The Ultimate Guide To Shark Cage Diving In Florida

You’ve got to be somewhat of an adrenaline junkie to fancy getting up close and personal with the Floridian sharks, but if you are brave enough to give it a go, it’ll be one of the best experiences of your life.

And you couldn’t find a better destination to go shark cage diving as Florida has arguably the best diversity of sharks in the whole world.

The Ultimate Guide To Shark Cage Diving In Florida

You can do this activity as a whole day experience, or if that sounds a little too daunting, you can book a half-day experience instead.

You’ll take off on a boat and travel a few miles offshore to one of the shark cages where depending on what you’ve paid for, you’ll spend either 20 minutes or 40 minutes in total in the cage spotting sharks (don’t worry it’s not 40 minutes all at once.)

Now you’ll hear a few people saying not to dive in Florida because you won’t be able to spot many if any great white sharks.

However, don’t let this put you off because there are plenty of other sharks to spot including mako sharks, hammerheads, and bull sharks, and if you’re particularly fortunate, you may even get to spot a tiger shark.

So as you can see, you won’t be missing out. In fact, you’ll probably see more variety of sharks here than you would anywhere else.

How Much Does Shark Diving Cost?

Shark diving prices can vary from place to place and of course, the prices may fluctuate and go up or down in price at any point, so this is just a general idea, but usually, you’ll be looking at close to $200 per person to enter the shark cage.

Here are a few of the more popular destinations for shark cage diving:

Florida Keys

Price – $195 pp

If you go shark cage diving in Florida Keys, the boat will depart from Marathon. You’ll see plenty of sharks from this destination.

Miami

Price – $195 pp

If you go shark cage diving from here, you will have pretty much the exact same experience as you would in the Keys, except you’re in Miami.

Don’t worry you’ll still see plenty of sharks.

Jupiter

Price – $195 pp

Now if you’re really hoping to see plenty of shark varieties, then this is the place to be.

It is arguably the best location for shark spotting and you may see the likes of silky sharks, dusky sharks, and black tips too.

Florida And Great White Sharks

If you’re really hoping to dive to spot a great white shark then Florida may not be the diving destination for you.

This is because the state just doesn’t tend to house enough of the species of shark so it’s not likely that you’ll ever see any.

Of course, there are some in the waters so there may be a very slight chance that you’ll spot one, but I really wouldn’t get your hopes up as it is a really rare occurrence.

For those desperate to get close to a great white, you’ll need to look for shark diving experiences in California and Guadalupe Island where great whites are plentiful.

Is Shark Diving In Florida Similar To California?

Nope. You may think that cage diving would be a universal experience despite location but that simply isn’t true.

You’ll have a completely different expiration in Florida than you will in California. When you do tours in California you’ll be spotting great whites.

However, usually for you to be able to spot these amazing creatures you have to travel upwards of 250 miles to Guadaple.

Some tours can be a day-long trip but many of them are 5 days and upwards.

So if you do go diving in Cali you’ll be spending more money and time on the excursion.

The benefit of this though is that you will experience arguably the best great white diving experience across the globe.

Florida, on the other hand, are specializes in much shorter trips that only need to go a few miles out from your departure point.

You’ll usually be transported to a free-floating, stationary shark cage that is a permanent fixture. You tend to pay for either a 20-minute dive or two 20-minute dives.

Shark Diversity In Florida

Shark Diversity In Florida

As I’ve previously mentioned, if you’re specifically interested in great white sharks then you’ll need to head to California.

However, if you’re wanting to see a rich and diverse variety of all different kinds of sharks then Florida is the place to be.

No, you won’t see a great white, but you will see silky sharks, dusky sharks, reef sharks, black tip sharks, spinner sharks, lemon sharks, tiger sharks, and hammerhead sharks.

Now that is a whole lot of sharks! And in my personal opinion, some of the sharks above are much ‘prettier’ to behold.

Sure great whites tend to be more popular and well known but there’s something about being close to a tiger shark or a hammerhead that just stands alone as an experience.

The great thing about Florida is that there are also quite a few more shark experiences that you can take part in.

For those who are brave enough, you can snorkel, scuba dive, or cage dive with these beautiful creatures.

But of course, these experiences are not for the faint-hearted, and while the idea excites me greatly, it may terrify you to be quite that close.

Don’t worry, if you’d like to spot a shark but don’t fancy being in that close of proximity, there are shark spotting boat rides too.

Honestly, you really will get some of the best shark experiences in the world while in Florida, so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, I cannot recommend it enough.

A Closer Look At Cage Diving In Jupiter

You’ll find Jupiter located around 90 miles north of Miami.

Jupiter is really the epicenter when it comes to shark diving throughout the whole of Florida and is by far my favorite destination for cage diving.

What’s so great about diving here is that you’ll still see all the bigger sharks that the Keys and Miami are popular for, but you’ll also be likely to see a few other sharks that you won’t see in the other locations.

It’s like a little added bonus on top of an already great experience.

Not only will you have the chance to see species of shark such as sandbar, reef sharks, and blacktips, but you’ll also get to see two different types of hammerheads!

You’ll see the great hammerhead and the scalloped hammerhead too in a cage that sits around 3 miles away from the shore.

  • Trip Length: Approximately three hours
  • Cost Per Person: Approximately $200
  • Why Choose Jupiter: You’ll get to see a more diverse selection of sharks. I’d say that this is the best shark cage location in the whole of Florida
  • Leaves From: Jupiter, Florida

A Closer Look At Cage Diving In Miami

Jupiter relies on its diversity to draw in the crowds. Miami doesn’t really need to draw in the crowds, they flock there anyway.

Miami is a very popular city that is no stranger to tourism and the benefit of diving here is that you also get to explore one of America’s most popular cities before and afterward.

However, it is not just the city’s popularity that makes it advantageous. It’s really the only shark diving experience that is based close to a large American city.

You’ll notice that if you travel to places like San Diego or San Francisco for shark diving excursions you’ll be traveling around a minimum of 30 miles to get to your destination.

And sometimes you’ll be looking at over 250 miles which is going to take up quite a bit of time.

  • Trip Length: Approximately three hours
  • Cost Per Person: Approximately $200
  • Why Choose Miami: You get the city to start with. And then you won’t be traveling far which makes it much more convenient.
  • Leaves From: Downtown Miami

A Closer Look At Cage Diving In Florida Keys

Ask anyone what experience you cannot miss while you’re in the Florida Keys and I guarantee you that they’ll say cage diving with the sharks.

Miami may be convenient and Jupiter may have a few more sharks, but the Florida Keys are famously known for their shark cage diving for a reason.

The shark cage diving in the keys will mean that you’ll be getting up close and personal with the big boys.

You’ll see hammerheads, tigers, and bulls so you can be sure that it’ll be an experience unlike any other.

You will certainly leave with a story to tell your friends and family once you’ve done it!

The great diving paired with the laid back style of the Florida Keys means that you’ll have a perfect time.

If you do visit this location, this experience is an absolute must.

  • Trip Length: Approximately three hours
  • Cost Per Person: Approximately $200
  • Why Choose Florida Keys: Beautiful and chilled-out experience where you’ll spot some big sharks.
  • Leaves From: Marathon, Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

How Safe Is Shark Diving?

Shark diving is much safer than you may initially think. So if nerves are getting the better of you, hopefully, this can put your mind slightly at ease.

Of course, it’s no secret that sharks are strong and powerful creatures that can have the potential to do some serious damage however while they are carnivorous they really don’t tend to prey on scuba divers or even just humans in general.

Shark attacks and fatalities are actually very rare.

The chance of you being attacked by a shark while in the US is 1 in 11.5 million while the chance of actually dying from a shark attack is 1 in 264.1 million.

In fact, more people die from wasp stings per year than they do shark attacks.

Do You Need To Be A Strong Swimmer To Cage Dive?

For some underwater experiences, you’ll have to prove that you are a proficient swimmer to be able to go on the trip.

However, this isn’t the case with cage diving because you won’t actually be swimming, essentially you’re just floating within your cage.

So no, you don’t need to be a strong swimmer to join one of these experiences.

That being said, you will have to show that you are comfortable underwater for short periods of time and be able to wear your mask and be able to breathe through the mouthpiece.

This is because they usually do 20-minute intervals for the dives.

These are skills that will come more naturally to stronger swimmers but as long as you are comfortable under the water you should be able to enjoy the experience.

Is There An Age Limit For Shark Cage Diving?

You must be at least 12 years old to go cage diving. And that is only if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The adult will need to vouch that the younger child has had previous snorkeling experience and that they are okay being underwater.

Those under the age of 18 will also need a parent or guardian to sign additional liability waivers.

How Do You Breathe In A Shark Cage?

Surface cages are usually supported by a system of different floats.

Each diver will wear weighted belts so that they can comfortably stand on the bottom of the cage with their head just slightly underwater.

Typically then you’ll breathe through apparatus such as a hookah air supply system, it can also be common to use a snorkel.

Do You Need A Scuba License To Cage Dive?

You don’t need any certification or experience to go shark cage diving, anyone is welcome to participate.

So if it sounds like something you’d be interested in, just sign up and get yourself booked on a trip.

Final Thoughts

There are loads of places throughout the whole of America where you can go cage diving with sharks, but Florida should really be the destination of choice.

You’ll see so many different species of shark and you’re sure to come back with an amazing experience to tell.

Florida Keys, Miami, and Jupiter all have excellent diving experiences that really won’t break the bank.

And while I would say that you’ll have an amazing time no matter where you decide to dive, I personally would always recommend going to Jupiter to see a mix of the really big boys as well as a few other species that you won’t tend to find anywhere else!

Mikayla Adams

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.