Good Morning! I'm visiting Ambergris Caye in mid July and have always wanted to scuba dive, but my girlfriend and I aren't certified. I'm curious to know if there is a class we can take to get certified while visiting? If so, how much time is needed to get the proper certification?
My husband and I took the reading/quiz portions online before we left for Belize. Once we arrived, we did 2 or 3 "tests" in the water. I felt like it was a free scuba dive, because we saw fish and other stuff while testing. I also felt more comfortable practicing the scuba in the ocean (shallow water) instead of a pool.
Thanks John! Appreciate you taking the time to provide this insight.
Standard Diving certification ("Open Water") requires passing written tests and underwater tests. I strongly suggest taking a class near your home before the trip and passing the written portion, and getting the basic dive training (gear training and other diving skills like buoyancy and clearing your mask) in the pool also as part of the class, which may take like 16-24 hours (2-3 full days). They will give you a card that you passed the written portion. In order to get your certification to dive anywhere, the open water portion must be done on actual dives in the ocean (or lake?). This way you can finish certification in the open water by doing the four 'check out' dives in Belize. Alternatively do check out dives where you live in a quarry, lake, or ocean, then you would be fully certified before you get to Belize and then can just dive away while on vacation.
I'm sure you could take dive classes in Belize as well while visiting, but personally I wouldn't want to waste valuable vacation time on learning and testing. Vacation destinations sometimes will offer a quick certification over a few days (you'd have to ask them the details), although for learning something requiring some technical knowledge, like scuba diving, it is better to be more thorough for your own safety.
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