When I got to Taganga, I saw that there was like a dive school at every other block and they had very competitve prices for just fun dives (around 140,000 COP = usd $70) or for the padi open water certification for about 540,000 COP (usd $280).
That got me thinking about trying it out. I’ve always wanted to try it, but in the US, the PADI course costs a lot and they do most of it in the swimming pool.
It was just a thought and I had many questions about whether it was worth it (safety wise, fun wise). I was sitting by the swimming pool/bar at my hostel and I met Athanasia. She was working at the hostel bar that night and she had actually learnt diving in Taganga itself and was now an advanced diver. She answered all my questions and encouraged me to do the PADI course. She even came to hostel in the morning and went with me to the diving school she recommended, as she also had a dive that same day. Thanks a lot Athanasia !! I think if I had not met you that night, I’d probably not have gone to do the scuba diving class !
So, went with her to the diving school and signed up for the class.They were pretty cool about it. They said I can try it out the first day. If I did not like it, I did not have to pay for the entire class, but just for the price of a fun dive. Instructor was Fabio – really cool guy and teacher. That school’s philosophy was to go out to sea directly rather than doing the preliminary exercises in a swimming pool, as many times student get too confident in a swimming pool and when they get to sea, the environment is different and they don’t know how to react. So we went out to sea with scuba tanks and all on the first exercise itself.
We did a total of 6 open water dives. In the first 3 dives, we did half time, exercises under water and half time just general fun diving. The last 3 dives were just fun dives. After the 6 dives, I had to study the 300 page padi open water certification manual (not fun at all) and take the test on the last day to get my PADI certification.