We Welcome ALL Levels

From Absolute Beginner to Freedive Instructor

Escape the typical. Experience the magical.

He has been with us since early 2016! Super passionate about teaching beginners the wonders of breath-hold diving! Besides teaching freediving, Edwin is also teaching our SSI ecology courses.

“On a single breath, you enter the mystical world of underwater. Blue. Fluid. Weightless. Colourful. And vibrant. Then you start becoming aware of your self. Of who you are.”

Edwin experienced numerous challenges in his freediving journey. He can relate and empathise with beginners and make them comfortable with the sea.

If you enter the magical world of freediving and Edwin is your first instructor. Congratulations! You will have such a fantastic adventure!

Edwin Castillon

The focus of the Freedive Academy Panglao;

In Panglao, we offer the freediving courses of the two leading freediving certification agencies; SSI and AIDA. SSI and AIDA are the most renowned, acknowledged and oldest international training agencies for freediving or breath-hold diving. Below you can learn more about SSI and AIDA as well as the freediving courses that we are offering. Working with SSI and AIDA will ensure that you will have a fun, safe, and professional freediving experience.


The 2 Freediving Certification Agencies we work with;

SSI Freediving

SSI is a globally-recognised scuba diving association that began training freedivers more than 10 years ago, and they are now the global leader in recreational freediving. The training agency Scuba Schools International became successful in the scuba diving industry by creating quality course materials and implementing progressive educational systems, and have now done the same with freediving. All SSI scuba and freediving courses provide students with digital training manuals and student videos which are designed to be both safe and fun. SSI offers four progressive freediving courses, as well as additional freediving speciality courses.

And because of the quality of the SSI Freediving Courses, their continued support and their many high-level education programs we’ve extended our service package and are we now a full-service SSI Freediving Centre. We now also offer via Swim Schools International the amazing Swim Teacher programs for when you want to combine your SSI Freediving Instructor course with a Swim Teacher course. Another professional option that we now offer is the mermaid instructor course. Make the most out of your stay and develop yourself as a real pro!


UPDATE: We are very proud to say that Scuba Schools International in January 2018 awarded us as the first and so far only freediving centre in the world the Diamond Status. The Diamond Status is granted to dive – and now freediving centre’s, who have proven over multiple years to offer high-level education programs, keep their staff trained at the highest levels, and maintain a high-quality education centre. For us, this is a big reward for all the hard work we did since we started the freediving centre in 2015.

SSI Freediving Courses
SSI Freediving Courses
AIDA International

AIDA International was founded in 1992 and is the global authority for competitive freediving. This association organises the most important international freediving competitions and verifies all freediving records. AIDA’s goals include further research and development of freediving techniques and science and the safe and effective training of recreational and competitive freedivers. AIDA International organises freediving courses into four levels. Each level teaches the diver progressively more advanced skills and has specific requirements to achieve certification.

Some questions we get frequently:

Why don’t you list any prices on your website?

Well, we do now for some courses, but in all honesty, we aren’t thrilled about it. This is simply because it can make booking your course or vacation more confusing, and possibly more expensive.

We are a big freediving centre, and our staff wants to help you to make your booking as easy and as convenient as possible – and this can also involve a package price. A package can be a discount for multiple people, a course including accommodation, a pick up at the airport or ferry terminal, a package including additional workshops to specialise yourself in a certain discipline. So whether you want to do a single course by yourself, or are interested in a vacation, contact us, and we’ll have an answer for you within hours.

You can teach AIDA, but you advise SSI?

Yes, that is correct. Even though we love AIDA, we rarely teach AIDA anymore. There are differences for instructors between the two agencies, but for the recreational courses, it really doesn’t matter if you take an SSI or AIDA course. From an SSI course, you can immediately cross-over to the next level AIDA and vice-versa. Both agencies recognise each other at a similar level.

The big difference for us is the study material. The AIDA courses are taught via a PowerPoint presentation, whereas the SSI courses start at home via digital home study. And it’s simple; the more you do at home, the more time we have for the cool stuff – the in-water training – the real reason why you are taking a freediving course.

For more information about the different levels, please check the page with the Freediving Courses Equivalent Chart.

SSI, AIDA, CMAS, PADI, Raid WSF, does it really matter?

No, not really, for the beginner or recreational freediver it doesn’t really matter which freediving agency they take. In the end, the only thing that really matters is, getting a qualified and skilled instructor.

Of course, there are big differences in the study materials, quality, professionalism, structure and knowledge, but there are good and bad instructors with each of the freediving agencies.

If you want to make money as a Freediving Instructor, maybe as a part-time or full-time instructor for a centre, and especially when you want to start your own centre, we would highly recommend going for an SSI Instructor Course. This simply because of the quality of study materials, the topics covered during the course and the support that SSI offers to instructors and centres. If you want to do a course for the extra knowledge about freediving, but maybe only teach somewhere occasionally in restaurants and such, an AIDA instructor course would be more than fine too.

This is how it is to take a Freediving Course with us in Panglao!

Beginner and Recreational Freediving Courses – Exploring a New World on One Breath!

Do you want to get a taste of what it is like to dive on a single breath?! Great, the Basic freediving course is an excellent way to start in the big blue. The Basic Freediving course is a 1-day introduction course, and is a lot of fun! During this day you will have a pool session in the morning, and in the afternoon we’ll take you diving in the ocean. In the classroom, we’ll discuss topics like breathing and breath-hold techniques, safety procedures, equalisation techniques, and we’ll work a bit on your skills. In the afternoon session, you the option to dive with us along our amazing house reef – one of the most beautiful coral walls of the island, or you can train on the line as the freedivers usually do.


Price per person: $175

Be sure to contact us, Group or Package Discount may apply.

The above price is including taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Be 10 years of age or older (with parent or guardian consent).

Be able to swim a distance of 25 meters without any swim or buoyancy aids.

Because the Basic Freediving Course is an introduction to freediving, you want to continue with your SSI Level 1 or AIDA**. When you do the course directly after the Basic Freediving Course, you’ll get a nice discount on the second-course price, since we’ll make this course day part of your SSI Level 1 freediving course.

Have a taste of freediving and find out what it’s really all about. The SSI Level 1 Freediving course takes 2,5 days wherein you will acquire the proper skills to freedive to depths up to 20 metres.

The SSI Level 1 Freediving Course is the first real freediving course and only from this course can you progress to Level 2. After the Basic Freediving Course, you still need to complete the Level 1 to progress to Level 2.

In this Level 1 Course, we will introduce you to the purest form of diving. With the help of our experienced and very knowledgeable instructors, your freediving experience will surely be amazing. Here you will learn more about the freediving safety procedures and pressure related issues. We’ll discuss the breathing and breath-hold techniques used by freedivers. We’ll teach you different relaxation techniques, and we’ll teach you all of this via open water sessions, pool sessions and classroom time. We will provide you with a certificate upon completion of the course. For sure a new and fantastic experience!


Price per person: $325

Be sure to contact us, Group or Package Discount may apply.

The above price is including taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Minimum 12 years old (with parent or guardian consent) and be able to swim.

Be able to swim a distance of 100 meters without any swim or buoyancy aids.

If you have the time; combine your level 1 course with a level 2 course! The Level 1 and 2 Combo is by far our most popular package, and is guaranteed to be a lot of fun, excitement and deep diving!

With a level 2 course, you will get advanced equalisation techniques, and do you learn more techniques to stay down longer and how to be more efficient underwater. This combo can be done in 6 days, but if you have an additional day for a day rest in-between courses that would be better. If you don’t have 6 or 7 days in Panglao, that’s too bad. Then be sure to sign up for a level 2 course later on, because you will miss some of the essentials of freediving. In the meantime, you can combine your level 1 course with for example a Monofin or Nofins speciality, and take your freediving experience to a whole new level.

With the skills and knowledge that you have already acquired from the previous course (SSI Level 1, AIDA** or equivalent), you are now ready to take your freediving to the next level. We want to welcome you to the SSI Level 2 Freediving course. This course has three course days (sometimes we do it in 4 too). The maximum depth for the dives during the course is 30 metres, while you’ll develop your skills to go even deeper. Our instructors are very friendly, kind and more than skilled to take you to these depths. They will take good care of you and encourage you during the dives. You will learn new skills, and you will be introduced to a higher knowledge of safety procedures and techniques such as freefalling. You’ll be trained in advanced equalisation techniques. You will be familiar with the risks of increasing and decreasing pressure, and more importantly, you will know how to deal with these risks. After finishing the course, you will be given a certificate. This course is challenging but also very rewarding!


Price per person: $480

Be sure to contact us, Group or Package Discount may apply.

The above price is including taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Be 18 years of age or older (15 years with a parent or guardian consent); be able to swim; have completed the Level 1 SSI Freediving course, AIDA** or a freediving course or an equal level, plus you need to have logged at least 6 Freediving sessions.

The level 2 course is where freediving becomes more serious. You’ll be searching for depth and longer dives times with more and more advanced techniques. The recommended combo can be determined on the depth that you’re diving. If you are already doing dives around 30 meter, the next logical step would be joining the level 3 course. But since you need extra training sessions between these levels, you need to be in Panglao for the level 2 and 3 combo at least a couple of weeks. We recommend for the Level 1, 2 and 3 combo one month in Panglao.

If you have fewer weeks in Panglao the perfect combo for the level 2 are coaching sessions, so you have an instructor doing your safety and setup.

Also, if you don’t have time for a level 3 combo, take up the freediving speciality ‘Training Tables’. Now when you’re back home, you’ll be prepared for dry and pool training. Another interesting combo could be the Diver Stress and Rescue course or the React Right course which we can both teach in Panglao too.

Hold your breath! Yes, you now really have too, and this time for a much much longer period of time. This is the master level of freediving and be prepared to go down deep. In about five days the SSI Level 3 Freediving Course will take you to the depth of maximum 40 metres. This level is considered to be beyond recreational. Our instructors are knowledgeable, patient, and will ensure that all training dives are done in the safest manner possible. In this level, you will learn the knowledge, techniques, and safety procedures needed for deep freediving, such as exhale diving and mouth fill equalising. You will be introduced to full body stretching, lung stretching, cross-training, and diet. We’ll teach you how to coach your buddy and how to develop your own training plans. After successfully finishing the course, you will be awarded a certificate. We promise you will have an overall excellent high-quality freediving experience with us in beautiful Panglao. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to take you to any depth you set your mind to!


Price per person: $650

Be sure to contact us, Group or Package Discount may apply.

The above price is including taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Be 18 years of age or older; be able to swim at least 400m non-stop without fins or buoyancy device; have completed the SSI Level 2 freediving course or AIDA*** or a freediver course of an equal level, plus you must have logged a minimum of 30 freediving sessions.

You are now a master freediver, and you know how to dive deep! A good combo would be to combine your course with the Diver Stress and Rescue course or the React Right course.

Furthermore, some private coaching about training-plans for in Panglao – and for at-home might be wise too. You are now diving to depths which are not achievable for everyone, and a deep diver needs to be a smart diver. You must start focusing on things like relaxation, flexibility, repetitive dives, and depth adoption. Our Elite coaches who are all deep divers themselves can guide and coach you in this.

We teach our freediving courses in the following languages. The Level 3 course is only available in English and Dutch.

If you want to have a quick reply, please use the short form on this page.

For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Explore Breath-hold Diving and Surprise Yourself!

It’s incredible what the human body is capable of. It’s pretty common that people come here and in the first classroom session, we get them to hold their breath for 3 or 3:30 minutes. We have people diving down to 20 meters in the first session. Join us for any of the recreational levels, and you’ll be surprised with your capabilities!

Just fill in the form, and our support team who are all freedivers too will get back to you usually within hours – if they’re not diving 😉

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Certified Speciality Courses & Workshops

You will get to learn the Ins and Outs of an Amazing Sport!


Join the AIDA Competitions as a Competitor or Safety Diver!

You love freediving, and you want to become more involved in the competitive side of freediving. Then AIDA can help you with this! AIDA developed two short speciality courses where you learn more about the competitive side of freediving.

These speciality courses will give you more knowledge and skills of the freediving’s competitive depth disciplines Constant Weight Monofin and Bifins, Constant Weight No Fins, and Free Immersion and in pool disciplines including Dynamic Monofin, Dynamic Bifins, Dynamic No Fins and Static Apnea.

With the course AIDA Competition Freediver, you will learn the start and surface protocols, the regulations that are important for the athlete and what he or she can and cannot do during the competition. You will also get to experience what it feels like to be in a competitive environment. Our instructors are competitive freedivers themselves, and they will teach you various ways to prepare for competitions, and how to push yourself at the competitions and freediving championships.

The AIDA course ‘Safety Diver’ is very interesting for those not immediately interested in competing themselves, but might want to help out at the competitions. We will teach you the competition procedures, how to calculate dive times, and we’ll simulate a competition experience, so you know how it is to be a safety diver.

Depending on the skills level of the participant we can also turn the course into a Deep Safety workshop.


Specialise in Safety – You Can’t Lose With This!

A must-have for all Freedive Instructors whether you are a Freedive Instructor candidate or a Basic Freediver, it’s always a good idea to get your Emergency First Responder certificate. Learn the “How-To” of First Aid, CPR, AED and Oxygen administration in emergencies as well as emergency assessment. After this course, you’ll be able to assess and evaluate any emergency situation accurately.

In one of our most rewarding courses, you will not only increase your diving safety and comfort significantly but also that of the people you dive with.

The course covers:

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    Primary Assessment
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    First Aid & CPR Skills
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    Primary Stabilization Techniques
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    Oxygen Administration in Diving Emergencies
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    Automated External Defibrillation Basics

And for those who are already React Right or EFR and O2 provider certified, we also offer Instructor courses.

Another great course is the 3 day Diver Stress & Rescue course which is designed explicitly for freedivers. This course originated from the React Right course and the very popular Scuba Diver Stress & Rescue course. In this course, you will learn many different First Aid skills immediately applicable to divers, along with real-world emergency scenarios for freedivers. The Diver Stress & Rescue course is a fun, educational and rewarding way to become a better freediver!


Freediving Specialities and Workshops

Taking your Freediving to the Next Level!

There are workshops and speciality programs available for each level of freediving.

Basic Speciality Programs:

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    Coral Identification
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    Fish Identification
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    Marine Ecology
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    Night & Limited Visibility
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    Photo & Video
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    Sea Turle Ecology

Pool & Level 1:

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    Free Immersion
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    No Fins Freediving
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    Scooter / DPV Diving
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    Training Tables
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    Wreck Diving

Level 2 & Level 3:

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    Variable Weight


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    Mouthfill Equalisation
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    Seasonal Programs
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    Custom Programs

We teach all freediving specialities in English, and some in the German, French, Chinese and Philippine language. We teach the Speciality Instructor courses only in English and Dutch.

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If you want to have a quick reply, please use the short form on this page.

For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Become a Specialist and Be the Best You Can Be!

Taking on a single speciality or multiple freediving specialities – they are a great way to enhance your knowledge about freediving and/of our oceans. The freediving speciality courses range from 1-day specialities and workshops to 3-day courses with training plans for when the course is finished.

Whether it is an ecology course, training for depth, enjoyment or technique; freediving speciality courses is a fun and educational way to become a better freediver!

Fill in the form today, just check our availability. Usually, you’ll have an answer within hours.

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Change Your Lifestyle! Become a Pro Freediver!

Are You Ready for the Flip Flop Lifestyle on a Tropical Island as Panglao?!

Calling all freedivers who dream of becoming a professional freediving instructor. Do it! Change your lifestyle! Move to a tropical island with white sandy beaches and coconut trees – live the dream!

If you are a freediver who would love to teach the sport, our SSI Instructor Course and Development Programs like the Freediving Zero to Hero and Freediving Internship programs are perfect for you! Whether you are a Beginner Freediver or a Master Freediver; our development program will help you to become a skilled professional – teacher and freediver.

The purpose of the freedive instructor course is to incorporate everything that you have learned from all freediving courses together with your teaching skills. After the course, you will have increased your freediving knowledge and will be able to teach various freediving courses. You’ll be prepared and ready to teach and train students of your own with our freediving internships, and development programs.

If you are not doing an internship or freediving Zero-to-Hero program with us, but want to start the instructor course immediately, you have to be an SSI Level 2 or AIDA 3* freediver and have a valid First Aid and CPR Certificate not older than two years. But above all, you have to have a passion for teaching.

Please note, starting your instructor course with SSI Level 3 or AIDA 4* will give you greater flexibility as an instructor since you can teach Level 2 courses too.

The most well-known program is the Zero to Hero freediving program which is a complete 3 – 6-month program on it’s own or via an internship where you take all levels, train with students and instructors.

Additionally, the instructor course is often combined with weeks of training or the Master Program.

Please contact us via the link below for all possible combinations.

We run the SSI Freediving Instructor courses pretty much every two months. Usually, we teach them in English. Dutch is possible too, and if you prefer another language, please contact us since we also regularly work with translators.

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There are too many options for the Instructor Development Programs to list them here quickly.

Please check out the SSI Freedive Instructor Courses page for more information.

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