As reported in my previous post, my family and I vacationed this last week in Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas located at the southerly tip of the Baja California peninsula. For Hurricane trackers, Tropical Storm Henrietta is descending on this particular part of Mexico as I write, as Hurricane John did last year. Our accommodations, the Villa del Palmar resort, enjoy an unobstructed beach front view to Los Arcos (and wayward hurricanes for that matter), a group of renowned and distinctive island sea arches marking an approximate, though not exact, division between the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Sea of Cortez to the east. The resort is one of three Villa Group timeshare, partial and full ownership condominium properties commanding that premium stretch of the beach. <a href= http://www.villagroupresorts.com/cms/> The Villa Group</a> also has developments in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta with additional properties being constructed between Cancun and Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula, and Loredo, another Baja city. I believe there are more to come.
Though I have only visited Playa del Carmen, Zihuatanejo, Puerto/Nuevo Vallarta and Cabo, I find the latter the most “Americanized”. Restaurants and businesses in Cabo’s bustling downtown and on its boardwalk include such American standards as the Hard Rock Café, the predictably familiar fast food establishments, a Hagendas Ice Cream outlet and Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Club. Most visitors with whom we spoke were from Southern California, taking advantage summer’s last real break before the onset of school. Indeed, if your goal is to dip a toe into foreign travel, Cabo is a good place to start. The sunshine is endless, sixty five percent August humidity relatively tame, beaches white and expansive. English is readily spoken. The locals are pleasant, helpful and certainly appreciative any infusion of American dollars where the rate is ten pesos to one dollar. Drive north an hour and a half along Highway 19 and you’ll be drinking margaritas in Todos Santos’ Hotel California, immortalized by The Eagles in their so-named ballad.
My wife and I never really imagined ourselves potential timeshare owners. In fact, we both take pride in having traveled abroad extensively, usually under the weight of overburdened backpacks. However, as we settled into our respective careers while raising an elementary, now middle-school aged daughter, the allure of timeshare ownership became more apparent. Thus, while visiting Puerto Vallarta this time last year, we made our investment. I am not intent on expounding too much on the pros and cons of this kind of vacation ownership other than to suggest that, if you travel a lot, enjoy top notch accommodations in exotic locales at affordable prices, then it’s a great option. Certainly, to make it work for you, traveling frequently is a must. Consider it owning your hotel room rather than renting it at markedly higher day rates.
The process of purchasing a timeshare can be an adventure in and of itself. Beware, there is no shortage of booze served before, during and after the contract process so it’s debatable as to whether or not that paperwork you’re signing is actually an enforceable contract. Furthermore, it’s my understanding that Mexican contract law stipulates a five day right of rescission period, so there is a likely a grace period between signing and the ink drying. During my trip, I interviewed Mary Thomas, manager of the timeshare office and also a local real estate expert. I’ll be reporting on our conversation in my next blog. The differences between real estate transactions conducted in the United States and those in Mexico is marked, so I hope you’ll find the tidbits I gathered informative and enlightening as I did.