Sardine Run, April 2019 - Explore the last frontiers of the Pacific

Scuba Diving Exploration Expedition to Bahia Cupica, Chocó, Colombia.

Sardine Migration Season 2019

Discover the last frontier... An amazing trip to the Pacific coast of Colombia

Apr, 27th 2019

8 Nights All Inclusive:
Hotels - Local Flights - Transportation - Airport Transfers - Food - Boat - Fun

3 to 6 Guests per Expedition

Bigger groups traveling together can also be planned in advance.
Email us for more info @ [email protected]

TRIP DETAILS

DAY 1 - Saturday, Apr 27th

  • 6:00pm Meeting at Hotel in  Medellín.
  • Night out in Medellín for dinner and drinks (food and drinks NOT included).
  • Accommodation for the night.

DAY 2 - Sunday, Apr 28th

  • Transfers to local airport
  • Departure from Medellín to Bahia Solano (1 hour flight)
  • Transfer Bahia Solano airport to Hotel (15 min)
  • Lunch
  • Free time
  • Dinner

DAY 3 - Monday, Apr 29th

  • Breakfast
  • Sardine Run Expedition
  • Lunch on board or at a random beach
  • Search for sardines free-dive and/or scuba dive
  • Dinner & Rest

DAY 4 - Tuesday, Apr 30th

  • Breakfast
  • Sardine Run Expedition
  • Lunch on board or at a random beach
  • Search for sardines free-dive and/or scuba dive
  • Dinner & Rest

DAY 5 - Wednesday, May 1st

  • Breakfast
  • Sardine Run Expedition
  • Lunch on board or at a random beach
  • Search for sardines free-dive and/or scuba dive
  • Dinner & Rest

DAY 6 - Thursday, May 2nd

  • Breakfast
  • Sardine Run Expedition
  • Lunch on board or at a random beach
  • Search for sardines free-dive and/or scuba dive
  • Dinner & Rest

DAY 7 - Friday, May 3rd

  • Breakfast
  • Sardine Run Expedition
  • Lunch on board or at a random beach
  • Search for sardines free-dive and/or scuba dive
  • Dinner & Rest

DAY 8 - Saturday, May 4th

  • Breakfast
  • Trip back to Medellín
  • Transfers Airport – Hotel in Medellin
  • Free afternoon
  • Night out in Medellín for dinner and drinks (food and drinks NOT included).

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights from your home country to Medellín, Colombia.
  • Extra baggage weight on flight to and from Bahia Solano: 2800 COP per additional kilo. ($1 USD approx.).
  • Tips for Hotel and Dive Staff at the end of the trip (100.000 COP recommended) (30 USD approx.).
Sardine Run South America

VIEW THE PHOTOS

It is an event similar to the Sardine Run in South Africa at a smaller scale. The pacific coast of Colombia receives the last whiplash of the Humboldt current coming from the South as it turns West to join the South Equatorial current. At the same time, the Equatorial Countercurrent hits land directly onto this corner of the Pacific. This brings a lot of nutrients that attract all kinds of underwater life and clear water (for Pacific standards). Due to the relatively confined area where all this happens, there is a more defined migration route of the sardines and therefore a higher chance to experience a feeding frenzy in the water. This area is also known as the Hammerhead triangle which is formed by the Galapago Islands in Ecuador, Malpelo Island in Colombia and Coco's Island in Costa Rica.

Camilo Garcia

Owner / Colombia Pacific Expeditions Dive Guide

Every year, between the months of April and May, millions of silvery sardines travel north from the cold southern oceans, hugging the shore as they make their way up along the pacific coastlines of Colombia. A phenomenon commonly known as the annual “Sardine Run” and is world famous in South Africa. 

 

The first time we heard about it was on an expedition to swim with the Humpback Whales in Nuquí. Our Divemaster told us about the sardine migration season in the Colombian Pacific while navigating to the dive site. We made the decision right then and there to go back and see it the coming year…

 

Unfortunately the next year when we arrived, the weather was not in our side and we had three continuous days of rain which is normal in this part of the world. The Choco’s rainforest is one of the rainiest places in the world and we learnt how rain affected the visibility underwater in this area. There are many rivers coming out to the ocean in the south part of  El Chocó department (State / Province). Even though the visibility was greatly reduced we had amazing dives and got to see a lot of sardines and other kinds of underwater life.

 

Now we were very interested in the Colombian Sardine Run, we just had to find the right place to do it. Right after we finished the expedition to Nuquí, we started looking at Google Earth and talking to people in Bahia Solano. We figured out that the best time to be in the water and have the best chances of seeing the sardines and their predators is on the third week of April.

 

We use Bahia Solano as our base but most of the freediving, snorkeling and diving is done between 20 and 50 kms away from the small fishing village. We go to places where the humboldt current gets closer to land making it better as far as visibility goes. Also even though there are also many rivers ending up in the ocean in this area, they seem to be smaller and not to affect the visibility significantly.

 

Every year we explore new dive sites and dive in some spectacular ones we have already pinpoint in our GPS.

 

The focus of the expedition is to find bait balls, usually guided by the birds and the dolphins. Once we find the sardines, we jump in the water and assess the scene. Most of the time we snorkel and freedive until we have no energy left and leave the SCUBA gear on the boat for the right moment to put it on and dive. Sometimes there is no need to use the scuba equipment as everything happens on the surface and since they can move fast, sometimes there is even no point to use dive gear.

 

The daily plan it to leave early in the morning in the direction of the dive sites which is also the sardines migration route. We always have two SCUBA tanks on the boat per person. Some days we will use them all and other days we might not use any. Remember that scuba diving is not the main priority of this expedition but to find and photograph the sardines and more importantly to experience the feeding frenzy. This takes time and patience and if you are thinking about signing up for this expedition you should think more like a fisherman than a scuba diver. We may be trolling for hours before there is an opportunity to jump in the water.

These sardine shoals travel in seething masses stretching for up to fifteen kilometres in length.

 

The Sardine migration is a spectacle in itself, but add to this, hundreds of predators arriving en mass to partake in a feeding frenzy, and you get a wildlife extravaganza rivalling the Great Migration of the wildebeest across the African savanna. Birds, dolphins, sharks, whales and game fish all gorge themselves on sardine’s-a-plenty, putting on a show that will undoubtedly live on in memory for a lifetime!

Contact us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Confirm Your Email (required)

Subject

How can we help you?

TDI Instructor
PADI Tec Deep Course
PADI course
SDI Divemaster Course
shearwater perdix
Razor Sidemount
Dive Xtras DPV
Light & Motion Torch
TripAdvisor

Get in touch with us!





Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Confirm Your Email (required)

Subject

How can we help you?

© Copyright 2014-2017 by Divers Underground

Tel: + 52 1 984 132-4058

Email: [email protected]

UA-26899111-1