TDI Overhead Environment Diver - Cavern, Intro to Cave & Full Cave Course Playa del Carmen


At Beyond Diving in Playa del Carmen we offer cave diver training to all levels with our in-house Cave Instructor. The cave diver training can be done in a variety of gear configurations such as with Sidemounted tanks or backmounted tanks  Open circuit cave diver training comes in three training levels to reach full cave diver status.  There are a number of cave diver specialty programs such as stage cave diver which you will be able to sign up for after the full cave diver program has been completed and you are a certified TDI Full Cave Diver.

The full immersion Overhead Environment Diver Course includes all 3 levels (cavern diver, Intro to Cave and Full Cave Diver).  This is a physically and mentally demanding program designed to take a diver with no previous cave or cavern diving experience and through extensive repetition and practice turn him/her into a full fledged "Full Cave Diver".  This course can be taught in either backmount or sidemount configuration.  Playa del Carmen is the perfect place for you to learn these skills due to our proximity to the best training cenotes available for cave diving courses. If you would like to do the courses in Sidemount configuration, you must provide proof of certification as a sidemount diver.  If you do not have any previous sidemount or twin tank diving experience, then the 3 day TDI Sidemount Diver Course or the TDI Intro to Tech Course are required to make the most out of your training.

The program is divided ito 3 sections, each one with its own set of skills,  and parameters.  To move on to the next section, the student must possess all the skills and qualities of a diver certified to each level.

First Level: Cavern Diver

This the starting point and your introduction into overhead environment diving. Here in Playa del Carmen we can offer our customers the best that the world can offer in cavern and cave diving. The Cavern Diver course is offered to all certified divers that have the interest to either just enjoy the natural daylight cavern zone of the cave or those who are starting with the intention of going on to the Intro or Full Cave level.

Second Level: Intro to Cave Diver

This is the first level of cave diver training that takes you out of the cavern zone and into the cave, out of the natural daylight zone and into the dark zone.  Critical survival skills are learned during this advanced diver level course to allow divers safely enter cave zones after they have mastered the exercises required for this training level.

Third Level: Full Cave

This is the ultimate goal for most divers searching out cave diver training. This is a great level to achieve, to start your future in learning about the cave environment and to practice you skills learned during your series of cave courses.

Upon certification to the full cave diver level you will have mastered the skills required to dive in this unique overhead environment. This course is not to be taken lightly and your accomplishment of reaching this level is rewarding in itself. From this point on you are certified and qualified to practice, dive, and enjoy the underwater world of penetration cave diving. The combined Cavern - Intro and Full Cave Diver takes a minimum of eightdays.

Who this course is for:

  • The certified and experienced diver who has interest in moving forward with overhead environment diving and expanding their diving techniques, capabilities, range, and more!

What you can expect to learn:
The TDI Full Cave Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more.

  • Standard cave diving policies
  • Gas management procedures and management to include dissimilar volumes
  • Psychological considerations of cave diving
  • Equipment considerations including:
    • Cylinder options
    • Regulator options
    • Buoyancy compensator/harness options
    • Proper weighting
    • Reel options
    • Equipment configurations
  • Communication (light and hand signals)
  • Swimming techniques
    • Body posture/trim
    • Buoyancy control
    • Line following
    • Propulsion (finning) techniques
  • Physiology
    • Breathing techniques
    • Stress management
    • Decompression theory and its application to cave diving
  • Cave environment
  • Conservation
  • Problem solving
    • Emergency procedures
    • Equipment failure
    • Silting conditions
  • Accident analysis
  • Cave diving etiquette

Required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

  • Properly deploy a guideline
  • Properly use directional and non-directional line markers
  • Properly follow a guideline with eyes open and closed (simulating loss of visibility)
  • Air share with a buddy with eyes open, following a guideline
  • Air share with a buddy with lights off and eyes closed, using touch contact while following the guideline
  • Remove and replace mask while in contact with the guideline
  • Demonstrate conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques
  • Demonstrate light/hand signals and touch contact
  • Demonstrate anti-silting techniques
  • Simulate a primary light failure and use back up light to exit the cave
  • Demonstrate lost line and lost diver drills
  • Demonstrate use of reels to perform jumps and gaps required in circuits and traverses to maintain a continuous guideline to open water
  • Demonstrate buoyancy control, proper trim, and propulsion techniques
  • Demonstrate proper stress analysis (detection and management)
  • Demonstrate specialized propulsion techniques in varying types of flow
  • Equipment check and matching
  • Demonstrate adequate predive planning

Equipment List for Cave Diving Courses

Download the list of required equipment here

8-10 Days  Minimum- $250/day

Course prerequisites:

  • Minimum age 18
  • Minimum certification of TDI Intro to Tech or Sidemount.
  • Minimum of 150 logged dives
  • If students wish to do course in sidemount configuration, proof of sidemount certification must be provided.

Cave Diving Course Combinations:

Add Intro to Tech (extra 3 days)
Add sidemount training  (extra 3 days)

Prices Include:

  • Transportation to and from the cenote(s) departing from our dive center in Playa del Carmen.
  • Tanks (double tanks or sidemount tanks)
  • Weights if needed
  • Bottled water

Not Included:

  • Manual
  • Technical Diving Equipment. Can be rented for a fee, but students should have their own equipment for this level of diving.
  • Entry Fees (15-40 USD/Day)
  • Certification Fees
  • Lunch
  • Personal Diving Equipment - see list of required equipment.