Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to commonly asked questions

I’m a certified diver and I don’t have my card. Can I still go diving with you?

Of course we would be happy to have you dive with us.  If you just send us your name and birth date in advance we can track the certification number through PADI.

Scuba diving sounds exciting, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. Can I try it without signing up for a course?

You can definitely try scuba diving with Carlo Scuba without signing up for a full certification course.  We offer Discover Scuba Diving which gives you some basic instruction for less than 2 hours and then you do one shallow dive with a dive professional.

If I have been diving, how long should I wait before flying?

DAN (Divers Alert Network) recommends no less than 18 hours between the completion of your last dive and going into an airplane. Check out the DAN website for specific details.

In the movies and on TV, divers are always running into sharks or eels. Should I be concerned about marine animals in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa?

Most marine animals are passive or timid creatures. A few do bite or sting but this can be avoided by not touching them. Scuba divers are not considered prey for most marine animals including sharks and eels.

Where exactly is your shop located?

Carlo Scuba is located on gorgeous Las Gatas Beach, just across Zihuatanejo Bay from the pier in Zihuatanejo. All dive outings start from the pier in Zihuatanejo.

Do I have to be a great swimmer to become a diver?

You do not have to be a great swimmer to become a diver.  Being comfortable in the water is important and the ability to swim is helpful.

At what age can my kids start to dive?

Children can learn to dive and even get certified at the age of 10.

How long does it take to become a certified diver?

There are a lot of variables that affect the time it takes to become a PADI certified diver. There is a Scuba Diver course which is a certification that has limitations on the maximum depth and you have to go with a dive professional. The Scuba Diver course takes approximately 2 days. There is a also Open Water Certification which allows you to plan your own dives and go with other certified divers. The Open Water Certification takes approximately 4 days.  One variable is how much of the book work you want to do before coming to Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa.  Carlo Scuba now offers PADI eLearning where you can do most of the book work from the comfort of your home and then you can do the water portion with Carlo Scuba in Zihuatanejo.

Do I need to have my doctor sign a medical certificate to go diving?

There is a medical release form that you need to complete to get PADI certifications.  A doctors release is only required if you answer yes to any of the questions on the medical release. You can download the medical release from or email us and we would be happy to send it to you.

Do you recommend that I bring my own equipment or should I rent from Carlo Scuba?

Carlo Scuba has a wonderful inventory of quality equipment for divers to use. We know that divers often prefer to use their own equipment. Either way Carlo Scuba will provide any equipment necessary for a safe and enjoyable dive.

What kind of water temp can I expect and what type of suit is recommended?

When you are dealing with the Pacific Ocean anything is possible with regards to the water temperature. Typically the water temp ranges from 65* – 85* depending on the time of year.  Most divers are comfortable in 3mm wet suits. You are welcome to contact us a few days prior to the day of diving to check on current water conditions.

Do you accept certifications from other dive training organizations like NAUI or SSI?

Carlo Scuba is a PADI Dive Center but accepts current certifications from other training agencies such as NAUI and SSI.

What time does the boat leave and how long does a dive trip take?

The boat typically meets divers at the pier in Zihuatanejo at 9:00a.m. to go to Las Gatas beach to get gear and fill out paperwork.  Other arrangements for time can be made if needed.  Divers usually return to Las Gatas beach around 1:30p.m. where they can enjoy a relaxing afternoon on this wonderful beach under the palm trees or can be taken back to the pier right after the dive.

Where do we meet the morning of our dive?

The boat comes to the pier in Zihuatanejo to pick all the divers up.  The pier is located right in Zihuatanejo and is easy to get to by Taxi or walking depending on where you are coming from. If you are staying on La Ropa Beach there may be an option to pick you up on the beach.  The water must be calm so check with us close to your dive day.

What marine life can I expect to see?

There is a great deal of marine life to see here. From larger animals like spotted eagle rays, turtles, bat rays, moray eels and sting rays to the smaller animals such as seahorses, dozens of types of nudibranchs, seargant major fish, barber fish, parrot fish and so much  more.  You are sure to have an enjoyable dive with lots of marine life to see.

Is diving in Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa good for beginners and advanced divers?

There are quite a few dive sites well suited for beginners, advanced and intermediate divers. The area offers shallow coral reefs as well as deep pinnacle dives.

Does Carlo Scuba offer Nitrox?

Carlo Scuba is the only dive center with Nitrox filling capabilities. With new blending equipment you are able to enjoy the added comfort of diving Nitrox on any of your dives with Carlo Scuba.

How far in advance and how do I make reservations?

Although it is not required it is recommended to make reservations about a week in advance to be sure that you have the best options available.  Reservations can be made as late as the day before the dive but may have limited availability.

When is the best time to come diving in Zihuatanejo?

The water conditions vary because it is the Pacific Ocean but typically the best time for diving in our area is the end of October – March as well as July – August.  Other times can be great for diving but are not as consistent.

Are the dive trips guided by a divemaster?

Carlo Scuba sends a dive master as a guide in the water on all dive trips (unless otherwise requested). We want to make sure that your dive is as enjoyable as possible and our dive professionals know the best route and where to look for certain marine life.

What kind of visibility can I expect in the area?

As with any diving the visibility is unpredictable.  We have seen during peak season anywhere from 80’ visibility down to as low as about 20’ visibility.  Conditions often change and are also sometimes affected by the moon cycles. No matter what the visibility there is a ton of marine life to see in our area.

How many people are on the boat?

Carlo Scuba offers two fantastic panga type of boat that accommodate just about any size of group. Typically there are anywhere from 2 – 8 other divers on the boat during a dive outing. We want to make sure everyone is comfortable and will utilize our boats as needed to make that happen.

Do you do night dives?

We offer night dives in various locations around Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa when the conditions are right.  The marine life is wonderful to see at night. Contact us to make arrangements.

Can we dive unsupervised?

If you prefer to not have a dive professional guide you during a dive that is an option if you are a Divemaster or Instructor.

Can others in my group snorkel from the dive boat?

We welcome others on the boat while a group goes on a dive.  Make sure to let us know when you reserve your trip so that we make sure to allow plenty of room for the snorkelers and we plan for the best dive sits for snorkelers.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash (pesos and dollars) as well as Visa, MasterCard, American Express as well as Travelers Checks.

What should I bring on my day of diving?

We have everything you need for an enjoyable day of diving.  If you require sunscreen you should bring it with you. Sunglasses are suggested if you have them.  If you tend to get motion sickness it is recommended that you take motion sickness pills prior to meeting the boat at the pier.  We will have plenty of water and soda on the boat for before, between and after dives. If there is any gear of your own you would like to use bring that with you when you meet the boat at the pier.

Do I need to pay in advance when I make the reservations to dive?

We do not require a deposit or advance payment for scuba reservations. Once you have confirmation via phone or email you can be assured that you have a spot on the boat and your reservation is complete.  Payment will be taken upon completion of the dives.

Do you provide refreshments on the boat?

There will be plenty of cold bottled water as well as soda on the boat for before and after the dives. After the dive you will be taken to beautiful Las Gatas beach for your first beer on the house and the opportunity to sit on a quiet beach for the afternoon.  Carlo Scuba is located next to Chez Camille which is a full restaurant with excellent food if you want to make a day of it.

How many days of the week do you offer diving?

Carlo Scuba is available for diving seven days a week.  We can accommodate your schedule for as many days of diving as you desire. We do enjoy time with our families so we are occasionally closed but with a few days advance notice most requests can be accommodated.

We hope this extensive list of frequently asked questions is helpful.  If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.