Learning to freedive is perhaps one of the mot unique, beautiful and addictive things the Epic Gap Year team have had the opportunity to do, and it has quickly become an obsession during our travels.
So when it comes to the best place to learn to freedive and gain a freedive certification, we have plenty of choice. However, if there’s one spot that stands out in terms of quality and experience it would have to be the Philippines.
This gem of Asia is bursting with relatively unexplored towns, heaps less busy with tourists than its neighbouring countries of Thailand and Indonesia (and to be honest, most of South East Asia!).
Being separated from the hustle and bustle of the backpacker trail allows you to get back to what travel should be about — embracing new cultures, meeting new people and expanding your outlook on life.
Not only does a trip to the Philippines cover all that, but learning to freedive in the Philippines will open up a whole new world to you. One where you can relax and challenge yourself and your limits, as well as exploring the diverse and mesmerising underwater world.
72% of the planet is water, after all!
Based just 15 minutes from Cebu Airport, you’ll find your way from plane to ocean within 30 minutes of stepping foot into the Philippines. No matter if you’re just discovering the world of freediving, taking your training further or just wanting to get stuck in we’ve got the full range of SSI freedive qualifications for you to choose from.
Not only are our Philippines freediving partners of world class quality (including an Australian national champion and China’s deepest woman!), but they literally wrote the SSI book on freedive training, so you’ll be in safe hands with some of the best instructors in the business! You’ll be surrounded by incredible individuals with an intense passion for the sport who’ll be more than happy to guide you into the addictive world of breath-hold diving.
“Calming, challenging, amazing – I’m hooked”
Learning to freedive in the Philippines means really immersing yourself in the sport, but in the late afternoons and evenings you’re also free to explore the local area — which is relatively undeveloped in terms of tourism — allowing you to get to know the locals, sample the amazing local cuisine and really get involved in this beautiful and rather underated country.
We also highly recommend adding an extra day onto your stay here to head down to Oslob, where you can practice your freedive skills amongst the whale sharks! It’s an incredible bucket list item you can’t afford to miss. This day trip also incorporates some gorgeous waterfalls, so it’s well worth tacking onto your itinerary.
You’ll leave with a new-found confidence in the water and some amazing new friends, probably already planning your return to this gorgeous part of the world!
Keen surfer? We also offer a surf survival freediving course in the Philippines to help you safely and confidently deal with heavy hold-downs and let you push your limits and enjoy your sessions even more!
|Course Options||Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Master Freediver|
- Free Diver Level 1 — Get stuck into the world of freediving with no need for any previous experience. Utilizing the classroom, pool and ocean, you’ll gain the skills needed to comfortably breath hold, equalise and dive up to 20 metres underwater.
- Free Diver Level 2 — If 20 metres isn’t enough for you or you want to build a better understanding of the sport and variety of techniques and skills, the Level 2 course will get you there. Dive up to 30 metres and learn the skills needed for thoracic stretches and advanced equalisation techniques, allowing a more flexible chest and more comfortable, longer breath holds.
- Free Diver Level 3 — If you’re hooked on the challenge, Level 3 takes yet another step up, allowing you to head down to 40 metres. Advanced techniques of inhale and exhale alongside some amazing science will build upon your existing freediving skills and push your limits even more.
- Expert Apnea Combo (inc Level 1, 2 & 3) — If you want to jump in with both feet (pun intended!) then this is the choice for you. Over 21 days you’ll tackle level 1, 2 AND 3 and really get stuck into this epic sport. With such a focused amount of time and training you’ll soon find your freediving skills taking you even further than you first imagined.
- Learn to safely and confidently complete breath-hold dives
- Understand the science behind the sport
- Enjoy the warm, clear water of the Philippines
- Instruction from world class freedivers
- Globally recognized qualification
- Opportunity to build on your existing skills and advance a level… or two… or three!
- All equipment
- Course materials
- Daily yoga sessions
- Freediving log book
- Full RAID qualification
- Advanced First Aid Certification (Master Freediver only)
- Level 1 – 4 sessions
- Level 2 – 4 sessions
- Level 3 – 8 sessions
- Master Freediver – 28 sessions
- Level 1 – 2 days
- Level 2 – 2 days
- Level 3 – 4 days
- Master Freediver – 14 days
Level 3 also requires a CPR/O2/advanced resuscitation course, which can be included for an additional £39