You’ve probably heard about the benefits of diving enriched air nitrox instead of regular air including:

  • Shorter surface intervals
  • More bottom time
  • Deeper repetitive dives

…but you may be wondering “is a nitrox certification really worth it?”

If you never dive more than once a day, or if you only make very shallow dives, nitrox might not be beneficial. But if you plan to take a liveaboard trip or visit one of the destinations below, you’ll definitely want a nitrox certification.

#1 Palau

Enriched air nitrox is widely-used on Palau, and for good reason. When you hook in to watch the show at Blue Corner or Peleliu Express, you won’t want to leave.

Sure, it’s possible to dive both of these iconic sites on air, but why put limits on your experience? Diving nitrox allows you to stay down longer and get back in the water sooner for a second dive. If you’re diving air, you’ll have to wait longer and your second dive will be shorter (versus using nitrox).

Note: an Advanced Open Water certification is recommended (but not required) for diving Palau’s most exhilarating dive sites.

#2 Maldives

If you dream of seeing a parade of manta rays or being in the water with a whale shark, Maldives is a must-dive destination. With comfortable water temps year-round (28-30°C/83-86°F) and so much to see, you’ll never want to get out of the water.

A nitrox certification allows you to make the most of your Maldives diving holiday. By breathing less nitrogen, you’ll be able to dive more often and enjoy shorter surface intervals.

#3 Inhambane and Tofo, Mozambique
The plankton-filled waters off the coast of Mozambique attract bucket-list animals including: humbacks, manta rays and whale sharks. Most of the dive sites drop to 100 feet, so it’s an ideal diving destination for nitrox.

The plentiful plankton that attracts the megafauna also limits visibility to 10-15 metres/33-49 feet (on average). When something big swims out of the blue, you won’t want to be stuck at 12 metres/40 feet (because you’re breathing air) while all the nitrox divers swim down to get a better look at the creature you traveled so far to see.

#4 Turks & Caicos

Located just south of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos consists of 40 different islands and cays. The channel between the Turks islands and Caicos islands is home to tons of turtles and massive schools of migrating fish. Humpback whales visit seasonally, and there’s always a chance you’ll get to scuba dive with dolphins.

An Enriched Air Diver certification allows you to spend more time experiencing the pristine beauty of the Turks & Caicos islands. You can start your nitrox certification online before you leave home, and finish when you arrive (nitrox is widely available). Or, complete your certification with a local dive shop before you travel.

Nitrox Diving and Liveaboards

On a liveaboard, you can dive 4-5 times per day, and an enriched air certification allows you to get your money’s worth (so to speak).

If you don’t have your nitrox certification yet, you can get certified in as little as one day (the two certification dives are optional). Contact your local dive shop for details.

Start Your Nitrox Certification Online

Earn your nitrox certification in as little as one day. Here’s what to expect:

  1. During the interactive online course, you’ll learn all about enriched air nitrox
  2. Next, you’ll complete practice analyzing air (and a few other things) with your instructor
  3. Make two (optional) dives where you’ll breathe enriched air for the first time

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