Scuba diving remains one of the more popular and sometimes overlooked Siesta Key activities to enjoy while visiting this lovely barrier island. The warm weather allows for diving year round, and the fall or winter can be a perfect time to enjoy scuba diving when the island isn’t as crowded.
A number of local providers offer lessons and guided scuba tours, as well as snorkeling and other outdoor sport activities that are all within a close distance to our Siesta Key resort hotel.
If you’re inexperienced with scuba diving but interested in learning it as many are, a Siesta Key vacation is the perfect time to start, with customized lessons from some of the best divers in Florida, based on your skill level and goals.
Best of all, the waters around the island offer some of the most breathtaking and extraordinary settings for scuba diving that you can find anywhere.
Preparing for Scuba Diving on Siesta Key
The first thing that you’ll want to do is to contact one of the local scuba diving providers and let them know what your goals are.
Some local companies like Florida Underwater Sports and Ocean Pro offer eLearning programs that you can start from home, while taking a practical component once you arrive on Siesta Key.
These and other providers can also train you upon your arrival. It’s also a good idea to schedule your lessons before you arrive on the island, as some of these companies can be booked during the busiest tourist seasons.
Types of Scuba Diving Lessons
A moderate amount of training over a few days is necessary in order to be able to scuba dive safely, as there are a number of precautions that must be taken.
The first thing that you’ll need to do as a new scuba diver is to get certified if you don’t have a certification already. Classes range from 1 to 7 days. If you don’t have much time, a 1 day class will get you introduced to scuba diving, and some one day classes will include a guided dive.
To get a PADI certification to be able to scuba dive with the assistance of a dive master, you need to take a 3-4 day course, and to get a PADI certification to be able to dive on your own with a dive partner, you need a 4-7 day course.
Typical courses start with classroom and pool lessons, and guided open water dives once you’re ready. With the proper training and guidance, scuba diving is very safe, and you’ll get excellent training from leading instructors when you visit Siesta Key.
Locations for Incredible Scuba Diving
Siesta Key also has plenty of options for remarkable places to scuba dive and explore. Although your lesson instructors or dive charter captain will likely be taking you to one of their preferred diving spots, you might get the chance to visit some of these destinations:
- Point of Rocks – one of the more famous scuba diving locations on Siesta Key, the Point of Rocks is quite easy to find directly south of Crescent Beach, offering what many believe is the best scuba diving in the entire area. Here you can get a glimpse of colorful fish species such as snapper, snook, grouper, cobia, tarpon, crabs, dolphins, and manatees during the summer.
- Venice Beach – diving here will give you the chance to explore the large black sand on the ocean floor for large fossilized shark teeth, which can date back to the dinosaur era. Options include dive charters or shore dives, with visibility up to about 10-20 feet.
- M-10 – this artificial reef was created when a barge sunk in 1900, however little remains of the original wreck. It attracts a variety of different types of ocean life and is approximately eight miles out to sea from Siesta Key, so it must be explored on a dive charter.
Choosing a Provider
With diving being one of the top Siesta Key activities, there is an impressive number of scuba diving instructors and dive charter companies in the area.
Contact one of the options below to help plan for your trip and lessons, most of which are just a short distance away from our Siesta Key resort hotel:
Ocean Pro Dive Shop
2259 Bee Ridge Rd,
Sarasota FL (near Siesta Key)
Florida Underwater Sports
6345 South Tamiami Trail
129 S Tamiami Trl.
Or book an adventure tour or rent equipement from the Resort’s Adventure Tiki!