Jun
Dates
4 Days
Duration
Discover RC Full, EcoDiver
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You may get to dive the famous but least studied Bajo Bushnell!

Reef Check ColombiaMonitoring  Isla Fuerte´s coral reefs is always a surprising experience. Meet at Monteria´s airport, take a van to the coastal town of Paso Nuevo, then embark in a small boat for a 20-min drive to the small and isolated Isla Fuerte. This island is exposed to all kind of ecological pressures affecting oceans today (e.g. overfishing, sedimentation, and pollution) which highlights the need to evaluate their effect on coral reef health. Despite this, the coral reef area still shows high live coral cover, great structural complexity, and low prevalence of coral diseases, which shows us Isla Fuerte´s coral reefs have a high potential for recovery and resilience.

The Isla Fuerte Reef Check is your opportunity to evaluate the health of Colombia´s southernmost insular coral reefs, experience first-hand in hand the strong relationship an island community has with coral reefs, and be surprised of how nature tries to resist to our fight for survival. One last point: you get to dive the famous but least studied Bajo Bushnell and if the time is right, we get to enjoy the Annual Turtle Conservation Festival!

Looking to get certified as a Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer? The Reef Checks surveys completed on this expedition will help you qualify for your Reef Check trainer course as well as continue your meaningful diving development as a responsible diver!

As a Reef Check expedition team member you can expect to:

Experience and monitor the health of a coral reef  in a very remote island while you enjoy an incredible local community.

Monitor coral reefs under the leadership and guidance of experienced coral reef scientists, and assist with updating national and international databases (e.g. INVEMAR, Reef Check) with information on the condition of surveyed coral reefs.

Participate in various cultural and socio-ecological activities where you get to experience the strong dependency of island communities on healthy coral reefs. Mingle with the local community of Isla Fuerte, walk around the island, visit the Walking tree and lush mangrove forest,. and of course, enjoy the local and local cuisine and music.

Meet more people like you who are committed to improving their diving experience and making of their passion an opportunity to leave a legacy.

¿WHERE DO WE MEET? Los Garzones Airport, Monteria. .
¿WHAT´S INCLUDED? Training and supervision by team scientist according to level

Transfer from/to Monteria Airport to Isla Fuerte

Accommodation and meals

Six SCUBA dives

Dive equipment for members

Dive insurance

¿WHAT´S NOT INCLUDED? Airfare to/from Monteria

Dive equipment for non-members

¿WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE? Every June of every year
¿WHAT´S THE DURATION? 4 Nights/5 Days
¿ONLY FOR SCUBA DIVERS? Yes. You need to be SCUBA certified.
¿WHAT REEF CHECK LEVELS CAN JOIN? Discover Reef Check EcoDivers and certified Reef Check EcoDivers.

¿Not an EcoDiver Yet?

This field program is for certified Reef Check EcoDivers. If you are not one yet, you can join as a Discover Reef Check Diver and experience coral reef monitoring. However, you must complete and pass the knowledge component before joining this field program. Sign up for the Discover Reef Check e-learning program today! 

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I would like to receive more information before registering.

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Reef Check Colombia Meaningful diving

To update available information on coral reef health of at least 3 sites of Isla Fuerte to be used as input for conservation management measures by interested parties including, but not limited to, the managing environmental authority.

In June 2017 right after the Reef Check Tayrona, we made our first Reef Check Isla Fuerte expedition. The expedition was a success because we managed to carry out three Reef Check type surveys at three locations on the island strategically selected by the local people. During the expedition, 24 dives were carried out and more than 2640 minutes were invested in evaluating the health of the beautiful reefs of Isla Fuerte. Our expedition put a stop to a four-year break on coral reef surveying at Isla Fuerte, which just makes our participatory coral reef monitoring program even more relevant for assisting national efforts to evaluate coral reef health. Because not everything could be work, we also did two recreational dives in the famous Bajo Bushnell, it was a wonderful experience for everyone.

In 2017, the EcoDivers carried out three coral Reef Checks in the low areas of El Bobito, Los Venados and Fondo Loco, three emblematic sites on the island. The exercise was very positive and with the help of all the participants, we managed to collect updated information on the live coral cover, algae, fish density and mobile invertebrates. We found some reefs in good health, with an important coral cover in relation to the national and regional average. However, upon reviewing the latest information collected four years ago (2013) it is evident that coral cover has decreased; following the world trend.

In 2019, we also evaluated coral reef health at Alicia, Los Venados and El Bobito. This time, finding a lower coral cover than in 2017. The most interesting finding this time was a low algal cover, despite a low density of herbivore fish. Results like these raise more questions for us and motivate us to continue monitoring Isla Fuerte´s coral reefs to better understand their dynamics.

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Day 1: Departure for Isla Fuerte

Meeting at 10:00 at the Los Garzones Montería´s Airport and transfer to Paso Nuevo, where the boat awaits us to take us to Isla Fuerte. After settling in at our lodge we will meet in the afternoon to do the first dive, a re-training at the site “El Planchon”.

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Day 2 Two dives for those reefs

This day we will have a spectacular diving experience! We will go to the water early in the morning to monitor the reef at the dive site Fondo Loco (to the west of the island), followed by a survey of the reef at Los Venados, in the east of the island.

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Day 3: Bajo Bushnell here we go

After a hard they at the office, we deserve it all. Today we take the boat and drive about an hour south of Isla Furte to try and do two fun dives in the famous Bajo Bushnell. After our return, we will hit the town for a cultural and social experience.

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Day 4: Last survey and socio-cultural experience

For our third and last Reef Check survey, we will visit Bajo Alicia. Then, we will have the rest of the day to mingle with the local community, visit the Walking tree and the mangrove forest.

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Day 5: Return to Monteria

Departure for Paso Nuevo. Transfer to Los Garzones Montería Airport where we hope to be by 12:30 to say thank and see you soon!


* Itinerary and times subject to change without prior notice due to weather and logistics.
**The objective of the dives is for the main Reef Check EcoDiver plan. For the other plans i.e. Reef Check EcoDiver Course and Discover Reef Check, the dives will be simultaneous but will have other objectives.

Isla Fuerte Reef Check in the pass

We invite you read some notes about our previous Reef Checks in Isla Fuerte. These are notes, reports and experiences from our previous participants, staff and others.  You can also find the results and infographics made with the information on coral reef health that participants help to collect. If you want more in-depth information please visit Reef Check´s online database.

Latest Notes From the Field

Andres Hernandez

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A esta expedición llegué con muchas expectativas, de fortalecer mis conocimientos y complementarlos con el poco tiempo de experiencia que llevo participando en monitoreo coralino,
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Grupo diving in Bajo Bushnell Isla Fuerte

Mi experiencia buceando con propósito

Como no todo podía ser trabajo, realizamos dos buceos recreativos, en el magnífico Bajo Bushnell, inmersiones que te inspiran tranquilidad y la vez expectación de
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Isla Fuerte Reef Check

Aplicar lo aprendido, uno de los logros del Reef Check Isla Fuerte

Lo que no se practica se pierde. Eso es una realidad. Después de la exitosa jornada de capacitación como Reef Check EcoDivers alcanzada con la
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Infographics

Videos from the field

Program Reviews

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May 31, 2020

Too many sensations can reach your body, mind and heart when you are a diver, during these days on the Isla Fuerte Reef Check expedition I dedicated myself to landing each and every one of these emotions, during this time I realized that a diver is in essence a special being, is an adventurous, friendly, loving, fearless, responsible person, with a good sense of humor, but above all of a great spirit.

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