John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
About
Check out the living coral reefs around Molasses Reef at the country’s first undersea park. If you're a strong swimmer, join a snorkeling or scuba diving tour to get close to the corals and marine life. Otherwise, enjoy the underwater scenery from a glass-bottom boat. The park also has designated spots for camping, fishing, swimming and barbecuing—fun activities to round out a great vacation. The adventurous traveler might also enjoy exploring the mangrove swamps on a guided tour and hiking the Wild Tamarind Trail. For thinner crowds, visit on weekday mornings. Reservations are recommended, especially during the holidays. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Tim G
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Terrific Snorkeling Trip
    Chris the captain and his mate were terrific. Took us to a great spot. We saw sharks, a lot of rays (beautiful creatures) and a lot of beautiful fish. The weather was perfect and the water was pretty clear and warm. Perfect day on the water!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 May 2023
  • Stella K
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful coral reef and wonderful crew
    Amazing snorkeling tour! We had very nice and fun crew on Dolphin ship ( Thank you Cap Ed and Sara!). The tour was to John Pennekamp coral reef where we were able to see a lot colorful fish, string rays and the statue. We had very nice weather and no current and even pass some turtles on the way.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Bethany M
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Florida Keys Reef Snorkeling
    Booked this trip on a whim and so glad we did! Trip is just the perfect amount of time which includes a boat ride to the site and about an hour of snorkeling the breathtaking reef. Captain Ed and First mate Liber were excellent guides and worked hard to keep everyone safe. Don't miss this experience!
    Visited May 2023
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Benjamin H
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Family kayak rental
    The kayak rental staff were very willing to accommodate my group of 6 into 3 double kayaks. All of the life jackets were of good quality and the paddles and kayaks were in very good condition. We were provided with a map, and an explanation by the kayak rental staff on how to proceed through the area. The map was pretty good, once we figured out how to depict actual parts of the trail on it
    Visited May 2023
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Cesar Q
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great boat rental experience
    We rented a boat. Boat was in great shape. We had no issues. The deck master was attentive, experienced, kind, informative. I have more than 10 years of experience boating and I felt as I needed his information. Definitely worth the price paid for it. 21 footer boat was spacious, it rode well, and I felt safe.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 May 2023
  • Uptown A
    Bluffton, South Carolina3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome snorkeling
    We had the best time on our snorkeling trip! Awesome crew and even though we weren’t able to see the Jesus statue due to high crowd volume, the experience was amazing! The water was crystal clear and we saw a host of beautiful fish, barracuda, gorgeous reefs, and even a shark (harmless). It was great being able to shower afterwards too! Would highly recommend and we WILL be back!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Rangers33
    Boca Raton, Florida29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Christ of the Abyss snorkel with Capt Ed and 1st Mate Liber - Wonderful!!!
    Booked a snorkel trip on Memorial Day 2023 to see the Christ of the Abyss statue. Before departure, Captain Ed said because of the holiday the area was busy and we may not be able to snorkel that site but he would do his best. He and first mate, Liber came through! We made it to the site and he even shifted to a better spot where we would be coming back to the boat with the current. Snorkeled the gorgeous site for an hour and it exceeded my expectations!! Seeing the statue was a bucket list item that we can cross off! Boat was clean and comfortable and Capt Ed and Liber were wonderful! Thank you!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Sara P
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST! Great crew and beautiful reef
    The Captain and Cody (Phillipe ha) made us feel safe and did an amazing job educating us. Snorkeling the Grecian rocks was a very memorable experience. They ensured we had a great time. Thanks again!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Storyteller217015
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very informative
    We went for the glass bottom boat tour only. Mom is in her 80s and was not up to snorkeling...but we enjoyed the glass bottom boat. Understandably, the viewing area is limited, but the narration by the crew was on point. The narrator tried to make the most of what we saw and provided very interesting information on coral and the reef.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 3 June 2023
  • Justine B
    Romeoville, Illinois3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning Snorkeling on Tour
    For our honeymoon my husband and I went on their snorkel tour. While the day was overcast and rained on us on our boat ride back, the water visibility was stunning and we saw more fish than I have ever seen while snorkeling! We got to see the Christ of the Abyss statue site, and it was a trip we’ll never forget. Captain Travis and Sharkey were excellent guides and made the trip fun. We’ll definitely be back and be sure to recommend to our friends and family.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 June 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles14,361 reviews
Excellent
10,458
Very good
2,606
Average
872
Poor
275
Terrible
151

Mary H
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Awesome experience with my daughter. Highly recommend going out in the morning for some awesome snorkeling! We saw an Eagle Ray, Barracudas and so many fish!
Written 25 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SVAGroup
Columbia, SC187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Schedule your snorkel trip to go out to the reef. Tons of corals and fish saw tuna, barracuda, and even a shark. The current can be deceiving and the water constantly is moving. It was interesting. The temperature difference between the shallow, dark reef and the white sand was dramatic. Captain Joel and swimmer Lucas made for a First class adventure and made the trip safe and enjoyable.Make sure to take plenty of coral reef safe sunscreen, and hats and. rash guard shirts. Otherwise be prepared to be burned . 2 1/2 hours, 1/2 hour transport each way and an hour and a half on the reef is plenty. Great outdoor fun and if you have never snorkeled the reef, you are in for a treat.
Written 24 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Captain Joel and Lucas were excellent! The experience was fun and relaxing! Saw lots of marine life, even rays and barracuda.
Written 24 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nebraskamamma
Minden, NE25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This is our third snorkeling adventure here. Captain Joel and First Mate Art were fun, professional and informative. You can tell they love their jobs and know what they are doing! Five teenagers, grandma and mom and dad had a blast!
Written 23 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sara M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
The crew was helpful and knowledgeable and the boat was comfortable and clean. The water was warm and clear. It was a Great way to spend the day.
Written 23 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Craig S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We went on the 11:45 snorkel cruise with Captain Joel and first mate Lucas.
Both were very professional and took good care of my 3 boys and I.
Written 22 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Had the nicest weekend. Very beautiful. Lots to do and see. We made some amazing memories. The water was gorgeous. The reef - even better.
Written 22 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrea G
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Outstanding snorkeling experience. Excellent pre-trip communication from Pennekamp State Park, easy check-in on the day, clean, well-fitting equipment.

Boat Captain Joel and mates Markus and Lukas were professional, and had our [tourists] best interests in mind at all times.

Saw LOTS of fish and sea-life. A little rough in May, so we were not able to see underwater Jesus statue, but Capt. told us that and it was a safety issue.

Would definitely recommend J.P. Coral Reef state park for snorkeling!
Written 21 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

magali
New York City, NY40 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Very professional and organized. Captain and crew were great.
However there's very little left of the coral reef, that made me sad and concerned about the amount of people still visiting (who are not all proficient in snorkeling)
Written 21 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CObeachgirl24
Colorado188 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We had a great time, but it was primarily because the vis on the reef was excellent. The guys are the boat were professional for the most part if not exactly friendly. And the angry German woman that gave us the initial lecture dockside was downright rude. Not the best customer service but we managed to have fun!
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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