This interactive map shows known Caves to Dive in Florida. The size of the circle shows the magnitude of the Spring. Dark green represents state parks and preserves. To get more information on each Spring, Stream, Sink, or Park hover over the feature. To get a closer look, zoom over.
Florida Underwater Cave Map
This map highlights the location and surroundings of underwater caves in Florida. These are mainly freshwater caves.
There is no particular order to the caves described, except the river outflow. The ones highlighted here, were suggested by divers on social media (Reddit and Facebook).
Most of the caverns are springs but there are also sinkholes.
"For those who possess the highly specialized training, equipment and skills required, it can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be deceptively easy and extremely dangerous — especially for those who lack the prerequisite knowledge, equipment and skills." National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section. The NSS Cave Diving Section is the largest cave diving section in the United States.
The Devil's Cave system is a group of 3 cavern entrances Devil's Ear, Devi's Eye, and Little.
They are located Northwest of Gainesville and are part of the Ginnie Springs group.
It is one of the most popular cave dives in the world.
The cave system is an extensive network of tunnels developed in the Ocala Limestone. The passage diameters range from two to twenty meters. This is a mazetype cave. The side passages in the cave system typically go in two general directions from the main tunnel, however most eventually intersect the large, main conduit.
The cave passages trend at a depth of between 0 and 35 meters below land surface.
The cave system is formed entirely within the Ocala Limestone. The tunnels also have clay, sand, and silt transported form the overlying sediments in the surrounding area.
Southwest of Gainesville, it operates as a private scuba diving facility.
This spring was formed as a karst window. This occurs when a carbonate bedrock collapses into a sinkhole.
The cavern has ancient rock formations with stalactites, and fossil beds dating back 33 million years. Remains found in this cavern include bones of mastodons, giant sloths, spectacled bears and saber tooth cats. Some of these remains are at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
The cavern has an inverted mushroom shape below the surface. Maximum depth is 54ft (16.45m).
The den has lodging, camping and recreational facilities for visitors. Source: Devilsden.com.
Eagle's Nest is a sinkhole located in Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, North of Tampa.
One of the reasons this cave is sought by divers is that through the entrance tube there is what divers call a "Ball Room" 70m deep and 100m in diameter, filled with crystal clear water.
Regardless of the depth, sunlight trickles through the tubes on the ceiling, making a wonderful light display.
This is a privately owned Swimming hole, Northwest of Panama City, with approximately 32 million gallons of crystal-clear water per day.
It is a well-known swimming area for tourists, but its main attraction is one of the largest diving facility in the State of Florida.
The facilities offer recreational areas for the whole family, lodging, and trails.
Vortex Spring, is a diving Mecca for experienced and newbie divers. There is a 500 acre resort with nature trails, campgrounds, lodge, and slides. Vortex Spring.
The pool has a near circular shape with 225 ft in diameter. The depth near the pool center is 48ft.
The underwater cavern starts 58ft below the water surface. Experienced divers are allowed to 115ft. It is technically possible to dive to 310ft but the passage is blocked by a locked gate. Expeditions have mapped the cave to 1,642 feet, but it probably goes deeper. Atlas Obscura.
Remarks about Cave Diving in Florida
This is just a short selection of caves to dive in Florida. Which one to choose, depends on your certifications and experience.
Some have great geology and others fossils that have been collected and displayed. Others have arrays of lights and shadows worth the dive.
Most of them have incredible crystal clear waters that allow divers high visibility, and constant temperature that average 70F throughout the year.
Cave Diving Risks
A total of 161 cave divers have died between 1985 and 2015. Of these, 67 were trained cave divers and 87 were untrained. The number of fatalities has steadily fallen over the last three decades but the proportion of trained divers keeps increasing.