So you are planning your next vacation escape to Mexico. You have found Puerto Vallarta, maybe you have already been there and are looking into exploring the areas outside Puerto Vallarta. You have heard of the up and coming vacation and popular retirement destination of San Pancho (San Francisco) Nayarit. What can someone do there? Where can a family stay?
We have two young boys in our family 7 and 10 years old and we looked at potential accommodations, hotels, and houses to rent. In our search for family-friendly places to rent we encountered several issues and we have taken specific steps with our own San Pancho rental Selva Suites to address those challenges others are not interested or able to fix.
During our research, the houses or rooms we found were not appropriate for a family! I kid you not – there are several homes in the San Pancho Nayarit rental market which have in their frequently asked questions whether the property is appropriate for a family with the answer being negative! Some claim that there is not enough room. Others that there are lots of stairs and therefore “dangerous” for children.
Another issue we found was that when the vacation rental home or hotel was actually accepting children, they did so at a high-cost premium. The rooms were rented on a per room basis of a two-person capacity. This resulted that we would have to rent and pay an additional room for the children to sleep.
There are some rentals that are specifically and explicitly advertised as “adults-only” hotels or vacation rentals for the benefit of the other adult guests who are looking for quiet!
This was frustrating and we wanted to make sure that with our San Pancho Nayarit rental home Selva Suites we are able to offer a family of four, a couple with two children, feel welcome in San Pancho without costing an arm and a couple of legs!
What does a family look for in a family-friendly vacation rental? We looked at our family; we want to have enough room for both ourselves and our children, without however being cramped. So we built our rooms to be the suite type. There is a master bedroom with a queen-size bed for the parents and next to it there is a living area or living room. The living room is equipped with a functional and comfortable sofa that opens up to a couple of beds. This additional space can either be used as a living room by a couple without children or as a bedroom for the children and it comes at no additional cost. Both the bedroom and the living room enjoy wonderful views of the San Pancho’s Nayarit tropical jungle and ocean.
As a family, we want to have a fridge where we can store leftover food or medicines we may need to have. We want to have a comfortable way of warming up or cooking food. So at our vacation home Selva Suites we have a full-size fridge, cooktop stove, microwave, toaster oven with all the cookware and silverware necessary. These small details make a huge difference in the comfort of a family’s vacation and we are excited that we will be able to provide it for our guests.
As a family we also want to have a way to cool down and for our kids to be able to play in a swimming pool. At Selva Suites in San Pancho, we built a really cool and unique swimming pool. On the upper floor, there is an infinity view pool. The water leaving the infinity pool cascades down the wall to the first floor where the suites are located. The unique feature is the area that collects this water (which re-pumps it back up to the main pool), functions as an additional small and shallow pool. That actually becomes a practical and usable pool to sit in and cool down while enjoying the absolutely stunning view of the jungle. It is also very useful if you have young children who would sit in the pool in safety. You just have to see it for yourselves to appreciate it.
Having a family and children should not come as a disadvantage and should not have to compromise having quality vacations.
We were also concerned about ways of entertaining our kids. I don’t know about your kids, but ours are big-time video game players, and we are happy to get them away from what amounts to a small addiction and into doing other things, away from TV monitors and electronics.
So what can you do here in San Pancho Nayarit?
Surfing and Surfing Lessons: If you and your children are experienced surfers you can rent boards at the local San Pancho surf stores and head for the beach. If you want to learn or just experience surfing the local San Pancho surf stores offer classes. They provide the surfboards and transportation to calmer beach waters where you can try in an extremely fun and safe manner. We did this a few times and it is absolute fun for the kids. So for your vacation in San Pancho bring a surf shirt so you don’t get skin burns and environmentally friendly sunblock lotion.
Release some baby Sea Turtles into the Ocean: This is also a unique experience. Sea turtles come to our beach in San Pancho to lay their eggs. Local environmental organizations staffed by volunteers protect the eggs and when they hatch, invite our San Pancho visitors to look at the baby turtles, hold them and release them into the ocean. As they will tell you, the walking part of the baby turtle from the sandy beach into the water is one of the most important challenges that the baby turtle must overcome on its own if it is to survive in the ocean. So, please follow the instructions of the people managing these events, but take lots of pictures and videos of your children enjoying these unique experiences and create some unforgettable memories.
Horseback Riding: There is a very inexpensive, almost private class provided by professionals. The horseback riding classes are happening at the La Patrona Polo Club, which is in San Pancho and nearby our San Pancho vacation rental Selva Suites. The class is fun and for the inexperienced first-time rider, it is a surprise how difficult a sport to do it properly and correctly. Make sure you wear long trousers/pants because you must use your knees a lot to ride the horse.
The Tourist version of Horseback Riding: This is a more easy-going ride, no need for long pants here, just sit and enjoy a relaxing ride. There are local companies that will rent a few horses and take your family on a slow, guided tour that lasts approximately two hours. The routes are determined by the guides based on the route conditions, how crowded the area is and so on. In general expect to ride through the jungle, cross some rivers, get to a high vista point for gorgeous views and photos, maybe ride on a beach and through a village. We did this with our friends and their children, the experience is amazing and the kids are bonding over such a unique activity.
La Patrona Polo Sunday Brunch: During the high tourist season in San Pancho between November and May, the Polo Club hosts a very relaxing Sunday Brunch and they absolutely welcome kids. The event starts at 11 am and ends around 4 pm. It includes an unlimited grill buffet and certain drinks. On the grill, you will find everything: beef steaks, beef and pork ribs, sausages, octopus, chicken. There is a game of Polo by the local Polo teams which is described by a commentator. There are opportunities to get photos with the horses. The area is large, open and flat, so the children can run around safely so you can easily act like an iguana keeping one eye at the Polo game and the other at your children.
Nature and Bird following and watching: Our village of San Pancho and the surrounding areas are in the middle of an amazing and exotic ecosystem. There are animals, birds, and plants not seen normally in usual urban cities or even in zoos. You get to see these in their natural habitat, guided by experienced biologists and zoologists. Depending on the time of year you visit our beautiful San Pancho, you will encounter different fruits. There are mangoes, avocados and other exotic fruit that at times they simply drop to the ground and you will see local people just eating it. Go ahead, do the same, free fruit provided by nature, without any pesticides.
Restaurants, Restaurants, and some more Restaurants: All of them unique, each with their own original taste. You will want to visit each restaurant every day in San Pancho. Extremely tasty and very affordable.
Well, there you have it, I hope I have given you enough information about our family-friendly AND wheelchair accessible vacation rental home Selva Suites and our San Pancho village in Nayarit Mexico.
Do you have comments or questions? Please contact me through the contact section of our website https://www.SelvaSuites.com. I always respond fast and hope to see you and your family as our guests at our San Pancho vacation rental home we named Selva Suites.
We passed our Spring Break in San Pancho. We rented a whole house, similar in quality to what we are building on our lot. The weather was amazing, the people of San Pancho as always welcoming and friendly with great tasting food.
The house we rented in San Pancho is in a similar location to our lot. Not far from the beach and relatively close to the village of San Pancho without having to deal with the loud noises from the San Pancho tourists and vacationers.
We walked to our lovely jungle lot and we are so excited, we can’t wait for our Selva Suites home to be ready. The building permit has been given, we have purchased the first materials and are almost ready to hit the ground.
We have received from our engineer some building estimates. Prices can and will fluctuate depending on many factors such as the global commodity exchange of raw building materials, exchange rates, your choice of engineering manager, architect etc. As a result, I am not going to report the exact prices in this blog. However, I will report high-level expectations and actuals.
From our prior research, we had received estimates and were expecting a wide range of $50 to $200 per square foot. We have now landed on an approximate estimate of $100 per square foot. This level is with good quality, experienced project manager, but not necessarily one of the “famous”, “big-name” building companies in the area who will charge a hefty premium for that brand big famous name. Also, this estimate is with very good quality building materials, cement and rebars, Hebel/Aircrete for the walls, one of the best quality and durable PVC plumbing piping, ecological applications such as solar energy, solar water heating, and custom architectural design such as ours.
Although we will not directly advertise or promote the people and companies we worked with, within this blog, we will gladly respond privately to anyone who might want a reference from us.
At a previous post, I discussed the materials to be used for the walls. We had the choice of regular cement blocks or bricks, the Convitek and later we were looking at Hebel and Aircrete.
Hebel and Aircrete are brand names companies in Mexico making a building material mixing cement, other materials and air. The production process created a building block which is lightweight, very tough when you hit it directly, yet soft enough to be able to be cut using a hand-saw. Installation time is very fast, using simple adhesive on all sides. The air pockets within the building block functions as a sound and thermal insulation system. This eliminates the need for additional installation of other materials for sound and thermal insulation. The building material is also able to withstand being in direct flame for four hours.
On a overall $250,000 to $400,000 building cost, the cost difference using Hebel/Aircrete vs regular cement block is estimated at $15,000. Taking into consideration the value and benefits it is a no-brainer and makes absolute sense to use Hebel or Aircrete.
We have also had some long meetings working on several building details. We have made 90% of the decisions for the number and locations of the electrical outlets and light switches. We have decided the route and functionality of the water supply piping, water storage and distribution, gas storage and distribution, gray water treatment.
Water and gas lines along with their respective controlling valves will be easily accessible for fast and easy access when there is a need for a repair.
The property has the appropriate surface inclinations so that the rain water can be collected and drained into the quite large cisterns. We are looking at one or two-cistern system with a range of 115 m3 to 180 m3 water storage facilities. This should provide us for quite a healthy safety large quantity of water supply in case of government water shortages
The stored water will be maintained and treated with chlorine and filtration both while stored in the cistern and with a whole house water filter before the water enters the house for consumption for shower or cooking.
Our engineer will be working in the coming weeks to create the project labor calendar and line up the builders. So everything is shaping up and is falling into place to be ready to break ground and start construction by the time the building permit is issued in about a month’s time from now.
We are still in search of the ideal material to build Selva Suites. In this earlier post, I discussed the Convitec material. While Convitec might be economical with some thermal and sound insulating properties, we are concerned about its stability, strength, and durability. I read in some forums of some people who had the unfortunate experience of mice or critters getting within the walls, under the stucco, eating away the material. In some cases, it was attributed to bad workmanship. However, what would be the long-term maintenance to keep this hermetically closed, so that critters do not get it? This is a concern.
An alternative that we are considering is a relatively new technology of synthetic cement blocks. These type of cement blocks were initially created by mixing concrete with ashes, creating air bubbles within the block. However, the challenge with this is that the recipe must be very accurate to produce a good and consistent-quality result. The technology evolved and new formulas which appear to be more stable producing a more consistent result. Every country and cement producing company markets the same material under a different brand name. In Mexico, there are two companies Aircrete and Hebel.
The material they sell has some amazing results and properties. The Aircrete and Hebel blocks are very light compared to regular cement blocks. It is easier and cheaper to transport. It appears to be easier and faster to install than regular cement blocks. Because of the air bubbles within the block, it provides extreme thermal and sound insulation. It is hard and solid, yet it can be cut easily even with a regular manual saw and it is extremely easy with an automated saw to cut through the lines for water and power. The installation videos available on YouTube appear simple. The material can withstand to be exposed to a continuous fire of four hours!!
We have requested more information and quotes from these companies. We hope the price is going to be appropriate for our budget and comparable to regular cement blocks.
This is the latest 3D Video Render of the Selva Suites home. Good things are coming. We will be getting a more precise construction cost analysis and we are collecting now all necessary documents for the building permit. Enjoy the video.
Enjoy the Drone video footage of our lot in San Pancho where Selva Suites home for rent will be built. Look at the amazing ocean and jungle views we will be having and look at the quiet beach which is only 4 minutes walk from our lot.
Xmas and New Year Vacation in Puerto Vallarta and San Pancho (San Francisco, Nayarit), Mexico
We have had a great time for our New Year vacation in San Pancho and Puerto Vallarta. We spent several days in San Pancho. The village was busy, but not too busy and this is the charm of San Pancho which has just the right amount of activity to make it pleasant, as opposed to the saturated and overcrowded Punta Mita and Sayulita.
The restaurants were in full swing, there was live music and people danced in the streets. The beach was busy only at the main point at the end of the Tercer Mundo street leaving both sides/edges of the San Pancho beach with sparse specs of vacationing tourists.
In the opposite spectrum you have Punta Mita and Sayulita which get so crowded that you can hardly walk the streets. You can easily get into a stalling traffic waiting for about 30 minutes to get a parking spot. I was told that one Easter (Semana Santa) Sayulita was so crowded that the police closed its entrance and would no longer allow people to enter the village!!!!
We walked along the San Pancho beach with the kids all the way to our lot. The kids were really excited as it was their first time to visit the lot and our youngest 7 year old was surprised that there was not already a house built! 😊 LOL
We took a great drone video of the lot from several points of view and it will give you a perspective of what the lot looks like the surrounding lush jungle and the amazing views to be enjoyed once Selva Suites is built and ready to accept vacationers. I am in the process of editing the drone footage and adding some music. The drone video includes footage of the nearest beach area only 3 minute walk from Selva Suites. I will be posting the video soon on YouTube.
Building Project of Selva Suites in San Pancho.
We have concluded these steps: Closed the property purchase with the Title (Escrituras). Completed Topography, Land and Soil Survey, removed some trees, Architectural Design, Environmental Impact analysis happy to already have it.
The next step will be the Structural analysis. We are receiving three quotes for this. Based on the prior steps, the Structural
Analysis will be done to provide the recommended quantity of materials (cement, rebars etc) needed to built our dream place. This will be created and signed by a Civil Engineer who will ultimately be legally responsible for the safe and sound structure of the project, so this is an extremely important step. Also based on this analysis, we will be able to get a better cost estimate of building the home and the vacation rental rooms.
Also we have started deciding in the interior and exterior wall finishes.
They will be flat, clean, contemporary, minimalistic. They will be primed, painted and sealed with special liquid used on beachfront homes to withstand the salty ocean winds.
We are also now starting to consider potential building materials for the walls for our Selva Suites in San Pancho. We want it to be cost efficient, easy to manage and build, long lasting
and environmentally friendly. While in San Pancho the construction of the walls that I have noticed, has been done with traditional cement
blocks and steel rebars for seismic reinforcement, our architect has recommended a material he has used and after researching
in various forums and websites, it appears to be a great option. It is called Convitec. It is Styrofoam reinforced with a structurally advantaged steel mesh. The theoretical advantages of this material are:
Structural Strength and Integrity
The diagonal zig-zag steel mesh is supposed to be stronger and more flexible than a traditional square/cube design in case of an earthquake.
These “walls” come in prefabricated sizes and are installed on-site. They are easier and faster to install. They are lighter to transport than cement blocks. It provides integrated enhanced insulation to what I have read is about R25, therefore saving on energy bills.
Risks of Convitec
Some of the potential risks that I read were that the workers must have experience working with this material. They must know the installation process and be monitored carefully that they do a good job. Part of the process is that the walls are covered with cement. That cement coverage need to be sprayed adequately so that it dries properly. If it is not done correctly in read that within a couple of years the wall may develop cracks on the surface.
Another cautionary information is that the steel wire mesh must be reinforced with additional rebars spaced appropriately. The wall corners where two walls meet must also be reinforced with additional wire mesh and steel rebars shaped in L form.
Finally, I read that it must be covered in cement completely and be done well, so that critters, mice or rats do not manage to get within the wall and eat away the insulating Styrofoam.
The encouraging news is that I have been reading that this material is used extensively in Latin American countries such Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, places which have similar warm and humid climate as we have in the Banderas beachfront area which include Punta Mita, Sayulita, our vacation rental accommodation suites in San Pancho and Lo de Marcos.
Do you have any experience with this building material? Please comment below.
We are also starting to be looking into other finishes like tile flooring, plumbing details, vanities and more. This year of 2019 will be extremely busy and exciting!
This is an example of a flower you would be encountering on your walk from Selva Suites rental property to the beach or the village of San Pancho.
While most people look for vacation rentals in Sayulita or Punta Mita, they forget to look into the quaint and posh village of San Pancho.
As soon as our Selva Suites is ready, it will have amazing views and incredible nature sounds with all the modern comforts.