Diving Crystal River

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Crystal River, USA

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Country: USA  Area: Florida

Water Temp: 22 - 22°C (72 - 72°F)

Visibility: 10 - 30m (33 - 98 ft)

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Crystal River offers opportunities to swim with the West Indian Manatee, known as the Gentle Giant of the sea.  Freshwater diving options are also available.  

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Also known as the place "where man and manatee play," it is one of the world's main freshwater diving spots. 

Crystal River is the winter home of the largest concentration of West Indian Manatee’s in North America. From November until April their numbers can reach up to 350.These gentle creatures spend the warmer summer months out at sea but when the temperatures start dropping they migrate into land from the Gulf of Mexico seeking warmer waters to sit out the winter months. The waters of the Crystal River are perfect for the manatees due to the fresh water springs unique to this part of Florida, which pour warm water into the river from underground and maintain the temperature at a constant 22C/72F. This winter massing of the manatees draws nature lovers and underwater photographers. The manatees are playful and will happily interact with humans, so snorkelers and divers can swim amongst them.

The river, Credit

Climate & Water conditions

The climate of the area is moderate and generally warm throughout the year with hot summers.  Diving conditions are good.  The water temperature is 22C all year.

 
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Diving

Tours to spot manatees are available year-round, as there is still a chance of spotting them in the warmer off season, but they will be fewer in number and the water will be murkier, making them harder to find. These trips are open to divers and non divers as most will just involve snorkelling.  Diving is restricted in some areas to protect the manatees. Some areas are manatee refuges so  boats, divers and swimmers are not allowed to enter. 

Crystal River Divers, Credit

Dive sites in the Crystal River are calm with clear water and abundant marine life.  They are suitable for divers of all levels. One of the dive sites is Kings Springs which has caverns to explore.   Here divers can take photos of the sunlight filtering through the water as well as rock formations, fish and vegetation.  This site is also a place to spot dolphins that hunt the smaller fish living here.

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Getting there

Located on the west coast of Florida, Crystal River can be reached by flying into one of Florida’s main international or domestic airports and then completing the journey by bus or car. Tampa Airport is the closest international airport at 64 miles from Crystal River, or a couple of hours' drive away.

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Other Activities

The additional dive sites and the surrounding area can be explored. The wildlife refuges, although focused on manatees, have a huge amount of additional wildlife such as alligators, bears, racoons, bobcats and birds.  It's a suitable desination for nature lovers as well as divers.  

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Crystal River Report

Crystal River14 Sep 2012 - 30 Sep 2012

Crystal River USA is a fun place for manatees to play and have fun. Located in west coast Florida. Perfect climate for all people and animals who live there. You can dive there throughout the year. One of attracting factors for manatee and divers.Crystal River is the winter home to one of the largest concentration of West Indian Manatee's in North America and from November until April. They can reach up to 350 in number. Very gentle creatures I love them! :)

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mexicotravel

Leanne Howard

Not seen one - but I am pretty sure that that isn't a Manatee..

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