Best Coffins Patch Snorkeling

The 20th most popular snorkel dive spot in the Florida Keys.


  July 18, 2016

Southeast of Key Colony Beach, the snorkeling at Coffins Patch is popular for its reef on a long sand bank with scattered star, brain, fire and staghorn corals. The west end of Coffins Patch has interesting pillar coral formations. While snorkeling Coffins Patch, you may encounter sea plumes, giant barrel sponges, sea fans, French angelfish, jacks, wrasses and southern stingrays in waters from 15 to 25 feet deep. The Coffins Patch water is known to have marginal visibility. It is also known for its surges.

The Coffins Patch snorkeling is located 4 nautical miles southeast of Key Colony Beach.

Tip - After a long day of snorkeling at Coffins Patch, then grab some grub conch at Morada Bay Beach Café 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 Coffins Patch 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, Coffins Patch is the 20th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 40 snorkeling dives in the Florida Keys. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Coffins Patch including Sombrero Beach, Sombrero Reef, Bahia Honda State Park, Newfound Harbor Reefs, 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:  24.681805, -80.963917

Date Published:  12/24/2011

Date Updated:  7/18/2016

ID:  23643

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Coffins Patch Snorkeling Map


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