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 yourself. 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 three leading freediving certification agencies; SSI, AIDA and Molchanovs. The agencies SSI and AIDA are the most renowned, acknowledged and oldest international training agencies for recreational freediving or breath-hold diving. Molchanovs is relatively new and focuses more on pure freediving, training, skills and technique and performance freediving.

Below you can learn more about SSI, AIDA and Molchanovs, and the freediving courses that we are offering. Working with SSI, AIDA and Molchanovs will ensure that you will have a fun, safe, and professional freediving experience.


The 3 Freediving Certification Agencies we work with;

Molchanovs Freediving

The Molchanovs Freediving Courses and Molchanovs Education System was first developed by Natalia Molchanova, the queen of freediving, the most decorated and best freediver who ever lived, the freediving mother of so many top athletes. She developed this education system to take a beginner, step-by-step, week-by-week from absolute beginner to elite freediver.

Then in 2018, a group of the world’s best freedivers, freediving trainers and entrepreneurs, including World Champion and multiple World Record holder Alexey Molchanov, World Record holder Goran Colak, and Australian National Record holder Adam Stern, and others, have taken that system, added their own expertise and revamped it to create something totally new.

Molchanovs Logo

Now the Molchanovs Education System is the fastest-growing freediving agency in the world. It’s an online community of freedivers who all took a Molchanovs Freediving Course and are now further developing their skills via the free training programs, training benchmarks and reward badges. The Molchanovs training programs contain a pool, dry and depth training. They aim on pure freediving and making the freedivers stronger and better regardless of whether they are -10 meter or -80 meter freedivers.

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 that 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. We are now a full-service SSI Freediving Instructor Training Center. We now offer 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!

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. With each AIDA Freediving Courses, AIDA 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 center, and our staff wants to help you 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 and Molchanovs?

Yes, that is correct. Even though we love AIDA, we rarely teach AIDA anymore. For pure freediving, freediving based on skills and technique, we recommend the Molchanovs system. With Molchanovs, beginner students are already learning CWTB (diving with bifins), FIM (pulling yourself up and down via a dive line), CNF (no fins diving) and CWTM (diving with monofin). The other agencies only talk about the disciplines CWTB and a little bit about FIM.

The performance requirements of Molchanovs are also higher than both other agencies.

SSI is more accessible than both other agencies. Their skills requirements are slightly easier, and they integrate things like the environment into their course, and you will learn about waves, tides and currents, which isn’t as in-depth with Molchanovs.

There are also differences for freediving instructors between the three agencies. The professional levels of AIDA and Molchanovs have more similarities between them since you can be an independent instructor (teach everywhere). With SSI, you need to be affiliated with a center to teach freediving. Here you can find more information on the differences between AIDA and Molchanovs Instructors.

Another big difference between AIDA and SSI is the study material. The AIDA courses are taught via a PowerPoint presentation, whereas the SSI courses start at home via a mobile app and 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.

Molchanovs, 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, and that you have fun!

There are big differences in the study materials, quality, professionalism, structure and knowledge, but there are good and bad instructors with all 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 center, SSI could be a good option since they have the biggest dealer network. If you want to start your own center or teach without being affiliated with a center, the Molchanovs instructor course might be the way to go. If you want to become a Freediving Instructor, please get in touch with us with your questions. Our support staff are experienced freedivers themselves and get back to you usually within hours.

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

Please note; this video was shot at our first location. We still dive at the same reef, but we moved about 300 meters down the road to a brand-new and fully equipped dive center with bungalows and our very own two-lane 25-meter pool.

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 SSI Basic Freediving course or AIDA 1* is an excellent way to start in the big blue. The Basic Freediving course is a one-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 fantastic house reef – one of the most beautiful coral walls of the island, or you can train on the line as the freedivers usually do.

Please note; the one-day introduction course really is an introduction to freediving. If you want to develop your skills further, have the time, financial means and like to be challenged, we highly recommend starting with the proper SSI Level 1, Molchanovs Wave 1 or AIDA 2* course. Then after this course, you can proceed with the intermediate level, the SSI Level 2, Molchanovs Wave 2 or AIDA 3*. After, for example, the SSI Basic Freediving course, you still need to complete the SSI Level 1 Course to progress to the next level.

On this page, you will find an overview of the different freediving agencies and different levels and how they match each other.


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 SSI 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.

The 4 Levels of Recreational Freediving

Longer Breathholds and Diving Deeper and Farther with Each Course!

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

The Molchanovs Wave 1 or SSI Level 1 and AIDA 2* Freediving Course is the first real beginner freediving course, and only from this course can you progress to Level 2. After the one-day Basic Freediving Course, you still need to complete the Level 1 to progress to Level 2.

In this beginner freediving 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 200 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 or 7 days – depending on the freediving agency, 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, an SSI Monofin or Nofins speciality and take your freediving experience to a whole new level.

With the skills and knowledge you have already acquired from the previous course, the (Molchanovs Wave 1, the SSI Level 1 or AIDA** or equivalent), you are now ready to take your freediving to the next level. We want to welcome you to the intermediate or advanced 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 Molchanovs Wave 1, The SSI Level 1 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 by the depth that you’re diving. If you are already doing dives around 30 meters, 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 for at least a couple of weeks. We recommend for the Level 1, 2 and 3 combo to be in Panglao for a minimum of one month.

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, and you can further develop your freediving skills.

Also, if you don’t have time for a level 3 combo, take up the SSI freediving speciality ‘Training Tables’. Now when you’re back home, you’ll be prepared for dry and pool training. Another exciting 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 to, 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 Molchanovs Wave 3 or SSI Level 3 Freediving Course will take you to a 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. At this level, you will learn the knowledge, techniques, and safety procedures needed for (extreme) 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 Molchanovs Wave 2, the SSI Level 2 Freediving Course or AIDA*** or a freediving 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 that are not achievable for everyone, and a deep diver needs to be a smart diver. It would help if you started 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.

The Molchanovs Wave 4 Competitor Course

Learn how to Dive to Depths of -50 and -60 meters!

The Molchanovs Wave 4 Competition Freediving Course is serious freediving. In about eight days, you will dive to depths of at least -50 meters, will you have to do a minimum of a 5-minute breath-hold, do -35 meter NoFins in the ocean, 75-meter NoFins in the pool, this course is full-on freediving and only suited for very experienced freedivers.

Be 18 years of age or older; be able to swim at least 400m non-stop without fins or buoyancy device; have completed the Molchanovs Wave 3, the SSI Level 3 Freediving Course or AIDA 4* or a freediving course of an equal level.

The Molchanovs Wave 4 program is the highest level in recreational freediving. The only real possible combo is combining it with a training package like our Freediving Training Program.

Please Note, Molchanovs is making some changes to their Wave 4 program. At this time we can not teach this course.

We’ll update this page when there is more information available.

We teach our freediving courses in the following languages. The Molchanovs Wave 3 and SSI Level 3 courses are only available in English, French 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.

Monofin Workshop
Monofin Training in the Pool
Dive Centre with Pool

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 by your capabilities!

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Freediving SSI Level 2 Course
Molchanovs Wave 2 Certification

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 they 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 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 and calculate dive times, and we’ll simulate a competition experience, so you know how to be a safety diver.

Depending on the participant’s skills level, 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 freedivers, 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, 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
Monofin Speciality Course
Marine Ecology Speciality Course
Fish Identification Speciality Course
Photo & Video Speciality Course
Scooter Speciality Course
Night Diving Speciality Course

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

English and Dutch Flag
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.

Roping Workshop
Stretching Diagram
Static Coaching

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/or 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!

Nofins Speciality Course
Variable Weight Speciality Course
Sea Turtle Speciality Course
Wreck Diving Speciality Course

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 professional freediving instructors. 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 Molchanovs Instructor Courses, SSI Freedive Instructor Courses 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 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, Molchanobs Wave 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 and Molchanovs Freediving Instructor courses pretty much every month. Usually, we teach them in English. Dutch is possible too, and if you prefer another language, please get in touch with 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 Freedive Instructor Courses page for more information.

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