Even before the Florida Keys became a popular “last stop” for explorers and their sinkable ships, this tropical paradise was rumored to hold great riches, gold, and eternal youth. It’s no wonder that the 16th century was a busy time for those in search of incredible wealth. Little did they know how treacherous the islands’ coral reefs were. And despite finding great riches, they were destined to leave it all behind, buried beneath the ocean floor. Centuries later, legends of the Florida Keys hidden treasure would come to the surface and lead to many visitors turning to treasure hunting and treasure hunting trips as a way to spend their vacation.
Now it’s time that you unleash your inner treasure hunter with a Florida Keys treasure hunting trip in Key West. A popular destination is Mel Fisher’s Museum, which houses many of the greatest treasure finds ever discovered. In fact, the museum is also home to the “Golden Crew,” responsible for finding the wrecks of the 16th century ship, the Atocha and Santa Margarita. This same crew offers the chance of a lifetime–to dive and explore the Atocha. You might even find some new Florida Keys hidden treasure worth millions!
There are many diving and scuba charters available throughout the Keys depending on exactly what you’re looking for and your level of experience. Should you decide on the Atocha Dive Adventure, provided through the Mel Fisher Museum, you’ll spend an entire week in Key West learning about the skill of treasure hunting, the techniques behind shipwreck conservation, and the history of the ships that met their demise. Once you’ve been taught the state-of-the-art commercial treasure salvage techniques, you’ll head out on your deep-sea voyage in search of long-lost riches. Who knows, you might even consider switching careers after an experience like this one. Especially since you’re allowed to keep up to $2,500 in authentic shipwreck treasure if you’re lucky enough to find any.
Florida and its Keys have yielded many great finds both buried on land and in the sea; the Atocha is one of them. In 1622, a fleet of 28 ships left Havana for Spain carrying enough gold, silver, and jewels to fund an empire. However, a severe hurricane disabled most of the ships, sending them to the ocean floor. For the next 60 years, Spanish salvagers searched for the Atocha and the Santa Margarita due to their millions of dollars worth of booty. Nothing was ever found until much later when Mel Fisher was believed to have found part of the Atocha. Today, the remainder of the multi-million dollar treasure is waiting patiently for someone with the right amount of skill and luck to find it.
Another legendary series of shipwrecks came in 1733 with the Spanish Armada. The Spaniards recovered much of the lost treasure, but there may still be another fortune hiding out there somewhere despite claims that a majority of it has been found. Key West treasure hunting is alive and well after all these years and there is still plenty of Florida Keys hidden treasure for you to find. You never know what you’ll uncover during your own personal treasure hunting trip.