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Location

Where are you located? For the very short answer, We’re marked on Google Maps here. For the longer answer: We’re about 75 miles north of Puerto Vallarta on a very much undisturbed, undeveloped, undiscovered section of pristine Riviera Nayarit coastline.

What’s it like at your location? Paradise, of course! Our small beachfront community of just over a dozen homes sits at the end of the road, tucked underneath the palms of a once thriving coconut plantation. Open lawns, gardens, and a centrally located pool fill the space between the villas. The sound of the waves is present throughout. Walk out to the ocean and you’ll be standing on a stretch of sandy beach that stretches for as far as you can see. It’ll most likely be completely empty (honestly…this is what it looks like. Here’s a view from above).

What’s nearby? Our beach stretches for about 10 miles due South. There’s a bird-filled freshwater estuary/sanctuary and mango plantation bordering us to the East. The estuary river mouth wraps around the North end of the Property. Walk (if the tide is low), or swim a few feet across the water and you’ll be in the small town of Platanitos. There are a number of small beachfront restaurants here. There is also another small vacation community here (Punta Custodio), and a number of expats that call this area home.

What’s the surrounding region like? North of Platanitos the Riviera Nayarit Coast stretches along the Mantechan bay to the colonial port town of San Blas (A great day trip with many options for things to do along the way: surfing, jungle cruises, waterfall hiking, Mexican ice cream stand, etc.). Heading inland from our location takes you into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, and towards the state capital of Tepic. Heading back south towards Puerto Vallarta you’ll come across the towns of Chacala, La Penita/Guyabitos, San Pancho, Sayulita, Punta MIta, and Bucerias.

 

Getting Here

What is the Closest Airport? Puerto Vallarta International Airport – PVR.

What is the easiest way to get to your house from the airport in Puerto Vallarta? We have a shuttle service on-site that can arrange round trip door to door transportation to/from the airport in Puerto Vallarta for up to 7 people for $360 (total). The shuttle is always happy to swing by any grocery stores, etc. if you need to stock up on anything for the trip. They expect it actually, and know all the great places to go.

Can I rent a car? Absolutely! If you want to do explore the Riviera Nayarit region a rental car is a great way to go. We’ve found the best rental company to be Gecko Rental Cars out of Bucerias. Great cars, MUCH better value than the traditional companies, and most importantly…all the rentals include all of your required insurance.

How do we get around once there? The shuttle is available if you’d like to charter day trips or activities. If you want to do a lot of driving, a rental car will probably be the cheaper option. Groceries can be restocked by our staff (See below), and have no fear, there will be plenty of things to enjoy and do right on site.

Any crazy driving laws in Mexico I should know about? Most traffic laws are similar to those in the US or Canada. Let us know if you’ll be driving on your own, and we’ll send off our best tips along with the directions.

Do you have driving directions? Yes, we have very detailed driving directions complete with map we will send your way.

Is the drive from Puerto Vallarta Safe? Yes, You’ll need to be on the lookout for potholes, miscellaneous livestock, and the occasional crazy driver, but other than that you should be just fine. If driving doesn’t sound like an adventure you’re apt to enjoy don’t worry, we have a shuttle that can take care of all your transportation needs for you. For general safety information in the region, see “Safety” below

Amenities

What’s included in the rental price? Daily maid service (with the exception of Sundays), bottled water, WiFi, and basic toiletries will all be provided at the house for you. Linens, Beach Towels, beach toys, beach chairs, etc. are also always available at the Villas for your use, free of charge.

Will there be any cooking supplies in the villa? You’ll find a moderate amount of your basic spices and cooking staples in all the homes. If you need that pinch of salt or cup of rice and happen to be out, just ask our staff – they’ll track it down for you. If you’re interested in having your villa fully stocked with food, or with food plus a cook, we can arrange for both of those as well (See “Meal Service” below)

Will we have access to a washer or dryer? Yes, all villas have a washer and dryer. We ask that you let the maids handle the laundering though. The appliances have specific settings and requirements that are best left to the pros. Just leave your clothes, towels, linens, etc in the hamper and they’ll be fresh for you in no time.

Is there WiFi? Yes, there is WiFi available in all of the homes, and throughout the community.

Do you have telephones? There is telephone service available at the front office. Most individual villas do not have land lines setup. VOIP options (Skype, Google Voice, etc) work well.

Is there cell phone service? The cell reception is spotty on the property. Depending on your carrier, you may have a good signal out at the beach. The reception is decent for almost the entire drive from Puerto Vallarta, then fades about 5 miles from our location – a curse, or a blessing in disguise depending on how you look at it.

Is there television? All the Villas have televisions. Most have movie collections, and a few have satellite reception. You can check the amenities section of the individual villas for more specific info here.

We have small children, do you have cribs available? We do! Just let us know during checkout how many you’ll need and we’ll arrange to have them in the home waiting upon your arrival.

 

Food

Are there any restaurants nearby? We’re pretty remote, but you’ll have plenty of options available to taste the local cuisine. There are a handful of small beachfront restaurants in nearby Platanitos. A short walk along the beach (and across the estuary) will bring you to some of the freshest fish tacos and ceviche you’ve ever tasted. If you’re up for a day trip, there are other great options in nearby Zacualpan, La Penita, San Blas, and Sayulita.

Can I have a chef prepared meals in our villa? Absolutely! All villas come with the option of catered meals. The food is prepared right in your villa’s kitchen. The shopping, prep, cooking, cleaning, etc. is all taken care of for you. For more information and pricing on our catered meal plans, take a look here.

Are there any grocery stores nearby? The closest grocery store is located in the town of Zacualpan (about 30 minutes away). Most guests stock up on food at the “Mega” or Costco as they’re leaving Puerto Vallarta. If you run out of anything, or simply need some restocking, it’s extremely easy to leave a list and some cash with our on site staff. They’ll do your shopping for you, and arrange to have your items delivered the following day.

Is the water safe to drink? The tap water in all the villas is potable and safe for human consumption. Our well water is slightly saline, so we offer unlimited bottled water to our guests as well.

Can I have food stocked ahead of time? Absolutely! If want to cook on your own but would like to forego the shopping, that’s not a problem at all. Just ask about our provisioning options, and find the villa waiting with full cupboards when you arrive.

 

Safety

Is travel to your area of Mexico safe? Nearly 20 million tourists visit Mexico each year. In 2011, the “most dangerous” year on record for tourists, a mere .0005% were affected by violence. The VAST majority of the drug violence you hear about in the media is between rival cartels, or between the cartels and the Mexican government. Mexico is a very large country- time and time again, the US State Department specifically highlights Puerto Vallarta and our “Riviera Nayarit” zone as removed from the advisories that affect travel in other areas of the country. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico and hoping to take over drug trafficking turf from an established cartel….yes….you are going to have a bad time. If you’re coming to enjoy a nice piece of “away from it all” paradise out on our sleepy Riviera Nayarit beach, you really shouldn’t worry. Perhaps the best way to answer this question: Our small community’s been established for over a decade. We’ve had thousands of guests in and our of our doors. We haven’t had a single guest experience any issues with violence. Not a one.

Any tips for staying safe? We always advise our guests to follow basic foreign travel guidelines. Avoid any gross displays of wealth or public intoxication. Don’t travel down any long alleys in unfamiliar parts of town at night…that type of thing.

Is driving in Mexico Safe? Traffic laws often seem like more of “suggestions” – car travel is safe, but we do advise you stay extra alert. We also advise keeping your night driving to a minimum – it’s not uncommon to see random livestock, the unexpected pothole, or a non-reflector-bearing bicyclist in our rural setting.

What do we do in case of emergency? There will be staff at our location 24/7. If you have any sort of emergency, medial or otherwise, let them know. We can help arrange for transportation and/or get an ambulance started.

 

Things to do

What kind of activities are available? There’s so much to see and do we’ve devoted an entire section of the website to this very questions. Be sure to check out “Activities”.

Do I need a car to enjoy the activities “off site”? Definitely not. We have a shuttle on site that can be chartered if you want to arrange for any off site activities. Day trips to local markets, drives up into the mountain for waterfall hikes, or horseback rides along the beach can all be arranged for – even without having a car.

How’s the surfing? Our river mouth break sets up best with swells from the SSW. Waves are typically much bigger in the summer months, but are steady year round. There are a number of great breaks within a short drive up or down the coastline. We’d be happy to point to our “spots” if you’re looking for some variety. Be sure to check out the “Surfing” page for more info.

Is the beach safe for swimming? Our beach is sandy, rock free, and tapers gently out into the waves. There are plenty of small waves in close great for kids, and larger ones further out for those looking for more excitement. Like all stretches of beach along open ocean, ours requires respect and attention. If the waves happen to be too rough, the estuary (or pool) can often be a calmer alternative.

Is the pool shared? All guests have access to the main, central pool. A handful of villas have smaller, private pools attached right to their homes. Check the amenities section on the individual villa pages for details.

What is your most popular activity? After “hammock napping”, our most popular activity is probably horseback riding on the beach, or a day trip the the Thursday market in La Penita.

 

Payment and Reservations

How do I reserve a Villa? Either submit a reservation request through the availability calendar on the villa you’re interested in, or submit a general inquiry on our “reservation page”. We’re also always happy to talk by phone (206.818.2556), or email reservations@playalastortugas.com

Do you require a deposit? We ask for a 50% deposit to reserve the villa, with the remainder due 30 days prior to arrival. See our “rental policy” fore more info.

Do you have a copy of your rental agreement? A copy of our rental agreement and policy can be found here. Individual villas may have small addendums to these, but for the most part the info here will be the bulk.

Can I pay with Credit Card? We accept all major credit cards, PayPal, as well as cash on site.

How do I pay for activities and meal service? Meals and activities are all arranged by our on site property manager. You’ll receive an invoice upon checkout for any “extras”, these can be paid for in Pesos, or US $.

What’s the best way to get Pesos in Mexico? The easiest (and cheapest) way to get Pesos is from an ATM. You should be able to use your standard bank/debit cards. There are a number of ATMS located at the grocery stores on the way out of Puerto Vallarta. There are also a few in La Penita. You’ll want to be sure to stock up on at least a little cash before arriving at the house to pay for any meals, transportation, or activity costs. We usually recommend bringing some money from home, then getting some in Pesos to pay for any local items you may wish to purchase.

Should we Tip…How much? It’s customary in Mexico to tip around 10% for any meals, or services you receive. For example, if you enjoy a well guided excursion, a “propina” of 10% of the the cost would be a nice gesture. For maids / house staff, a good baseline suggestion is around $10 per day. If you have meals prepared, request groceries, or have a large group, adjustments can be made from here. These, of course, are all just suggestions to help you out. It’s really all up to whatever you think is best.

Do you offer any deals or specials? We have an active email newsletter that gets notified of any current promotions we’re running. If you’re interested in some great savings, or simply want a healthy dose of pretty tropical photos, we definitely encourage you to sign up. We also offer discounts to all of our returning guests, as well as to any referring guests!