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Snorkel with sharks at Texas State Aquarium

See eye to eye with a shark in an exclusive encounter at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi aquarium adds interactive and wet exhibit in time for Shark Week

Inches away, a shark noses up to you. Could be frightening, but if you are snorkeling with the sharks at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, you have nothing to worry about. This exclusive encounter in the aquarium's H-E-B Caribbean Sea exhibit is an opportunity to get close to not only sandbar sharks but also multiple other species of fish in a safe way.

A tour guide assists up to four people in a specially designed cage that is immersed in 400,000 gallons of water built around a shipwrecked Spanish galleon. You don’t need to be scuba certified, but you should be comfortable wearing an underwater mask and snorkel. The gear is provided. You may also stand on the floor of the cage and raise your head above the water if you need to grab some air.

With over 36 types of sharks found in the Gulf of Mexico, you and your guests ages 8 and older will learn about their biology and how we can protect them in the wild. During the tour, your guide will take photos and email them to you.

The water temperature is a cool 72 degrees. You may wear a modest bathing suit or swim shorts and throw on a T-shirt if you wish.

If you don’t feel called to swim with the sharks, you can always examine them through the tank’s 68-foot-long acrylic window, the longest in a North American aquarium.

And, while there, don’t miss Dolphin Bay, with two locations to view these friendly waterbound mammals. At the top level, bottlenose dolphins perform airborne acrobatics. Down below, in the underwater observation area, watch their serene movements and dramatic splashdowns through the 400,000-gallon, 12-foot-deep saltwater pool. Visit the aquarium website for its presentation schedule.

Other activities include petting jellyfish and stingrays, watching sharks in a 4-D theater, a walk through the jungle, and seeing otters at play.

Ranked No. 4 in USA Today’s Top 5 Aquariums in North America 2020, the Texas State Aquarium is a must-see when visiting Corpus Christi. It was also nominated as Best Aquarium in North America by a panel of experts in 2020 for the 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards.

The Texas State Aquarium is the perfect family outing!

Snorkel with the Sharks Exclusive Adventure:

  • cost is $99.95 per person plus admission
  • children 8-12 years old must have a paid parent or guardian in the water with them at all times
  • a signed waiver is required from all participants
  • private showers and cubicles are provided afterward

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