After landing at Curaçao’s International Airport, head directly to the CARMABI research institute, your home for the next three weeks. Hop into the warm, turquoise blue water and get ready to learn how to dive if you’ve never done it before, or go on some refresher dives if you’re already certified. Snorkel and dive into beautiful coral patch reefs and seagrass beds that support a variety of fish and invertebrate life including barracudas, parrotfish and butterflyfish, and let the adventure in marine biology begin!
The best way to learn about corals and fish is up close and in the water. The reefs of Curaçao have a rich variety that is quickly accessible from both shore and boats. Take time to learn more about the lionfish epidemic around the island, and how local stakeholders are fighting against invasive marine species. Examine rare pillar and fused staghorn corals. Learn how to recognize coral diseases and colonies experiencing bleaching and algal overgrowth. Analyze and discuss the feeding habits, life cycles, symbiotic relationships and ecological concerns of a coral reef system. Participate in a fish dissection. As your skills in the water progress, head out on wall dives. Check out a spectacular reef which drops dramatically from 35 to 6,000 feet. Keeping your eyes peeled for big fish and sea turtles, descend into deeper waters to survey different growth forms.
Armed with knowledge and fresh dive skills, participate in a Coral Research Foundation course and re-plant rare staghorn and elkhorn corals on the reefs of Curaçao. Above water, the exploration continues with a visit to the historical center and cultural hub of Curaçao, Willemstad, and you take a break from your studies to kayak the majestic mangrove systems in the crystal blue waters.
Spend your final days in the Curaçao wrapping up your marine biology studies and enjoying a few fun dives at some new dive sites. Celebrate your final night and all we have done as a group. In this beautiful setting, marvel at how much you’ve learned, explored and accomplished. Not to mention how fast three weeks can fly by when you’re having fun.