Jules Undersea Lodge
A Most Unusual Florida Getaway
Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo is one of the coolest, most unusual Florida getaways I know of.
Overnight and Underwater
Imagine staying overnight and underwater in a real undersea research facility. That's exactly what you do here at the Key Largo Undersea Park.
The lodge--named after none other than Jules Verne--is actually a former underwater research laboratory which now sits on the bottom in about 26 feet of water in an inland lagoon in Key Largo. In its former life, the lab--then called the "Chalupa"--was used in depths of 100-plus feet offshore in Puerto Rico.
To enter the lodge, guests SCUBA dive down to an underwater gateway 21 feet beneath the surface. Upon entering the lodge's airspace, guests are greeted by 600 square feet of living area including a wet room for shedding dripping gear, a shower and toilet facilities, two bedrooms, and a galley area complete with a communications center and an entertainment center.
Each bedroom, as well as the galley area, has a 42-inch porthole from which you can peer into the lagoon's greenish waters.
The Emerald Lagoon
The lagoon itself is about 50 yards across in the area where the lodge is. While there's no coral reef here--they're found a few miles offshore--this inland lagoon is, as are many others, a natural nursery area for a variety of reef life.
Besides the Undersea Lodge, the lagoon holds the Marine Lab underwater research facility. Plus, there's a marine archeology exhibit.
An umbilical cable supplies air, water, power, and a communications hookup. To help ensure safety, staff members monitor the undersea lodge round the clock from shore.
According to their web site, the Jules Undersea Lodge has operated continuously in Key Largo for over 25 years with a perfect safety record.
Who Can Stay at the Lodge?
While many guests are certified SCUBA divers, you don't have to be. Non-certified guests must, however, successfully complete a three-hour course of instruction on equipment and procedures, which allows them to dive escorted by certified dive instructors.
Most overnight stays include two couples, but the lodge can actually accomodate up to six people. You normally dive down in the afternoon, spend the night, and leave the next morning. Multiple-night stays are possible.
Want to escape with that special someone? There's even what's called the "Ultimate Romantic Getaway Package." With this deal the two of you have the entire undersea lodge to yourselves. Music, flowers, and seafood appetizers are provided. And that's not all. They even provide a "mer-chef" who dives down twice--once to fix your dinner, and once more to prepare your morning's breakfast.
Do You Have to Stay Overnight?
Nope. There's a three-hour "Mini-Adventure" that provides for unlimited diving, plus the opportunity to hang out inside the lodge and feel what it's like to be an aquanaut.
Out of the Ordinary
I know the Jules Undersea Lodge experience is very much an out-of-the-ordinary Florida getaway, and it's not for everyone. But FloridaAdventuring is all about adventure, and I can think of few adventures that can top living the life of an aquanaut for a day.
See also Jules Undersea Lodge, or call 305-451-2353.