Take in the Riviera Maya with a Local Quickie

While I was looking for a sailing tour around Playa del Carmen, I came across Local Quickies. Of course it was the curious name – ‘Captain Quickie’ – that really aroused my curiosity (Oh I bet it would have aroused yours too!)  I needed to find out who this guy was, so I decided to meet the Captain before I left Playa del Carmen. Needless to say, our minds ran riot trying to figure out a name like that. Jonah’s take was that to choose a name like that, one had to be really confident or just downright funny!

We got in touch with the popular Captain Quickie to find out more about the tour and signed up for the most popular one – The Signature Tour offered by Local Quickies. We did find out about the name, and its not what you think – his birth name actually is Cuitlahuac, which when pronounced correctly, sounds a little bit like “quickie”! He turned out of be a truly inspiring man. He left his Stock Broking years behind in the States and pursued his passion for sailing. A passion that turned into a very successful business.

With that brief introduction to Captain Quickie and his company, I will let you cast your eyes over images of the places we visited as part of the Signature Tour.

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Gone Fishing! I can’t recall if any fish were caught that day, but here he is – Captain Quickie having fun reeling it in.

Swimming with Sea Turtles

We began the day in the beautiful Akumal Bay, swimming with Sea Turtles. As I mentioned in a previous post, this wasn’t our first visit to the bay, this inimitable experience keeps drawing us back here..This time round I learned something new – Turtles do not breathe underwater, they need to resurface every five – seven minutes (perhaps it is something you knew already, but not I) I did also learn something else. On every visit to Akumal Bay we were required to use life jackets while snorkeling and it really seemed so unnecessary, especially since we were both good swimmers. On this tour it was explained to us that wearing them was mandatory in the interest of protecting the reef and the turtles. There are about 5000 people visiting the bay every day and that number does pose a threat to the preservation of this natural reef! Well, that certainly was good information and made us feel we were doing our bit to preserve the environment.

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Model fish: Jonah noticed this fish that just wasn’t camera shy. He wouldn’t move, it was almost like he knew he was being photographed!

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I need some air! His 5-7 minutes up, and the turtle heads up to the surface for a breath of air.

Cenote Xunaan Ha

Perhaps you know that there are over 7000 cenotes in Mexico, but 3000 of those are in the Riviera Maya alone! That’s a lot to choose from, finding that perfect cenote certainly poses a problem. I know, for I have visited several of them, but Cenote Xunaan Ha is my favorite for playing!

Why is it my favorite cenote? Well, the others I visited were beautiful too, but either the water was too cold or rather dark, which hampers underwater vision.  But this was an open cenote with the sun’s rays highlighting the color of the water to perfection. Considering that I am not very adventurous when it came to jumping in, I did, with Jonah’s help, ( he pretty much pulled me along as he jumped!), and was it refreshing!

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3-2-1…jump! Er…not just yet! I wish I had that sort of confidence. Maybe some day…

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Water world: This is Kevin (no, not Costner!) He joined the tour with us and we watched him dive in really deep! I tried to, but couldn’t hold my breath that long. So he was my obliging model as I took pictures to capture the beautiful underwater panorama of this cenote.

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A different point of view: An interesting cross section that gives you the surface and the depth of the cenote. Spot the little figure of a man diving in? Cool, huh?

A meal in Akumal

Although we didn’t want to leave Cenote Xunaan Ha, we reluctantly had to, to move with the program. We were taken to a local restaurant and treated to a traditional Mexican lunch that we enjoyed over a few refreshing beers. Chicken fajitas, fish tacos and lip smacking pico de gallo were among some of the delicious offerings at this restaurant.

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Our fellow merry makers: This lot were with us on the tour – a group of childhood friends, there to give cheery support to their friend who surprised his girlfriend with an engagement ring!

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Care to join me? My order of tempura fish tacos – simply delicious!

Chill out time at Playa Paraiso, Tulum

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Catamaran Calling: Chilling out at Playa Paraiso while we wait to board that ‘little’ 82-foot catamaran you see behind me.

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Sailing the biggest Catamaran in the Caribbean

This was the the beginning of the tail end of the tour – BUT, it was the most exciting, and most anticipated part – mainly for Jonah! He had been talking and dreaming about it for days. Well, actually, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about getting on a catamaran, but when I saw how wide and steady it was, I felt reassured. I felt so reassured, I sailed in it twice! I mean, I HAVE sailed before. Jonah and his friends had a racing boat, and although I did sail in it many times, I always felt it would tip over… The catamaran has a capacity for about 120 people, but Local Quickie’s tour restricts the number to 30. Jonah got to steer this big boy, and oh yes, was he happy! That should keep him going till another little excitement takes his fancy! Boys with toys, you see….

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Thar she blows! A water taxi taking us to the catamaran in the distance.

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Totally Tulum: The ruins of Tulum as we could see it from the catamaran. Gave us a different perspective.

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A generous bartender: This is the man who kept refilling our drinks! Did I mention this was an open bar?

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Spirited sailing: …and the drinks flowed. Not that we complained! Ha ha…

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No, not a tequila sunrise…but the best sunset we’ve seen around the Riviera Maya!

Sailing in Tulum, Mexico.

Dolphin ahoy! As we were drinking in the spectacular sunset, one of the crew spotted a dolphin and called out to us, and we made a mad dash to the front of the boat.

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Reach out and touch.. According to Cap’n Quickie they have only spotted dolphins once before on the Signature Tour. We were the lucky ones. Ivan, even luckier – he got to touch the dolphin.

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Alas…goodbye time: The end of a wonderful tour, we made some new friends and had a smashing time sailing Captain Quickie’s catamaran. We’ve gotta do this again!

 

The Riviera Maya has loads of companies offering similar tours, and although you can’t fault some of them for the standards they maintain, you can’t beat Local Quickies’ tours for taking their tour up to a different level. They are the only ones who offer a catamaran trip, complete with open bar, and they incorporate the two most attractive water activities – swimming with sea turtles and diving into the crystal clear cenote Xunnan Ha. Yes, you can join other tours for the swimming activities, but then, the catamaran ride enhances and rounds off the complete experience.

Our interaction with Captain Quickie made us realize how important attention to detail and impeccable service was to him. On our tour we had two guides – an English/Spanish speaking one and an English/French speaking guide. This, to accommodate his Canadian guests, so they could communicate comfortably.

Although Captain Quickie is not part of every tour because of time constraints, he has trained his crew superbly. They are enthusiastic, friendly and very well informed. Should you join the tour solo, no worries, new friends are easy to make!

If you would like to learn more about the Signature Tour or the other tours offered by Local Quickies, click on the link below for more information:

Local Quickies Information

Website: www.localquickies.com
Email: info@localquickies.com
Tour rates:  Start at $175
Diclaimer: We were invited by Local Quickies to be part of this tour, but as always I write about my experiences that I think are worth sharing.
Carmen Anderson
Hi! I'm Carmen and I'm obsessed with boutique hotels, scuba diving and yoga. When I'm not writing about my travel experiences, I hang out on social media....a little, oh, alright, a LOT! Connect with me if you like traveling, yoga or scuba diving.

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