Dive Deep in Cartagena

A Life-Changing Trip that's Good for You, Good for the Destination, Good for Everyone
Start the Journey Here

Dive deep into a life-changing journey that’s built around coral reef conservation, empowerment of women and meaningful cultural exchange that’s good for you and good for Colombia.

Gratitude runs deep on this magical voyage through the beautiful coral reefs of Tierra Bomba and the Rosario Islands, a year-long journey that starts with an uplifting commitment to the reconstruction of one of the world’s fragile eco-systems and ends with an emotional underwater encounter with an old friend that you’ve only just met.

 

  • The Lowdown

    Dive Deep in Cartagena

    It’s time to re-imagine how we travel with a series of mindful voyages that are good for you, good for the destination, good for the planet, good for everyone.

    Imagine a journey where you are investing in the place you are going to visit before you arrive, constructing wealth and abundance in the local population whilst generating important improvements in the environment and places you will visit. 

    All great journeys are built on three pillars: the dream, the experience and the memory.

    In this very special trip you'll share a dream with the people you visit and work with them to create a truly moving experience that leaves both sides with the kind of lasting memories and meaningful ties that we all search for, but few of us actually achieve, when we travel. 

    THE DREAM (THE FUTURE OR...PRE-ARRIVAL)

    Day 1 | Welcome to a Shared Dream 
    Meet Yassandra Barrios online. She's a role model to many of her friends, the first graduate of Paraiso Diver’s program to train an army of capable guardians of Cartagena’s coral reefs. She’ll introduce you to the latest recruits in your shared mission to prepare more young Colombians like her to take the dive into a better future.

    Day 2 | First Day at School
    Dive classes start today. You’ll get a video of your fledgling instructor’s first immersion in the Caribbean waters of Tierra Bomba. You’ll also get some help with your PADI theory.

    Day 3 | Dance Class
    The kids of Tierra Bomba don’t just dive they dance and if you’re going to visit Colombia you are most definitely going to need to learn a few of the local moves to be able to fit in. Enjoy a fun intro to Cartagena’s Champeta beats without breaking any social distancing rules.

    Day 4 | A Cooking Class
    Yassandra’s mum prepares one of the best arepa de huevos in Cartagena. Try your hand at one of the traditional fast food treats with a Zoom session that will put you into Yassandra’s mum’s kitchen and offer a chance to break bread virtually with her family before you make it to Colombia. Money from the virtual class goes straight into the local economy.

    Day 5 | Happy Birthday / Christmas
    There’s something in the post, a souvenir made with recycled plastic pulled out of the oceans by your fledgling team of instructors. We’ll also host a virtual cocktail session with a mixologist from one of the top bars in Cartagena. Everyone on the trip will prepare their own drink and raise a glass to new-found friends.

    THE EXPERIENCE (THE PRESENT)

    Day 1 | Welcome to the Present 
    The past is already gone, the future doesn’t exist, and the present is just that, a gift. Welcome to a wonderful present created by yourself for - and with - the people of Tierrabomba. You’ll be met at the airport and taken to your hotel (chosen from a selection of properties to fit every budget) by the This Is Colombia Travel team. The trip starts with a casual dinner at Blue Apple Beach Club where you get to meet the like-minded members of the group that made this possible. You’ll be joined at the dinner by your newly qualified guides.

    Day 2 | Dive Deep  
    Prepare for the day with a brief intro to your 4-day dive course. There will be two dives today in the area around Tierrabomba. In the evening you’ll get a chance to relax in Cartagena with a chance to savour the city’s best ceviche with a local expert.

    Day 3 | More Diving  
    The second day of diving takes you into the Rosario Islands National Park. You’ll get two more dives and a laid-back lunch with your gang at a secluded beach in the islands. In the evening you’ll get a chance to chill in Cartagena or learn how to

    Day 4 | Dive Deep  
    The third day of diving takes you to two more dive spots in the Rosario Islands National Park. Two more dives and the chance to enjoy a BBQ in a beautiful private island and watch the sunset. You’ll stay overnight in the islands tonight and will have a traditional stew with the families of your instructors in the village of Bocachica. There will also be a special presentation by a local contemporary dance group at the San Fernando Castle and a graduation ceremony for you and your instructors.

    Day 5 | Head to Santa Marta
    You’ll travel overland from Cartagena to Santa Marta with the rest of the group. On arrival in Barlovento, just outside the Tayrona National Park, you’ll be free to spend the rest of the day enjoying the rugged beaches of jungle trails.

    Day 6 | Explore Parque Tayrona
    Awake early and make the most of the day. Explore the park's nature trails and stop for a chance to dive in La Piscina Natural. A guide will be made available to accompany you but you're free to venture off on your own. You'll have a picnic to take with you and tide you over until your return to your jungle lodge.

    Day 7 | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
    Breakfast will be served on the beach before your vehicle arrives to take you into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world's fastest climbing coastal mountain range. You will be taken by 4x4 to Minca, a sleepy coffee town emerging from a troubled history. We'll visit the La Victoria, coffee farm and craft brewery where you'll have lunch and learn about Colombia's coffee. By early afternoon we'll reach the cloud lodge where you'll stay for the next two nights. 

    Day 8 | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
    There's a chance to check out some of Colombia's beautiful wildlife with a visit to the Proaves bird sanctuary, high up in the hills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There are some wonderful treks in the area too.

    Day 9 | Travel to Cartagena
    Breakfast will be served before your vehicle arrives to take you down the mountain and take you back to Cartagena de Indias. On the way we'll stop for lunch at Puerto Velero, a breezy beach that specializes in water sports - wind surfing, etc. In the evening you’ll have dinner on the historic walls of the historic old town. You’ll be joined by some of your newfound friends and will get the chance to practice your Spanish and dance moves one more time at an evening of music and folklore in a special open-air setting.

    Day 10 | Fly Home
    A vehicle will collect you from the hotel and take you to the airport. We'll send you home with some little gifts from the ocean for those left at home. Hasta Luego.

    THE MEMORY (THE PAST THAT CREATES A NEW FUTURE)
    As well as the lasting connections you will make on your trip, we’ll prepare a video and book of the entire journey – including the training of your instructors. The memory of your journey will, of course, travel with you and we’ll send updates of the ongoing progress of your newly qualified instructors and the butterfly effect their personal growth is having on their community and the eco-systems they have learned to protect.

  • WHY THIS IS CARTAGENA

    • With Us, Colombia's Yours

      We think differently to other travel specialists in Colombia and our multi-day e…

      Go Bespoke

      Aside from being fully certified, our talented team of Colombia travel experts a…

      Quality Assurance

      All the tours you see on here have been hand-picked or created by our team of ta…

      Insider Intel

      We really do know Cartagena better than anyone else. Our clued up insiders live …

    • Go Bespoke

      Aside from being fully certified, our talented team of Colombia travel experts aim to go above and beyond to ensure you have a unique travel experience. Our team thrives on left-field requests and strives to make your travel dreams a reality

    • Quality Assurance

      All the tours you see on here have been hand-picked or created by our team of talented travel experts. We encourage sustainable tourism and collaborate with local, independent providers where possible

    • Insider Intel

      We really do know Cartagena better than anyone else. Our clued up insiders live and breathe Cartagena 24/7. We’re on-the-ground, all-year-round so we can share with you all of our favourite things to do and places to eat, drink and relax



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