Diving Certification Courses and General Diving Questions
PADI Dive Courses Offered on the Island
Our trips are for both non-experienced and experienced divers. Not certified? No worries, we can certify you as a PADI Open Water diver in 3 days. Many of our guests come to ReefCI to learn to dive. It is a wonderful place to learn with calm clear waters and little current. We swap the usual chlorine filled swimming pool for the Caribbean Sea and the classroom for a hammock under a palm tree! Your PADI Open Water Certification is recognized worldwide and allows you to dive anywhere in the world.
We have many dive courses available to help you develop your scuba skills while on the island volunteering with us.
You can sign up for your PADI course at checkout.
PADI Course Certification Options with ReefCI
ReefCI guests have two options regarding PADI certification courses with us.
ReefCI recommends using PADI’s online eLearning. You can get started immediately with the classroom/knowledge portion of the course and work at your own pace using the PADI eLearning system at home. This convenient online study option allows you more time on the island to get right into the water by doing the classroom portion of your course before your arrival. Once on the island, we will finish off the appropriate diver portion of the course. With this option we can get you certified quicker which allows you more time to participate in our fun conservation programs. At the end of the eLearning program, you can print out your eRecord and bring a copy of it with you or send me an electronic copy and you are good to go! Click here for PADI’s online learning. There is an additional cost for the eLearning option and the cost is paid to PADI – ReefCI receives no monetary value for the eLearning but we find our guests like to avoid the book work and theory portion while on the island and this provides the best alternative to get in the water immediately.
If you choose to complete your entire certification with ReefCI, including the theory/classroom portion of your course, you will need to bring the relevant PADI manual which can be purchased online and is very inexpensive. This option takes a bit longer depending on your course but is the less expensive option. This option is good for those on a budget or who are with us for multiple weeks.
We are happy to do either option; however, we recommend completing the PADI eLearning before you arrive to maximize your time in the water! However, either option is good.
Frequently Asked Diving Questions
Dive Equipment – What Should I Bring?
All dive equipment is included EXCEPT mask with snorkel, booties, and wetsuits. You must bring your own mask with snorkel, booties, and wetsuit, mostly for a more comfortable fit. These items are size specific to each individual -especially wetsuits and booties for your feet.
ReefCI provides the rest of your gear at no charge – BCD’s, tanks, regulators, fins, weights, etc.. However, you are more than welcome to bring your own dive gear if you prefer. We do not provide dive computers; however, it is not necessary or mandatory to bring one. We do keep well within safety limits. Anyone wishing to participate in night dives MUST bring their own dive light/torch. These can be purchased for as little as 10 USD on Amazon. If you prefer to travel light, we do have a few wetsuits you can borrow – but bear in mind that the fit on these is not going to be as ideal as if you brought your own.
Wetsuits – Full, Short, or None at All?
Do I need a full or short wetsuit in Belize and what thickness? Or do I need one at all? That is a tough question as it varies from person to person. It just depends on how much you feel the cold; some do dive with full, some with short, and some without one. The water temperature is consistently around 80F/26C so a 3mm wetsuit is normally more than sufficient. However, it just depends on how much you feel the cold; some do dive without one in Belize while others prefer a wetsuit. During the months of November through to March, the water temperature is a degree or two cooler and most choose to wear wetsuits during these months. If your body build is on the slight/thin side you might need a full but if you are a bit fuller/larger body type you could probably do a short or none at all. You could try diving with what you think is appropriate for you and if it does not work we have loaners you can borrow at no cost!
Number of Dives Per Week
We typically do around 13 dives each week. Two on Monday (first dive is a check-out dive), three dives on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In addition, we do at least one night dive per week. On Friday’s, we do a pre-breakfast dive, have breakfast then debrief and return to the mainland anywhere from 11am to 1pm We only take small groups and our instructors are great at concentrating on helping individual divers and techniques.
Minimum Age to Dive
For PADI certification, the minimum age is 10 years old. Divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15.
PADI Course Descriptions
PADI Open Water Diver Certification
If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Get your scuba diving certification with the PADI Open Water Diver course – the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba course. At the first level, Open Water Diver, divers gain basic knowledge of skills, equipment use, and theory for diving to a recommended depth of about 18 meters/60 feet. Once certified as an Open Water Diver, you will receive a PADI Open Water Certification Card/License which is recognized worldwide and you can dive anywhere in the world!
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification
You don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed to advance your diving, so you can start right after earning your PADI Open Water Diver certification. The course helps build confidence and expand your scuba skills through different Adventure Dives.
Your five Adventure Dives will include the following:
You get to try out different specialties while gaining experience under the supervision of your PADI Instructor. The AOWD also allows the diver to explore a broader variety of diving to a maximum depth of 40 meters/130 feet.
PADI Rescue Diver Certification
The PADI Rescue Diver course prepares you to deal with dive emergencies, minor and major, using a variety of techniques. Through knowledge development and rescue exercises, you learn what to look for and how to respond. During rescue scenarios, you put into practice your knowledge and skills. The course covers the following topics in seven scenarios:
Please note that the CPR /First AID (EFR) should be completed by a third party (Red Cross or other similar organization) before or after your arrival. Rescue Diver Certification can be completed in one week regardless of the option you choose above.
PADI Dive Master Certification
The Dive Master Certification (DM) rating places you in an elite group of respected divers who have earned this rating through both significant experience and scuba training. Fewer than 2% of divers ever achieve this rating. The course will develop leadership skills and deepen your knowledge of diving. Prerequisite certifications include the PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced, and PADI Rescue (or equivalent certification from another training organization). First aid and CPR training from another organization is also required prerequisite – which can be done in a ½ day with the Red Cross or similar organization. The PADI Dive Master Certification takes a minimum of 4 weeks.
PADI Specialty Course – Deep Diver
The lure of the deep. There’s something exciting and mysterious about exploring deeper dive sites while scuba diving. Sometimes it’s a wreck that attracts you below 18 meters/60 feet, and on wall dives it may be a giant fan or sponge. Whatever it is, to scuba dive with confidence at depths down to 40 meters/130 feet, you should take the PADI Deep Diver Specialty course. During four deep dives with your instructor, you’ll go over:
PADI Specialty Course – Fish Identification
“What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers, instead of the one asking the questions, then take the Fish Identification Specialty course. You’ll enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics. During two scuba dives, you’ll learn: