Amistad International Reservoir

The US 90 bridge over Amistad International Reservoir

The US 90 bridge over Amistad International Reservoir

Photo by National Park Service, Public Domain

Amistad Reservoir is located in the Rio Grande basin in southern Val Verde County, Texas, and Coahuila, Mexico, twelve miles northwest of Del Rio (at 29°27' N, 101°03' W). The lake is surrounded by massive limestone and wash deposits on flat terrain surfaced by dark, calcareous, stony clays and clay loams that support grasses and water-tolerant hardwoods and conifers.

Many limestone caves and rockshelters along the banks of the Rio Grande and Devils River, which feed into the lake, were inhabited by prehistoric American Indians, who left their art on the walls of the caves. When Amistad Lake was filled after the fall of 1969, the paintings were inundated. In the fall of 1848 the expedition of Col. John Coffee Hays passed over the lower San Pedro River, where part of the lake is now located. Hays and his explorers renamed the stream the Devils River. In 1853 Julius Froebel came through the area of the lake and wrote of its beauty.

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Amistad International Reservoir is part of or belongs to the following places:

Lake Measurements

  • Surface Area (in acres): 66,465
  • Storage Capacity (in acre-feet): 3,275,532

Lake Maintained or Owned by

International Boundary and Water Commission

Date of Origin

1969 (55 years ago)

Currently Exists


Place type

Amistad International Reservoir is classified as a Lake


  • Conservation
  • Flood Control
  • Recreation
  • Power generation

Associated Names

  • (Diablo Reservoir)

An international project of the U.S. and Mexico; Texas’ share of conservation capacity is 56.2 percent.