Falling in love with Tortuga

I began visiting Yelapa many years ago after my best friend and her husband relocated there. I instantly fell in love with the village and the people who call it home. It was such a beautiful place with such a quaint village flair and the friendliest people. I knew at once I would be coming back again. And I did. Many times I would visit over the next few years. It was in 2011 that I began looking for a casa in the village to call my own. There were some cute fixer uppers around town that would make an amazing haven with just a little love and care. When I first stumbled upon Casa Tortuga, I was amazed immediately. I felt like I was entering a secret garden as I went through it’s gates and rounded the corner of the walkway to find the most beautiful lush private courtyard hidden away. The doors were chained lock at this time, but as I peeked through the windows, my heart raced and I knew this was the place for me.IMG_3253

A few days later I returned again to find the chains removed and the doors unlocked. For the first time I would get to venture through this little haven. There was much to be done, but I could see it’s potential to be quite charming. I was due to leave the next day and there was not much time to decide. I had my local friends view the place with me and help me estimate the costs of the repairs and renovations that would be needed. I was totally in love… with a house.

I was crunching the numbers to see if I could do it and trying to figure out how to manage it, but I was out of time this trip to work out the details. I left Yelapa with intentions to take Casa Tortuga, but I was not sure how I could manage a house in another country and I was not financially prepared to undertake the repairs needed. I came to the realization that I was not in the position to be able to successfully take over Casa Tortuga, and it broke my heart to turn it down.

Upon my next visit a full year later, I went searching out the missed opportunity. I had regretted not taking the chance on such a cozy little cottage so full of potential. I found it repainted and be prepared to be rented out. The owner had a new vision for the property and my opportunity was gone. Another year of regret passed where I thought of everything I could have done to have made it work if I had not backed out. I was facing quite a few changes in my personal life too. The timing would not have been right and I thought it was probably for the best.

The next year I made my yearly birthday trip once again. On my first day wondering through town I detoured to look at my dear Casa Tortuga. I sought out the owner to see once again if he might consider renting it to me. He wasn’t home but I left a message with his wife to let him know I was still very interested. Like all things happen in Yelapa, it was Thanksgiving day when by word of mouth various people told me that the owner was looking for me. It was a good sign for sure! He must be interested! And so he was! I knew better than to let the opportunity slip through my fingers again. I scrambled to make arrangements and finalize the deal before I left Yelapa. It was the beginning of the season and I was not ready or financially prepared to start renovations so I left it with the owner to rent as he pleased and would take over at the end of the season and do repairs then.

I had a good part of a year to save up. When I would take over the house in May, I would be ready. But other business priorities arose and I was knee deep in a consuming deal here in the states, and I could not possibly go get Casa Tortuga ready. But then there was an unfortunate glitch in my deal and it provided the needed opportunity to press pause. I would have a few months where I could still get Casa Tortuga ready before the season would open.

I called my best friends who live in Yelapa to see who they knew that I could hire to contract the work. I was thinking perhaps a brother or a cousin of theirs. I was shocked and blessed when the busiest people I know told me that they could actually do it themselves. They have gorgeous rental casas of their own in Yelapa and I knew I could trust them  to guide the construction of Casa Tortuga to be just what it needed to be. They had great vision for it, and fantastic knowledge and resources. And that is where we are now. We are amidst the remodel and thanks to the help of my lovely friends, Casa Tortuga will open as scheduled in October for the beginning of the 2014 season. I will wait until November to come and get to see my finished Casa Tortuga for myself. I welcome everybody to book a stay and experience the casa and town that I fell in love with.


One thought on “Falling in love with Tortuga

  1. Thank you for preparing my stay at Casa Tortuga so I had total comfort, right down to the provided coffee filters! There were no unpleasant surprises. Your attention to details were much appreciated. Your local guy Chapo was always available to take care of my few requests. The provided cell phone was a nice touch!

    Though I ended up staying alone in the casita, it will be ideal for a family of four or just a few folks who want to share a place without cramping each other while having great cooking facilities.

    Casa Tortuga’s location was ideal for me, just steps away from the beach with all it’s restaurants, the path to all my friends up river and even a 7-11 for incidental household needs.


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