If you’ve got an adventurous soul and you love the water, the Snorkel with a Shark Exclusive Encounter is the ideal pursuit for you! This fun and educational experience provides a safe way to get close to sandbar sharks and other species of fish, while capturing stunning up-close photos.  

You’ll begin with an educational tour of the Caribbean Sea Exhibit, which offers an overlook of the tank below the surface through a 68-foot-long acrylic window. You’ll learn about the different shark species, their biology, and how we can protect them in the wild, and you’ll learn about the environments and swim patterns of the other fish species in the tank.


Now that you have all the details, you’re ready to dive into the fun part!  

It’s time to get suited up and ready for the adventure, but make sure that you’ve familiarized yourself with all the safety rules in the waiver, like the restrictions involving clothing, makeup, sunscreen, lotion, and behavior.  

A tour guide will accompany groups of up to four people in a specially designed cage measuring 10’ x 10’. This cage is immersed in 400,000 gallons of 72-degree water. Although guests have different clothing options, as stated in the waiver, it’s recommended to wear a full-body wetsuit to remain comfortable in the cold water.


You don’t need to be scuba certified, or be an expert swimmer, but you do need to be comfortable wearing an underwater mask and snorkel provided by the staff at the Texas State Aquarium. Also note that the tank is saltwater, and humans naturally float in saltwater, so you’ll need to make an effort to push yourself underwater. Your tour guide will be there to help should the need arise.  

Documenting this experience is a must, but you can’t bring your own device into the tank. The Texas State Aquarium provides a GoPro for all photos and videos. Simply leave your contact information and your guide will email the photos and videos to you at the end. As fun as this experience is, make sure that you keep your hands and feet inside the cage at all times for your and the sharks’ safety.

This experience may not be for everyone, so if you or anyone else in your group isn’t keen on swimming with the sharks, the experience can be viewed through the Caribbean Sea Exhibit. Be sure to take advantage of the great photo op from below that offers a diagonal view of the swimmers and shark activity.


If you think you’re ready for this experience, view the information below to get started.  

The Snorkel with a Shark Exclusive Encounter 

  • Cost is $109.95 per person, plus general admission. 
  • Ages 8+ only. Children 8-12 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian that is one of the four guests in the tank. 
  • Summertime hours include two 1.5-hour-long classes. First time slot is from 9:45 AM – 11:00 AM and second-time slot is from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM. Time slots are limited during off-season, so please call 361-881-1230 for more information.  
  • Signed waiver is required from all participants. View waiver here.  
  • Purchase tickets here: https://tickets.texasstateaquarium.org/#/SpecialEvents/ExclusiveEncounters