I planned to visit the Galapagos Islands in February 2012 and had two friends that had been diving in the islands and said it was fantastic. One had dove with Nauti Diving so I contacted them via email to inquire about diving the islands. Vicente, the owner, was very responsive and told me about dive packages.
To make a long story short, I booked a dive package for February 1-6, 2012 for $2100 that included transport from the airport, 4 days of diving (2-3 dives/day was promised), lunch on the boat, and 5 nights in a "luxury" hotel. Plus, I was charged $45/day to rent gear! There was just one other German couple that had booked the same tour. The boat takes a max of 8 divers.
I could have saved $1500 by not pre-booking the trip and just booking day dive trips with Nauti Diving. I asked one American couple what they were paying for a day of diving and they were a bit elusive with their response while on the boat. Later I ran into them in town and they told me they were asked not to disclose what they had paid for the day diving which was only $160!
If you are planning a dive trip to Galapagos Islands during the low season (February 1-6 was very slow on the island), I would recommend NOT pre-booking your trip with Nauti Diving but to sign up the day before -- you'll save a ton money this way.
Additionally, the “luxury” hotel, Lobo Del Mar, Nauti Diving reserved was hardly worth the $118/night I was charged. I had even read awful reviews of the hotel and expressed my concerns before the trip to Vicente who said they had remodeled. Read the reviews for Lobo Del Mar but trust me do NOT stay there. I highly recommend Jean’s Home instead.
Africa, Vicente’s daughter, is the dive master we had, and she did bend over backwards to make things right as we had many equipment mishaps such as equipment left on shore and spending 2 hours going back for it. Consequently, we were never offered a third dive any of the four days of diving. Just inquire how many dives to expect before booking.
The boat is a comfortable sail boat (they never sail but always motor) and only does day trips to different dive sites.
The diving is incredible but only for intermediate to advance divers due to strong currents, cooler temperatures, and rough seas at times.
I would dive with Nauti Diving again – I just wouldn’t book an expensive dive package but sign up for day dives after I arrive on Santa Cruz (only during low season).
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