Upper Keys Artificial Reef Foundation
Key Largo diving

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it customary to tip the boat crew and/or your Instructor?

A.  The boat crew and your mates work very hard to ensure your safety and enjoyment of your Key Largo adventure. A tip of 10% - 20% of the cost of your dive or snorkel trip is customary.

Q. When I watch the weather channel in the summer it appears that it rains a great deal in the area. How does this affect the diving and snorkeling?

A. The forecasting you generally get is for the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area, where in the summer months it does, in fact rain most everyday. They get the typical afternoon thunder showers that most of the United States of America gets. Key Largo, on the other hand, receive the occasional shower, but they are usually early morning or very late afternoon. These showers are usually short lived and have little affect on diving and snorkeling.

Q. Are the SCUBA and Snorkel trips guided?

A. Generally guides are available for an additional fee. Our reefs are very easy to navigate and guides are usually not needed. If you prefer to have a guided tour you should schedule this one or two weeks in advance before your planned trip.

Q. When should we check in for our scheduled trip?

A. The very latest check in time for any boat trip is 30 minutes prior to your departure time. If you need to be fitted with rental equipment you will need to be at the operation 45 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Q. Can I get Training while on our vacation?

A. What better place to learn diving and / or snorkeling than in the beautiful clear water of the Key Largo. Most of our members offer various levels of training. Some of our operators offer training through Instructor. You will want to schedule any training a minimum of one to two weeks in advance of your trip.

Q. Which is the best visibility the morning or the afternoon trip?

A. The best visibility is always when the sun is at its highest. With this in mind, the second dive of the morning trip and the first dive on the afternoon trip will have the best visibility.

Q. What is the best time of year to plan a Key Largo dive or snorkel adventure?

A. There really is no bad time to visit the Key Largo. The weather is always beautiful and the water is always nice. Please visit or weather page .

Q. What part of the Florida Keys has the best diving and snorkeling?

A. Key Largo without a doubt has the best diving and snorkeling. This is due in large part that a good portion of the area has been protected for over forty years. The proximity of the Gulf Stream to our island and the physical size of our island block the Florida Bay water from mixing with the Atlantic Ocean. This provides us with the clearest and cleanest water of the island chain. Key Largo is not called the Dive Capital of the World for nothing.

Q. Should I make reservations for our Adventure and how far in advance?

A. Reservations are always recommended particularly for instruction or a guided dive. Any reservation involving an Instructor or Dive master should be made a minimum of one to two weeks in advance. IF you are planning to visit  Key Largo during a school break such as Spring Break, Christmas Break, or summer vacation you should make your reservation at least a few days in advance. If you are visiting us during the fall and winter months a reservation is recommended but not required.

Q. What else is there to do in  Key Largo besides SCUBA diving and Snorkeling?

A. Key Largo is world famous for their fishing fleet. Deep sea and backcountry flats fishing are world class. You can also enjoy great kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, and eco tours. You can enjoy swimming with the dolphin or visit nearby Theater of the Sea. One must thing to do is to visit is our Diving History Museum . If you still have any energy left, there are numerous night spots with lots of entertainment and local flavor.

Q. How should we pack for our Key Largo Adventure?

A. One key thing to remember when packing for your Key Largo Adventure is that the rule is CASUAL ATTIRE. Semi-formal for ladies is a sundress and formal wear is any other type dress. For the men, semi-formal is any collared shirt with fewer than three buttons and formal attire is any shirt with more than three buttons.


Leave the sport coats, neck ties, dress shirts and shoes, party dresses, heels and hosiery behind.


Visitors will need to have a handful of t shirts, tank tops, shorts, swimwear, flip flops and sandals. If you are planning a fishing trip while you are visiting  Key Largo bring deck shoes or tennis shoes.

Don’t forget the Sunglasses, sun block, wide brim hat, camera, towel and a wind breaker for those boat trips.

A pair of jeans, sweatshirt and light jacket might come in handy for the rare winter days that there is a chill in the air.


MINIMUM 2mm shorty dive skin 2mm shorty 3mm full
MAXIMUM 3mm full dive skin 3mm full 5mm full

With the exception of dive skins, our Dive Operators have wetsuits available to rent or buy. They also have full equipment rentals for their clients.

Q. What is the best way to get to Key Largo and how hard is it to get around?

A. Some folks choose to drive for the flexibility and convenience of controlling your own schedule. Other folks prefer to fly into one of two major airports to our north. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale is our closest major metro area on the mainland and is approximately 60-90 miles north of Key Largo. You have several air carriers to choose from when flying into MIA or FLL, however renting a car should also be factored in. Miami International Airport a.k.a. “MIA” is closest to us and approximately 20 miles north of MIA is Ft. Lauderdale International Airport aka “FLL”.

Whether you fly or drive, you will need to head south to the end of the mainland, before entering on to our chain of islands called the Florida Keys. The Florida Turnpike is the recommended way to go which ends in a small town called Florida City. This is the last town on the mainland before entering the Keys! Once you have driven through Florida City, you will continue driving south on US Highway 1, a.k.a Overseas Highway. You will now be driving on a small two lane highway with Florida Bay on your right hand side as you head south.

When driving to your dive shop, hotel or favorite restaurant, you will need to know 2 very important things. What Mile maker is the location at, and which side of the island is it located on. Businesses here in the Keys are referred to by what mile marker (MM) they are located on US-1 or The Overseas Highway. Key West is the southernmost city of the USA, and is located at MM-0. The mile markers then climb in numbers as the highway heads north. The  Key Largo take in MM 90- MM110. So for example, if you are driving south coming from the mainland and your destination is at B/S MM104…that means they are located on the bay side (on your right) at mile marker 104, which is the one hundred and fourth mile on Overseas Highway from Key West. Key Largo is located at the top of the Florida Keys, which is closest to the mainland.

So, now you have all the information you’ll need to plan your next vacation here in Fabulous  Key Largo and get around like a pro and as a Jimmy Buffet song suggests “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes…”


Upper Keys Artificial Reef Foundation