About Us


Since 2006

Academy Bay Diving is a family owned and operated company, dedicated to providing excellence in customer service and dive safety, whilst giving our customers the experience of a lifetime found nowhere else but here diving in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

We have been in operation since 2006, and have grown from a small 2 person operation with a small fibreglass panga to the dive and tour operator we are today, employing over 10 staff and diving from our purpose built, 12 passenger dive boat. The owner Hugo, has been a guide all over the archipelago since 1999, developing an in depth knowledge of all dive sites and tourist destinations. All of our guides speak both Spanish and English, and are extremely knowledgeable about the areas they guide.

Galapagos is our home, and we recognise and feel extremely lucky to live here and be a part of this amazing geological and biological Eden. Therefore we are dedicated to the conservation of our home, and the enchanted islands you wish to visit, and those that need to remain for future generations to come. Through our diving trips and island tours we hope to educate you, our customers about the Galapagos flora and fauna and help you to understand what makes it such a special place.

Hugo and Alice Masaquiza

Hugo arrived to Galapagos at the tender age of 16, and worked his way up, mainly on the cruise ships, from messenger, cooks hand, sailor, and then to guide. Hugo bought Academy bay Diving in 2006 and worked with 2 or 3 family members until 2008 when he met his wife Alice, an Australian nurse on the world trip of her life, who happened to stop to dive in the Galapagos Islands. From not too long after this, Hugo and Alice have had a close working relationship and operate Academy Bay diving together. They now have 3 children and not much time for diving!

Oscar Pilla

Oscar is our lead dive guide and also Hugo’s nephew. Oscar completed his Divemaster in 2009, and his PADI Instructor a few years later, and has been working with Academy Bay diving since 2008. Oscar speaks spanish and English, and is one of the most experienced daily dive guides working on the islands.

Byron Masaquiza

Byron, a nephew of Hugo, is one of our dive guides and PADI instructors. He has been working with Academy Bay Diving from the beginning, starting out as the trusty sailor and moving his way up to the experienced and passionate, if not a little shy, guide that he is today.

Steven Masaquiza

Steven is Hugo’s nephew (he has a big family, none of our crew are brothers!). Steven has been working with Academy Bay since 2010 and, in our opinion, is one of the best sailors in the archipelago. Steven has also completed his divemaster course and works as assistant guide also as part of his training to becoming a guide one day.

Simon Velez

Simon is not Hugo’s nephew! Simon is one of our dive guides and PADI instructors and has worked with Academy Bay Diving over the last 5 years, though has been diving in Galapagos since he can remember. Simon speaks english and Spanish and is very knowledgeable about the Galapagos marine life.

Carlos Mite

Carlos is our captain, and not related in any way to Hugo! Carlos has over 30 years of experience on the oceans between the Galapagos islands, working for many years as a fisherman, and now over 4 years with Academy Bay Diving. Carlos is an excellent dive boat captain and we are very happy to have him as part of our crew.

Laura Bachmann

Laura joined our team in February 2017, and since then has helped hundreds of our happy customers plan their diving, tours and Galapagos packages. She has around 6 years of experience organising diving, tours and cruises in Galapagos, so no question is without an answer. In keeping with Academy Bay tradition, Laura is also married to a Galapagos dive guide and has lived on the islands for around 8 years. Laura has a degree in tourism and is originally from Germany, so is fluent in German, English and Spanish, so please contact us and start planning your Galapagos dive holiday!

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