I have no clue…

how to become a cave diver

…but I hope to know more about it in a couple of days when I start my course. As I loved the cenotes around Tulum so much (read more here) I decided to give cave diving a try. In addition I enjoy wreck diving (overhead environment as well) a lot, am looking for a new challenge and I think the course just makes me a better diver in general.

There are many differences between the cavern diving in the cenotes and the cave diving which I will hopefully learn during my course. These differences also show why it is so important to get proper training as well as special equipment to ensure safety while diving in caves.

In a cavern you can see natural light at all times. So in case of an emergency or troubles navigating it is possible to swim towards the light. In a cave it will be pitch black if you do not have a torch and you have to know how to find your way back out of the cave and how to react in case of an emergency.
Diving in a cavern you will never be further than 40 m (130 ft) from the surface while during a cave dive you might move away from the entrance for long distances. So it is very important to stick to the rule of thirds which means to be back at the entrance with 2/3 of the breathing air left in the tank.
Cavern diving is considered as recreational whilst caves are considered technical diving. Therefore only specific cave or tec organizations will certify cave divers.

The course from scratch consists of 3 parts leading to “full cave” certification, each of the parts taking about 3 days. I am not sure yet if I will do the whole course or only the first two parts which are “cavern” and “intro to cave” (the last part being “full cave”). First of all I will learn how to use the equipment as I have never dived with double tanks before (yes, there will be two tanks now).

As I am still a bit scared about the whole course and being far away from any surface doing drills I have not yet committed to the whole course. Luckily my instructor is flexible and has agreed we will start with the first part and then see how it goes. I would definitely want to do the second part as well to actually get into the caves … but then I might as well do the third part 😉 we will see and I will keep you updated.


Could you imagine to dive in a cave? Let me know in the comment section below.


Read what I experienced on my way to become a cave diver: part II, part III, part IV, part V and the last part. I wrote these blogs in April 2015 during my cave diving course in Playa del Carmen.