Keys, the archipelago off the coast of Florida
Keys is an archipelago located off the coast of Florida, in the Florida straits connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is 145 kilometres from Cuba and is connected to Miami by a highway; The Overseas Highway.
Sailing in the Keys from Miami
Departing from Miami, start by heading towards Key Largo, and then make your way to Islamorada, Marathon, Bing Pine Key and finally Key West. It is a region where the weather is fine all the year round, but watch out for hurricanes between the start of June and the end of November.
Places to visit in the Keys:
Miami is a city renowned for the beauty of its beaches, especially Miami Beach. But Miami also has some hidden treasures, such as the "Everglades National Park" where you will be able to camp and take some time watching the alligators, turtles and the many birds that make up the local wildlife. Then, as you sail along the coast in a catamaran, take time to do some snorkelling or scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters and set out to discover the turtles, sharks and dolphins that live along the coral reef.
Miami Beach will also offer you the chance to discover its "Art Deco" neighbourhood which will immerse you in the 1930s, and further south, South Beach and Ocean Drive. Nearby, you will also find the Viscaya gardens, a museum offering 34 rooms that are incredibly well-maintained. After the "Art Deco" ambiance, set out to visit Little Havana, a neighbourhood with a Cuban style that is reminiscent of Havana and its cigar shops. Other museums also open their doors to you, such as the Miami Children Museum, the Miami Science Museum and the Seaquarium.
After Miami, make your way to Key Largo, an island with lush vegetation. You will be able to snorkel in an exceptional underwater park comprising more than 600 different species of fish and about 40 species of coral. And if the seabed is not your cup of tea, set out on a canoe to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, a centre devoted to the protection of sea birds.
Set sail for Islamorada, the world capital of game fishing, located on Plantation Key@ Swordfish, bonefish, snook, and redfish are just some of the many challenges not to be missed! Underwater enthusiasts will also find plenty to keep them amused with the scuba diving museum or the aquarium of the Theatre of the Sea, which offers the chance to swim with dolphins and other sea animals.
When you arrive in Marathon, you will make an extremely unusual discovery: In this town, you will find a hospital, you will find a hospital dedicated to turtles and a reception centre for dolphins: The Dolphin Research Center. Also, take the opportunity to visit Sombrero Beach, where you will be able to swim and sunbathe in a paradisiac setting and where snorkelling or diving enthusiasts will also be able to enjoy discovering the multi-coloured fish and coral.
Then, continue to Bing Pine Key. There you will find what sand beaches and lagoons with turquoise waters where you will be able to water ski and wakeboard. You will also be able to visit the National Key Deer Refuge and see animals in their natural habitat. Those who are interested in the underwater world, set out for Bahia Honda State Park, where you will discover a great snorkelling spot with magnificent fish in a multitude of colours, then visit the National Marine Sanctuary, where you can dive and discover the reefs of unequalled beauty.
Finally, head for Key West! When it comes to diving, you will be spoilt for choice thanks to the stunning spots found in the Key West Marine Park. For coral lovers, the island has the only coral reef still alive in the whole of the United States and many wrecks buried at a depth of more than 20 metres. You will also be able to visit the home of Ernest Hemingway, and Sloppy Joe's Bar, where Hemingway used to enjoy writing at the end of the day.
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