Lying 400 yards off Fort Lauderdale beach, Twin Ledges reef gives a fine glimpse of Florida’s seabeds. Covered with sea fans and fish, the reef will delight all snorkelers, even though the relatively deep waters (10-20ft/3-6m) means it is not easy to reach the bottom.

French grunt at Twin Ledges, Fort Lauderdale

How to get there?

Although it is near the coast, you need to take a boat to reach the spot in good safety conditions. Some Fort Lauderdale diving centers organize snorkeling excursions to the reef at quite reasonable prices ($30-$40 for about 2 hours 30 minutes), including one or two stops. From Miami Beach, it takes an hour by car (follow the signs to Fort Lauderdale beach). By public transport, first go to Aventura Mall (S, C or 120 lines), then take line 1 BCT, and finally line 40 at the junction of Beach Road (ask the driver to let you off there). It takes about 2 hours and costs $1.75 to $2.25 per section.

Twin Ledges snorkeling map, Fort Lauderdale

Water entrance

You enter the water from the boat. Follow the instructions of your tour organizer.

Exploration

As soon as you are in the water, you will soon be accosted by impressive shoals of porgies and bar jack, which are used to being fed and are particularly insistent (↕0-3ft/0-1m). Be careful, they are not averse to nibbling!

Move away from the boat a little to find a peaceful area.

The reef is long and narrow, running parallel with the coast for several hundred yards. On either side of the reef, you will see sandy areas that are of little interest. Concentrate on the rocky areas (↕10-20ft/3-6m).

Sea fans at Twin Ledges, Fort Lauderdale

The underwater seascapes are unchanging but pleasant. Fine blue sea fans, as well as soft multi-colored coral sway in the current. Hard coral is less common, and is usually incrusted in the top of the rocks. A wide range of interesting fish can be seen. You will soon notice the snappers and grunts, with their dazzling yellow color, moving along the bottom of the sea. They quickly take refuge in the rocks if you get too close. Look for the antennae of lobsters in the rocky crevices, where many take refuge. Surgeonfish, sergeant major fish and pufferfish are easy to spot, and, with a little more perseverance, spectacular parrotfish and French angelfish.

Due to the relatively deep waters, taking photos is not easy. Visibility is variable and sea conditions can be poor depending on the wind or the waves. Follow the excursion organizer’s instructions, and if you make the trip in your own boat, check out the safety conditions before taking to the water.

Restaurants & accommodation

The excursions do not usually include meal, but sometimes drinks. At the Fort Lauderdale marina (the starting point for excursions) you can buy snacks and water for the trip.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Twin Ledges
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Atlantic blue tang Acanthurus coeruleus  
Doctorfish tang Acanthurus chirurgus  
Porkfish Anisotremus virginicus  
Northern red snapper Lutjanus campechanus  
French grunt Haemulon flavolineatum  
Bluestriped grunt Haemulon sciurus  
Sailor’s grunt Haemulon parra  
Bermuda chub Kyphosus sectatrix  
Bluehead wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum  
Bar jack Carangoides ruber  
Sergeant major Abudefduf saxatilis  
Spanish hogfish Bodianus rufus  
Stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride  
Foureye butterflyfish Chaetodon capistratus  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth15ft/4.5m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price (approx. $35 pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

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.