Reef Dives: Sambo Reefs

Sambo Reefs Key West

The Sambo Reefs are divided into the Western, Eastern, and Middle Sambo Reefs, and represent some of the Florida Keys’ most popular diving and snorkeling areas.

The divisions between the reefs are white sands. You’ll find them four miles south of the Boca Chica Channel.

They are marked by a pole at the eastern end of Western Sambo and buoy #2..(Source: Dive In Key West)

Sambo Reefs Eastern, Middle and Western Wiki

Western Sambo is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the south of Boca Chica Key, within Western Sambos Ecological Reserve.

The reef itself lies along the southern edge of the reserve boundary.

Sambo Reefs Key West

Sambo Reefs Key West

Varying in depth from ten to 40 feet, the Sambos are a spectacular line of reefs divided in to Eastern, Middle and Western areas by stretches of silken white sands, with each section having a somewhat different structure, depth and variety of sea life.

Long a favorite snorkeling spot, the Sambos lie four miles south of the Boca Chica Channel.

Key West snorkeling tours out to the Sambos offer stunning views of elkhorn and staghorn coral as well as schools of brilliantly hued tropical fish life.

Western Sambo has one of the last remaining stands of living elkhorn coral in the Lower Keys, a species once abundant throughout the Keys.

Anemones, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers, sand dollars, and sea urchins are found nearshore. Surgeonfish, bar jacks, foureye butterflyfish, rosy blennies, neon gobies, grunts, wrasses, angelfish, damselfish, striped parrotfish, butter hamlets, sharpnosed puffers, and schoolmasters are residents at the reef.

Huge gray angelfish and hogfish meander the shallow areas of Western Sambo. (Via noaa.gov)

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