check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit

Enchanting 'Cactus Villa' heart of Catalinas in prestigious 'Rancho Sin Vacas.'

Bedrooms 2
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 28 nights


Minimum Stay
28 nights

About the property

2 bedroom Villa, 1000 SF, mountain views from every window, courtyard patio

Enchanting 'Cactus Villa' in exclusive 'Rancho Sin Vacas,' a prestigious enclave of homes in the heart of Catalina Foothills at Tucson's northern edge, one of the city's best locations, and premier communities. View original reviews at my VHR site.

The upscale, gated community has 24/7 security manned by a professional and friendly staff that monitors every vehicle entering and leaving 'Rancho Sin Vacas.'

This desirable villa, at a desirable price, is one story -- no stairs to climb with luggage or groceries – and there is no one above or below you as there are in condo complexes. Your personal, covered parking spot is steps away from your front door in a unique parking lot reserved for the 4 units and their guests, unlike the shopping mall-like mass parking of all the other units, as can be seen on my aerial map of the complex. Note the prime location of “The Cactus Villa.”

The Cactus Villa is an end unit that is private and quiet. As an end unit, with wraparound walls of windows, it is sunlit and sparkling, with views from every window. You are not sandwiched between the claustrophobic common side walls that make interior units dark--even after you open the blinds!

Those common walls block the energizing and uplifting natural light, the mountain views, and the distant city lights.

'The Cactus Villa,' approximately 1000 SF, is well appointed and tastefully decorated in Southwestern/Mexican decor, with eclectic designer touches, and authentic Mexican Saltillo tile flooring throughout. Saltillo tiles are a product of the earth and through their natural rustic beauty radiate energy, warmth, and peace. Tile flooring is more sanitary, easier to keep clean, and therefore healthier than carpeting, especially in bedrooms, as it provides a low allergen environment for persons with allergies, as well as for persons without allergies. NO carpet.

Say goodbye to the generic 300 SF cookie-cutter resort or hotel room, and enjoy true resort-style living at a unique home, 'The Cactus Villa,' at a fraction of the cost of the resorts that are just a few minutes away down Skyline/Sunrise, and without the high taxes and surcharges. Just unpack, and relax in affordable luxury.

The Great Room has a spacious, open floor plan combined with the kitchen and dining area, which is ideal for entertaining. It has 18' vaulted ceilings, a French door to the private courtyard garden patio, and wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the rooms with light and sun, and offer panoramic views of the breathtaking Catalina Mountain range, and of the distant twinkling lights of the city below.

The kitchen in The Cactus Villa is larger than those one finds in most condos. You will entertain with pride in a kitchen that is fully equipped with high quality stainless steel cookware, Cuisinart blender and food processor, crock pot, cookbooks for all types of cooking, brand new, full size, top-of-the-line appliances that include a refrigerator with ice maker. You will have every utensil you need to prepare anything from breakfast to snacks, cocktail foods to a feast, or for an intimate candlelit dinner with your spouse or with your guests. You don't have to go out for any meal unless you are in the mood to dine at any of the many wonderful restaurants in Tucson.

My primary goal is to please my guests and to make them comfortable. To this end, I also provide extra touches to pamper you, like feather pillows, Egyptian cotton linens, and thick fluffy towels. The convenience of full size washer and dryer means you can pack lighter and save on airline surcharges.

Included are Wireless, high-speed Internet, Digital Preferred cable with Video on Demand, electricity, and unlimited local and long distance calling to all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Some owners have discontinued providing the phone service amenity since everyone has cell phones today. But due to the proximity of the villa to the mountains, cell phones often have reception problems, so it is necessary to have a land line available at all times, especially in case of an emergency.

There are cable TVs in every room: In the Great Room, a new flat screen HDTV with a DVD/VHS player. In the bedroom a brand new flat screen TV. In the guest room/media/library/office, a TV with a VCR.

For your additional enjoyment you will find an extensive collection of DVD and VHS videos, a stereo CD & tape player, a classical music tape library, as well as other types of music tapes.

Lounge on your futon in the guest room/media/library/office and read, surf the Internet, or watch TV or a video. Or relax in your cozy reading corner in the bedroom with a good book from our large personal library of interesting, quality hard cover books, or perhaps one that was donated by one of our many lovely guests.

Play board games, chess, cards, work on a jigsaw puzzle, enjoy a fondue, gather around the piano, or just relax in front of a cozy fire in the kiva fireplace after a day in the invigorating mountain air of Tucson or greater Arizona.

Outside the Great Room is an extra large, private courtyard garden patio that offers direct access to the miles of winding roads to walk, hike or bike within gated 'Rancho Sin Vacas.' If you like to get up early, you can greet the dawn and welcome another beautiful Tucson day as you watch the sun rise in the east, and enjoy the closeness of the mountains while enjoying your morning coffee or tea on your private courtyard patio. Or go for a walk or hike in the cool morning hours, swim in the year-round heated pool, work out in the fitness/weight room, or sink into an over-stuffed chair in the beautiful clubhouse. Later, enjoy the sun in a chaise lounge pool side, or dine on the pool patio.

The courtyard garden patio is surrounded by lush, mature vegetation, with two bistro tables and chairs, patio umbrella, ample additional seating for your guests, 2 comfortable anti-gravity reclining chaises, a brand new Weber gas grill, a copper wood-burning pit, cozy lanterns, candles, and a collection of musical wind chimes that create a magical atmosphere in which to rest or star-gaze and enjoy the cool nights, or the warm, sunny days of the serene and starkly beautiful Arizona Sonoran Desert.

In the winter, you can view the snow-capped mountains from your wraparound windows, or while you soak in the warm Arizona sun in a comfortable chaise lounge on your private courtyard patio. In the summer, the higher foothills elevation (approximately 3500 ft) keeps the temperatures cooler than the city below.

'The Cactus Villa” is a year-round birder's paradise and is host to a spectacular variety of desert wildlife that you will enjoy watching every day from every room of the villa, or as you relax on the patio. You'll delight at the many species of hummingbirds, gambrels quail, roadrunners, cardinals, finches, orioles, and other birds that abound in the trees and shrubbery right outside your doors or at our feeders. You'll see majestic hawks, and hear owls and other nocturnal birds and other wildlife as they leave their homes in the mountains to visit us. You'll also hear the coyotes yipping in the mountains just a short distance from your doorstep, or walking down the road outside your door. If your timing is good, you may even get to see the beautiful bobcats that live in those mountains.

Keep a camera handy because if you like wildlife and beautiful natural desert scenery, you will love your surroundings and the 'desert visitors' to 'The Cactus Villa.'

'The Cactus Villa' is perfect for a holiday at any time of the year. You will feel so comfortable and at home in this quiet and private enclave in the Foothills that, like the wonderful repeat guests we enjoy, you too will want to make 'The Cactus Villa' at 'Rancho Sin Vacas' your 'winter retreat' -- or 'any time retreat' -- year after year. 'The Cactus Villa' is not just a holiday destination -- it's an experience.

Our pride in our unit is evident in the variety of photos provided to give the traveler a true representation of every aspect of OUR property inside AND outside. No photos angled at areas that do not represent our unit, and no false descriptions.

All units are not equal. Depending on the building’s location in the complex, and the unit’s location in the building, some units have no views at all. Your front view may be the building right outside your entry door, and your back view may be the building behind you on the other side of the wash. No mountain or city lights views due to lack of wraparound windows. In some units, just to get a glimpse of the mountains, you may have to go outside the back to the edge of a small patio in a landlocked area that drops off into a wash filled with prickly cacti that traps you, with no access out. Your mass parking spot may be an inconvenient long walk away. Travelers don't know any of this until arrival, when it’s too late.

'The Cactus Villa' is the premier 'Villas at Rancho Sin Vacas' vacation rental that others in the complex try to emulate by copying large portions of my text -- often word-for-word usage of my creative language -- throughout their property descriptions, as well as other information I provide.

I welcome the compliment. After all, Imitation IS the highest form of flattery! :)

The peaceful community setting of 'Rancho Sin Vacas,' off Skyline Drive/Pima Canyon and north of Ina Road, is secluded and removed from traffic and noise, yet only minutes from Campbell Avenue and Tucson's acclaimed La Encantada, an upscale open-air shopping mall with world-class shopping and dining, with many boutiques and specialty shops such as Crate and Barrel, an AJ's market, as well as a beautiful Apple computer store. Also a few minutes away are The Foothills Mall, The Tucson Mall, supermarkets, pharmacies, the post office, FedEx/Kinko's, state-of-the-art medical facilities -- and all the amenities one could desire at a home-away-from-home.

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 9, 2017

About Argie

State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.A., magna cum laude

Former Deputy Tax Receiver, Town of Smithtown

Argie purchased this villa in 1998

Why Argie chose Arizona

After many years of traveling to the Southwest, as a desert lover I knew I wanted a piece of Arizona. When I first saw Tucson, I knew it was where in Arizona I wanted to be. The stark beauty of the desert, the climate, and the many days of sunshine were the reasons for my choice.

My search for the perfect Tucson property took several years. When I first drove up Camino Sin Vacas towards the magical Catalina Mountains and to the villa that would come to be known as 'The Cactus Villa' at 'Rancho Sin Vacas,' I fell in love, and I immediately knew that my search was over.

Over recent years I haven't been spending much time at my retreat, so when it is not occupied by me, I am able to share with travelers whose love for Tucson is the same as mine, the pleasure of experiencing my corner of paradise in the wonderful Sonoran Desert.

We hope you will come and enjoy our lovely quiet oasis.

At The Cactus Villa we are committed to excellence and to a quality experience for every guest. Our pride in our villa is evident in the variety of photos we provide to give the traveler a true representation of every aspect of OUR property -- inside AND outside.

In addition to strict attention to every detail beforehand, we maintain communication with our guests during every stage of their visit - before, during, and after - to insure that all their needs are/were met, and we are available to them at all times. We are proud to offer outstanding service and pricing that are second to none.


What makes this villa unique

Amazing Condo, Amazing location! December 18, 2014

We spent 1 month at the Villa with our 4 month old baby. We really enjoyed our stay. First, Argie is amazingly kind and easily reachable if needed. Second, the condo is just as the pictures and answered really well to our needs. Third, the location at the foothills is awesome! Without being in the city, it's closed to everything, especially close to the nature and amazing landscape. Great location for hiking, running, biking and swimming at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. So, we loved everything about this place and the owner! Would go back anytime!!

Beverly Ford September 21, 2014

Cactus Villa Tops in TLC

My long-awaited visit to Cactus Villa began with my arrival via impeccable directions from the airport! It was my first visit to Rancho Sin Vacas but as soon as I opened the front door, I felt as if I were home at last! Peace, quiet and rest were what I needed and all three were delivered - and then some. Everything seemed to work as one to provide a wholesome respite: moderate temps in the mornings and evenings; lovely vistas all times of day; comfortable and attractive appointments at the villa, inside and out; convenient location and ease of getting around the city; proximity of villa to almost everywhere I wanted and needed to go (grocery stores; post office; et al); great neighbors who hardly ever appeared except for couples who frequented the pool that was only a stone's throw away. Then there was the villa itself, where Argie's fine taste and desire to make accommodations comfy and pleasing to the eye was apparent in every room. The piano in the living room was a total surprise although I must admit that I was too busy with other pleasures to sit down and play more than a couple of times. Argie and previous guests were generous in leaving unused staples so I would urge guests to check out the cupboards before shopping, especially for anything that is not likel

Guestbook comments from the owner

We spent 1 month at the Villa with our 4 month old baby. We really enjoyed our stay. First, Argie is amazingly kind and easily reachable if needed. Second, the condo is just as the pictures and answered really well to our needs. Third, the location at the foothills is awesome! Without being in the city, it's closed to everything, especially close to the nature and amazing landscape. Great location for hiking, running, biking and swimming at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. So, we loved everything about this place and the owner! Would go back anytime!!
Nov 2014
  • 1 of 11


5/5 -
(2 traveler reviews)

Enchanting 'Cactus Villa' heart of Catalinas in prestigious 'Rancho Sin Vacas.'
average rating of 5.0 based on 13 reviews
Santa Fe, NM

Cactus Villa, An Exceptional Tucson Experience

  • 5 of 5

I have stayed at “The Cactus Villa” three times. The location is superb, offering the best of both the city of Tucson and the privacy of the secluded, beautiful foothills area. The villa accommodations here are excellent, the owner is friendly, conscientious and responsive, and there is a good local contact as well.

I usually vacation in the summer, so I enjoy the cooler, high mountain setting. The main exposure is northeast, providing a welcome respite from the sun when you’re outside. There is nothing more enjoyable than a night under the stars after a day of exploring Tucson’s many treasures, an invigorating swim in the pool, or a barbecue with friends in the comfortable and private patio - or all of the above!

  • Submitted: Oct 17, 2010
  • Stayed: Jul 2008
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
15 2
Smithville, TN

Our Favorite Place

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I have stayed there at least ten times. It is our favorite among all the places we have vacationed. Being in a gated community with parking just a few steps from the door is one of the things we like and the quietness and tranquility are unbeatable. Watching the sunrise over the Catalina Mountains is a terrific way to begin the day and the sunsets will sooth any anxiety. We're birdwatchers so seeing the Gambel's Quail around the patio and having hummingbirds buzzing around the flowers are a delight to us. The townhouse location makes it easy for us to travel to all of the birding spots to the south and east for day trips. Shopping is convenient with major stores being only ten minutes away. The accommodations at the townhouse are great so all we need to bring are our clothes and birding equipment. The furnishings are comfortable and in good taste. We recommend this lovely place to anyone who wants an enjoyable and relaxing stay in one of the best locations possible.

  • Submitted: Apr 2, 2010
  • Stayed: Jul 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
13 3


El Charro Cafe
"Features authentic Mexican cuisine. Very cozy environment."
Catalina State Park
"Good location; easy access. Very pretty park."
Metropolitan Grill -- CLOSED
"Continental cuisine, good pastries, convenient for take-out"
Golf Club at Vistoso
Pusch Ridge Stables
Nearest Airport
20 Miles
Tucson International
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Nearest Motorway
10 Miles
Nearest Ski
2 Miles
Car: necessary

The peaceful community setting of 'Rancho Sin Vacas,' off Skyline Drive/Pima Canyon and north of Ina Road, is secluded and removed from traffic and noise, yet only minutes from Campbell Avenue and the upscale La Encantada Mall with many boutiques and specialty shops, Crate and Barrel, an AJs market, as well as a beautiful Apple computer store. Also a few minutes away are The Foothills Mall, The Tucson Mall, supermarkets, pharmacies, the post office, FedEx/Kinko's, state-of-the-art medical facilities -- and all the amenities one could desire at a home-away-from-home.

It's only a five minute drive from 'The Cactus Villa' at 'Villas at Rancho Sin Vacas' to the fine art galleries and restaurants at the corner of Ina and Campbell to the east, and less than a mile west to Oracle Road (Route 77) -- a main north/south thoroughfare with shopping and restaurants to suit every palate and price range.

You probably know that Tucson has 350 days of sunshine, more than two dozen golf courses designed by the likes of Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus, and some of the best Southwest cuisine this side of the border.

What you might not know is that Tucson is surrounded by four different mountain ranges, and there's great skiing at nearby Mount Lemmon. The city has a wealth of historic places to explore, from the 19th century St. Augustine Cathedral to the old homes and store fronts in El Presidio.

Just outside of Tucson, you can visit old mining towns, missions and archaeological sites, including the petroglyphs at Signal Hill and the reconstructed dwelling at Dankworth Village.

When temperatures get too brutal for outdoor pursuits, such as hiking the 150 miles of trails in the Santa Catalina Mountains, you can always hop in a summer class with the University of Arizona at Tucson's lifelong learning program. There's even a course on pirates!

If you have the time, side trips to places like:

Rocky Point, Mexico on The Sea of Cortez -- about 4.5 hrs.

Las Vegas -- about 6.5 hrs.

Los Angeles or San Diego -- about 7 hrs.

Tubac - 50 min

Nogales, Mexico - 1 hr. (shopping on the border of Mexico/Arizona)

The Grand Canyon


National Parks at the Arizona-Utah border and the Four Corners area

-- all can easily be made from 'The Cactus Villa' at 'Rancho Sin Vacas' -- our little corner of paradise!

Highlights of a few Tucson activities and attractions:



Skiing at Mt. Lemmon (9157 ft)

The U of A, and the endless downtown activities and cultural events

4th Avenue - Funky shopping in the '60s' or NYC 'Village' atmosphere

Casinos - the popular Indian casinos 1/2 hr; the Las Vegas casinos 4.5 hr

Movie theaters

Gem & Mineral Shows (January-February)

World-class golfing - 15 min

Tucson Rodeo (February)

Major league baseball spring training mid-February through early April

Tohono Chul Park - 1 mile

U of A's Biosphere 2 - 50 min.

Pima Air Space Museum - 30 min

Titan Museum - 40 min

Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum - 40 min

Old Tucson Movie Studios- 40 min

Tombstone - 40 min

Catalina State Park - 15 min

Sabino Canyon - 20 min

Saguaro East National Monument - 20 min

Tucson Mountain Park - 30 min

Beautiful and peaceful Mission San Xavier del Bac - 25 min

Arizona Desert Jeep Tours

Colossal Caves - 30 min

Kitt Peak Observatory - 1.5 hr

-- and so much more of what makes Tucson such a premier vacation destination.


Rates & Availability

The Villas At Rancho Sin Vacas Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Winter Peak
Jan 1 2017 - Mar 31 2017
28 night minimum stay
Early Spring
Apr 1 2017 - Apr 30 2017
28 night minimum stay
May 1 2017 - May 31 2017
28 night minimum stay
Jun 1 2017 - Jun 30 2017
28 night minimum stay
Jul 1 2017 - Aug 31 2017
28 night minimum stay
Early Fall
Sep 1 2017 - Sep 30 2017
28 night minimum stay
Early Fall
Oct 1 2017 - Oct 30 2017
28 night minimum stay
Nov 1 2017 - Nov 30 2017
28 night minimum stay
Dec 1 2017 - Dec 31 2017
28 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
28 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Cleaning $120 - $200 $120


Cleaning $100-$250 - actual charges incurred, based on extent of cleaning required

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)


The Villas At Rancho Sin Vacas Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Mountain
  • Mountain View ...
  • Resort
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Fitness Room / Equipment
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone ...
  • Telescope
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove ...
  • fax
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Second sink and vanity between master bedroom and bathroom separate from main bath.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 Guest Room/Den - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Full Futon
    Living room queen sleeper sofa - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Queen sleeper sofa
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Piano
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Towels
  • Deck / Patio
  • Gated Community
  • Golf ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • 8 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool
  • Heated Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Outdoor Hot Tub
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • skiing
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • tennis
SEE ORIGINAL GUEST REVIEWS ON VACATIONHOMERENTALS WEB SITE Cactus Villa feels like 'home' September 6, 2014 We arrived at the Cactus Villa late on a Tuesday evening. The minute we walked in, we felt welcomed, as if it were waiting just for us! Argie has decorated the Villa with respect to the desert and Arizona culture. Every convenience was there for us. It was difficult to leave to go exploring in the area because the Villa was so lovely. The Saltillo floors were amazingly beautiful. Her furnishings were perfectly chosen and placed. We spent every evening outside on the back patio and observed many birds and wildlife. Morning walks in the gated community were gorgeous and everyone I met was very friendly. The location was also convenient. We were never more than minutes from any destination, yet we were tucked up into the foothills. We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to be guests at the Cactus Villa. We would love to come back for a longer stay.

Partner Offers

You might like these similar properties