While planning our recent trip to Playa del Carmen, we tossed around the idea of officially learning to SCUBA dive (something Amanda has tried at a convention, but we’ve never really done). After sending emails to a couple of area dive shops and receiving exactly zero responses, we switched gears and selected a highly-recommended outing with Local Quickies. After experiencing Captain Quickie’s hospitality, we’re thankful the dive shops blew us off.
We started our day-long excursion with a minor hitch; one I only mention because it was handled so well. We arrived at the designated pick-up point a little ahead of schedule and waited patiently (and then not-so-patiently) for our shuttle to arrive. We had a great deal of trouble on our first visit to Playa with a tour company that simply didn’t pick us up at all one day and then picked us up late the next day, so we were beginning to worry we were in for another disappointment. Not so. Not at all.
The shuttle arrived late, but it was because the road leading to a resort where they were picking up another couple was almost entirely washed out. Captain Quickie himself had sent us an email letting us know he was sorry and pick-up would be late, but because we left the hotel (and wi-fi) early we missed the message. From the driver to Captain Quickie to his wife to our guides, we must have heard 20 apologies for the delay that day — and in all fairness they didn’t do anything wrong. The way a tour company (or really any business) handles even a minor inconvenience like this one says a lot about them. In this case, they were only starting a long list of reasons to rave.
Return to Tulum
We visited the Mayan ruins at Tulum on our first trip to Playa, but didn’t mind a chance to return since it was part of the package we selected. We got our tickets and walked the paths between the ancient buildings, finding respite from the heat and humidity at an overlook where the site fell away into the Caribbean Sea. We even met a few iguana friends along the way.
Snorkeling in a Cenote
After visiting the ruins, Local Quickies took us into the jungle to snorkel in a cenote (ce-NO-tay), a freshwater pool. This experience was one of the reasons we selected this particular package — we’d never been to (or heard of) a cenote before. In part because she didn’t want to walk around the pool on the uncomfortable rocks to get to the ladder, Amanda overcame hear fear of heights long enough to jump into the water.
The water was delightfully cool after our walk around Tulum. Our guides used their GoPro cameras to capture great photos of all of the members of the group diving and swimming. They even posted all of their photos from the day to Facebook so we could download them – free of charge. That was a great perk, and certainly something they didn’t have to do.
This was only the first half of what turned into a fantastic 11-hour excursion with Local Quickies. Next week we’ll take you on the rest of the adventure, including swimming with sea turtles and a cruise on a luxury catamaran!