14677
Key Largo
Florida's Fragile Coastal Treasure: Snorkel the Coral Reefs
Learn about coastal ecosystems as you snorkel, kayak and beachcomb your way across the Florida Keys, enjoying expert-led discussions on the region’s coral reefs and natural history.
Rating (4.4)
Program No. 14677RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,699
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
3:00 PM Airport Shuttle depart from Miami Airport departing from Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 and Orientation at 5:30 PM.
Key Largo Florida Keys
D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: For those taking the complimentary Shuttle meet at Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 at 2:45 PM.

Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Hotel check-in will be available beginning at 4:00 PM PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:30 PM in our reserved room at the hotel (in the downstairs Welcome Center Area) for introductions and orientation. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
2
Kayaking and Snorkel Instruction
Key Largo Florida Keys
B,L,D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Learn about the Keys' natural environment, the area’s history and the challenges it faces moving foward. Search for wading birds and creatures of the sea as we journey through mangrove forests, across tidal flats and out along the Atlantic’s edge. Your leader will show you the kayaking basics and will familiarize you with the necessary paddling equipment. We will be out on the water for approximately 60-90 minutes with instruction for beginners. Participants will be assigned to tandem or single seat sea-kayaks according to their abilities. In the interests of safety and enjoyment, couples and companions may well be in different kayaks. This will be determined strictly by the instructor(s). Water will be provided please bring your water bottle.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: PRACTICE: Introduction to snorkeling and training sessions in the pool to review your skills and give you useful tips. Instruction will include the all important procedure and practice for getting in and out of the water safely from a boat at anchor. Those not interested in the training and review session may wish to take the opportunity to relax by the hotel's pool and whirlpool spa, play tennis on one of the 2 tennis courts, visit the marina or a waterfront cafe, or enjoy the hotel's small, private white sand beach with volleyball court and kayak rentals.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
3
Presentation at John Pennekamp State Park and afternoon snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Key Largo Florida Keys
B,L,D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore John Pennekamp State Park, with one of your group leaders, a certified Florida Master Naturalist. Our guided field trip includes a mile long walk through mangrove habitat over pathways and boardwalk. Learn about the importance of mangroves to the reefs and why the mangrove system is the second most productive bio-zone on the planet. Following our field trip we will have a slide presentation on reef fish, to help us identify those that we will see on this afternoon's snorkeling excursion.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Our first reef snorkel will take place at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This living, shallow-water reefs is teeming with vibrant color and activity. Our 2 and a half-hour including boat travel time snorkeling excursion is strictly non-scuba for the comfort of our participants. The site is determined by weather and tidal conditions, Captain's experienced knowledge and other pertinent factors.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
4
Field trip to Everglades National Park
Key Largo Florida Keys
B,L,D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit Everglades National Park where we will embark on an approximately one mile long walk over pavement and boardwalk on the Anhinga Trail, guided by a park service expert. Sunscreen and hats are strongly suggested as most of the trail is in the open.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches in Everglades National Park.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Stop at the Everglades National Park Visitors Center for presentations on the Park and an opportunity to peruse the exhibits and tasteful book/gift shop.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
5
Free Time/ Second Snorkel Trip
Key Largo Florida Keys
B,L,D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: Free Time

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We'll return to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to see and learn more about the reefs there. In addition to the colorful coral and fish, you will have the opportunity to view a variety of seagrass, birds and other marine life.

Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
6
Field trip to Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and Snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Key Largo Florida Keys
B,L,D
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo

Activity note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of ancient coral. Learn about the history of the quarry and its operation -- an important part of Florida's 20th century history -- as you walk among samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. Following the completion of the railroad, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we will return to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for our third snorkeling field trip. Our 2.5 hour excursion (including boat travel time) will be strictly non-scuba for the comfort of participants. The site is determined by weather and tidal conditions, Captain's experienced knowledge and other pertinent factors.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant

DAY
7
Breakfast and Adventure Recap
Key Largo Florida Keys
B

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.

Morning: WRAP-UP SESSION: The program will conclude following an informal wrap-up session to share and discuss what you thought was most interesting, exciting, and enjoyable about your experience. We hope you have had a great time on this learning adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys! HOTEL CHECK-OUT: Check-out is by 11:00 AM. AIRPORT SHUTTLE TO MIAMI: Departs at 10:00 AM.