About Us


Providing Galapagos Tours and Experiences 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 here in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

Our range of Galapagos Diving Tours and tours of Galapagos Islandscombine expert local knowledge, a passion for the natural environment, and some of the most dramatic scenery you’ll ever encounter, to give our guests adventures they’ll never forget!

We have been in operation since 2006. Having begun as a small two-person operation with a fibreglass panga, we have grown to employing ten members of staff and running our guided tours in the Galagos from a purpose-built 12-passenger boat. The owner, Hugo, has been leading tours all over the archipelago since 1999, developing an in-depth knowledge of the best dive sites and tourist destinations. All of our guides speak both Spanish and English, and are extremely knowledgeable about the areas in which they guide and the flora and fauna found there.

Galapagos is our home: we recognize we are extremely lucky and feel a deep sense of pride in being able tp live here and be a part of this amazing geological and biological Eden. Therefore, we are dedicated to the conservation of our home and passionate about the the need for sustainable tour practices. We wish to guarantee that these enchanted islands will endure for many future generations to come. Through our diving trips and island tours we hope to educate and share our passion with all our guests, to spread the message of what makes the Galapagos such a special place.

Hugo and Alice Masaquiza

Hugo arrived in the Galapagos at the tender age of 16. He inhabited a variety of roles on cruise ships, from messenger to sailor, before bringing his energy and enthusiasm to guiding. Hugo bought Academy bay Diving in 2006 and worked with two or three family members until 2008. It was then that Hugo met his wife Alice, an Australian nurse on the world trip of a lifetime. Aloce had come to dive in the Galapagos Islands, and fell in love with the place. It wasn’t long before Hugo and Alice decided to that their partnership and combined dedication to wild landscape of the Galapagos would be the perfect foundation for a tour company, and Academy Bay Diving was established. They now have three children and not much time for diving!

Oscar Pilla

Oscar is our lead dive guide and also Hugo’s nephew. Oscar completed his Divemaster certification in 2009, and obtained his PADI Instructor credentials a few years later. He 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 very beginning. Starting out as a trusty sailor, he has moved his way up to being 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 an assistant to the guides 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. He has worked with Academy Bay Diving over the last five years, though has been diving in Galapagos since he can remember. Simon speaks English and Spanish and is very knowledgeable about the marine life of the Galapagos.

Carlos Mite

Carlos is our captain, and not related in any way to Hugo! Carlos has more than 30-years experience on the ocean around the Galapagos islands. Having been a fisherman for many years, Carlos has now been with Academy Bay Diving for over four years. 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 six years of experience in organising diving tours and cruises in the Galapagos, so there’s no question to which Laura won’t be able to provide 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 eight years. Laura has a degree in tourism and is originally from Germany. She is fluent in German, English, and Spanish. So, please contact us and start planning your Galapagos dive holiday – we look forward to hearing from you!

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