To meet Gil is to love him. His happy face and exuberant laugh, his caring way and his concern about others happiness is the key to the success of Chica Locca tours. It all started ten years ago when he arrived for a one-week vacation in Sayulita to visit a friend and he never left. He says the people of Vallarta welcomed him right away and he just wanted to stay.
An entrepreneur he started ‘Gil’s Deals’ a used car dealership in North Hollywood, Los Angeles at the young age of fifteen. Later he moved to the construction demolition business ‘Gil’s Demolition’s’. To embrace his creative side… on the side, he bought, renovated and sold homes. He looked at houses differently than others did, “super creatively” he told me, with landscaping his favourite part of the renovation; the efforts paid off.
Fast forward to 2010 and Gil combined his creativity and love of people into a dynamite new business; Chica Locca tours. Gil took a functional catamaran, removed the sails and made it comfortable and colourful with lots of seating and hammocks to relax in. He added all the ‘toys’ that he loves himself; kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling equip and more. He added high quality food and drinks. Gil went on many tours when he first got here and although he enjoyed them he asked himself “How could I create something like this for folks to enjoy using the best of everything to make guests super comfortable and happy?”
Initially it was known as a party boat but over the years Chica Locca attracts more families and groups. Some still party, Gil told me but most folks like the voyage and stopping at a private beach where all the toys are brought out, food is served and the drinks keep flowing. He says he gets people from all over the world, from three months to ninety years of age.
This season they’ve added two new vessels to their offering.
Chica Locca Dos a 55’ yacht attracts a chill VIP crowd. It’s more luxurious and higher class with lots of teak and granite and includes a masseuse and chef on board serving the guests. They have toys too, a little more up-class like the crystal clear kayaks where you can see the water as you paddle.
Chica Locca Sailing the newest vessel is a fully functioning forty-five foot Catamaran sailboat and attracts those who want a sailing experience. The days are broken into two trips 9am until 2pm and a sunset sail from 3pm until 7pm
Gil loves what he does and wants his team to as well; in fact they wear t-shirts that say, “ I love my job”. Gil says his greatest joy is keeping his employees happy and tends to them to ensure that’s so. He wants all who are experiencing what he offers to have the best time ever.
Gil’s parting words “To understand the beauty of La Cruz, just come; stay here, it’ll take you a day to understand. You’ll feel at home right away, the people make you feel so welcome!”