Surrounded by water on three sides, Citrus County is a prime destination for scuba diving.
There is an endless amount of excitement that can be found exploring the waters of Citrus County, and we have discussed many ways to see some of the most popular locations by boat, tube, or by jumping in and snorkeling.
But when you find yourself ready to take your exploring to the next level, scuba diving is the next logical step.
The waters of Citrus County offer a number of features that make this one of the most interesting places in the world for scuba diving.
What Makes Citrus County Unique?
First and foremost, our fresh-water springs keep many of the waters here warm all year round. Even when winter temperatures drop down into the 50s, the spring waters are still a warm 72 degrees.
Those consistently warm fresh-water areas attract a unique combination of wildlife that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world. Seeing massive manatees interact with other fresh-water fish up close and personal is a tremendous experience.
Another thing that makes scuba diving in Citrus County unique is that all of those fresh-water springs have created some amazing underwater caves. If you are a certified cave diver, Citrus County is a destination that should be at the top of your list!
The number of great dive spots around the Villages of Citrus Hills is staggering, so if you are just getting acclimated to the area, here are six of the most popular options.
Crystal River is one of the popular snorkeling locations in Citrus County because this is one of the best places around to swim alongside manatees. It is also a wonderful location for anyone new to scuba diving to get acclimated to the water and their equipment.
In most parts, the water is about 30 feet deep and there is cavern called King’s Spring Cavern that is filled with all kinds of fish all the way down to a depth of about 50 feet.
The Rainbow River is best known for its tubing adventures, but divers will marvel at the visibility they find in this crystal clear water. The deepest part of the river maxes out at about 25 feet, but on a good day you can see as much as 200 feet of fresh-water wildlife ahead of you.
At Manatee Springs, you will find a little bit deeper dive is possible, as you can go down about 60 feet here. You will find yourself swimming right alongside many different fish, and this is a great place to let the strong current of the spring guide you along.
Getting even deeper as we move through the list, divers at Blue Grotto can make their way down about 100 feet in total. One of the reasons this site is so popular is that there are powered underwater lights at about 35 feet that allow you to see all kinds of fish, as well as the limestone walls.
An interesting dive site in Citrus County would have to be Devils Den, which got its name from early settlers when they witnessed the steam coming out of this cavern on cool mornings. This is a great location for anyone who enjoys exploring caverns and swim-throughs.
Divers at Paradise Springs can descend about 105 feet into a prehistoric cavern that is filled with fossils. At the bottom, you will find yourself in a place called “The Ballroom.” This semi-enclosed space has been carved out by the crystal clear water over many years.
As you advance in your diving skills, you will find that there are more and more incredible locations to explore all over Citrus County. You might also want to try exploring some of these popular locations at night for a completely different experience.
No matter what your experience level is, there are dozens of dive shops all over the area that can help you with equipment, training, certifications, and guided tours. It doesn’t matter what type of scuba diving experience you are looking for; you will find it in Citrus County.
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