- Miami Dive Sites
- Dive Charters in Miami
- How To Get To Miami
- Where To Stay In Miami
- When To Dive in Miami
Miami, one of South Florida’s premier scuba dive locations with great weather and a little bit of something for everyone.
It features beaches, art, history, culture, sports, and let’s not forget about diving!
With most of our dive sites located only 3 miles off the coast, you can enjoy the underwater world with the Miami skyline as your backdrop.
Interested in diving in Miami?
Keep reading to learn about the dive sites, dive charters, where to stay, and more.
Miami Dive Sites
As stated above, all of Miami’s dive sites take place on the southeast coastline.
Depending on your dive experience, certain dive sites may or may not be off-limits to you.
Neptune Memorial Reef
Just 3.25 miles off Key Biscayne, designed to look like the Lost City of Atlantis, Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater mausoleum 40ft under the sea.
The man-made structures create a marine habitat to promote coral and marine growth while creating a burial opportunity creating life after life. Once complete, the reef will cover 16 acres of once-barren ocean floor.
The reef if enjoyed by scuba divers of all levels especially photographers for the unique structures and abundance of marine life. There is about 20ft of relief on the site allowing for freedivers and snorkelers to admire the beauty of this underwater site.
While diving through the columned hallways, you are likely to encounter schooling fish, Rainbow Parrotfish, Angelfish, and Butterflyfish, Barracudas, Southern Stingrays, Green and Spotted Moray Eels, and so much more!
Two M-60 Vietnam era Army Tanks were sunk in June of 1994 and the tanks have quickly become a home for hard and soft coral growth all over.
It’s easy to navigate from one tank to the next with their guns pointing towards each other and massive limestone boulders in between.
This is not only a great dive for Open Water Divers, but it is also excellent for Advanced divers to enjoy, there are three additional wrecks you can venture to all connected by a trail of limestone boulders.
You can reach the Matthew Lawrence, Billy’s Barge, and the Police Barge.
As you swim from wreck to wreck, you may be accompanied by schooling fish, Southern Sting Rays, a variety of Parrotfish, Angelfish, and Butterflyfish Nurse Sharks, or even a friendly Turtle!
Pink Floyd Wall Drift
Off the coast of Key Biscayne, the Pink Floyd Wall Drift runs miles from North to South with a maximum depth of 90ft, the top of the reef ranges from 50ft to 60ft. Drift in the mild current along a ledge full of schooling fish, a variety of Parrotfish, Angelfish, and Butterflyfish, with plenty of crevices and nooks for Moray Eels, Lobsters, and plenty more critters.
This is a great dive for Open Water and Advanced divers due to the range of the depth. Having your Enriched Air Diver certification can help extend your bottom time and allow you to potentially see the whole ledge.
Dive Charters in Miami
Located directly in the Miami Beach Marina, Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center is a PADI 5-Star Center and a no brainer for scheduling classes or recreational dives.
Established in 1952, this family-run business knows how to cater to vacationers and locals with the convenience of their training pool right next door and the boat dock across the parking lot.
The center offers scuba diving classes from Discover Scuba Diving & Open Water through Divemaster and everything in between! Their calendar for classes and recreational dives is easily accessible from their online calendar.
There is only one dive boat that leaves out of Miami Beach and that is the Big Commotion with Deco Divers.
This dive charter boat caters to all the surrounding dive shops and offers diving and snorkeling trips to a variety of different sites.
You name it, they dive it, shallow reefs, deep wrecks, drift dives, even night dives! This boat is also available for private charter if you feel that caters better to your needs.
South Beach Dive and Surf is a PADI 5-Star Center located in the heart of South Beach.
Their storefront lies within walking distance to most hotels, restaurants, bars, and South Beach itself!
South Beach Dive and Surf offers a wide selection of classes as well as one day dive and snorkel trips to Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary.
How To Get To Miami
Getting to Miami is pretty simple, and one of the conveniences of diving in a major metropolis!
You can fly, drive, or even take a train (location depending).
If you decide to drive, basically head as far south as you can on I-95.
To fly, there are a couple of different airports in the area but the easiest would be to fly in Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
When To Dive in Miami
The best time to visit Miami is in our summer months, June-September. We have calm, flat seas and Bahama blue water. Water temperature ranges from 84-86 degrees F (29-30 degrees C).
History of Miami Diving
Spaniards were the first recorded group that visited the future area of Miami in the 16th century. When the Spaniards arrived, they found a group of natives, the Tequesta Indians.
Miami’s name is said to have been derived from Mayaimi meaning “big water”. Historians suggest the name Mayaimi may have referred to a nearby lake, Okeechobee, as well as local Native American tribes who formed their name around the lake.
The Spaniards launched a campaign in 1567 to gain control over the Tequesta native population and the surrounding area. Having succeeded in their attempt to subdue the Tequesta Indian population,the Spaniards lost control over the region to the British in 1763 before regaining control again in 1783.
1821 serves to be a key year in the history of Florida and the development of Miami as it was the year the United States purchased Florida from the Spanish. In 1836, Fort Dallas was built by the United States in what is now Miami’s downtown area.
Fort Dallas served as a military base during the Seminole Wars, a war predicated on regional conflicts between the United States Military, and the Seminole tribe that formed in the early 18th century. Following the establishment of Fort Dallas, notable settlers such as Julia D. Tuttle (known as the mother of Miami) moved into the area.
1896 was a key year for Miami as the region was officially incorporated into the U.S. as a city. Miami’s incorporation as a city with a population of just over 300 in 1896 was met with an economic catalyst by American financier, Henry M. Flagler.
After Flagler received half of Miami settler’s Julia D. Tuttle and William B. Brickell’s landholdings, Flager extended his Florida East Coast south to Miami. Flagler provided additional boosts to the newly incorporated city of Miami by constructing the Royal Palm Hotel, cleaning the city’s harbor, and promoting tourism.
The cities fortunes through settlers such as Julia D. Tuttle, financier Henry Flager, and a subsequent land boom in the early/mid-1920s were halted by a disastrous hurricane in 1926.
The architecture in Miami Beach can be partly characterized by Art Deco, a design that flourished in cities such as New York and Chicago during the late ’20s and early ’30s.
Miami’s reconstructive efforts post-hurricane benefited from a dose of art deco, as the distinctive art styling still pervades many areas of the city in today’s modern age.
Miami’s tourist economy declined during World War II when the United States utilized long stretches of the beach for rifle ranges. Following World War II, former military members returned to Miami seeking life after the war.
These waves of former military members were met with equally large waves of Cuban immigrants. The Cuban revolution of 1959 led more than 500,000 to flee their native country to migrate toward the United States with partial assimilation aid from the U.S. Government.
After a crime-ridden decade during the 1980s that revolved around cocaine trade and coordinated violence toward tourists in the early 1990s, Miami made a comeback in tourism toward the end of the 20th century.
Miami’s year-round tropical climate makes the city a prime destination for Marine activities. The Port of Miami is a world leader in cruise ship operations providing a plethora of avenues for your next Scuba excursion.
During Miami’s genesis in the late 19/early 20th century, the city has supported and promoted a strong diving culture. During the mid-1920s, the University of Miami zoology students were tasked with studying the region’s underwater elements with primitive diving helmet technology.
Beginning with humble diving technology that provided a limited capability, the University of Miami continued to support the development and study of underwater technology/ elements. Today, the University of Miami has over 125 active science divers logging between 3,000-4,000 dives a year in a variety of environments and dive modes.