by Jeanne – (Wellington, FL)
I live in the West Palm Beach area and like the snorkeling tour options that are available at John Pennekamp Park. Going with a small group is the most IDEAL and I have done that at Key Largo. However, due to being a two hour drive away, I can book last minute (if I see some ideal conditions arise – low wind with flat water!!). I was able to book the day before for the the 4 1/2 hour extended snorkeling tour for $38.
They go to the ‘usual’ reefs – Dry Rocks, Grecian Rocks, Horseshoe Reef, etc. Yes, there can be (and most likely will be) a large number of people on the boat, but the snorkeling area is large and I have found that you can easily spread out and stay away from others.
The convenience of this option is great as last minute reservations are mostly impossible to get with the companies taking smaller groups – especially in the high season.
My impression is that the reefs are showing some signs of bleaching and algae, but they are still AMAZING with much healthy coral – fans, rods, plumes, large Brain, Boulder Star Coral and very abundant and large Elkhorn Coral at Horseshoe Reef. The fish are vibrant and numerous (all the usual and beautiful expected fish species – angels, parrot, butterfly, damsels, grunt, hogfish, snapper, sergeants, rays, etc).
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Nicole & Galen – Aug 10, 2015 – Thank You
Jeanne, thank you for your submission. It is always nice to hear another opinion. Here is our page about snorkeling John Pennekamp Park.
Tom From PA – Aug 25, 2015 – Pleasantly Surprised at Pennekamp
I stayed in Key Largo a few years ago and was very happy with the snorkeling in Pennekamp. The coral and fish diversity reminded me of places in Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos.
No complaints with Reef Roamer tour operator nor with Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Center.
If large crowds are an issue, check when the Amoray’s dive boat goes to Christ of the Abyss. The two dive sites have excellent shallow reefs just for snorkeling, especially at Christ of the Abyss. Moreover, you and your snorkel buddy will probably be the only snorkelers and the price is comparable to the cattle boats.
Full range of parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, tangs, seargent majors, barracuda, sting rays, and turtles, etc.
Jan – Nov 3, 2015 – Good Experience
We took the National Park tour boat out of John Pennekamp in November 2014 and really enjoyed it. We saw lots of rays, barracuda, tangs and other colorful fish. Only negative were some jellyfish which are common in November.