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Hello!  We wanted to take a few moments to thank you for your interest in renting our condominium at Villa La Estancia.  Our villa is truly our second home and we have spent a great deal of time in Puerto Vallarta over the past 8 years.  The Minnesota winters are brutal and we escape every chance we get!  Since it is our second home, our villa is well-stocked and maintained.  We do our best to make it feel like your second home as well.  If you have questions beyond what it discussed below, please feel free to contact us.  We will attempt to answer all your questions in a timely manner.  We hope that you enjoy our villa as much as we have over the years!

Bill & Janice

  1. What’s the difference between Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, and the Bay of Banderas?
    • Both Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta sit on the Bay of Banderas. The Bay of Banderas is the second largest bay in North America, and is almost 2 miles deep at some points. The bay is fringed by the Sierre Madre mountains, giving the area a unique and beautiful landscape. Puerto Vallarta is the main city in the bay. Nuevo Vallarta (literally “New Vallarta”) is just north of Puerto Vallarta, and has been developed more recently. Nuevo Vallarta has become a vacation destination in its own right, however most people still refer to the whole area as Puerto Vallarta. You might also hear the area called Riviera Nayarit. See our map for a better idea of where we are located.
  2. Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
    • Like most countries including the U.S., there are certainly areas in Mexico that are more safe than others.  Puerto Vallarta itself has historically been quite safe and accommodating to tourists.  Both Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta (where our condo is located) offer a tranquil, relaxing place to take a vacation.  In addition, Villa La Estancia has 24 hour security and CCTV through the resort and surrounding pool/beach area to ensure the highest level of safety.  Of course, we encourage guests to always use common sense when making decisions both on and off the premises to avoid dangerous situations (as we would staying anywhere in the U.S. as well).
  3. What currency is used in Mexico?
    • The monetary unit is the Mexican peso (MXN). The symbol is the same as that used for the American dollar: $ and you can see the current exchange rate here.  Currently the Mexican peso is very weak against other currency such as the American dollar.  Therefore you can buy many designer items and handicrafts at incredibly reasonable prices. Bargaining at many markets is encouraged and often expected meaning deals abound.
    • To obtain Mexican pesos, the best options are to withdraw money directly from the ATM cash machine at the Palmita convenience store (on-site) OR exchange your foreign currencies at the Villa La Estancia front desk where rates are usually competitive.  Local vendors and such will accept American dollars as payment, but please note that the ‘street’ exchange rate is usually not as good as paying in pesos.  We recommend getting an exchange rate currency app for your phone to make it easier to understand the pricing when you are out and about.
  4. What’s the weather like?
    • The Puerto Vallarta area offers a mild tropical climate year-round, with an average daily temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) and cooler evening temperatures in winter months (at night on average it is about 63 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter).
    • Being a tropical area, there are two main seasons: dry and wet. The dry season lasts from October through May. During this time of the year, it rarely rains. In the summer wet season, you can expect frequent but brief thunderstorms in the afternoons. It is warmer and more humid in the summertime, however we typically enjoy a nice cooling breeze off the water and there is less humidity right at the beach than inland in the mountains.
    • We have 3 separate air conditioners in our villa. One in the master bedroom, one in the living room / dining room / kitchen area, and one in the second bedroom. There are also ceiling fans throughout, as well as ceiling fans on the veranda, and sliding glass doors with screens if you prefer the fresh tropical air.
    • We also have the current and 7 day forecast for the area available on the weather.com Puerto Vallarta weather page.
  5. What time zone are you in?
    • Central Standard Time, which is two hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time and one hour behind Eastern Standard Time.
  6. Is your place in a hotel, a timeshare, or what?
    • Each unit at Villa La Estancia is individually owned. Many have similar furnishings, amenities, etc., but may not match exactly. This condo is actually our second home, and we try to come down to stay as often as time allows. We have tried to make it comfortable and include things you might need while on vacation.
  7. Do I have to speak Spanish?
    • No. All the people at the hotel and main tourist areas speak English. If you’d like to take Spanish lessons while in Mexico, there are plenty of options available, just check with the concierge.
  8. Can I drink the water?
    • It depends. Our refrigerator has its own water filter and it is safe to drink. The resort also has a filtration system that filters all the tap water for the rooms, restaurants, etc. It should be fine to drink as well, but if you have a sensitive stomach, you might want to stick with the refrigerator water. If you’re really worried, you can always drink bottled water. Outside of the resort, the water quality will vary with the establishment. Most restaurants in Puerto Vallarta also filter their water and buy purified ice. You’ll have to be more careful though when getting water from a roadside taco stand.
  9. Are there resort/hotel services available at the property?
    • Yes. Although each villa is privately owned, the property is built like a fine boutique hotel, with huge pool, concierge services, restaurants, room service, spa and more. It’s the best of both worlds.
  10. If I book through you, do I have the same resort privileges?
    • Yes, absolutely. You will be our paying guest, and as such, have full privileges to the beach chairs, towels, swimming pool, fitness center, tennis court, parking, etc.
  11. If I book through you, can I add on an all-inclusive package to my stay?
    • Yes you can (minimum of three consecutive days). All inclusive packages may be purchased with the concierge/front desk directly upon check in.All inclusive rates are:
      Adults: $115 USD per person per day
      Children 4-12 y.o. pay 50%
  12. How much does it cost to call the US or Canada from the room phone?
    • A lot. You can call the front desk/operator as the rates will probably change, but it is typically over $2 US / minute. We recommend checking with your cell phone provider before coming to find out if your plan includes rates for Mexico. We also hope to have a free phone in our unit soon that you can use for calling the US and Canada over the Internet (VOIP).
  13. Do you have high-speed Internet Access?
    • Yes. We have upgraded our villa with its own dedicated high speed wireless internet with 10 MB download speeds.  In addition, we have a wired connection in both bedrooms, and there is wireless high-speed internet in the lobby, as well as throughout the pool area provided to all guests at the hotel.
  14. Why should I rent from you?
    • Renting directly from us insures you get the best rate and you are guaranteed our particular unit. They say in real estate that the three most important factors are Location, location, and location. If you’re coming down for a vacation, these 3 factors should be considered. Here are our top “Location” reasons to rent our unit:
      1. We are directly on Flamingos Beach, which is the longest and nicest stretch of beach in the great Puerto Vallarta area. We’re close enough to downtown Puerto Vallarta to access all the great restaurants, shopping, and night life, but far enough away that you can enjoy the peace and quiet.
      2. Our development (Villa La Estancia) is the premier property in the area. With only 134 units, it’s small enough to easily get around, yet it still has all the amenities of much larger resorts, like a huge fantasy pool, hot tubs, gourmet restaurants, workout room, and full service spa. You won’t have to listen to timeshare sales people or fight for a good chair by the pool.
      3. Our villa is located in one of the prime locations within the development itself. We’re on the fourth floor, affording gorgeous views, and we’re the third villa in from the beach, giving you unobstructed views of the ocean, beach, and also overlooking the pool area. And yes, you can hear the sound of the waves from our villa.
  15. Are there things to do nearby?
    • Yes. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you want. If you want to be active, right on the beach you choose from:
      • Boogie Boards
      • Kayaks
      • Jet Skis / Waverunners
      • Parasailing
      • Sailing
    • Nearby are opportunities for golf, surfing, shopping, sailing, snorkeling, and more.  See our Things To Do page for more of our suggested activities in the area.
    • A 1.25-mile stroll up the beach leads to the friendly town of Bucerias, which greets visitors with its quaint main plaza brimming with delicious restaurants, seaside clubs and art galleries.
  16. How far is the resort from the airport?
    • Under normal circumstances, a short taxi ride of just 20 minutes
  17. Is there an airport shuttle?
    • There is not a free resort airport shuttle and over the years, we have found that grabbing a taxi at the airport is quite easy.  They all know where Villa La Estancia is located.  Depending on the time of year (varies seasonally), on average, cab rides to the resort cost about $25.  You don’t have to haggle because rides from the airport are government regulated AND you can pay in US dollars.
    • Another option is to get VIP transfer service from the airport to the resort (for a fee) which can be arranged by us.