Best Newfound Harbor Reefs Snorkeling

The 18th most popular snorkel dive spot in the Florida Keys.


  June 30, 2016

South of Marathon and northeast of Newfound Harbor, the snorkeling at Newfound Harbor reefs is popular with families and beginners. These shallow reefs in this Sanctuary Preservation Area are in ten feet of water and have plenty of soft and hard corals. The only downside to this snorkeling site is that the water usually has poor visibility. The best visibility is when the winds are very low. The water depth is roughly 8 feet on the landside of the reef and around 18 feet deep on the seaward side.

While snorkeling at Newfound Harbor Reefs, the marine life found includes parrotfish, angelfish, gray snapper, ceasar grunts and sometimes dolphins.

The best boat ramp for accessing the Newfound Harbor reefs snorkeling is the Cudjoe Key ramp. The reefs are only a half mile offshore from Newfound Harbor.

Tip - After a long day of snorkeling at Newfound Harbor Reefs, then grab some grub conch at Morada Bay Beach Cafe in Islamorada or Saltys Waterfront Grill for some cold drinks. And, if you didn't happen to spot any turtles while snorkeling off Marathon Key, you can always stop by the Turtle Hospital for a top of the hour tour of the hospital or turtles tanks located at mile post 48.5.

While the snorkeling at Newfound Harbor Reefs is possible year-round, most snorkelers usually shoot for March through September. There is usually some rolling surf at most snorkeling sites off Islamorada, while you can expect the flatest surf conditions from June through August.

When using a dive boat charter to reach the dive site, make sure to reconfirm the reservation the afternoon prior. Most dive boats select the site the afternoon prior or even the morning of the dive. Also, most dive boats have a minimum passenger requirement in order to leave dock meaning they may cancel at the last minute, so when reverifying the afternoon prior ask how many reservations they have. To reach the snorkeling in the Florida Keys by air, there are several options. The most popular option is to fly into Miami International Airport (MIA), which is served by all major US and international airlines. Also nearby, a potentially lower cost option is to fly into Ft Lauderdale airport (FLL). From either of these airports, you can rent a car to drive south on the Florida Turnpike a couple hours to reach the Florida Keys (watch out for automated cash-less toll highways along the way). Alternately, you can fly into Key West International Airport (EYW) which is served by several airlines including United/Silver Airways, Delta, USAir and Southwest. If you don’t mind coming into Key West, there is also the regular Key West Express ferry service (4 hours) that runs from Ft Myers.

Overall, Newfound Harbor Reefs is the 18th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 40 snorkeling dives in the Florida Keys. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Newfound Harbor Reefs including Sombrero Beach, Bahia Honda State Park, Sombrero Reef, Coffins Patch, Delta Shoals and Samanthas Reef.

Local Contacts:  Latigo Private Charters (305) 289-1066; Marathon Chamber Of Commerce (305) 743-5417; Florida Keys Tourism (305) 461-3300; Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (305) 292-0311.

Best Season:  Mar. - Sep.

Base Camp:  Bahia Honda State Park Campground (305) 872-3210

Luxury Loding:  Hawks Cay Resort (305) 743-7000

GPS:  24.615224, -81.39263

Date Published:  12/26/2011

Date Updated:  6/30/2016

ID:  23618

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Newfound Harbor Reefs Snorkeling Map


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