Tropical Fish at the Coral Reef in Key West

7 Most Eye-Catching Things to See at the Reef in Key West

The amazing thing about snorkeling in Key West is that it’s different every day. While you’re pretty much guaranteed to see certain species of marine life, including yellowtail snapper, barracuda, parrotfish and coral formations, you never quite know what you’re going to see.

Sometimes a giant stingray will glide underneath you on the sandy bottom, or you’ll spot a spiny lobster hiding out inside a coral rock.

It’s always a treat for the eyes no matter what you see. Check out this list of marine life you’re most likely to see at the reef in Key West that will take your breath away.


1. Angelfish

Image of Angelfish in Key West

Pretty fish come in many different colors, sizes and varieties. Keep your eyes peeled for them to flutter by.


2. Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Image of Loggerhead Sea Turtle in Key West

This is easily one of the coolest sightings at the reef. See how long you can follow one of these ancient turtles before they swim out of sight.


3. Nurse Sharks

Image of Nurse Shark in Key West

Sure to send a chill down your spine, a shark sighting at the reef is unlike any other. Test your nerves and see how close you can get.


4. Parrotfish

Image of Parrotfish in Key West

Colorful parrotfish come in many varieties including rainbow, spotlight and midnight blue. They can get quite large and can be found munching on coral. They play an important role in coral dusting and the health of the reef.


5. Dolphins

Image of Key West Dolphins

This is another thrilling sight that never gets old. Keep your eyes peeled en route to the reef or back to Key West. You have a great chance of spotting a pod of dolphins like these.


6. Barracuda

Image of Barracuda in Key West

This is another intimidating species, and you’re likely to spot them while snorkeling. They’re harmless and tend to be found in a school of yellowtail snapper.


7. Stingrays

Image of Stingray During Key West Snorkeling Trip

Keep an eye out on the sandy sea bottom for stingrays snoozing or gliding along the seafloor. The spotted eagle ray is an especially beautiful variety.