Archive June 2019

Dolphin Encounters

Dolphin Encounters

Dolphin Encounters in the Florida Keys?…You Bet!  

Some very close Dolphin Encounters of the amicable kind could occur if you visit the places that I will show you below. But first let’s pay a short tribute to these lovely and friendly creatures of the seas that often visit us and come near our shores.

Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to porpoises and whales and of the many species of dolphins that we know exist (close to 40 species) the common bottlenose dolphins are the ones that we see more on these tropical waters.Dolphins are highly intelligent; they are warm, friendly and affectionate, truly a human’s good friend…So where am’ I going with this chat?

Dolphin encounters in the Florida Keys..But where?

I wrote this page to let you know that there are some places in the Florida Keys where the dolphins are the stars of the shows, and other places where they will swim with you, and share some memorable times, these are trained, intelligent dolphins that put up a great show and some are even much better performers than humans.

A common dolphin behavior, is flipping over the water.

If you are a boater or a diver you can expect to have an occasional dolphin visitation or close encounter…But don’t be scare it’s not a shark, dolphins swim in a different pattern, in an up and down circular undulating motion and occasionally flipping off the water, and the shark swim straight and steadily forward, so if you ever come close to one of them you’ll see the dorsal fin out of the water first, you’ll know what it is by its swimming motion.

Swimming with dolphins in the Keys!

These are some of places in the Florida Keys where I know that you can have an out of this world dolphin encounter. The fallowing echo-tours and locations will take you out to dolphin’s territory and have you very close to their natural environment in no time.

Swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Cove.

*At the Dolphin Cove in Key Largo you’ll swim and play games in the water with the dolphins. Before you get in the natural lagoon or cove to swim with your new dolphins friends Elvis, Alfonso, Kimbit or any of the 8 dolphins, you are given about an hour of marine educational session on the dolphins life and behavior and… you’ll be as close to be a dolphin’s expert in no time! The Dolphin Cove is located at the Mile Marker 101.9 on the Bay Side, Overseas Highway, in Key Largo. Phone number: 1 877-365-2683.

The Dolphin Research Center of Grassy Key in Marathon.

*The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon is another great dolphinarium to swim with the dolphins and learn about these marine mammals. This place is more than just experiencing a close dolphin encounter of the best kind, they also have, California sea lions, tropical birds, free roaming iguanas and a fantastic water park for the children. Located at 58901 Overseas Highway, in Grassy Key, Marathon, Florida Keys. Phone Number: 305-289-1121.

The dolphins and their trainer performing the show at the Theater of the Sea. 

*The Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, has a very impressive dolphin show that is worth your time to check, especially children love this kind of interaction between humans and the marine mammals, since the dolphins are trained to execute fun stuff and tricks, there are other marine animals like the sea lions, sharks, sting rays, also parrots and other birds, free roaming iguanas and the beautiful green lizards of the Keys. We can swim with the dolphins and watch the shows.The Theater of the Sea is located at 84721 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida keys. Phone Number: 305-664-2431.

There are possible dolphin encounters during diving or snorkeling in different areas of the reefs or the open waters surrounding the Florida keys

*Dolphin Safari in Key West, is simply one amazing experience for children and adults alike, the dolphins swim very close to the boats, you can almost touch them, their team is passionate about the dolphins, is also snorkeling and sunset watching with this trips. Their phone number is 305-797-5491. 2319 Roosevelt Blvd, in Key West

*Sunset Watersports also in Key West have dolphin trips along with all the other watersports. Their number is 305-296-2554 and their location: 201 William Street, in Key West.

*Fury Water Adventures is another tour and watersports co. in Key West that I know has some great dolphin watching as well as snorkeling trips, sunset cruises, and lots of other fun stuff. Their number is: 305-294-8899 and their location: 237 Front Street, Old Seaport, in Key West

Dolphin up close.

These are some of the best that  I known-up close and personal dolphin encounters that you can try while in the Florida Keys. I have been there my self so I know that they’re optimum experiences for every one!

Map of South Florida

map-of-south-florida

Road map of South Florida.

This map of South Florida will help you understand the best way to get to our must wanted destinations…Miami, South Beach, Homestead,  Everglades, Bill Bags State Park, Biscayne Bay, other National Parks, preserves, campgrounds, the Florida Keys and Key West..

View Larger Map

If you don’t know this area it could be a little complicated.

South Florida is a large territory, being the city of Miami the most populated area. South of Miami we have the fabulous Florida Keys, always being visited by people from around the world.

The Miami’s International Airport receives millions of passengers every year, many from other countries just coming over to enjoy our tropical weather, beaches, activities and touristic attractions. From this important airport visitors commute to the other locations in the Sunshine State, for a great vacation and holidays.

Other important cities of Florida are Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

On the map of South Florida you can see that the major roads or highways are the Florida’s Turnpike, the Interstates Highways I-95, I-75, I-595, US 1 and a few others.

Using this map while driving in South Florida, especially in the Miami and Dade County areas will be of great help to you.

Tell you about South Florida.

South Florida sure has a lot of important places and tourists hot spots.Beaches everywhere, excellent clubs and restaurants, the Everglades and other National Parks, art museums, big sports events, the mysterious Coral Castle, alligators farms, botanic gardens, famous people, seaquariums, Indian reservations with casinos, Disney World is not too far, lots of pretty women and finally the Florida Keys and Key West.
What else can we ask for?The South Florida weather is nice, too hot for some but not like that sticky heat of other tropical countries.It rains a lot during the month of May and June, and the hurricane season always brings a couple of windy storms every year but it’s a nice place to be.
We could talk about South Florida for a long time, but the important thing now is that you will be able to find you final destination and have a great time with us!

South Florida is this sun filled hot terrain with palm trees and big dreams!

Florida Keys Map

Florida Keys Map

The Florida Keys Map

Using Google Maps. 

Use the Florida Keys map to find your way around this vast territory. It’s easy to use!

The map allows you to scroll from one area to the other by just dragging the image, up, down, left or right. You can also get a closer view of the areas with the + or the – buttons on the left corner of the map. You also have four views of the map.

  • Map (shows the street map)
  • Sat (shows the satellite Image)
  • Ter (shows the streets with terrain)
  • Earth (shows a 3 D image)

View Larger Map

Also print the map and take it on the road with you. It provides high resolution satellite or aerial views of the terrain. Google maps can be use on mobile devices and tablets.

Clicking on the directions link located inside of the white square box in the middle of the map or that appear after clicking in the red circle with the “A” over Key West it will take you to a new page that displays a larger view of the map, you can find directions to locations, hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions here. On this window you can also see pictures and images of such places.

Clicking on search nearby will take you to a search box where you can type the name of a place and get a closer map view of the location, addresses, pictures, reviews and general information, ex.-Shipwreck Museum, Key West.

Driving along the Florida Keys.

The Florida Keys main route is Highway US 1, Over Seas Highway or Scenic Highway.

This is the main route to take to any area of the Keys but to reach certain areas you’ll have to depart from US1, that’s when using a road map will help you.

You can also ask for directions at the Tourist Information Centers along the way. There are plenty of these centers on this areas along the highway.

Driving in Key West.

Key West is the most complicated area of the Florida Keys where you will need to use a map to find locations, but it’s not a complicated city to drive through.

A good thing to do before you get to the city is to write down on paper the route that you are planning on taking…the street names, the turns, etc… from the road map and fallow along as you go.

The Florida Keys

Florida Keys

The Complete List of the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are so many (over 1000 islands) that had to be classified into three major groups:

  • The Upper Keys
  • The Middle Keys
  • The Lower Keys

*But before we get to the here and there of this territory let’s see what’s in the vicinity; who our neighbors are?

The Biscayne National Park.

At the northern section of these islands and located south of the city of Miami is the Biscayne National Park ( The first big and important island on the north side is Key Largo. But in between Key Largo and the Bicayne National Park are a group of smaller islands that some consider as part of the Upper Keys, however these are part of the Park itself)

The Biscayne National Park is 90% underwater, a huge portion of coral reefs, water, and smaller islands comprises it. An extensive South Florida wild life ecosystem inhabits the park, they depend on the park’s natural resources for food, nesting and shelter. *A must to visit tourist attraction in South Florida!

These islands located in this section of the north Key Largo in Biscayne National Park.

  • Soldier Key.
  • Ragged Keys
  • Boca Chica Island (Home of the Boca Chica Light House and the most popular island)
  • Sands Key.
  • Elliott Key.
  • Reid Key.
  • Rubicon Keys.
  • Totten Key.
  • Rodes Key.
The Boca Chica Light House.

The Upper Keys.

In Monroe County, the Upper Keys, are the closes to Miami. They are located on the north side of The Florida Keys, being the largest section Key Largo, which is a major touristic attraction and have the reputation for having the best diving sites of the Keys and shares a section of the Everglades National Park. And a south of Key Largo is Islamorada, the fisherman town.

  • Key Largo.( North Key Largo, Key Largo and Tavernier)
  • Tavernier. (Not an island itself but important place of Key Largo)
  • Plantation Key.
  • Windley Key.
  • *Islamorada-The Village of Islands and Sport Fishing Capital of the World(the group of islands of Islamorada, are Plantation and  Lower Matecombe, Indian and Lightnumvitae Keys, left and right)
  • Upper Matecumbe Key.
  • Lightnumvitae Key. And Indian Key (Botanical State Parks and Historic Sites, part of the Triangle of History) (both on either side the Matecumbe Keys and US 1,  accessible only by boat)
  • Lower Matecumbe Key.
Diving in Key Largo and fishing in Islamorada are the main things here.
The point at the Triangle of History in Islamorada. Lower Matecumbe, Lighnumbitae and Indian key.

The Middle Keys.

The Meddle Keys are…of course in the center section of the Florida Keys, where the Marathon group of islands and the Historic Pigeon Key.

  • Craig Key.
  • Fiesta Key.
  • Long Key.
  • Conch Key.
  • Duck Key.
  • Grassy Key.
  • *The Marathon Islands are comprised by Grassy, Crawl, Long Point, Fat Deer, Shelter, Boot, Vaca, and Knight’s  Keys)
  • Crawl Key.
  • Long Point Key.
  • Fat Deer key.
  • Shelter Key.
  • Vaca Key.
  • Boot Key.
  • Knight’s Key.
  • Pigeon Key. (The Historic Island can be seen from the section of US 1 over the seven mile bridge) 
Entry to the Old Historic Seven Mile Bridge, takes you to Pigeon Key.
Walking over the bridge to Pigeon Key.

The Lower keys.

The Lower Keys are at the southern end of the Florida Keys, this vast territory is where the exotic and festive Key West and the home of the Key Deer, Big Pine Key.

  • Little Dock Key.
  • Missouri Key.
  • Sunshine Key.
  • Bahia Honda Key.( Where the Bahia Honda State Park and Beaches)
  • Spanish Harbor.
  • Scout Key.( Summerland Key)
  • No Name Key.
  • Big Pine Key.
  • Little Torch Key.
  • Meddle Torch Key.
  • Big Torch Key.
  • Ramrod Key.
  • Summerland Key.
  • Knockemdown Key.
  • Cudjoe Key.
  • Sugarloaf Key.
  • Park Key. 
  • Lower Sugarloaf Key. 
  • Saddlebuch Key. 
  • Shark Key.
  • Geiger Key.
  • Big Coppitt.
  • Rockland Key.
  • Boca Chica Key.
  • Racoon Key.
  • Stock Island.
  • Key West.
  • Sisgbee Park.
  • Fleming Key.

At this point we find some outlying islands that are only accessible by boat or by the sea planes from Key West.

  • Dry Totugas (Home of Fort Jefferson)
  • Marquesas Islands.
  • Sunset Key & Wisteria Island.
Fort Jafferson *the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere”, in Dry Turtugas Natinal Park.