Red Mangrove Galapagos
and Ecuador Lodges
, the leading hospitality company in the islands, wants prospective scuba divers to consider the options before taking the plunge. Diving in the Galapagos is highly controlled and limited to just two options; one can book a weeklong package on a dive boat, or “live-aboard” as it is called, or one can arrange a multi-island resort stay and take daily dive excursions tailored to individual ability and desires. “For quite some time, live-aboard diving was the only way to experience the vast undersea world of the Galapagos,” explained Hernan Rodas
, visionary founder and owner of Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges. “Many avid divers stayed away from the islands because they did not want to spend a week stuck on a boat.”
Rodas said that his company began offering multi-island lodge-based diving in June 2009 and became a PADI certified resort operation in March 2010 (PADI stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Aside from their own lodge guests, Red Mangrove’s dive center services day divers from Celebrity Cruises, Haugen Cruises
and Galapagos Galaxy
. Typically, divers who arrange their scuba experience through Red Mangrove will choose from a variety of multi-island dive packages of varying length designed for beginner to expert. Over 45 separate dive sites are accessible off of four different islands, geared to interest and ability.
Being a PADI certified operation Red Mangrove also has the ability to offer classroom and open water training and certification as well as a Discover Scuba Diving
(DSD) course designed as an introduction to scuba diving. In a matter of a few hours most anyone can see what it is like to breath underwater and become familiar with scuba equipment without going through the full certification process.
This is one of the advantages listed by the staff of Red Mangrove in their Top 10 Reasons to Book a Land-Based Dive Package Over a Galapagos Live-Aboard:
About Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges
- Land-based can offer more land excursions, wildlife viewing, and alternative multi-sport activities than a live-aboard.
- Land-based appeals to a broader spectrum of divers, beginner to expert. It is not just for the “hard core” diver. There are ample dive sites perfect for the novice or occasional diver that will also interest most experts.
- Land-based is perfect for groups and families with both divers and non-divers in the mix. There are numerous options for non-dive guests. This is not possible on a live-aboard.
- Land based gives one the opportunity to do additional training while you dive with a PADI instructor. Beginning divers may get their Open Water Certification and seasoned divers may obtain their Advanced Certification and Specialty Certifications such as Underwater Photography.
- The cost for a land-based dive package is on average $500 to $1,000 per person less than a week on a live-aboard.
- Land-based divers are able to visit more islands for a more intimate exploration of Galapagos including opportunities for social interaction with local island inhabitants.
- With lodge-based there is no fixed-in-stone itinerary like a live-aboard. One has the flexibility to pick and choose what you want to do and how much you’d like to dive.
- For many, staying in a lodge is far more comfortable, with no “moving floors” during rough seas, free internet (Red Mangrove’s Santa Cruz and Isabela lodges), and plenty of room to stretch out without confined spaces.
- Red Mangrove does not charge extra for rental dive equipment (except for dive computers) while a live-aboard will usually assess an average of $250+ for rental gear.
- It is widely believed that land-based programs have a greatly reduced ecological footprint (relative to a live-aboard cruise) and are better positioned to benefit local communities.
Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges in 2007 introduced a land-based alternative to exploring the Galapagos that heretofore was a cruise-only destination. With upscale waterfront lodges strategically situated on Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana, it is the only company offering high quality, branded accommodations and services on multiple islands in the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador. Because it is land-based, Red Mangrove can offer a more extensive roster of activities and more flexibility than traditional cruise options.
The customary way to experience Red Mangrove’s hospitality is to spend a number of nights on each island accessed by small boat and/or aircraft. With 14 guest rooms, Aventura Lodge on Santa Cruz is distinguished by its unique architectural design, which blends its mangrove forest and seafront environments tastefully and responsibly. Its location boasts generous views of Puerto Ayora Bay. Separated from the ocean by a white sand, palm-lined beach, Isabela Lodge offers eight rooms outside the sleepy fisherman’s village of Puerto Villamil on one of the most volcanically active islands on Earth. Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge is a romantic gathering of 10 private pine cottages just a five minute walk from the village of Puerto Velasco Ibarra (population 150). On the mainland coast of Ecuador Samai Lodge is an inn-and-spa suited for recollection, relaxation and wellness surrounded by the sounds of the jungle and caressed by ocean breezes.
For more information call (888) 254-3190 or (402) 953-0261, or visit http://www.redmangrove.com/