KeysCaribbean ACTIVITIES and EXPERIENCES with KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts Villas & Marinas

 


 

The Upper Keys:

In Key Largo and Islamorada, where KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has two exclusive locations, Mariners Resort Villas & Marina and the Historic Tavernier Inn

Activities

The Florida Keys are filled with eco-friendly things to do while on vacation. Like walking tours, they are designed to interact with nature, are inexpensive and low-impact, and help visitors get to know the Keys more intimately:

Kayaking the backcountry waters of the Florida Keys, and you’ll see one of the world’s most diverse marine life ecosystems. The quiet, shallow backwater region of flats and mangrove islands has inspired many naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts to combine environmental tourism with the sport of sea kayaking.

Mangrove kayaking

Where the freshwater from the Everglades mixes with the saltwater of Florida Bay is an environmentally fascinating place. Key Largo is unique among the Keys in that it abuts Everglades National Park, the third largest park in the continental United Sates, along its southeastern-most border. Winding tributaries and tiny creeks are covered with a canopy of old-growth mangrove trees overhead. Manatees are regular visitors, especially during the winter months. For those who enjoy wilderness camping, outfitters in the Keys offer extended kayak and canoe trips from Flamingo, a national park outpost where the Everglades meet the sea, to Everglades City on Florida’s west coast. Tour boats and air-boat rides through the grassy interior of the Everglades can also introduce you to the wildlife and wilderness.

Kitesurfing

Kite Surfing & Kite Boarding Adrenaline enthusiasts enjoy virtually any adventure that catches air and goes fast. For an exhilarating rush over seagrass flats, try a backcountry safari where kiters slip through estuaries past marine life.

 

Sailing is the oldest means of emissions-free travel. Choose a sailboat or yacht that is powered up by water or wind. Or if you use an engine-powered yacht, look for one with an eco-friendly generator that puts the boat on autopilot, helping to cut back on fuel consumption and pollution. There are numerous locations throughout the Keys to rent a sailboat; or enjoy a sunset or snorkel sailing adventure. Sailing aficionados also have exciting opportunities to watch fast-paced regatta races in the Keys. January brings sailing enthusiasts two chances to celebrate wind and waves in the warm subtropical climate of the Keys, with the North American Multihull Sailing Association North American Championships and Tradewinds Midwinter Nationals, and the annual Acura Key West races.

Sailing

 

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding When the winds are too much (or simply nonexistent) for kiteboarding, standup paddling is a perfect stand-in sport for fun and a core physical workout. It’s possible to use the board for surfing, traversing on a “downwinder” (riding the board backed by tradewinds to cover long distances), as a fishing or diving platform, or just quietly enjoying secluded eco-tours through the backcountry flats in an environmentally friendly way.

 

 

 

The Middle Keys:

In the Middle Keys,  KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has the Village at Hawks Cay Villas on Duck Key, Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina and the Coral Lagoon Resort Villas & Marina vacation rentals in Marathon

 

Snorkeling & Diving Thousands of recreational scuba divers are hosted in the Florida Keys each year, where they can snorkel or dive the third largest barrier coral reef in the world. Established by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Florida Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail is a water-based line of nine notable wreck sites — suitable for both snorkeling and diving — that stretches from Key Largo to Key West. The trail was not only created to encourage an appreciation and understanding of the Keys’ maritime heritage, but artificial reefs take pressure off the natural reef system by promoting marine ecosystems in areas that were generally featureless ocean bottom while at the same time creating new recreational diving areas that thrive with aquatic life. Sanctuary personnel also help educate recreational divers about coral reef etiquette.

Spiegel Grove

 

Catch & release

Catch & Release fishing Conservation efforts designed to enhance fish stocks have been driving the fishing ethic in the Keys for decades. Keys guides pioneered catch-and-release fishing. Size and bag limits, and more recently bans on gill nets and fish traps in state waters, have enabled stocks to grow and stabilize.

 

Coral Restoration Divers can become citizen scientists, and work side-by-side with marine scientists to aid in reef restoration during build-a-reef opportunities set in the Upper Florida Keys. Scuba divers learn from and work with coral restoration expert Ken Nedimyer and marine scientists about coral health, corals’ function in marine ecosystems, identification of natural and manmade threats to coral and means to protect the resource. The Coral Restoration Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs, and has opportunities to get involved and even Adopt-A-Coral.

Coral restoration

 

Other ways you can volunteer for environmental, conservation and preservation activities during your vacation include:

Adopt-A-Reef Clean Up programs. Divers volunteer to clean up monofilament fishing line from the reef and other fragile areas. From Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys. Occur in April and September.

Bleach Watch During your next trip to the reef scuba Divers and snorkels can actually help the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Mote Marine Laboratory monitor the coral. Just report back through this program whether you saw healthy reef or any evidence of coral bleaching episodes.

Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) REEF is a non- profit organization that encourages recreational divers and snorkelers to conduct fish surveys during their normal dive activities. Surveying can be conducted year round. Contact REEF to find out how you can conduct a fish survey during your next dive or snorkeling trip.

Reef Relief If you will be sailing or yachting to the Keys, this private environmental group has information on clean boating practices in the protected waters of the Florida Keys.

 

Dolphin

Dolphin encounters The Federation of Tour Operators has adopted a set of guidelines for animal attractions featuring whales and dolphins, primarily with regard to general animal welfare, training and programs. Florida Keys marine mammal facilities assure visitors that they will see and interact with dolphins that are happy, healthy, well cared for and loved. Such facilities exist in Key Largo, Marathon, as well as wild dolphin encounters off Key West.

 

Bicycling enthusiasts throughout the country enjoy the freedom of US1 and the Overseas Highway, linking over 100 miles of islands with 42 bridges — one being seven miles long. Not only are many areas of the Keys bicyclist-, and pedestrian-friendly with designated walkways and pathways, the Key West city buses and the Key West Express ferry also permit riders to bring their bikes along, and most cab companies have bike racks on their taxis.

Bicycling

Some important resources for cyclists:

Florida’s Bicycle Laws

Florida Keys Trails & Side Trails

Map of Key West Bike Routes

Florida Keys Overseas Highway Heritage Trail

 

 

The Lower Keys:

In the Lower Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has the Coral Hammock Resort Villas and Kings Point Marina & Condominiums vacation rentals

 

Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote offshore preserve that lies approximately 70 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. The park contains the Civil War-era Fort Jefferson, believed to be the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere. Dry Tortugas is the largest no-take marine reserve in the continental United States. Snorkelers, divers, boaters and researchers enjoy a pristine marine environment while protecting the region’s important coral reef habitat. The park is divided into a historic preservation zone where visitors can enjoy guided tours, diving, recreational fishing and other activities; a managed natural/cultural zone offering solitude and activities such as swimming, diving and recreational fishing; the protected Research Natural Area, where boaters can enjoy the environmental richness while preserving marine resources; and special protection zones for areas requiring protection from human impact. Dry Tortugas National Park can be accessed via ferry or by private vessel.

                          

These are some of my favorite experiences this week in the Florida Keys. If you’re coming down to visit and stay with us at the KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas in our vacation rentals, share your favorite experiences with us in the comments section of our blog…

 

Visit our blog next Thursday with updated experiences in the Florida Keys…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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