Travel & Adventure
11 Reasons This Summer is Going to be Epic
By Ladye Jane Vickers, Broadreach HQ
With the weather beginning to warm up and trees starting to blossom, summer–the season we wait for ALL YEAR LONG–is finally right around the corner. Every year we get so excited (not to mention extremely jealous) about all the phenomenal experiences in store for our students, and this year is no different. From diving with elusive thresher sharks in the Philippines to hiking the crater of an inactive volcano on Statia, our students will be doing things they will, no doubt, still be telling stories about for decades to come. Here are just a few of the reasons that this summer is going to be ridiculously epic.
THE DIAMANTE WATERFALL RAPPEL/CASA DE PIEDRAS CAVE OVERNIGHT
Costa Rica Field Biology 12-Day Adventure
If simply hiking in the rainforest of Costa Rica wasn’t awesome enough, we’ve thrown in one of the coolest 24 hours you could ever have. Hike to Casa de Piedras, a magical cave that’s literally nestled right behind a waterfall, while stopping to visit organic gardens and learning about the exotic flora. Make a bonfire and stay the night in the cave while falling asleep to the sounds of the waterfall, monkeys, and birds. Wake up for the most exciting part of the adventure, a thrilling rappel down Diamante Falls!
SNORKELING SILFRA, A FISSURE BETWEEN TWO CONTINENTAL PLATES
Iceland Advanced Photography
When you think of Iceland, you don’t exactly think of it as a snorkel hot spot, but it has one of the coolest places in the world to do it. In the heart of Thingvellir National Park is Silfra, a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and the only place you can snorkel between two continents in the world. With the water around 39 degrees, even in a dry suit it’s an eye-opening and pulse-quickening experience, to say the least!
THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK THROUGH THE ANDES OF PERU
Peru Spanish & Service
Walk this walk and it’s easy to see why it can talk the talk. The Choquequirao Trek is a sister trail to the widely known Inca Trail, but Choquequirao is off the beaten path and leads you to incredible sites like the Inca city ruin called “The Cradle of God”. When you come out of your tent in the morning, rise to the view of snow-capped mountains, canyons and your new best friends–the donkey porters.
SPEND THE NIGHT AT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
British Columbia Marine Mammal Studies
What beats a night at the museum? How about a night at the aquarium. Drift to sleep surrounded by an underwater gallery and the sights of majestic beluga whales swimming right in front of your eyes in this awesome experience. Before your underwater sleepover, get a behind-the-scenes tour of their marine lab and the inner workings of this world-class aquarium.
VIA FERRATA AT LAKE COMO
Italy Intro to Photography
Take your photography to new heights, literally, while you go on a ‘via ferrata’ along the alpine region in Lake Como. Via Ferrata or “iron path” is a form of rock climbing that uses steel cable rails fixed to rocks, metal steps, ladders, suspension bridges and zip wires. The views along the route are with photo-worthy, to say the least, so keep your camera handy!
MAN O’WAR SHOALS PINNACLE DIVE IN SABA
All Leeward Islands Caribbean Voyages
Our favorite dive site in Saba never disappoints. Jump in and descend down the side of a pinnacle rising 70ft up out of the sand, covered in coral and teeming with the most diverse marine life in the Caribbean. In the early morning light of a dawn dive, it’s like diving in a fish tank. Inquisitive turtles munch on coral and nurse sharks bury themselves in the sand. Look closely and there are lobster, nudibranchs and other strange creatures waiting to be discovered in the nooks and crannies of the reef.
FREEDIVING IN BALI
Bali & Lombok Scuba
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the underwater realm completely free and untethered, the freediver course on our Bali program will help you dive deeper than you’ve ever experienced before–60 exhilarating feet to be exact. Students will learn the fundamentals of breath hold and descending techniques over a two day PADI certified course, then test out their new skills in open water.
RELEASING REHABILITATED WILDLIFE BACK INTO THE WILD
Costa Rica Veterinary Experience
It can be a tough world out there for animals in the rainforests of Costa Rica, but luckily for sloths and other jungle animals in peril, there’s an amazing rescue center we work with that helps rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release those critters in need. Watching a sloth slowly take its first steps back into the wild after you’ve assisted with treating its injuries and helped it get strong will touch your heart like nothing else. I’m not crying; you’re crying.
THE NIGHT SAIL
Caribbean Arc Sailing Voyage
The sounds of the bow gliding through the inky black darkness of the water at night is one of the most peaceful things you can experience, and only one of our Caribbean Voyages does. With no light pollution and no other boats around, the stars are like a blanket over the wakes sparkling with bioluminescence. Navigation is performed with a compass, feeling the direction of the wind and trusting the abilities of yourself and your fellow crew mates as you complete your watch, arriving at a new island as the sun rises.
This cenote–a freshwater sinkhole that has exposed groundwater underwater cave systems–is a 50 feet deep cavern dripping with picturesque stalactites, stalagmites and columns surrounded by lush jungle paradise. Hidden throughout the site are small ancient pottery remains and we may even see a small crocodile and turtles taking a dip in the pool to cool off. In the summer, decomposing plants form a cloud at the surface that results in stunning light effects during the dive. There’s even a platform for leaping into the crystal blue waters!
REBUILDING REEFS, ONE BABY CORAL AT A TIME
Curaçao Advanced Marine Biology
With so many of our planet’s vital coral reef systems disappearing, our three-year-old coral nursery in Curaçao is a groundbreaking project contributing to The Coral Restoration Foundation’s ongoing efforts to save them from extinction. Since 2017, Broadreach students have been contributing to a staghorn nursery they created, helping to track its progress and impact as it grows–even earning the PADI Coral Restoration Specialty in the process. We definitely think that giving back to the oceans that provide us with so much is pretty epic!