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Spend a week in Key Largo discovering an entire world under the ocean’s surface with MarineLab. You will spend part of your day learning about the complex ecological systems of coral reefs and lagoons. Then, hop on a boat to head out to the crystal clear blue water to put your new knowledge to work. Snorkel through lagoons and coral reefs to see first hand the beauty, structures and systems of the ocean floor. This program is jam-packed with new experiences, new information and plenty of time to soak up the sun.

Dates listed reflect travel time departing from and returning to the USA. International clients click here.

With our No-Stress Travel Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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Program Profile

United States
Community Service Focus
Education, Envrionment

  • Day 1

    Arrive at Miami International Airport where you will meet your team leaders and the rest of your group.
    Settle into the hotel and enjoy dinner with the group. Your leaders will share with you the plan for the week. Get excited!
    Head to bed early and get a good nights sleep for the busy week ahead!
  • Day 2

    Eat breakfast at the hotel and head to the beach for the morning. From here, you’ll hop in vans and head to Marine Lab in Key Largo, about an hour drive away. The afternoon will be spent learning about MarineLab, their work, and the various programs they offer.
    Enjoy dinner and relax before heading to bed.
  • Day 3

    Today will begin with a classroom session where you will learn about seagrass ecology. The day will also include an orientation to snorkeling. Get comfortable with your snorkeling gear as you perform a swim test and snorkel in the lagoon.
    In the afternoon you will head out on your first field trip to study seagrass and mangrove ecology.
    In the evening, eat dinner with your group and then participate in a water quality lab.
  • Day 4

    Today you’ll take another field trip where you’ll focus on coral reef ecology. During your lab you will learn about phytoplankton monitoring and zooplankton identification. In addition, your instructors will show you how to identify different reef fish with prep for surveys.

  • Day 5

    Today’s field trip is all about marine debris and coastal cleanup. In your lab you will be taught how to identify invertebrate(s). Tonight, participate in a nighttime snorkel to see firsthand nocturnal adaptions on the reef.

  • Day 6

    For the last field trip of the week you will head to the reef for some snorkeling. Afterwards, grab a quick lunch and pack your bags to head back to Miami. Say goodbye to the MarineLab staff and hop in the vans. Back in the hotel, you’ll reflect on the week and what you’ve learned.

  • Day 7

    It’s time to head home. We hope you had an incredible week in the Florida Keys and learned a lot from your time at MarineLab!

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email usa@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.


A school backpack is ideal.

  • Passport/Photo ID
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Change of clothes
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Medication
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Additional community service forms
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
  • Sunglasses


A duffel, backpack or suitcase that fits all the items below is ideal


  • Socks (6-7)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Pants/Capris/Jeans (1-2)
  • Shorts (3-5)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2)
  • Hoodie/sweatshirt (1-2)
  • T-shirts (3-4)
  • Tank tops (3-4)
  • Nice outfit for a night out – (1-2)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (2)
  • Rash guard or t-shirt for snorkeling (this is for sun protection)
  • Towel (2, one for boat and one for shower. No large beach towels as they don’t dry as quickly and take up too much space in the boat. Quick dry towels or standard bath towels are best.)
  • Rain jacket
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Hat


(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  • Lip sun protection, SPF 30+
  • Bug spray with DEET
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts and solution (if applicable)


  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Motion sickness medicine (if motion sickness has been an issue or if you aren’t sure)
  • Plastic bag to carry wet items home.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    This program connects smoothly with Good Works and the Grand Canyon as well as our international programs.
  1. a
    Miami, FL

    Here is where your Floridian adventure will begin!

  2. b
    MarineLab, Key Largo, FL

    Key Largo is home to MarineLab where you will spend the week learning about marine ecology, participating in labs, and studying the coastal environment of the Florida Keys.