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What is SNUBA Diving?

First things first: What is SNUBA®?

Technically, it stands for Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus. To a vacationer, it stands for the thrill of scuba diving without the certification.

Even better, Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys is one of the few places in the continental U.S. where you can experience SNUBA®. And, of course, the Florida Keys is one of the best places in the world to be underwater. We’re home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental U.S.—the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef are the only systems larger. The Keys reef (also known as the Great Florida Reef) lies within five miles of Hawks Cay Resort. And our warm water is always inviting for SNUBA®.

How it Works

Assemble your traveling companions who are confident swimmers and at least 8 years old and meet us at Dive Duck Key. We provide each SNUBA® diving participant with a snorkel mask, fins, regulator and vest for visibility. Then, it’s time to board the boat from Hawks Cay Resort Marina for a short ride to the reef. The SNUBA® instructor gives a 20-minute orientation where the SNUBA® divers learn how to breathe with a regulator, stay safe and communicate underwater using hand signals. Sounds a lot like scuba, right? Yes – until you picture this: Instead of wearing a tank like a scuba diver, as a SNUBA® diver you’ll be connected by a hose to a raft–your floating air supply–throughout your dive. The hose allows you to dive as deep as 20 feet.

Throughout the entire SNUBA® experience, your instructor will remain underwater with you, guiding you through the experience and pointing out all of the amazing sights you came here to see (imagine tropical fish, spiny lobsters and some of the most fascinating displays of coral in the world). And because our reef begins in relatively shallow water, there’s much to explore, even up close, within your 20-foot SNUBA® hose.

A few “bonus” items to keep in mind: Our SNUBA® participants come away surprised at how easy the activity is to get the hang of, how minimal the equipment is and how rich the experience is for one that requires no prior experience or coursework. Of course, SNUBA® is a natural introduction to scuba and we offer a wealth of instructional diving programs here at Hawks Cay. And should you find yourself in a group that includes SNUBA® and scuba enthusiasts, let us know—we’ll take you out on one dive boat equipped for both activities so everyone can participate at their own level.