Scuba Diving at John Pennekamp Park

Brilliant coral reefs, abundant marine life, fantastic wrecks...

Just a few miles offshore from John Pennekamp lies a fantastic coral reef, the world's third largest, teeming with marine life and vibrant corals, so it is no wonder that diving and snorkeling are two of the park's main activities.

Tropical Fish at Molasses Reef - John Pennekamp Diving

There is a fully equipped PADI 5-star facility at the park which provides boat tours to the reef, gear rental, and scuba instruction.

They frequent some of Key Largo's most popular sites like

These are all relatively shallow sites and ideal for beginners and recently certified divers but also enjoyable for the more experienced divers with lots to see, tons of marine life, schools of fish, endless gardens full of seafans, plumes and sponges...

Diving at John Pennekamp: Beautiful seafans

They also offer trips to some of the deeper wrecks upon request for the more experienced divers and Advanced Open Water certification or higher is necessary.

There is one morning and one afternoon dive trip, both are two-tank, two-location dives. Cost is $75, add $29 for gear if you don't have your own. In addition, you have to pay the park entry fee.

The Dive Shop is conveniently located, after you enter the park, the Visitor Center will be on your left, make a right towards the marina and campground. See the map here.

There is plenty of parking in front of the dive shop and the boats leave from the dock right in front, so no shuttling back and forth to another jetti.

John Pennekamp Dive boat

All sites are in a protected area within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, so be mindful of some basic rules which the staff will point out like not touching or taking anything from the water, live or otherwise.

The John Pennekamp diving tours go to the same sites as the many Key Largo dive shops that operate outside the park, and there are pros and cons when deciding whether to dive with one or the other.

One of the advantages of diving from Pennekamp is the park facilities. You can chill, shower and change, have a bar-b-que or picnic after you are done diving and make it a full day.

The Park is also a good choice if there are non-divers in your group since there is much to do from relaxing at the little beaches, taking a canoe or kayak trip, check out the boardwalks or do the snorkel or glass-bottom boat tour.

If you are choosing a Key Largo dive shop there are many options, some take smaller groups, 6-8 divers for example, and if you prefer, some dive shops offer a dive guide that will go in the water with you.

There is certainly a great variety of services you can choose from. Pennekamp now also offers the option of a Personal or Group in-water guide upon 24-hour request for $40 plus tax. Each additional Diver (guided) is $20 plus tax. Max group size is 6 Divers per guide.

Here's more on Pennekamp vs. Key Largo Shop on our Snorkeling page.

What to Bring?

  • Sun protection
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Dry change of clothes
  • Drinking water
  • Underwater camera
  • Dive Gear
  • C-Card / Dive Log Book

Diving John Pennekamp: French Reef

John Pennekamp Diving Tours at a Glance

Hours: 9:00am, 1:30pm
Cost: $75 for two-tank dive
Gear Rental if not bringing your own is additional $29
Tanks and Weights are included

More info, reservations and $5 off coupon: or call (305) 451-6322.

The Florida Keys Have Reopened! Get In The Water!

Book with confidence! Free cancellation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund

John Penekamp Coral Reef State Park

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