French Reef In Key Largo
Is A Diving/Explorers Delight

French Reef Cave Opening

French Reef in Key Largo is a great dive site, that has lots for divers of varying degrees of experience to enjoy.

Although not one of the more well known of the Florida Keys dive sites, at least those people that we spoke to only vaguely knew of it, it really is spectacular, and I would go onto say that the sound of it even made me want to get into the water and check it out.

And believe me I am not the most avid of divers.....could have been to do with watching Jaws as a kid, or even the Poseidon adventure I'm not sure.

But whatever it is, the thought of jumping into the water and having things swimming around me doesn't make me go...YAY!!!!!

But thats my hang-up, you will love this place due to its crystal clearwaters and amazing coral reefs. 

French Reef Fish

Smile And Say Cheese Now!

Added to the fact that many different types of Marine life use these crevices and hidden away spots as a natural protection from the threats that live in the sea, you will have plenty of photographic opportunities to take some amazing photos.

Whilst I am talking about photography, if you do fancy taking a few snaps then make sure when you are diving at the Reef that you bring a light with you, as the caves can be quite dark.

Also the site is not really affected by currents which is why its a particularly safe reef to dive, but that can also affect the visibility as the silt can linger a bit when stirred up.

So let's start with showing you exactly where the Reef is, and then if you decide that you fancy getting in a boat and going over there, we will try to explain the highlights of this diving site.

What is the location of French Reef In Key Largo?

To get to the reef you would be best to hire one of the captains who charter their boats around Key Largo.

Although the exact navigation coordinates are as below, for sake of a little cash they will take you right out to the spot and make sure you are nice and safe too whilst you dive.

However set out from the John Pennekamp State Park area of Key Largo, and travel around six nautical miles southeast.

Then you will see a series of bouys marking the spot of this brilliant triangular shaped dive site.

GPS Co-ordinates

25 02.072N 080 20.975W

French Reef Map

Image Courtesy of

What Can I Explore At French Reef Then?

Once you dip below the waves you will find yourself swimming through limestone ledge openings about three to four feet in size, which makes it a great place for novice divers to negotiate.

The ledges go down to a depth of about sixty feet from the shallows, with a covering of tub sponges attached firmly to the limestone surface all the way down.

It's perhaps the three main caves which are the most impressive with the festively named Christmas Tree Cave being especially so.

The cave is named as such due to a huge star coral pile that looks like, ok and you have to squint a bit of a Christmas Tree!!

The other two caves, Hourglass Cave and White Sand Bottom Cave offer large caverns that you can swim easily  whilst being surrounded by dog snappers, moray eels, groupers, and copper-colored glassy sweepers.

So as you can see there is certainly enough to get your diving juices flowing, and if you have never dived before this is a great place for you to start enjoying the past-time. 

Is There Any Other Dives Nearby Worth Visiting During The Day?

Its quite common practice to do one or more dives whilst hiring a charter from one of the Key Largo Marinas, and probably the nearest to this one is arguably the most beautiful reefs in all of Florida, Molasses reef.

Many years ago a ship which was carrying a cargo of barrels of Molasses sunk in the area and the name stuck, and this site is a good un.

The site, which is about one and half nautical miles from French Reef has sunken anchors, schools of fish, coral, the lot. 

So make the most of your day and visit both sites and you will have only fond memories of your diving day in the waters around Key Largo.

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