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Will you please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
We are Steve and Terri Arronge and own Hacienda de la Costa. Although we were from different countries, and had never met, both Steve and I felt Mexico tugging at our hearts in the late 90's. Steve was owner/operator of a machine shop in Prince George, BC, and I ran a tax preparation office in Spokane, WA. We moved to Puerto Vallarta separately, and had lived there for nearly 3 years before a mutual friend introduced us.
What is it about Sayulita that made you want to buy a vacation rental here?
In 2002, Vallarta was seeing rapid growth and Steve and I were seeking a change from our hectic daily routine - we owned and operated Steve's Sports Bar at the time. A few customers had come in and asked me if I knew of a quiet destination, maybe in the jungle, where they could get away from the crowds and noise. I remember telling them that I wasn't familiar with a place like that, but it sounded very intriguing. Steve and I had already talked of having a B&B or small inn, so the idea was immediately appealing. Having lived in the area for some time, we were familiar with the surrounding pueblos, and Sayulita was the only location we considered for the next chapter of our lives. The town itself was very charming and the surrounding untamed palm jungle was exceedingly beautiful and alluring.
How long after your first visit to Sayulita did you purchase your house/lot?
We visited Sayulita periodically throughout the 3 years prior to buying our property, having friends visit us from the frozen north was all the excuse we needed to take a day off from work and spend an afternoon in Sayulita.
Did you build or remodel your home? If so, please tell us one of the classic "you won't believe this" stories?
We spent 2 1/2 years finishing and expanding upon the small, unfinished project that existed when we purchased our property. The moment that had us wondering what we had gotten ourselves into was early on when we woke up in the morning and nobody came to work, including the contractor and architect. What seemed insurmountable at first ended up being a blessing when we became our own contractors.
How long have you owned your home in Sayulita?
We purchased the property in 2002 and began building in earnest in 2004.
Will you share with us some of the changes you have seen around town?
There have been so many positive changes over the years, but perhaps the one change that we always refer to anytime we start reminiscing would be the paving and cobblestone projects. When we purchased our property all of the roads were dirt, including those surrounding the plaza. The Punta de Mita highway was little more than a dirt goat trail, which wasn't even always passable during the rainy season.
What in particular made you decide on this property rather than other listings available at the time?
Surprisingly, this was strictly a "fly by the seat of your pants" decision. We never actually looked at other properties. We fell in love with our property instantly, and we trusted our instincts and have never had any regrets.
How would you describe the neighborhood your vacation rental is in?
We're very grateful to live equidistant between two secluded beaches, Playas Patzcuaro and Patzcuarito, yet we're just 2 miles, or a 10 minute drive from the activities in Sayulita. Much of the neighborhood is still undeveloped jungle with strict guidelines in place to ensure that the human footprint is kept to a minimum. The handful of homeowners that we’re lucky enough to have as neighbors are keen on preserving this wonderful slice of paradise we're fortunate enough to call home.
Who is the most interesting guest you have hosted at your home?
Although we have seen a fascinating parade of guests from all over the world during the last decade at Hacienda de la Costa, their shorts and flip-flops serve as a reminder that they're here to be anonymous. They're happy to leave their lives behind to relax and enjoy all that the area has to offer.
What are your favorite things to recommend your guests do while in Sayulita?
The Hacienda tends to attract like-minded individuals most interested in nature-based activities with private charters for snorkeling and whale-watching topping the list. Guided hikes, surfing excursions, and birding are also quite popular.
What do you feel sets your house apart from other vacation rentals in Sayulita?
Our secluded location and the adults-only aspect of Hacienda de La Costa certainly sets us apart from the majority of local accommodations. Providing a quiet getaway for couples is our forte.
What advice do you have for someone searching for a home/land in Sayulita?
Have no fear! You are about to embark on a lifestyle change. Embrace it. Whatever minor inconveniences you might experience will be rewarded tenfold with a slower, more purposeful life.