playa del carmen - mexico
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in English ( 18 )
TONY MASSEY, UNITED KINGDOM / BSAC ADV., CMAS 3 STAR INSTR. / TMX, CAVE DIVER 6500+ DIVES / GUIDED CAVE DIVES
What can I say? Two weeks of pure joy and adventure in the Yucatan caves with Alain and his diving colleagues! An experience I will never forget and one that I intend to replicate (and better!) when I return in a year or two for even more cave diving adventures in Mexico. Thanks for the great memories buddy.
DANIEL MITCHELL, AUSTRALIA / ADV. EANX, CDAA CAVE, 800+ DIVES / CAVE, SM CAVE, STAGE CAVE COURSE
In April 2014 myself and my buddy Josh Shipp enjoyed 3 weeks guided cave diving with Alain, and saw some of Mexico’s most beautiful cave systems, and learned a great deal along the way. At that stage, as reasonably experienced tech and wreck divers, but relatively novice cave divers, we chose to revisit Mexico in April 2015 for further instruction with Alain.
We did our research and chose Alain over many other instructors, for good reason. He is extremely methodical and systematic, and is a proven cave diver – both as an explorer and instructor.
Alain was very helpful to assist pre-trip with advice on travel, accommodation and dive equipment. Alain went to the trouble to organize some excellent accommodation for us, and provided an excellent pick up and drop off service to make logistics easy.
Alain fitted and adjusted our Razor harnesses, saving us many hours of fine adjustments. On both trips, Alain was very helpful in tweaking all our equipment for safety and streamline, and ease of use.
On the dive sites, Alain provided very thorough dive briefs. His intimate knowledge of each dive site (there are so many) gave us the information to plan our own dives very well and made each dive a great success, with many challenges along the way. During each dive, whether site seeing or dive training, Alain was a powerful observer and a great communicator. He gave us plenty of space on each dive, but was always there for assistance is needed, and to light up points of interest along the way.
The training for IANTD Full Cave and TDI Cave Sidemount and Stage Sidemount was very enjoyable, but certainly was not easily achieved – he made us earn each certification! When you complete training with Alain, he works very hard on ensuring the fundamentals of buoyancy, trim and orientation are well understood and practiced, before proceeding further to more advanced skills. In learning the more advanced skills, he breaks each skill down into small pieces, and ensures you know and understand each small step and then how they fit together. In his famous phrase: slow is smooth, smooth is fast, Alain has tought us to slow right down, make careful and decisive movements, and ensure that each step is done correctly and precisely before moving onto the next .
Alain’s meticulous attention to detail and observation skills certainly shine through at each dive de-brief. The de-briefings were where we learned the most. Understanding the strengths and shortcomings of every aspect of each dive has taught us so much – we learn by doing!
Overall, Alain is a wonderful instructor: he is so deeply passionate about cave diving and wants his students to achieve their absolute best. He ensures not only that you can perform the required skills, but that you have a strong understanding of what you’re doing, in every aspect of your equipment, your diving skills and cave diver training. I strongly recommend Alain to all Cave Divers that want to excel in Cave Diving.”
CHRIS BRAISSANT, SWITZERLAND / PADI TEC, TDI CAVERN, EXT. RANGE INSTR. 1000+ DIVES / FULL CAVE COURSE
I did my full cave course with Alain back in 2011. At that time, I was a beginner, not much experience, and Alain managed to teach all the core skills needed for any kind of technical diving. We were two students during our training, with opposite background. However, Alain managed to show both of us what we had to improve, and our strengths and weaknesses. All the explanations were clear and he had total control underwater, giving us enough time to practice and master the skills. The certification was definitely earnt, not given!
Since then, I’ve done further technical training and became an instructor myself. However, after all of those courses, I’m so glad I did that very first training with Alain. It laid all the basics, core skills, mindset and emergencies procedure for any further class I took. By far the best and most challenging course I have ever taken! Thanks my friend.
SASCHA JENDRO, GERMANY / PADI, TEC REC INSTR., 5000+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT TO STAGE CAVE DIVERS COURSES
So people, last year with CDT I made my full cave education in sidemount configuration,as I am a Sidemount Instructor beside the whole cave procedures I learned even a lot of sidemount. This year I am back and using the range of Instructor trainings. Why? Lili and Alain know exactly how to get the best out of a diver.
Thanks and see you soon!!
KASPER SABROE OLESEN, DENMARK / PADI AND TEC REC INSTR., 2000+ DIVES / FULL CAVE COURSE
Amazing training and extremely professional! Did my Full Cave course in April 2016. Was living in Honduras at the time I decided to do my course and Alain was so helpful with everything, such as organize a place to stay, get the proper equipment and get me and my friend ready! Can’t wait to do more training with these guys!
ENNO ACKERMANN, AUSTRIA / PADI OWSI 400+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
I had a very good course very informative and hands on, and very much to the point. There was everything I needed knowledge, skill and equipment wise, and nothing fancy extra that you don’t need. In short: a NO BULLSHIT approach.
DORA FARKAS, HUNGARY / PADI AND TEC REC TMX INSTR., 3000+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT CAVE DIVER COURSE
Researched for long before picked Alain as instructor, and he was a great choice. Did cavern and intro cave in 2015 and returned for full cave course next year. All training was high level, not only learning skills but proper behavior in the cave, etiquette as well. Yes, we had long times in the water, but all was fun! After the course felt completely safe and confident to go cave diving with my partner.
Cave courses are demanding but Alain was always patient with us and helped through difficulties, when they occurred. He won’t let you pass with less than top marks, if you are not ready to work hard for your certification, pick someone else…
Thank you for all the good times, you’ll see us again!
MARKUS BACHMANN, SWITZERLAND / PADI DM / SIDEMOUNT TO INTRO TO CAVE COURSES
I visited Alain twice in Playa del Carmen. First time, Razor Sidemount Course: great experience! Second time: Cavern and Intro to Cave. Even greater! Alain was tough, challenging and still friendly. I made the right decision choosing him as my instructor and mentor for this diving courses. Alain and Lili, both are so passionate divers, it’s a great experience diving together with them…
DAMIAN “DAMO” BIRD, UNITED KINGDOM / PADI RESCUE 45+ DIVES / CAVERN DIVER COURSE
When my fiancée and I came to Mexico and met Alain we thought we were fairly reasonable divers but quickly learned we had a LONG way to go! At the time of starting the IANTD Cavern Diver program we had both been diving for around 6 or maybe 7 years. In just 4 days of training with Alain we learned and developed more than the combined previous 6 years of training with a well-known recreational oriented agency.
After day one our eyes were WIDE open. It was really tough going and at times stressful as we hadn’t before experienced how beautiful but also how sinister the caverns/ caves can be if you’re not ready or not paying attention.
The quality of instruction was first class. Alain was very patient with us but also firm in ensuring we gave 100% we were pushed harder than we had previously experienced and as a result developed well. Up to that time it was the best training we had EVER received and it fundamentally changed the way we dived, who we dived with and what training programmes / training agencies we selected. On return to the UK we changed all our equipment configuration – backplate and wing, long hose etc and continued to work on trim, buoyancy and propulsion techniques. We found that our diving continued to develop way faster than we had expected. Today I am now IANTD Normoxic Trimix certified, have trained with GUE and have my Full IANTD Cave Diver programme next month in the South of France.
Without meeting Alain I am convinced I would still be a very average / maybe below average diver and wouldn’t be involved with technical dives and training and wouldn’t be confident or capable to experience some of the amazing dive sites we have since visited and of course we have met some great friends along the way.
Without exaggeration the 4 days with Alain opened a door which we gratefully walked through and haven’t looked back! Hope to see you again mate, sooner than later! Damo and Helen.
STEVE GRISCTI, MALTA / TMX DIVER, 2000+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT CAVE COURSE
An eye opener. Extremely professional and no frills, while being friendly and very helpful to boot! Would definitely recommend to anyone who’s serious about their diving and their training. It’s good to get tuition and factual advice from someone who is actively diving and involved in exploration. Sure to go back for any more training. 100% thumbs up Alain & Lili.
MATTHIAS GRUBER, AUSTRIA / PADI AOWD 35+ DIVES / CAVERN DIVER COURSE
Strict and thorough concerning all matters of life and death, Alain is one of the few serious guides who is still fun. We had a really great time and learned a lot. I also think we saw and learned some things, which are often missed, thanks to him. I feel sorry for all of our future diving guides, since we will all compare them to Alain. Thank you man!!!
MIKOLAJ AND MAREK FIDO, POLAND / ADV. EANX, 1000+ DIVES / FULL CAVE COURSE, GUIDED CAVE DIVES
Last summer we (dad and son) decided to take part in Full Cave Course. We’re diving for quite long time and we were recognizing ourselves as good divers. As soon as we came to beautiful Playa del Carmen and met Alain we changed our way of thinking about diving. We spent 3 weeks with Alain and I’ve to admit that every minute was valuable. He’s strict professional, but no prissy guy. These were weeks of hard training, amazing dives, great atmosphere, good friendship and indescribable enjoyment. Thank you Alain, you’re excellent instructor and unforgettable chatterbox. 🙂
JOSHUA SHIPP, AUSTRALIA / ADV. EANX, CDAA CAVE, 250+ DIVES / CAVE DIVER, SM CAVE, STAGE CAVE COURSE
In April 2014 my buddy and I had decided on a trip to Mexico to try out our newly earned Cave Diver certifications in what some people claimed to be the best caves in the world. We came across Alain by chance as he was guiding for the resort we were staying at. My first impression was the passion; the man lived and breathed caves! During our first dive brief and upon entering the water we both came to realise that he had the skill and knowledge to back it up. We started on some relatively easy caves, and as Alain assessed our abilities, slowly tapered into some more difficult stuff, really showcasing what further training would unlock for us. The trip came and went like that, and on the plane home my buddy and I found ourselves planning the next trip.
In 2015 we decided to take a few courses with Alain, eager to tap into the vast well of knowledge his experience yielded him. After much back and forth discussion via e-mail with Alain (who was always more than happy to go out of his way researching and enquiring about accommodation and itinerary) we decided on the Full Cave Diver, Cave Sidemount, and Stage Cave Diver courses. This time around the diving was a lot more in depth, pushing us to what we thought were limits in our capabilities and then well beyond, unlocking a whole new level of diving for us and bringing to light small things we had never really considered. Towards the end of our trip one of Alain’s old students joined us for a few days of diving, and I was surprised at how quickly and seamlessly we all fit in. This was someone who I’d never met before, who felt like a regular dive buddy as soon as we dipped below the surface. I put it down to the training, and Alain’s high expectations of his students. “Kill your ego,” is something he told us on our very first day of training and it’s a good piece of advice as on getting out of the water after each dive we were being carefully critiqued over the smallest, minute details that we may never have considered, all in an effort of trying to turn us into the safe, highly competent cave divers Alain expects.
The difference in my own diving skills over those 17 days were quite noticeable. By the end I felt like a different person underwater, as if I was finally diving with my eyes open, “seeing” everything I was supposed to see and thinking about the dive in a much smarter way. I have Alain to thank for that. Where most instructors can teach you the skills you need to pass, and what to think, few will teach you how to think as well as he can.
I can’t wait to plan my next trip back to Mexico, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Alain to anyone, skilled or no, who was looking for a guide or teacher in this cave diving hot spot.
KRZYSZTOF SIENKOWSKI, POLAND / PADI AND TEC REC INSTR., 2000+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
Absolutely love it! I’m an Instructor and I’ve seen a lot. The knowledge and experience of Alain and Lili is mind blowing. They have great approach and attitude with full professionalism. Will teach you smart way of diving and It’s all about how to apply and adapt your skills and knowledge in the real scenario and become safe aware cave diver. Aaa…did I mentioned that you will get along with them quite quickly coz those guys are super friendly.
Bottom line, good value of your spent money. You won’t regret it!
HYUNJIN RYU, SOUTH KOREA / PADI DM, 200+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT TO FULL CAVE DIVER COURSES
Cave diving came into my life by chance and I never imagined it would be like this. With the help of my friends, I was able to meet Alain and Lili and I started courses from Sidemount to Intro to cave with Lili and Full cave with Alain. When I started the course with lili for the first time, lili told me,
“Train hard and dive easy”
Over time, I became to understand this. The cave is a beautiful and amazing place… But if you do not get the proper training, it’s a very dangerous place. I wanted to give up in the middle of the course because I was mentally and physically exhausted and my English was not good. But my teachers gave me a break and provided enough time to help me. If I had given up then, I would have regretted it now. They are so friendly, but sometimes they are strict! They teach not only enjoyable diving but also about returning home safely.
you guys are the best!!!!
Thank you, Alan & Lili
LUKE BROADWITH, AUSTRALIA / TEC AND CCR DIVER, 1500+ DIVES / FULL CAVE COURSE
Paying for a certificate is something you will not get from Alain.
Genuine and professional instruction on how to stay alive and protect the environment you are privileged to dive is the start. I couldn’t recommend CDT more. The man has complete skill and passion in what he does.
I am so hanging to return.
JORGE TORRES, MEXICO / PADI DM 700+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
I have a great course with Alain, to have a full cave course it change my dive style forever and my mind. Alain is a great Instructor and a good friend, don´t think too much if you are ready to have a full cave course CDT it´s a great option. Have fun and dive save.
PABLO DUTTO, CHILE / PADI OWSI 1,000+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
I Enjoyed the full cave course twice as i recommended a friend after my course and played along as buddy for him, both times the course was great and as a dive professional myself i could enjoy a very comprehensive, well paced, and fun! Its importat to mention how experienced and passionate is Alain, not only about Diving but about teaching as well and the attention to detail he put on every dive. I’m looking forward to gain experience so I can take my next level courses with him in the future!
auf Deustch ( 4 )
MARKUS KLOTZ, DEUTSCHLAND / CMAS***, TRIMIX, CAVERN 2600+ DIVES / INTRO TO CAVE COURSE, FULL CAVE COURSE, GUIDED CAVE DIVES
Ich habe mit Alain die Intro-to-Cave und Full-Cave-Ausbildung gemacht. Es waren super Kurse, anstrengend, aber ich habe sehr viel gelernt. Und wir hatten auch Spaß dabei. Alain wusste auf jede meiner Fragen eine Antwort, es war einfach Spitze! Durch die Kurse lernte ich jede Menge neuer Fertigkeiten und meine Ausrüstung wurde immer weiter optimiert. Viele der Sachen nutze ich nun auch bei den „normalen“ Tauchgängen. Die geführten Höhlentauchgänge nach dem Kurs waren dann ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis. Vielen Dank, ich komme nächstes Jahr wieder!
RUTH UND CHRISTOPHE KLÄY, SCHWEIZ / RESCUE, 1500+ DIVES / INTRO TO CAVE COURSE
Als erfahrene Taucher mit über 1500 Tauchgängen unter verschiedensten Bedingungen haben wir im Intro to Cave Diving Course bei Alain sehr viel gelernt und neue Aspekte der Sicherheit beim Tauchen erfahren. Diese Kenntnisse sind nicht nur im Höhlenbereich nützlich sondern finden auch in unseren Tauchgängen im offenen Bereich Eingang. Seine seriöse, gleichzeitig aber fröhliche Art des Unterrichtes hat uns die Anstrengungen des Höhlentauchens vergessen lassen. Wir sind froh, uns dieser Herausforderung gestellt zu haben und denken mit einem Lächeln an die tollen Tage in Playa del Carmen und den Kurs mit Alain zurück. Wer weiss, vielleicht kommen wir für den Full Cave Dive Course wieder.
DIRK RÖßNER -KUDDEL- , DEUTSCHLAND / 1. BREVET 1989, FULL CAVE 2004, SIDEMOUNT 2005
Ich war 14 Tage in Playa del Carmen und habe 8 Tage mit CDT verbracht. 100 % professioneller Service. Vom ersten Tag an fühlte ich mich gut aufgenommen, vom Checkdive bis zum letzten Tag war ich zufrieden. Absolute professionelle und sichere Organisation der Tauchgänge. Ein umfangreiches Briefing, moderne Ausrüstung auf dem Stand der Technik sowie zeitgemäße Tauchpraktiken, machten die Höhlentauchgänge in ausgesuchten Cenoten und Systemen zu einem unvergesslichen Erlebniss. Ich kann CDT nur empfehlen!
SASCHA JENDRO, DEUTSCHLAND / PADI UND TEC REC INSTR., 5000+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT TO STAGE CAVE DIVER COURSES
Also leute, habe letztes Jahr bei CDT meine Full Cave Ausbildung in Sidemount Konfiguration gemacht, bin selber Sidemount Instructor und habe neben den ganzen Höhlenprozeduren sogar noch eine ganze Menge an sidemount dazugelernt. Dieses Jahr bin ich zurück und nutze das Angebot an Instructor Ausbildungen. Warum? Lili und Alain wissen ganz genau wie man das beste aus einem Taucher herausholt.
en Espanol ( 1 )
GUSTAVO BUENROSTRO, MEXICO / PADI DM 100+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
Primero quisiera decir que para mi el buceo es aprender y disfrutar ya que hago esto para mi y no como una manera de vida, al terminar mi Divemaster ya tenia en mente y como meta hacer el curso de cuevas asi que investigue y hable con varios instructores que me aseguraban mi certificación y honestamente para mi eso no funciona… sacrifique muchas horas trabajando y privándome de mucho para poder reunir el costo de un curso y lo que menos quería es que me regalaran mi certificación al Final he hablado con Alain y unas de sus primeras palabras fue que NO me garantizaba mi certificación, que eso dependía totalmente de mi asi que para mi eso fue lo que me hizo decidir tomar el curso con el, fueron diez dias del mas intenso curso que jamas he tomado, 10 dias de aprendizaje y vivencias que no se comparan… me certifique justo el dia de mi cumpleaños y esa noche en la cena me di cuenta que había valido hasta el ultimo centavo lo que habia pagado por el conocimiento, la experiencia y cada una de las horas que pase bajo el agua bajo su instruccion, Gracias Alain!!! no solo un EXELENTE Instructor sino un buen amigo.
en français ( 2 )
FRÉDÉRIC FABRE, 38, FRANCE / PADI OWSI 300+ DIVES / FULL CAVE DIVER COURSE
Suivre la formation IANTD avec Alain a été une expérience très enrichissante pour moi. Les cours furent intenses et instructifs et amusants. Alain offre la formation indispensable pour tous ceux qui veulent explorer les grottes. Je pense sincèrement que la formation de Cave Diving avec Alain est aussi bénéfique pour améliorer son propre niveau technique général, qui servira pour d’autres types de plongée, tel que la plongée sur épave ou de nuit…
La formation qu’offre Alain est une expérience unique et gratifiante pour découvrir une nouvelle facette de la plongée.
Comme vous avez pu le voir sur certaines photos, l’entrainement se fait aussi bien sur terre que dans l’eau, et Alain est un puit d’idées lorsqu’il s’agît d’adapter l’entrainement des futurs cavistes aux exigences que ce type de plongée implique.
Amusez-vous pendant la formation et partagez vos expériences, photos et vidéos, sur la page Facebook d’Alain!
XANATH TERRAZAS, FRANCE / PADI INSTR., 3000+ DIVES / SIDEMOUNT TO FULL CAVE COURSES
Un challenge d’exception que de se former a la plongée en grotte ici au Mexique, lieu de prédilection pour les explorateurs. Plus de 3000 plongées au compteur, et des attentes de qualités j’ai trouvé en Alain un mentor de haute voltige en qui j’ai eu confiance dès le début (et il en faut pour se lancer dans cette activité..). Passionné, très technique, minutieux il a sus partager mais surtout enseigner son savoir et m’a amené au delà de mes limites, prête a mon tour a explorer ce monde souterrain. Merci pour tout. Incroyable expérience et sans aucun doutes que je vous conseil de suivre mes pas avec Cave Diving Training Mexico.