Ultimate Guide to Shark Watching in Florida

Florida is synonymous with beautiful pristine beaches, theme parks, water sports, and outdoor activities. Among these water activities is one that will get your heart racing – shark watching in Florida.

Having sharks year-round for viewing makes Florida one of the best shark-watching states. Diving with sharks is one of the best ways to view these curious creatures. Don’t worry; you’ll be safe with a guided tour allowing you to enjoy spending time in the water with the local sharks.

The below guide features information on what type of sharks you can expect to see, where to view them, and how to view them. Let’s dive into this ultimate guide to shark watching in Florida!

What Kind of Sharks Can You See in Florida?

Florida’s waters are inhabited by nine varieties of sharks, with six additional varieties that are considered rare. Below, you’ll find information on some of the most common species of sharks.

bull sharks photographed on a diving expedition to Bimini in the Bahamas

Bull Sharks

When people think of visible sharks in Florida, bull sharks are typically the variety that pops into their minds first. These sharks are found in fresh and salt water. When scuba diving, you’re likely to see this variety of sharks. They have a large, wide nose that helps distinguish them.

great hammerhead shark swimming near the Bahamas

Great Hammerhead

Great hammerhead sharks are the largest type of hammerhead sharks. These sharks have a distinct spread-out head (like a hammer) and are typically gentle. They’re more curious than anything. You’ll see this shark variety swimming in a school with other great hammerheads.

Lemon Sharks

Lemon sharks are named after their yellow-brown skin. This type of shark is usually found in the Atlantic Ocean. 

scuba divers watching a tiger shark in the Bahamas

Tiger Sharks

Tiger sharks are named after the dark stripes seen on the side of their bodies. It’s best to be cautious around this type of shark, though there are safe ways to interact with tiger sharks if you choose to dive with them.

Scalloped Hammerhead

Scalloped hammerhead sharks have rounded noses, making it easy to dig in the sand for their prey. They usually eat squid, small sharks, and mackerel.

Silky Sharks

The Silky Shark is a small shark that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. It is a member of the family Carcharhinidae shark family. The Silky Shark typically grows to a length of about 8 feet. The Silky Shark has a slender body with pointed fins and a long snout. Its skin is smooth, giving it its name, and it has light blue eyes.

Related: What is Unique to Florida? 20 Unique Florida Attractions

Shark Viewing Trips

There are quite a few shark viewing trip options available to select. You can choose to dive with the sharks for a more heart-pumping activity. Or, watch them from a little more of a distance on a boat. Florida Shark Diving is a great choice, as they offer both viewing options. 

Which Side of Florida Has More Sharks?

There are more shark sightings on Florida’s east coast, as that’s where the sharks that spend their time near the shore reside.

The west coast also has a shark population, but they typically remain further out in the open ocean. This leads to fewer sightings on the west coast.

If you’re curious about which sharks you’ll see during a Florida visit, check out the shark tracking over at OCEARCH.

Related: Best Central Florida Day Trips near Orlando

Where is the Best Place to See a Shark in Florida?

Here are some of the best spots for shark watching in Florida!

Jupiter, Florida

This Florida town is a popular dive area with a high shark population year-round. Many people love traveling to this town for shark sightings as you can view lemon, tiger, and hammerhead sharks in the water. 

Venice, Florida

Venice has about the same number of sharks as other nearby cities, but it has a special draw – fossilized shark teeth. There are special scuba dives that you can do to hunt a few shark teeth down in Venice. Though, you can also collect shark tooths right on the beach. 

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys holds the largest number of sharks globally, making it a top spot for shark viewing in Florida. 

How Much Does it Cost to Dive with Sharks in Florida?

On average, a shark dive is around $150 per person. Various factors go into this price, including whether photography or videos are included. Expect a shark diving excursion to cost anywhere from $89-$300 per person.

Are there Shark Tours in Florida?

Yes, there are plenty of shark tours in Florida! You can choose from an array of shark dives along the coastline through shark grounds. Some options take you into the open ocean, while others take you down in a shark tank. 

Here are some shark tours you can take advantage of while in the area.

Florida Shark Diving

Florida Shark Diving is one of the top options for shark viewing. You can opt to view sharks from a boat or get up close and personal with sharks on a dive. You’ll be accompanied by the captain and guide, Bryce Rohrer, a professional diver for 10+ years who spends most of the year in the water with sharks. Photos are also included in this diving tour.

Address: 1095 N Hwy A1A, Jupiter, FL 33477

Shark Addicts – Jupiter Shark Diving

The founders of Shark Addicts pride themselves on their ecotourism shark dives. Each dive with this company is an awesome educational experience.

Address: 805 US-1, Jupiter, FL 33477

Emerald Charters

Emerald Charters takes you diving in the warm Gulfstream for year-round shark viewing. Keep your eyes peeled on this tour for tiger, lemon, bull, and hammerhead sharks. You may even see a manta ray along the way. 

Address: Under the Bridge, 25 N Coastal Way, Jupiter, FL 33477

Miami Shark Tours

This tour company has been leading shark tours for about ten years. Miami Shark Tours offers the option of shark diving, shark viewing, and shark cage tours.  

Address: Miami, Florida 33131

Key West Extreme Adventures

If you’re looking for an ecotour for shark viewing, then Key West Extreme Adventures is an excellent option. This tour uses a specific scent near the boat to attract sharks, so you’re guaranteed to see some swimming alongside the boat, among other wildlife, like sea turtles.

Address: 245 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

Calypso Dive Charters

While many tours offer the option of shark viewing from a boat or shark diving, Calypso Dive Charters provides the choice of snorkeling with sharks. This offers you the option of getting up-close and personal with the sharks without having to be scuba diving-certified. Shark dives are also available, though they require certification.

Address: 200 E 13th St, Riviera Beach, FL 33404

Shark Fishing Cocoa Beach

If you decide to go on an excursion with Shark Fishing Cocoa Beach, you’ll be renting a boat that fits up to six people. Many people who go shark fishing with this company can catch a shark! This excursion is perfect for all ages and includes fishing gear.

Address: 728 Scallop Dr, Port Canaveral, FL 32920

Aquanutz Shark Tooth Diving, Venice

This diving trip requires an open water certification, so it may not be for everyone. On an Aquanutz Shark Tooth Diving trip, you’ll be saddled with weights so you can hunt on the ocean floor for shark teeth.

Address: 344 Beverly Rd, Venice, FL 34293

Bottom Line

Florida is a stunning spot for viewing marine life, especially for shark watching. Thing unforgettable experience is one to add to your bucket list.

As you dive around Florida, you can view different shark species helping create an even more magical experience. If you want to learn more about the ocean’s apex predators while seeing them in action, try one of the above shark-watching in Florida tours!

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