Dear Divers, welcome to the picture-perfect Flower Garden Banks National Sanctuary for an intermediate-to-advanced scuba diving experience — gigantic pelagic fish, shipwrecks, exclusive colorful corals, reef invertebrates, a plethora of reef-based sea life and more!
Located some 110 miles off the Texas-Louisiana border, beneath the indigo-blue waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico, the Flower Garden Banks is a trio of coral ridges formed of underwater salt domes that over centuries has drawn the attention of many professionals.
The three separate underwater communities or areas of the 146-sq-km Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary include: the East Flower Garden and West Flower Garden (became a national marine sanctuary in 1992), best-known for their large hazel-brown colonies of boulder corals, and an endless variety of fish, like peacock flounders and yellowhead jawfish, and the third structure of Stetson Bank – a much smaller siltstone-based reef, which was added in 1996. These are world’s most beautiful and wild places that are protected by the federal government’s National Marine Program.
The sanctuary is also known for a unique annual occurrence – the mass coral spawning (each August about a week to 10 days after the first full moon), when the hard corals on the East and West Flower garden Banks erupt and you can see billions of small coral polyps releasing BB-size sacs of eggs into the water. Such is the spectacularly beautiful Flower Garden – always with the power to surprise!
Two dive seasons are underlined: summer season from May through October with surface water temperatures hovering between low- and mid-80s°F, and winter season from February through April with temperatures ranging from the low- to high 60s°F. Diving at here is not the cheapest holidays , but money spent is well worth it. Previous salt water experience is highly recommended before diving in the sanctuary.
Get ready for a genuine interaction with hammerheads, whale sharks and manta rays enjoying 100-foot visibility.