The Verdin family first opened the doors of Mi Chaparrita in Sayulita 12 years ago. This family owned tour company offers a number of excursions and activities, including horseback riding, zip lining, boat trips to the Marieta Islands, sport fishing, surf lessons, and an ATV excursion. Luis Humberto Verdín Plascencia sits down with El Sayulero and share more about their business, the history, and their tours.
1. How did Mi Chaparrita start?
Looking for tourist needs began the idea about new activities in Sayulita, instead of just surfing. We were also looking to meet a need for food for our family and survive in town and have a successful life. We first started with horse rentals. We had just two horses and people who wanted to ride them didn’t pay special rates, they just gave us $50.00 pesos per hour, or whatever tourists wanted because we didn’t speak English, so we could only tell what they were saying with clues. These rentals increased little by little due to the fact that back then, there wasn’t any other company providing our services. Then we started adding more activities that make tourists and their family happy.
2. Your family has lived in Sayulita for a long time. What can you tell us about the evolution of Sayulita from a sleepy, fishing village to a town ripe for activities for tourists?
Yes, we are natives from Sayulita. Well, this town has been a fishing place for a long time where people lived in palapa houses and the unique economic activity was fishing or farming. Nowadays, people from here live good without problems about food or clothes. Thanks to tourism in Sayulita, the life is better where people who want to work can earn money and do business because this place has a lot of things to do for sale, it also has much natural beauty. And one more thing we learned was to live with foreign people and socialize with them.
3. What do you like about living and owning a business in Sayulita?
We will always love to live in Sayulita because it is a great town and you can do whatever you want, such as go surfing, play soccer, and baseball, and during the night you can go to eat some of the best food of Bahía de Banderas Bay. Also, you can go to the bar to drink a nice blended ice margarita. To have a business gives us opportunities to educate our children, so then in the future they can take the reins of the business of Rancho Mi Chaparrita and make it a successful.
4. How has Mi Chaparrita changed over the years?
We have put a lot dedication and work in to do better in the tours and also provide better service. We always want to educate our staff, giving them training about costumer service because they are in front of our customers, and that’s why now many people come back to enjoy our activities. Also, all the tours have changed over time because we try to have the best equipment for the activities and fix all mistakes that we have made to offer the best in Sayulita.
5. What is your most popular tour and why?
Zip line because it is an adrenaline rush and an unforgettable experience that people like. For many years we have heard good opinions about the zip line, so we think this is the most popular.
6. Which of your tours would you suggest for children and why?
All the tours (zip line, horseback riding, ATV tour, Marietas Island trip, surf lessons, sport fishing) are appropriate for kids because the guides are all experienced and are capable of offering care for each child that comes with us so that they will enjoy any tour with Rancho Mi Chaparrita. However, most of children prefer zip line.
7. Which of the tours would you recommend for thrill seekers and why?
We would recommend three tours. First, surfing lessons because you get excited at the beginning when you catch the first wave. You also move with an important element that is the surf board, so you have to concentrate and coordinate with it. You can try out different feelings through the ocean, also adrenaline when you are trying to be better and that’s an experience that keeps you busy for the rest of the lessons.
The ATV tour is an experience that takes you to see different places in Sayulita where you can’t go walking. So you drive and feel the speed in your feet because you make changes with it. During the tour you see unspoiled beaches, mountain, jungle, rivers and viewpoints from the Sayulita town. It is a nice experience that you won’t want to end.
The zip line tour takes you to the jungle outside of Sayulita, on a little ranch where the canopy tour is located. You enjoy 13 lines and 4 bridges, and most of them you will scream and feel the adrenaline the whole time. It is so much fun, and the guides make you laugh during the tour. You will never regret doing this.
8. Do you have plans to add additional tours? If so, what?
Yes, we have many ideas to undertake, but we don’t have enough resources. So, that’s why for now I’m not going to say anything. In the future, if we have a new tour, we would like to share it with all the people, so they can join us. But, for the moment I just want to tell everyone about Rancho Mi Chaparrita tours.
9. You’ve had celebrities go on your tours. Who were the celebrities and which tours did they do?
Yes, over the years we had had Kim Kardashian with her husband Kanye West, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Sofía Vergara, Tom Cruise, Luis Hernandez from Los Tigres del Norte band, and other celebrities that make us famous. Most of them have done the zip line and ATV’s. But we are discreet with those things because they want to have fun, so our responsibility is always costumer needs.
10. Why should people take an excursion or do an activity with Mi Chaparrita?
Because we are professional in all of the tours, So, we make sure you will have fun and socialize with other people. We also give you security, trust and a familiar stay.
11. What feedback do you most commonly receive about your tours?
People always finish happy. They usually tell us that they had a great time with us and that they were distracted from their troubles by our staff and activities. They also tell us they enjoyed the tour more than they expected to and want to do it again. These little comments make Rancho Mi Chaparrita because the costumers are first. Also if you have any doubt, search reviews in Sayulita Life where you will see this is true.
12. Any final thoughts?
We would like to invite people that come to Sayulita to visit to try exciting activities where they can forget their routines and can be relaxed during vacation. Mi Chaparrita is a business that formed in part due to the attractiveness of the Riviera Nayarit. So, we want you to experience nature, familiar atmosphere and adventure activities that are offered in Mexico, but especially what Sayulita has to offer tourist. We will be grateful to receive people from all countries.