2014-Helen and Friends
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P2043782 - Version 2.jpg 2013-02-04
Wedding at Casa Fortuna
Kathy relaxing after a big day
Dan and Kathy say I Do!
Congratulations Dan and Kathy
A toast to the crowd
Here we go
Sandy delivers the Cake
The Wedding Party!
Only in Mexico!!
Helen and Friends 2012
New Things at the Casa
New Equipale Table and Chairs
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Mexican Lounge Chairs
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Afternoon Crib game
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Pots of Flowers
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Casita facelift for Sandy and Rick
Cactus and Grass
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Come on In!!
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outside plants 3.JPG 2011-11-30
outside wall plantings 2.JPG 2011-11-30
Same old Beach
looking north.JPG 2011-11-30
Patio for Sunning....
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2011-12-17 A Visit from Gary and a Professional Photographer
Casa Fortuna:La Penita de Jaltemba, Nayarit, Mexico
Downstairs King bedroom with bath
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casa fortuna from the water.jpg 2011-05-30
There is no longer a sign hanging over the highway and the Six signs are gone. You must now look for a Pollo's Karina Chicken BBQ place and a Tire Sales/Repair shop on the corners...
Here you are
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Hola from the Thompsons and Luthers
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Sandra and Rick our Caretakers Greet you
Sandra and Rick
155 feet of New Sea Wall!
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front door.JPG 2003-01-01
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To the beach
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Pool from the door
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From the bathroom balcony
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Hot new Colors!
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Treasures from Mexico travels
Downstairs King Suite
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One of the master suites
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Out to the veranda
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yellow bedroom.JPG 2003-01-01
veranda upstairs.JPG 2003-02-02
Master suite bath
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yellow bathroom.JPG 2003-02-02
Master bedroom South
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2nd Master suite's bathroom
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north view from veranda.JPG
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Cleaning the Cocos
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Bonita the Guard Dog
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Baby Cali in the yard
Iguana in the yard
Iguana on the Tamarindo
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Baby Pineapple in the yard
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Dining by the pool
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Sandy gives a poolside facial
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lounging corner.JPG 2003-01-01
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shady yard.JPG 2003-01-01
Shrimp at the door
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Shrimp on the table
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Ready for dinner
ross and gina dig in
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Mangos and Oranges
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yard table from upstairs veranda.JPG
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whole house.JPG 2003-01-01
Checking out the new sea wall
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New lights on the new wall
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veranda view.JPG 2003-01-01
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Anyone for a Kayak adventure?
Off he goes
Semana Santa/Easter crowds 2009
View from the veranda
Boat picks up the fisherman in front of the house
The boys get the Dorado
Home from Fishing
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Who cleans the fish?
Another Feast by Sandra
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Waiting for leftovers on the beach
Fishing starts young
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Fishing from the beach
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The net is cast
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The net starts in the box
Pulling in the net
What have we here?
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Casa Fortuna November 2008-101.jpg 2008-10-26
Time to relax...again
What a sunset
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crane at estero.JPG 2003-01-01
a single red bloom.JPG
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Estuary to the North
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the boys from the hood
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Colorful chicks for sale
Fruit at the tianguis
guayabitos semana santa
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hat guy.JPG 2003-02-04
Going to church
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surf at sunset
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Whale Tail spotted in front of the house!
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Mexico June 2010 131 - Copy.JPG 2010-06-22
Meal Options at Casa Fortuna
Private Cook available for Casa Fortuna
Sandra and Rick are incredible hosts and are accomplished cooks. They once had a restaurant and catering business. We are fortunate to have them available to cook for our guests.
You can arrange for cooking by the week or by the day.
Food Preparation Fee By the week (one week =6-days)
Prices in US dollars
1-4 people $100.00 per week for one meal per day/ $200.00 for two meals per day
5-8 people $150.00 per week for one meal per day/ $300.00 for two meals per day.
Additional fees for more than 8
This price is for 6 days (no Sundays unless it is a very special occasion like a birthday dinner) They are not available for Christmas dinner as they spend time with their family. (Amended to say that they disagree and would be happy to cook on the holidays. Aren't they the best!)
You can choose between breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner….and change according to your schedule each day. It includes one main course only, appetizer and desert, or main course and two appetizers. It is not intended to be a Mexican Fiesta with multiple entrees.
Food Preparation By The Day
The price of cooking per day is calculated by the cost of the main dish per person. She will do up to two main dishes, but prefers to do the same thing for all guests. Maybe a generous tip (propina) for the extra work will make it worth her while if your group has different needs. For example if you have 6 people in your group and want Chicken Enchiladas, the price for preparation would be 30 pesos eachx6=180
The price for Appetizers and Deserts are per item. As an example a pie would be 30 and guacamole would be 30
So the price of that meal preparation for 6 people would be would be 240 pesos or 20 US dollars...at exchange rate of 12.4
The cost of the food is extra.
For example, a meal for 8 using shrimp would probably take about 3 kilos of shrimp at a cost of $ 9.00 per kilo. The ingredients for chicken enchiladas for 8 will run around $35.00. Ingredients for appetizers and deserts, salsa and chips would increase the cost. One thing for sure, you will not eat better for less at a restaurant.
They will do all shopping necessary…with a charge of 2 or 3 dollars for the taxi from the store to the house.
Sandra will prepare the food, wash the dishes used in dinner prep, clean the kitchen and leave the house. Serving dinner and washing dinner dishes is not included.
Tipping is customary.
The following prices are if you choose to have a single meal rather than pay by the week.
Price is per person for main dishes, keep in mind that we are assuming there are 6-8 people. If your group is smaller you might want to pay her a little more for the service.
Price per item for Appetizers and Deserts
Her main dishes usually come accompanied with rice, frijoles or salad, depending on the dish…....a few don't …...like the enchiladas. Be sure to ask if you would like something on the side….as always, very inexpensive.
Priced below in dollars.....if you pay in pesos it is about 30 pesos to $2.50
Appetizers (priced per item not per person)
$2.50 or 30 pesos each
Mexican salsa(traditional with tomato, chilies, onions)
Salsa pico de gallo
Fried turkey sausages w / spicy BBQ sauce
Fresh fruit plates (Pineapple slice topped with chopped water melon, melon, apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, peaches (in season only) and covered with Rum & Grenadine coulée sprinkled with cinnamon)
Mexican dishes (priced per person)
Holiday Special stuffed Pork Roast
Chicken noodle (home made noodles)soup with Mashed Potatoes...unbelievably good.
Carne Asada with grilled onions and jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese!!
Chile Rellenos $3.00
Chicken mole with rice $2.50
Carne su Jugo/Beef in a cilantro based juice $2.50
Chicken enchiladas $3.00 with white cream sauce
Orange chicken $2.50
Pork with zucchini $2.50
Chicken/Beef Birria $2.50
Chicken tostadas Mexicana $2.50
Mexican meat balls $2.50
Breaded potato cakes $2.50
Beef with chili $2.50
Chicken in peanut sauce $2.50
Mexican soup/Tortilla soup $2.50
Chicken spaghetti $2.50
Lots of other choices...just ask
Chinese (priced per person)
Spicy chicken, beef or pork stir fry $2.50
German (priced per person)
Beef Stroganoff $3.00
Sauerkraut with pork chops $2.50
American (priced per person)
ALL $25 except for pizza and lasagna (3.00)
Hamburgers (with BBQ sauce, fried onions and cheddar cheese)
Meatloaf w / mushroom cream
American style fried chicken (with mashed potatoes and gravy)
Smoked BBQ ribs with potato salad
Hot-dogs / Corn dogs
Spaghetti w / meat sauce or meat balls
Lasagna & Vegetarian lasagna $3.00
Fettuccini Alfredo or cheese fettuccini
Pizza - Homemade thin crust with list of possible ingredients (shrimp, ham, chicken, beef, chorizo, pepperoni, pineapple, sausage & vegetarian style) $3.00
BBQ Turkey, when available
BBQ Ribs...a favorite
Chicken noodle soup
Seafood (priced per person)
All 2.50 each (I think)
Ceviche: Shrimp, Dorado, sierra (and when available octopus...hard to get and expensive here) or combos
Sea food cocktail in juice
Sea food soup
Dorado filet: Many styles some served with Ricks now Famous Tartar sauce: a la Vera Cruz (with white wine in sauce)
Shrimp: brochette, garlic, butter, breaded or diabla
Sarandeado fish or shrimp (Mexican BBQ style like they serve on beaches) -
Desserts (priced per item)
Cakes (chocolate, strawberry, orange)
Pies (Apple, Cheese, lime, strawberry, pumpkin)
Fresh fruit Jell-O’s (orange, strawberry, lime, raspberry, pineapple, peach, grape)
Milk jello with pecans
Fried bananas with Rum, cream and strawberries
Bionico (Chopped fruits topped with pecans, granola and home made sweet yogurt)
she can pretty much do anything American or Mexican...Huevos Rancheros, chiliquillies, wonderful Mexican Bacon!
Sandra is quite accomplished and may be able to prepare dishes other than listed with advance notice. Rick does a mean BBQ (perfect answer for that fish you caught) and they can whip up a great pizza and his BBQ ribs are to die for. If you wish to have a dinner waiting for you on your arrival day let us know your menu and she will have a wonderful meal waiting for you! Highly Recommended
They can also pick up groceries, beer, wine or tequila to be waiting at the house. This is something they do for the cost of the taxi and a tip. Please be generous!
Our rental site with rates and calendar link in Link Section or go to
Or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabo San Lucas #52
La Penita de Jaltemba, Nayarit, Mexico
From Puerto Vallarta
Please contact us for airport pick up by local taxi.
If driving yourself:
La Penita is about one hour north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport. You will cross over the state line from Jalisco into Nayarit a few miles north of the airport. The time zone in La Penita is one hour earlier than the time zone of the airport. It is important to take that into consideration when planning your return to the airport for departure.
The trip to La Penita is about 1 hour by car, depending on traffic. Print out the map of La Penita from the link provided. You will travel North along Hwy 200, the main highway that ultimately goes to Tepic and Guadalajara. When you reach Jaltemba Bay you will find three towns very close together. Los Ayala, Rincon de Guayabitos and La Penita. About 4 blocks past the main street of La Penita (Centro La Penita) you will find our street Cabo San Lucas. There used to be a highway sign hanging over the street but for some mysterious reason it is no longer there, ah Mexico. If you keep a lookout you will find a tire sales shop on the left hand side and Pollo Karina (a BBQ chicken stand) on the right side of Cabo San Lucas St. Turn there. Casa Fortuna is at the very end of the road on the right hand side, on the beach. You will see our terracotta painted wall with a yellow/terracotta tile covered entry. Pull the rope and ring the bell and Sandy or Rick will let you in. Contact us if you would like to have a grocery order waiting or perhaps a wonderful meal prepared for your arrival. We highly recommend it.
From the North
Coming from Guadalajara you would make a right hand turn off of Hwy 200 where the sign hangs over the road. (note: the sign is no longer there) Please look for the BBQ chicken stand Pollo's Karina that is just before our street, Calle Cabo San Lucas. The photograph you see above in the photo section was taken from the opposite direction, from the south looking north.
It is not necessary to rent a car unless you plan on a lot of trips out of the area. Sandy and Rick can call a taxi for you for local trips or hire a van for sightseeing trips. We use a local man who has a beautiful new Volkswagon van that holds 8 people comfortably.
If you wish to rent a car you might try Gecko Rentals in Bucerias. They will pick you up at the airport and bring you to the car. On return you drop the car off with them and they will transport you to the airport. A link to their rental site is provided on the Links section
Transportation from the airport is available by taxi arranged at the booth at the airport or prearranged with Alejandro, a driver we use from La Penita. He has a new Volkswagon van that holds 9 people and a reasonable amount of luggage. He will meet you at the airport, make a stop at a large grocery store (200 pesos extra) if you wish and knows the way to the house. It takes the worry out of getting there. He charges 1200 pesos for the trip from the airport (the airport charges him to do pick ups, therefore the price is higher than the return trip) and 1000 pesos for the return to the airport. Currently, January of 2012, the exchange rate is 13.4 to the US dollar so that is under 90.00 US from the airport and under 75.00US to the airport. Or, If you wish to take a bus you can get a taxi at the airport to take you to the Central Bus Station and once there get a Pacifico bus to La Penita. See the link for more details. The bus will drop you on main street and you will need to get a local taxi to take you to the house. This is most economical if you are a small group. For larger groups we suggest a taxi the whole way. Taxi to bus station would run around 100 pesos, the bus ticket around 80 pesos and another 30 pesos to get to the house.
While you are there
We are fortunate to have a wonderful couple who live in the rear of our property in a small casita. They will be there to greet you, give you keys and familiarize you with the house. Rick is American and Sandra is Mexican, but speaks English fluently.
Please let them know if you are getting low on drinking water, soap, toilet paper of if you need a taxi, a doctor or just some information like where to put the garbage or where is the best place to buy fish. If you would like them to do the shopping they will do so for a "propina" or tip.
While they are not the maid and butler, they are amazing and they are very happy to help out when needed and make sure you have all the services provided by Casa Fortuna. They are not there to do your dishes or clean up daily.
We offer a light housekeeping mid week during your stay. You can arrange with Sandra for daily services for an additional fee, traditionally around $15.00 US per day.
Rick and Sandra can arrange a boat to pick you up in front of the house for a fishing trip on local Panga boat, (wave and weather coooperation required) a boat tour to neighboring towns or a wave runner watercraft delivered to the beach in front of the house. They can also make reservations for you on a whale watching tour boat or on one of the party boats, set up taxi trips to neighboring towns or attractions or a water taxi to Guayabitos.
Sandra can also arrange for a poolside manicure, pedicure or facial as well as an in house massage.
Please note that it is customary to tip them for these services at the end of your stay.
Sandra and Rick are both very skilled cooks and can prepare meals at the house for a very reasonable fee. (See Private Cook section below)
If you have children and wish to have an adult evening out Sandra will watch your kids while you enjoy an evening alone. She charges between 50-100 pesos per hour, depending on the number of children. Your children will love her.....most guests report that the kids want to go play with Sandra every day!
Casa Fortuna has air conditioning in all four bedrooms. You will find it might be necessary during the summer months for comfortable sleeping. Please remember that it is VERY expensive to run and we ask that you try to remember to turn it off when you are not in the room. The units are very efficient and will cool the rooms quickly, so there is no need to leave it running all day. With your help we can keep the rates as reasonable as possible.
Please be careful of the bed linens with sun lotions and oils. If by accident you get some on any of the house linens or furniture please let Sandra know so she can treat them quickly. We ask that you do not use Clorox while at the house. Seems silly but for some reason we have lost many towels and sheets by the careless use of bleach. Same goes for nail polish. Please use it outside only. IF the urge strikes you to get a fake tattoo on the beach be sure to cover it up while sleeping as the hair dye they use can ruin sheets. Many people are also allergic to the dye used and there are many incidents of permanent scarring from the reaction to the dye on your skin. Our advice is to avoid it.
Plumbing in Mexico is much more temperamental than north of the border. You will find that most restaurants/hotels in the area will have wastebaskets near the toilet for you to dispose of toilet paper. There is a good reason for it as the sewer systems in most towns are antiquated and not designed to flush any paper products. We have recently installed a new sewer system and while we feel confident in flushing toilet paper we ask that you do not flush ANY other products, feminine or baby wipes or ??? Please.
If you accidentally break something we would like to be advised. While we do expect some incidental damage to the house we do not expect complete disregard for our home. Your security deposit will be used if you get crazy! Please let Rick or Sandra know if you notice something that needs their attention.
Beach towels for use at the house are provided but bring your own if you need them away from the house as we do not allow them to leave the premises.
Our home is limited to the number of people stated on your contract. Please do not invite strangers into our home or yard. While Mexico is full of wonderful people there are those who will take advantage if the opportunity is given. Petty theft is the most common crime in Mexico. Be aware of your valuables and ours. If you wish to have a large gathering of friends we suggest that you talk to Rick or Sandra about venues that might suit a large party. Our water and sewage is not adequate for weddings or large groups.
Reaching Us in the US
Sherry and Jerry Luther
Doreen and Tom Thompson
We have a local phone at the house for calls you might want to make locally. Please no long distance calls on this number.
The number is 327 274-0415
When calling that number from the USA or Canada you must dial
011 52 327 274 0415 Habla Espanol English and Spanish Spoken
We also have a SKYPE phone with a California number. The cost is .02 cents per minute for calls to land lines and .05 cents per minute for calls to cell phones. We offer this free of charge, within reason. You can give this to family and friends so they can reach you, however the phone does not ring loud so you may tell them to call the Mexico number if they need to reach you quickly.
The SKYPE number is:
707 206 6152
Restaurants tried and loved by us in La Penita: Check the Map for locations and status of operations. Some of these close for the summer
Solis Italian Restaurant on the town square in La Penita, great dinners, Beer, wine, pizza and a few favorite pasta dishes….Walk from the house Number 25 on the La Penita map 274-3438
Xaltemba Restaurant and Gallery is a new upscale restaurant opening in November of 2007 on the town square in La Penita. We tried it and all I can say is WOW. You definitely will not be disappointed. Walking distance Closed in Summer http://www.xaltemba.com/page33/menu.html Closed for the summer months
Hindi and Jaime’s in La Penita. Great food, nice bar and wonderful people. Friday night Chili Relleno’s Walk from the house Try the tortas for lunch….or the fish tacos or shrimp or dorado "Pacifico"….yummy and VERY inexpensive and yummy. This little bar/restaurant is one of our favorites for a great inexpensive meal
Closes on June 1st for the summer
Beach side of number 26 on the La Penita map
Ask Sandy for directions to this little street side gem. Great breakfast and lunch. Tiny with a few sidewalk tables, but great Mexican flavored spot.
Gutti’s Right on the beach front road in La Penita, West of number 26 on the La Penita map. Just a few blocks from the house. We always go here at least one time for their Camarones con mucho ajo and Camarones Diablo. Garlic shrimp and spicy shrimp. Simple, no English, and no Gringos but great Shrimp dishes, fish, and seafood soup. Short on atmosphere but Gutti is a nice guy and the food is wonderful and inexpensive and the kitchen is clean and spotless. Between two Cantinas, so get the right door. Beer and Ron…Rum!
Tonitas III Walking distance In La Penita. Ask Rick and Sandy for directions....Wide variety of dishes, dancing and music on some nights. Very good and inexpensive.
Recently opened in La Penita. Large place, lots of variety on the menu, full bar and fun waiters. Great place
Toucan On the highway in La Penita….south end of town. West side of Hwy. Great people and good, inexpensive food. Margaritas and simple bar. Take a cab
La Avenida in La Penita. Number 26 on the La Penita map Great for breakfast and lunch Walk. At the end of the Avenida in downtown……west end.
Lots of other pizza parlors (home delivery), bakeries, roasted chicken stands, ice cream parlors and breakfast and lunch spots in La Penita’s downtown. Irmas is a great lunch or dinner spot. Taco stands by the town square get a lot of business and people rave about them…
You can walk down the beach to Rincon de Guayabitos…..I have never had to cross water from December to May….In the rainy season you might have to wade a bit. It is a nice, but long walk. Call a cab for the less adventurous. Check out restaurants reviews on Jaltemba Sol the local on line newspaper...Link provided..and the maps that they have there.
New restaurant on the beach in Rincon de Guayabitos. Music and good food. Reasonable prices
El Campanario in Rincon de Guayabitos Love it….Great Fajitas and nice bar. Near Pina Loca on the Rincon de Guayabitos map
Pina Loca in Rincon de Guayabitos Great breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fantastic fancy drinks, fruit smoothies and bar. On the Rincon map
Pina Colada in Rincon de Guayabitos…Festive Restaurant and Bar, huge fajitas and great other dishes….Nice bar…..drinks, margaritas in a bowl! Located on the frontage road that runs parallel to the main highway. On the map May be closed for the summer 2009 for remodeling
Vista Guayabitos high on the hill above Rincon and Los Ayala. Great view and food is good…..a must for sunset drinks! We always make at least one trip. A little higher priced than others, but worth it for the view and high end atmosphere. Good Ceviche and Empanadas. Great steaks, coconut and garlic shrimp and chili rellenos. Mango Margaritas and cheese cake! Thursday night karaoke with great local talent!
Reviews and info borrowed from the Guayabitos Newsletter
Most of these are open for the summer months
Piña Loca: This cute little restaurant is one of my all-time favorites. It is almost always busy (which should be your first clue that they have great food); and to top it off, you'll also get good service from both Fabian and Susana. Mercedes, the owner, offers a huge menu filled with traditional Mexican items like pozole, tostadas, enchiladas, sopes, burritos and tacos, in addition to several fish, shrimp, beef and pork dishes. A few of our favorites are the shrimp fajita served in a molcajete (lava bowl), Veracruz-style fish fillet, octopus in garlic, coconut shrimp with mango salsa and tortilla soup. Most specials come with one national drink and dessert. Hours: 11am-8pm daily. Happy Hour: 4-6pm. Live Music: Nightly except Saturday. Address: Ret. Tabachines, Guayabitos.
Hinde y Jaime's
Av. Emiliano Zapata, La Peñita
Open 8am-9pm or 10pm, closed Sunday and for the summer starting 6/1/09
Great fish tacos, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Friday night Chili Rellenos. Full bar. Golfers, poker and lots of tourists Try their Tortas (a hot sandwich) for lunch! Hinde makes a great meal for a little money…..we love the fish, Dorado, cooked many ways with rice and veggies all for under 80 pesos. An easy walk from the house.
Mateja's Bar & Grill
Good Food and Lots of English Speaking Patrons
On the Beach, Guayabitos
(322) 131-0043 *new number
Open -9pmish, closed Monday
Caters to Canadian and American Guests
Daily Specials:2007-2008 Happy Hour: daily; Tues: Beef or Chicken Quesadilla for $35 pesos all day. Wed: Rib Night 4-7pm for $60 pesos; Music by Eric Nice. Thurs: Grande Margaritas for $25 pesos all day. Fri: Peel and Eat Shrimp $2 1/2 pesos each. Sat: Steak for $120 pesos; Music by Eric Nice. Sun: Chicken Teriyaki or Chicken Parmesan for $65 pesos all day / Group Reservations: If you are heading to Mateja's for dinner after 7pm, please call ahead to make sure the kitchen is still open to avoid disappointment. Mateja encourages all parties of 8 or more to make a reservation. If you do so, she will offer her famous rib dinner to the entire party at Wednesday's price (so why not eat ribs on Tuesday?). Don't forget, ribs need to be pre-ordered
Ret. Tabachines, Guayabitos
Open 8am-10pm daily
Live Music: "Miguel Angel:" Mon, Fri & Sun 6-9pm; "Orlando:" Tues 7-9pm; "Roberto Curiel:" Wed-Thurs 7-9pm
Crazy Nellies Hwy. 200 (near entrance to Los Ayala), Guayabitos
Food, TV’s for sports, Pool tables and fun
On the Beach, Guayabitos
(327) 274-0642 or (322) 136-8465
Open Mon-Thurs, Open until 1am Fri-Sun
On the Beach, Guayabitos
Just recently found this nice restaurant. Great seafood. Closes early in summer so get there before 6
On the Beach, Guayabitos
Open , closed Tuesday
Happy Hour: daily \