|¿WHERE DO WE MEET?||Los Garzones Airport, Monteria. .|
|¿WHAT DOES THE EXPEDITION COVER?|| Field training and supervision by team scientist according to level|
Transfer from/to Monteria Airport to Isla Fuerte
Accommodation and meals
Nine (9) SCUBA dives: Eight (8) Day dives (6 boat and 2 beach dives) and one Night dive.
Dive equipment for members
|¿WHAT IS NOT COVERED?|| Airfare to/from Monteria|
Dive equipment for non-members
Isla Fuerte Reef Check
$889 – $949
The Isla Fuerte Reef Check is your opportunity to evaluate the health of Colombia´s southernmost insular coral reefs and to dive the famous but least studied Bajo Bushnell!
|Monitoring 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 kinds of environmental 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 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.
|¿WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE?||1 – 5 Jul 2021 | 16 – 20 Jun 2022 | 15 – 19 Jun 2023|
|¿WHAT´S THE DURATION?||4 Nights/5 Days|
|¿ONLY FOR SCUBA DIVERS?||Yes. If you are not yet a certified divers contact us to discuss your options.|
|¿WHAT REEF CHECK LEVELS CAN JOIN?||Certified Reef Check EcoDiver | Discover Reef Check EcoDivers.|
¿Not an EcoDiver Yet?
If you are not one yet, you can start your training today by signing up for the Reef Check EcoDiver Course and then join as a Reef Check EcoDiver candidate to complete your certification in coral reef monitoring during the expedition. However, you must complete and pass the knowledge component before joining this field program. Sign up for the Reef Check EcoDiver e-learning program today!
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.
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”.
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.
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 Fuerte 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.
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.
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.
Videos from the field
Discover RC Full, EcoDiver, EcoDiver Candidate