How to Scuba Dive in Puerto Vallarta

Get answers to your questions about how to scuba dive, including the basics of scuba diving certification with PADI instructors at Vallarta Adventures.

No trip to Puerto Vallarta is complete without a dive in the crystal clear waters among tropical fish and marine life. You’ll enjoy incredible underwater views and interactive experiences unlike anywhere else. The good news is, if you have not tried scuba diving before or completed your diving certification, you can incorporate it into your trip with Vallarta Adventures, who has been an official 5-Star PADI Center for over 20 years. We’ll teach you how to scuba dive right here in Mexico, and help you complete your PADI certification, which prepares you for dives all over the world.

Scuba Dive | Vallarta Adventures

Since many of the courses take a few days, we recommend that you save time by completing the book work online at home before you get here, but you are welcome to do it all with the instructor if you prefer. We can also help with recertifications and refresher courses, so you can participate in all the amazing open water dives available in Puerto Vallarta.

Learn How to Scuba Dive

There is a lot that goes into learning how to scuba dive, from the equipment to the technique, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. Vallarta Adventures will help you feel confident, regardless of experience or skill level. We’ll show you how to properly dress for a dive, how to use the equipment, and best practices for diving safely.

What Comes Next

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI, is the organization that makes the official decisions on diving protocol and safety standards. All of our dives are conducted in small groups of 2-4 divers with a certified PADI instructor to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable. Participants will learn to dive using the buddy system, so no one is ever left alone in the water.

Beginners - Basics of Scuba Diving

Our beginner scuba diving certification classes are designed for those with little to no previous experience. Our instructors strive to make every course fun and exciting while helping participants to try something new, get out of their comfort zone, and share in the experiences of exploring a new, underwater world up to 40 feet below the surface.

PADI Bubblemaker

This course is for kids ages 8 and older who want to learn the basics of scuba diving. It is helpful if the kids are comfortable in the water, but they do not need to be strong swimmers. Our instructors will get them excited about learning to scuba dive, teach them about the equipment, and let them practice diving and breathing underwater at a depth of only 6 feet. After completing this course, your kids will be able to join you on many of the diving adventures offered in Puerto Vallarta.

Scuba kids | Vallarta Adventures

Learn to Dive at Las Caletas 

In this class, guests ages 10 and up will begin with a lesson practicing how to breathe underwater and learning how to use the scuba equipment, including how to move in it. You’ll also learn safety regulations and safe practices, as well as build a solid foundation of scuba diving knowledge and skills needed to continue with more advanced training.

Scuba Dive at Las Caletas | Vallarta Adventures

Las Caletas is the perfect diving location for beginners because you don’t need to go very deep for a spectacular view. Divers will enter a protected cove full of tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, and more. Other members of the traveling group will also enjoy this exclusive beach hideaway. Guests can relax on the beach, join in scuba diving or snorkeling, take cooking classes, go kayaking, or try a mezcal tasting. There are also adventure activities specifically designed for kids and teens.

PADI Discover Scuba

PADI Discover Scuba is the perfect class for those who may be interested in scuba diving, but want to test it out first. Participants 10 and older can learn how to use scuba equipment in the safety of shallow water and get comfortable with the idea of diving and how it works. After this course, you can enroll in more advanced classes as well as participate in several dives in Puerto Vallarta, including Las Caletas, Los Arcos, and the Marietas Islands.

Intermediate & Advanced Courses

Our intermediate courses will help prepare you for diving in any location and in various levels of difficulty, particularly in open water. You’ll earn PADI certifications which will be recognized and accepted everywhere, so you can dive all over the world including the gorgeous reefs and ocean surrounding Puerto Vallarta. To earn your certifications, you’ll need 2 days in the pool and 2 days in the ocean, and you will be diving up to 60 feet below the surface, and up to 100 feet in the advanced course.

Scuba PADI Certification

PADI Open Water Diver Certification

Our expert diving instructors will teach participants 10 and older how to safely dive in open water, so you’ll be prepared to explore the wonders of the ocean. You’ll learn all about preparation protocol, setting up your equipment, and planning your dive, including depth and dive time. You’ll also learn about problems that may occur and how to solve them so you can continue to dive safely. This course includes 5 pool dives and 4 open water dives in Puerto Vallarta locations.

PADI Open Water Diver Referral

This course is a great option for divers who have completed their pool work and theory assignments before coming to Mexico. In just two days, you can complete your PADI certification with four dives in the open ocean.

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification

This course is for divers 12 and up and is designed to be taken at any point after the PADI Open Water course. Gain knowledge and experience while getting more dives with an experienced instructor, and increase confidence and skill for future dives.

Bonus Classes

Vallarta Adventures also offers two courses to learn more safety procedures and how to assist other divers when needed.

Scuba PADI Certification

PADI Rescue Diver Course

This course takes what you have learned about potential problems that may occur while diving, and adds to it. It is a great course for divers 12 and older who plan to take on more difficult dives, or who wish to dive independently. You will learn to recognize when other divers are in distress, rescue panicking or unresponsive divers, and also self-rescue and emergency equipment management. After completing the course, divers will be PADI Rescue Diver certified.

Emergency First Response

This course covers emergency response for divers and participants of various other adventure sports, and prepares you for all kinds of emergency situations. You’ll learn basic first aid and life support, CPR and rescue breathing, spinal injury management, shock prevention, and more. You’ll also practice the ability to stay calm when presented with one of these stressful situations, and learn how to build your own first aid kit.

Refresh & Reactivate

We also offer two courses for divers who may be out of practice, or who want to brush up on their skills.

Scuba PADI Certification

PADI Refresher Course

If you haven’t been scuba diving for over a year, it is a good idea to take a quick refresher course. This 90-minute class for divers who are over 10 years old will help you review the set-up, skills, and safety protocol before you get back in the water.

PADI Reactivate

This 2-day course is for divers 10 and older who have not participated in a dive for an extended period of time. This course has bookwork that can be completed in advance, as well as pool work and 2 guided dives.

Optional Online Coursework at Home

For courses requiring bookwork, participants have the option to complete the work here with an instructor or finish it at their own pace before coming to Puerto Vallarta. In addition to having more time, completing coursework at home also includes interactive features online. Simply click on the above links for the scuba diving certification course you are interested in and find the link to the corresponding online coursework.

It is also possible to complete the pool work at a scuba location near you, then complete the open water dives in Puerto Vallarta at Los Arcos, Las Marietas, or Las Caletas.


It is important that scuba divers be in good health and mental condition when participating in our scuba diving certification courses. In particular, guests must not have respiratory, cardiovascular, or ear problems, and expecting mothers are also restricted. Guests who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are absolutely not permitted to take part in these activities. It is also vital to keep in mind that beginner divers should not fly within 12 hours of a dive, and certified divers should wait 18 hours before flying after two or more dives in one day.

Another item to be aware of is that many dive locations only permit reef-safe and chemical-free sunscreen. Many of the ingredients used in traditional sunscreens can be harmful to the coral reefs and aquatic life, so please help us keep these chemicals out of our oceans by choosing a biodegradable sunscreen.

Come Scuba Dive With Vallarta Adventures!

Our professional instructors have years of experience teaching people how to scuba dive. In fact, our oldest instructor has over 20 years working with us! Our personalized approach, small groups, equipment quality, boats, and tropical location make Vallarta Adventures the best option for learning how to scuba dive. Book a scuba diving certification class with us today, and join us in the most beautiful scuba diving sites in Puerto Vallarta!

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