Marine Conservation Volunteering & Scuba Diving in Caribbean

Location
Grenada
64 travelers saved this program

Who's Going

Photo of Valerie Stimac
Go Overseas Content Director
When:

Hosted by

Matt lionfish hunting
Program Coordinator

About This Program

Join us in paradise for a “life changing experience.” Help us preserve and protect the vibrant coral reefs that will be your office and playground during your volunteer experience.

Caribbean Reef Buddy programs combine internationally recognized diving qualifications with specialist training in our ongoing marine conservation projects. Our focus is to preserve and protect the beautiful coral reefs surrounding the island. Throughout our work we aim to encourage environmental awareness and individual development.

Our team of biologists and dive professionals is on hand to teach you how to dive and provide marine conservation training. We recognize that a healthy marine ecosystem plays an important role in sustaining the livelihoods of the local population, and we want you take part in our efforts to protect the biodiversity and ecological wealth of the island!

We are proud that people who come to work with us leave as friends!

Highlights

  • Dive courses offered - Open Water to Divemaster
  • Learn marine conservation protocols from qualified biologists and dive professionals
  • Swim with Hawksbill and Green Turtles in the stunning Tobago Cays Marine Park
  • 'Castaway' remote island trips and island barbecue
  • Hands on field research experience

Our team of biologists and dive professionals is on hand to teach you how to dive and provide marine conservation training. We recognize that a healthy marine ecosystem plays an important role in sustaining the livelihoods of the local population, and we want you take part in our efforts
to protect the biodiversity and ecological wealth of the island! We are proud that people who come to work with us leave as friends!

We welcome volunteers to join our conservation team for 2, 4, and 8 week programs - the longer you stay the more you can do! 

Our conservation work requires all volunteers to be certified divers (minimum PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent). If you are not a diver, you can complete the required certifications with our experienced dive instructors.

Resident dive professionals and marine biologists will provide specialized training for you to develop the skills required to participate in our conservation activities. You will learn about reef ecology, and contribute to our conservation work in the Marine Protected Area. The longer you join the program for, the more opportunities you will have to progress your diving, gain qualifications, participate in data collection dives, and explore Carriacou with us!

By joining Caribbean Reef Buddy you can choose to undertake the following:

- PADI dive courses available from Open Water qualification through to Divemaster.
- Advanced diving techniques including navigation and buoyancy control.
- Specialty training in digital underwater photography.
- Specialty courses in Coral Watch and Fish Identification.
- Specialty training in Lionfish containment, including hunting, analysis and data collection.
- Internationally recognized reef survey protocols, fish, substrate and coral survey techniques, including Reef Check (4 and 8 week programs only).
- Lectures, classes and support from our resident biologists.
- Training in equipment maintenance.
- Day trip to snorkel with Green and Hawksbill turtles in the Tobago Cays Marine Park, the setting of the Pirates of the Caribbean films (4 and 8 week programs only).
- Snorkel trips to the beautiful Sandy Island and White island.
- Hike through the Nature Reserve to the summit of High North.
- Training and PADI courses available for experienced divers and those new to diving.

All diving equipment, course materials and research/project equipment is provided by us.

Please take a look at the price breakdown in our photo gallery for more information on what is included, and how to build a program to suit your interests!

You will be based in a quaint family-run hotel, just 2 minutes walk from the dive centre. Mishka, the owner / manager is a true Caribbean gem, her and her partner Tim, will be on hand to ensure your stay is as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Just a short hop over the road from the hotel and you will find yourself on the beautiful island beaches where you are able to relax, chill and soak up the unique island atmosphere.

You will be provided with breakfast every morning, usually comprising of cereals, toast, eggs, bacon, fresh juices, tea and coffee. When you return from your diving activities you can expect delicious dishes such as home-made lasagne, burgers and traditional meals from the West Indies - such as the famous rotis and Oil Downs! For those volunteers with special dietary requirements, please ensure you include this as part of your application.

Video and Photos

Availability

2 Weeks
$2509.96 USD
4 Weeks
$4051.72 USD
8 Weeks
$6683 USD

Reviews

99%
based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
Default avatar
Edward
10/10

2018 April-June Dive-master Program

I spent 8 weeks improving my diving skills from Open water all the way through to Divemaster whilst completing a plethora of specialties on the side (Fish I.D., Nitrox, Deep, Lionfish Containment and Coral Watch). The easygoing yet experienced staff made adapting the program to my personal preferences incredibly easy and their good sense of humour and banter made for a very pleasant and fun experience. I found the accommodation to be perfectly fine and all meals provided were more than enough to satisfy a hungry diver! On top of all of this the incredible diving experience. is underscored by a strong and coherent environmental effort by the entire team, doing their utmost to protect the wildlife they love so much! Overall I would thoroughly recommend this program to those who are looking for a bit of an adventure within the relaxed comfortable lifestyle of a Caribbean island; utter paradise!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rhea
10/10

AMAZING EXPERIENCE

I cannot express how much I loved my time during the Caribbean Reef Buddy Program! I came into the program with no experience with being under water and in no time I was diving alongside the other volunteers without any trouble. Within my four weeks, I gained a number of certifications from PADI Advanced Open Water to Caribbean Lionfish Containment. The staff is extremely experienced in diving and their dedication towards marine conservation is amazing.
The island itself is quite literally paradise. From beautiful beaches to stunning dive sites, every moment feels like a picture from a postcard. The locals are extremely welcoming, making the island feel like home.
I could keep raving about this program but I'll keep it simple by saying that the only downside of my experience is that I was not able to stay longer. If you are looking for a program to begin diving, learn more about marine conservation or make amazing memories then this is the program for you!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Bob
10/10

Life Changing Experience!

The Divemaster course that CRB offer is undeniably an extraordinary experience. From gaining multiple PADI qualifications to helping take care of the delicate ecosystem myself, it was a truly unique and rewarding experience. As well as being under the water, there are plenty of other activities offered above it, climbing the highest peak on the island, having a beach BBQ, or heading up to Tobago Cays (where we found Baby Blacktip Reef Sharks!). The Divemaster course is spread out over a very manageable 3 weeks, so there is room to change plans around if need be, and the tuition received from all of the team at CRB has made me a far far better diver. Inevitably, the island got under my skin and it didn’t take long for me to extend my stay to 3 months. Carriacou - a true tropical paradise, is free of chainstores, huge supermarkets or any urbanisation. The locals (known as Kayak’s) encourage a safe and friendly atmosphere, making your stay more relaxing and even more enjoyable.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Tristan
10/10

Experience of a lifetime!

The program was remarkable. Not only is the island peaceful and remote but very welcoming with outstanding weather--a true paradise. The wildlife is spectacular and everywhere for you to see. The crew is more than helpful with any questions, problems or accommodations that you might have as well.
At first when I selected the 8 week divemaster program I thought it might be a little too long of a stay but after the first week of staying at the magnificent John's Unique Resort and getting comfortable with the island, I knew 8 weeks was not going to be enough! The people, wildlife and geography is truly what makes Carriacou such a wonderful place to visit. I look forward to coming back in the future!

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Raquel
10/10

Fantastic Program, Excellent Quality Dive and Marine Conservation Education.

If you are looking for a dive and marine conservation education program STOP HERE, you've found it. I find it hard to sum of my experience with Caribbean Reef Buddy in a website review as really it was just so incredible, words barely justify. I came down to Carriacou on the 4 week CRB program June 2016, ended up extending my stay another 4 weeks on top of that. Coming from landlocked Toronto (besides the lake of course, but who really wants to dive in that...) the ability to dive 6 days a week was a dream come true. The dive sites are vibrant and full of fish. My favorite sites were Whirlpool, Sisters, and Sharky's Hideaway.

The marine education side enriched my dive experience exponentially. You get to walk away from this program with so many marine conservation skills under your belt and a better understanding of the ocean as a whole. The staff is professional, friendly, and help you every step of the way. They train you how to become a diver that is conscious, aware, one that does not kick or disturb the fragile marine environment. I went from scuba mush, to feeling confident as I floated above the corals collecting data and taking photos. They really prepare you before you go out into the field and collect data yourself. I enjoyed working as a team and collecting and submitting real fish and coral data with my peers on the program.

One of my favorite memories was the day after we completed our Lionfish Containment Program, we went out on a Lionfish Hunt dive then had a BBQ with our catch on the secluded White's Island. But I also can't forget to mention the Tobago Cays ! So beautiful !

There is a family vibe at the dive center, so you never feel homesick. It's very easy to feel welcome and comfortable, which was a huge plus for me because I can be quite nervous in new settings.

The accommodations were great and only footsteps away from the dive center. LOVED the food. You get things like, chicken, pork, CARBS like rice, MACARONI PIE, potato salad, which you need after the multiple dives a day, seasonal veggies, and did I mention chicken..

I felt very safe on Carriacou, the locals are very friendly and always say hello when they pass you on the street.

Saturday nights at Off The Hook beach bar was always a fun way to wind down the busy week..

Overall 10/10 experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Tamara
10/10

Great dive master internship

I did a ten week internship at Caribbean Reef Buddy. I learnt a lot about reef monitoring, fisheries, the island life and ofcourse diving.
During my internship I did the 8 week program for my dive master certificate. The staff is very friendly and skilled. They make you feel at home which makes the course more fun. It doesn't matter if your a confident diver or a bit unsure, they can help you step by step.
I had a lot of fun with the other volunteers. We did fun stuff after the dives like going to nice beaches and in the evening going out for drinks and playing pool.
I can't wait to go back for some diving, fun and maybe an instructor course!

How can this program be improved?
Keep up the good work!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Steph
10/10

The Best 30 Days of My Life

During the month of June 2016, I spent my time on the most incredible island, Carriacou, volunteering with Caribbean Reef Buddy. Having never dived before, I was petrified when we took to the clear and warm Caribbean ocean and I had my first breath underwater. However, with CRB, I was so secure and comfortable that my confidence with diving increased minute by minute. Gary and Katlynd (who trained us to become Advanced divers) were so amazing to work with, as they were patient, trustworthy and so enthusiastic, making every activity as enjoyable as the last. Throughout my time with CRB we had the opportunity to gain several certifications, from the Open Water Advanced PADI to the Lionfish Containment Diver. Each day presented itself with something new and exciting, as each dive was different and so unique. The sights I have seen and the experiences I have had are incomparable to anything I have ever done before, and I am so glad I was able to share that with so many great people. Matt, Katlynd, Gary, Alex, Josh and Andre were so welcoming and were like a family, who created a very special dynamic between the group, that I miss so much but will treasure forever. CRB is, without doubt, the best volunteering program out there and I would recommend it to everyone!
Genuinely, the only bad thing is that I couldn’t stay forever!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10

CRB 4 Week program

I stayed with CRB for four weeks in July. Having only ever dived twice before arriving I can hardly believe how much I learnt in just four weeks. Being able to dive so regularly after completing the open water course really teaches you how to be a good diver not just how to be qualified. The dive sites are, without exception absolutely stunning! Becoming reef check qualified and submitting data with coral watch is highly rewarding as you are helping to preserve the reef for others to enjoy! The lionfish hunts are great fun and such a unique experience that you would struggle to find elsewhere.
Everyone involved at the dive centre helps to make the project good fun. It's great that everyone there loves what they do and wants you to have the best experience possible. All instructors were so patient and knowledgeable and were always on hand to help in any way, from Katlynd patiently waiting for me to learn the difference between a snapper and a grunt to Matt and Gary for helpful lionfish hunting tips and target practice.
Tim and Mishka at Johns Unique could not have been more welcoming! From some great birthday cocktails made by Tim (try a mudslide) to great food and friendly staff.
Overall a great way to spend a summer holiday on a beautiful island seeing some of the best diving the Caribbean has to offer!

Yes, I recommend this program
Freddie
10/10

What a trip!

I had such a great time at Carribean Reef Buddy. Got 20 dives in in 12 days, including my advanced open water with a few specialties on top, amazing value. On top, you are really learning about what is really needed in conservation and making a difference yourself. The guys were all really friendly and helpful, and very understanding of everyone’s individual needs. The island itself is paradise, with very friendly people who are always up for sharing a rum or three. Careful with the jack iron though...

How can this program be improved?
It’s hard to think of a way!
Yes, I recommend this program
Shanna
10/10

8 Weeks and Counting

I've loved it so much here that what started as an 8 week trip has now turned into an 18 week trip. Yesterday, I completed my Divemaster training and am now staying on as an intern at Deefer Diving to continue learning more about the dive industry and to keep working with this amazing team.
I came to Caribbean Reef Buddy and Carriacou for the 8 week ecodiver program. I was already qualified as an Open Water diver and wanted to get my Advanced, Rescue, and Divemaster certifications. I also wanted to do conservation work and photography while completing the courses, so CRB was a really great option for me.
I can hardly believe how much I have learned in 8 weeks. Before coming here, my primary goals were to learn more about marine wildlife and conservation efforts, and to become a better diver and get the training needed to be able to work in the industry so that I can travel as a dive professional. CRB and the amazing team at Deefer Diving have taught me all of that and more.
Through the program, you learn fish identification, how to identify bleached and diseased coral, and the impacts of lionfish and invasive species on an ecosystem. The Deefer team has instilled in me the same passion that they have for the underwater world. They are also fantastic dive instructors.
Carriacou is a really special little island. It's small and slow paced. The water is bright blue and the mountains are beautiful. Once you come here, you won't want to leave.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Becky
10/10

Volunteer 4 week program

I was looking for a volunteer program to do over the summer before my senior year of college and came across Caribbean Reef Buddy. Studying Wildlife Conservation and Management, I saw that The Caribbean Reef Buddy program focused on Marine conservation. I wanted to expand my horizons and applied to volunteer for the month of July. I always dreamed of one day becoming scuba diving certified and within the program you are able to be PADI certified and not just get your open water certification but Advanced open water as well! The conservation aspects were extremely beneficial and I learned so much! Learning about different corals, fish species, invasive lionfish, underwater photography, and being able to do dives every day was the greatest thing ever. The volunteers that I was with were all so friendly and I made so many new friends from all over the world. I still keep in touch with them as well as the staff of Caribbean Reef Buddy. I would happily volunteer for this program and experience again. Everyone was so nice, friendly, helpful, and knowledge. It’s a great experience and if you ever have the opportunity to do it,I would strongly recommend it!

Rebecca Alpuche

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
9/10

Reef Buddy Caribbean Experience

8 week Eco Divemaster programme 27 May - 22 July 2017

My 8 week Eco Divemaster programme was a memorable experience.
8 week time well spent i was surprised how much i learnt in this time frame.

This was my first volunteer work abroad and in marine conservation.

My objective during this volunteer programme was to learn and contribute to Coral conservation work and Lionfish containment and also to progress in scuba diving as i wanted to venture in a whole new career in the diving world.
To certify in PADI open water, Advanced open water and Divemaster.
That’s exactly what I accomplished during this 8 week programme, I had gained confidence and valuable diving experience here at Caribbean Reef buddy.

The Caribbean Reef buddy at Deefer diving, Carriacou has an incredible setting to learn various dive courses and marine conservation work.

The Turquoise and Cobalt blue colours of the caribbean sea is incredibly beautiful, I would always look forward to getting in the water when i was there. It made me feel so refreshed.
There are various dive sites you can visit, each has its own unique qualities. Reef walls/ volcanic bubble gardens and a wreck with sightings of exotic fishes and wonderful marine life.

The team at Deefer diving are full of enthusiasm and inspiring knowledge and will happily make your diving experience an enjoyable one.

I would definately recommend the Reef buddy volunteer programme to others as i feel everyone should help contribute to marine conservation to get a better understanding of our ocean and aquatic life and take pleasure in the beauty it has to offer us.

Samantha Wilson

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Maisie
10/10

An incredible experience

I began the Caribbean Reef Buddy course on the 30th June 2017 and spent 2 weeks with them and I have to say they were some of the most enjoyable weeks of my life so far. We dived twice a day nearly every day, with just one day missed due to terrible weather, although we still got to go snorkeling. The wildlife here is incredible and the water temperature is extremely pleasant at 29'C! The staff are all very friendly and helpful, and they also make you feel right at home in and out of the water.
My favourite memory from this trip was seeing all the turtles and how close you are able to get to them as they are laid on the reef. I also loved the lionfish containment programme!
I've learnt a lot from this course and hope to go back next year before I go to university.
I highly recommend it to anyone who has never dived before to the most experienced diver, you will not regret this trip.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About Caribbean Reef Buddy

Caribbean Reef Buddy is a non-profit organisation based on the island of Carriacou, near Grenada, in the Caribbean West Indies. Our ongoing projects include coral reef monitoring, lionfish containment and coral regeneration, as well as working in the...