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This remarkably special eco-tour offers travelers the chance to visit one of Colombia´s most breathtakingly beautiful coastlines while working hand-in-hand with an award winning Colombian NGO in a vitally important, decade-long sea turtle conservation project.
Gorgona Island rises out of Colombia´s isolated pacific waters like an ancient kingdom of the tropics; it is here that you will be working with CIMAD (Center for Environmental Management and Development) to help the plight of the sea turtles, a 200 million year old species facing imminent extinction.
Once the Alcatraz of South America, what´s left of Gorgona´s maximum security prison has long been overrun with capuchin monkeys, snakes and fluorescent blue anole lizards. Circling Gorgona´s palm-fringed waters include hammerhead sharks, manta rays, humpback whales and coral reefs.
Day by Day description:
Day – 1:
Leave Cali airport to Guapi. In Guapi you will visit the CIMAD Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and have lunch in a typical restaurant before heading off in speedboat to Gorgona Island. At Gorgona National park you will be received by members of CIMAD who will give you an introduction to the island and their conservation work on it. You will then prepare for the 2 hour boat excursion later that night in which you will help to capture endangered sea turtles for investigation. When sufficient turtles have been captured you will return to the laboratory and assist a Biologist in the investigation process.
Day – 2:
After breakfast you will tour the abandoned prison of Gorgona Island and visit the museum, before heading back to the laboratory to install GPS tracking devices on selected turtles for later monitoring. After lunch you can take a spectacular walk in Yundigua, where abundant tropical wildlife can be spotted, before returning to the hotel for dinner and another night-time turtle reconnaissance mission.
Day – 3:
After breakfast you can choose to take an ecological walk to Palmeras beach or go on a group daytrip around the island. You will have the chance to snorkel in the coral reefs and relax on the beaches. At dinner you and the CIMAD team will reflect on the experiences that you´ve had on the island, what you have learned about the plight of the sea turtles and conservation techniques to protect them.
Day – 4:
You will take your leave at 5:30am back to Guapi and then Cali, the salsa capital of the world.
During the tour you will assist CIMAD scientists in capturing, investigating and releasing sea turtles, gaining a wealth of knowledge about the species and the vital role that they play in the balance of the planets ecosystem. The profits made from your participation will go towards buying new equipment and continuing the push to save an ancient species on the border of extinction.