Cave diving course in Mexico

Cave Diving Course in Mexico

Cenotes are famous among Cave Divers and Recreational Divers wanting to start their Cave Diving course in Mexico. Cenotes are pools of cool groundwater interconnected by UnderGround rivers and cave systems with light water flows. It is easy to navigate through the cave while maintaining crystal-clear visibility. Many Cenotes have Cave passages allowing Cave Divers to explore the areas of interest of the UnderGround rivers. While most Cenotes have no permanent residents, some may have small communities that live around them full-time. They charge an entrance fee that helps them maintain the place and its facilities.

Cave Diving Course in Mexico

Technical Diving International (TDI)’s Cave Diving course consists of three sections:

Chac Mool
Photo: Ivan Ayala

Course Structure and Duration:

Water Execution:

At least four cavern dives at two different sites.


The TDI Cavern Diver course takes at least three days to complete.

Sidemount diving courses in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield

1. Cavern Diver:

TDI designed this course to develop skills and knowledge for cavern and diving in overhead environments within the limits of light penetration. It also outlines specific hazards associated with cave diving. The cavern diver course intends not to provide instruction for cave diving environments. This course aims to train divers in the proper planning, procedures, techniques, and cavern diving hazards.

Completion Qualifications:

1. Cavern diving within the natural light zone.

2. Maximum penetration is limited to 1/3 of the pressure of a single scuba cylinder. 1/6th if using double cylinders such as back-mount doubles and sidemount configurations.

3. 61 linear meters / 200 linear feet from the surface.

4. 40 meters / 130 feet maximum depth.

5. No decompression diving.

6. No restrictions; no small areas for two divers to pass side-by-side.

7. Safety stops as appropriate or necessary.

8. Maintain continuous guidelines.

9. Use of proper cavern diving equipment.

10. Removal of dive gear within the overhead environment is not allowed at this level of training.

Upon completing this program, graduates are qualified to enroll in the TDI Introductory Cave Diver course.

Student Prerequisites:

1. Minimum age 18 (15 with parental consent).

2. Provide proof of an Open Water Scuba Diver certification.

3. Be a certified Sidemount diver or combine with the Cavern Diver course.

4. Minimum of 25 logged dives.

Cave Diving Course in Mexico with Divers UnderGround.

2. Intro to Cave:

This course introduces the basic principles of cave diving utilizing a single primary guide-line. The TDI Introductory cave diving is the second level in developing safe cave diving techniques, directly building upon the cavern diver course. This Introduction intends NOT to train divers for all facets of cave diving. The Intro to Cave course’s objective is to perfect the skills learned in the Cavern Diving Program and learn additional techniques and procedures required for elementary cave dives.

Completion Qualifications:

1. Single guide-line cave diving.

2. Maximum penetration is limited to1/3 of a single diving cylinder or 1/6th if using double cylinders.

3. 40 meters / 130 feet maximum depth.

4. No decompression diving.

5. Maintain a continuous guide line.

6. Student divers must use proper cave diving equipment.

Upon completing this course, graduates are qualified to enroll in the TDI Full Cave Diver course.

Student Prerequisites:

1. Minimum age is 18 years old or 15 with parental consent.

2. Provide proof of certification as a TDI Cavern Diver or equivalent.

Intro to Cave Diver course in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Cave Divers
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Cave Diving Course in Cenotes
Photo: Robert Stansfield

Course Structure and Duration:

Water Execution:

1. At least six single guide-line cave dives in two different sites.


1. The TDI Introductory Cave Diver course takes four days. (Cavern + Intro combined = 5 Days and 8 dives).

Cave Diving in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield
cave decoration in cenotes
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Cave diving certification course in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Stage cave diver in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield

Be prepared for your Cave Diving course in Mexico!

Before enrolling in a TDI Full Cave Diver course, we recommended taking a Sidemount Diver Course and being proficient in using this configuration or taking the Sidemount Diver course in conjunction with the Overhead Environments Training. 

You can combine this course with other TDI courses such as Decompression Procedures, Extended Range, Trimix, Advanced Trimix, and Advanced Wreck. If combined, Student divers must meet the standards for both courses.

turtle carcass in a Mexican cave
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Stage cave diver in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield
Stage Cave Diving in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield

3. Full Cave Diver:

This course is the third training step in TDI’s Cave Diver development program series. During this part, you learn Advanced cave dive planning, the practical execution of different types of cave systems, and possible scenarios cave divers can encounter. This course aims to practice and expand previous skills achieved in the TDI Cavern and Introductory Cave Diving programs. We emphasize dive planning and skill perfection through actual complex navigation cave dives and cave penetration.

Completion Qualifications:

1. Maximum penetration is limited to the 1/3 air rule.

2. 40 meters / 130 feet maximum depth.

3. No equipment removal in the cave.

4. Maintain continuous guidelines.

5. Student divers must use proper cave diving gear.

6. No decompression diving.

7. Complex navigation cave dives planning and execution.

Student Prerequisites:

1. Minimum age of 18

2. Minimum certification as a TDI Introductory Cave Diver or equivalent.

Course Structure and Duration:

Water execution:

1. At least eight cave dives at three different sites.

2. For divers entering the TDI Full Cave Diver course in Mexico without the TDI cavern diver or Intro to Cave Diving certification, 16 cave dives are required.


1. The course’s TDI Full Cave Diver portion takes a minimum of 5 days. (TDI Cavern + Intro to Cave + Full Cave Diver = 8 Days).

Each student must have the following equipment:

1. Two single cylinders for Sidemount Diving are limited to the 1/6 air rule.

2. Two regulators with pressure gauge and alternate air source on a 2 meters / 7 feet hose.

3. Buoyancy compensator device (BCD) with a power inflator.

4. Exposure suit adequate for cavern environment (minimum 5mm with hood).

5. Mask and fins, NO snorkel.

6. Two line cutting devices.

7. Safety reel with a minimum of 37 meters / 125 feet of guideline.

8. One primary reel.

9. One primary light and two backups.

10. Two dive computers or one computer and a bottom timer and depth gauge.

11. Wrist slate and pencil.

13. Three directional line arrows and three non-directional line markers.

Required Skill Performance and Graduation Requirements:

  • Adequate pre-dive planning.
  • Perform equipment checks and gear matching.
  • Bubble checks.
  • Use specialized propulsion techniques.
  • Proper buoyancy control.
  • Exhibit good body posture (Trim).
  • Demonstrate accurate stress analysis (detection and management).
  • Properly deploy and follow a guideline with eyes open and closed, simulating a visibility loss.
  • Share air with a buddy with eyes open, following the guideline.
  • Share air with a buddy with eyes closed using touch-contact communication while following the guideline.
  • Remove and replace the dive mask while keeping in contact with the guideline.
  • Demonstrate light/hand signals and touch contact.
  • Show proper use of directional and non-directional markers.
  • Use of safety reel in lost diver procedures.
  • Use of safety reel in a lost line drill.

Cenotes of Mexico


Mexico is home to various aquatic treasures for scuba divers. From pristine cenotes deep within the country’s jungle-covered Yucatán Peninsula to crystal-clear UnderGround rivers and Caves excellent for Cave Diving training.

Cenotes are limestone sinkholes in Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche states.

Cenotes form by the collapse of limestone bedrock below ground level, exposing the groundwater under the surface and providing access to divers. The porous nature of the limestone allows acidic rainwater to seep in, carving the rock and filling the area with water. Over time, the surface collapses, creating a deeper hole, until eventually, the ceiling collapses and creates a connection from the cave to the surface, allowing us to access the water.

The number of beautiful and accessible cenotes and caves near Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya makes taking your Cave Diving training in Mexico extremely easy,

cave diving course in mexico
Photo Robert Stansfield
TDI Full Cave DIver course in Mexico
Photo: Robert Stansfield
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