Lake Amistad

Zane Bennett   Feb 05, 2024

While a trip to Belize or the Cayman Islands might not suit your budget this year, an international dive might still be a possibility. Covering some 64,900 acres at normal level, Lake Amistad’s international boundary between the United States and Mexico is marked with a line of buoys down the middle of the lake.

One tank, two countries – that certainly renders bragging rights. It offers some of the clearest lake-diving in the state and, thanks to Southwest Texas’ mild winters, the water is relatively warm nine months out of the year. Rocky pinnacles, which drop about 150 feet off the limestone shore at Diablo East, give divers an experience similar to wall-diving, while many underwater caves and rock formations and a variety of fish and vegetation found throughout the lake provide other sites to explore.

“I’ve been diving here for seven years and have just barely scratched the surface of seeing what all there is to see,” says Mike McCarson, owner of Amistad Scuba Divers. “It’s such a big lake, you can’t say you’ve dived the lake, just certain spots.” Most of the popular dive locations, including Castle Canyon, Indian Springs and Diablo East, are accessible by boat only.

  • Location: Del Rio
  • Depth: 20 – 150 feet
  • Visibility: 12 – 35 feet (best from March to June)
  • Temperature: 60 – 85 degrees
  • Fees/Admission: Free
  • Outfitter: Amistad Scuba Divers, (830) 775-0878, is currently the only dive shop that serves the lake. Full rentals are available, but quantities are limited. Reservations are advised.
  • Helpful Hint: Blooming algae impedes water clarity during the dry, hot months. Diving near one of the lake’s many hydrilla patches can help improve visibility.

Click here for directions from Houston!