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Snorkeling with Sharks in Florida: What You Need To Know

Are you ready to take your snorkeling experience to the next level? Have you considered an adventure that includes sharks? Snorkeling with sharks in Florida is an adrenaline-filled experience that combines the thrill of getting up close and personal with these magnificent yet quite large animals.

Dive into the crystal clear waters of Florida, surrounded by majestic sharks gliding gracefully through the ocean. It’s an adventure that not many will dare to experience but one that will leave you amazed at what you see.

Below is information to help you have the best shark snorkeling adventure possible. You can use this table of contents to jump to a certain section. At the bottom of the list are helpful links to plan your adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or just beginning there is a tour or place for you to experiencing the underwater world that includes sharks.

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Dive into Adventure: Snorkeling with Sharks in Florida’s Crystal Clear Waters

Complete transparency. I have not nor do I have plans to snorkel at this time with sharks. I have snorkeled many times and love but with sharks is not on my bucket list.

If it is on your list, this is for you. Information in this article is from a friend who not only snorkels with sharks in Florida but spear fishing and several other water sports.

Grab your snorkel gear and let’s go on an adventure like none other in Florida’s crystal clear waters.

The thrill of Snorkeling with Sharks in Florida

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of swimming and snorkeling with sharks. If you are an adventure junkie, this is right up your alley.

The moment you sink your eyes below the water’s surface and come face to face with these giant creatures, you’ll feel a rush of excitement like none other.

Enjoy gliding through the water, and see how strong yet graceful sharks are as they effortlessly navigate from one location to the next.

You may not think of sharks as graceful but once you experience their underwater world with them, your mind will quickly change.

Snorkeling with sharks in Florida is a chance to overcome your fears, push your boundaries, and embrace the unknown. It’s an adventure that will leave you feeling alive and exhilarated.

But swimming with sharks is more than just a thrill. It’s education. It provides a way for you to learn more about these often misunderstood creatures. You can also help their conservation.

I often tell folks, sharks live in the oceans and waters around the world. It is their home, not ours.

You may think shark bites and attacks are high when in reality they are quite low. Putting it in perspective, your chances of being in a car accident are 1 in 112. Your chances of a shark attack or bite? 1 in 3,748,067. Knowledge is power.

By observing sharks in their natural habitat, you’ll see their behavior. This gives you a chance to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding sharks. You will also learn to appreciate them for the vital role they play in our oceans.

If you are searching for an unforgettable adventure, snorkeling with sharks in Florida is an experience like no other. Let’s dive in!

Safety First

While snorkeling with sharks is a fun experience, it’s always important to put safety first when in the water. Before dip your head underwater, here are a few precautions you should be aware of.

First, it’s essential to choose a reputable snorkeling tour guide that prioritizes safety and follows proper guidelines. They will have experienced guides who are knowledgeable about shark behavior and trained properly in case of an emergency.

Next put on your listening ears. It is critical that you pay attention and listen to the instructions provided by your guides.

They will keep you a safe distance from the sharks and while also guiding you on how to behave when you are near the sharks. It’s important to respect the sharks’ space and avoid any sudden movements that could startle them.

You will need the correct snorkeling gear. This includes a well-fitting mask, snorkel, as well as fins. It’s also often recommended that you wear a wetsuit or rash guard to protect your skin from the sun and potential scrapes or jellyfish stings.

What Is The Best time of year for snorkeling with sharks In Florida

That is not an easy question to answer. When choosing the best time to snorkel, you need to decide which sharks you want to see.

Overall, the warmer months from spring to early fall offer the best conditions for shark snorkeling. During this time, the water temperature is more comfortable, and there is increased shark activity.

If you want to see lemon sharks, they are most abundant in Florida’s waters during the winter and spring months. The peak times are from January to April.

This is when you’re most likely to encounter large groups of lemon sharks gathering for mating and feeding.

Other shark species, such as nurse sharks and reef sharks, can be found year-round but may not be easy to spot depending on their mating habits.

Weather conditions and water visibility will also impact what you are able to see. Be sure to check the weather forecast and water conditions before planning your shark snorkeling trip.

Clear, calm waters with good visibility are key for being able to see and to also appreciate the sharks and the underwater environment.

What to expect during a shark’s snorkeling experience

You know this will be like no other experience ever, but what exactly should you expect? After you are briefed and given instructions, you will jump into the water. Take time to adjust your mask, flippers and anything else that may not feel quite right.

As you peek below the surface, the first thing you may notice are the vibrant colors of the coral reefs and marine life that calls the water home. Schools of tropical fish will swim by, and you may even spot sea turtles, rays, and even dolphins.

And then the sharks approach. You may find you feel both afraid and excited at the same time. These magnificent creatures are so often portrayed as fearsome predators, it is not surprising that you may be a little afraid.

Watch as they glide gracefully through the water, showcasing their natural beauty and power. You’ll see how their streamlined bodies and unique adaptations have allowed them to thrive.

Remember your guide’s instructions. Be sure to maintain a safe distance from the sharks. You will still be able to see them.

Some guides may attract the sharks using bait or chum, providing you with the opportunity to observe their behavior up close. You will be able to learn about their feeding habits, social interactions, and role they play in the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem.

Be sure to have an underwater camera or Go-Pro so that you can capture photos of the sharks and as well as the surrounding marine life. I use my GoPro for everything from hiking to snorkeling to kayaking. This is the one I have GoPro 11.

Your guide will give you tips on where to position yourself, so you get amazing photos while capturing the moment. Most times, you simply need to ask but next are tips to help you get those amazing pics.

Tips for Great underwater photos while snorkeling with sharks In Florida

Snorkeling with sharks is one of the most unique things you may ever do so be sure to capture the experience. Here are a few tips that will help:

1. Get close. Well as close as you SAFELY can. To capture the details and expressions of the sharks, try to get as close as possible without disturbing them. Avoid any sudden movements and be patient. You will be rewarded with a great photo.

2. Try different angles. Experiment with different angles to capture the sharks from unique perspectives. Try shooting from above, below, or at eye level to add variety to your photos.

3. Do not use flash. Take advantage of the natural light filtering through the water to create beautiful photos. Avoid using flash, as it can create harsh and unnatural lighting.

4. Focus on the shark’s eyes. The eyes are often the most captivating part of a shark’s face.

5. Include the surrounding underwater environment. Don’t forget to capture the vibrant coral reefs and other marine life surrounding the sharks.

6. Try different camera settings. I have my GoPro on automatic set to snap pics every 20 seconds. Depending on your camera, you may be able to experiment with different settings such as shutter speed, and ISO to achieve the desired effects.

Taking photos underwater can be challenging so be patient with yourself. You are there first to see the sharks. The photos come in second.

Best locations for snorkeling with sharks in Florida

Now that we have all the details about what to do, bring, and see, where should you go? When it comes to snorkeling with sharks in Florida, you have a few great options.

Each location offers a unique experience with the opportunity to see different shark species. Here are some of the best locations for shark snorkeling in Florida:

1. Key West. One of my absolutely favorite destinations is the Florida Keys and Key West always delivers the fun.

Known for its beautiful coral reefs, Key West is a top destination for snorkeling with sharks. You may see nurse sharks, lemon sharks, and even the occasional reef or bull shark. The warm, clear waters make for excellent visibility.

2. Jupiter. Located on Florida’s east coast, Jupiter is home to one of the largest communities of lemon sharks in the entire world. Snorkeling in Jupiter gives you the opportunity to see lemon sharks up close and personal as they gather in large numbers during certain times of the year. As in Key West, the water is clear making it easy to see.

3. Biscayne National Park: Also on the East coast and a short distance from Miami, is Biscayne National Park. This is one of the most popular places to snorkel in South Florida.

Here, you can expect to see not only beautiful coral reefs but a variety of sharks including nurse sharks, blacktip sharks, and bull sharks. The park’s waters are protected which makes it an ideal spot for snorkeling with sharks.

4. The Florida Keys: Stretching from Key Largo to Key West, the Florida Keys is a paradise for water sports of all kinds including snorkeling and diving. Warm, turquoise waters brim with marine life, including various shark species.

From the shallow reefs to the deeper offshore waters, there are plenty of opportunities to snorkel with sharks and explore the stunning underwater world.

I do want to clarify, however as I am writing this, we have just experienced the hottest July on record. Marine biologists are concerned for the coral reefs as they are being bleached by the sun and high temps.

The waters off the shores of the East Coast through the Florida Keys, are registering in the 100s. Before choosing a location, it’s especially important to consider factors such as the time of year but also right now, water conditions.

Below are additional links to help you plan your snorkeling with the sharks adventure. Please book with a reputable tour and guide. Below are links to help you plan your getaway.

Additional Information For Snorkeling With Sharks In Florida

Key West Florida Reef Half-Day Snorkeling Excursion

Disclosure: I earn a commission if you make a purchase through my links at no additional cost to you! I would never recommend anything I don’t personally use, and the income goes to keeping this site updated and free for everyone!

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About Denise

Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH.  Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise

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