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Miami Diving Guide

November 11, 2016

An under-appreciated extreme sport, scuba diving’s underwater adventures require top-notch training and memorable dive locations to really give thrill-seekers the full experience. Miami offers the best of both worlds.

This city’s top scuba schools also double as dive shops featuring the best instructors who just plain know their stuff. Check out the best Scuba Diving Schools and Diving locations in Miami:

South Beach Divers

South Beach Divers is a renowned PADI 5 Star facility conveniently located in the heart of Miami Beach's trendy and vibrant South Beach. Their location is within walking distance to most hotels, restaurants, and tourism enclaves.

Their professional instructors have certified thousands of new divers from the highest level of education in dive lessons and Scuba instruction. Our one day dive and snorkel trips to Key Largo's John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary is a great addition to the awesome wreck diving we offer here in Miami.

Grove Scuba

Grove Scuba is Miami’s only PADI 5-star instruction center. As such, it offers a wide range of course offerings and certifications. Go in for beginning certification, or use your previous diving experience to enroll in instructor training. The facility’s first-rate staff speaks several languages and has extensive experience in the field. Grove Scuba takes daily trips to the prime dive spots of Miami Beach and Key Largo, making for excellent training grounds and an even better diving experience.

Squalo Divers

A facility of diversity, its many services include scuba instruction, corresponding gear, equipment rental, sales and service. It's fully certified instructors are also industry experts ready to provide beyond-the-basics instruction every time. Interested divers may seek certification for open-water dives or explore specialty training. For added convenience, Squalo Divers also offers private courses. More than 50 different dive sites include coral reefs and shipwrecks on daily dive trips from the Miami Beach Marina.

Underwater Unlimited, Inc.

Scuba training at this facility promises the complete package: in-depth training by certified divers and interrelated course material. Underwater Unlimited offers both private and group instruction. It also offers SSI course books and loaner DVDs, regulators and air cylinders. To attest to the caliber of instructional staff, they also teach courses at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus Aquatics Center. From beginners to diving pros, this scuba shop’s dive options cover every base.

Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center

The only dive center in the Miami area that offers the renowned National Geographic open water certification, this distinctive certification includes training for in-depth underwater exploration, underwater navigation, and locating and identifying specific underwater features. Classes for standard open water dive certification are open to students 10 and older. Tarpoon Lagoon offers both PADI and NAUI training, with novice to master level courses, an on-site pool and in-store classroom.

Where to go Diving near Miami?

Biscayne Maritime Heritage Trail
Biscayne National Park

There is no better site in Florida for a group of snorkelers and divers than Biscayne National Park. Not only is there a mapped out trail of six wrecks to spend your day exploring, but many of them are in the clear water and highly visible from never very deep. The area around the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is a must-hit, as colorful marine life congregates close to the shore.

DEMA Trader
Key Biscayne

It's rare that anyone not at a well-timed car auction gets to benefit from a major drug seizure in Miami, but when this 165ft freighter was caught smuggling drugs, US Customs thought it would be best used as a tourable deep-water vessel. And while Florida is about as short on diveable ships as it is on actual drug smugglers, this one has holes cut into the side so you can safely tour the boat's interior -- like the galley and sleeping areas -- without much danger of getting stuck.

Half Moon Preserve
Biscayne National Park

If Instagram had been around in 1908, you can bet there would have been plenty of Miami's finest snapping selfies from the bow of this beast. Originally called the Germania, it was among the top racing yachts of its day and even won the Kaiser's Cup race across the Atlantic. Fast as it was, though, it wasn't able to outrun British warships; the boat was in England for a race when World War I broke out, and it was the first German ship captured. It now sits in the shallow waters of Biscayne National Park, a historic and fascinating first wreck for novice divers.

Molasses Reef
Key Largo

Possibly the most popular reef in the state, the spur-and-groove Molasses Reef is a perfect shallow dive for those who want to see live coral and don't have a ton of underwater experience. And since it lies right off John Pennekamp Park, it's the certification dive spot of choice for many locals in South Florida. You only have to swim down 25-45ft to see lobsters, moray eels, and nurse sharks.

Army Tank #1
Miami Beach

Much like how the population of Miami has exploded since 1994, so too has the population of this 21-year-old man-made reef; except, instead of people of questionable character, it's become a popular home for numerous species of lobsters, spiny oysters, and coral sponges. This spot contains one of two sunken M60 tanks (which look antique thanks to the saltwater) along with 1,060 limestone boulders to create one of the area's most interesting local dives.