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Diving With…. Pro Dive International – Mexico and Dominican Republic

American DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Susann Seifert

What is the name of your business?

Pro Dive International – Mexico & Dominican Republic

What is your role within the business?

Marketing Manager

How long has the business operated for?

15 years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

For 8 years in several locations around the world. I’m a certified Rescue and Nitrox Diver.

Photo: Stefan Heer

What is your favorite type of diving?

I love shark cleaning stations and being surrounded by big fish! Besides sharks, mantas, seals, dolphins & co., I also like lively colorful coral reefs with a current to simply drift along and enjoy.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

With Pro Dive, you can satisfy all the fancies of your diver heart within one vacation – the breath-taking highlights of Mexico and Dom Rep from one hand, hassle-free arrangements of your dive & relax package, a great choice of beach resorts with our dive centres located onsite, big fish, macro life, shallow dives and beautiful walls, free Nitrox, the magic of cenotes/ cavern dives, cultural trips to world-heritage sites, high safety standards, a multilingual team of instructors at all of our locations, airport pickup and shuttles. Pro Dive caters for everyone from beginner to pro (CDC), divers with disabilities, kids, groups, non-diving family. Everyone is welcome!

Photo: Gerald Nowak

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

Santa Rosa Wall in Cozumel/ Mexico clearly is my favourite dive here in the Mexican Caribbean – a spectacular vertical drop off with breath-taking formations of colourful corals, small caverns, overhangs, plenty of swim-throughs, sponges, and a diversity of marine life like huge lobsters, barracudas, Cozumel splendid toad fish (entirely endemic to Cozumel), black groupers, horse-eyed jacks, spotted eagle rays and turtles in about 18-25m depth. The corals seem to grow taller and the drop off gets steeper the further north you go. The current can be unpredictable and rapidly changing from medium to strong. A magical drift dive in all regards!

Photo: Stefan Heer

What types of diving are available in your location?

Deep, drift, wreck, cave and cavern, bull shark, reef diving… From newbie to pro and technical diver, anyone will find their favorite spot here.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

I can share my passion for diving, the ocean, marine life and the location itself by tickling our readers’ imagination about the unique highlights of our destinations, make them dream and want to join us for their next dive vacation. Furthermore, I get to meet many inspiring people and industry partners along the way who share the same passion, enjoy their fascinating stories, great achievements and visions.

Photo: Luis Javier Sandoval

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Among my small friends underwater, the Manti shrimp is my personal favorite – a fascinating creature. Among the larger ones, manta rays and sharks will need to fight for the top position.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Absolutely, as Pro Dive International keeps growing! We have just opened a new dive centre in Bayahibe/ Dominican Republic – the country’s hot spot for diving. Stay tuned for more exciting news! 😉

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

The moody weather! With the start of the hurricane season, we experienced rough seas, causing the harbor to be closed for safety reasons, which meant we couldn’t go out for local and wreck dives. However, here on the Riviera Maya/ Mexico, we are very fortunate to have the Cenotes on our doorstep – the largest freshwater cave system in the world and a truly unique experience! Hence, we switched local dives and scuba training from the ocean to the cenotes to ensure that all our divers and students had a great time, despite the weather conditions!

Photo: Duxy

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

All of our centres are actively involved! Pro Dive International is hands on when it comes to marine life conservation. In particular shark conservation has been one of Pro Dive’s major concerns. Not only do we support renowned organizations internationally, but actively the local project SAVING OUR SHARKS who focus specifically on research and protection of bull sharks on the Mexican Riviera Maya. Pro Dive has even adopted one of the females that come to visit us every year in winter to give birth! And our SharkSchool will be held for the third time from December 18-24, this year, to continue spreading education and awareness. Anyone is welcome to join!

We use biodegradable cleaning products and cups and participate in ocean cleaning days.

Furthermore, Pro Dive has achieved the PADI Green Star award (the first Mexican company), as well as several certificates of excellence recognizing their continued efforts and contribution toward the marine environment.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

Much more needs to be done in regards to the protection of the marine environment, in particular involving local communities, to educate and inspire, refuse plastic, make safe, sustainable seafood choices, take care of the beach. This responsibility lies in each one of us, however, with joined forces we can achieve more.

Photo: Luis Javier Sandoval

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Mexico is a bucket list destination holding many magical moments to tag off your list, like diving into the mystical Mayan cenotes to get mesmerized by stunning lightshows and beautifully decorated caverns, swimming with the largest fish on the planet – the whale shark, the encounter of majestic bull sharks, the high speed sardine hunt of the world’s fastest fish – the sailfish, the drift along Cozumel’s vibrant colourful reefs, named one of the Top10 in the world by Jacques Cousteau, the countless diving adventures to expect within one trip when combining the highlights of both Mexico’s Caribbean and Pacific-side with Socorro and Great Whites in Guadalupe, a visit of Mayan world heritage sites and one of the seven world wonders, and last but not least, the refreshing facilities of our beach resorts to get yourself pampered.

The Dominican Republic has it all, as its slogan suggests: Beautiful beaches and reefs in Bayahibe, Saona, Catalina Island, Cayo Levantado, many wrecks and macro life, but also big fish – the humpback whales. You can either observe or swim with them during the winter months, when the entire North Atlantic humpback whale population migrates south to the Silver Bank – the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic, for mating and calving.

No matter your choice, adventure & fun await you with our team!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

www.prodiveinternational.com

reservations@prodiveinternational.com, or info@prodiveinternational.com

www.idcmexico.com

Mobile: +52 1 984 745 0763

Facebook:

@prodiveinternational 

@prodivemexico

@prodivedominicanrepublic

@prodivemexicoacademy

Twitter: twitter.com/Prodivemexico

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Diving with…  Pablo Calderon Cadiz, Takata Experience, Mahaual, Mexico

CJ and Mike

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Pablo Calderon Cadiz

What is the name of your business?

Takata Experience

What is your role within the business?

Owner / General Manager

How long has the business operated for?

6 years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I have been diving for 16 years; I am a PADI IDC Staff Instructor

What is your favorite type of diving?

I really enjoy all types of dive but deep dives and dives with crazy topography are by far my favourites.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

We are a dive center and also a research center, so we merge both into one big idea.  When you dive with us you also benefit the reef, as we put part of that money into our restoration program. We are also one of the only dive centers in the world that has a full research center working together with us. That’s why our official hashtag is #Divewithpurpose

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

My favorite dive in Mahahual is Piratas, because of the beautiful topography and the amount of big animals you can see, such as turtles, manatees and sharks.

What types of diving are available in your location?

One of the best things about Mahahual is that there are dive sites for all levels, from shallow reefs with beautiful life to walls that can go down to 150 meters within 5 minutes from the shore. You can always choose what you want, if you are looking for biodiversity, topography, shallow sand patches or very deep walls, we have them all.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

The diving industry is an industry that is constantly evolving and from my role I am able to always bring that to Takata.  I am always looking for ways to create a solid business culture, to make sure the people that work for us can always develop themselves from a professional perspective, but also from a personal one. We have created many different programs that are unique to us, where we merge the dive and research center. All that is possible because I can take those decisions. To see how your dream becomes true is the biggest reward ever.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Sharks are my number 1, and if I can be more specific, Hammerheads!!!

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

I feel that many dive centers in the world don’t  know yet what makes them unique, so the way for them to attract people is to charge very low prices, sometimes that is very difficult, because the one that is next to you can charge 30% less than you for the ¨same service¨. I believe we should always find what is unique to us and to create a value on it. We should all focus on the professionalization of our industry.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

As I mentioned before, we have a full research center, our director has 2 master degrees and our 2 biologist both have PhDs. Actually our research center was name as Actor for the UN Decade On Ecosystems Restoration for the next 10 years.

Our research center works together with the Mexican government to ensure a sustainable development in the area and to implement big scale conservation and restoration projects in Mahahual.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

As we are a new company, there are always exciting thing coming our way, in these years we became an IDC center, UN partners, we did a small hotel and we are looking forward to develop our research center even more.  We would like to become the biggest research center in Mexico which is very ambitious and to become leaders in diving, restoration and everything that involve costal ecosystems. We dream big because we love what we do.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

I think the industry is doing ok but not great.  For sure freediving has grown a lot in the last 10-15 years. There are several organisations around the world who do great work, but we need more people and businesses looking to do the exceptional.   Sometimes talking with diving friends around the world, we all agree that this is probably one of the few industries where the prices we charge are the same or even cheaper than 5 or 10 years ago. We urgently need to proprofessionalize the industry and put the correct value on our product and services.

Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

If you guys are looking for a unique immersive experience where you can mix your passion for diving with deep understanding of marine and costal ecosystem, then we are your choice.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

You guys can follow us on IG: Takata.experience 

FB: Takata Experience                                                                                

Our website is: www.takataexperience.com

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Discover the Best of Belize with Dive Worldwide

American DTA Team

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This June marks the 25th anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef becoming a World Heritage Site! To celebrate, Dive Worldwide have rounded up their top trips to Belize which includes a resort-based stay, a liveaboard special and a twin-centre with neighbouring Guatemala – perfect for soaking up some culture. 

Reefs, Atolls & Mayan Ruins

The only English speaking country in Central America, Belize is warm, welcoming and offers unbelievable adventures. This gem has plenty for divers from incredible nature and topside activities to magical diving opportunities. Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world and three of the four atolls in the western hemisphere making it a popular choice for divers.

If you missed the Dive Worldwide Belize talk in January you can catch up here.

Belize Discovered

Spend a week diving the remarkable barrier reef from Ambergris Caye before enjoying a few nights exploring the jungle with its Mayan ruins and caves.

Underwater there’s plenty on offer, with canyons, drop offs and swim throughs in addition to a unique topography and relatively easy conditions. You’ll be accompanied by a kaleidoscope of reef fish as you marvel at the array of sea fans and sponges adorning the seabed. Highlights include nurse shark, stingray, grouper, angelfish, turtle and dolphin. 

You then head off-the-beaten-track in land where you stay at an eco lodge in the heart of the Belizean jungle. Here there are a multitude of activities on offer including hiking and cave tours or you can immerse yourself in Mayan culture and visit a number of nearby ruins for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 13 days

Price from: £2,945 per person

Belize Liveaboard

Dive the Lighthouse and Turneffe Atolls from a liveaboard and experience the very best diving Belize has to offer. Located in the Lighthouse Reef there will be the opportunity to dive the Great Blue Hole. This atoll is full of marine life with angelfish, Creole wrasse, butterflyfish, barracuda and sponges found here.

Turneffe is the largest of the three atolls and offers a mixture of shallow reefs and sheer walls with a variety of reef fish and beautiful underwater scenery. Turtle, eagle ray, reef shark, snapper and jacks live on the healthy reefs. Dive sites of note include Half Moon Caye – another UNESCO World Heritage Site – and Painted Wall where you can find macro subjects such as ghostfish, crabs, blennies and invertebrates.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 10 days

Price from: £3,475 per person

Guatemala & Belize

Begin your holiday with some topside cultural discovery in Guatemala. This country packs a punch with its colonial architecture, Mayan ruins nestled in the verdant green jungle and stunning vistas. Don’t miss a visit to Lake Atilan, widely renowned for being one of the most beautiful lakes in the world with its volcanoes, thermal springs and incredible sunrises.

After a few days in Guatemala it’s time to go diving in Belize! Explore the barrier reef and spend time diving the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Hole – the largest of its kind in the world and one of the top reasons to visit Belize. Here the waters are crystal clear, the topography is impressive with large coral and rock formations and the marine life is prolific with reef and black-tip shark in addition to large grouper.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 14 days

Price from: £3,495 per person


If you want to experience the world class diving and topside highlights of spectacular Belize, contact the Dive Worldwide Team.

All prices are per person and include flights from the UK, liveaboard or accommodation, diving, most meals and airport transfers.

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