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You have certainly already seen it in photos: the Christ of the Deep, aka the Christ of the Abyss, a monumental statue 9 feet tall immersed in the blue waters off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Installed on this site in 1965, near the reef of Dry Rocks, the statue forms one of the most emblematic underwater landscapes of the Keys. In addition to a breathtaking view of this iconic monument, snorkeling on this spot allows you to discover the rich and colorful sea life.

Coral reef at Dry Rocks
Dry Rocks reef is densely covered with sea fans.

How to get to Dry Rocks snorkeling spot?

Dry Rocks is a small reef located some 4.5 miles off Key Largo, at the edge of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Most of the snorkeling in Key Largo is done from boat tours, with various starting points depending on the tour provider.

Standard boat tours to Dry Rocks, lasting around 3 hours, often combine Dry Rocks with Grecian Rocks, another shallow reef just 1 mile further south. However, there are a variety of options in the Keys. It is advisable to book in advance as the tours can fill several days in advance.

Dry Rocks and Christ of the Deep snorkeling map, Key Largo

Water entrance for snorkeling Dry Rocks

Water entrance will be from your boat.

Dry Rocks snorkeling exploration tips

Dry Rocks is a fairly exposed snorkeling location as it is located on the outer side of the reef. It is on this side of the reef that the Christ of the Abyss statue is found, as well as the most beautiful coral.

Your boat will moor on one of the buoys closest to the Christ of the Abyss, so that you don’t have to swim too far to see it. The statue is 9 feet high, and is submerged 25 feet deep, with its face turned towards the surface. This allows you to see it well from the surface as well.

Christ of the Deep sculpture, Key Largo
The Christ of the Deep, also called the Christ of the Abyss.

The Christ of the Abyss statue in the Florida Keys was cast from the same mold as the original statue, which is located just off San Fruttuoso on the Italian Riviera. The statue is meant to represent Christ in the new world below the waves. It is a memorial for all who have lost their lives at sea, and a monument for those who continue to dive beneath the waves.

After admiring the sculpture, swim west towards the reef, and the coast. The depth, significant around the Christ of the Abyss, about 22-28 ft, gets less deep as you get closer to the reef, reaching 3 to 6 ft in the shallowest areas.

Queen angelfish at Dry Rocks
A queen angelfish noted on the reef next to the sculpture.

The reef, which features high density of gorgonian coral, is home to a great diversity of fish. No less than 6 species of parrotfish, including the very beautiful midnight parrotfish (see complete list at the bottom of the page) can be encountered at reef. Scrawled filefish play hide and seek between the gorgonians, while beautiful angelfish come and go in the deeper areas.

Scrawled filefish at Dry Rocks
The scrawled filefish is a common sighting at this location.

Boat excursions cover almost the entire reef, which allows you to snorkel in relative safety, but, as always when in the water, remain vigilant at all times.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Tours usually include snacks and drinks, but confirm this at the time of booking.


MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.