We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Well ogranized, great experience”

Academy Bay Dive Center
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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!
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Well ogranized, great experience”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Great experience with them, from the initial information to booking and the trip itself
Flawless organization
The lady at the shop is very friendly and helpful
The trips are well organized, they provide everything you need (all gear, snacks, towels... etc)
Fast boat to get there quick ;)
Good dive master (Simon) makes nice pre-dive briefings with nice drawings and clear explanations about the dive plan and takes care of everything and everybody

Totally recommended

My only suggestion to them would be that they upgrade the land transport (the feeling of being pickup on an old rusty vehicle missing things like seat belt, window crank ... is not up to the rest of the experience)

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Peterson76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

201 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    140
    40
    7
    3
    11
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Excellent Dive Company”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I picked Academy Bay based on the reviews I had read. I communicated with Alice who responded promptly to all my emails. I was travelling around the islands before diving and started to hear some stories about other dive companies (inc a guy staying at my hotel who had to spend a few days in the chamber and was really weak). I emailed Alice regarding my concerns and was relieved to hear that it was 1 DM to 4 divers !

The equipment was good. Everything was professional - the briefing, the food, the transport and the crew. I like that they do not pack the boats and limit it to 8 people. The people on the boat were good fun.

As I had a previous bad dive experience and I communicated my reservations to the DM - Oscar. I think this is a very important step that some divers are missing - if you do not feel confident. Diving in the Galapagos can be different from your other dives. Currents can be strong. I booked 2 days diving with Academy Bay.

I was the person who recommended the reviewer below and I also feel that it was a hassle to get cash out while on the island especially during weekends where the ATMS are all out of money. I did manage to pay by paypal but a credit card machine would be good I did get a CD with photos and Video clips. I viewed it in the dive shop with another person from the group.

Academy Bay may cost slightly more but if you value safety then go with these guys.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Rietva R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitecourt, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Full Service Dive Company”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

My husband and I chose Academy Bay Dive Center on the advice of another traveler we had met who had taken her Open Water with them. We are both Advanced Padi Divers with 60 dives each. We went diving two days in a row. First day was North Seymour and the second day was Gordon Rocks. Oscar and the rest of the crew were extremely professional. They make a point to go over all the safety information and hand signals in advance. They also had us do a test dive in calm waters to check our weight prior to the dive sites. This was great because it had been almost 2 years since our previous dives, and 7mm full length wetsuits was new for us. They help you on and off with all of the equipment, including fins and weight belts. It's truly full service :-) We were able to book all our dives on arrival to Puerto Ayora, which was also nice not to have to book in advance. They serve a small breakfast on board, as well as a snacks and a decent lunch. The boat was in great shape, and most of the equipment was decent. The visibility on the dives wasn't great, but we still managed to see black tip sharks, hammerheads, galapagos sharks, eagle rays, turtles and sea lions. The divemasters were very patient with the less experienced divers who had trouble equalizing and using too much air, but it was a little frustrating for the rest of us having to wait for what seemed like a really long time for them to start the dives. The only other issue was they only take cash, not credit card, so we were having to use the ATM frequently during our stay on the island. They supplied us with a CD that had photos from our 4 dives, but none of the photos were of us, so we were happy that we had brought our own underwater camera with us. The staff at the shop are friendly and easy to deal with. We would dive with this company again. Overall a great experience.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank WndrwmnDiver O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monterrey, Mexico
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good for diving, skip the snorkel”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

My wife and I went with Oscar to 3 different dive sites in Galápagos. On all 4 dives the service was excelent and very professional. At Gordon Rocks, a site well known for its strong currents and schools of hammerheads, a diver felt uncomfortable just at the beginning and decided to abort her dive. Oscar took her back to the boat safely and then guided us to the best dive we've ever had. The price may be higher than other dive shops in Puerto Ayora. Paying in advance is more expensive, but you don't want to miss the chance to dive in Gordon Rocks and you must do it safely.

Regarding the snorkelling, we booked through them but the service was given by another business in San Cristobal. The boat was very small, we were too many and it felt pretty amateur. I suggest asking who will give you the service they're offering.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Kekomixtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
120 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Good group”
Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

We chose academy bay by word of mouth. All in all it was a good trip. Dive masters pretty well do everything for you. Quite organized, pretty good English. They were able to change the battery on my comp which I was happy about. We seen a lot if what we wanted to see like hammerheads. The diving was not good via but nothing the dive company can do about that. I would go back.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelling_norm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Academy Bay Dive Center also viewed

 
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
 

Been to Academy Bay Dive Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing