Scuba Diving & Snorkeling in South Padre Island

South Padre Island is one of a kind vacation experience that offers an assortment of activities and events for everyone on the Gulf Coast.  Whether you are young or old, there is something for everyone at South Padre.  You can go scuba diving to explore these shipwrecks at Devil’s Elbow or snorkel on your own or with many tour services.

South Padre Island  Scuba Diving

The thrill of scuba diving is the appeal of the great discovery: the anticipation, the dreaming of the find, the discovery, and the excitement of finding the “treasure” and even the later recollection and retelling of the big event. South Padre Island allows you the ability to do just that with its rich history of pirates, shipwrecked vessels, and buried treasure. Scuba Diving in South Padre Island lets you explore shipwrecked vessels and view the ocean’s deep.

Scuba Diving is especially popular in Devil’s Elbow. This area just of the South Padre Island coast was a problematic area for ships in year’s past.   Their loss is your gain as you can now explore these shipwrecks at the ocean bottoms. In addition, you can even explore the Texas Clipper. This is a ship that was sunk to help train scuba diving and allows you an opportunity to learn from some world-class diving instructors. Scuba lessons begin as low as $600. These lessons will include training, equipment, and the opportunity to try out several types of dives.  Diving trips tend to begin early in the morning and most finish up around 2:00 pm in the afternoon.

South Padre Island  Snorkeling

South Padre Island Snorkeling offers you a chance to try out a fun sport for the whole family. This sport is popular with the whole family because it is easy to learn and does not require really sophisticated equipment. All that is needed is a mask, snorkel, and fins, and you are set.

One of the most intriguing options for snorkeling in South Padre is the opportunity to see a wide variety of fish in the Laguna Madre Bay. The types of fish that can be found include stingrays, herring, redfish, crab, black drum, snapper, eels, shark, jellyfish, snook, perch, catfish, trout, gar and many others.  Kids really like to see these fish along with turtles and other aquatic wildlife.

Snorkeling trips are the less daring version compared to scuba diving. There is less of a safety risk and it is much easier to learn. Some snob elitists from other snorkeling locales would have you believe the water is not clear enough in South Padre Island for good snorkeling. This could not be further from the truth.   The waters of South Padre Island grant you excellent views of the underneath and actually provide a bit more of a challenge than their southern neighbors.    Plus, snorkeling in South Padre Island is fairly cheap as costs begin at $30 a person.   This cost will normally include equipment and a 3-hour stint. Also, no fancy equipment is required.    No need for a wetsuit, all that is needed is a swimsuit, the snorkeling headgear, and possibly some swimming fins. Snorkeling is also a benefit for the whole family as children of a young age can participate and parents do not have to be overly concerned about safety risks as you might with scuba diving for young children.

South Padre Island Snorkeling is a great way to get the entire family in the water and experience a rare sport that offers a look at South Padre underwater. One final tip would be to take some basic lessons to help you get the hang of it. These are inexpensive and are a great help at teaching the basics of snorkeling and what to do when things go wrong. This training can give you confidence which will make your snorkeling trip even more enjoyable.

SPI Snorkeling Ships & Services

  • American Diving – Phone: (956) 761-2030
  • Breakaway Cruises – Phone: (956) 761-2212
  • Ka Motion Sailing Adventure – Phone: (956) 410-9945
  • The Original Dolphin Watch – Phone: (956) 761-4243
  • Southern Wave Sailing Charters – Phone: (956) 772-7245
  • Parrot Eyes Water Sports – Phone: (956) 761-9457
  • S.O.S. Services – Phone: (956) 772-9700
  • Isla Tours – Phone: (956) 761-4752

Words of Advice

Try to avoid areas in South Padre where the waves are strong.   Snorkeling works best in the calm and shallow waters of the Laguna Madre as waves become a disturbance to seeing underneath. Also, be sure to go when the sun is out as this sun’s rays penetrate the ocean surface to give you a better view. Finally, be sure to take care of your body by putting on sunscreen.  Since you will be spending most of your time with your back exposed to the sun, be sure to put sunscreen on the back of your neck and other exposed areas.  Since you would not normally give these areas much focus, it is a good idea to give them extra attention here.

Whether you would rather scuba dive or snorkel, it does not really matter.   The point is that you can do both at South Padre Island. Enjoy the experience and share what you learned with others. To get more information on other island attractions, check out South Padre Island Attractions.

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