'Viva la Vida!'
Overview / Summary
This programme is totally unique and combines PADI diver training courses with recreational diving in Mochima National Park and adventure tours through Venezuela.
You are based at a remote Venezuelan beach location called ‘Playa Colorada’. From there you venture off to coffee plantations, cultural historic sites, kayak down the Orinoco Delta and the Caribbean and even live with Waroe Indian tribes! Spanish lessons are held most mornings so you learn the language quickly and you experience a range of diving experiences in Mochima National Park around your excursions.
The trip is action-packed and would suit anyone looking for a REAL adventure. You find yourself immersed in Venezuelan culture and get a real taste of ‘off the beaten track’ Latino culture and travel.
We have our 'core package' which should be suitable for most diving abilities. We also offer a range of 'bolt-ons' so that you can make the most of the experience and hone in on areas that interest you most.
Base Price: £2,395
Base Duration: 8 weeks
Suitability: All Levels
The programme is ideal for gappers and career breakers alike. Venezuela is less developed than some of the more Central American countries, so if you’re after a “real” overseas adventure, then Venezuela is just for you!
Upon arrival you jump straight in and focus on the diver training courses and recreational diving! We find that doing the courses in these first couple of weeks allows you to relax, enjoy the Caribbean waters and explore Mochima National Park. We train everyone up to PADI Advanced Open Water and include some recreational fun dives, but the emphasis is more on exploring Mochima than diver training. Depending on your current dive qualification you can expect the following:
Beginner: Open Water, Advanced Open Water and around 6 - 10 additional fun dives
Qualified Open Water Diver: PADI Advanced Open Water and around 16 additional fun dives
Qualified Advanced +: No compulsory dive training - just fun dives and exploration!
|Dive Activity||Beginner||Open Water||Advanced||Rescue +|
|First Aid Course|
|PADI Specs.||Not available to pre-book and time permitting.|
|Fun Dives||Plenty of fun dives to fill the time.|
|Pro Courses||Not currently available.|
Venezuela is still an unknown to many divers, but that only makes it more special! The waters of Mochima National Park are a breeding place for all kinds of fish - species are still being discovered here! There's soft coral, hard coral, Sponges, Tube Worms, Spaghetti Worms, Christmas Tree Worms (!), a great variety and quantity of reef fish, Spotted Morays, Snappers, Groupers, Cleaner Shrimp stations, Crabs, Whales, Dolphins, Turtles and so much more! With so much to see we really so try and get you out to a variety of dive sites to explore the underwater wonders Mochima has on offer.
Local Exploration and Culture
At Playa Colorada you'll get some Intensive Spanish classes to establish the language quickly. You'll be introduced to sea-kayaking and experience a 3 day expedition to the offshore islands where you’ll encounter dolphins, snorkel on spectacular reefs, enjoy beach games like volleyball and try fishing to catch dinner. There are also some great hikes to the top of the islands for spectacular views of the park and the chance to try sport-climbing or abseiling.
On the islands you’ll learn how to make a shelter, a fire, find food and water and learn to tie a few simple knots as well. You’ll also have an introduction to local cooking, visit neighbouring villages and waterfalls and even try your hand at Salsa and Merengue dancing.
Where better to learn Spanish than in a Spanish speaking country, submerged in the culture and surrounded by the seductive tongue. A Gap Year Diver Spanish and Dive Programme will take you from the basic, ‘hola, una cerveza por favor’ to an advanced level without even realising that you have been in class!
The classes are informal and given in the open air; on Caribbean beaches, in steaming jungles and even on top of eerie Tepuys.
Just a few hours drive away is the ‘Eden of the East’, the lush and mountainous Caripe region famous for its coffee plantations and farming culture. Here you’ll explore the Guachero cave and its inhabitants as well as visit coffee plantations, fruit and vegetable farms and local markets. Other activities you do in this area include mountain trekking, horse riding and camping.
Orinoco Delta and Waroe Indians
Your sea kayaking trip in Mochima prepares you for one of the real highlights of your trip. You’ll travel and live as the Waraos have done for over 20,000 years - exploring the waterways, jungles and sabanas where you’ll be amongst an amazing abundance of wildlife and flora. You’ll learn about the Ancient Warao culture, artesania (including Moriche weaving and wood sculpture), visit Warao families, live in a Waroe home for a night, construct your own bush camp and even go horse riding through a Savannah.
A guideline itinerary and more information is available in the programme handbook which is available to download using the download links on this page.
These are the bolt-ons for this diving expedition. These can be added to the core package when you confirm a place on the trip. If you have any questions about these trip extensions please call the office to discuss everything in more detail.
Medic, First Aid & Rescue Skills
Duration: 4-5 days
Enhance your knowledge and safety skills with two great PADI courses - The PADI Emergency First Response (EFR) and the PADI Rescue Diver course.Find out more...
Duration: 4 days
A 4-day excursion to the world's highest waterfall. The trip is normally conducted during your last week. Expect some walking, swimming and amazing views...Find out more...
Gran Sabana and Roraima
Duration: 3 weeks
A 3-week extension to the standard itinerary. There are excursions to historical sites in Cumana before a 4x4 trip to the Gran Sabana and a hiking expedition to Roraima - "The Lost World".Find out more...
Volunteer Work Experience
Duration: 4 weeks
Your chance to give something back to the local community. A range of projects are underway and require volunteer support.Find out more...
The main start dates for this trip are detailed below. Custom start dates may also available and can be selected when booking online.
The standard / base trip is higlighted in green. Components listed below this are optional and can be added-on as desired when booking your trip.
|'Viva la Vida!'||£2,395||8 weeks|
|First Aid / Rescue pack||£420||N/A|
|Angel Falls Expedition||£380||N/A|
|Gran Sabana and Roraima||£695||3 weeks|
|Volunteer Work Experience||£625||4 weeks|
A few helpful pointers. We also provide a comprehensive 'travel pack' after you book your place which provides some really good advice.
We recommend London to Miami followed by Miami to Barcelona (BLA). You can also fly via Paris or Madrid into Caracas where you will have to take a connecting flight to Barcelona with Avior Airlines or Ascerca Airlines.
Return flights from London Heathrow to BLA typically cost from £770 (low season) to £1,010 (high season). Please call the GYT team on 0844 560 9958 for a quotation.
All customers will be met at BLA airport and taken to the camp. At the end of the trip customers will be taken back to the airport for their return flights.
If you are arriving by air, you can enter for up to 90 days on a tourist card issued on arrival. You should also have a valid return ticket. If you are arriving overland, or by sea, you need to obtain a visa in advance from your nearest Venezuelan Embassy or Consulate. You must not overstay the 90 days or you may be arrested and fined when departing. Extensions of up to 60 days can be arranged at any DIEX (Department for Foreigners of Ministry of Interior) office on payment of a fee plus presentation of passport, tourist card, photograph and return ticket.
Visa procurement remains the responsibility of the passenger and not that of Gap Year Diver.
You will need to complete a PADI medical form before departure. Customers should also ensure that they have a moderate to good level of fitness.
Housing and Accommodation
The accommodation is authentic. You will have a choice of beds or hammocks and when you're on tour it might be in a tent.
Food, Drink and Meals
Your accommodation includes a breakfast of fresh fruits and cereal and a main meal of national and international flavours each evening. Lunch is also included when you are having Spanish lessons and when you are on expedition / tour. When you are at the camp there are kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals.
All PADI materials are included in the price where applicable.
All PADI fees are included in the price where applicable.
We recommend you budget around $800 / £500 for spending money.