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Scuba Diving in Miami – Complete Guide to the Best Diving

by Max
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Scuba Diving in Miami - Complete Guide to the Best Diving

Are you interested in scuba diving in Miami? If so, you’re in for a treat! Miami is one of the best places to scuba dive, thanks to its warm waters and variety of dive sites. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about scuba diving in Miami. From what to expect underwater to the best dive sites in the area, read on for a complete guide to scuba diving in Miami.

Also have a look at our travel guides for Key Largo and Key West, two of the best scuba diving locations in the Florida Keys!

What You Need to Know Before Scuba Diving in Miami

Before scuba diving in Miami, there are a few things you should know.

First, the water temperature is typically around 74-76 degrees Fahrenheit. Second, the visibility is usually good, with an average of 30 feet. However, it can vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions.

Third, there are a variety of dive sites to choose from, each with its own unique features. Finally, it is important to be aware of the hazards that can be present when scuba diving, such as strong currents, wildlife, and sometimes low visibility.

Let’s start with a review of the best places to go scuba diving in Miami – there are quite a few!

The Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Miami

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there’s a spot for you. Miami has plenty of great places for scuba diving, each with its own dive sites.

Here are some of the best scuba diving spots in Miami:

Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Miami

Biscayne National Park

This national park is located just south of Miami and is known for its clear waters and abundance of marine life. There are several dive sites to choose from, making it a great option for both beginners and experienced divers. There are five wrecks that span over a century and a broad range of vessel sizes and kinds. The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is the newest stop on the path. The area surrounding the light’s base is also excellent for snorkeling, although access to the tower itself is restricted.

Arratoon Apcar – Sank in 1878

In the 1870s, the distance between the reef line and the Cape Florida Lighthouse was thought to be too far. When Arratoon Apcar ran aground, it happened just a few hundred yards from where the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse was being built.

The shallow waters and surrounding coral reef make the Arratoon Apcar a great dive location for beginners (see here for our tips for beginner divers), as well as a fantastic location for snorkeling.

The Erl King – Sank in 1891

Erl King shows the time when wooden sailing ships were being replaced by steel steamships. The wreck is an impressive site you should not miss.

The Alicia – Sank in 1905

When Alicia sank, it was full of silks, silverware, and other nice things for the home. Because of the fights that broke out between the 70 different wrecking groups, U.S. salvage laws had to be changed for good.

Lugano – Sank in 1913

When it ran aground, Lugano was the biggest ship that had ever sunk in the Florida Keys. Today, most of the superstructure is gone, but large portions of the ship’s hull and ribs are still visible. These are covered in beautiful corals and sponges. Meanwhile, the wreck is a habitat for a large number of tropical fishes, groupers and yellowtails. You may also spot eels, morays and lobsters under the collapsed hull plates.

Mandalay – Sank in 1966

The teak and mahogany deck of the steel-hulled schooner Mandalay earned it the nickname “red carpet ship of the windjammer fleet.” Today, only the skeleton remains – however, the wreck is still a nice dive site especially for beginners as it can be found in rather shallow waters.

Miami Beach

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida, Miami Beach is also a great place to go scuba diving. The water is warm and clear, and there are plenty of dive sites to explore.

1000 Mermaid Artificial Reef

The 1000 Mermaid Artificial Reef is a great place to go scuba diving in Miami. The reef is home to a wide variety of marine life, including coral, fish, and turtles. The reef is also a great place to see shipwrecks.

Neptune Memorial Reef

The Neptune Memorial Reef is the world’s largest man-made reef and one of the best places to go scuba diving in Miami. The reef is located six miles offshore of Miami in about 60 feet of water and covers an area of 16 acres. The reef was created in 2006 as a place to memorialize loved ones and as a new home for marine life.

It is a beautiful place to scuba dive with plenty of fish and coral to see. The reef is also home to two shipwrecks, the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg and the SS Copenhagen. These shipwrecks are popular dive sites for both beginners and experienced divers.

Emerald Reef

Emerald Reef is located off the coast of Key Biscayne and is part of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The reef is about six miles long and is home to a wide variety of marine life, including barracudas, eels, angelfish, and more.

The reef gets its name from the emerald-green waters that surround it. These waters are crystal clear and offer great visibility for scuba divers.

Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs is located in High Springs, Florida and is a popular destination for divers from all over the world. The clear waters of Ginnie Springs offer visibility of up to 100 feet, making it an ideal spot for those who want to see amazing underwater creatures up close.

There are also a variety of caves and sinkholes to explore, making it a great place for both beginner and experienced divers.

Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den is one of the best places to go scuba diving in Miami. The clear waters and dramatic rock formations make it a popular spot for divers of all levels.

There are several dive sites at Devil’s Den, so you can choose your adventure. The most popular dives are the North Wall and the South Wall. Both offer plenty of fish and coral to see, as well as some interesting wrecks.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try night diving at Devil’s Den. The experience is totally different after dark, and you might see some creatures that you wouldn’t see during the day.

Best Dive Shops in Miami

If you’re looking for some of the best dive shops in Miami, look no further than the following three:

  • South Beach Divers: With over 20 years of experience, South Beach Divers is one of the most trusted names in diving in Miami. They offer a variety of services, including scuba lessons, equipment rentals, and guided dives.
  • Florida Aqua Adventures: Florida Aqua Adventures is another great option for dive shops in Miami. They offer a wide range of services, including scuba lessons, equipment rentals, and guided dives. They also have a convenient online booking system so you can easily schedule your next diving adventure.
  • Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center: Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center is another excellent choice for dive shops in Miami. They offer scuba lessons, equipment rentals, and guided dives. They also have an on-site pool so you can practice your skills before heading out into the open water.

The Best Time to Scuba Dive in Miami

The best time to scuba dive in Miami is from April to June, and again from September to November. The water temperatures during this time are in the low to mid-80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is comfortable for most people. The visibility is also good during this time of year, so you’ll be able to see a lot of fish and other marine life.

Some Interesting Facts About Miami for Scuba Divers

  • Miami is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the United States. This reef is called the Florida Reef and it spans over 250 miles.
  • There are over 500 species of fish that call the Florida Reef home.
  • The Florida Reef is also home to many different types of coral, sponges, and other marine life.
  • Miami has several shipwrecks that are popular among scuba divers. These shipwrecks include the USS Spiegel Grove, the SS Copenhagen, and the Holyoke Shipwreck.
  • Each year, Miami hosts a number of scuba diving competitions and events. These events attract scuba divers from all over the world.

Where Should You NOT Dive in Miami?

There are a few places where you should not dive in Miami. While some people still dive there, there are just better spots with greater visibility and more to see.

One place is off the coast of Miami Beach. The water here is often murky and there is a lot of boat traffic. Another place is near the Port of Miami. The water here is also murky and there are lots of big ships passing through. Finally, avoid diving near the Miami River. The water here is thought of to be full of pollutants and it may be dangerous – there are just better places out there.

What To Do When Not Scuba Diving in Miami?

Miami is a great place to scuba dive, but there are plenty of other things to do in the city when you’re not diving. Here are some ideas:

  • Visit the beaches: Miami is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Take a day to relax on the sand and soak up the sun.
  • Explore the nightlife: Hit up a club or bar and dance the night away.
  • Visit a museum: Miami has several museums that are worth exploring, including the Perez Art Museum and the Frost Science Museum.
  • Check out the food: Miami is home to some incredible restaurants. Treat yourself to a nice meal or grab some street food to go.
  • Go shopping: Miami has many great shops, from high-end boutiques to budget stores. Do some window shopping or pick up a few souvenirs.


What is the best time of year to go scuba diving in Miami?

The best time to go scuba diving in Miami is from April to June, and again from September to November. These months offer the warmest water temperatures and the best visibility.

What do I need to bring with me on a scuba diving trip in Miami?

All you need to bring with you on a scuba diving trip is your bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, and eagerness to explore the underwater world! You can get your scuba diving equipment on the dive shops nearby.

How deep will I be able to dive in Miami?

The depth you are able to dive will depend on your level of certification. Open water certified divers in Miami are allowed to dive up to 18 meters (60 feet), while advanced open water certified divers can dive up to 30 meters (100 feet) or 40 meters (131 feet) with a Deep Diver Specialty. Never dive without proper certification!

What kind of fish will I see while scuba diving in Miami?

Some of the fish you might see while scuba diving in Miami include angelfish, barracuda, clownfish, eels, groupers, sharks, and stingrays.

Where is Miami Located?

Miami is located on the southeastern coast of Florida in the United States. The city is situated on Biscayne Bay and has a population of over 400,000 people. The city is also home to a large Cuban population.

Is scuba diving in Miami good?

Scuba diving in Miami is good for a number of reasons. The warm weather and clear water make for great visibility underwater, and there are plenty of interesting things to see. Shipwrecks, reefs, and walls all make for good diving spots, and there are many dive shops and operators to choose from.

That said, scuba diving in Miami is not without its challenges. The strong currents can be tricky. Additionally, many of the best dive spots are located offshore, which means they can be difficult (and expensive) to reach.

Overall, scuba diving in Miami is good for experienced divers who are comfortable with the challenges mentioned above. Beginners may want to start with some of the easier (and closer) dive sites before venturing out into the open water.

How much does scuba diving in Miami cost?

The cost of scuba diving in Miami can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of diving you want to do, the equipment you need, and the length of time you want to dive for.

If you’re looking to do some simple recreational diving at dive sites near shore, then the costs will be relatively affordable. For example, a one-day trip in Miami can cost as little as $120 (usually excluding equipment rental).

If you’re wanting to do more advanced diving, or if you need to rent equipment, then the costs will be higher. For example, a one-day dive trip to an advanced dive site can cost around $200. This price will include equipment rental, transportation to and from the dive site, and a guide.

Ultimately, the cost of scuba diving in Miami will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, there are plenty of affordable options available for those who want to give it a try!

What type of climate does Miami have?

The climate in Miami is tropical, hot, and humid. The average temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). The water temperature is usually about 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the air temperature. It rains frequently in Miami, so be sure to bring a raincoat or umbrella.

What is the water temperature in Miami?

The water temperature in Miami is warm and tropical year-round. In the summer months, the average water temperature is around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). In the winter months, the average water temperature is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). Whether you’re diving in the Atlantic Ocean or the Florida Keys, you can expect the water to be warm and comfortable for scuba diving.

Do I need a diving certificate to scuba dive in Miami?

No, you do not need a diving certificate to scuba dive in Miami. Florida does not legally require any certification. However, we strongly recommend that you take a scuba diving course to ensure your safety while diving.

What should I bring on a scuba diving trip to Miami?

When scuba diving in Miami, it is recommended that you bring your own dive mask, fins, and snorkel. You may also want to bring a wet suit or dry suit, depending on the water temperature. Of course, you can also rent all the required equipment.

Are there sharks in Miami?

Yes, there are sharks in Miami. While the waters off of Miami are not as shark-infested as those off of some other coastal areas, there are still plenty of sharks to be found.

The most common species of shark in Miami is the blacktip shark, but bull sharks and hammerhead sharks can also be found in the area. That said, sharks should not be your concern when scuba diving. It is good to always keep an eye out and be aware of your surroundings, but sharks are shy – you are the greater danger to them than they are to you. Should one approach, follow these tips to keep yourself and your surroundings safe.

What are the pros and cons of scuba diving in Miami?

When it comes to scuba diving, Miami has a lot to offer. The warm waters and diverse marine life make it a popular destination for divers of all levels of experience. However, there are also some drawbacks to scuba diving in Miami that you should be aware of before you book your trip:


  • Warm water: One of the biggest draws of scuba diving in Miami is the warm water. No matter what time of year you visit, you can expect water temperatures in between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes for a much more comfortable dive experience, especially if you’re not used to colder waters.
  • Diverse marine life: Another big plus of scuba diving in Miami is the variety of marine life you can see. The reefs around Miami are home to everything from tropical fish to turtles and sharks. You’re sure to see something new and exciting on every dive.


  • Crowded: One downside of scuba diving in Miami is the crowds. With so many people wanting to dive in these warm, clear waters, it can often feel like you’re swimming with more people than fish! If you’re looking for a more relaxing dive experience, this may not be the place for you.
  • Currents: Another potential downside of diving in Miami is the currents. While they can provide an adrenaline rush for experienced divers, they can also be tricky for beginners.

Which is the better scuba diving destination, Miami or Maldives?

It really depends on what you’re looking for in a scuba diving vacation. If you want warm water and plenty of marine life, then the Maldives is probably your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable destination with excellent dive sites, then Miami is a great choice.

Here’s a closer look at each destination:


  • Warm water all year round with an average temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius)
  • More than 30 different dive sites to explore, including wrecks and reefs
  • A wide variety of marine life, including turtles, barracudas, eels, and stingrays
  • Easy access to scuba diving lessons and equipment rentals


  • Crystal clear water with visibility up to 150 feet (45 meters)
  • More than 1,000 different species of fish
  • Breath taking underwater scenery
  • World class luxury resorts

Final Thoughts

After reading this guide, we hope you feel more confident and prepared to scuba dive in Miami! Remember to always heed the safety guidelines outlined by your instructor or dive master, and never hesitate to ask questions.

With proper preparation and a willingness to explore, scuba diving in Miami can be an incredible experience that you’ll never forget.

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