Getting scuba diving certified is not as easy as it looks, but it is fun and worthwhile. There are many things to consider when going scuba diving such as location, temperature, equipment, underwater photography and most importantly your personal health. It is easy to get fatigued and disoriented underwater so when you go, you should be well rested and sober.
After several snorkeling excursions and watching underwater videos I decided to get certified in open water scuba. I did my research and chose Silent World Divers in Puerto Vallarta. I was confused with the training options available provided by PADI such as open water, referal open water, and PADI scuba diver. You can read about them on the official PADI site because tour websites don’t provide enough detail. Simply put, you should start with the PADI open water. There are even more choices to further your skills but even the PADI site has broken links in that subsection.
Silent World Divers was the first company to respond to my email inquiry a few days prior to my arrival so I chose them. Their shop was surrounded by a few hotels and located fairly close to downtown Puerto Vallarta. The other dive companies appeared to be further north of the marina. Even though your dives start at the marina you still have two dives at a hotel pool and the exam at the office. Here is there office:
You can start your PADI open water certification any day of the week, but remember that the book content will take you more than one day to read since it’s five chapters. I struggled to do everything in three days mainly because I had to wake up early for those days and preferred to go out at night so it took me four. I also chose the book and DVD because my internet connection at the hotel was slow.
On your first day in confined water, you will learn about hand signals and the gear, mainly the buoyancy control device. Fortunately my entire training was 1-on-1 with the instructor at Silent World Divers. The first open water dive was at Los Arcos 40 feet deep for 44 minutes. Here’s the photo of Los Arcos
To get to the boat, you can take bus from along the main Boulevard Francisco Medina for 7.50 pesos or more for a taxi. The taxi will get you about 100 meters closer to the dock. The small surprise is that to enter marina Los Peines, also known as Muele Los Peines is that you have to pay 25 pesos for the entrance which was not included with the training. I don’t know how many people pay but the guard at the entrance directs you to pay. The second day I kept my ticket from the first entrance and just told him I paid earlier.
When you go diving in the ocean, it will likely be with other divers or snorklers, possibly 3-8. Since Silent World Divers has a small speedy boat for tours, you’ll get more time and attention. I highly recommend you checkout http://www.silentworlddivers.com They were very friendly, professional and spoke excellent English. While out on the sea for diving or a tour, they included sandwiches for you to eat.
Now enjoy these pictures from the dives!