Open 9 am - 5 pm
The Caribbean Reef rotunda consists of a very large, freestanding saltwater habitat located just off of Shedd's Main Foyer.

Caribbean Reef

You never know what will swim by next in the Caribbean Reef. A sea turtle? A graceful ray? A shark? True to its tropical inspiration, the exhibit’s 90,000 gallons of water teem with colorful reef life in constant motion, viewable from nearly 360 degrees. The Caribbean Reef is the next best thing to diving in the islands themselves.

  • A cownose stingray swims close the the habitat glass in the Caribbean Reef Exhibit.

    SEE

    Cownose rays sometimes flutter along the glass, revealing the mouth and gills on their underside.  

  • Nickel the green sea turtle, her long front fins swept wide, swims in Caribbean Reef at Shedd Aquarium.

    LISTEN

    Hear how rescued green sea turtle Nickel made her way to Shedd with our special audio guide.

  • A diver in Caribbean Reef gives a snack to a cownose ray.

    TALK

    During dive sessions, you can ask questions, and a diver will answer you from underwater as they feed the fishes! 

Take a 360° tour of an underwater city

Coral reefs are among the Earth’s most vibrant ecosystems. At the foundation are tiny, soft-bodied coral animals. Living in colonies, they build stony structures around themselves that create a vast seascape that attracts thousands of species seeking shelter—and food. From the tiniest fishes darting among coral branches to sleek sharkscruising sunny waters, this community of predators and prey survives in a complex, and fragile, balance.

Daily live dive and feeding

10:30 a.m. 
Noon 
2 p.m. 
3 p.m.

See all animal chats

Ever wanted to dive into our Caribbean Reef? Jump in with our first 360 video demo and swim with our animals!

Caribbean Reef Dive Messages

Looking for a unique way to “pop the question,” wish someone a happy birthday, or just send a special message to a loved one? Let Shedd divers help during one of our scheduled Caribbean Reef dive presentations.

Within the reef habitat, surrounded by stingrays, our popular sea turtle, Nickel, and an array of colorful reef fishes, a diver will hold a sign with your personal message.

A digital photo to commemorate your experience is included.

Price: $125
Your donation will help support the aquarium’s mission and top-quality animal care.

Availability: Dive messages are currently available on Saturdays and Sundays, at the end of our 2 p.m. Caribbean Reef presentation.

Requirements:

  • General admission is not included.
  • General admission to Shedd is required before scheduling a Caribbean Reef message.
  • All messages will be displayed in English.
  • Maximum 30 letters/characters per sign (10 spaces per row).
  • Must be reserved 48 hours in advance.

How to reserve a message:
All messages must be reserved by phone - 312-692-3355

Shedd Aquarium reserves the right to approve and edit any message if necessary. Messages that are obscene, offensive or include foul language will not be accepted. Additionally, the message cannot be used for commercial purposes.

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