Frequently Asked Questions

What does SCUBA mean?

SCUBA stands for: “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”. As we are physiologically not designed to function underwater, by using SCUBA equipment, including a cylinder of compressed air to breathe (sometimes other gases); this way we can function very well underwater for hours or even days! With today’s technology, scuba diving is very safe and easy to learn.

Why do you want to be a certified diver?

Either a relative is a certified diver and you have been listening to his/her underwater adventures; or you are a water enthusiastic person that finds pleasure while swimming or snorkeling through colorful coral reefs, or perhaps you got the “bug” for it while watching a TV documentary about the oceans and the amazing realms in within the vast and diverse seas in our beautiful blue planet.

Whatever your reason the visual aspect of diving is the usual reason for people to consider scuba diving an option in their vacations and most of the time it becomes their main hobby.

In order to enjoy the coral reefs, the vast marine life and the salty ocean breeze, we, as certified divers must understand the potential hazards that diving with scuba may present on every dive, how to prevent them and how to act promptly to limit their chance to become an accident or a fatality.

This equipment selection and configuration, pre dive checks, dive planning, emergency procedures, communication signals and dive rules all together make the “scuba diving technique”.

What is the minimum age to become a SCUBA diver?

Anyone can become a certified diver as long as you are in good health condition and willing to learn starting at age 10.

How good swimmer do I have to be?

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer, but you will need to be comfortable in the water. Generally as long as you can swim 50 yards using any stroke, and float or tread water well enough you should be ok.

What is the difference between the certification agencies?

All certification agencies are regulated by the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council) and have to teach the same however the way things are taught is the difference between dive agencies and instructors. Some will focus on watermanship and emergency procedures where others focus on the technique and dive planning and others will have an apparent more “relaxed” approach; the newest instructors will be strict to the standard and the old timers will be looking for the perfect blend of the book and the real world.

How many scuba diving training agencies are in the industry?

PADI Professional Association of Dive Instructors
SDI Scuba Diving International
IANTD International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers
TDI Technical Diving International

Our Dive Academy offers the largest variety of dive programs to satisfy almost any divers learning needs.

This combination of dive agencies and staff Instructors provide the Original Akumal Dive Shop´s Dive Academy with the tools to provide the most complete and professional dive instruction in the region. And for us our main objective is help YOU get from diving what you expect from it and get the most out of your will to dive……..

Which courses do you offer?

We have several introductory courses that can be as brief as a couple hours in the quiet and calm pool-like conditions of Akumal Bay all the way through to full SCUBA Certification Courses, diving specialties and Technical Diving Certifications.

How long does getting certified take?

Nowadays you can start your academic portion of your course online in the comfort of your home with PADI eLearning. Once you are finished choose our shop to come and complete your water skills portion in the warm, calm and full of life waters of the Mexican Caribbean. Choose Akumal!

Do I need to buy any equipment for my course?

You won’t need to purchase any equipment prior to your scuba class because we provide all the equipment, but we do encourage you to buy your own mask, snorkel, and fins which can be purchased individually or as a Skin Diver kit. Once you’re certified there are all kinds of equipment and gadgets you can buy as you become better and keep diving more often

What happens if my ears hurt when I dive?

The discomfort you experience when you dive is a result of the water pressure pushing against your ear drums and happens to nearly everyone. There are very simple ways to prevent middle ear pain when diving that your instructor will patiently teach you so you don’t have to worry about this too much.

What are the most common sickness/injuries associated with diving?

Seasickness and sunburnt. However, you don’t have to worry about this because our diving sites are at only 7 min. away from our shop!
The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.

Where can I SCUBA Dive once I am certified?

You can dive practically anywhere there’s water in the world: from a swimming pool to the ocean as well as quarries, lakes, rivers and springs!

Do you offer nitrox?

Yes. As well as other gas blends such as Helium.

I forgot my dive PADI certification card at home. Can I still dive?

Yes, with your full name and birthdate we can perform a dive check online for you.

Important: The name and birthdate need to be exactly as it is on our PADI certification card.

Need to replace or update your PADI certification card?

Now you can download your PADI certification card on your phone. A PADI eCard is an electronic version of the plastic certification card. It displays information that instructors or dive operators around the world need to verify certification.

The eCard will be hosted, managed and displayed through: PADI App.

You’ll receive digital replacement certification cards within minutes of purchase and you will be able to store all certifications in one place – on your mobile device.

Not a Junior anymore? Upgrade to a standard certification level!

Once you turn 15 years old, you can upgrade your certification card so that you no longer have age-related restrictions while scuba diving.  Order your replacement card online and the system will automatically produce an upgraded card based on your age.

I haven’t received my PADI certification. What should I do?

If more than one month has passed since you completed your certification, please contact us:

Where do I park when I arrive to the Akumal Dive Shop?

Parking at our shop is limited, if you are staying in Akumal, we recommend walking or riding a bike here. If you drive, there is a parking lot in front of our shop where you can park for 20 pesos per hour. If we stamp your receipt, you’ll only be charged 2 pesos the first 2 hours and then the usual 20 pesos every hour.

There is another parking area at the entrance of Akumal, before the arch at the right-hand side of the road, where the price is $50 pesos for the day..

What dive equipment do you have available for rent?

We rent BCD’s, regulators, short wetsuits, long wetsuits, flash lights, dive computers and compasses.

Do women have any special concerns regarding diving?

Aside from pregnancy, no. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on the fetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Menstruation is not a concern.


Divers need buddies, right? So do I need to bring someone with me to class?

Yes, divers need buddies. For safety reasons, you should never dive alone no matter how many scuba classes you’ve taken or how many dives you’ve done. But you won’t have to supply a buddy for your certification class or for our regular dives.

Although it is nice to have a friend or family member join you in your training/diving, it is certainly not necessary. Your scuba training will provide you an opportunity to meet many other people who are interested in diving. Many of those new divers will be looking for buddies as well. So if you have a friend who’s interested in learning to dive, bring your friend along. If not, you’re sure to meet someone in class.