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Dive Review of Andean Travel Co. Boat: Aqua (aka Pinguino Explore in
Galapagos Islands/Darwin Wolf other islands

Andean Travel Co. Boat: Aqua (aka Pinguino Explore: "Megamart of marine life lives up to the hype and challenging diving", Dec, 2021,

by Dani, CA, USA ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 11859 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Boat:

Boat is also known as Pinguino Explorer and that is its name on the Galapagos traffic control website, and likely it's Marine call sign too.

Good value for money. Adequate, no frills.

The good: Once on the boat:
Efficient and effective service by staff. They do their job, work hard.
Don't expect ooh-ahh s and fawning over customers.
The vessel and dive infrastructure shows age, but we did not notice anything that was not functioning.
And we did not look too closely; scared to find something after reading this report

Very detailed safety briefing by very experienced guide Jimmy.
Diver alert air horn, SMB, Nautilus Marine GPS rescue included for every diver.
Food was reasonable, dominantly Western/European, limited choice for vegetarians or pescaterians.
14 divers (out of 16 capacity) with 2 guides Jimmy and Liandro.
The guides switched between groups day to day.
Liandro had a GoPro and shared the clips at the end of the trip.
Jimmy was more attentive in keeping an eye on the group.

Both are highly experienced and capable considering one dive they led with 10ft breakers and churning waters.
Several of us skipped that dive.
It is also arguable whether they should have done that dive or not, but well everyone lived to tell the tale so...

Jimmy is also an excellent overland guide. The Santa Cruz highland tour (for Giant Tortoises) that was included was guided by him. He answered every question about birds, vegetation, geological formations, identified trees and vegetation and he is a great storyteller and cares for the place.

The bad:
Getting to the boat:
PADI seems to have no ways to communicate with the operator or customers except by email in this age and time of cell phones, satellite phones.
None of the 3 phones provided as contact and emergency contact for the operator worked because they were wrong or no one picked up!
By the time someone from the operator contacted us, we already had lost connectivity ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Andean Travel Co. Boat: Aqua (aka Pinguino Ex...   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bali Komodo Florida-Keys Philippines Belize Mexico-Cozumel-PlayaDelCarmen Mexico-CaboPulmo-LaPaz California-Monterey
Closest Airport GPS Getting There Seems no direct routes from San Francisco. American Airlines SFO-MIA-UIO then Avianca UIO-GPS. Need buffer in Quito for COVID tests + any other delays.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 59-78°F / 15-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 5-100 Ft/ 2-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions SMB, Dive alert horn, Nautilus Marine Rescue GPS.
Regimental dive start times.
Encouraged but not enforced - stay together in the group.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments The table usually meant for cameras and similar gear was packed with other stuff with not a whole lot of room. I would not leave anything on t ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By report author: Dani in CA, USA at Feb 05, 2022 04:14 EST  
Forgot to add - no common restroom near dive area. You have to use one in your cabin. Dive area rather congested even with 14 divers (2 less than capacity 16)
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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