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There are many great reasons to become a dive instructor, and diving is just one of them.  With a guaranteed pass or your instructor exam feedback, enrolled Xtreme Gap Year’s Mexico dive Academy, and we guarantee you a quick entry into the amazing world of working in diving.  Set in Playa del Carmen, with incredible dive conditions and a great international team ready to assist you in getting your open water scuba diver instructor qualification.

Mexico IDC Scuba Dive Instructor Course

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Qualify As A  Scuba Instructor Course

Mexico Divemaster Diving Course (9)An unrivalled opportunity to ditch the day job and work anywhere in the world! Life is good as a diving instructor, we should know we have several on our staff at Xtreme Gap Year. In fact you could say that we diving nuts, so you have our full support and expertise if you are planning the ultimate career move into becoming a diving instructor. Our Zero to hero course qualifies you for very basic all the way through to full blown PADI pro.

Dive Instructor Highlights

  • Train and then gain your PADI dive instructor Qualification
  • Guaranteed success or your IE fee back &  for free.
  • Work all over the world with the ocean as your office
  • Completely overhaul your lifestyle!
  • All your dive training through to Instructor
  • Course materials and pack included
  • Transfer to Playa del Carmen from Cancun
  • All Accommodation included

 Great Reasons To Do Your IDC In Mexico

Cenote Diving


Bull Sharks


Instructor  Development Course Mexico

Mexico Divemaster Diving Course (11)It is a pretty good life style you have as  a  Scuba Instructor  and it is very rewarding too! You help people overcome their fear and make them feel really proud. Imagine having happy students around you every day. Of course the view from the office is pretty tough, usually the worlds best beach resorts, yes it is a tough life, but someone has to do it.

Why The  Mexico IDC Scuba Dive Instructor Course?

One of the top reasons is the location itself. The diving in Mexico is fantastic. Crystal clear waters, fresh water Cenotes and the cool environment of Playa del Carmen is a great reason to study here.

Once you are qualified it is a great place to look for work whether that be in the multiple resorts along the Yucatán Peninsula or even hopping over to other countries in the Caribbean, like Costa Rica Belize Honduras you name it.  You can hop on a short low-cost flight to your first available job opportunity.

Our partners run the only PADI CDC facility in Mexico, we believe it is one of the top rated IDC centres in the region and one of the best in the world. We cherry pick only the best course directors, and facilities to run our IDC’s (which is why you will only find a limited number on the entire Xtreme Gap Year website).

Mexico Diving Dive Instructor IDC (3)Xtreme’s high standards come about through the experience of our staff many of whom have completed IDC’s and have worked as dive instructors for a combined total of over 20 years. Simply put we know what makes a good IDC, and we know what makes a good location. Our priority is to deliver excellent training in a fun environment that will set you up in your SCUBA dive career with as little hassle as possible.

On the Mexico IDC not only will you get first-class education, you will also get a lot of support after you have been successful in your exams. Our aim is to help place you in jobs and give you the support you need.

The IDC is fully comprehensive and gives you much more.

PADI recommends a seven day IDC course prior to doing your SCUBA dive instructor examination. So we do a 14 day course – double the recommended  to provide ample experience in time necessary to cover you in all of your modules. This includes a two-day EFR instructor module so you know you are going to be very proficient during your IE examination.

Guaranteed Success Or Your Retakes Are On Us.

Mexico Diving Dive Instructor IDC (5)We have one of the highest pass rates in the region. With pass rate in the high 90s you can be confident that once you commit to getting your SCUBA dive instructor course with us in Mexico, that is exactly what you will do. So much so we offer a guarantee that if you do not pass your exams first time we will refund you your PADI IE exam fees.

Not only will we refund your PADI IE exam fees, we will allow you to complete your full IDC course again no extra charge. This is completely unique and no other IDC program offers this guarantee. Why do we do it? Because we are confident that you will pass as pass rate is 99%.

We train people from all over the world.

There are multiple different nationalities that go to make up the Xtreme team, and we support our clients in multiple languages. Although the exam and courses run in English, there are multilingual support staff available in other languages as well.

We are highly established in the region and have a great employment network after the course.

Obviously nothing is guaranteed in terms of jobs, you have to go out there and find the work, but we are able to assist you greatly in finding that first employment opportunity. We work with multiple dive centres in Riviera Maya and Cozumel region and you are a short distance to a multitude of other global popular diving spots.

PADI IDC E-learning Option

If you want to start learning prior to travelling we can also set you up with the PADI IDC e-learning option. Please note this is an extra service and not included in the price. These fees will be paid to PADI directly.

How do you become a  Scuba Instructor? Complete Your  Mexico IDC

If you are a complete novice in diving it will take you 7 months to train up to become a dive instructor, but is a pretty awesome 7 months. If however you have not had pre-dive experience please to think long and hard about this (see below).

Becoming A SCUBA Dive Instructor – Before you start

Mexico Divemaster Diving Course (12)There are usually two types of people that think about becoming a SCUBA dive instructor. Those who already have an existing dive qualification, and others who are toying with the idea because they like the idea of a career change.

If you do not already have an existing dive qualification (open water) then it is best that you contact us first to discuss your options. It is a huge commitment becoming a SCUBA dive instructor financially, as the IDC pre-required courses do not come cheap -and that’s just the courses you also have to factor in living costs prior to starting.

There are a whole host of things that you should consider prior to starting and we are able to talk you through your options from the point of view of experience. Many of our staff hold scuba-diving instructor qualifications and have completed their IDC’s. So if you want a genuine insight into what it is like to be a diving instructor and what is required to pass exams then get in touch on e-mail.

Doing Your Mexico IDC Scuba Dive Instructor Course  The Process.

To become a SCUBA dive instructor and work anywhere in the world, you need to complete your instructor development course aka your IDC. The instructor development course will cover all the theory and practical modules and learning you need to undertake prior to doing your IE (instructor exam). The instructor exam is overseen by an examiner from the accrediting organisation usually PADI although it is possible to gain instructor qualifications from other agencies such as SSI. The course director who runs the instructor development course (IDC) is just responsible for getting you up to the level where you will pass your instructor exam. For this reason instructor exam fees are not usually included in the cost of IDC’s as the instructor exam fees go directly to PADI.

Prerequisites to becoming a SCUBA dive instructor

Obviously you need to be able to dive, but officially you need to have six months from the initial first SCUBA diving qualification to the dates you start your instructor exam. This means you need to gain experience which is good for the students and obviously good for you as well.

There are several qualifications you will need to go through prior to starting your SCUBA dive instructor course.

  • Open water
  • Advanced open water
  • Rescue and EFR
  • Divemaster

You can then regain your OWSI or open water scuba diver instructor certification. The above are based on the PADI system and is generally interchangeable with other systems such as SSI.

Pre-requisite checklist

  • You must hold a PADI Divemaster certification or equivalent.
  • Have  96 logged dives that include experience in night, deep and navigation diving to participate in the PADI Instructor Development Course. You´ll need 100 logged dives to take the Instructor Exams.
  • Have CPR and First Aid training within the last 24 months.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a Medical Statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months
  • age: 18+


The IDC takes place in the pool, open ocean and classroom. Usually run once a month they are done in a group with a course director overseeing the training. The IDC’s are almost always followed directly by the IE and upon completion you can then start to look for a SCUBA dive instructor job. ¡

Training & Course Break Down

If you have no prior diving certifications you start of with your PADI open water certificate, this will take you about 4 days. After that you do your advanced open water which will take you 2 days. Then the more serious work starts and we will take you through the rescue course and your EFR. The Divemaster follows then the IDC.

  • Open Water
  • Advanced Open Water
  • Emergency First Response (First Aid)
  • Rescue Diver Certificate
  • Divemaster
  • EFR Instructor
  • Open Water Scuba Instructor Development Course (The IDC)
  • The Instructor Exams (fees not included)

Pre IDC: The Divemaster

Mexico Divemaster Diving Course (1)The Divemaster internship is where you gain most of your commercial experience in the dive industry.  This is also the point where you really develop those necessary dives and gain experience underwater.  Remember to complete your IDC you need 96 logged dives, if you were to do this by the traditional route of paying fit each dive individually this would cost you a lot more.  During the Divemaster course you will be diving a lot, and through experience learn about how to react to and deal with multiple situations underwater.  This could be whilst diving with clients or reacting to situations involving yourself only.

Are The Instructor Exam Fees Included?

No, unfortunately they are not.  It is pretty expensive to become a Diving instructor, but ultimately worth it. The IDC (abbreviation for Instructor development course) includes the required training both practical and theory with a qualified course director, to get you up to the standards needed to pass the Instructor Examination. The Price of the programme covers the IDC (It also covers the accommodation and diving costs and course learning materials as well), but not the examination fees.

Think of it like learning to drive, you are paying for the lessons, and instruction. The instructor examination fee is just that, it is the fee paid to PADI to sit and mark the exams. They send out their own examiners to mark you and certify you ensuring you are up to standards. The fee is the same regardless of where you sit the exam as these are set down by PADI based in North America.

So please note you will need to budget at least $849 USD on top of the fee to Xtreme Gap to cover the extras. This is however guaranteed, in the unlikely event that you fail your instructor exam we will refund you your fees or put you through your course again so that you pass.


Your accommodation is in a beautiful boutique hostel, with a great intimate atmosphere. The rooms have private bathrooms and air conditioning! All guests have use of a big terrace where they can relax or just share travel tips with other guests. Its located in a great neighbourhood, everything is round the corner, oh and there is free WiFi!

The best hostel in Playa del Carmen for sure. Perfect blend of atmosphere without being too crazy. Great chill out area in the middle with fun events at night. The staff are all really good fun and friendly. The place has a great vibe and if you like tequila you will do very well here.


We include breakfast for you. Breakfast is a buffet style and includes – coffee, tea, bread, butter, 4 types of jam, 2 types of cereal, milk and 2 types of fruits, so good start of the day!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

There are some extra costs not included in the price you pay us, these are fees that are payable direct to PADI to sit your exams. At the time of writing they are (in USD  ):


Yes, the Mexico IDC    is adaptable. Eg. we can shorten your trip if you have existing qualifications when you start your Mexico  IDC  instructor course. However remember you need to have at least 6 months gap between gaining your first diving qualification (Open Water) and becoming a Dive Instructor.

You will need to fill in a medical statement and pass a medical exam. You will definitely notice that your fitness levels improve significantly as you advance through the Divemaster course.

20 to 25 pounds a day should be enough for a great gap year. If you are not the drinking type and you like more quiet nights you could do it for 15 pounds. During the day you will only spend some money on food and water, and trust me, that is cheap!

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the accommodation.  The course director will meet you on the first day check your in and introduce himself you also have prior Contact prior to travelling.

Hot!  Year-round tropical weather will see blue skies crystal clear waters an amazing dive conditions.  UK summertime is traditionally the hot season with it getting busier towards November December.  September and October is traditionally low season.

Yes. Xtreme Gap has a  rep In Playa del Carmen and a seriously good supportive network there.  You will also have direct contact with a platinum course director, and the director of Xtreme Gap North America whilst you are staying in Mexico.

You can buy anything you need In Mexico, and it is much cheaper than back home, so pack light! The shops are all close to the resort. You can buy souvenirs, sun lotion, mosquito repellent, swim shorts, flip flops and everything else you might need.

The only thing that is lacking is if you need to replace your battery for your dive computer, so best to bring a fully serviced dive computer with you.

If you are from the UK you can book gap year travel insurance online on the Xtreme Gap website. You would need the backpacker option and then the upgrade since you will be diving up to 30 meters deep during your gap year. We have chosen to work with this company since they are good value and cover the necessary diving and sports options Xtreme Gap has for gap years.

Yes there is! You can use the kitchen at the accommodation to prepare your meals. also in walking distance is a massive super market with beautiful food! So if you like preparing your own meals and you want to keep the costs down, this is a perfect option.

You should get a VISA on arrival in Mexico for six months.  This can be extended by doing a border run to Belize for a further six months.  Please note upon exiting the country you will need to pay a £35 departure tax in cash.

Price in GBP

Duration Shared Private Studio (Limited available)
7-8 weeks: AOW to Instructor £3899 £4799
6  weeks: Rescue to Instructor £3729 £4629
5  weeks  : DM to Instructor £3499 £4499

Padi Fees:    $849 USD on top of the fee to Xtreme Gap Year. This is however guaranteed, in the unlikely event that you fail your instructor exam we will refund you your fees or put you through your course again so that you pass.

Once you have passed your IE and get your certification you can then start earning and living abroad.


  • Detailed information pack before you leave
  • Transfer to Playa del Carmen
  • Accommodation (shared)
  • Welcome introduction and meal to meet fellow divers and Xtreme Gappers
  • Advance Open Water Certification and Instruction  (If applicable)
  • Rescue Diver and EFR Certification and Instruction  (If applicable)
  • Divemaster Course Certification and Instruction  (If applicable)
  • Divemaster internship practical experience  (If applicable)
  • 14 day IDC (instructor course and certificate)
  • IE Exam
  •  Diving up to 2  dives a day
  • All training manuals


  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Food, drinks and living costs
  • Dive gear (rental included during the IDC    but you will want to buy your own gear, you use it everyday)
  • At start IDC you need BCC, mask, fins, wetsuit, regulator, dive computer
  • PADI Registration and subscription fees (see FAQ)
  • Instructor IE Exam fees (about $849  USD)


The instructor development course runs once every two months.

Which means you need to start your full training programme (from advanced open water) seven weeks prior to the IDC Dates. If you are starting from a higher level of qualification for example rescue Divemaster the overall course duration will be less at one week per course.

Please contact us and we will customise the start date for you based on your travel plans.


“I will definitely recommend you to all my friends and book through you again! See  more reviews here.”
Louise Penman
“Passing my IDC is the biggest achievement for me, it has opened up a whole new life path and for that I will be ever-grateful to you guys.  more reviews here.”
Greg Sheffield
” I can honestly say that through Xtreme Gap I have had everything provided for me. Great support from them, they have always kept in touch and I can honestly say it has been a really great experience. I am proper living the dream now finally!! See  Richards Video Testamonial  
Richard Clough


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