Marathon, Florida is located to the north of the Seven Mile Bridge. Access to the water “offers very shallow snorkeling and snorkeling can safely be practiced in this area”. Sombrero Beach offers offshore snorkeling, but you can also find several affordable shops that can take you to the best natural reefs found just a few miles away. You will experience multiple species of fish and marine life and fall in love with the natural beauty of our living reefs.
The Atlantic waters generally west of these communities are home to several named reefs within the chain. The largest are marked with lighthouse structures that can be seen from shore. Marathon is the closest access to reach Sombrero Reef. Sombrero Reef is nearly 30 acres of reef building corals divided by sand trenches. The depth of this reef is 5 feet below the surface to 35 feet at the sandy floor. One of the Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA) Sombrero Reef has a skeletal lighthouse that was built before the civil war and first lite March 17, 1858. Decommissioned in 2015, it was replaced by a smaller solar powered light. There are 18 moorings available on the reef wrapped around the designated swimming area.
Sombrero reef survived hurricane Irma with minor damage.
There are 12 documented sunken vessels at varying depths, and multiple patch reefs and man-made reefs (typically concrete from old bridges) that are covered with marine life from corals and sponges to a rainbow of colorful fishes.
Public beaches allow snorkeling within the designated swim areas. To reach most diving areas a boat and local knowledge are necessary.