Full Cave Diver Course
Interested in taking a TDI Full Cave Diver Course and want to explore the option of learning to dive in Overhead Environments in the amazing cenotes of Mexico?
In that case, this blog post will give you all the information you need to get started on your path to becoming a certified cave diver.
When it comes to cave diving, Mexico offers something for everyone. Whether a novice or experienced cave diver, Mexico has fantastic dive sites perfect for learning new skills and exploring your passion.
There’s so much more to cave diving than just donning a wetsuit and jumping into the water. From technical diving equipment requirements to specialized dive training programs, Divers UnderGround is here for you!
Cave diving is a type of diving that requires technical diving knowledge. It is not something that can or should be attempted by divers without the proper training and certification. The risks of cave diving are significantly higher than those of conventional scuba dives because there is no direct way out of the water in case of an emergency.
There are many different courses and levels of certification when it comes to cave diving.
As with any other type of diving, cave diving requires training and certification from an accredited agency. We are an official TDI Five Star Cave Diving Center and Instructor Training Facility. Diving in Overhead Environments is different from other types of diving, requiring additional equipment and specialized training.
You must follow all diving protocols, monitor your gas levels, keep track of dive time, and conduct regular equipment checks. Awareness of local hazards in the diving area is also essential.
Improperly maintaining your dive gear, not following your training, or failing to equip yourself with the right dive gear for the dive site are some ways you can find yourself in a horror situation in the cave.
Also, it would be best if you dived with a certified and experienced local cave diving guide/instructor who can help you understand the hazards and risks of the dive site.
It is up to you to stay safe and ensure that nothing happens to you inside the cave by following the rules.
Do not enter the water if you do not have the experience and training to do the dives. Stay safe, and do not put yourself and your team in danger.
The Full Cave Diver Course:
The TDI Full Cave Diver course teaches you to safely dive into more navigationally challenging cave systems.
This course will teach advanced dive planning, gas management, and navigating complex caves. Also, at this level, you begin to encounter and deal with restricted cave passageways.
The Full Cave Diver course expands your skills and knowledge from the TDI Cavern Diver and the Intro to Cave diver level to prepare you for more complicated dives, including penetrating extensive distances in the cave with tricky navigation negotiating restricted passages.
Here, you learn how to plan more complex dives and enhance previously known skills to match new and more challenging situations. Greater distances require greater awareness as the physical and psychological challenges increase.
Cave divers can encounter intersections, jumps, gaps, circuits, and traverses. Complex navigation requires clean diving techniques and advanced referencing methods to avoid disorientation.
TDI Full Cave Diver Course
The Technical Diving International (TDI) Full Cave Diver program consists of three sections:
1. Cavern Diver:
TDI designed this course to develop the minimum skills and knowledge for cavern and overhead environment diving 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.
Qualifications limits of Graduates:
1. Cavern diving within the natural light zone of the cavern entrance.
2. Maximum penetration is limited to 1/3 of a single diving cylinder or 1/6th if using double cylinders.
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 areas too small for two divers to pass side-by-side
7. Safety stops as appropriate or necessary.
8. Maintain a continuous guideline.
9. Use 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.
1. Minimum age 18 (15 with parental consent).
2. Provide proof of an Open Water Scuba Diver certification.
3. Minimum of 25 logged dives.
Course Structure and Duration:
At least four cavern dives at two different sites.
The TDI Cavern Diver course takes at least three days to complete.
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 aims to perfect the Cavern Diving Program’s skills and learn additional techniques and procedures required for elementary cave dives.
Qualification limits of Graduates:
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 guideline.
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.
1. Minimum age is 18 years old, or 15 with parental consent.
2. Provide proof of certification as a TDI Cavern Diver or equivalent.
Course Structure and Duration:
1. At least six single guide-line cave dives in two different sites.
1. The TDI Introductory Cave Diver course takes at least four days when taken separately. (Cavern + Intro combined = 5 Days and 8 dives).
3. Full Cave Diver Course
This course is the third training step in the 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.
Qualifications of Graduates:
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 a continuous guideline.
5. Student divers must use proper cave diving gear.
6. No decompression diving.
7. Complex navigation cave dives planning and execution.
1. Minimum age of 18
2. Minimum certification as a TDI Introductory Cave Diver or equivalent.
Course Structure and Duration:
1. At least eight cave dives at three different sites.
2. For divers entering the cave program 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 guide-line.
8. One primary reel.
9. One primary/main 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 proper 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.
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 Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures.
TDI Full Cave Diver Course
USD 250 a day
The TDI Full Cave Diver course takes a minimum of four days
Cavern + Intro to Cave + Full Cave Diver = 8 Days
Sidemount Diver + Cavern + Intro to Cave + Full Cave Diver = 9 Days
Transportation from the Center of Playa del Carmen.
The training program includes academic presentations, land drills, confined water sessions, and a minimum of 6 Cave Dives.
TDI Student e-learning code. (We will send you the code as soon as we receive the reservation deposit).
Cenote entrance fees (Avg. 300 Mexican Pesos). These fees must be paid in Mexican cash at the entrance of the Cenote.
Certification fees are USD 35
All technical diving courses start in a shallow open water Cenote!