HELPFUL INFORMATION AND HINTS
Condominios La Joya Huanacaxtle, Departamento 106,
Calle Flamingos 4 Poniente (Esquina Calle Ibis), Colonia Las Gaviotas,
(a través de [across from] Punta Pelicanos),
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit, Mexico C.P. 63732
(Note that the address will not be helpful in locating the condo. Addresses are often confusing if you can find street signs. Please follow the directions below.)
Johanna Denesiuk and Gilles Racine (Housienda Properties)
240 Buxton Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T0H3
Home: 1 204 284 7422 MexicoCel: 011 52 (1) 322 168 2190 the (1) may be necessary.
Srta. Anel Santacruz
La Joya Huanacaxtle Condominium Administration Office
Main Floor (adjacent to Business Center and Gym)
Office: 329 295 6234 Cel: 322 108 9196
Property Manager (LJH106 only)
Sandy Coffen Cel: 322 134 1977
From Puerto Vallarta, north on main Highway 200 (to Compostela and Tepic - this main highway has street names that change depending on where you are; PV = Francisco Medina Ascencio; Bucerias = Héroe de Nacozari). As you head north leaving PV, you cross a long bridge that spans the Ameca River which is the boundary between the States of Jalisco and Nayarit. You will pass the communities of Marina Vallarta, Jarretaderas, Nuevo Vallarta, Mezcales and Bucerias.
A minute or so (about 2-3 km) past Bucerias as you crest the hill take the Salida (Exit), on right to Punta de Mita and once you have gone over the overpass, Welcome to La Cruz. Go the short distance past the old Pemex gas station on the right, past the new Pemex and OXXO on the left and past the old OXXO convenience store on the right, over the bump (tope) then take the first left (in the curve).
If you happen to be coming south from Sayulita on #200, you will pass a couple of very small, inland villages. When you get to the overpass (the only one around), take the off-ramp on the right and proceed past the Pemex' and OXXOs and turn left as described above.
Here you are; down this street (Calle Flamingos) a short distance, toward the Bahia, to the front entrance of the attractive white (with orange railings) four-storey building, on your right.
Please introduce yourself at the Security Office and they will be pleased to give you access and assistance. Should you need access to the parkade, they can open the doors for you until such time as you retrieve the parkade door remote opener from the condo.
Your condo keys are kept in the condo (along with the parkade remote and other stuff) in the drawer of the Living Room TV stand. Our Property Manager will assist in retrieving them. Please note that our Condominium Administrator deals with matters of the Common Property while our Property Manager looks after after those of our Condo Unit.
· Inexpensive and safe. Approximately USD$2 equivalent to PV.
· About $1 equivalent to grocery stores.
· Ask driver how much to: Bucerias, Mega, etc.; pay in Pesos.
· Runs every 15 minutes till about 10PM (but be sure to ask).
· From condo main entrance, approx. 1 minute walk.
· Stop is at corner of Punta de Mita Hwy (on the corner across from OXXO convenience store).
· Inter-city buses end at the main stop across from the PV Wal-Mart.
· To reach other locations, hop on a Blue and White city bus.
· are territorial; a PV taxi can’t pick up a fare outside of PV and similarly a La Cruz taxi can’t pick up a return fare from elsewhere; so, they return to their home territory empty. So, rates have tended to be on the high side. You can ask for better rates than what may be offered. If necessary, go to the next driver.
· Expect to pay about the Peso equivalent of:
- $30 to and from downtown Puerto Vallarta (PV),
- $25 to and from the airport,
- $12 to and from Mezcales Wal-Mart grocery/department store,
- $10 to and from Bucerias MEGA grocery/department store.
· Agree on the fare amount before entering the cab. Repeat the destination and the amount of the fare once in the vehicle. To reach La Joya condo, follow the directions above as the driver will not likely be familiar with the address.
· In La Cruz, call Ramiro at 322 142 9216 or 322 117 2377.
· are available at the airport and throughout PV.
· major vehicle rental companies are represented at the airport
· have greatly varying rates upwards of US$50/day plus insurance with most being in the range of $70 to $80 per day.
· can be obtained at competitive/better rates from smaller companies such as Gecko which is located in Bucerias.
· You may want to consider using a credit card for the rental as many provide insurance coverage (check yours to make sure Mexico is included).
It used to be that the currency to carry was the US Dollar and that Travellers’ Cheques (TCs) was the most convenient form. Things have changed. Despite current rumours, one can still use USD and CAD but the Mexican government, in its efforts to stem the flow of drug money, has become very restrictive. It is our understanding that foreign cash transactions are limited to $100; so if you are making a purchase that exceeds that amount, you will not be able to complete the transaction without some other form of payment. While a number of establishments will accept US Dollars, most business is done in Pesos. You should at least have a small supply before you leave; money exchanges at airports are always expensive. Banks, in Mexico, are exceedingly slow. Not only does one have to wait long in line-ups, they limit the amount of TCs that can be cashed at one time. Scotiabank is the only Canadian bank that we have seen in the area. Instead of TCs, we find it very convenient to operate with a Scotiabank account here at home, in Canadian funds. Use your bank card at a Mexico Scotiabank (it dispenses Pesos and you get the exchange rate at that time); one is conveniently located adjacent to the Mega grocery store in Bucerias south, toward Mezcales. Heading south on Hwy 200, you will identify the large sign (fairly high on the left side) with a giant orange pelican. It is at the lights just before the Flamingos turn-off. If you are driving, remember to stay right; that left turn is made from the very right-hand lane (the ‘lateral’) with a left turn, green arrow. If you are traveling by bus, tell the driver ‘Bucerias Mega’ and he’ll let you know the fare; you will have to watch for your stop in case he neglects to announce it.
We avoid using credit cards in Mexico. Security could be an issue. Not every one accepts them and we sure don’t like that extra, out-of-country fee (1½ to 3%) that they charge over and above the exchange.
We have been cautioned that if you use a free-standing ATM that is not affiliated with a bank, you are taking a high risk of your card (debit or credit) being compromised. There is a greater chance of the ATM having an illegal, criminal card reader that retains your card information.
SHOULD I DRINK THE WATER?
We don’t. We either carry or buy bottled water on outings and for the beach. We even refill our bottles from the condo. Use only the filtered or bottled water from the condo.
However, you will be OK at most larger restaurants which have their ice made with filtered water. Just the same, it does not hurt to ask and make sure.
WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD?
We generally do not hesitate to eat food from street and beach vendors and so far so good. You should be guided by your own instincts.
There are numerous restaurants to choose from in La Cruz, and in Bucerias; and of course, lots and lots in PV. You can pick from some pretty good beach menus (note that the beach restaurants close early, around 5PM, when most bathers have left the beach), great Mexican menus and other international choices to some affordable fine dining.
For those who would rather eat at home, you will enjoy a fully-equipped, modern kitchen. There are several small Abarrotes (grocery stores) in La Cruz (very limited selection) and plus a farmers’ market on Wednesdays. You will find pretty much all that you are looking for at the MEGA (Bucerias) or the Wal-Mart (Mezcales); both have extensive grocery sections. Should you be going in to PV, you will find an even bigger Wal-Mart, bigger MEGA and a large Soriana grocery store where we are told a lot of Mexican locals do their shopping.
· Water to the condo is softened and so is salty and should not be consumed excepting the kitchen.
· Water to the kitchen sink’s small tap and to the fridge is filtered and potable. A reverse osmosis filter is thorough but slow. It stores filtered water in its canister and will provide for normal use. But, it may not keep up if you plan to do a lot of cooking.
· Large bottled water jugs (type that sit atop water coolers) are available if desired, at nominal cost ($25 Pesos + tip); available from the Security Office.
· Softened water requires very little soap/detergent. Please use small amounts in clothes and dish washers. No fabric softeners needed. Clean lint screen each time dryer door is opened for greater drying efficiency (less electricity).
· The water heater is electric; the illuminated red light on the kitchen switch indicates when it is in operation.
· The stove/range is gas operated. Should you wish to use the oven, it must be lit manually.
· Air conditioning is effectively accomplished with three individual ‘Mini-Split’ units (Living Room, Master Bedroom, Guest Bedroom) which are operated by remote control. Such systems allow for cooling only the spaces that are in use, when desired.
· Electrical rates are costly; to encourage responsible use, a dollar limitation is in effect. Costs can be effectively managed if desired. Keeping all windows and doors open provides a cooling breeze (we commonly also leave the entrance door open too as we have no safety concerns); this combined with the air movement from the three ceiling fans achieves satisfactory comfort levels. The ceiling fans are remote operated and are also switched (remember to turn back on if inadvertently switched off).
· Cleaning supplies and tools are provided for your convenience. Please replace any supplies that may run out.
· Spices are provided for your pleasure. Please replenish any that may run out.
· Terrace doors are equipped with locking mechanisms. Please leave keys in the locks at all times as the specialty keys are expensive to replace.
· Do not hang clothes or towels out on the patio.
· The gas barbeque grill must be cared for. Please move the unit away from the wall when in use. Should the igniter fail, please use the long-neck lighter provided. Please ensure prompt and thorough cleaning not only for proper maintenance but also to avoid attracting pests. Cleaning can be made easier by applying vegetable oil (liquid or spray) to the grills prior to grilling. An extra cleaning fee of $20 will be assessed should Housekeeping staff need to service the BBQ unit/grills.
· Remember to keep food and beverages in sealed containers when not attended. It is amazing how quickly these will attract pests.
· Use only beach towels and acrylic/plastic beverage containers at the pool.
· The Administration Office, Business Center and Gym are on the Main Floor at the west end of the building (opposite end from Main Entrance) near Elevator 2.
· Refuse disposal containers are located at strategic points in the underground parkade.
· Parkade doors are remote operated. Please ensure that the doors close behind you. Parking spots are assigned by condo unit number.
· The States of Jalisco and Nayarit are in different time zones and used to cause confusion since many businesses on the Bay went by PV time.
In early 2010, Bahia Time was adopted and the Nayarit coast is now operating with the same time zone (Central) as PV (Jalisco).