Ocean Adventure

How to Get Your Scuba Certification at Catalina

A camper open water scuba diving, signaling that they are okay.

Nearly three-quarters of Earth’s surface is covered by water. And most of it is under-discovered. Having your scuba certification unlocks an endless potential for discovery. 

One of the many perks of Catalina Sea Camp is that you can get your diving certification at camp! Known to be one of the most beautiful and popular spots to dive, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity right in your backyard thanks to our private beaches. Read how you can obtain your scuba certification all while having an incredible summer camp experience. 

Scuba Diving at Catalina Island

The waters of Catalina have been attracting divers for over 100 years. And it’s no wonder why. The bright and dynamic sea life in these crystal clear waters is unmatched—with bright orange garibaldi, giant black sea bass, moray eels, bat rays, leopard sharks, octopus, spider crabs, spiny lobster, California sea lions, barracuda, kelp bass, and an array of invertebrates. Oh my!

Because of its dynamic habitats and thriving ecosystems, Catalina Island has become one of the most popular spots to dive. But not to worry, our secluded summer camp is located on private beaches at Toyon Bay and Fox Landing on Catalina Island. So you can get your NAUI certification if you’re enrolled in our 3-week program in waters full of fish, not fellow divers. 

Two scuba divers using GoPros.

NAUI-Certified Scuba Diving Lessons

Off the coast of our private beaches, we offer a wide variety of NAUI-certified scuba lessons for everyone, at any level. For new scuba enthusiasts, we offer an NAUI Open Water Scuba Diver course where campers gain their open water certification that can be used all over the world!

3-week campers looking to grow beyond their open water certification can take advantage of our NAUI Advanced Diver, NAUI Master Diver, NAUI Rescue Diver, and NAUI Night Diver courses. In each lesson, divers build on the skills they developed in previous classes.

There’s even something for those who want to test the waters. Our Try Dive course is for campers looking for an introduction to scuba before pursuing certification. To simply dip their toe in, if you will.

Marine Biology at Catalina Island

What’s exciting about Catalina Sea Camp is once you’ve seen all these incredible fish and ecosystems you can study them in our different marine biology labs. Study oceanography while building your own remote-operating vehicle (ROV), which will help you explore the ocean’s depths from dry land. While in the lab, learn what makes invertebrates so cool and what makes an octopus so different from a sea star. 

NAUI Scuba Ecologist

After learning to dive at camp and mastering open water scuba, campers can take our scuba ecologist course to combine the best of both worlds. Divers learn to identify and record local fish, invertebrates, and algae species underwater while comparing different habitats. Underwater survey skills are practiced at different parts of the island—an incredible experience and skill to have for any budding marine biologist!

CIMI Dive Club

Catalina Sea Campers (and alumni) that love scuba diving are able to join the rich community of our CIMI Dive Club. Here the CIMI and the Catalina Sea Camp community (former, present, and future) connect around an interest in the ocean and diving. Monthly virtual meetings feature a guest speaker working in a field related to diving, marine science, and/or conservation. Plus, these meetings benefit as a time to connect with fellow peers and plan dive meet-ups!

Three campers in scuba diving gear.

Get Ready to Scuba Dive at Summer Camp 

If you’re interested in learning more about the incredible marine biology activities and scuba diving certificates we offer for our 3-week campers, please reach out! We’d love to answer any questions. 

But if all of this has gotten you and you excited about the endless opportunities this summer has to offer, we’ve got good news! There are still openings in our 2022 camp sessions. Check out the dates and rates for both our one-week and three-week sessions—be sure to enroll fast, we already have a few waitlists!