Planning your snorkel trip to Key Largo

Planning your Key Largo Snorkel trip

Private Snorkel Charter


When is the best time to snorkel in Key Largo?

The two main criteria for planning you Key Largo snorkel trip is weather and boat availability.

The time of year and time of day will affect both of these factors.

Best time of year?

The best weather is likely to be in the summer months of June July and August where the winds are low and the sea is calm.

We have great days in the spring and autumn months although we can get windy days that we cancel trips.

Winter months December, January and February will be the months when we get most wind and the air temperature can be cool too.

Does time of day matter?

In short Yes, but there are a number of reasons that affect best time to snorkel.

mooring in clear water The best time to snorkel is when the sun is the highest in the sky and right over head. The sun is at it strongest and will penetrate the water and provide you with the beautiful turquoise color at the reef especially during the summer months.

This is the best time to take underwater photographs and see the cool underwater habitat.  This is usually between noon and 2pm.  All the beautiful underwater photographs you see online and in magazines are usually taken around this time.

However this is not always possible as majority of snorkel tours head back to the shore for the lunchtime break at noon and do not get back out to the reef till after 2pm! Our afternoon tours aim to be out on the reef by 1.30 so you get the best chance of the best weather. This photograph was taken at 1.46pm on October 9th 2021.

Both in summer and winter we prefer the afternoon as in the summer its great to get off the very hot island and chill out on an in the ocean and in the winter the morning can be quite cool so its great to get to the reef when everything has warmed up a little(including cold boat decks)


For all our snorkel trips we assess the weather each day for the following few days and again on the evening prior to the next days trips.  On marginal weather days we will also look at the early morning forecast(4.30am) to see how enjoyable the trip will be given the weather.

For days when the wind is forecast to be under 10 knots and has been under 10 knots for the previous 3 days make for excellent snorkel days usually with great visibility.

Days when the weather is between 10 and 15 knots can also make good days but you can expect seas of around 2 – 3 feet.

When the weather is between 15 and 20 knots trips are  really only for experienced and dedicated snorkelers and you can expect seas of 2 – 4 feet. Sea sickness on these days is common.

We do not take snorkelers out when the winds are over 20 knots as safety is likely to be compromised as getting on and off boats in high seas can be dangerous.

Below is the Windfinder app for Molasses reef. Please note that the sea hight is in meters and not in feet.


Boat Availability

There is a lot of choice for snorkel tours in Key Largo. You can get places on a large 30 – 40 seat snorkel boat, these are stable on the ocean but can be very crowded.

At the other end of the scale are the small 6 passenger private boat charters.  These boats are less stable and will only be able to take 6 passengers.

Right in the middle are the medium sized boats, such as ours, that can take up to 12 snorkelers in comfort.  They are also wide beamed at 12 feet so have great stability in all conditions.

Boats tend to have limited availability at peak times during spring break and summer months so we advise to book early.  When booking try to book at the beginning of your vacation as this will help if the weather is poor on the day of your booking and gives you the choice of moving along to anther day.

Below is our booking system that will show you real time availability for our private boat charters, this is currently the only charters we provide.



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