top of page



The TDI Cave Stage Diver course is an advanced cave diving program. It is designed for divers who are already certified as Full Cave divers and who want to extend bottom times and/or penetration distance using stage cylinders.

You will learn to plan dives with more complex gas management and longer bottom times, as well as multiple methods of cylinder rigging and staging, according to the environment.


Proper mind-set, stress recognition and management as well as developing a high level of awareness are all very important aspects of technical and cave diving. As penetration distances, bottom times, and exposure to cold and fatigue increase, new challenges arise and divers get closer to the physiological and psychological limits.
Equipment will be left behind and “staged” on the guideline which makes conservation of the cave environment a central aspect of this course.
Students will learn how to plan more complex dives, also considering:
- advanced gas management procedures with a third cylinder
- redundancy aspects with a third (or more) cylinder
- proper rigging and configuration of stage cylinders
- proper staging of stage cylinders along the guideline
- retrieving stage cylinders in all conditions (including low-visibility)
- problem solving

SUBJECT AREAS (non exhaustive)

During our TDI Stage Cave Diver Course, we will focus on the following aspect (on top of reviewing everything else from previous levels) Underwater: - valve drill with an additional cylinder - bump-and-go procedure in low/no visibility with an additional cylinder - passing restrictions with an additional cylinder - pull-and-glide propulsion technique with an additional cylinder - problem solving on the additional cylinder (leakage, valve failure, rigging failure, etc) - staging on the guideline - retrieving stage cylinder in all conditions (including zero visibility) On land: Gear workshop, land-drills and simulations of procedures - rigging of stage cylinders - regulator configuration - valve drills with an additional cylinder Briefings and de-briefings - pretty much everything… White board presentations and discussions - advanced gas planning and management with an additional cylinder - specific dangers and consideration for longer penetration distances - psychological and physiological considerations - mind-control and stress recognition and management - impact and cave conservation


Greater distances require a higher level of self-awareness from the divers, as physical and psychological challenges increase. Stage Cave divers will use more complex gas planning and management which require a high level of concentration. Also as we leave equipment staged on the guideline, one must have great skills and a good knowledge of the cave environment, especially cave bottoms, in order to minimise our impact on this very fragile environment. Longer penetrations require stamina and advanced navigational and referencing methods to avoid disorientation. The TDI Stage 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 Nitrox diver (or equivalent), as we use Nitrox32 as a standard breathing gas - certified as a TDI Full Cave diver (or equivalent) - have a minimum of 100 logged dives.

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

The TDI Stage Cave Diver Course has a duration of 3 days. 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. “Train Hard – Dive Easy”


If you are a Full Cave diver from a recognized agency: TDI Stage Cave diver + 1 check/review day = 4 days - $1,200 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.


A down payment of 1 days of training (non-refundable) is required 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.

bottom of page