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“Professional, superb organisation, excellent communication when booking our dives”

Academy Bay Dive Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Our Dive center is located right across the road from the Navy base and the main passenger pier in Puerto Ayora. If you still can't find us, look out for a bright pink lolly shop next door!
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We (group of 3 French couples, experienced divers). did 6 days of diving with Academy Bay Diving
Organization of our trip: being 6 divers, we preferred to reserve our dives before departing for the Galapagos. The communication with Alice was excellent, good commercial attitude, flexibility etc. Payment of 30 % at the reservation while some other clubs are asking 100 % (that we considered as not acceptable). The club is also organizing excursions for non divers.
Organisation of the dives is professional. Maximum 10 divers, plus 2 guides , captain, and one crew on board of the speed boat. The dive sites are between 30 minutes and 1 hour sailing. The guides take care of all the equipment, including our personal equipment (we were carrying all our equipment). This looks probably obvious for American divers, but is not the cases in many parts of the world. For specialists, the tanks can accept the DIN format regulators (was not the case when diving in Isabella). A small breakfast and lunch is included in the package. Regarding security, there is oxygen on board, and there is an hyperbaric center in Puerto Ayora.
The dives: most of the dives are superb: we will not forget the hammerheads, white tip sharks, turtles, rays… and the sea lions playing with us. Nice also, the captain positions his boat very close to the shore to observe the sea lions, navigates to approach the dolphins, or simply to take the best snaps of the islands. We came back with hundred of pictures and videos, plus the ones that Santiago (our guide) took, and which are for free within the dive package.

1  Thank ramoneur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 151 of 219 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2014

I’ve been around the word and I’ve never had found a tour agent so negligent. When we get there they were more than friendly, once we book the trip the problems started. We booked a trip for Isabela Island; we booked what was supposed to be a fancy trip that includes a lot of attractions, but they send us to a trip that was less than worthless, the worst part is that Isabela Island is more than two hours from Santa Cruz and they tell us about the terrible tour just when we get there (No way to go back at this time). Once we return, they pretend to give us the money difference between the two tours, the owner is a really rude guy that told us something like “If when you get to the island you just sit and wait until the tour ends I’ll give your money back, since you did take the tour u have to pay for it”, also told me “I know is our mistake but it doesn’t mean that we have to be the one to pay for it”. I argued with them for almost an hour and they just give me a partial return, because according to them I have to pay for the transfers and the food. There are millions of agents on the island, go to any other but this one. Anyone can make a mistake, but if they do they are not going to take responsibility of it.

6  Thank Rubenyie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

I have been diving all over the world and have about 500 dives under my belt. I had a couple of days in Puerto Ayora and decided to try some scuba day trips. I visited numerous dive shops in Puerto Ayora, and they all appeared to be about the same to me - same gear, same prices, etc. But I picked Academy Bay because of their dive schdule, and it looks like I was very lucky and picked the correct shop. The dive master was one of the most professional whom I have ever met. I liked the fact that he stated that one of his roles was the protection of the Galapagos. Thumbs up to Academy Bay! The dive boat was run professionally and smoothly. The gear was well used (identical to the gear of every other shop in Puerto Ayora), but maintained well and it all worked perfectly. A beakfast snack was provided - granola and yogurt. During the surface interval, lunch was served - bread, sandwich meats, chips, fruit and juice. The dive master took some GoPro video and photos during the dive, and gave us a disc that evening.

2  Thank harrywv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

I found Acadamy Bay online and e-mailed them about their services- Alice was prompt to reply, unlike some others I treid, and was very helpful so I booked a dive day with them. Upon arrival in the galapagos, I walked to the center and was fitted for equipment and finalized the next day's dive. We left early - according to Alice to be the first to the dive site- and we were! Our first dive was just our boat and the wildlife there was amazing- sharks, rays, baracuda and all other types of fish and sea lions were there. A great dive and after a surface interval. another great dive. Our divemaster Oscar and helper Steven and captain gave us snacks and beverages and made sure our dives were unforgettable.

1  Thank Dan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2014

We spent 10 days in the Galapagos in Feb of 2014. We wanted to dive a few days and choose Academy Bay Dive center after reading reviews online and then visiting the shop. We tried on wetsuits and BC's the night before. We arrived at the shop bright and early(6:30) walked down to the dock. We went to Gordon Rocks for the 2 dives. The divemaster/owner took all the new divers on a quick checkout dive to check our basic skills and see our bouyancy skills. He spent extra time with my wife since she has less experience then I do. He made sure she was comfortable with the diving.

We then went to Gordon. The current was pretty strongand visibility was not very good. Maybe 30'. But we saw lots of sharks, rays and turtles. My wife saw a hammerhead, but I MISSED IT!!

We wanted to do a couple more dives with them because we really liked their crew, but they had a charter coming from the US and were booked full. I would highly recommend them for a great couple of dives!

We also got to snorkel with sea lions in between dives at the Plazas.

Also we went back to the shop that nite and they showed us pictures from the dives and put them on our SD card for free.

Thank golfhorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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