Snorkeling Grecian Rocks – Shallow Reef for a Windy Day

Florida Keys

Snorkeling Grecian Rocks is decent but there are better spots around Key Largo. So why mention snorkeling Grecian Rocks at all? Well, when the wind and waves are blowing in from the Atlantic 10-15 knots or more, Grecian Rocks is where almost all the boat companies will take you. It is a bit protected from the wind and waves compared to other reefs nearby. But hey, if it’s windy, you might as well get in the water. You will see some neat stuff.

2023 Coral Bleaching Event – Please note that very high water temperatures in the summer of 2023 have caused widespread coral bleaching and death in the Florida Keys. So the descriptions on this page are not accurate. If you wish to see healthy coral reefs we now recommend you visit the Coral Triangle.

Snorkeling Grecian Rocks, school of grunts.
Standing on the bow of a snorkeling tour boat out of Key Largo to Grecian Rocks.

To snorkel Grecian Rocks we took a boat tour out of Key Largo, but you can also get on one in John Pennekamp Park. It was blowing 15-20 knots, and was a fun and bumpy ride out to the spot. The captain had to be very careful as he approached the reef and it took a few tries to get anchored.

Snorkeling Grecian Rocks was decent given the wavy and windy conditions. There was a fairly strong current we had to swim into to get to the reef from the boat. And the water was pretty cloudy, but not too bad considering the waves and wind. Our pictures did not turn out very good because of the conditions.

By the way, if you love snorkeling you will love our free monthly snorkeling newsletter.

Sea fans and sea rods at Grecian Rocks
Smooth Trunkfish at Grecian Rocks

What We Saw While Snorkeling Grecian Rocks

The reef was in OK shape, but not great. Much of the hard coral was dead. Although there were a few interesting ones. There was a decent amount of soft corals and sponges. The purple fans looked less healthy than we have seen, and the coral had a lot of algae attached to it. We also noticed a handful of small Branching Fire Coral.

While snorkeling Grecian Rocks we saw a decent amount of fish, but not a lot. We did see a bunch of huge parrotfish. We saw a handful of Hogfish, which are fun to watch change colors (see below).

Hogfish we found while snorkeling Grecian Rocks.

Snorkeling Sunburns Suck!

Check out the snorkeling rash guards, wetsuits, and reef safe sunscreen we use to protect ourselves and to protect fish and coral from sunscreen chemicals.

Conch at Grecian Rocks.

We were not able to snorkel over the top of the reef much because it was very shallow and there was surge and waves, so it was not the best time to really see it. We noticed some bigger fish species out over the reef, like a huge grouper. We saw a nice Smooth Trunkfish, barracuda, Blue Tang, goatfish, Porkfish, chub, and some big jacks. We noticed a green parrotfish with another fish cleaning it. We also saw lots of Bluestriped and French Grunts. We noticed the Cleaning Goby and a handful of Bluehead Wrasses.

You can see a conch shell in the picture at right. Even though the keys are called the Conch Republic, there are very few live conch in the waters.

Note: Our suggestions are based on knowledge of the area. We hope you find them helpful. You can help us if you use the link(s) below. We may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Find a Boat Company

We suggest you use TripAdvisor to look for current companies running snorkel trips out of Key Largo, and reviews of them. You could also use the large boats that leave from Pennekamp State Park linked to above. The following community page suggests this is a viable option for snorkeling Grecian Rocks.

Suggestions and Questions From Other Snorkelers

Rainbow Parrotfish swimming away at Grecian Rocks.

More Florida Keys Snorkeling Tips