Awesome Coral, Tons of Life
Key Largo, called "the first of the Florida Keys," because of its northernmost location along the Florida Keys chain, is an hour's drive from South Florida's two major airports. Yet it is a world away. It is sandwiched between the watery wilderness of the Everglades National Park to the west and the fish-covered coral formations of North America's only living coral barrier reef to the east. Add in unusually clear water--with visibility often as great as 200 ft--and you have the formula for some incredible underwater adventures.
Key Largo has had a long history of marine conservation. beginning in 1960 with the creation of the nation's first undersea preserve, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and then with the designation of the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary in 1975, Key Largo has been protected from spearfishing and coral collection for four decades. Now, as an integral portion of the 2,800-square-nautical-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Key Largo features six unique Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA's) where even hook and line fishing is prohibited. Nowhere on earth has more friendly fish than Key Largo, creating an absolute paradise for underwater photographers!