After diving in Manzanillo, you may never be happy on dry land again!

Discover Scuba Diving  (DSD), an accredited course for first time divers, which can only be taught by a qualified PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) professional, allowed hundreds of beginners to take advantage of the course over the 2-week Easter break. Whatever the reason, Manzanillo has enjoyed the clearest, calmest, warmest water in decades. The plan is the simple: to get a non diver of any age over 8 sold on scuba!

 Fanatic about fish!

 Elated with eels! 

Crazy about crustaceans!

 Mad about mollusks!

Please click on photos to enlarge

Start off in a shallow poolIn Manzanillo, non-divers (and, of course, certified divers) have the opportunity to experience an open water scuba dive under safe and controlled conditions with a qualified PADI instructor.

"If I can do it, you can do it!"Our goal is to get all you beginners so excited about scuba diving in a safe and a fun way that you'll want to get certified like the rest of us ocean oglers.

Canadian students on their first diveIn a single day, participants receive a scuba orientation, practice basic scuba skills in the safety of a pool, and accompany a qualified PADI instructor on a closely supervised, open water dive in easy, low-stress conditions.

Hotel Sierra pool classCertified divers unfamiliar with introductory diving programs sometimes question their safety. After all, if your scuba education began with a standard certification class, you most likely completed more than 20 hours of lecture, pool practice, and written tests before you qualified for your first ocean dive.

How is it possible for anyone to learn enough in just a few hours?

Pre-dive briefingThe answer is that qualified scuba instructors give resort scuba training under controlled conditions, according to strict training agency standards. For your non-diving friends and family members, it's a perfect way to test the water before plunging into a full certification course.

Can I get wet now?When you Discover Scuba Diving, you discover excitement and adventure, freedom and serenity. Nothing compares to the "weightless" exhilaration of breathing underwater. Only a diver knows the feeling!

See you for scuba!The popularity of the DSD introductory program has boosted enrollment in open water classes significantly. In the last 20 years, vacation travel to warm water destinations, such as Manzanillo, has greatly increased, as has the number of resorts offering diving.

This vacation exposure has helped recreational diving transform its "macho" image into a more family-oriented image. By taking a DSD course with Underworld Scuba - Scuba Shack, a PADI Dive Center, you may also receive rebates of up to $50 toward your open water certification class.

Have you ever wondered,

"What's down there?"

You don't have to go deep to have funThat's the amazing thing about diving in the Pacific! Certified divers talk about depth and visibility, and love to lead beginners to believe that diving is a difficult thing. Here in Manzanillo, first time divers enter from the beach, giving them time to adjust to the ocean in water they can stand up in. There are no currents, no big waves, and no sharks! 

Elegant and gracefulFrom the very beginning of the dive, you'll see schools of fish, eels, seahorses, crabs, rays, sponges and corals, in a myriad of colors that continue to amaze even the most seasoned divers. 

Yellow spotted star on broccoli coral As a beginner, you'll be in awe of an incredible new world, virtually undiscovered and untouched. Hard and soft corals, sea stars, everything is new and wonderful to a first time diver.

Perfect camoflageVisibility in the Pacific varies, so, when the water isn't as clear, you just look a little closer. Most certified divers forget to look for all the little things. A rare, majestic Pacific seahorse can be missed if you're just looking for a big grouper!

Remember to look closeWithin the coral heads are tiny crabs, Christmas tree worms and feather dusters. Brilliant orange hawkfish and juvenile angelfish secret themselves in the broccoli hard coral--great for protection against hungry, larger predators.

Brittle stars come out at nightTucked away in the spines of black sea urchins are pink cardinal fish, while brittle sea stars and the snail-like nudibranchs hide in tiny crevices and under rocks.   

Where's the fish?Other slow-moving creatures, such as sea stars, sea cucumbers, and stone scorpion fish can only be seen under close scrutiny. If you don't know what you're looking for, you could swim right by!

Life in every crack and crevice Porcupine puffers are accustomed to divers, and often you'll find them sleeping in protected crevices, while wrasses and hawk fish will follow you around, hoping you'll stir up a free meal.

Harmless and fast movingEels are harmless, and Manzanillo has many species. When you encounter one, he'll be opening and closing his mouth...but don't worry, he's not thinking about having you for lunch--he's just breathing!

Graceful stingrayOften, buried in the sand, are rays, and during certain times of the year we see giant Pacific mantas. Manzanillo has a huge dolphin population, and sometimes you can hear their song underwater. However, they are wild creatures, and chances are you won't get to actually pet one.

"Play with me, but don't eat me!"One of the most favorite animals to visit with is the octopus. They are usually tucked away in small holes or crevices, and if you don't look close, you'll never spot one. Sometimes we entice them out with an oyster snack, hold them in our hands and watch them change colors from brown, to red, to green, to beige, to almost black.

Found in several dive locationsIf you've always wanted to try scuba diving--then jump right in! Here's your chance to breathe underwater in a fun, convenient session conducted in the safety of a shallow pool, by the licensed professionals at Underworld Scuba.  

Colonial cup coral polyps feeding Modern equipment and professional training make it easy for anyone--fat or thin, tall or short, young or old--to try scuba diving! You, too, can see Manzanillo's beautiful underwater world!

Often seen near rocky shoresManzanillo's tranquil bays and warm waters will make it easy for you to say, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" and, "Scuba diving made my vacation!"

For more information on diving and snorkeling in Manzanillo, go to Underworld Scuba - Scuba Shack's web page, or e-mail

Cost for PADI Discover Scuba is $75/person, 2 persons, $85 for 1 person, and $80 for children 15 or under.

If you'd like to read more about the history of scuba diving, go to: "Scuba Diving: 50 years ago & Today." 

If you'd like to hear first-hand about a beginner diver's experience, click on: "Going Down for the First Time."

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