Scuba Diving 101 – What You Need To Get Certified in Belize
When it comes to diving, Belize is one of the best places you could pick. The Great Blue Hole and Belize Barrier Reef are two of the most awe-inspiring places you can visit if you want to dive into the deep. Whether you want to witness the multitude of sea creatures that inhabit these spots or just want to go diving in the Caribbean, Belize can certainly satisfy you.
While you can go diving without being certified, it may be best to seek certification. Fortunately, gaining certification as a diver means you’re set for life as it never expires. If you want to fully enjoy what Belize has to offer and you want to become certified as a diver, you will want to enroll in an “open water” diving course. Open water is a term used to describe any body of water that is not confined, such as an ocean or lake.
Open Water Diving in Belize
Before you can set out scuba diving in the deep, you will first need to confirm that you are physically fit to dive and sign some documents. While there are multiple diving schools, such as PADI and SSI, their curricula are similar enough to not be a problem. Most courses take only 3 or 4 days. Scuba training consists of 3 modules. Note that proper certification requires you to be proficient in all 3 modules.
- Confined water dives, such as in a pool.
- Open water dives. Open water dives cannot be attempted until you’ ve performed the other 2 sections
As open water diving is the most relevant for Belize, know that completing the open water training will give you the following knowledge.
- How to plan a dive, based on depth and duration.
- How to control your buoyancy.
- Nonverbal communication when underwater.
- How to easily clear a fogged mask while submerged.
- Understand how to use scuba gear and confirm that a buddy’s gear is safe to use.
- Understand underwater weather conditions so that you can avoid problems during a dive.
If you have kids with an interest in diving, know they can pursue junior certification. This is possible so long as they are at least 10 years old and can understand the information being taught.
Once you have full certification, you receive a C-card. This allows you to rent scuba equipment, buy air for scuba tanks and to dive beyond 18 meters. Now fully equipped to pursue any sort of diving you might want, you can go exploring, whether it be the rotted remains off downed ships or the natural wonders found rampant within Belize’s waters.
Belize has much to offer interested divers, especially certified divers. If all goes well, you will have your certification, and the training to back it up, in no more than 4 days. If you want to get certified and enjoy some deep dives, make Belize your destination in 2023.
Featured Photo by Duarte Dellarole
Editor's Note: This article was first shared on January 30th, 2020