Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges http://www.redmangrove.com/, the region’s leading hospitality company for active adventure and dive vacations, anticipates the opening of the Red Mangrove Dive Academy in the second half of 2012.  This will be a full-service, state-of-the-art diver education center and the largest in Ecuador.

Hernan Rodas, founder and director of Red Mangrove Galapagos and Ecuador Lodges, reports that even before the academy has opened its doors, Red Mangrove’s Dive Center accomplished more PADI diver certifications in 2011 than any other operation in the Galapagos.

Rodas reported that as of early spring 2012, the Red Mangrove Dive Academy is at 60 percent completion. He projected the opening of this ambitious facility by the fall of 2012. As the first state-of-the-art dive training facility in the Galapagos Islands, it will offer the modern amenities, safety standards and world-class service that Red Mangrove guests have come to expect in this region.

With over 15,000 square feet of space under construction it will be the largest dive training center in Ecuador and one of the largest in South America, said Rodas. Modern, comfortable classrooms will accommodate up to 40 students. There will be his and her changing rooms, lockers, a patio/juice bar, a large and modern repair center, a retail store for parts and new diving equipment, and a state of the art Commercial Nitrox Maker with Cascade system custom built by Brownies in Fort Lauderdale FL. (Brownies is world renowned for their work with custom compressors and Nitrox systems on some of the world’s most luxurious yachts and dive centers.) Every scuba instructor’s dream will be the 20-foot-deep training pool.

Caleb Hayes, diving project manager, coordinates the work of at present five PADI-approved dive instructors and the same number of dive masters who accompany divers on recreational outings. Two modern dive boats take guests to 45 dive and snorkel sites available off of Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela islands. He expected his staff and the number of boats to grow as the academy becomes established in the diving world. For dive packages see: http://www.redmangrove.com/diving/.

Already welcoming guests are two lodges dedicated to divers. The nine-room Red Mangrove Santa Cruz Divers Lodge in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island offers a hot tub, library/lounge and on-premise dining. It is a short walk from the lodge to the water and is adjacent to the Red Mangrove Dive Academy.  The five-room Red Mangrove’s Isabela Divers Lodge located within steps of the sea is a linear design with large windows inviting natural light into every room. All rooms have private bathroom, hot water, hair dryer, safety box, air conditioning, cable television, wireless internet and laundry service. The adjacent Coco Restaurant serves three meals daily.

“We’re finding more and more dive instructors bringing their students here as a group for certification,” said Rodas, adding that a new instructor incentive program is being developed that will provide lodging incentives for the instructor who brings with him/her four paid students. Year-round certification programs and vacation packages can be combined to accommodate diver/non-diver groups.

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