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What better place to learn to dive than in the warm tropical waters of Vanuatu. Learn to dive in clear, shallow water, practically no current and surrounded by beautiful coral gardens, great stuff to see on your first open water dive.

Get up close to the wonders of Vanuatu’s underwater world in a way that’s impossible by snorkel. Vanuatu has a number of dive training centres, all staffed with highly qualified dive instructors, where you can try scuba diving for the first time with a Discover Scuba experience, become a certified diver with an Open Water Diver course or further your dive training with an advanced or specialty course.

Vanuatu’s dive centres and dive resorts offer a range of dive courses from various dive academies including PADI, Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Scuba Diving International (SDI), with some also providing technical dive training.

So, you’ve decided to try scuba diving… what next?

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Intro Dives

Discover Scuba Diving (DSD), ‘Introductory Diving’ and any ‘Resort Dive Program’ include basic theory, basic skills and an open water dive but they do not lead to a qualification. It’s the Open Water Certification – that qualifies you to dive to 18m.

Open Water Certificate

This a 4-day course includes one day of theory; completed at the during your stay in Vanuatu or online at home, prior to departing, via eLearning; then one day in confined water – a swimming pool – learning and practising the skills of scuba diving, then the real stuff – four dives over two days in the open ocean practising the skills and enjoying the thrill of getting up close and personal with the reefs inhabitants in their natural environment.
The only prerequisite is a medical questionnaire. Download one and check you can tick all the boxes. Asthma or heart problems will probably exclude you, and other conditions might require a short medical with a GP.

Advanced Open Water Certificate

If you want to dive deeper than 18 metres, you’ll need to qualify for an Advanced Open Water Certificate which allows you to dive to 30 metres and teaches you a few other skills such as navigation and buoyancy control.


Where to learn

There are several PADI, SSI and SDI training facilities at dive centres and resorts throughout Vanuatu, in the main dive destinations of Efate, Espiritu Santo and Tanna.

Gone Diving Vanuatu

Gone Diving Vanuatu is a PADI Dive Resort with two instructors, only A 13-14 Minutes drive from the center of Port Vila.

The dive centre is open every day for guided fun dives, PADI dive courses, customized one-on-one training or small groups, to make your dive experience comfortable and fun. We do most of our diving from shore at our own beach. But we also go to other sites around the area.

For the Open Water Course, we offer 6 dives, 2 more than the mandatory 4 dives that most dive operators do. The 2 extra dives are free of charge. We know how important a few extra dives are for a new diver´s confidence in the water, and we want to leave you happy and confident. Read more here.


Big Blue, Port Vila, Efate

Big Blue is a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Centre, offering the full range of PADI recreational and professional courses based in the centre of Port Vila.
At beginner level, blow some bubbles and learn about the equipment and techniques used by scuba divers in a safe, relaxed pool environment, often without leaving the confines of your chosen resort, before exploring one of the amazing shallow dive sites along Pango Cove. Your PADI Open Water course also starts with training in your resort’s swimming pool before experiencing four open water dives among the reefs and wrecks of Port Vila Harbour, Mele Bay and Pango Cove.
If you’re considering a career as a dive master or instructor, Big Blue’s team of instructor trainers have trained many of Vanuatu’s dive guides.

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Tranquility Island Resort, Havannah Harbour, off the coast of Efate

Tranquility Island Resort is another 5-Star PADI Resort offering dive courses from introductory Discover Scuba Dive experiences to PADI Dive master, as well as several specialty courses including Wreck, Night, Deep, Digital Underwater Photographer, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation.

Beginner divers are taught the basics in the clear shallow waters of the lagoon before exploring further afield.

The eco resort, also home to a turtle sanctuary, now also offers Project Aware's Sea Turtle Awareness Specialty course. The course introduces divers to basic sea turtle identification and conservation and is suitable for anyone over the age of 10 years old.
The Resort is located off the coast of Efate in the peaceful Havannah Harbour.

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Hideaway Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary, off the coast of Efate

Hideaway Island is a 5-Star PADI Dive Resort offering a range of dive courses from an introductory Discover Scuba Experience and Refresher courses to Rescue Diver and Divemaster qualification. Beginner divers learn the basics in the resort swimming pool before exploring the House Reef and other nearby dive sites such as the Bonzer Wreck.

The team can tailor the theory and practical training sessions to suit your travel plans, and offer a wide variety of specialty courses to increase your understanding of the environment you are diving in, such as Underwater Naturalist and Project AWARE courses.

You can also spend time with one of Hideaway’s instructors to brush up your skills with a Peak Performance Buoyancy or Navigation specialty course, or broaden your skills with a Night, Wreck, Nitrox or Deep diving courses.

The team also offers instruction for kids, providing Bubble Makers and Seal Team courses for children eight years and over.

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Absolute Adventures, Espiritu Santo

Absolute Adventures dive centre, located on the grounds of Coral Quays Fish and Dive Resort, is a TDI and SDI facility, offering dive training from entry level to professional courses from SDI and technical dive courses from TDI.

Learn the basics just off the beach in a confined area designated by the training agency SDI, before your open water dives, and choose from a range of specialty courses including SDI Deep Diver, SDI Advanced Buoyancy and SDI Wreck Diver, all the better for exploring the nearby world-famous wreck of the SS President Coolidge.

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Aore Adventure Sports & Lodge, Aore Island off the coast of Espiritu Santo

Aore Adventure Lodge is a PADI dive resort and provides training for beginner divers with either a Discover Scuba Dive experience or Open Water Diver certification. Rusty divers can regain skills and confidence with a PADI Refresher course.

Beginner divers can learn the basics in the shallow clear waters of the lagoon before exploring Aore Island’s beautiful giant sea fan gardens. Image below of guests who have completed Beginner course, courtesy of Aore Adventure Lodge.

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Volcano Island Divers, Tanna

Located on the grounds of White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa, Volcano Island Divers offer a range of PADI recreational diving courses, from Discover Scuba Diving introductory dives for beginners to the PADI Master Scuba Diver Course. Specialty courses include Night Diver, Underwater Navigation Diver, Search and Recovery Diver.

Beginner divers can learn skills in the resort swimming pool, before exploring nearby shallow dive sites such as the House Reef, Circus Reef and Blue Cave Aquarium.

Choosing to dive on Tanna means you can also couple the underwater adventure with a visit to the World’s most accessible volcano, Mt Yasur.