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.


How To Get To Christ of the Abyss Key Largo


To get to the Christ of the Abyss statue in Key Largo, Florida, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Travel to Key Largo: If you’re coming from outside the area, the first step is to travel to Key Largo. You can reach Key Largo by car from mainland Florida, as it’s located on U.S. Highway 1, also known as the Overseas Highway.

  2. Map of Key Largo

    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: The Christ of the Abyss statue is located within the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is situated in Key Largo. Once you arrive in Key Largo, make your way to the state park.

  3. Enter the Park: Upon arriving at the entrance to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee if required. The park staff will provide you with any necessary information and directions to reach the Christ of the Abyss statue.

  4. Access the Underwater Park: The Christ of the Abyss statue is located underwater within the boundaries of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. To access the statue, you’ll typically need to go on a snorkeling or diving excursion. These excursions are often available through local dive shops and tour operators.

  5. Guided Tours: Many dive shops and tour operators in Key Largo offer guided snorkeling and diving trips to the Christ of the Abyss statue. These tours typically include transportation to the dive site, equipment rental (if needed), and guidance from experienced instructors or guides.

  6. Snorkeling or Diving: Once you’ve arranged your excursion, you’ll travel by boat to the designated dive site where the Christ of the Abyss statue is located. From there, you can snorkel or dive to explore the statue and the surrounding coral reef ecosystem.

  7. Safety Considerations: It’s important to prioritize safety when snorkeling or diving at the Christ of the Abyss statue. Be sure to follow the instructions of your guides, use appropriate snorkeling or diving equipment, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

By following these steps, you can easily get to the Christ of the Abyss statue in Key Largo and enjoy a memorable underwater experience in one of Florida’s most iconic dive sites.

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.


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 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.

Snorkeling at the Christ of the Abyss statue in Italy can be an awe-inspiring experience for underwater enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike. The Christ of the Abyss is a bronze statue located in the Mediterranean Sea near the Italian Riviera. It depicts Jesus Christ with his arms raised upward in a welcoming gesture. Here are some key points to know about snorkeling at this iconic site:

  1. Location: The Christ of the Abyss statue is situated in the protected marine area of Portofino, near the small village of Camogli in the Liguria region of Italy. It is located within the Portofino Marine Reserve, which ensures the conservation of marine life and habitats in the area.

  2. Access: Snorkeling at the Christ of the Abyss statue is accessible by boat. Visitors can typically arrange snorkeling tours or boat trips from nearby coastal towns like Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, or Portofino.

  3. Underwater Experience: Snorkelers can expect to encounter crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life around the statue. The underwater environment includes colorful fish, sea urchins, starfish, and various species of flora and fauna. The statue itself serves as a captivating focal point for underwater exploration and photography.

  4. Historical Significance: The Christ of the Abyss statue holds both religious and historical significance. It was placed underwater in 1954 as a tribute to Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use scuba gear, who died in the area. Over the years, it has become a symbol of peace and protection for divers and snorkelers alike.

  5. Conservation: Snorkelers and divers need to practice responsible underwater tourism and adhere to marine conservation guidelines. This includes avoiding touching or disturbing marine life, not littering, and respecting the natural environment.

  6. Safety Precautions: While snorkeling at the Christ of the Abyss statue is generally safe, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Snorkelers should wear appropriate gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit if necessary. It’s also advisable to snorkel with a buddy or under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Overall, snorkeling at the Christ of the Abyss statue offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and spiritual resonance that makes it a memorable experience for visitors to the Italian Riviera.


Snorkeling Key Largo



Snorkeling in Key Largo offers an incredible opportunity to explore the vibrant marine life and stunning underwater landscapes of the Florida Keys. Here’s a guide on how to enjoy snorkeling in Key Largo:

  1. Choose a Snorkeling Location: Key Largo is home to several excellent snorkeling sites, each offering unique underwater experiences. Popular spots include John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Molasses Reef, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Research the different locations to find one that suits your preferences and skill level.

  2. Rent or Bring Snorkeling Gear: If you don’t have your snorkeling gear, you can easily rent equipment from dive shops and water sports outfitters in Key Largo. Basic snorkeling gear includes a mask, snorkel, and fins. Some places also offer optional additions like wetsuits and underwater cameras.

  3. Join a Guided Tour or Excursion: Many dive shops and tour operators in Key Largo offer guided snorkeling trips to popular reef sites. These tours typically include transportation to the snorkeling location, equipment rental, and guidance from experienced instructors. Joining a guided tour can enhance your snorkeling experience by providing insight into the local marine life and ensuring safety.

  4. Safety First: Before entering the water, make sure you’re familiar with basic snorkeling safety guidelines. This includes checking your equipment for proper fit and functionality, staying within your comfort zone, and never snorkeling alone. If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider wearing a flotation device or using a snorkel vest.

  5. Respect the Marine Environment: While snorkeling, be mindful of the delicate coral reef ecosystem and marine life. Avoid touching or standing on coral, as it can cause irreparable damage. Keep a safe distance from marine creatures and refrain from feeding or chasing them. Leave nothing behind except bubbles and take only memories and photographs.

  6. Enjoy the Experience: Once you’re in the water, take your time to explore the underwater world at your own pace. Swim slowly and observe the colorful fish, coral formations, and other marine inhabitants. Don’t forget to look up occasionally to enjoy the sunlight filtering through the water’s surface.

  7. Capture Memories: Bring a waterproof camera or use a GoPro to capture photos and videos of your snorkeling adventure. Just be sure to secure your camera properly and focus on enjoying the experience rather than getting the perfect shot.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your snorkeling experience in Key Largo and create unforgettable memories by exploring the beautiful underwater landscapes of the Florida Keys.

If you are a Serious Divers and Certified Snorkeler well then you can find USCG 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 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. 


Snorkeling/Diving is divided into three Classes in Key Largo


In Key Largo, snorkeling and diving activities are typically not divided into formal “classes” in the same way that scuba diving certification courses are structured. However, there are different levels of experience and expertise among snorkelers and divers, and various tours and excursions cater to individuals with different skill levels. Here’s a breakdown of the general categories of snorkeling and diving experiences you might encounter in Key Largo:

  1. Introductory Snorkeling or Discover Scuba Diving: These experiences are designed for beginners who want to try snorkeling or scuba diving for the first time. Introductory snorkeling sessions typically include basic instructions on how to use snorkeling equipment and basic water safety guidelines. Discover Scuba Diving programs offer a brief introduction to scuba diving under the supervision of a certified instructor.

  2. Guided Snorkeling Tours: Guided snorkeling tours are suitable for individuals of all skill levels, including beginners. These tours are led by experienced guides who provide instruction, equipment, and supervision as participants explore the underwater environment. Guided snorkeling tours often visit popular reef sites and marine sanctuaries in Key Largo.

  3. Certified Scuba Diving: Certified scuba divers have completed formal scuba diving certification courses and are qualified to dive independently or participate in guided dives. Key Largo offers a range of dive sites catering to divers of different experience levels, from shallow reefs suitable for newly certified divers to advanced dive sites with deeper depths and stronger currents.

While snorkeling and diving experiences in Key Largo may not be divided into formal “classes” per se, there are opportunities for individuals of all skill levels to explore the diverse marine environments of the Florida Keys. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced diver, there are options available to suit your interests and comfort level.

  • 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 who 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 see from the comfortable viewing seats on the boats.

Some of the area boulders 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! 

Glass bottom boat tours in Key Largo offer a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Florida Keys without getting wet. Here’s what you can expect from a glass-bottom boat tour in Key Largo:

  1. Glass Bottom Boat Tour Key Largo

    Observation Deck: Glass bottom boats feature a viewing area with large, clear panels on the bottom of the boat. Passengers can sit or stand on the observation deck and look through these panels to observe the marine life and underwater landscapes below.

  2. Narrated Tour: During the tour, knowledgeable guides provide commentary and information about the marine ecosystem, coral reefs, and the various species of fish and other marine creatures that inhabit the area. Guides may point out interesting sights and provide insights into the region’s natural history and conservation efforts.

  3. Reef Exploration: Glass bottom boat tours typically visit popular reef sites and marine sanctuaries in the Key Largo area, such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park or the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Passengers have the opportunity to view colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and other marine life through the glass panels.

  4. Comfort and Convenience: Glass bottom boats are designed for passenger comfort, with spacious seating areas, shade, and restroom facilities on board. Unlike snorkeling or diving, glass bottom boat tours require no special equipment or swimming skills, making them suitable for passengers of all ages and abilities.

  5. Photography Opportunities: Glass bottom boat tours provide excellent opportunities for photography and videography, allowing passengers to capture stunning images of the underwater world from the comfort of the boat. Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to document your experience.

  6. Environmental Education: In addition to enjoying the sights of the reef, glass bottom boat tours often include educational components focused on marine conservation and environmental stewardship. Guides may discuss the importance of protecting coral reefs and marine habitats and offer tips for responsible snorkeling, diving, and boating practices.

Overall, glass bottom boat tours in Key Largo offer a convenient and accessible way to experience the beauty and biodiversity of the Florida Keys’ underwater environment, making them an ideal option for families, groups, and individuals looking to explore the marine world without getting wet. For a Virtual Tour of the State Park enter here!



In conclusion, glass-bottom boat tours in Key Largo provide a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world of the Florida Keys. With their large, clear panels offering unobstructed views of the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life below, these tours offer a convenient and accessible way for visitors of all ages and abilities to experience the beauty of the marine environment. Guided by knowledgeable narrators, passengers learn about the rich biodiversity of the reef ecosystem and gain insights into the region’s natural history and conservation efforts. Whether you’re a seasoned marine enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable adventure, a glass-bottom boat tour in Key Largo offers an unforgettable experience that showcases the wonders of the ocean without the need for snorkeling or diving gear.


JimGalloway Author/Editor






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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