West offers a great jumping off point to explore about a dozen great snorkeling spots. The best Key West snorkeling is considered to be:
- Key West Marine Park
- Looe Key
- Sand Key
- Dry Tortugas of course
The ferry boat out to Dry Tortugas leaves daily from Key West and takes about 2.5 hours, but once there, you'll find amazing snorkeling around the old Fort. There are numerous snorkel boat tours in Key West that head out to the Florida Reef, which is about 20 minutes offshore. The main reef offers plentiful reef fish, turtles, and the occasional shark.
Updated by When to be Where