How do we get to Casa de la Reyna?
Casa de la Reyna is located just 20 km north of Puerto Vallarta in the town of Bucerias, Nayarit. The address is: Oceano Pacifico 100, Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.
If you are coming straight from the airport in Puerto Vallarta, it is best to head left out the door and pass by all of the taxi drivers, in order to save a few bucks. Continue walking to the end of the sidewalk and you’ll see a walking bridge that goes over the highway. Take that bridge and seek a taxi there. There will be plenty. You can expect to pay 300-350 pesos ($16-20) for a taxi to Casa de la Reyna in Bucerias if you get a cab across the bridge. If you get a taxi right out the front door of the airport it will over 400 pesos.
If you are already staying in PV, Sayulita, or another village around 20 km from Bucerias, you can still expect to pay about 300 pesos for a cab to Casa de la Reyna.
How do we return to the airport or the next leg of our journey?
Check-out of Casa de la Reyna is a noon on Friday, December 8. We can help you get a taxi back to the airport (for about 300 pesos) or give you advice on alternative ways to get to your next destination. If your flight doesn’t leave until later in the evening, it may be possible to check out of your room, but keep your luggage in the patio area of Casa de la Reyna until time to leave for your flight. However, this isn’t guaranteed, as there will be new guests checking in the day we leave. We’ve enjoyed checking out the little restaurants across the walking bridge at the airport while we waited to check in for our flight. Having a drink or a meal there is a great way to try something new and use up remaining pesos.
What is the itinerary?
Check it out here!
Which meals are included in our tour?
All but 3! But we promise you won’t go hungry! As shown on the itinerary, there are 3 opportunities for free time from 2-8 PM. On each of those days you’ll have a full belly following cooking classes and lunch. If you are enjoying your free time, by all means, stay out and have a good time! We are happy to recommend some of our favorite restaurants…some very close by, and some that will take you on a little adventure! But if you’d like to return to Casa de la Reyna at 8:00 PM for Happy Hour, we’ll have chips, salsas, and Mexican beer for you to enjoy.
Each morning you can expect to enjoy a continental breakfast of Mexican baked goods, fruit, and coffee.
On each day, except the day we go on an excursion, lunch will follow the cooking class. You will enjoy the results of that day’s class. On excursion day, lunch is provided in San Sebastian and is part of the whole package.
Dinner is on your own for 3 of the days. On excursion day, we’ll return to Casa de la Reyna and then walk together to one of our favorite, local restaurants for a delicious, authentic meal that is included in your package. If you’re still full from lunch and just want a snack, you can enjoy chips and salsa back at Casa de la Reyna during Happy Hour.
What about drinks?
All the rooms have drinking water available, as well as ice cube trays so you can make ice with the drinking water to store in your freezer. We can provide you with ground coffee so you can make coffee in your room. Just let us know!
We’ll also have hot coffee ready to go at breakfast each morning, as well as ice water to help keep you hydrated. Ice water will be available at lunch and during cooking classes, as well.
For Happy Hour each evening, we’ll provide you with a Mexican beer. Depending on availability, we intend to sample several brands over the course of the week.
The evening we take you out to dinner, we will also provide you with a Mexican beer. If you would prefer a different alcoholic beverage, you are welcome to purchase it at the bar.
On excursion day, a non-alcoholic beverage is included with your lunch. If you would prefer to enjoy a beer, you may purchase that from the restaurant.
There are several restaurants and bars in the neighborhood that offer delicious cocktails. We are happy to recommend our favorites! There are also two little stores within a block of Casa de la Reyna where you can purchase beer and liquor. One is an Oxxo which is like a mini-mart. The other is a wonderful, locally-owned tienda with a great variety of options to meet your needs.
How do the cooking classes work? Do we have to cook?
It’s really up to you. Normally, classes are demo-style. You can sit back, relax, watch and learn, and then enjoy the food. But, if you would like to be involved with the cooking, just let CheffyK or CA know and we’ll put you to work!
Do I need to tip the maids at Casa de la Reyna or the tour guide for our excursion?
All tips for maid service at Casa de la Reyna and for our excursion are included in your package. However, if you are feeling generous, you are welcome to provide additional tips. The maids at Casa de la Reyna and the tour guide are both paid regular wages by the company they work for. The appropriate tip for maid service is about 20 pesos per room, per day, which is a little more than $1. For our tour guide, about 100 pesos per person is standard, which is a little more than $5.
If you choose to go out for dinner or drinks, tipping is similar to the U.S. at 15-20% of the total bill. Most of the restaurant employees you meet depend on tips as income as they receive very little in base pay. If you take a taxi, a tip is not expected, but it is appreciated if they help load or unload your belongings. 40 pesos (a little over $2) is adequate.
How should I handle money for personal purchases, dinners on our own, and other extras?
There are two ways to get pesos at the airport, which you will need to do to pay for your taxi. You can exchange U.S. dollars at the booth with a sign saying, “Cambio.” However, you will get a better exchange rate if you go to the cash machine in the main lobby. It takes a bit to get used to the system, and the fees look alarming! But remember, they are in pesos, not dollars. As of this writing, the exchange rate is 18.8 pesos to $1, but it is constantly fluctuating.
There are plenty of cash machines around Casa de la Reyna as well as a short walk away to the Kiosko of Bucerias. You will get the best exchange rate by using cash machines, although they do charge fees.
We also recommend that you bring a couple hundred U.S. dollars in case you have a banking problem. Boy, do we have a story! Our credit union accidentally paid our mortgage twice while we were in Bucerias in July 2016, setting off a domino effect of banking problems. We discovered this when our cards were refused at a cash machine. This made it necessary for us to find a bank that would exchange U.S. dollars, and not all of them do. If you need to go to a bank to make an exchange, you will need to bring your passport with you. We are happy to help if you have any problems!
Some businesses will take U.S. dollars, but they really aren’t supposed to. You can’t depend on your U.S. cash to get you around. Some businesses take credit cards, but not very many.
It is also possible to order pesos from U.S. banks if you contact them with plenty of lead time. Not all banks can do this. If yours doesn’t, you may be able to order pesos from a different bank for a fee.
It would also be wise to contact your bank and/or credit card company to let them know the dates you’ll be in Mexico so they don’t put a stop on your card due to suspicious use.
The amount of spending money you bring or pull from cash machines will vary greatly due to how much you spend on souvenirs, the three dinners out, cocktails, and other personal items. At the very minimum you should budget $100 per person for your time at Casa de la Reyna. On our excursion day there will be an opportunity to purchase bottles of tequila and bags of coffee beans to take home on the airplane. There are also endless opportunities for shopping right in Bucerias. So, if you want to feel free to make such purchases, you should probably budget a minimum of $200 or more for the week.
Is there wifi? Will my smartphone work?
There is wifi available at Casa de la Reyna. Several local businesses offer wifi, as well.
As far as data service for your smartphone goes, it all depends on your plan. We’ve gone without in the past and depended on wifi for the use of iMessage and email. This made life difficult when we had the banking problem (see above). So, now we have an add-on plan that allows us to use our phones in Mexico as if we were in the states. We use both AT&T and Verizon and were able to get add-on service in Mexico at no additional charge. However, we did have to contact the phone companies in order to have them turn this service on. Some plans may require additional fees for the add-on.
What if I get sick?
It is always a possibility! We are adventurous eaters and drinkers and have only had one minor problem while traveling in Mexico. Most Mexican restaurateurs are very careful with their tourist patrons. We are extremely careful, as well. Make sure you are traveling with your favorite medicines for such issues. Good ones to bring along are Pepto Bismol and Immodium AD. There is a pharmacy less than a block away where you can purchase just about any medication you might need. The pharmacists are very helpful!
We’ve never needed to see a doctor in Bucerias, but we’ve heard wonderful things about the medical care others have received. If you need to see a doctor, we will help you get the care you need.
Is it safe?
Bucerias and all of Puerto Vallarta are very tourist friendly. Tourism is the primary industry and the people who live and work in the area depend on keeping it safe and friendly.
That said, you should ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings and your belongings. Most thefts are crimes of opportunity. If you leave your belongings unattended, they may disappear. For this reason, the owners of Casa de la Reyna ask that we make sure all room doors are locked when you are not inside and that the gates to the property are always kept locked. If you are enjoying an evening out at the Kiosko in the heart of Bucerias, it would be best to walk back to Casa de la Reyna in a group as you will need to cross through the closed vendor area and the “Kissing Bridge” with very little light.
We feel very safe in Bucerias, but do honor our instincts and make safe choices.
Do the rooms have air conditioning?
No. One of the 1-bedroom units does have AC in the bedroom. However, we are going during the shoulder season when the weather is milder. You can expect it to reach the mid-80s most days and some afternoons will be windy. There are plenty of windows for creating a cross-breeze, and ceiling fans to keep the air moving. It should be quite comfortable in the rooms.
What is your cancellation policy?
A refund is available with a 90 day notice before arrival, less 10% administration fee. If you let us know with less than 90 day notice before arrival, a refund is available only upon rebooking of reserved dates, less 10% administration fee.
Will I have fun?
Casa de la Reyna is right on the beach! If you love beachcombing, swimming in the ocean, body surfing, or catching some rays, you will love this beach! If it’s windy, you’ll also get to watch all the kite surfers. So much fun!
Casa de la Reyna has a beautiful pool in the courtyard, providing a great way to cool off without leaving home. And don’t worry about the three amigos peeing in the pool. They do it all day long.
Each room is gorgeous and oh, so comfortable! If you prefer to stay in and read or chat or anything you want, you’ll have a lovely place to do so.
The “Kissing Bridge” is the path to downtown Bucerias it’s practically just outside the door. You can spot iguanas sunbathing in the trees near the bridge. There are vendors lining the path to and from the bridge in both directions where you can shop for clothing, jewelry, pottery, and other Mexican handicrafts.
And the food!! CheffyK will be creating delectable meals that you can easily duplicate at home, all made with traditional, foundational cooking techniques.
There are countless restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Mexican food, or even French or Italian!
There are also several local bars that play live music to the wee hours, if you are so inclined. Dancing, handmade cocktails, and the opportunity to meet people from all over the world!