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Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges Enhance Novice-to-Expert Scuba Diving Experiences


 Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges Emphasize Diver Training and Land-Based Multi-Island Accommodations To Enhance Novice-to-Expert Scuba Diving Experiences


QUITO, ECUADOR, May 4, 2011 -- Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges, the region‚s leading hospitality company for active adventure, has formalized an extensive dive program embracing novices to experts with over 45 dive sites and multi-island dive packages for varying length vacations and interests.


The range of diving options is available today thanks to Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges five island-based accommodations including two specifically dedicated to divers, with a total of 48 rooms. Heretofore diving options were for the most part restricted to intermediate to experienced divers based from a live-aboard dive boat or a single land-based location.


„Galapagos has always been known as a place with amazing -- but challenging -- deep water dives, traditionally available only to those with a lot of experience and usually accommodated by one of the many live-aboard dive vessels plying Galapagos waters. But now, with the development of high quality, land-based and instructional dive programs this has all changed. At Red Mangrove Lodges we have access to dive sites off multiple islands that offer ideal conditions for all skill levels,‰ said Caleb Hayes, Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges Dive Manager and professional PADI Instructor ((PADI stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors).


The PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience for ages 10 and up targets beginners.  Guests will watch a 45 minute video followed by time in a pool with an instructor. When comfortable, participants then head out to a specially chosen spot with an instructor for an open water dive. A PADI instructor leads the course that is $220 per person including introduction, equipment and in-water instruction.


The two-day Referral Open Water PADI Certification Course is for divers who can document preliminary course work and training and want to do their required open water certification in tropical waters. The cost is $350 for four checkout dives.


Vacation dive packages inclusive of double occupancy accommodations begin at $1,319 per person. Included are on-island accommodations, all meals and soft drinks mentioned on the programs, excursions with English-speaking naturalists, free use of bikes in certain locations, snorkeling gear, all diving equipment (except dive computers, rented separately), and a 10 percent service charge as per Ecuadorian law.


Popular packages include Full Dive Adventure in Galapagos ˆ 8 days / 7 nights's Dive Triangle ˆ 6 days / 5 nights; and Darwin's Discovery Dive Package ˆ 5 days / 4 nights


PADI professionals assist guests in selecting dive sites appropriate to their abilities. For example, for the novice, Academy Bay, Loberia, Los Tunnels, Santa Fe, Seymour Channel and Isla Tortuga are shallow, free of strong currents and offer an array of tropical fish, sea lions, rays, sea turtles and more.


Hernan Rodas, visionary founder and owner, noted that land-based programs have a greatly reduced ecological footprint (relative to a live-aboard cruise) and are better positioned to benefit local communities. He said that the cost for his company‚s dive programs on average are $500 to $1,000 per person less than a week on a ship and offer a more intimate exploration of the Galapagos including opportunities for social interaction with islanders.


About Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges

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