Chocó: diving and whales

PADI Advanced Open Water course and humpback whales conservation project on the pacific coast in Colombia

Improve your diving skills and get involved in the project that aims to conserve the humpback whales that come every year to give birth to their offsprings in the Chocó. You will learn about the local flora and fauna and will enjoy the black sand beaches and dense jungle. Locals charm and happiness will also enchant you.

Chocó is the only state in Colombia that faces Pacific and Caribbean coasts.  It is a rainy region that consists mostly of dense jungle and it is considered one of the most biodiverse places on earth. It has lots of wildlife who live there, like birds, amphibians and so on, and welcomes stationary visitors like whales and turtles that come to the warm waters to give birth to their offsprings.

The geography of the region is complex and infrastructure is limited. That´s why economic and tourist development haven´t been as in the Caribbean. For that reason, Chocó stills an undiscovered paradise, that besides its biodiversity, it has a rich culture and very welcoming people.

Ecotourism has contributed to the local economy in the last years. However, there are different initiatives that have to be done to make the tourism a sustainable income for the community.

We decided to move our dive shop from the Caribbean to the Pacific due the big potential for diving exploration and scientific research. The store is going to be located at Ecohotel Punta Brava, close to Arusí, a small village on one the most amazing places con the Pacific Coast.

We create this program to promote diving in the region, support the humpback whale conservation project and contribute to the development of sustainable ecotourism.

The program is structured for people interested in improving their diving skills and in getting involved in the study and conservation of the humpback whales. The participants can be students of Biology or just people who enjoy diving, sea and adventure.

The participants will stay at a local ecolodge and will enjoy meeting locals and knowing their culture. During their stay, they will complete the PADI Advanced course that includes 5 dives and theory. They will be part of the team of one of the whale conservation projects run by a local foundation. They will go whale watching and will collect and analyze data guided by the expert in charge of the conservation project.

The participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy the surrounded nature and join one of the excursions on their free day.

What´s included?

  • PADI Advanced Open Water certification (Prerequisite: PADI Open Water certification or equivalent)
    • 5 advanced-level dives and 5 knowledge development areas
    • All scuba gear (fins, mask, BCD, regulator, tank, weights)
    • PADI Advanced Open Water manual
    • CUE logbook
    • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification card (if completed successfully)
  • Flight Medellín-Nuqui-Medellín
  • Accommodation for 6 nights in shared room
  • 3 daily meals
  • 3 whale watching tours and data collection
  • Data analysis with the people in charge of managing the whale conservation project
  • CUE t-shirt
  • Certificate of participation

What´s not included?

  • Flights to and from Medellin prior to course commencement
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Visa costs
  • Personal expenses
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Wetsuit and booties

2018

  • August 21 – 27
  • September 11 – 17
  • October 2 – 8

Price: 2.800.000 COP (~ 970 USD)

More dates coming during whale season.

  • Surf
  • Yoga
  • Ecologic walks

Arusí, Chocó, Colombia