Best Way to See the Christ of Abyss

In shallow water adjacent to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the “Christ of the Abyss” rests on a platform at a depth of approximately 25 feet at a site called the Key Largo Dry Rocks in the National Marine Sanctuary in Key West Florida. The 8 1/2 foot statue sits on the bottom of the ocean only 6 miles off the coast with his hands outstretched reaching towards the heavens since it was placed there in 1965. What’s the Best Way To See The Christ Of The Abyss?

The best way to see the site is to take daily boat tours to snorkel or dive in the safe shallow waters of the State Park. The Sanctuary also has Glass Bottom Boat Tours to view the statue & aquatic life from the third-largest Coral Reef in the world.

The statue is a replica of a like-named statue set in the Mediterranean Sea and was cast from the same mold. The Italian memorial statue was dedicated to Italian Sailors who were lost at sea. The statue sits among huge boulders beautiful coral reef formations and many beautiful exotic native species of fish that thousands come to see.


Christ Of The Abyss Snorkeling Italy


The original Christ of the Abyss is immersed in the waters of San Fruttuoso, not far from the worldwide renowned village of Portofino. What lies in the heart of the Italian Riviera?

Their statue is located 15 meters under the sea and is made of Bronze. The landmark was placed there on August 22, 1954. Because of the initiative of legendary Italian diver Duilio Marcante, who wanted to place a statue of Jesus following the death of his friend Dario Gonzatti, which occurred during a dive a few years earlier in that exact spot. The statue placed there also has his arms raised up to the heavens to show praise and respect for his religious beliefs and his dear friend.

This monument built by Guido Galletti has been recently restored and is still a very popular tourist spot, especially for the diver who visits each year. Just as in the Keys, there are plenty of tour boats capitalizing on the beautiful snorkeling water that the Italian Riviera holds which is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth.


How To Get To Christ of the Abyss Key Largo



  Boat tours leave daily with Snorkeling Tours that cater to people who want to get in the water. There is much to see here besides the Christ Statue which is just a short ride out. The reefs here in Key West hold up to hundreds of species of fish and the snorkeling equipment is free to use. Key Largo is home to shallow coral reefs and beds of seagrass teeming with aquatic wildlife.

It’s one of the nicest State Parks I’ve ever seen. Along the way there is a Banana Reef near the Statue that has barracuda, parrotfish, and huge queen conch shells, crawling across the seagrass beds. Banana Reef is like swimming inside an aquarium. Christ of the Abyss Statue, Key Largo, Florida Keys, model Cody Wagner, and Katherine Wieland snorkeling around the Christ Statue.

The different Reefs here in Key Largo, are White Banks, Dry Rocks, and Mosquito Banks. It is just a short boat trip out to the Park. All reefs offer shallow-water snorkeling and beautiful views of the corals and over 500 species of fish found in our waters.

The water temperatures are great for diving. No wetsuits are needed. Most people agree down here if you can swim then you can snorkel. The underwater world of John Pennekamp State Park in the Keys holds up to 47 varieties of Coral and other marine creatures along with 500 species of Tropical Fish.

That makes up the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. If you have been wanting to snorkel, man this is the place. I’m from Jersey and I never snorkeled until my wife and I went down on vacation. It’s incredible. Key Largo has group boat trips that cater to Snorkelers and Divers.


Snorkeling Key Largo




If you are a Serious Divers and Certified Snorkeler well then you can find USCG certified ‘snorkel only’ boat with a maximum of 40 snorkelers allowed. Your boat is Captained by a USCG-licensed Captain with a PADI or NAUI trained Divemaster/Rescue Diver on board.

Keys Diver II is a 40′ USCG boat, as well, and carries up to 25 and can be a combination of snorkelers and divers. Each boat has all Coast Guard required safety equipment, plus a first aid kit, oxygen, and AED. The Crew are highly trained and come with years of boating and safety experience.

If you are me then there is the shallow water snorkeling that is basically for people trying it out for the first or second time where the captain will give you a few tips and keep an eye on you. This is what most of the vacationers are looking for down there.

I have been lucky enough to try Snorkeling at the urging of some friends and now I have my own equipment to bring with me when my family goes down once a year or so. These coral Reefs run from 10 feet to 140 feet.

The deeper water dives for experienced Divers exploring old sea wrecks. Purchase everything you need for a trip right here through MyWaterEarth&Sky HEAD Sea Vu Dry Snorkeling Set with Full Face Snorkel Mask Size L/XL Anti-Fog/Ocean Pro Escape Pink Fins Size M/L 9/11 Scuba Diving Flag 12″x12″ / Sopras Sub Travel Bag/Snorkel Vest Adult Size


Snorkeling/Diving is divided into three Classes in Key Largo


  • Key Largo- Dry Rocks which holds the famous Christ of Abyss statue is considered a novice Dive/Snorkel
    Depth Range: Shallow to 25 feet Experience Level: Novice
  • White Banks -Dry Rocks Snorkel
    Depth Range: Shallow to 15 feet Experience: Beginner to expert
  • Grecian Rocks –Snorkel
    Depth Range: Shallow to 25 feet Experience Level: Beginner to Novice
  • Molasses Reef- Snorkel/Dive
    Depth Range: 10-70 feet Experience: Novice
  • The Elbow- Snorkel/Dive
    Depth Range: 12-35 feet Experience: Novice
  • Snapper Ledge –Snorkel/Dive
    Depth Range: 12-35 feet Experience: Novice
  • Wreck of the Benwood
    Depth Range: 50 feet offshore – 20 feet inshore Experience Level: Novice to Intermediate
  • French Reef –Dive Only
    Depth Range: Shallow to 100 feet Experience Level: Novice to Advanced
  • Wreck of The Spiegel Grove- Dive Only
    Depth Range: 60 feet offshore – 134 feet Experience Level: Advanced
  • Wreck of the Duane –Dive Only
    Depth Range: 95-130 feet Experience Level: Advanced



Glass Bottom Boat Tours


The other way to see the Christ of Abyss and the John Pennekamp State Park is the Glass bottom boat tours that are available for tourists that just want to see the beautiful scenery of the Sanctuary and possibly take a little Snorkeling in when you get to the statue.

The water at the Statue has low tides that take the water level down to about 8 feet over the top of the bronze statue. It’s normally crystal clear and teeming with tropical fish. That you can clearly see from the comfortable viewing seats on the boats.

Some of the area boulders actually come out of the water which is why It’s called Dry Rocks. Even if you think you wouldn’t jump in and try snorkeling, you may want to here. You’ll get a great view either from the boat or if you get brave and jump in. I’m not but I did. It was great!



Even if you’re not the adventurous type there is plenty to do in Key Largo just to see one of the most beautiful sites in the world The Christ of Abyss is worth the trip and the adventure. Before you get too old I have one suggestion. See it from the water.



If you’re not really sure about your swimming ability but you want to try Snorkeling there are rules you should go by, like. Can you snorkel if you can’t swim?

  • Wear a life Jacket 
  • Test good snorkel equipment & know how it functions
  • Start at a Calm Spot
  • Stay with a group- Never Alone!
  • Let Tour boat Instructors or others know you are not a strong swimmer.
  • Don’t Ever Mix Alcohol and snorkeling
  • Beware Of Stepping On Coral
  • Start From the Beach, not from the Boat.……………………………………………………………………………. Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor




Related Questions:

How deep is Christ of the Abyss? In shallow water adjacent to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, “Christ of the Abyss” rests at a depth of approximately 25 feet at a site called the Key Largo Dry Rocks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

What is the best time to go to the Florida Keys? The best time to visit Key West is between March and May. The winter crowds will taper off, the hotel rates become reasonable and the weather is remarkably similar to winter’s blissful 70s or 80s. The winter season is the island’s busiest and priciest.



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