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The TDI Full Cave Diver Course is the last of the 3-parts “basic” cave diving curriculum, following the Cavern and Intro to Cave Diver Courses. 

It extends the skills and knowledge of Intro to Cave divers to plan and engage into more complex dives, including unlimited penetration distances, complex navigation and swimming through confined spaces and restricted passages.

cave diving mexico


We will help you enhance previously learned skills to technically better fit new and more challenging situations. You’ll learn to consider new physiological and psychological aspects as distance and bottom time increase. Also, you’ll be pushed closer to your stress limits.

Students will learn how to plan more complex dives, also considering:
- the use of the rule of 1/3 and conservatism aspects
- complex navigation (permanent intersections, jumps and gaps)
- complex circuits and traverses
- passing restrictions

SUBJECT AREAS (non exhaustive)

During our TDI Full Cave Diver Course, we will focus on the following aspect (on top of reviewing everything else from previous levels) Underwater: - refining fundamentals skills - advanced and modified propulsion techniques - advanced touch contact communication in low/no visibility - bump-and-go procedure in low/no visibility - passing restrictions properly - pull-and-glide propulsion technique - problem solving from previous levels in low/no visibility (leakages, valves failures, etc) - cutting and repairing the guideline in zero-visibility (blind-folded) On land: Land-drills and simulations of procedures - complex navigation (permanent intersections, jumps and gaps) - lost line in zero-visibility - line cut and repair in zero-visibility - team separation during a complex navigation dive / lost diver in zero-visibility Briefings and de-briefings - pretty much everything… White board presentations and discussions - rule of 1/3 and conservatism - specific dangers and consideration for longer penetration distances and confined spaces - 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. Full Cave divers can pass intersections and place temporary lines to perform jumps, gaps, circuits, and traverses. Complex navigation requires refined diving techniques and advanced referencing methods to avoid disorientation. As divers venture into smaller passages, the risk of being stuck or to be entangled increases exponentially. The TDI Full 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 Intro to Cave diver (or equivalent) - have a minimum of 50 logged dives

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

The TDI Full Cave Diver Course has a duration of 4 days (and a minimum of 8 cave dives), if combined with the TDI Intro to 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 5 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”

WHAT'S YOUR PATH ? - combined courses

What is your path to TDI Full Cave Diver from where you stand? If you are an Intro to Cave + Sidemount and/or Intro to Tech diver from a recognized agency: TDI Full Cave diver + 1 check/review day = 5 days - $1,500 USD If you are a Cavern + Sidemount and/or Intro to Tech diver from a recognized agency: TDI Intro to Cave + TDI Full Cave diver + 1 check/review day = 7 days - $2,100 USD If you are a Sidemount and/or Intro to Tech diver from a recognized agency: TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave + TDI Full Cave diver + 1 check/review day = 10 days - $3,000 USD If you start from scratch, and wish to train in Backmount configuration: TDI Intro to Tech + TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave + TDI Full Cave diver = 12 days - $3,600 USD If you start from scratch, and wish to train in Sidemount configuration: TDI Sidemount + TDI Cavern + TDI Intro to Cave + TDI Full Cave diver = 13 days - $3,900 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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