Whether by land or by sea, there’s plenty to explore in Key West. If you can’t get enough of the idyllic blue waters, you simply must check out Dry Tortugas National Park. Dry Tortugas National Park is a 100-square mile park located about 70 miles west of Key West. Less than one percent of this park is dry ground, making it a paradise for water-lovers. One of the best ways to explore Dry Tortugas National Park is with an unforgettable snorkeling adventure.

Snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park

At Compass Realty, we’re experts on all of the attractions near Key West. We highly recommend travelers in the area check out the snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park. Not only is the snorkeling phenomenal, but the park is one of the most unique national parks in the country. 

Dry Tortugas National Park is located on the southwest corner of the Florida Keys reef system, the third-largest reef system in the world. There are several great places in Dry Tortugas National Park for snorkeling, and we’ll give you an overview of what to expect when you visit them.

Moat Wall

In order to protect Fort Jefferson, a wall was built around the fort, creating a moat in between the fort and the moat wall. Visitors can’t swim in the moat, but swimming around the moat wall is a great place to explore the area. Snorkelers there take in stunning views of healthy coral, as well as exciting marine life. Keep your eyes peeled for reef squid, nurse sharks, hogfish, and more. 

Tip: Come back at night for a completely different experience. At night, you might be able to spot marine life that you can’t see during the day, like octopus and basket starfish. 

Historic Coaling Pier Pilings

Originally used for refueling U.S. Navy ships, this spot is a great opportunity to see some of the larger sea creatures that call Dry Tortugas National Park home. Some of the marine life you might find include grouper, tarpon, barracudas, and sharks. Keep in mind, these larger critters won’t hurt you, and if one approaches you, look, but don’t touch. Additionally, you’ll find colorful coral living on and around the pier pilings, which typically attract smaller, colorful fish. 

Texas Rock Coral Reef

Texas Rock Coral Reef is a large coral mound featuring many different species of coral; almost every species of stony coral can be found here. Snorkelers are often impressed by the large schools of fish that spend their time feeding in this area, don’t be surprised to find yourself completely immersed in a school as you snorkel the area.

The Perfect Vacation Rentals to Call Home in Key West

After snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park, come back and relax at your vacation rentalA day spent snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park is a day well spent. Stay near Dry Tortugas National Park by staying at one of Compass Realty’s Key West vacation rentals. To book your stay, please check availability online or give us a call at 1-305-292-1881.