Love being on the San Marcos River? When you want to see more than you can with swimming and tubing, snorkeling the river with Snorkel TX is the way to go!
Since 2015, Snorkel TX has been providing guided snorkeling trips down the San Marcos River. From Sewell Park to the Rio Vista Falls Dam, you will snorkel some of the clearest water in all of Texas, learning fun facts about the aquatic life you see along the way.
What to Expect
First, you park your car and meet the snorkel team at the halfway point, where you can park your vehicle. Then you walk together to the put-in point roughly six minutes away, Sewell Park on the Texas State University campus.
Snorkel TX provides the gear: masks, snorkels, and fins. They also have a small dry bag for keys and wallets, and a GoPro underwater video camera to record your experience. You bring sunscreen and that’s it!
The Snorkel TX team gives the small tour group a quick introduction to the San Marcos River, briefly describing the tour. They then show the group how to wear and use the snorkel. After that, you gear up and jump in!
From there, you will snorkel for roughly an hour along the San Marcos River, stopping to observe wildlife as you pass. You will swim together until you reach the Rio Vista Falls Dam, a popular swimming area.
If you plan ahead and leave a vehicle at the dam area, then you can stay and swim longer if you so choose. The finish point is also next to the delightful Ivar’s River Pub, in case you are hungry when you leave.
What You Might See
One of the best things about being here in San Marcos is how beautiful and clear our river is! On the guided Snorkel TX tour, you will see various types of native and non-native plants, turtles, and fish, and will learn to tell the difference between them. You’ll also learn about invasive species and the harm they do.
One really cool plant to look for is Texas wild rice, usually seen underwater, but ocassionally breaking through the surface. This strain of wild rice grows only along this stretch of the San Marcos River, and it is on the federal and state endangered species lists.
Other aquatic wildlife you might see include sunfish, blue tilapia, crayfish, and red-eared slider turtles. The Snorkel TX guides are helpful in pointing them out as they swim by, as they are familiar with which species tend to congregate where in the river.
Spending their days in the beautiful river, the Snorkel TX team feels protective of its beauty and cleanliness. On each tour, they bring along a tube with a bottom to collect litter along the way, and encourage participants to do the same. There is a trash canoe about halfway through to empty the load, plus trash cans at the end point.
- Snorkel TX tours last approximately one hour
- Summer hours (below) go through Labor Day weekend
- Sat.-Sun.: 1st tour leaves at 8 a.m., last tour leaves at 11 a.m.
- Mon.-Thurs.: 1st tour leaves at 9:30 a.m., last tour leaves at 2 p.m.
- Snorkel TX tours are open to children and adults ages 12 and up
- All Snorkel TX tour participants must know how to swim
- For summer 2019, Snorkel TX tours are $42/person
- Snorkel TX tours accommodate up to five people at a time; contact Snorkel TX to plan for larger groups
- Cardinal Rule: The earlier the better, as the river gets busier and thus murkier as the day goes on
- After Labor Day, tours continue only on the weekends
During the hour-long tour, you will see a lot of aquatic life and learn more about this Texas Hill Country treasure, the San Marcos River. More than that, you will experience a serene underwater scene. This tour showcases one of the best central Texas features, our wonderful, spring-fed swimming holes. We hope you love this natural Texas beauty as much as we do.