Learn to Scuba Dive

Thinking about learning how to scuba dive? Join us for your PADI beginner diving course here in the amazing Sea of Cortez. We have courses starting daily with one of our experienced instructors, sign up today!

The first step in any PADI course is to sign up! We are available to answer any questions you may have and run our courses from August 1st to March 15th. Please have a look at the medical questionnaire beforehand. If you answer yes to any of the questions you will need to see a doctor before you begin the course. This is most easily accomplished in your home country. It is important that you be truthful when answering these questions, in most cases a yes will NOT exclude you from diving. You can learn more about your health and diving on the DAN (Diver's Alert Network) website.

The PADI System of diver education is the most solid teaching system in scuba diving. PADI courses are designed to make learning enjoyable and worthwhile and at the same time ensure a safe learning environment. Under the guidance of your professional PADI Instructor, you will gain confidence in your diving abilities while mastering important safety concepts and skills. PADI course flows ensure that you will progress at your own pace and that each part of your training is complete before you move on the next section.

Every PADI course is divided into both academic and practical sections; most PADI courses have three broad sections, academics, confined water training and open water training. All PADI courses begin with a small amount of paperwork including a medical evaluation questionnaire. This form is to ensure that you are in good physical health for scuba diving. Student divers will receive their learning materials and begin with the academics portion independently, reading and answering review questions on the learning material. Students will than attend an instructional seminar where the topics and theories will be covered in more detail through a combination of videos and power-point presentations. After the academics have been completed the students than move on the confined water section of the diving course.

Confined Water

With the exception of the PADI Advanced Diver course all PADI courses have a confined water session, in the case of beginner divers this is where their first breath underwater takes place. PADI courses are designed to move progressively to deeper depths and more advanced skills as the course progresses. The first sessions begin in water shallow enough for the student to stand, ensuring their safety by allowing them to simply stand up if they have a problem. As they become more confident and practiced with the simpler skills they move to a deeper area and learn more advanced techniques. At the end of the confined water sessions student divers will be practiced in swimming underwater, maintaining buoyancy and a number of skills relating to scuba diving.

Open Water

After student divers demonstrate skill mastery in confined water, they will repeat the skills in an open water situation and be evaluated by the instructor. This is to ensure that the students can transfer these skills from a calm, shallow water environment to a more unpredictable environment where currents, waves and varying visibility may be present. The idea here is to allow the divers independence and for the Instructor to no longer teach the skills but evaluate the student divers abilities.

Once the student divers complete all the course requirements, i.e. all confined water sessions, open water dives and exams they will be awarded the certification. A PADI certification is good for life and accepted worldwide.

Beginner PADI courses available

Discover Scuba Diving - A one day course with no certification involved. For those who only have one day or just want to try diving before committing to a course.

PADI Scuba Diver - A two day course with one day of boat diving. Certifies you to dive to 12m/40ft under the supervision of a diving professional.

PADI Open Water - A four day course with two days of boat diving. Certifies you to dive to 18m/60ft independently.


Padi's Discover Scuba Diving program - $125

Try diving. It's easier than you think! PADI's Discover Scuba program is designed for those unsure about scuba diving or who would just like to try it out before they commit to a full course.

Your one day introduction to scuba diving takes place in nearby Playa Balandra, a beautiful sandy bay perfect for PADI's DSD program. This shallow bay has ideal depths for beginner scuba diving and a shallow reef full of tropical fish and large coral colonies. The trip begins with a boat ride out to San Rafaelito, a small sea lion colony where we can jump in and practice some snorkeling with the sea lions. Next stop is Isla Gaviota, a nesting colony for many marine bird species. Once we arrive in Balandra bay we will go over some basic diving techniques and procedures, set up the dive equipment a couple times for practice and then get in the water and begin learning some basic scuba diving skills. These skills begin in shallow water (stand up depth) and progressively move into deeper water once the student becomes comfortable. After the skills have been completed we will go on an underwater tour of the nearby reef.

The DSD is a non-certification course but students who complete the course do receive credit towards either the PADI Scuba Diver or Open Water certification.

PADI Scuba Diver - $300

The PADI Scuba Diver course is designed for an introduction to scuba diving and is especially good for children aged 8 - 14. It's the first certification course and designed for those who wish to dive but under the supervision of an Instructor/Divemaster and in shallow waters and calm conditions. The course is two days in length and includes one day of academic review and confined water dives followed by one day of boat diving. Once the course is completed the diver is certified to dive to a maximum depth of 12m/40ft under the supervision of a dive professional. The skills and knowledge gained in this course transferable to the PADI Open Water course.

 PADI Open Water Diver - $500

The PADI open water course is the most popular and sought after beginner course in scuba diving. It is the first certification level which allows you to dive independently, rent diving equipment, participate in diving trips and/or join a diving club. The course consists of three sections; knowledge development, five confined water sessions and four open water dives. Here in La Paz we conduct the course over a minimum of four days, with two days dedicated to academic study and confined water followed by two days of diving. Once the course is completed you will be awarded a PADI Open Water Diver certificate which allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 18m/60ft.

The PADI Open Water Course begins with independent study of the open water manual. There are a number of formats available, including e-learning, e-touch, and the standard paper manual. PADI e-learning and e-touch can be purchased through the PADI website. Paper manuals can be purchased online for approximately $45 through Amazon, E Bay or at your local dive center. We highly recommend this option as the book is much easier to work with and will be a more affordable option for you.

The manual is divided into five chapters, each with a set of review questions. These questions need to be completed before we begin the course.

Certification Details

  • DSD participants can make additional open water dives directly supervised by a certified assistant or instructor.
  • PADI Scuba Divers are trained to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor or Instructor to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet. Students will have more theoretical background and better developed water skills than Discover Scuba® Diving participants, however, they are not qualified for independent diving.
  • PADI Open Water Divers are trained to dive independently to a maximum depth of 18m/60ft. With this certification you can participate in dive trips, rent diving equipment and continue your diving education through additional courses.




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