The SpaceBEFORE 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 (EMAIL HIDDEN)e 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 does reek 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 really 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. 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.
•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 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 a barbecue , 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. 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 Guest AccessThe property is enclosed by a locking gate so the inside space is your private sanctuary. From time to time, vendors may knock or ring bell selling seafood or homemade items. There is a small window on the gate to speak through. Use your judgement as to who you open the gate for. No gracias is an acceptable response. There is no internet or landline, but the local library has wifi and available computers at no cost. Donna the neighbor at the corner also allows people to catch wifi signal outside her house. Interaction with GuestsProperty managers are available via phone (and live nearby) but please limit calls before sunrise and after sunset to emergencies. A handbook is provided in the rental so please browse through as many questions about your stay will be found there. There is also a yard person and housekeeper who will respond to specific needs. The NeighborhoodBienvenidos! Casa Karina is a very welcoming vacation spot, and once you settle in, relaxation will come easy. The veranda overlooking the garden and Pacific Ocean will offer a private show of life in Aticama, from hummingbirds and birdsongs, to people on bikes or ponies heading off to work via the malecon below, to fishing boats heading offshore and pelicans on the hunt for breakfast. There is a town announcer who sporadically broadcasts information which is great for practicing your spanish. In town there is a church, seaside plaza with fresh fish and lobster grilling and several small stores for the basics. Getting AroundHaving a vehicle is recommended (though not required) and will enable you to explore the area at your own pace on your own schedule. There are taxi's, buses, and your own two legs to provide some mobility but it will limit you. There is a gated pull-through driveway inside and a parking space outside. Detailed driving instructions will be provided by email as well as phone numbers for taxis and bus schedules. Other Things to NoteAticama is an authentic small Mexican fishing village and very few locals speak English. A little grasp of spanish will help you and of course a travel dictionary. Locals here want to help and understand you if you make a small effort, and its fun! There are also English speaking residents dotted throughout town and the Sunday Market at the library is a great place to shop for garden veggies and homemade items and meet new people.