Sidemount Diver Course

More comfort, more air.


Duration: 2-3 Days

Experience Level: Open Water

Dive Type: Ocean/Cenotes

What's included? The course includes the student manual, transportation to/from Playa del Carmen or Tulum, equipment, certification (once you complete requirements), snacks, water, park entrance fees, and some awkward moments in the water as you get used to the new gear.

The Sidemount Diver course at Blue Life was developed and written by one of our founders, Frank Gutierrez. During the theory portion of the course you will learn about the history of Sidemount diving, as well as its current role in the diving world.

The Open Water Sidemount Diver course will take 2 – 3 days and we will dive at least 4 times.   After the short classroom presentation we will look at equipment options and get you fitted so you can be comfortable. We use top of the line WSX-25 APEX harnesses and APEKS XTX 50 regulators for all students, which we believe to be the best on the market.  

During the confined water or pool dives you will practice using the new equipment in shallow water near our Playa del Carmen or Tulum location. We will also work on your buoyancy, kicking, and some emergency drills. Once you are comfortable with the equipment and its use, we will head to a reef or an open water cenote for 2 more dives where you can practice with your new gear.  Throughout the dives, you will experience the comfort and streamlining of the equipment configuration. Like learning any new equipment configuration you will feel awkward at first, but once you feel how quickly and efficiently you can move through the water you’ll never go back to backmount!

The sidemount equipment configuration also opens a ton of doors into technical or overhead environment diving as well.

After this course, you may be ready to participate in a  Cavern Diver course.


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Anthony L.

    Phenomenal Dive Shop This dive shop was by far the best shop I have dived with. I spent a week with this shop snorkeling with whale sharks, getting sidemount certified, and cavern/cave diving various cenotes. This was an an awesome experience. I highly recommend this shop and their fun/safe/attentive staff.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Runar H

    Cave diving Thank you Hugo De la Llata. I appreciate your integrity, your way of teaching, your mood and your bad jokes. I’ve done a lot challenging things, this course is definitivt top three. Thank you blue life. I’ll be back.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Carlos C.

    Great Diving with Blue Life! After deciding I wanted to learn how to cave dive, and after contacting almost every dive shop between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, I decided to sign up for side mount, nitrox, taste of the riviera Maya, and cavern+intro to cave with Blue Life. Looking back, it was one of the greatest decisions I\'ve made since beginning to SCUBA dive! The staff at Blue Life is one of the most professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful group of divers I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Hugo, who led my and uncle and I through side mount, took us to some awesome cenotes and made sure we were going at a pace that was conducive to our experience levels. Blue Life overall does a great job of ensuring that you know what you\'re doing before moving on; they don\'t try to rush you through training so they can move on to other clients. They warmly welcome you into their family and help you learn! After side mount, I did taste of the riviera Maya with Steve and Daniel, really enjoying the expertise and experience of our two guides. I can\'t wait to dive with them again!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amy L

    Fabulous team for an adventure! We spent 3 weeks with the Bluelife team this month. We did the Full Cave Dive course and pleasure diving. To say it was epic is an understatement! Hugo was our instructor and guide for most of the trip and he was so knowledgable and helpful he really gave us a passion for cave diving. He helped us move form back mount to side mount as well (which I would advise to go in the caves). He is super keen on protecting the caves as well so don’t think you will get an easy ride, he will teach you to be a conscientious cave diver! It’s all about trim, buoyancy and propulsion :) We also spent a couple of down days diving Cozumel and I recommend it as the drift dove is epic, both Vale and Steve were great dive guides. They knew the area and were keen to share their knowledge. Last, but not least, Leo and Andrea made sure the school and trips were organised for us without fail! Thank you guys and we will see you again.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Eyal L

    Full cave course We came to Bluelife to do our full cave course in July. We had a great time Hugo was an awesome instructor and his patience knows no bounds :) Bluelife staff is so accommodating and enthusiastic about diving. The course was definitely the best diving course I have done, and I would highly recommend anyone who is looking to do a full cave course or any sort of diving in general to take a look at Bluelife. After the course Willy and Hugo taken us to see some other caves and both are so helpful and knowledgeable about the caves and always helping with additional advice on the diving. During our time in Playa we also wanted to dive in Cozumel, Valentina was our guide and she also amazingly helpful and knowledgeable about the whole area. I have to say big thank you for all the Bluelife staff including Leo and Andrea for making us feel so welcome and assisting on us on with any issues we had. We are definitely coming back to Bluelife next year for our cave diving fix.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ava B

    Best Dive Family in Mexico! I am a 17 year old diver and on my trip with Blue Life, I was getting my Nitrox and Side-Mount certifications. Before we even made it to Mexico, Blue Life was beyond helpful with my education and my online work. They worked easily and efficiently to help me get all my paperwork arranged, and when I showed up at the shop they gave me a warm welcome like I had already dove with them before. Their dive sites were beyond beautiful. My first dives were in the cenotes (my first freshwater dives!) and Hugo was amazingly patient and caring as I struggled with Side-Mount. When my goggles wouldn\'t clear underwater, he gave me his. And when I mentioned how much I wanted a shark dive, they arranged it so I could go on one the next day! Every member of the Blue Life staff is amazing, friendly, and welcoming. They are so trustworthy my mom let me dive alone for the first time, and had no worries the following dives after that (Which is saying something, as I\'m sure other parents know)! I am so excited for my next trip to Mexico purely because I can\'t wait to dive with Blue Life again, for hopefully many many years to come. If you\'re thinking about diving, choose Blue Life!

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tony F

    Excellent Experience, Patient Instruction I found Blue Life through Trip Advisor and the great reviews; I was not disappointed. I spent a couple days diving with Fernanda, and she was great. I hadn\'t been diving in a couple of years, but it took her no time to gauge my level, and provide me with additional tips to polish the rusty edges of my diving skills. I also had the opportunity to dive with Hugo for a Sidemount Certification. Sidemount is very different and learning new skills that are somewhat contrary to single tank skills can be daunting. I really sucked the first day, but Hugo was so patient and reassuring that I actually figured it out on the 2nd day and even enjoyed the drills! Both did so much to make my dive vacation the best it could be; from going out of their way arranging transportation to helping me find the best food stores and restaurants. Be sure to have Hugo take you to that dive taco place outside of Puerto Aventuras, that\'s what real Mexican food is like! Unfortunately, I got sick on this trip and ended up going home early. But I\'ve already booked my travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and my dive trips with Blue Life. The diving is that good, and so are they.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5


    Safety is their main priority Having visited a lot of dive companies over the last 20 years you can tell who is safe and organized, and who isn\'t! It took me a year to pluck up the courage to even think about diving in the Cenotes, and it was obviously very important to choose a company whose values aligned with ours. We have been diving with Blue Life almost every month since January, slowly building our skills towards a cave certification. Sidemount, nitrox and cave diving were all new to us, and Blue Life has dedicated amazing staff to teach us, (patiently) the skills we need to safely, and confidentally cave dive. We didn\'t walk in as dive superstars, and they have not let us progress too quickly, simply to hand out a certificate, (which is important). I\'m sure there are plenty of places out there that will just hand out cards to people who don\'t have the skills. This area of Mexico is the best place to experience cave diving, so take advantage of it if you plan to visit. Big shout out to Hugo, Mauro, Frank, Sarah, Fernanda, Matthias, Veronica and **sorry I forgot the girl\'s name from Costa Rica :-( ..... see you all soon!!!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Derek H

    Best dive school ever ... Recently got back from enjoying a fantastic time with Blue Life. Up until then I had my favourite dive school many thousands of miles away from Mexico, but after spending 8 days with them my opinion has changed. Nothing is too much of a problem for them, all you have to do is ask. From spending two and a half hours setting up Louie\'s and Deb\'s new Sidemount rigs on the first morning, to mentioning that a wreck would be nice and it being arranged for the next day, anything is possible. Fernanda and Sarah were super quick answering e-mails prior to arrival, pickups from hotel, equipment in good order, organisation for the Cozumel trips very smooth, attention to details, dive briefings, everything was first class. We were lucky enough to have Sarah for our whole trip who was brilliant. Cannot think of anything bad to say about her, other than if she asks you what you have done with the vehicle keys, ask her to check her bag before you spend too much time worrying that you have lost them (we won\'t mention my camera incident). There are many dive schools in PDC, but if you want one that provides everything you need, look no further than Blue Life. Many thanks to you all for a great time and I wish you continued success. Derek.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jonathan W

    Superior Sidemount Cave Training This is my second trip back to Blue Life for Cave training. This time around we spent a lot of time doing stage cave dives and exploring some less popular cenotes. The level of instruction is excellent, you will learn something new every day just fun diving with Blue Life. All of the staff have excellent knowledge of the local caves and also awesome people as well. I\'ll be back again soon! <3

  11. Rated 5 out of 5


    Amazing Diving With Amazing People I did my full cave course and some fun dives with Blue Life and wish I could have stayed even longer. From the start everything was great. Fernanda was quick to answer all my questions and check in with me as the trip approached. When there was a last minute family emergency with the instructor she took us out for some beautiful dives. Frank and Hugo offered a challenging but incredible course; very knowledgeable but also approachable with any questions. Sarah took us on some of the most beautiful dives I have ever done in over 10 years of diving. I will definitely be back!

  12. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great dive center - perfect staff and equipment I dived with Blue Life for the TDI Sidemount, Cavern and Intro TO Cave certification courses, in september-october 2016. The center is ideally located close to the beach (on 40th street) for ocean dives. They offer new, clean and well maintained diving equipment, a nice course room, and a very friendly athmosphere. My instructors for Cave diving were Hugo and Franck, who are both great people and very serious and dedicated instructors. I feel well trained, and during the course, I always felt secure and at ease with the team. I recommend Blue Life for Cave Diving courses.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5


    Absolutely Wonderful.. Now we know why Blue Life get so many 5 star rating. We did six days of diving reef, cenotes and sidemount training. Fernada even guided us on our 2 tank boat dive and spotted a \"Pea\" very young, tiny Trunk Fish. She was so happy and the mood was set for the rest of our time. We were totally pleased with all our guides and sidemount instruction. Thank you all again Fernada, Sara, Rimas and especially, patient instructor Suzy. We would highly recommend \"Blue Life\" for safe diving and great instruction.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jonathan W

    Amazingly talented instructors. I\'ve done a lot of dive training in the past but taking full cave and some advanced cave training at blue life totally changed my attitude towards diving in overheads. We plan to return again this year to dive more. Thanks blue life team, it was time well spent!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5


    Cave Diving in the Cenotes of Riveria Maya I just returned from a week of diving with the staff at Blue Life Diving. Day one, Vale and I took the ferry to dive in Cozumel. I love diving in Cozumel. The remaining 6 days I went cave diving with Hugo as my guide. We visited a different cave system each day; it was fantastic. Both of the guides were personable, safety conscious and very knowledgable about the area and its dive sites. Last year, I took a two week course in side mount, cavern and cave diving at Blue Life. Interested in exploring a new chapter in diving? If so, investigate the options at Blue Life. You can feel comfortable diving with the personnel there; you will be in good hands. Charles.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    mike stanton

    Full Cave! This was my 2nd time training with BlueLife. I returned to become full cave certified. The instructors were fantastic. They were helpful, knowledgeable, professional, etc. I have been to Mexico diving 8 different times over the last 10 years. By far, this operation is the best I have seen. The personalized attention was amazing. In addition to the cave diving, I also went on a night dive on the Playa reef with instructor Hugo as a guide to take some pictures. A special thanks to Hugo for running back (literally) to retrieve my camera after I forgot it. I am planning on completing my TEC training with BlueLife in the very near future. PS If you go cave diving with BlueLife, make sure to ask about the tacos for breakfast.

  17. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great team, location, and service Blue Life is one of the smaller dive operations in Playa, with experienced instructors that offer everything from discover scuba courses through to technical and other advanced courses, that you can do with either PADI or TDI. We went for 2 weeks with the aim of completing the TDI full cave diver course. After much research, we decided to book with Blue Life and our course instructors were Hugo and Frank. What a great choice! In almost 30 years of diving, this was easily the most intense dive course I\'ve ever done. I don\'t think I could have asked for better instructors - Hugo & Frank strike the right balance between enjoying the course and ensuring it\'s seriousness is not lost in the fun. If you\'re considering options in Playa for a course or just to do some fun diving and you\'re looking at prices online, one bit of advice I would offer is to go beyond the \"headline price\". For the course I did, for example, Blue Life was more expensive than most others, but this is because it covered everything whereas most others don\'t - cenote entry fees, specialist cave gear, even breakfast and lunch was included. Over 2 weeks, all this would have added up quickly. I can only rate the gear we used on the course, which was a mix of brand new and almost brand new. Frank is pretty fanatical about his gear and this seems to flow through into what he stocks for clients. The kit we used (lights and sidemount harnesses) was so good that we actually bought it from them once we completed the course. If you\'re looking for a fun team with first-rate instructors and years (and years) of local experience in and around the cenotes, I would highly recommend Frank and his team at Blue Life.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jonathan W

    Tailored training and exceptional service. I recently participated in cave training up to Advanced Cave Sidemount with Blue Life. This is one of the most demanding courses I have ever been involved in, Frank tailors all of his cave training to the students level focusing on the aspects that will help you personally succeed with your diving objectives. None of these courses are simply a \'meet the curriculum\' exercise. The new shop is in it\'s infancy but the classroom, equipment room and outdoor areas were already well established. The staff were exceptional and things ran well. If you\'re looking to challenge yourself and get some serious training for cave and technical diving, Blue Life would be a stand out recommendation. See you all next year ;)

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Keith W

    Became a better diver with Blue Life I recently spent an amazing week in PDC taking the TDI sidemount and cavern courses and cenote diving with Blue Life. The excellent staff (Frank and Hugo in particular) made the week both unbelievably enjoyable and highly educational. I have been diving with my partner for just over a year and half, and I love it! We booked this diving learncation with Blue Life because we wanted to find out more about diving in the beautiful cenotes of the Yucatan, and there is no higher-rated dive shop in the Mayan Riviera. Frank (the owner), responded to our emails promptly and made sure we were up to the challenge of the TDI sidemount and cavern diving courses. Blue Life also offers guided cavern tours of local cenotes, which don\'t require any extra training, but we wanted the opportunity to hone our diving skills with world-class instructors. I wasn\'t disappointed. As promised, the TDI sidemount and cavern courses were challenging, but rewarding. It took me quite a while to get used to the sidemount equipment configuration and diving position, but my instructor Hugo persistently worked with me until I could achieve the expected level of competence. My buoyancy, trim, and propulsion technique are all considerably improved! The cavern course taught me how to handle challenging diving scenarios and equipment failure in zero visibility situations. I have never been more challenged nor felt more rewarded! After completing the courses (which were taught on-site at the gorgeous cenote Jardin del Eden), my partner and I decided to take advantage of Blue Life\'s excellent service, and spent two more days diving with them in local cenotes. Despite torrential downpours, the diving was spectacular with unbelievable visibility at every location. Chikin-Ha was extraordinary, Dos Ojos was epic, and Tajma-Ha was majestic and serene...there is no way to choose a favourite among them. The week spent with Hugo and Frank at Blue Life has made me a considerably better diver, and although I saw many wonderful things, I have had only the slightest glimpse of the beautiful caves, caverns and cenotes of the Yucatan. As I write this review I am currently booking my next trip to PDC to take another course with Blue Life. The cenotes are calling!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Matthew C

    First-Class Diver Training I had visited cenotes in the Yucatan prior to becoming a diver. Only recently it occurred to me I could combine my love of cenotes and diving. While you can do guided dives in cenotes as an open water diver, I decided to get my TDI Cavern certification with Blue Life. They also recommended Sidemount certification if I had any interest in continuing the training with Full Cave (which I do). I just spent a week in Playa del Carmen, all revolving around training and diving with Blue Life... and it was an amazing vacation. After our sidemount and cavern certifications, we spent 2 more days with Blue Life visiting cenotes and reaping the benefits of our hard work. Hugo and Frank were amazing instructors. They\'re tough and work hard to make you the best diver you can be. Diving in overhead environments is very different than open water diving and should be taken seriously. Some of training days would make you wonder why you\'re spending your vacation this way. But if you\'re serious about diving and want to take it to the next level, I strongly recommend cavern and/or cave training with Blue Life. You\'re guaranteed to leave a better diver, along with amazing memories flying weightlessly through caverns. It\'s really something that needs to be experienced to understand.

  21. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great Cave Course I just finished my full cave and sidemount course with Frank and it was awesome. I work as a scuba instructor and was looking to learn something new. Man, I learned a lot! Frank really knows what he is doing, which is good when going into a underground hole filled with water. He was very informative about all aspects of cave diving and a patient instructor. He was able to take me to some of the more out-of-the-way caves which was cool, as several times we were the only ones there. I can\'t recommend Frank and Blue Life enough.

  22. Rated 5 out of 5


    Cenotes and cave diving, Instructor Training I went to Mexico for two reasons, diving cenotes and doing instructor courses. After being recommended Blue Life and Frank, the communications were excellent even before I went and a personal schedule was set up. I did 13 days of diving in total, also assisted on some courses for the instructor level training in some amazing cenotes. The instruction in second to non, Frank is very professional and obviously loves caves! The rental gear is great and there are no corners cut with Blue Life which is perfect! If you\'re looking to do recreational, technical diving or courses then you don\'t need to look any further, I can recommend Blue Life to anyone.....I will be back for more!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5


    Another FANTASTIC Experience This was my 2nd time training with BlueLife. I returned to become full cave certified. The instructors were fantastic. They were helpful, knowledgeable, professional, etc. I have been to Mexico diving 8 different times over the last 10 years. By far, this operation is the best I have seen. The personalized attention was amazing. In addition to the cave diving, I also went on a night dive on the Playa reef with instructor Hugo as a guide to take some pictures. A special thanks to Hugo for running back (literally) to retrieve my camera after I forgot it. I am planning on completing my TEC training with BlueLife in the very near future. PS If you go cave diving with BlueLife, make sure to ask about the tacos for breakfast.

  24. Rated 5 out of 5


    Top Notch Training BlueLife was recommended by another dive shop as I was looking to take side mount and cavern classes simultaneously. I was not disappointed. Jorge was prompt, courteous, and extremely knowledgeable. It was a great time and I am looking forward to completing the full cave training with BlueLife.

  25. Rated 5 out of 5


    sorry if i sound like a broken record it has been about a year and a half since i have been able to dive with Blue Life and i wasn\'t sure if trip advisor would let me write another review. it seems they will let me, so here i am.......again. i was introduced to side mount diving by Frank at Blue Life back in 2013. i immediately was bitten by the bug. i had never been so comfortable in the water. so after returning home from that trip i started gobbling up as much info about this type of diving as i could. finally in the spring of 2014 i took the plunge and bought my new side mount rig. working on my own (and with some friendly advice from some generous online help) i began the journey of trying to adapt to this new way of diving. i knew at some point i would need a professionals guidance and stamp of approval. after many discussions with my wife about where and when to go for this, i just couldn\'t see me going anywhere else but back to Playa to train with Frank. i am glad i did. after some gear tips and some minor alterations we completed the necessary pool work, did some ocean boat dives, and i even got to spend a great day at grand cenote with Willy (another Blue Life instructor). i am proud to say i completed all that was required for my side mount specialty and if i do say so myself, i think i did a pretty damn good job too. haha so chalk this up as another successful trip that was made just that much better because of the staff at Blue Life. thx guys !!! and i hope to see you again. ps......remember Frank......our winter up here starts before christmas and goes til the end of march or so.....if you dare.....just sayin.......moooahahaha !!

  26. Rated 5 out of 5


    Cave Diving course with Blue Life I started diving with frank and his team aprox two years ago . i had finished my dive masters and wanted to experience something new . I kew frank had a school in Tulum (back then) , so i called him up and started by diving caverns with Blue Life i immediately felt in love with the caverns and saw how this types of dives were improving me as diver. i wanted to learn more and go inside the cave so i first started my sidemount course ( i recommend divers wanting to do the cave dive course with blue life to strongly consider passing into sidemount).The reasons why is simply because as you will be gettinfg better you will want to go thru narrow passages and sediment it is just perfect for cave diving . You will also be instantly aware that buoyancy , propulsion and position are fundamental in cave diving. Frank is very insisting with this in the beginning of the course and it is for matters of security. Divers should control perfectly their gear (if changing to sidemount) before penetrating any cave . When i started the course i felt like a beginner diver , getting use to the gear took me 2 days or 3 so that is why i encourage a lot to take first the sediment course, this will safe a lot of stress that i saw in other divers at the time of taking my course. It will make a lot more enjoyable your course and a lot of fun if you are already familiar a little with cave diving gear. This is an opinion but in my case it helped not being scared or extremely stresses at any moments of course. I never felt that this was too hard or too scary because of the training and the great explanations Frank gives before any dive , make feel secure even tho you are making a complicated dive. I feel that i started to develop awareness when and diving and this feels very satisfying and reassuring for me. I really enjoyed my course with blue life , the amount of little details that they taught me make a me a better diver today , i can see it in the videos and it is just amazing . It was worth every penny to me , they gave me very good counseling on what gear is more appropriate for what i want to do and always helped me adjust it . Not only i made friends at blue life and this for me is extremely important , when i dive with them i feel like i am diving with my friends , the level of confort i feel around Frank and Wilian after diving for a while with them i think no other dive shop could ever provide me this and it is what makes them the best in my opinion. I am looking forward to keep on diving with blue life and getting my advance sidemount and stage bottle certificates. The learning never ends with them and it is what makes it unique.

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    Claudia P

    Dive with the best!..... My son and I used Blue Life on our recent trip to the Riviera Maya. My son communicated with Frank prior to our trip and arranged four days of diving. Frank was knowledgeable and a true diving professional. My son dove the reefs of Akumal with Pete who was patient and knowledgeable and who went out of he way to help when my son lost his camera. Thank you to Poncho for a great dives in Cozumel. A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Monica for three days of cenote dives, but most of all for my Intro to Dive. To say I am a less than adequate swimmer is an understatement.....this ladies knowledge, patience, and passion for diving is contagious.....she made my experience one of the best ever and she too went above and beyond to make our experience fabulous.... I am actually considering certification :-). My son was especially impressed with how dive times were maximized ,with the attention to safety and the fact that diving with the Blue Life staff makes you want to become a better diver and the tips they shared have absolutely increased his knowledge as a diver. Frank checked in with my son on a daily basis to make sure all dives went well and to reconfirm plans for the following day. We are planning a return trip so he can take Frank\'s Cave Diving and Side mount Course. Communication was better than great and he put together a custom package that exceeded our expectations. Thank you Frank and your\'re the best! Claudia P. and Morgan T.

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Eduardo L

    Full Cave / Sidemount Class !!!! Once again Frank has completely astonished me with his teaching as well showing me great hospitality while visiting Mexico for the full cave class that i took with him. I had all ready dealt with Frank and Blue Life when looking for a knowledgeable instructor for Decompression procedures earlier this year in Miami and had a great experience. you can check out my review for that class here So as i was hoping to take full cave later on i figured that i could not go wrong with taking it with Blue Life. I contacted Frank about conducting the class and he was very flexible with setting the dates and also had no issue with working out a flexible payment plan for the class. He also was able to get accommodation arranged for me which i as very grateful for. Now as for the class it self it was well structured and fluent, building on to what had been covered ever prior day. Frank is very knowledgeable when it comes to cave diving and with answer most any question you can throw at him, at times he can even demonstrate why something is done or not in relation to your questions. He was able to get me very conferrable in the sidemount configuration bearing in mind that i have only ever used backmounted doubles and had little to no formal sidemount training prior. Once the actual cave training began we would go over what was going to be practiced that dive, what he would like to see from use as well as occasionally going over theory and history of how some of the caving techniques came to be. every dive would involve setting a proper plan for the dive as well as procedural gear check that insures that the dive team is ready to continue with the dive. It is important to note that even though Frank is there to help you learn he will not \"baby you\" as he so well put it, so taking everything as seriously as possible and knowing how everything works was a must. While conducting the dives Frank is like a ghost you only see or interact with him when he has something for you to do. Overall the class was the bomb. i came out of it feeling very confident in what i learn and eager to continue on with cave diving back at home. I cant thank Frank enough for making this experience an unforgettable.

  29. Rated 5 out of 5


    Another Perspective This is my second review of Blue Life. The first was about several days of guided cenote dives, this is about a day spent with Frank training on my sidemount rig. The briefings for the guided dives felt like training and the training session felt like a complete course. I really cannot express strongly enough what a consummate professional Frank Gutierrez is. When I get around to my Cavern course, I will know where to go. The thing is, he really loves to teach, this is more than a job to him and it shows. Thanks again for everything, Frank and Karla, I will be seeing you again soon!

  30. Rated 5 out of 5


    Unforgettable scenery with reliable tuition To experience the underwater world in the \"sink holes\" of Mexican jungle is a very exotic and cultural way of diving, its like nothing else! We chose Blue Life diving because of Frank\'s reputation in the diving society and by recommendation from his previous students. Our courses gave us new in-depth view of how to dive caverns with sidemount and we appreciated the high level of professionalism. We will for sure come back to dive the cenotes again, that tells a lot about our diving experience with Blue Life.

  31. Rated 5 out of 5


    Outstanding! Having reviewed the various dive operations in the area Frank and Blue Life were recommended to me by my dive shop Manager back in Indonesia, a guy who knows the top instructors in their fields all over the world. Working in the industry i\'ve experienced a lot of good courses run by true professionals and I have to say that Frank is truly exceptional at what he does. Aside from the fact he wrote the PADI sidemount course and that he is an intrinsic part of cave exploration in the area his teaching is up to date and bang on point- While some instructors may teach you simply to dive the line Frank dives the cave: awareness a key point to his training and while you\'re consciously learning the skills to keep safe and explore this incredible world Frank is reinforcing those points through a level of training where every minute underwater teaches you to be the best you can and stay safe doing it. During the course I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the some top explorers in the field and everyone of them acknowledged great respect for Frank as a man at the top of his game. So here\'s my recommendation- Dive with Blue Life for one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sebastian U

    Advance Nitrox and Decompression Procedures I did the advance nitrox and decompression procedures course with Frank and Blue Life, the outcome and experience was great. Frank is extremely knowledgeable and prepared, qualities that made my learning experience extremely easy going and enjoyable. Frank\'s love for diving, was contagious and I look forward to continue my diving education with Blue Life and Frank. soon I hope I can go for my Trimix, cave and Sidemount certifications. I Highly recommend Frank and Blue Life.

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    Eduardo L

    Miami Advance Nitrox and Decompression Procedures So me and 2 other friends of mine did both Advance Nitrox and Deco procedures with Blue Life. Initially when i began my search for a technical diving instructor i turned to online dive community forums to search for someone that was competent and skilled at the level of diving i wanted to do and did it at a frequent basis. i interviewed Frank Gutierrez about doing the class and knew i found the guy. From the before the beginning of the class Frank has been laying down great deals of information and answered all the questions i could possible have asked him. Scheduling the class was also very smooth even when trying to match 4 peoples schedules (class was not done on vacation). I felt the Frank had structured the class according to our needs as divers as well as the type of diving we had available in our area. He also made understanding the course marital theory and dive planing very easy and helped us out when we would make mistakes. In addition, he also provides real world experiences with the procedures taught in the class. Pointing out things that seem minor or trivial that have the potential of becoming problematic. From the start to the end of the class there was a drastic improvement in our ability to do the dives and all the task loading. Take a look at the before and after dive profiles i attached, notice the improvement in controlling deco stops and accent rates. Overall, im am very pleased with my experience with Frank and Blue Life, and feel that I defiantly took a lot of useful information from the class that will help me take my diving to new levels and accomplish future goals. Im very much looking forward to do more training with Frank. Hopefully Cave and Sidemount ;)

  34. Rated 5 out of 5


    Exercise in Humility The first thing one would notice, is that all the reviews are Excellent. The reason, is that the service, training and professional attitude are all \"Excellent\". Two months ago, Frank was not part of the names that I associated with the diving community. Through a mutual FB friend, I saw that Frank was offering a Cave course during the same time period that I was going to be in Mexico. Confirming with Andy Philips, I was told that I would not be in better hands for any level of training. The first part of my trip was to take the Side Mount Instructors course and 5 days later my training in Humility started. All in a positive way. I am a PADI instructor, I have certified many students from beginner to Instructor level. I also have over 3000 dives. Did I know how to dive, I thought I did? I can hover, do tank drills, swim, and stay stationary in one spot. Yes I can. The problem started when Frank asked me to do it all, at the same time, without thinking about it. This became my training in Humility. I had to overcome my inherent confidence that I thought I was doing everything right. Anyone that has trained with Frank, knows Frank\'s \"look\". But it is OK, despite his \"LOOK\" Frank is patient, all so patient. With his calm demeanor, he helps you sort out your problems, lets you have your temper tantrums, but he will not let you quit. Am I a better diver? You bet I am. It is all because Frank is great instructor, he ranks up there with the best. Along with being a top notch instructor, Frank provides top level service. I was staying in a hotel located in Playa del Carmen, without question, Frank picked me up every day at my hotel and returned me safe and sound. Never was there a complaint about the distance that he drove every day. Would I go back to Mexico and train with Blue life and Frank? In a heart beat. Every day, I dream and relive my experiences while taking Cave training. After I completed the Intro to Cave, Frank let me tag along and do some full Cave training. It is only that I ran out of time that I had to postpone the completion of Full Cave. Any one looking for a compressive, detailed, competent and Excellent Training, look no further. Things a person needs to know about an instructor: is the instructor competent, is that person respected by the industry, does that person practice his trade, does that person dive for fun? With respect to Frank, I can answer Yes, to all of the above. Frank, thank-you and I look forward to completing my training.

  35. Rated 5 out of 5


    another 5 star review......shocking !! i tried so hard to come up with some negative thoughts for this review because i am so tired of reading about how great blue life is and how wonderful frank is.......but i just couldn\'t do it. it\'s all true. this year i had no choice but to return to mexico. another year older and hopefully a little bit wiser. frank begged and pleaded with me so much to come back and visit (lol) that i just couldn\'t put him off any longer. so back i went. and i am so glad i did. i spent a nice afternoon with ceasar who led me on a couple of great dives at chac mool and then the next two days training one on one with frank. i managed to complete my cavern course and to get a small taste of diving side mount. both days were awesome and even more satisfying than i could have expected. thanks to anders for putting up with me during my intro to side mount. i am sure diving with a rookie like myself was not exactly high on your \"to do\" list so i appreciate your participation. on more a serious note.....i really need to sincerely thank frank for his patience and support not only during my time in playa this year but over the past year as well. i learned last year how knowledgeable and dedicated an instructor you are, but this year i also got to see how genuine a guy you are and it was a pleasure getting to know you a bit better. thank you for everything my friend. you will stick with me where ever my future diving leads me

  36. Rated 5 out of 5

    Stuart R

    PERFECT DIVING EXPERIENCE. Will be back ASAP. Frank was recommended by an instructor at Aquanauts in Plymouth UK. I did TDI Cavern and TDI Sidemount courses and couldn\'t be happier. The standard of pre-course material was excellent and given to me in plenty of time to complete before my holiday. Once there Frank came to meet me at my hotel before the first days diving, which was well above expectations. On the first day of diving Frank consolidated the pre-course material on the way to the cenote which lead perfectly onto the equipment setup and first dives. WOW, the clarity of the water and the amazing formations were beyond my expectations. The cenote was not one of the more \"touristy\" locations so was therefore not busy and was in amazing condition. The other two days of diving were in equally beautiful locations. The diving itself was ramped up to include more problems to deal with, even in a blacked out mask. Frank\'s teaching method is not to intrusive and he actively encourages you to solve the problems yourself, never giving a \"best method\" to rectify what\'s gone wrong. Me and my girlfriend are already planning our next summer holiday to include either Mexico or Florida just to do more diving with Blue Life. I will be back and highly recommend them. MANY THANKS

  37. Rated 5 out of 5


    Happy times... After what felt like a long time, I returned to Mexico to meet up with Frank to do some more diving courses. This time I did TDI Cave Sidemount, Advanced Cave Sidemount, Decompression Procedures, and even went all the way to becoming a TDI Sidemount Instructor. During training I got to see some beautiful remote and almost untouched cave in addition to learning a ton of new things, procedures and techniques. Frank does his best to overload you with skills to the degree that you can see yourself improve as the days go by. Out of water he is a genuinely nice guy. Through good discussions you get the idea of what is behind all the known or unknown choices we make while planning and later diving. This makes you alert to all the potential problems that might occur. Good instructors can tell you exactly why they make the choices they do and then you can make your mind up about what you think about it yourself. A couple of times I ended up going my own way just to find out a few days later I should have listened a little bit better. In the end I came out a much more rounded diver, instructor and maybe even a better listener. -Anders

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sophie W

    Best Birthday Experience Ever I told my husband that I wanted to do cavern diving for my birthday. I had heard that Mexico was the best place to do this because the cenotes around Tulum were supposed to be super amazing. I also love taking under-water photos and I wished to take a few photos to cherish the memory. After a lot of research, I found a reputable diving company via the PADI website, who then went on to recommend Frank to us. At the time, we decided to kill 2 birds with one stone, to do the Speciality Diver course in Cavern Diver and enjoy cavern diving. We were in contact with Frank via email at the beginning and he was very knowledgable in advising what courses were available, how long it would take, the reading material we would need to do and subsequent online test. He even recommended Side Mount as an option and we decided to do that too. We were sent a little video on how to practice on our buoyancy prior to our arrival as we only had a few days in Mexico so a lot of pre-prep work was required eliminating unnecessary class room time and maximising on hands-on in the water experience. Frank was able to tailor our course over 3-4 days and also helped me to take a photo of this very special experience, allowing me to also stop once in a while to take a photo quickly whilst on our strict training. We started off with training just the 2 of us, then a 3rd person joined which made the training experience even more challenging and fun. Frank is a very patient and calm teacher, but he is no softy and makes you work for the answers and solutions, he also has a wicked sense of humour and is very generous with his time. He went beyond our expectations and picked us up every morning, hand picking some of the best and most beautiful cenotes for our training, and took us to a great local place for drinks and the biggest bowl of ceviche I have ever seen. He even went as far as getting us a bottle of this local tequila that we wanted and hand delivered it to our hotel. We were so touched as it was a hell of a long drive back. My advice is that you do need a thick full length wet suit and your rash vest as it does get super cold in there, but do bring your own mask and fins. And a hat for when Frank does the verbal training above water. It is disgustingly hot before you go in the cave in full gear but once in the water it is a sweet relief. The experience was everything I thought it would be, I was amazed how different it was to swim in salt water to rain water in a matter of seconds. The light that shone through the cave ceiling holes looked like UFO beams coming down from the sky with loads of cat fishes swimming around. It was totally amazing. We came away with more qualifications than I thought we would and I am very proud to say we are now certified as: 1. Sidemount Diver (TDI) Cavern Diver (TDI) Sidemount (Padi) Cavern Diver (Padi) Sidemount Diver (SDI) I would highly recommend Blue Life and Frank as your trainer, AND PERSONALLY THANK FRANK for the best ever birthday experience.

  39. Rated 5 out of 5


    Nowhere better! So I just completed the Cavern/Sidemount training with Frank in Tulum Mexico. I i must say that it was one of the most rewarding courses of my diving so far! I was the only person taking the course at the time and The Instructor went above and beyond to make sure that I understood the materials and worked on my skills. His style of teaching is set to make the student understand the material fully, instead of simply answering my questions Frank made me work out the problems for myself, because of this my personal problem solving skills have improved dramatically along with some key skills. Boyancy is a focus of this course and it needs to be approached with an open mind and an approach that you can always learn. On the whole i\'d highly reccomend this course and the progressions thereof, your skills and diving will be much the better for it! Many thanks to Frank and Blue Life

  40. Rated 5 out of 5


    Impeccable experience! Frank & his team are A+ instructors. I just did a side-mount & cavern diver course with them, but I ended up with much more than what I paid for: their first-hand experience in cave diving and big bag of tech tricks on how to improve your equipment (safely attach equipement to remain streamlined, minimize entanglement risk, etc.). No matter what Frank does (e.g. fixing a broken reg) he will share it with you, even if it\'s not related to your course. You\'re not paying for a plastic card, but for education. This means that it\'ll take what it takes to get certified, and more importantly, they wouldn\'t let you do a course (or bring you in any cave) without being sure you\'re ready (which tells you about the importance of safety for them!). They are all what you expect about a dive center (unfortunately not many centers do have that): friendly, professional, flexible, experienced, safe, and especially fun! So I fully endorse them and agree with other reviewers as well! Even if you can find cheaper alternatives around here, I\'d rather not being cheap with my own life! So if you value yours too, go with them!

  41. Rated 5 out of 5


    One step closer to dive perfection During the last two years I have stayed in the Yucatan area for almost three months. There is a reason why I come back again and again. Frank is surely one of them reasons. Having previously encountered Frank on the island of Utila during my open water instructor course I knew he was a safe bet for diving lessons. I did my sidemount course, and some portion of the cave course with him. For more than ten days of diving, I was in the water with Frank every day and there wasnt a time i felt he was the wrong guy. He is knowledgable, friendly and patient. He took the time to stay in the water to perfect our skills to either we were freezing or our air ran out. Every day we went to different diving locations and every day I learned something new. On my spare time he picked the best local restaurants in town and invited me home to his house for private and intimate (I can assure you its not what you are thinking) diving lessons. I especially enjoyed that he took the time to show your mistakes and successes in the water using video. That is something I rarely see instructors do these days. Having worked in the dive industry for a couple of years you will learn that there are both bad and good instructors out there. The reason i choose to recommended Frank as an instructor to my friends is that I am sure he will not let you down. I know for sure that I will do more courses should our paths cross again. I would not hesitate to recommend Frank and Blue Life for all your diving needs.

  42. Rated 5 out of 5


    Excellent and fabulous When I planned my trip to Mexico, I was recommended Frank from a friend. I did not have any specific plan for my stay, but thru guidance and great patience from Frank, he set me up with lodgings and put up with all my indecisions. I finally ended up deciding to take a sidemount course with him, and he is really excellent and knowledgable instructor. He has a both laid back and no-nonsense way of teaching. I also decided to take the cavern course, and unfortunately he did not have time to do this with me, but he organized Mauro to complete this with me. Overall I could not be more happy with both instructors training methods. Frank, Mauro and Cris has a vast knowledge of the area and cenotes, and I feel really lucky they shared these experiences with me. I surely will not forget it. Hopefully I will get the chance to come back to Playa and take my full cave course with them.

  43. Rated 5 out of 5

    Beatriz Y

    Great experience, great team Me and my boyfriend went to Playa to take our Intro to Cave and Sidemount Diving Courses. We chose the Blue Life Team since we knew Frank was a great instructor. Our stay was very well organized, laid back and challenging. Diving cenotes is amazing, but it makes the difference if your instructor is, patient, demanding and professional. We learned a lot and enjoyed Playa\'s life and people, I\'d recomend it to anyone ready for a new diving experience. Thanks, Blue Life Team!

  44. Rated 5 out of 5


    Best training ever! I did multiple course with Bluelife (Frank), TEC40, sidemount and intro to cave I am a scuba instructor myself but I can honestly say that I learned a lot about diving from Frank! He is a great guy and is really passionate about making you a better diver he really gets you to a different level. If you are considering learning to dive or improve your dive skills or start TEC or CAVE look no further!!!! I personally would not go anywhere else if I wanted to get some more training.

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