The best place to go snorkeling on your own in South Miami Beach is at the beach side of south pointe pier which is built with rocks. It's fairly long, I would say 1/4 of a mile and of coarse it gets deeper as you go.
It starts at the very end of the beach and right from the beach it self. Note: at this corner where the beach ends and the pier starts some times it's hard to swim out of without a little bit of a fight because of the way waves behave at this corner which is almost 90 degrees.
Along this pier you'll come across many variety of fish including: barracudas, stingrays, yellow tails and many others, plus all the other little guys in between the huge rocks. There is always people snorkeling up and down here during the day, plus a few people fishing from the rocks.
Another benefit to this pier is that if you get tired or for whatever reason you need to stop, just hop on a rock and rest or just head back to the beach walking and jumping from rock to rock.
Note: not recommended for small children and old people since 1. Some rocks are slippery 2. Most rocks are full of sharp corals at sea level and 3. It requires good balance and sometimes somewhat complicated jumping.
For this you'll need to bring your own gear which is about $20 to over $100 per set, if you have it great! if not determine if it's worth buying it to keep, or just pay for a snorkeling tour to a special location like and old wreck that maybe includes lessons, Or better yet get an activities package that includes snorkeling and other activities like parasailing and jet skiing, see: Trusted tours and attractions for Miami and beaches.
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