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- Safety in Mexico
- Getting There & Away
- Lodging, Services & Facilities
- What to Bring
- Health Care
- Money, Payment & Cancellations
- Community Projects & Donations
SAFETY IN MEXICO
We appreciate your concern for safety in Mexico. Although we understand that drug related violence has been extensively reported in the U.S. press, we want you to know that it is mostly confined to the border with the United States and a few cities within the areas of drug production. Chacala, and the Riviera Nayarit, are far from the centers of violence. Chacala is a small fishing town where visitors and residents alike feel safe to walk any time during the day or night. Children and families play in the area without fear. For a comparison you might think of going to Big Sur or Lake Tahoe and wondering if violence in Los Angeles is something about which to be concerned.
If you have any other doubts or specific questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
What documents do I need to enter Mexico?
Immigration regulations require that you have a valid passport for travel to Mexico. You will be granted a visitor’s pass, or tourist visa once you arrive in Mexico and pass through customs. Most tourist visas are issued for 30 or 90 days, however you can ask the immigration officer to make it for up to 180 days if you plan to stay longer in Mexico. Keep you tourist visa in a safe place, as you will need it upon exiting Mexico.
What is the closest international airport to Mar de Jade?
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Airport, in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Airport code: PVR.
What is the easiest way to get to Mar de Jade from the Puerto Vallarta airport?
We can arrange transportation to/from the airport with a trusted company if you send us the following information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Reservation name or number.
2. Number of people traveling.
3. Airline & flight number.
4. Date & time of arrival.
5. Departure & connection city.
One way rates for Taxi Service to/from airport:
Per Person, One Way, in USD
According to number of people sharing one vehicle.
1person = $100
2 ppl. = $50 each
3 ppl. = $40 each
4 ppl. = $35 each
5 ppl. = $28 each
6 ppl. = $24 each
7ppl. = $20 each
Fare should be paid directly to the driver in either US cash or Mexican pesos only. Gratuity is optional and is not included.
We will do our best to group you with others arriving around the same time so you can share a van and pay a lower per person fare.
Private Buses can be arranged for large groups of 30 people or more all arriving around the same time. Please contact us for further information.
Important Exemption from Liability: Mar de Jade coordinates third party taxis for airport pick up and drop off as a courtesy to our guests, we do not provide the service ourselves. By sending us your flight information you are agreeing to exempt Mar de Jade of any liability whatsoever due to accidents or damage that might occur while using this service or for rate changes due to unforeseen circumstances.
Do you recommend renting a car at the airport and how would I get to Mar de Jade driving?
Renting a car is not necessarily recommended unless you plan on traveling in the area before or after your stay at Mar de Jade. If your only destination is Mar de Jade, the cost of a rental is often not worth the amount of use you might make of it. Transportation to/from the airport as well as local excursions can all be arranged by Mar de Jade staff. If you would like to rent a car, it is a good idea to make your car rental reservations early since they tend to get sold out over the Holidays and peak seasons. The airport has many major car rental brands such as Hertz, Budget, etc.
Mar de Jade is on Mexico's Tropical Pacific Coast, about 90 min. north of popular tourist destination Puerto Vallarta; 3 hours west of Guadalajara; and 2 hours south of Tepic. It is located on the south end of Chacala Beach, Nayarit, Mexico.
Chacala's half-mile bay is home to approximately 300 full time residents and receives many seasonal residents and visitors during the winter months. It is a favored beach destination for Mexican families during the most popular vacation periods such as Semana Santa (Easter Week) and New Years. Chacala has one of the most pristine beaches along the coastline; soft golden sand lined with coconut trees and palapa (thatched-roof) restaurants. The town still retains an unhurried lifestyle and the locals are very friendly and welcoming.
The best way to reach Chacala is to fly to Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR), which has non-stop and connection flights from all major US Cities. Mar de Jade can arrange transportation from/to the airport.
Driving: to Mar de Jade takes approximately 90mins from the Puerto Vallarta Airport.
You will be heading north in the direction of Tepic. The highway will be four lanes for
about 20-30 minutes after which it becomes one lane each way. You will pass the entrance
to several towns: Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, when you pass Guayabitos and La
Peñita you have about a half hour to go. If you arrive in Las Varas (the next closest town
to Chacala), you have gone too far.
The road to Chacala is perpendicular to the main highway and lined with stands selling fruit, and a two-story Hotel. Take the road to Chacala towards the left, it is a 5 mile drive. When you see the town, take the first exit to your left (towards the ocean). Once you are on the main street of the town make a left and pass through the security guards and all the way through the palm grove driving parallel to the ocean for about 500 meters.
Mar de Jade is at
the extreme southern end of the bay or facing the ocean it is to the left. Our local number
should you need to reach us once you are in Mexico is (01) (327) 219-4000.
What other transportation alternatives are available?
1. AIRPORT TAXI: You can buy a ticket for an official airport taxi inside of the airport building. It generally is more expensive than the cost of the taxis we can arrange for you. Make sure they know where Chacala, Nayarit is because there is more than one town with this name in the area.
2. YELLOW CITY TAXI: You can also take a regular yellow city taxi, with whom you can bargain for a better price, by crossing the highway over the pedestrian bridge in front of the airport. There are usually regular P.V. yellow taxis drivers parked in front of the restaurants and shops there, and they charge $80-$150. Again, make sure they take you to the correct Chacala, in the state of Nayarit.
3. LOCAL BUS: Taking the local bus takes about an hour or two longer than a direct taxi,
because it stops at many towns along the way, and you must take two taxis to/from the bus
stations. Buses leave about every half-hour from the Puerto Vallarta Bus Terminal (Central
Camionera) to Las Varas, which is the closest town to us, until 10:00 pm.
• From the airport take a taxi to the bus station ("Central Camionera") which is about one mile north of the airport at a cost of $10 U.S. from one to four people.
• Buy a ticket at the Pacifico Bus Line, for a northbound bus to Las Varas, costing about $10-15 USD/person. The ride is about two hours.
• At the Las Varas bus station, ask for a taxi to Mar de Jade in Chacala. It should take 15mins and cost about $10 U.S.
LODGING, SERVICES AND FACILITIES
What time is check-in and check-out?
Check-in is 3 pm and Check-out is 12 pm. You are welcome to use our facilities if you arrive before check-in or depart a few hours after check-out.
Is childcare available?
Childcare can be arranged with reliable local women, most of whom speak only Spanish. The cost is $10 per hour for one child. Families with two children will pay $15 per hour and those with three, $20 per hour. Please let us know in advance about childcare needs.
Do you have families with children visit you?
We frequently host families with children of various ages, especially during vacations and holidays. There are several children who live at Mar de Jade or come with the staff.
Do you offer Spanish classes for children?
Spanish classes for children can be arranged privately with our teachers, who charge $20/hour per child for one or two kids. Three or more children taking a class together (they must have the same Spanish level) can receive a group rate.
Do you have cribs and other special equipment for babies?
We have limited baby equipment available (playpens and high chairs). Please let us know what your needs are well in advance.
Do you have telephones for guest use?
As part of Mar de Jade’s philosophy, none of our rooms have telephones or TVs. There is a phone close to the Front Desk for guest use, the rate is 50 cents per minute for calls to the US and 25 cents per minute for calls within Mexico to landlines. You may charge calls to your room. If you have a phone card with a 01-800 number for dialing from Mexico you may use it at this phone..
How can someone reach me in the event of an emergency?
In the event of an emergency, guests can be reached at the following number +52 (327) 219-4000.
Will I be able to use the Internet and check my email?
Wireless Internet is available in the main dining room and bar area; please bring your own laptop as we do not provide computers.
What is the weather like there?
The dry season is from November through June. The days are warm (around 80 F.), with cool mornings and evenings in the winter months (around 70 F.). The rainy season is from July through October. It usually rains during the evening hours and is sunny in the day. During this season it's hotter, more humid and there are more mosquitoes.
Are there insects in Mar de Jade?
We are in the very fertile tropics. All forms of life thrive! Expect a variety of bugs here: beautiful, ugly, annoying, harmless, phosphorescent. Mosquitoes and gnats mainly come out during rainy season, and sand fleas during the winter. We recommend that guests who are sensitive to bug-bites bring insect repellent.
We also have spiders, but not of the poisonous variety. They actually help control the insect population. We do have an occasional scorpion, but presenting anaphylaxis to a scorpion sting is extremely rare here. However, we do have emergency medicine if it should be needed.
WHAT TO BRING
What clothing should I bring?
In the dry season (November-April), summer and fall garments are suggested, including a jacket or sweater for cool nights and mornings. For the rainy season (June-October), bring an umbrella and perhaps a raincoat and rain shoes. Dress to stay cool -- loose cotton shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses and sandals and don’t forget your bathing suit!
What personal items do I need to bring?
Personal toiletries and hygiene products, a supply of medications you use, sunscreen and sunburn lotion and insect repellent. Sunglasses, sun visor and/or hat, flip-flops and comfortable walking shoes. Camera, flashlight and extra batteries. Water bottle for purified drinking water, small daypack and money belt.
As a volunteer in the community projects, what should I bring?
For women working at El Club de Amigos (Kids Program) in Las Varas, comfortable dresses or skirts are suggested. Men working at the Kids Program should wear light weight pants. Sandals are acceptable. Spanish/English dictionary. If you have more questions, please send us an email.
Do I need to have special immunizations?
No, there is no need for special immunizations.
Will I have problems because of the food and water?
Hygienic food preparation measures are closely followed by Mar de Jade staff. Purified drinking water is provided for free to every guest and is readily available.
What if I get sick while visiting?
Mar de Jade is staffed by a resident physician so outpatient medical care is readily available here if needed. You may want to check your health insurance plan for foreign coverage in case of the need for hospitalization or special care.
Where is the closest hospital?
The closest fully equipped hospital is in Puerto Vallarta, 90 minutes away.
What is Mar de Jade’s policy with regard to illicit drugs?
Illicit drug use is strictly prohibited at Mar de Jade. Guests found using them will be asked to leave.
MONEY, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION
When and where should I exchange money?
Airport transportation and excursions can be paid in US dollars and almost everyone accepts dollars in Mexico. So you do not need to exchange too much money to pesos, save for shopping at the Market place or buying things in Chacala. We recommend changing at most $50 - $100 usd for a week’s stay, this can be done at the airport.
Where is the closest ATM?
There are no banks or ATMs in Chacala, the closest is in Las Varas about 15min taxi ride inland. We highly suggest you bring extra cash with you or use the ATM at the airport when you arrive. There is also an ATM and bank in La Peñita (about 30 min.) where there is a Thursday market.
Will I need extra spending money?
Please bring enough cash to pay for transportation from/to the airport, excursions (horseback riding, whale watching, etc.), gifts and souvenirs.
Are gratuities additional?
Rates do not include any gratuities; please consider leaving a gratuity for the Mar de Jade staff to show your appreciation. We suggest leaving approximately $7-$10 USD per person per night in the general tip box, which gets distributed amongst all staff members (kitchen, maintenance, housekeeping, etc). Tips are preferred in cash.
Can you accept credit cards?
Yes, VISA or MASTERCARD. (Sorry, no AMERICAN EXPRESS)
How can I pay the balance of the cost of my stay?
Room balances and additional charges such as bar, spa treatments, laundry and telephone calls may be paid at Mar de Jade upon check-out either with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard ONLY) or in US or Mexican cash.
Please be aware that services not provided by Mar de Jade must be paid in cash, for example: transportation from/to the airport, excursions, etc..
What is your payment and refund policy?
Your remaining balance is due upon check-out with a credit card (VISA OR MASTERCARD ONLY), US dollars or Mexican pesos. Sorry we cannot take American Express cards.
IMPORTANT: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL NIGHTS YOU RESERVE AFTER DEPOSITS ARE PAID.
You are responsible for all nights reserved: no refunds or pro-rating for arriving later or leaving earlier than the reserved dates.
• Early Cancellation: You will be entitled to a full refund less 10% of the total cost, if you notify us at least two months prior to your scheduled arrival date.
• Late Cancellation: With notice of cancellation less than two months from your scheduled arrival date, there will be a cancellation penalty of 25% of your total stay.
• No Refund: with notice of cancellation less than 2 weeks from your scheduled arrival date.
• Credit: You can apply your full deposit towards another reservation within 12 months of your cancellation date, with no cancellation penalty. There will be no monetary refund in this case and you must cancel with at least two weeks notice.
• No Show: No refund or credit for failing to show up for a reservation without prior cancellation.
* Guests who choose to travel on overnight excursions away from Mar de Jade during their stay will not receive refunds for those nights. No refunds will be given for missed meals.
COMMUNITY PROJECTS & DONATIONS
Do you accept cash donations?
We gratefully accept any donations to help our community projects. You can make donations directly to us while visiting or you can send a check made payable to Operation USA, our U.S. representative to: Operation USA, 8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA, 90069, Attn: Neil Frame, Tel. 323-658-8876. Donate Today
Are gifts and donations tax deductible?
All gifts and donations are tax-deductible through our U.S. representative, Operation USA. We are happy to write you a receipt for tax purposes.
What should I do at airport customs if I'm bringing donations?
Pack donations in a suitcase, not a box -- custom agents routinely inspect boxes but not luggage. Suitcases are checked only if you get a red light when you push the pass/inspect button. If you are inspected while bringing medical or electronic equipment, say they belong to you and you will use them during your visit ... otherwise we will pay a 33% customs duty. If you have a large supply of medicines, state that they are a donation to a community clinic where you will donate your services.
What donations are most needed?
Our Kids Program, (El Club de Amigos) gratefully accepts art supplies (crayons, pencils, scissors, glue, etc), backpacks, notebooks and toys, clothes and shoes in good condition, dvds and books in Spanish, especially for children and adolescents. Children's vitamins are also very helpful.