|Diving Rules||Discover SCUBA||Guided Dives||Cave Diving|
|Ginnie Spring||Devil's Spring||The Santa Fe River||Diving Fees|
Ginnie Springs has often been called "the world's favorite freshwater dive." It's no exaggeration. Over the years, thousands of divers from around the world have marveled at Ginnie Springs' crystal-clear water and startling natural beauty. Jacques Cousteau, in fact, characterized Ginnie Spring as "visibility forever."
Certified scuba divers who are first-time visitors to Ginnie Springs will want to use at least two tanks to visit the four diveable springs on Ginnie's property: one at Ginnie Spring and one at the Devil Spring system. Depending on the time of year, you may even want to use a third tank to drift dive the Santa Fe River.
A full line of rental gear is available in our rental department.
Scuba Diving Policies & Rules
All scuba divers must register at the office, pay applicable diving fees and sign a waiver/release form prior to diving. Please visit our Diver's Rules page for Scuba Diving rules.
Adult Waiver/Release Download (pdf) Minor Waiver/Release Download (pdf)
The Ginnie Spring basin is a large, bowl-shaped depression measuring over 100 feet across and 15 feet deep. A 150-foot long run connects the basin to the nearby Santa Fe River. The chief attraction here is the Ginnie cavern, whose wide, open entrance can be found at the bottom of the basin.
Ginnie cavern is among the handful of sites that experts consider sufficiently safe to allow exploration by divers who lack formal cavern or cave diver training.
Certified divers of all experience levels may take lights into the water with them at Ginnie Spring and use these lights to explore the underwater cavern. The cavern's upper room is illuminated by light from the entrance. Looking back toward the entrance from this room provides a breathtaking view. Like most of the cavern, the upper room's walls are composed of an extremely light and highly reflective limestone, which adds to its natural beauty.
Moving to the back of the upper room, divers pass through a large opening into the amphitheater-sized area called the "Ballroom." Although surface light is clearly visible from most places within the Ballroom, divers will want to carry dive lights to see everything there is to see. The Ballroom provides divers with the opportunity to examine many of the unusual geologic formations that are unique to the Floridan Aquifer. The Ballroom's ceiling contains an excellent example of spongework--a gigantic, limestone swiss cheese. Midway between floor and ceiling, divers will find evidence of a bedding plane--a distinctive horizontal crack that is crucial to the movement of underground water. At the northwest corner of the Ballroom is a beautifully carved phreatic tube--a perfect example of the most common form of underwater cave formation. Nearby, a larger bedding-plane formation collects air in mercury-like pockets on the ceiling.
At the very back of the Ballroom (a maximum depth of 50 feet), is a large, welded grate. This grate prevents divers from entering the dangerous, silty and maze-like cave system that lies beyond. Nevertheless, most divers enjoy pulling themselves up to the grate, so that they can experience the "in-your-face" force of the 35 million gallons of water a day that pass through the opening. A large-diameter, heavy duty guideline runs from the back of the Ballroom to the cavern entrance. This helps ensure there is never any doubt as to which way is out.
The Devil Spring system is home to three separate springs: Devil's Eye, Devil's Ear and Devil Spring ("Little Devil"), which together produce nearly 80 million gallons of water daily.
Ginnie Springs enforces a strict No Lights rule here. Only certified cavern or cave divers may enter the water at the Devil Spring system while carrying dive lights. This helps prevent untrained divers from going any place where their lack of training, experience and specialized equipment could get them in trouble.
Devil Spring (also known as "Little" Devil) is a four-foot-wide fracture at the head of the Devil Spring system run. It is 50 feet long and almost as deep. Divers who descend to the bottom of this crack will be rewarded with a breath-taking view as they look skyward.
Even from the very bottom, it is not unusual to look up through the clear water and be able to count the leaves on the trees over head. Devil's Eye is a round opening, 20 feet across and equally deep. At the bottom is the entrance to a small, intricately decorated cavern. Certified divers may enter the cavern and explore up to the limit of what they can see, using available sunlight. Devil's Ear is a canyon-like opening located where the Devil Spring run joins the Santa Fe River. At the bottom of this opening, water gushes from a cave opening with nearly fire-hydrant-like force. Although the water in the Devil's Ear basin is generally crystal clear, it is common for it to be covered with a thin layer of tannin-stained river water. This phenomenon enables divers to sit in the basin's clear water and look up at the sun and trees through a unique, stained-glass effect created by the river water.
During the drier summer months, visibility in the Santa Fe River can reach as much as 30 to 40 feet or more. When it does, river diving becomes popular. Many divers like to enter the water at the Devil Spring system and drift dive the nearly 1,000 feet to Ginnie Spring. Along the way, they may see pleistocene-era fossils from giant ground sloths and other prehistoric mammals. Due to overhead boat traffic, state law requires that you tow a float and flag while diving in the river. These are available from Ginnie's rental department.
If you are a certified cave diver, odds are you really need no introduction to Ginnie Springs and, more specifically, the Devil's Eye/Ear cave system. This is among the most popular cave dives on earth, and many believe that more cave dives are logged here than at any other site. Among the reasons why:
The Devil's Eye/Ear system also has the potential to expose cave divers to the widest possible array of conditions, including high and low flow, large and small passageways, and silty and silt-free bottoms. Devil's Eye and Ear generally remains open and diveable, even when seasonal flooding restricts access to other sites. Ginnie Springs is the only place in North America where you will find everything you need for cavern and cave diving at one convenient location. Our fully stocked dive store, high-capacity fill station and three diveable springs are all located on premises.
Visit our Admissions page for current diving fees.
Dive prices are per day and do not include Florida sales tax. Prices are subject to change without notice. Air fills are available at the Dive Center.
Guided Cave dives can be arranged directly through one of our Professional Independent Instructors. To participate you must at least be Intro to Cave certified. Prices vary and are set by the instructor. Guide fees are in additional to park entrance fees. Participants are responsible for providing or renting personal dive equipment appropriate for the dive. Refer to our instructor listing for contact information.
Contact Ginnie Springs Outdoors for fee information and availability. (386) 454-7188.
The crystal-clear waters of Ginnie Springs provide the perfect place to try scuba for the first time. There are no wind, waves, breaking surf, stinging salt water or rocking dive boats to worry about -- just the opportunity to relax and enjoy the magic of the underwater world under the guidance of our highly experienced instructors. Discover Scuba Diving is a non-certification program. The emphasis is on enjoying the experience of breathing effortlessly under water -- not on mastering complex skills. It is the perfect opportunity to find out whether or not scuba is right for you, before committing to a full-length, entry-level certification course. The Discover Scuba activity fee includes all equipment, instruction, air fills and dive fees. There are no additional expenses.
|Number of students||Price per student|
|One or more||$99.00 each|
Signing Up: To check availability or reserve your space you can contact one of our independent instructors directly by phone or email. Be sure to discuss deposit and payment policy with your instructor. Participants must complete standard waiver and medical-history forms prior to the start of this activity. Depending on students' medical history, a physician's approval may be required.