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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

Beginner Divers

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General Questions

How do I find you?

We are located at the back of hotel Oro Blanco. There are a number of ways to get to us, depending on where you are coming from.

If you are coming from the main road in front of the Hotel Oro Blanco – Av. Arquiteco Gomez Cuesta – then you can find us by walking through the car park to the left of the hotel complex. At the back of the car-park is a short flight of stairs leading to a pedestrian alleyway – Paseo Verode. On this path, turn to the right and you will see the dive centre within 30 seconds.

Alternatively, you can find us by going around the hotel Oro Blanco in the other direction – If you are facing the hotel, turn to the right and walk to the end of the building. After the last shop on your left is a pedestrian alley cutting through the block. Follow this and at the end turn to the left again. You will see us right in front of you.

If finding us by car then look for Calle Victor Zurita Soler. This is a small cul-de-sac, where you will find the Hotel Piramides.  Access to Calle Victor Zurita Soler is from Av. Santiago Puig.

Do you have free parking nearby?

If you are driving to us, you will find several streets nearby where you can park your car for free.  Unfortunately during the weekdays this area does become quite busy so you may need to explore a few options. There are many possibilities within 2 minutes walk of the dive centre, though.

In front of the Hotel Oro Negro is a public car park.  The Oro Negro is located next door to the Oro Blanco, and we are located at the back of the Hotel Oro Blanco.

Alternatively, in front of the Hotel Oro Blanco is a roundabout (featuring a statue of some whales) with three roads coming off it.  The road which leads directly away from the Oro Blanco – Calle Llanos de Troya – is a very long road with free parking all along it on both sides.

Lastly, on this same roundabout is a large dirt patch which is used as free parking which has two access points, one by the roundabout with the whales, and another by the next roundabout at the bottom of the hill.

I’ve had a break from diving but would like to get back in the water - what should I do?

Depending on the amount of diving you have done before and the length of time that you have not dived we would recommend one of two ‘refresher’ programs.

If you have lots of prior experience the you will probably find that, just like riding a bike, scuba skills come back to you quite quickly.  Alternatively if you have little experience, but have dived within the last year, then likewise you will probably not need too much practice in order to remember everything.

In these cases we offer a single beach dive with one of our instructors.  The dive will be very easy and shallow, and you will have opportunity to practice a variety of basic diver skills as you wish.  This program can be completely tailored to suit your needs so it doesn’t make a difference if you would like to spend the entire dive practicing your skills, or if you would rather simply swim around and look at the fish. Discuss your needs and desires with your instructor and they will accommodate.

Click here for more details of our refresher programme.

If you have had a significantly longer break from diving and think you have forgotten more than you remember then it would be more prudent to spend the whole day bringing yourself back up to speed.  The Scuba Review program is basically the entire Open Water course condensed into one day’s worth of activities.  You will review the Open Water course theory using the Course exam as a guide, and you will make two beach dives where you will run through the complete skill circuit as well as spending plenty of time putting those skills into practice during underwater tours.

Whichever program you take, we guarantee that you will feel confident to join the other divers on our boat trips  once you have finished your (re)training.

How do I decide which dive centres are safe to dive with?

We have all heard horror stories of dive centres/dive professionals who act dangerously and irresponsibly.  Unfortunately if you dive long enough, you will almost certainly end up with a few such stories of your own.  It shouldn’t happen that a dive centre is able to operate without consideration of their customers’ safety, but it does.

There are a few things which you can look out for to help gauge the level of care you will receive from a dive operation.  Before you book, make a few inquiries:

  1. Ask the dive centre if they carry emergency oxygen and first aid supplies which will be readily accessible while you are diving. They will say yes, so ask to see it.  If it is not within sight before you enter the water, do not enter the water.
  2. Will you have surface support? The sea can be powerful and unforgiving. It is imperative that someone on the surface is providing active visual support and is ready to leap into action in the event of an emergency, or even just an unexpected current.  Many dive centres will take you to a dive site in a boat, only to have the boat skipper guide you in the water too! Who is making sure the boat doesn’t drift away? Who is able to come to your aid if you are unable to return to the boat?  Even when diving from shore surface support is still crucial – if you do not return at the pre-agreed place at the pre-agreed time then someone needs to begin searching for you.  A dedicated member of staff providing active visual support can lend assistance when the plan goes wrong, whether it is directing you to an easy exit point, enlisting the assistance of a nearby boat, or calling out the coastguard!
  3. How is the dive kit? You can tell a lot about a dive centre by the rental kit it is handing out.  If everything is brand new then ask about how old the operation is?  Probably the dive centre is quite new, which isn’t necessarily a problem so long as the staff are knowledgeable in the local environment.  If everything is very old, worn out, mis-matched and thread-bare then this tells you immediately that the dive centre does not place a high priority on providing you with good quality equipment, and so what other areas of your safety are they willing to compromise on by saving a little bit of money (NB: Blood stains should set alarm bells ringing!!).  Kit which is well used certainly indicates experience, but if it is broken do not accept it. There should be an adequate enough selection that you do not dive with equipment which does not fit you well.
  4. How is the life-support dive kit? By this, we mean primarily the tanks and regulators. there are well established dive-industry regulations regarding how regularly tanks and regulators are serviced to ensure adequate performance.  Typically, Scuba regulators will need to be inspected and serviced, at a minimum, once a year.  The same is true for breathing gas cylinders.  When this work is completed a certificate is issued recording the work done.  You can, and should, ask to see certificates for the equipment you will use.  If they are not shown to you, be suspicious.
  5. How does the air taste? Before you book a dive, ask to smell and taste the air from the bottle you will use. It is always a bit funny breathing through a regulator, and a slight taste from the plastic in your mouth is to be expected.  The air (or Nitrox, Trimix,Heliair or Heliox) should ultimately smell and taste completely neutral.

Do you make boat dives or shore dives?

Thanks to our dedicated dive boat, we make two guided dives by boat every day with an optional third dive if we have at least two people interested.  There are one or two very nice shore dives to be found around the island, in locations out of range for our boat, so occasionally we plan a special day of shore diving in order to visit these.  These are done only by special arrangement and with agreement from all of our guests.

Do boat dives cost more?

Nope.  There are a number of dive centres around the island who charge a supplement for making boat dives – this is because they do not own their own boat, and need to charter spaces for you on somebody else’s boat.

This is a bit risky for you to book a dive this way, as the dive centre who is chartering spaces will have no say in what dive site is being visited.  Furthermore if the owners of the boat get a last minute booking of their own it is entirely possible that you will be kicked off their boat in favour of their guests.  If your dive centre is unable to find a suitable replacement vessel on which to charter spaces, you are back to shore diving.

Do you always carry 1st aid supplies and Emergency Oxygen?

Always, and we check it every day before we head off diving.  As long as there are no divers in the water, ask and we will show it to you.  We have three complete emergency O2kits, as well as at least one 50 litre O2 bottle in our special steel-lined tank-filling room, so that we are always able to ensure that the bottles are topped up immediately when the pressure gets a little low.

Can I buy SCUBA equipment from your shop?

Yes, we sell a wide variety of scuba equipment.  Every item has been specifically selected based on its individual merits, so whatever you are looking for, what we have in stock are only the products which we believe in.

Beginner Diver

I’ve never dived before but I would like to try... what are my options?

We take people for their first experience underwater on an almost daily basis.  If you would like to try diving without enrolling on the full course to obtain a licence, then we would start you off with PADI’s Discover Scuba Diving program.

We have two different methods available for delivering this program, so you can choose the one which appeals most to you:

Option 1 – Beach dive:

For your first dive, PADI’s training standards stipulate a maximum depth of 6 metres.  During this dive you will learn some basic skills which will help you to become familiar with using the equipment, and you will be taken on an underwater tour lasting 45 minutes.  We conduct this dive in the afternoons from the nearby Playa Las Vistas.

We will meet at our dive centre to meet your instructor and prepare the equipment.  When we are ready we will take you to the beach where you will be given a thorough briefing explaining everything you need to know to complete the dive.  You can ask your instructor any questions you may have, and let them put you at ease as they guide you through your first breaths underwater!

The dive itself is focused around a breakwater which serves as an artificial reef for a host of marine species.

After the dive we will bring you back to our dive centre to change, have a shower and review our library of fish books to discuss with your instructor what species you have just seen.

We will register this activity with PAD, and they will then give you credit towards the Open Water Course which will last for 12 months – meaning that if you choose to go on with your training and get a licence to dive within the next year , the work which you have already done will count towards this training.

Option 2 – Pool training and boat dive:

The second option is to complete your initial dive in our swimming pool.  With dive one successfully completed in the comfort of the pool, PADI’s standards allow a second dive to a maximum depth of 12 metres.  For this dive we will take you out on our boat where you will make a dive at one of the many beautiful dive sites which we take divers to enjoy every day.

You will be one on one with your instructor for this activity, and will get to experience the same type of diving conditions that certified divers get to enjoy.

this dive will also be registered with PADI and will provide you with the same credit towards your further training in the next 12 months.

Learn more about Discover Scuba Diving here.

I would like to learn to dive... where/when/how do I begin my training?

If you would like to obtain a licence to dive then the first step is the PADI Open Water Certification.  This course teaches you the fundamentals of diving.  The course takes three days and is divided into knowledge development, confined water training and open water dives.

You will receive a manual, which you keep, which contains all of the information which you need in order to learn to dive.  You will review this information with your instructor, and ultimately will be tested on what you have learned so that your instructor is able to identify and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

You will spend a few hours in our training pool, learning the basic practical skills necessary to conduct dives safely, and use all of the equipment which you need for diving.

During the second and third day of the course you will make a total of four open water dives (dives in the sea) with your instructor – two from the local beach and two from our boat.  During these dives your instructor will test that you are capable of repeating the exercises you have learned, whilst giving you the opportunity to put your new skills into practice by diving into this new and wonderful environment.

After the course you will receive your Open Water Certification which allows you to dive to 18 metres, is recognised worldwide, and never expires.

Learn more about the Open Water Course here.

I’ve heard that you can learn to dive online, is this true?

PADI provide the theoretical portion of their diver training for a wide range of courses online.  They call this eLearning.  You need to sign up on their website, and before you begin learning it is imperative that you specify which dive centre you are going to complete the training with.

To learn more about eLearning, click here.

Click here to enter the eLeaning portal, already affiliated with Aqua-Marina

You will need to pay PADI for this service, but you will have permanent access to the training materials, so you can go back and review what you learned in the past whenever you feel you need to.

Once you have completed all of the theory training online, you will be presented with a form outlining your performance which you need to print off and bring with you when you begin your practical training.

Once you are here, you will receive a discounted rate for the course since we will not need to teach you the theory section of the course, and this will also limit the amount of time you need to spend at the dive centre – freeing up some of your holiday time for other pursuits.

To help you understand completely here are our pro’s and con’s for PADI eLeaning as we see things:


More time to study – when you study from home, you can choose when to start, meaning you can give yourself months to get through the material and you have plenty of time to digest everything which is being presented to you.

Better preparation – it is our experience that students who study through eLearning typically have a much better understanding of the material when they begin the course than somebody who signs up whilst on holiday and has no time to review the training material.

More free time on holiday – if you enroll in a course whilst on holiday then you may only have one or two evenings to study, and this takes away from valuable holiday time.  Get all the studying out of the way before you come and then you don’t have to worry about finding the time for it whilst you are away.


Cost – Studying through eLearning does work out slightly more expensive.  For us the cost of teaching someone to dive mostly comes from the practical elements – it costs very little to teach the theory sections of the course, so we are unable to deduct as much from the course as you have already paid to PADI.  That said, for the extra holiday time and the stress-free approach we think it is more than worth it to sign up for eLearning.

I’m not a good swimmer, can I still dive?

It is possible to dive without being a strong swimmer.  After all, the main idea of swimming is to keep you head above the surface, whereas diving on the other hand…

That said, to go diving we are putting ourselves into water which is too deep to stand so an ability to swim would always be desirable.

If you just want to try scuba diving then it is not a requirement that you can swim, however, typically people who cannot swim are unable to relax whilst in water (quite understandably, I might add), and this can create psychological barriers to diving.  If you are a non-swimmer but adamant that you would like to try diving then our advise would be to start in a swimming pool (the shallow end) so that you can give it a go, and hopefully get used to the sensations and gain trust in the equipment, all in an environment where you know you can just stand up and breath fresh air whenever you want to.

If you intend to obtain a licence to dive, I’m afraid there are elements of the course which test you swimming and workmanship abilities, so to become a certified diver it is required as well as recommended.

I would like to learn to dive, where do I start?

If you would like to obtain a licence to dive then the first step is the PADI Open Water Certification.  This course teaches you the fundamentals of diving.  The course takes three days and is divided into knowledge development, confined water training and open water dives.

You will receive a manual, which you keep, which contains all of the information which you need in order to learn to dive.  You will review this information with your instructor, and untimately will be tested on what you have learned so that your instructor is able to identify and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

You will spend a few hours in our training pool, learning the basic practical skills necessary to conduct dives safely, and use all of the equipment which you need for diving.

During the second and third day of the course you will make a total of four Open Water dives (dives in the sea) with your instructor – two from the local beach and two from our boat.  During these dives your instructor will test that you are capable of repeating the excursuses you have learned, whilst giving you the opportunity to put your new skills into practice by diving into this new and wonderful environment.

After the course you will receive your Open Water Certification which allows you to dive to 18 metres, is recognised worldwide, and never expires.

I‘ve completed my Open Water Course and wish to progress - what’s the next step?

The next step after the Open Water course is the PADI Advanced Open Water Course.  This course is much less intense than the Open Water as you already know how to dive.  The focus of the Advanced Course is to show you about different environments which you may find yourself diving in; teach you about different disciplines of diving which exist and give you a taste of a range of different underwater activities so that you become more aware of what diving has to offer, whilst becoming more skillful and knowledgeable about diving.

The course is comprised of five open water dives.  You have to make one dive focusing on Underwater Navigation, expanding on the compass usage skills which you learned about in the Open water Course, and teaching you about ‘natural navigation’ techniques so that you can find your way more effectively by simply paying attention to the environment around you.

You also have to make a deep dive, since this qualification will certify you to dive to 30 metres.  During the deep dive you will review how increased pressure affects us underwater, and how to plan and execute deep dives safely and effectively.

The other three dives are up to you to select.  There are a number of different options including Peak Performance Buoyancy (definitely recommended!!), Nitrox Diving, Wreck diving, Drift diving, Night diving, Boat diving to name but a few.  You can discuss your personal interests with your instructor and seek their advise on which dives would provide the most benefit for you.

I‘m interested in the Advanced Course, but don’t consider myself to be ‘Advanced’... should I get more experience first?

Actually no – the word ‘Advanced’ is perhaps a little misleading here…  It is our belief that ‘Open Water Plus’ would be a better name for this course.  The Advanced course is not FOR Advanced divers, but it is designed to make you INTO an Advanced Diver – a diver with superior knowledge and understanding of the various underwater activities and environments available to you.

At its most basic level, the Advanced Course is five dives with an instructor by your side ready to give you helpful pointers all along the way to help you to adopt the best practice in the water.  The time when you will benefit the most from this is when you have just finished your Open water course and are completely new to the sport.  At this stage you stand to learn the most from your instructor, and can avoid falling into bad habits which then become difficult to break later on.

If you have an Open water certification then you are ready for the Advanced Course!

I’m an Advanced Diver and I want to learn more - what are my options?

At any stage during your dive career, you may wish to learn more about a particular aspect of diving – click here to read up on PADI’s Specialty Courses which you can take at Aqua-Marina.

Now that you have learned how to dive in open water, and expanded on your knowledge base during the Advanced course, whilst becoming a more accomplished and experienced diver, the next step is to start looking outside yourself at the people around you.

Our sport does take us into a harsh environment – one which we aren’t remotely physically designed for!  This means that constant vigilance and safe practices are crucial.  Despite everybody’s best efforts, however, occasionally diving accidents are inevitable.  When the worst happens its is hugely beneficial to have skilled rescuers available on the scene.

With the PADI Rescue Diver certification you will learn how to spot a diver who is experiencing stress during, or even before, a dive; how to lend assistance to make sure that their stress does not escalate into an emergency, and how to deal with a  wide variety of emergencies should the worst occur.

This course opens your eyes to the world around you – until now all of your training has very much focused on you – learning new skills and practicing them until they are perfect and you are competent at looking after yourself.  Now you will begin to see the other divers around you, and will be in a position to help other divers experiencing any kind of distress.

Its hard work, but if you are ready for it, then most people generally agree that this is the most rewarding recreational diver course out there.

I’m considering turning this into a career - how would I go about this?

To begin working in the dive industry, you need to get certified as a PADI Divemaster.  To begin training you must first be a rescue diver with a valid first aid qualification (within 2 years).  You must also have at least 40 logged dives.

There are two options for completing your Divemaster training.  You can do the intensive course which takes anywhere between 8 and 12 days, depending mostly on prepared you are at the beginning and how well you are able to work through all of the course material.

Alternatively, if you plan to work in the industry then we would recommend completing your training through an Internship.  During the internship you will become a member of our team and so will get first-hand experience of what it is like to work at a busy dive centre.

More information on Divemaster internships can be found on our website here.

and also further down this FAQ, in the Divemaster Subsection


What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash, credit card, PayPal and bank transfer.

Credit card payments can be done directly or over the phone (tell us your phone number and a convenient time to call).

For more information on payment methods consult the next question: ‘Do I need to pay a deposit?’

Do I need to pay a deposit?

We ask that all guests pay a deposit in order to confirm their activities.

Recreational Divers, Snorkelers and Discover Scuba Divers are asked to pay €25 per person.

Student divers enrolling on a course are asked to pay €50 per person.

If you are already in Tenerife then your deposit can be paid directly with cash or credit card.

Alternatively, if you are not yet in Tenerife then the deposit can be paid in one of three ways:

1) Via bank transfer:

Santander bank
Payee: Stingray Diving S.L.
IBAN: ES29 0049 5740 4522 1663 7891

2) Via telephone: if you email us with your phone number and tell me a convenient time to call (

3) Via paypal: by using the email address –

Lastly, if you reserve activities using our online booking form then you will be prompted with these options online.

Do I need to pay in advance or can I pay when I arrive?

We do ask that our guests pay a deposit, and it is an option to pay for everything up front if you would like to.  However we usually do not ask for final payment until you finish diving with us as your plans may change during your holiday, and perhaps you end up making more or less diving than you had initially planned.  If you pay at the end then you will be given the best deal we can offer based on the activities you have actually done.

What is your refund policy?

We offer a 100% refund if you cancel any activity with us over 48 hours before the start time of the planned activity.

If you cancel your activity within 24 hours of the scheduled start time then we will hold your deposit to cover our costs.

Divemaster Training

How can I be sure that I will receive good training from you?

The role of a Divemaster is multi-faceted and includes a range of different activities and responsibilities around the dive operation.  Few would argue, however, that the primary responsibility will be to dive: to lead groups of divers around a dive site safely whilst finding and sharing points of interest.

At Aqua-Marina, providing these quality dive experiences is what we do best.  We dive two or three times a day, every day.  All non-training dives are boat dives, so we can explore the widest possible range of dive sites.  We limit group sizes to a maximum of one guide per six divers, and try to divide divers into different groups based on their experience level and general dive skill.  This means that experienced divers do not be inconvenienced by inexperienced divers, and the inexperienced divers get proper care and attention from their guide.

Another important role that Divemasters play in the industry is that of a teaching assistant during courses.  As a busy PADI training facility, we teach the complete range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba through to Instructor, and have almost always got at least one course running.  During the Divemaster internship you will assist in a variety of PADI courses which will help you to refresh your own skills and dive theory; you will witness real students learning new skills for the first time; you will learn how to identify students who are experiencing difficulties as well as learn how to help them to overcome these issues – very valuable skills when you come to work in the industry.

You will work alongside our entire team of highly skilled, motivated and personable instructors, each of whom have their own strengths, experiences and personal styles which you will benefit from.

If you are serious about working in the dive industry then the Divemaster Internship at a busy dive centre is the only proper training there is.  Aqua-Marina is the busiest and most dynamic dive centre in the Canary Islands, yet small enough to retain the all-important ‘personal’ atmosphere.  You will not find better Divemaster training anywhere else in Tenerife.

Like all PADI Courses, the Divemaster course comprises a list of ‘performance requirements’ which a student must meet before progressing to the next stage, and ultimately finishing the training.

If you are in a hurry, or if you would like to be a Divemaster but do not intend to actually work in the dive industry, then this course can be completed in approximately 10 days.  During this time you will need to assist your instructor in delivering a variety of PADI programs.  If it happens that the appropriate programs are not being run during your course then the scenario may have to be mocked up (as is routinely the case with Divemaster training “Academies”).

The intensive course will still teach you all of the skills and knowledge which you would need to complete the training, but misses out on hands-on experience with actual customers.

By enrolling in an internship you will become a member of our dive team.  You will learn from each and every member of staff at the dive centre, and you will always be dealing with real divers and student-divers.

You will experience the dynamic role of a dive professional, and develop you solution-thinking skills as actual problems arise.  You will dive alongside experienced divers and complete novices; the fearless and the terrified; and each of the many people you encounter on a daily basis will teach you a valuable lesson about how to handle such people in the future when you enter the exciting and rewarding world of the dive professional.

What is the difference between the intensive Course and the Internship programme?

If you wish to be a Divemaster simply for the accomplishment and satisfaction then the intensive course is ideal for you.  It can be completed in around 10 days (exact time depends largely on your ability to successfully complete all of the training) and provides you with a certificate which means that, wherever you go diving in the future, you will be recognised for your superior skill, ability and knowledge of sport diving..

Learn more about Intensive Divemaster Training here.

If you intend to actually work in the diving industry in the future then you will only get the necessary training in real-world scenarios by living them first hand, as you will during an internship.

As employers of Divemasters and Diving instructors, we can tell you that the value which WE place on Divemasters coming through an internship program is immense!

Learn more about the Internship here.

I’ve heard of dive centres who focus on Divemaster training, would I not be better off with one of these centres?

Short answer: No.  Here’s why:

It may seem like a good idea – if they only (or at least primarily) teach Divemasters, then they must be pretty good at it, right?

Wrong.  A Divemaster working in the industry will be dealing with real customers.  Some will be great divers, some will be terrible!  Prior experience with real customers during your training is the only way to learn what are the warning signs to look out for; what are the ways to help a diver encountering a difficulty; and what is the way to handle highly experienced divers who expect nothing but the highest standards of provision.

Furthermore, it is common that such “Academies” do not even own a boat!  Without actual customers to take for underwater tours, what is the need for such an expensive bit of kit?

A Divemaster will have to guide divers in a variety of conditions ranging from the tranquil shallow beach dives to the deeper and more challenging environments.  You don’t want your first experience of diving in a strong current to be when you have a group of divers relying on you for their safety and enjoyment.  How can you possibly expect to get this training by only diving the same two or three beach-dive sites day after day with the same group of Divemaster trainees accompanying you?

At Aqua-Marina, diving is our bread and butter.  We make two or three boat dives EVERY DAY.  We visit a range of dive sites and during your internship you will become familiar with the best diving spots in the south of Tenerife.

During an internship with us you will DIVE!  You will start off by simply following the dive guide, learning tips and techniques along the way as they share their thought process with you, so that you get to understand why they make the decisions which they make.  As you progress through your training, you will begin to take a more active role in the guiding, while your instructor gradually steps back allowing you more and more control of the activities.

When all of your training is done alongside other Divemaster trainees there are no real divers or students encountering actual difficulties.  There is no variety in the work and a poor selection of diving opportunities.  Hardly adequate training for someone who will be qualified to take responsibility of other people in the water!  This completely negates the benefit of completing the course via an internship. 

The Divemaster course can be delivered in this fashion in about 10 days (see Intensive Divemaster course) so spending 8 weeks doing it is simply ludicrous!

Our Affiliates

We are pleased to work in association with a number of other companies and organisations who are instrumental to our ongoing operations.  Here you will find links to some of the major brands who we work with and in whom we trust.

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Our Suppliers

We are pleased to carry equipment from some of the biggest names in the Diving industry.

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