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Last updated on November 17, 2023
Located just off Key Largo, Grecian Rocks is one of Florida’s premier snorkeling sites. Ranging in depth from 6 to 20 feet, this gently-sloping reef dotted with shallow coral heads is home to tons of reef fish. There is also the occasional, and more exciting, barracuda or ray. Here you can spend your time roaming between patches of coral to examine the richness of the Keys reef life.
Grecian 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 Grecian Rocks, last about 3 hours. The tours will often combine Grecian Rocks with Dry Rocks, another shallow reef just 1 mile further north.
This area is very popular for hosting the famous Christ of the Deep statue. However, there are a variety of options in the Keys so check the tours offered directly with the providers. It is advisable to book early as the tours can fill several days in advance.
Water entrance will be from your boat.
Grecian Rocks is a fairly sheltered snorkeling location as it is located on the inner side of the reef. On calm days, a second, more exposed snorkeling area (area 2 on the map) can also be snorkeled.
In the main snorkeling area (area 1 on the map), snorkelers will explore a shallow plateau which is enclosed on its eastern side by a small coral barrier.
On the flat, depth ranges between 20 feet in the mooring area and 6 feet in the shallow eastern part of the plateau, close to the barrier.
At the snorkel entry (mooring area), Grecian Rocks starts as a deep sandy bed dotted with specimens of smaller coral heads. Closer to the reef, the depth decreases and the coverage becomes an overwhelming crust of corals, sponges, and sea fans that are among the best you’ll see in Florida.
In addition to the various invertebrate varieties, expect large parrotfish from different species. In particular you will see the Rainbow parrotfish, the Queen parrotfish, and the Stoplight parrotfish. (see species list at the bottom of the page) There are schools of grunt sheltering near the coral outcrops, as well as colorful butterflyfish, porkfish and wrasse.
Lucky snorkelers may be privileged to see a huge lobster taking refuge in the cracks or a visiting barracuda.
Tours usually include snacks and drinks, but confirm this at the time of booking.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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