Many divers are not aware of all the opportunities for Florida springs scuba diving. Divers of all levels can enjoy amazing visibility and prehistoric geologic formations at one or more of the many Florida springs locations. Some students in dive training use the springs to test their skills prior to diving in the ocean.
Here are some of the best Florida springs scuba diving sites to consider visiting:
The Devil’s Den Spring
Don’t let the name scare you. A long time ago, settlers in the area saw smoke rising from the cave during cold winter mornings and named it the Devil’s Den. The temperature in the springs stays a consistent 72 degrees all year round.
This privately owned mushroom-shaped cave is a prehistoric site and a diver’s dream, with fossils and artifacts dating back millions of years ago. Saber-toothed cats, mastodons, and other creatures once congregated around the spring.
Both snorkeling and scuba diving are possible here. The average depth is around 50-55 feet, and you may see fresh-water fish and turtles cruising by. Divers may benefit by bringing a dive light.
Ginnie Springs is a popular Florida springs scuba diving site. In fact, it is known as the world’s favorite freshwater dive. Located on the Santa Fe River, the clear waters of the springs make it easy for divers to explore. The springs are located on a two hundred acre forest area that also acts as a camping site.
There are several diving spots in the area, depending on your training and experience level. Ginnie Cavern is one of the areas considered to be safe for divers who have no formal cavern or cave diver training.
Farther back is an area called the Ballroom, where divers can see many unusual geologic formations. At the back of the Ballroom is a large welded grate that prevents diver from entering the dangerous, maze-like cave system beyond.
The Devil’s Spring System at Ginnie Springs is open only to certified cavern or cave divers.
During the summer, some people enjoy drift diving along the Santa Fe River. You may see fossils of giant sloths and other prehistoric mammals.
The Blue Grotto
This amazingly clear Florida springs scuba diving site has “visibility so good, you can lie on the bottom and bird-watch”, according to Scuba Diving magazine.
You can dive to a depth of 100 feet and expect a constant temperature of 72 degrees all year round.
One of the most spectacular features of diving in the Blue Grotto is the compressed air supplied bell at 30 feet. Here, you can take out your regulator and chat with your diving buddy. It is a diving experience like no other.
The Blue Grotto is known for its dive training facilities and can be explored as an open water dive or as a guided dive into the cave. Even as a seasoned diver, this Florida springs scuba diving experience is unforgettable.
This Florida State Park is home to its namesake manatees during the winter months as they seek refuge in the warmer water. The spring itself releases 100 million gallons of water daily.
The site is popular for both snorkeling and scuba diving, with several places to explore, including the main spring and the Catfish Hotel Sink. You may see fossils, shells, fish, and turtles here. Certain areas are off-limits to non-cave divers.
As you think about packing up your bags and heading to Florida, you may want to consider the above Florida springs scuba diving destinations.