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The TDI Intro to Cave Diver program is the first step into the cave, after becoming a Cavern Diver. It teaches the necessary techniques, procedures and protocols for safe cave diving respecting conservative gas management and safe penetration distances. It is a prerequisite to enter the Full Cave Diver course.



We will leave the daylight area and the "cavern zone" to start venturing into the cave itself. Aspects learned during the Cavern Diver course, such as placement (according to team, line and surrounding environment), positioning, communication and awarness will take a deeper meaning now that we venture further into the cave and into pitch darkness.
Students will learn how to plan more complex dives, also considering:
- the use of the rule of 1/6 considering further penetration distances and potential delayed exits
- following a continuous and permanent guideline with no limitation of distance
- potential team's separation and lost or broken guideline
- keeping track of the route and time with the use of a "run-time"

SUBJECT AREAS (non exhaustive)

During our TDI Intro to Cave Diver Course, we will focus on the following aspect (on top of reviewing everything else from previous levels) Underwater: - refining fundamentals skills - following a continuous guideline as a team - team’s advance communication - advanced and modified propulsion techniques - advanced touch contact communication in low/no visibility - bump-and-go procedure in low/no visibility - problem solving from previous levels in low/no visibility (leakages, valves failures, etc) - broken guideline - lost line procedure - lost diver / team’s separation procedure On land: Land-drills and simulations of procedures - disorientation - missed intersection - lost line in zero-visibility - broken guideline - lost diver / team’s separation Briefings and de-briefings - pretty much everything… White board presentations and discussions - rule of 1/6 and conservatism - types of caves - cave diving etiquette - caves’ bottoms and ceilings - silt outs - specific dangers and consideration for longer penetration - psychological and physiological considerations - mind-control and stress recognition and management - impact and cave conservation


Venturing knowingly into the cave, into pitch darkness and under a ceiling that impeaches a direct vertical ascent to the surface takes require a high level of self-awareness and stress control from the divers. As physical and psychological challenges increase, preparedness and mind-control become more important, and focus will be put on divers’ awareness (self, global and situational). Intro to Cave divers can follow continuous and permanent guidelines that runs deep and far into sometimes huge cave systems. Cave ceilings and bottoms are often covered with thin sediment that can lower visibility very quickly. Refined propulsion techniques and close to perfect buoyancy control and trim are now paramount to avoid silt-outs, disorientation and lost guidelines. Divers at that level might encounter traffic (other cave divers) inside the systems and eventually will have to deal with procedures of more advanced cave divers (stage cylinder or DPV’s attached to the guideline, jumps and gaps with temporary guidelines, etc.), and therefore must be educated to some level about further and more advanced cave diving techniques. As divers swim further away from daylight and into the cave, the risk of reaching psychological and/or physiological limitations is higher. Knowing one-self, couple with healthy non-egoic motivations and high level of preparedness are extremely important mind-skills and character traits of a good and safe Intro to Cave diver. The TDI Intro to Cave Diver course provides you with simple, efficient protocols and helps you develop clear mindset coupled with sound judgement in stressful situations.


Students must be 18 years old, and - certified as a TDI Intro to Tech diver (or equivalent or proven experience), if training in a backmount configuration - certified as a TDI Sidemount diver (or equivalent or proven experience), if training in a sidemount configuration - certified as a TDI Nitrox diver (or equivalent), as we use Nitrox32 as a standard breathing gas - certified as a TDI Cavern diver (or equivalent) - have a minimum of 50 logged dives

DURATION (and the meaning of "performance based training")

The TDI Intro to Cave Diver Course has a duration of 3 days (and a minimum of 4 cave dives), if combined with the TDI Cavern Cave diver course with CDT Mexico directly, and immediately after. An additional day of training for reviews and checks is required for students coming from another instructors/area and who wishes to continue their training with CDT Mexico. In this case the minimal duration is 4 days. The duration of the course, and the number of dives necessary are performance based. We train until you're adequately prepared to plan and dive in an autonomous manner with a teammate without supervision. Merely performing skills is not enough. Students must show an overall high level of mastery in the following fields: - fundamental skills (breathing, buoyancy control, trim, propulsion) - dive planning (maps readings, orientation and route, gas needs & limitations, cave conservatism) - awareness (self, global and situational awareness) - team’s dynamics (active & passive communication, positioning, pacing & placing) - mindset (positive non-egoic motivation, cave conservatism, cave etiquette, risk assessment) - stress recognition & management (capacity of acting rationally under stress) The evaluation of this qualities of course is quite relative and reflects the perception of the instructor. CDT Mexico instructors are very experienced and specialized in teaching cave divers. We are caring and conscious of the efforts provided by our students during this demanding course(-s). Surely we put the bar quite high, but we also help and direct you to reach it in the shortest possible time, always keeping the quality and the safety at the centre of our attention.

WHAT'S YOUR PATH ? - combined courses

If you are a Cavern + Sidemount and/or Intro to Tech diver from a recognized agency: TDI Intro to Cave + 1 check/review day = 4 days - $1,200 USD If you are a Sidemount and/or Intro to Tech diver from a recognized agency: TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave diver + 1 check/review day = 7 days - $2,100 USD If you start from scratch, and wish to train in Backmount configuration: TDI Intro to Tech + TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave = 8 days - $2,400 USD If you start from scratch, and wish to train in Sidemount configuration: TDI Sidemount + TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave = 9 days - $2,700 USD


Technical diving courses are charged per day of training, since the courses are performance based and additional days of training are sometimes necessary. The training fee is $300 USD per day / per person. (If two divers are taking the course, the daily fee is $540 USD and $720 for three students.)


The daily fee includes transportation to the dive site and back. Obviously, the teaching, the use of properly rigged cylinders (80cu / 11lt alu) either for sidemount or backmount configurations, with EAN32 as a standard gas, weights and some parts of the equipment if necessary. Also, we always have enough fresh drinking water, O2 kit, complete toolbox and spare parts. The daily fee doesn’t include the basic equipment (wetsuit/dry-suit, fins, masks, computer, etc) nor the entrance fees to cenote parks nor your food, nor the TDI e-learning codes.


Students need to complete the TDI e-learning before the start of the course (unless previously done). Codes are paid in advance together with a down payment of 1 day of training (non-refundable) for the final booking.


Preparing for a technical and/or cave diving course is essential to a successful experience. Before enrolling, fundamental skills must be mastered and knowledge from previous levels is expected. In practice, what does that mean? Students must be able to control their position and remain static in the 3 dimensions, through - controlled, slow and conscious breathing techniques - buoyancy control using the wing/dry-suit with minimal use of lungs for micro-adjustment - trimming body position, gear and configuration - use of advanced propulsion techniques such as modified frog-kick, back-kick, and helicopter-turn - self, global and situational awareness. Additionally, participants should ensure that their equipment is well maintained/prepared and that they are familiar with it. We send you the gear list for your course on demand or you can simply download it yourself here. Most TDI courses have an e-learning, and it is a pre-requisite for us. We’ll require a digital copy of it if previously done, or we will send a TDI e-learning code to you, attached to CDT Mexico directly with several benefits.

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