Camilo, TDI, Razor, PADI TecRec and PADI Diving Instructor, took his first breaths underwater in Canada 12 Years ago.
Camilo has come very far from those first breaths underwater in a pool in Calgary! Everyone’s passion starts somewhere, and he is one of the lucky ones that remembers exactly when and where! Funny story really, Camilo needed a break from his everyday life in Canada, working long hours and with good pay. So, what does everyone do when they need a break? They book a vacation with friends! One of his friends, already a certified diver wanted to go to Playa del Carmen to dive, so Camilo signed up for an Open Water Course in Calgary. After his first pool session, (in CANADA!) he went home and googled how to become a Scuba Diving Instructor! Fact is, he didn’t find his passion in the beautiful Caribbean or in the Cenotes that he loves so much, but in a swimming pool! To make a long story short, after his trip to the Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen) he decided to move there and follow his passion and became a PADI Open Water Instructor in early 2008! As he worked in the Dive Industry, gaining experience and expanding his Dive Knowledge and furthering his growth and Dive Leader Levels, he began to realize that he did not want to work for a big boss anymore…
….and that is how Divers UnderGround came about…..
In 2012, Camilo, finally made his dream a reality, doing something he loved and not work for other people! He wanted to share his passion and enthusiasm for the underwater world!
When you start a company, first thing you need is a name! Just like naming your baby, it’s very important to find the right name! It’s everything! People can spend months finding just the right name!
Camilo’s passion quickly spread from Open Water to Overhead Environments, in particular, the Cenotes of the Riviera Maya. When you ‘dive’ the Cenotes, you literally are ‘UnderGround’ and soon became “Divers UnderGround”, which is our commercial name. Our Legal Mexican Company name is “Aktun Tumben” which means “New Cave” or “New Cenote” in Mayan. Camilo thought that this would be a perfect and suiting name, as this was a new endeavor, still to be discovered, like the thousands of other Cenotes yet to be discovered in the Yucatan Peninsula and Riviera Maya.
The logo was something that was actually the easiest part, surprisingly! The image and colors were picked to represent Camilo’s passion and what the company is about. When you dive the Cenotes, the 2 incredible traits are the rays of lights and the tree roots extending thru the earth’s surface to find fresh water to grow. Through nature, these tree roots show us the power of mother nature and the struggles we go thru to survive and is a very powerful message. The tree chosen is the Tree of Life, a mystical and magical tree, just like the Cenotes. The colors, 2 blues for the color of water and rays of light. Black meaning power and mystery was the perfect color for the Tree of Life. Black also means strength, and used for the diver. The red circle represents the passion for diving and determination.
Camilo wanted had thought about opening a dive shop, not just a web page, but he wanted a partner….. here is where Lara comes into the picture!
In 2015, Lara too was tired of having a boss… it’s that simple! Partnership with Camilo to open a Dive Shop. Fair enough, there was a lot of talking over glasses of red wine in the back yard, and some of the best ideas happen like that!
With similar determined mind sets, goals, principles and philosophies, it was decided: (You can be serious barefoot. )
– Take our experiences and create a welcoming dive centre
– Offer extraordinary personal service
– Safety and standards PRIORITY!
– Honesty towards the customers and fun!
– Really good espressos! (Camilo being Colombian and Lara Half Italian, it was a given!)
Obviously there was a need for a location, a place to welcome you with a coffee and to keep dive equipment, tanks, etc… and the spare bedroom was not a good idea! What better place than in the heart of the Riviera Maya! Did you know it’s home to the second largest reef system in the world and obviously home of the world famous Cenotes with the longest and most beautiful cave systems in the world!
Our Boutique Dive Centre is located 3 km south of Puerto Aventuras, on a local Mayan family’s property. We can boast the small Mayan ruin right on location, and our in-house Cenote is literally a meters from our doorstep! Cenote Jardin del Eden, also known as Garden of Eden or Ponderosa, is perfect for everything from snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving to Full Cave Training!
Not only were we fortunate enough to have found this little charm location for it’s proximity to some of the most famous Cenotes in the Riviera Maya, but as well, it’s proximity to some of the major hotel chains in the area like Barceló Hoteles & Resorts.
We are literally a 12 minute walk from the Barceló Hotels & Resorts. (There are 5 hotels inside the Resort; Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Colonial, Barceló Maya Tropical and Barceló Maya Palace.) We are within a 5 minute drive from the famous Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Bel Air Riviera Maya, Bel Air Xpu Ha, Hotel Esencia, El Dorado Seaside Suites and from the various other hotels in the Puerto Aventuras and Xpu Ha area!!!!!!
Though Divers UnderGround is still a young company, there is over a decade of experience working in the dive industry and prior careers which they have learnt from and now use to implement in the company philosophy. We believe in guiding divers in the right direction, foster the basics, and allow the diver to learn, grow, and gain more experience along the way. We strive to promote our sport and all that it encompasses whether you are a recreational sport diver or technical diver, if it is shallow reef dive, long cave dives, deep dives on a wreck, or exploration, etc. Divers UnderGround is a small family environment prepared to provide a personalized, safe, honest and fun environment for scuba diving.
Both have been through rigorous dive training to reach the diving instructor level that they now hold. Some of the internationally recognized certifications they hold are from associations like PADI, TDI, IANTD, NAUI and SDI. Based on these major training agencies strict standards and years of teaching experience, Divers UnderGround’s diving instructor’s key principles are a safe, progressive and fun learning environment in both recreational (sport) diving and technical diving. Safety being priority. We are here to provide the knowledge and skills needed for each specific level of training. You progress at your own pace as you demonstrate mastery of specific performance requirements essential to becoming a scuba diver. You must earn your certification, but you do so in an encouraging and well-supported learning environment.
We promise honesty to the student regarding his or her abilities for that level of training, therefore creating competent, qualified and knowledgeable divers. We will encourage, share awareness and maintain the aquatic realm pristine as this is our passion and our office.
This little lady is a 12 year old Schnauzer! She was born in Colombia and traveled with Camilo everywhere from Canada to Playa del Carmen. She is extremely talkative, loves to be pet, play ball and share your food!!!!!! …. when you meet her, the trick is to talk to her and pet her and when you are back from the dive, she will welcome you back and tell you all about her day chasing iguanas!
Born in Canada and raised in beautiful Medellin, Colombia. In 2005, he came to Playa del Carmen on vacation and decided to try Scuba Diving and after his first few breaths underwater he found his true passion in life.
Was born and raised in New York City with a unique Chinese and Italian background. This may explain her flair for food, creativity and charisma. Diving for over 20 years, over 10,000 dives under her belt and a twinkle in her eye!