Devil’s Den: Swim in a Prehistoric Spring

2:11 PM





60 feet underground in a small town outside of the Tampa area, a freshwater spring bubbles into the Devil’s Den forming a magical place to scuba or snorkel.

Walking around the grounds and finally into the den is a unique experience. Filled with fossils and underwater caves, the water is crystal clear with small fish swimming about.

If you're an inexperienced snorkeler, i have some tips and advice for you on my post here.

Den of the Devil

Devil’s Den Spring gets its name from the steam often seen rising from the chimney of the cave during winter.  

Starting the Day

The $10 per person fee is well worth it. We brought our own snorkel gear as fins, a snorkel, and a mask are required, though there is an option for rentals on site. The staff were friendly and informative and gave us a small safety brief before we were allowed to enter the cave. You are only allowed to bring your snorkel gear and a camera into the den, so we put valuables in the car and left our towels on the picnic tables outside of the den.

Accessing the Den

Entering the cavern is an experience in itself, a narrow staircase cut into the rock leads you down into the earth. We had to stoop to get through the entrance but once inside the view at the end of the wooden staircase is out of this world. This is one of the best spots to take photos because you can see the whole den from this point and the colors are unreal. Don’t forget to follow the safety sign and go one at a time down the staircase.

Snorkeling Underground

Once on the little landing at the bottom, you will be in ankle/shin deep water where you can put on all of your gear. You’re not allowed to jump/dive in for safety reasons but there are steps leading right into the water. 

The water was cool and refreshing, but a little on the chilly side so keep moving and you will be fine. Under the surface, the water is clear with a high visibility. They tell you to stay off the rock ledges around the walls of the cave because as you erode the soft limestone, the water gets cloudy. Among the various rocks and under the staircase you will see a small amount of fish and tiny minnows swimming along the surface.

The chimney at the top of the cave is the only source of natural light, besides what little filters down through the entrance. Even with that light, it is just enough to light the cavern to the point that you can still see without it taking away from the natural simplicity. If you look closely, you will the scuba divers below you or in the many tunnels and they’re flashlights dance among the rocks lighting up small halos of light on the waterbed.

The darker areas of the cave are still pretty easy to see in and might be a little spooky to some, but the view of the sunlight filtering down through the water into the dark is pretty remarkable.

I read on their website that you can sometimes find small fossils among the rocks. I looked all over and spent quite a bit of time on the bottom looking for them but did not find any. However, I did see many of the scuba divers pick up small objects and put them in heir pockets after scouring the rocky areas. So keep an eye out!


Loved It

Overall, we spent about an hour in the water swimming around and taking plenty of photos. We came up and dried off under the warm sun which felt so good after being in the darkness of the cave.

I would definitely love to come back here and scuba dive at some point and explore all the tunnels and fossil beds that this natural wonder has to offer.

While we did not have time to visit the nearby botanical gardens or the Japanese waterfall, when we go back I plan on checking out those sights too because they look well worth the extra time.

Check out the full YouTube video here!


Mahalos, 
Alecia <3

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