Cavern Diver Certification: Exploring the Edge of Darkness

If you’re a certified Advanced Open Water Diver looking to take your diving skills to the next level, the PADI Cavern Diver certification course may be just what you’re looking for. This course provides divers with the skills and knowledge necessary to safely explore the beautiful and mysterious underwater caverns found in many parts of the world.

cavern diver specialty certification

What is Cavern Diving?

Cavern diving is a type of diving that takes place in a partially submerged area of a cave, often near the entrance, where there is natural light from the surface. The environment is less challenging than cave diving since the diver is closer to the entrance and can easily see the light from the surface. However, cavern diving still requires special training and equipment since it involves diving in a confined space with limited visibility.

What You Will Learn in the PADI Cavern Diver Course

The PADI Cavern Diver course is designed to teach divers the necessary skills and techniques for safe and enjoyable cavern diving. Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Planning, organization, and procedures for cavern diving
  • Cavern diving equipment, including lights and redundant breathing systems
  • Techniques for buoyancy control, communication, and navigation in a cavern environment
  • Potential hazards and emergency procedures specific to cavern diving
PADI cavern diver

PADI Cavern Diver Course Requirements

To enroll in the PADI Cavern Diver course, you must:

  • Be a certified Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Be at least 18 years old

How many dives do you need to have before becoming a PADI Cavern Diver?

There is no requirement for a minimum of logged dives before enrolling in the PADI Cavern Diver specialty program. By definition, you must have at least 9 dives in order to be Advanced Open Water certified (4 from the Open Water and 5 from the Advanced Open Water course). See the PADI certification flow chart for your reference.

What to Expect During the Course

The PADI Cavern Diver course consists of both classroom and in-water training. During the classroom sessions, you will learn about the equipment, techniques, and procedures for cavern diving. You will also watch videos, take quizzes, and participate in discussions.

During the in-water training sessions, you will practice the skills and techniques learned in the classroom under the guidance of a PADI-certified instructor. You will learn how to safely enter and exit a cavern, use a reel and line for navigation, and maintain proper buoyancy control in a confined space.

cavern diver course

What can’t you do with the Cavern Diver certification?

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between a Cave Diver and a Cavern Diver. As a Cavern Diver, you must stay within an area that still has access to the natural light source from the surface. You cannot penetrate a cave system.


The PADI Cavern Diver course is an excellent way for certified Open Water Divers to explore the edge of darkness and experience the beauty and mystery of underwater caverns. By enrolling in this course, you will learn the skills and techniques necessary for safe and enjoyable cavern diving, and you will gain the confidence to explore these amazing underwater environments.

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