To breathe underwater for the first time is one of those magical experiences you remember forever. A journey into the aquatic world is an experiential treat that can transform the way you connect with nature, but you would enjoy it more only if you have at least done a scuba diving course.
The adventure of scuba diving lies in the joy and the challenge of interacting with the life and elements that thrive underwater as you literally immerse yourself into an unknown and hostile, but utterly marvellous space. Diving can be dangerous if you are not prepared for it, and incomparably beautiful when done right.
How to do a scuba diving course
Professional Association Of Diving Instructors (PADI) is an internationally recognised organisation that is the gold-standard for divers. First-time divers can either dive with a PADI-certified instructor on a fun-dive or as part of a training course.
There are several other certification organisations that offer a scuba diving course. The full list can be accessed here. In this article, I will only be discussing PADI certified dive-centres.
Like any other sport, diving becomes safer and more enjoyable with more training. Most dive-centres offer a range of training courses. The following are the three most popular training programs for beginners.
Discover Scuba Diving (DSD)
A great introduction to the basics of diving and breathing underwater, this scuba diving course is an excellent way to get acquainted with the world of diving.
Average course duration: 1 day
Scuba Diver (SD)
The perfect scuba diving course for those who are short on time, this certification lets you dive to a depth of 12 meters underwater, under professional supervision.
Average course duration: 2 days
Open Water Diver (OWD)
The full scuba certification, which will let you dive independently with a buddy, up to a depth of 18 meters.
If you already have a scuba diver certificate, then all the dives that you've logged previously will count towards your Open Water Diver training.
Average course duration: 4 days
Where should you dive?
The planet is blessed with thousands of beautiful dive-spots that are perfect for scuba divers to explore the underwater world. But most dive-spots are off-limits for uncertified divers.
Scuba diving training courses can cost a fortune and can eat up your travel budget! Here's where you can find the most affordable PADI courses on the planet.
The prices (indicative) include gear-rentals and accommodation, unless mentioned otherwise.