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Abigail Lovell

Member since: 2006
Call Owner
Speaks: english, spanish

Casa Karina, Beautiful, Private and a Great Bargain!

4 Reviews
Sleeps6
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 5 nights

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Overview

San Blas Villa Rental Photos and Description

Villa, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 5-6)

BEFORE BOOKING PLEASE READ THE BULLET POINTS BELOW DESCRIPTION

Aticama really is a hidden treasure off the beaten path designed for those who are adventurous at heart and yearn for a truly meaningful vacation. Perfect for artists and writers or for those who just want some quiet time to contemplate or enjoy this beautiful garden state.

Casa Karina is located just above the town of Aticama, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. It is a private, quiet oasis set in a garden of palm trees with a green jungle surrounding it.

While at Casa Karina you can dine inside or out on the patio tables al fresco while enjoying the view of the ocean and the garden tended to by our lovely housekeeper. In or out you always have the soothing sounds of the water in the background.

Matanchen beach is about 10 minutes by car. Unspoiled by tourists but spotted with friendly beach restaurants it has wide sandy beach and shallow water perfect for swimming.

Just fifteen minutes away by bus or car is the Historic town of San Blas as well as the famous La Tavora mangrove boat trip which takes you through the jungle filled with flora, fauna and most exciting, crocodiles.

The local hotel does sightseeing trips if that's of interest and there is always a willing captain willing to take you out to some of the best fishing anywhere on the coast. Or you could plan your own itinerary of waterfall hikes, trips to a coffee plantation, road trip to the capitol city of Tepic or a visit to the release location of sea turtles.

If you are tired of the tourists, timeshare salesmen, souvenir hawkers, and high prices of other destinations come see us and experience Mexico at a cheaper, more leisurely, more enjoyable pace.

After a few days at Casa Karina and our little town of Aticama you'll understand why we call it Ati-Coma. It helps melt away the stress, hustle and bustle that is so much of our every day lives at home. Come to a more mellow place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a slower pace of life. The good life!

ATICAMA IS BEST SUITED TO SEASONED, ADVENTUROUS TRAVELERS

November, 2015: We do our very best to make Casa Karina as comfortable as possible but this a tropical climate which reeks havoc on hard and soft goods which have to be repaired or replaced fairly often and is an ongoing endeavor.

We have just repaired the water, power, septic, painted the interior. Bought a new fridge, microwave, coffee pot, blender, hammock, 6 burner stove, pillows and fans for our guest’s comfort.

With that said this is a very peaceful, albeit rural part of Mexico and we want to set the right expectations for our potential guests. We have several caretakers in the area while you’re visiting but the bullet points below are things to keep in mind so you can make an educated decision.

• Who do I call if I need something?: This has always been our biggest challenge in this area. But we now have our local handyman/contractor Jason (on hand for emergency repairs), and our Mexican housekeeper Paty (cleaning, water, gas, garbage), and Donna who often serves as our guests translator (as a favor to Casa Karina).

• How does it compare to Cabo or Puerto Vallarta?: It doesn’t. This isn’t a resort town, this is real Mexico and your stay here will be very much like living, for a short time, in a community of family who welcome visitors as friends they’ve never met. It’s called the garden state because of the green jungle, wildflowers and butterflies that flourish here and, there is some tourism but this is a working fishing and agricultural village. You’ll be sharing that uncrowded beach with a family, here and there, who’ve taken the day off to have a family picnic or fresh fish lunch.

• Wi-Fi: It’s available at the local library, restaurants in San Blas and the restaurant at Casa Manana, down the road. Tip: download movies, shows and music before you arrive to enjoy while you’re here.

• Beaches: About 10 minutes or less by car via the beachfront street that runs below the house or along the curving road to San Blas. Matanchen beach is very wide and shallow making it a great swimming beach. There are palapas (shaded palm shelters) all along the beach and if you’re in front of a restaurant they’ll serve you while you enjoy the surf and sand. My favorite is El Paraiso. The second restaurant as you enter the beach from Aticama.

• Groceries: Mexicans shop the fish, fruit and vegetables stands and markets daily. There are no big grocery stores in Aticama. We may be able to find someone to stock the house before you’re arrival if you are interested, for a fee. Otherwise my recommendation if you’re coming from Puerto Vallarta is to stop at one of the many mega stores there on your way north, Mexican or American. Purchase one or two Styrofoam ice chests and do a major grocery run. Don’t forget ice. We have excellent coffee here in town, picked locally. And at the mini marts you’ll find milk, bread, cheese beer etc… but not a big wine selection, or olive oil, balsamic vinegar and other very non-Mexican items. Tip: there is a good liquor store that has several options of wine next to the Social Club across from the plaza in San Blas.

• Restaurants: Again this is a fishing village. There are taco stands, Lucy’s, the Mexican diner, Casa Manana hotel bar/restaurant, the take out chicken shop and all the fresh fish and shrimp you’d ever want to eat in Aticama. There’s the San Blas Social Club, Red Witch and Garza Canela in San Blas for variety but overall not a lot of actual restaurants.

• ATM’s: There are at least 4 in San Blas.

• A car is essential: Again this is a rural area. So if you are in great shape and don’t mind walking up and down hills in the heat or to the beach, great. If not then a rental car is really the only way to enjoy everything this area has to offer. There are local buses that run every 20 minutes but again this is for energetic, heat resistant types.

• There are geckos: They’re really cool and eat a ton of bugs and you’ll never see them on the floor, only on ceilings. But these little mascots live both in and outside of homes here. Mosquitos and no see ums are only a challenge in the hot, rainy season between June-October and at twilight and dusk and only outside. Casa Karina does have screens and bug spray always helps.

• We do not have an egg slicer: Or other fancy kitchen gadgets except those listed above. We try to have wine glasses on hand at all times but they break on the tile floors. We have plenty of glasses, dishes, etc… This weather is tough on knives and pots and pans but the kitchen does have them even if they’re not the fanciest.

• Drinking water: There should be at least 2-3, 5-gallon jugs when you arrive and if you need more just ask our caretaker. We cook only with purified bottled water and use a drop of iodine, designed for water purification, when cleaning fruits and vegetables, which we place in a bowl of tap water.

• Gas and electric: There are two gas tanks for the house so there should be one full one for your use and a spare. The stove and water heater are gas. The water heater is temperamental but if it does go out you can reach out to my caretaker to get it lit.

• Locals: There is a nice sized, active community of Americans and Canadians who run the museum, spay and neuter clinic, cultural center and library, where there’s a Sunday market from November through April. The locals are used to visitors and are very friendly and helpful even if they don’t speak English and you don’t speak Spanish. A smile and an attempt to communicate is always appreciated.

• Safety: This is a small tight knit community where violent crime is extremely rare and you see multitudes of children happily playing outside. But petty theft has always been a nuisance in Mexico, which is why people have privacy gates and security windows. Common sense stuff like not leaving bags or purses in plain sight in your car or leaving the house doors open when you’re gone is really the only things to avoid. Tip: We do have a locking closet if you do bring valuable items like electronics that you’d like to store away.

• What if I want to barbecue?: Again, we replace things ALL the time. Sometimes we may have a barbecue, sometimes, they’ll rust and fall apart in the off-season. Same thing for anything made of cloth or plastic or glass. We are forever buying new hammocks and beach chairs, pillows, fans etc. Right now there’s not a barbecue but there are newer beach chairs and a lovely hammock, a half a dozen margherita glasses but only 3 wine glasses. Cest la vie.

• What do you provide?: Sheets, regular and beach towels, clean drinking water, pots/pans, dishes, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels. And of course fans, indoor/outdoor furniture, including comfortable beds. Everything else is up in the air depending on when you come, besides what’s mentioned above for the 2015, season. Salt and sugar? The humidity means that they don’t last long? Cooking oil/coffee? I’m leaving some now but typically only if the previous guest picked some up. Anything that is in the kitchen is available for your use. I ask the housekeeper only to clear out perishable items and to leave non perishables for the next guest.

• Monteczuemas revenge: You can pick it up in even the fanciest of resort towns. Tip: Buy the highest count of pure, (not a probiotic combination), acidophilus at home a week before your trip and take 1 twice a day, every day including while you’re here. Gives you an iron stomach that will allow you to enjoy the wonderful seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables without the stress. Trust me, it works!

Keywords: Vacation Home

More Details
Suitability:
  • not suitable for children
  • pets considered
  • smoking allowed
Abigail Lovell (Owner)
Member since: 2006
Call Owner
Speaks: english, spanish

About Abigail Lovell

I love Mexico and built this home as a place for early retirement. I feel so relaxed when I'm at Casa Karina and am ever grateful to have found this bit of paradise. Meanwhile I live in Gig Harbor, WA and run a Concierge Agency where we manage vacation rentals.

Abigail Lovell purchased this villa in 2001

Why Abigail Lovell chose Nayarit

The almost unknown state of Nayarit is considered Mexicos garden state. Jungles, butterflies, small fishing villages and secluded beaches abound.

What makes this villa unique

Casa Karina located in a sleepy fishing village that has just what you need to relax and enjoy, all the privacy you need, amazing views, tranquil garden and charming vintage mexican decor.

Reviews

4.3
based on 4 traveler reviews

Casa Karina, Beautiful, Private and a Great Bargain!
average rating of 4.25 based on 4 reviews
5

Ed and Sue

  • 5 of 5

We had an enjoyable week at the Casa. The village of Alticama is a typical Mexico fishing village with very friendly people. The Casa was well equipped and the service was great. We especially enjoyed seeking out secluded beaches and hiking areas nearby. We also enjoyed meeting with nearby neighbors who were expats from the U.S. We recommend this Casa to anyone who wants a quiet location with beautiful views.

Sue and Ed

  • Submitted: Feb 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Jan 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2

Rustic

  • 2 of 5

This vacation property is located in Aticama, a small fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta. This is a vacation rental that absolutely requires a car, and you absolutely require basic Spanish.

The good:

This property boasts a million dollar view of Matenchen Beach.

The front garden is beautiful.

The neighbours are amazing and lovely, though most do not speak english.

We loved all the stray dogs, but this may be a negative for some.

The area is beautiful.

The Not So Good:

We arrived on Christmas Day to stained linen, no hot water, and fans not working,

bugs in the linen and insufficient bedding.

1)Old, dirty, furniture.

2)Broken loungers without cushions.

3)Rusted pots and pans and cutlery.

4)Moldy coffee pot.

5)Bubblegum stuck onto the water cooler.

6)Zero basic supplies ie. Salt, sugar, oil etc. you can buy pop and cookies and a few very small things, but to get groceries you need to travel to San Blas.

7)Appliances not working.

8)No one speaks any english so you need to be comfortable trying hard with Spanish.

9)None of the contacts we were given were around to help.

10)This is a very rustic rental (no glass on the windows...it is open air). It does have a large gate to lock yourself in though.

11)The beach is a drive on beach, was very busy and not suitable for laying about without a vehicle.

That being said, we enjoyed the people, and the town and the area and being adventurous, we found our way and figured out ways to make things better. We did leave four days early. We submitted an email to the owner and never received a reply. If a rustic rental is something you would enjoy, there are many places that would be better for less money. It was overly priced for what we got, however the area is authentic Mexico. When you settle into the area it quickly becomes apparent the beauty surrounding you. Some basic supplies would have been greatly appreciated (salt, sugar, bag of coffee, bread and maybe a few fruits), appliances in working order, hot water, working fans. It was made clear to us that the owner hasn't been back in two years and perhaps she is unaware of the remediations required. Nonetheless a follow up response would have been appreciated. You take your chances with this one.

  • Submitted: Jan 25, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I do apologize for the delay in responding. It has actually been a year since I've been there. And the first time that I haven't been the first person there for the season. It's been a rental for 12 years but has sat mostly empty since tourism in general has dropped dramatically. All of the items except the cushions on the lounge chairs have been remedied. Including a new stove. I'm refunding $400 of your payment.
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5

Casa Karina - Oceanside oasis!

  • 5 of 5

This vacation property is located in a small fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta. It is a rustic little town and you should be prepared to enjoy the quaintness of it! The 7 km long, beautiful, sandy beach at Matanchen Bay is about 5 minute walk from Casa Karina. The waves provide great fun to body surf, use a boogie board, or just play in. It is not a dangerous beach at all, no undertow. All your shopping needs are available in Aticama, an easy 5-7 minute walk. Generally speaking, the local store owners do not speak English but they are charming and very, very friendly and keen to help you and will even let you practice your Spanish! San Blas is only a 15-20 minute drive away which has all the amenities and extras you might need.

The owners, Abby and Mark will give you all the information to drive, bus or shuttle (via Casa Manana) to Casa Karina. They are super-helpful and will give you lots of tips and ideas on activities. You will need to pick up the key upon your arrival. The house comes complete with everything you need to get started. Fresh water is provided (you will need to buy more during your stay) as well as all the dishes, cooking paraphernalia, spices, towels, toilet paper, etc. The housekeeper will ensure the house looks wonderful for your arrival and will drop in to see if you need anything and to arrange a cleaning day. Bring along your Spanish-English dictionary, it is invaluable. Also would advise bringing a flashlight for returning from evening jaunts.

The house is in a wonderful location, overlooking the ocean - you can hear the waves day and night. The yard is beautifully landscaped and provides a wonderful oasis. The pictures shown hardly do it justice - it has inviting Mexican charm and you can't beat the secluded location while still being within easy walking distance of town.

There is a pizza restaurant right across from the town square which has excellent thin crust pizzas. Nearby (Playa Los Cocos) Donatella's Restaurant serves delicious Italian meals with good red wine! Casa Manana Hotel has has reliable food, great margueritas and offers a pizza night on Saturday that you shouldn't miss. If you buy a few drinks or a meal, you can hang out by the Casa Manana pool and swim, or go for a dip in the ocean there.

I would highly recommend to friends and relatives.

  • Submitted: Mar 14, 2014
  • Stayed: Feb 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Tacoma, WA
5

What a great place!!! We ...

  • 5 of 5

What a great place!!! We absolutely had the best vacation of all time and are already planning on staying again. The house is wonderful the yard is beautiful and what a great location. The beach is pristine and not crowded at all. The town is great and the people are all very nice. Remember to get dinner from the Chicken Lady at the bottom of the hill. San Blas is a fun city to visit and have a cocktail at the San Blas Social Club. The drive from the airport was great and we were impressed at how good the roads are. I would highly recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a relaxing and wonderful vacation. I can't wait to go back!!!

  • Submitted: Aug 11, 2008
  • Stayed: Aug 2008
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Map

Nearest Airport
150 Kilometres
Puerto Vallarta
Car: necessary

bird watching, historic towns, tours, shopping, walking, hiking

Photos

Rates & Availability

San Blas Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Off Season
Jun 1 2016 - Sep 30 2016
5 night minimum stay
$60
$800
 
 
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
$95
$1,200
 

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $100
Exit Cleaning fee $75

Both deposit and final payment are non refundable. This is a rural part of Mexico, beautiful, but rural. There could be water, electrical issues which are common. We have several resources for any questions or help you need but there are certain things beyond our control. We have a very large water holding tank reserve and power outages usually don't last long but they are not completely uncommon.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Amenities

San Blas Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1100 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beach View
  • Ocean View
  • Oceanfront ...
General:
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Towels Provided
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining Area
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • King size beds (1) Pillow Top, Queen size Beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (1)
Outside:
  • Deck / Patio ...
Suitability:
  • not suitable for children ...
  • pets considered ...
  • smoking allowed ...
Attractions:
  • nude beach
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • sailing
  • surfing
  • swimming
Notes:
Gas oven, outside patio tables, two twins that can be made into one, fans in every room, This is our second home and so is set up for the best in comfort and efficiency, Maid service is included once a week, tips are appreciated for outstanding service.

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