Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mar de Jade
What time is check-in and check-out?
Check-in is 3 pm and Check-out is 11 am. You are welcome to use our facilities if you arrive earlier or depart later.
Do you have families with children visit you?
Yes! We are a family friendly place, all ages welcome. We host families mainly during holidays or family specific retreats. There are several children who live at Mar de Jade or come with the staff.
Is childcare available?
Childcare can be arranged with reliable local women, most of whom speak only Spanish or limited English. The cost is $10 per hour for one child. Families with two children will pay $15 per hour and those with three, $20 per hour. Please let us know in advance about childcare needs.
Do you have cribs and other special equipment for babies?
We have limited baby equipment available (playpens and high chairs). Please let us know what your needs are well in advance.
Is Mar de Jade accessible for people with mobility issues?
Mar de Jade is not fully handicap accessible as there are areas on the property where steps are unavoidable. However, it is possible to access most public areas and a few ground floor rooms via ramps. Please contact us to discuss your particular needs.
Does Mar de Jade arrange off-site excursions?
Mar de Jade front desk staff is happy to coordinate excursions with local guides. Guests usually book their activities upon arrival. Types of activities available may vary depending on the season, and usually include hikes, whale watching (Dec- March only), boat rides, market trips, etc. Rates usually range from $20-$40 USD per person and must be made in cash directly to the tour guides, please plan accordingly. See our Excursion & Activities section for more information.
Can I have Spanish classes while I'm there?
Private Spanish classes for adults and/or children can be arranged on-site with local teachers, who charge $20/hour per person for one or two people. Three or more people taking a class together (they must have the same Spanish level) can receive a group rate. Please contact us at least 2-3 weeks ahead of time to schedule. We may not be able to arrange last minute requests.
Do I have to book Spa appointments in advance?
The Mar de Jade Spa offers a variety of treatments, from standard Swedish and deep tissue massages, to seasonal and rotating offerings such as Thai massage, craniosacral, and other healing modalities. It is advisable to book your treatments upon arrival, since advance bookings may be affected by changes in your group’s schedule, flight delays, etc. and may incur a cancellation fee. See our Spa section for more information.
Is it possible to gift someone a Spa treatment?
Yes! Please contact us to set this up.
Do you accept donations for your community projects?
We gratefully accept any donations to help our non-profit community projects. Monetary donations can be made via check or credit card, or with cash on-site. To make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation: 1. Donate Now online with a credit card Credit Card Donations are processed via Network for Good, a 501 (c)(3). You will receive a tax deductible receipt from them. 2. To Send a Check: Make payable to: Tides Foundation Write in memo: Mar de Jade Projects Send to: Tides Foundation The Presidio P.O. Box 29903 San Francisco, CA 94129 The Tides Foundation provides tax-deductible receipts for contributions equal to or above $250.00 (a receipt is not required to deduct donations less than this amount).
Do you accept donated supplies?
Yes! We gratefully accept supplies for the School, however, the only way to get donations to our projects is to bring them with you or send them to someone who is coming and can bring them. We cannot receive shipped donations to Mexico because of high import taxes and fees. It is best to pack donations in a suitcase, not a box — custom agents routinely inspect boxes but not luggage. If asked about the supplies say they are for use during your stay in Mexico. It is not illegal to bring donation supplies but custom agents might want to charge import taxes if they suspect goods are being brought in for commercial purposes.
What supplies are most needed?
Please view our Amazon Wishlist for supplies that are needed at El Jardin Montessori School. In addition, we can always use children’s books (ages preschool to 6th grade) in Spanish and English, board games and other educational games, sports equipment, notebooks, art supplies and Montessori or Waldorf specific materials.
What documents do I need to enter Mexico?
Immigration regulations require that you have a valid passport for travel to Mexico. If you have a US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or European passport you will be granted a tourist visa once you arrive in Mexico and pass through customs. If your passport is from another country please check for any other visa requirements. Most tourist visas are issued for 30 or 90 days, however you can ask the immigration officer to make it for up to 180 days if you plan to stay longer in Mexico. Keep you tourist visa in a safe place, as you will need it upon exiting Mexico. If you lose your tourist visa you need to be at the airport 4 hours before your flight on your departure day and pay a $30 USD fine.
What is the closest international airport to Mar de Jade?
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Airport code: PVR. All major US carriers (Alaska, American, United, Southwest, Frontier) as well as Mexican, Canadian and some European charter flights serve Puerto Vallarta. There are many daily non-stop and connecting flights from US, Canadian and Mexican major cities.
What is the easiest way to get to Mar de Jade from the Puerto Vallarta airport?
We can arrange transportation to/from the airport with a trusted company if you send us the following information to: firstname.lastname@example.org • Reservation name or number. • Number of people traveling. • Airline & flight number. • Date & time of arrival. • Departure & connection city. You will receive a confirmation email.
What is the cost of taxi service?
The rates are per person, one way, in USD according to number of people sharing one vehicle, as follows: 1 person = $110 • 2 ppl. = $55 each • 3 ppl. = $45 each • 4 ppl. = $40 each • 5 ppl. = $35 each • 6 ppl. = $30 each • 7-10ppl. = $25 each. *Rates are subject to change without notice* Fare should be paid directly to the driver in either US cash or Mexican pesos only. Gratuity is optional and is not included. We will do our best to group you with others arriving around the same time so you can share a van and pay a lower per person fare. Private Buses can be arranged for large groups of 40 people or more all arriving around the same time. Please contact us for further information. Important exemption from liability: Mar de Jade coordinates third party taxis for airport pick up and drop off as a courtesy to our guests, we do not provide the service ourselves. By sending us your flight information you are agreeing to exempt Mar de Jade of any liability whatsoever due to accidents or damage that might occur while using this service or for rate changes due to unforeseen circumstances.
Do you recommend renting a car?
Renting a car is not necessarily recommended unless you plan on traveling in the area before or after your stay at Mar de Jade. If your only destination is Mar de Jade, the cost of a rental is often not worth the amount of use you might make of it. Transportation to/from the airport as well as local excursions can all be arranged by Mar de Jade staff. Car rentals are generally only available at the airport, so if you decide to rent a car we recommend making a reservation ahead of time and plan on picking it up and dropping it off at the airport. The airport has many major car rental brands such as Hertz, Budget, etc.
What are the directions to drive to Mar de Jade?
We recommend using google maps to guide you to Mar de Jade, click here to see directions. Our local number should you need to reach us once you are in Mexico is (01) (327) 219-4000. Driving to Mar de Jade takes approximately 90mins from the Puerto Vallarta Airport. Read below for written directions: • You will be heading north in the direction of Tepic on highway 200. • The highway will be four lanes for about 20-30 minutes after which it becomes one lane each way. • You will pass the entrance to several towns: Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, when you pass Guayabitos and La Peñita you have about a half hour to go. • The road to Chacala is perpendicular to the main highway and lined with stands selling fruit, and a couple of two-story buildings and hotels. If you arrive in Las Varas (the closest town after Chacala), you have gone too far. • Take the road to Chacala towards the left, it is a 5 mile drive. Follow the signs towards Mar de Jade, the entrance is a 400 meter dirt road before reaching the town of Chacala.
What other transportation alternatives are available?
1. AIRPORT TAXI: You can buy a ticket for an official airport taxi inside of the airport building. It generally is more expensive than the cost of the taxis we can arrange for you. Make sure they know where Chacala, Nayarit is because there is more than one town with this name in the area. 2. YELLOW CITY TAXI: You can also take a regular yellow city taxi, with whom you can bargain for a better price, by crossing the highway over the pedestrian bridge in front of the airport. There are usually regular P.V. yellow taxis drivers parked in front of the restaurants and shops there, and they charge $80-$150. Again, make sure they take you to the correct Chacala, in the state of Nayarit. 3. LOCAL BUS: Taking the local bus takes about an hour or two longer than a direct taxi, because it stops at many towns along the way, and you must take two taxis to/from the bus stations. Buses leave about every half-hour from the Puerto Vallarta Bus Terminal (Central Camionera) to Las Varas, which is the closest town to us, until 10:00 pm. Directions: • From the airport take a taxi to the bus station (“Central Camionera”) which is about one mile north of the airport. • Buy a ticket at the Pacifico Bus Line, for a northbound bus to Las Varas. The ride is about two hours. • At the Las Varas bus station, ask for a taxi to Mar de Jade in Chacala. It should take 15mins.
Do I need to have special immunizations?
No, there is no need for special immunizations.
Will I have problems because of the food and water?
Hygienic food preparation measures are closely followed by Mar de Jade staff. Our kitchen triple washes and disinfects all fresh produce and we cook with purified water. Purified drinking water is provided for free to every guest and is readily available. All ice used in the kitchen and the bar is made from purified water.
What if I get sick while visiting?
We have a first aid kit on-site for superficial injuries and can call a reputable, local doctor to visit you at the hotel if needed.
Where is the closest hospital?
There are small hospitals and walk-in clinics about 15-25 minutes away. The closest large-scale, fully equipped hospital is in Puerto Vallarta, 90 minutes away. You may want to check your health insurance plan for foreign coverage in case of the need for hospitalization or special care. Travel insurance is always recommended.
Do you have telephones for guest use?
As part of Mar de Jade’s philosophy, none of our rooms have telephones or TVs. There is a phone close to the Front Desk for guest use, the rate is 50 cents per minute for calls to the US and Canada and 25 cents per minute for calls within Mexico to landlines. You may charge calls to your room. If you have a phone card with a 01-800 number for dialing from Mexico you may use it at this phone.
Is there cellphone service?
There is full cellphone service provided by Telcel (the largest Mexican cellphone company). US companies that have roaming agreements with Telcel will usually get coverage, check with your provider for coverage and rates.
How can someone reach me in the event of an emergency?
In the event of an emergency, guests can be reached at the following number +52 (327) 219-4000. Please do not provide relatives with our US 1800 number as this is a reservation line and we are unable to transfer the call to guests.
Is there WiFi?
Free WiFi is available in the main dining room, guest lounge and bar area, there is no WiFi in the rooms. Please bring your own device as we do not provide computers, we are happy to print boarding passes at the front desk for guests.
Please note that because we are in a rural location, the internet connection can often be slow or without a signal. We encourage guests to unplug during their stay and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty!
Where is Mar de Jade located?
Mar de Jade is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, about 90 min. north of popular tourist destination and international airport of Puerto Vallarta; 3 hours west of Guadalajara; and 2 hours south of Tepic. The best way to reach Chacala is to fly to Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR), which has non-stop and connecting flights from all major US Cities. Mar de Jade can arrange transportation from/to the airport.
What is the weather like there?
As Chacala is located in the Tropic of Cancer, the weather and vegetation is tropical with warm ocean water suitable for swimming year-round. The dry season is from November through May; days are usually warm (around 80 F.), with cooler mornings and evenings in the winter months (around 65-70 F). The rainy season is from mid-June through October with day temperatures in the low 90s F and night temperatures in the high 70s or 80s F. It usually rains during the evening hours and is sunny in the day. During this season it’s hotter, more humid and there are more mosquitoes and other bugs. Check the weather forecast here.
Are there insects?
We are in the very fertile tropics. All forms of life thrive! Expect a variety of bugs here: beautiful, ugly, annoying, harmless, phosphorescent. Mosquitoes and gnats mainly come out during rainy season, and sand fleas during the winter. We recommend that guests who are sensitive to bug-bites bring insect repellent. We have not had any reported cases of Zika or other dangerous mosquito-spread diseases. We also have spiders, but not of the poisonous variety. They actually help control the insect population.
Is it safe to visit this area of Mexico?
We appreciate your concern for safety in Mexico. Although we understand that drug related violence has been extensively reported in the U.S. press, we want you to know that it is mostly confined to the border with the United States and a few cities within the areas of drug production. The entire coastline between Puerto Vallarta and Chacala is extremely safe and continues to receive millions of visitors each year. Local and state law enforcement are closely monitoring and ensuring safety in this area which relies on tourism as the most important sector of the economy (and second largest in Mexico). Chacala is a small fishing town where visitors and residents alike feel safe to walk any time during the day or night. Children and families play in the area without fear. For a comparison you might think of going to Big Sur or Lake Tahoe and wondering if violence in Los Angeles is something about which to be concerned. We have never had a guest or known of a tourist in our area have any safety issues related to violence in the last three decades we have been open. If you have any other doubts or specific questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Is the road from the airport safe?
The road between the Puerto Vallarta airport and Mar de Jade is a highly transited and safe highway. The 90 minute ride runs through the heart of the tourist zone known as Riviera Nayarit, as such it is traveled by thousands of tourists and locals daily and there are no safety concerns regarding violence.
What type of payment does Mar de Jade accept?
During your stay additional charges from the bar, spa, gift shop, laundry or phone service can be added to your room bill to be paid upon check out. We accept US dollars, Mexican pesos, Visa or Mastercard. We do NOT accept personal or traveler’s checks or Amex.
Do I need to bring cash?
Yes, please plan on bringing cash for the following services which CANNOT be paid with a credit card: Transportation from/to airport, excursions (such as guided hikes, snorkeling, etc), babysitting, gratuities and buying souvenirs in town or at the local market. We recommend bringing approximately $300-$400 USD per person, for a 7 night stay. Safes are provided in every room for your convenience.
When and where should I exchange money?
Airport transportation and excursions can be paid in US dollars and almost everyone accepts dollars in Mexico. So you do not need to exchange too much money, save for shopping at the Market place or buying things in Chacala. We recommend changing at most $50 – $100 USD for a week’s stay, this can be done at the airport, with the rest of your cash brought in US dollars. We cannot exchange currency at Mar de Jade (only official exchange places can do this).
Where is the closest ATM?
There are no banks or ATMs in Chacala, the closest is in Las Varas about 15min taxi ride inland. We highly suggest you bring extra cash with you or use the ATM at the airport when you arrive. There is also an ATM and bank in La Peñita (about 30 min.) where there is a Thursday market. Most ATMS will give you cash in Mexican Pesos.
Is gratuity included or additional?
If you are traveling with a group retreat, please check with your group leader as in most cases a gratuity for Mar de Jade staff is included. You can leave additional tips to a person or area you felt offered you exceptional service, in cash, upon check-out. If your booking is not part of a group, your rate does NOT include gratuity. Please consider leaving a gratuity for the Mar de Jade staff to show your appreciation. We suggest budgeting approximately $10-$15 USD per person per night in cash, which can be put in the general tip box upon check-out. The tip box gets distributed among all staff members (kitchen, maintenance, housekeeping, etc). Tips are only accepted in cash (USD or Pesos). Gratuities for additional services are never included (whether you are traveling with a group or on your own) these include: transportation from/to airport, excursion guides, massage and other spa treatments, etc.
What clothing should I bring?
In the dry season (November-April), summer and fall garments are suggested, including a jacket or sweater for cool nights and mornings. For the rainy season (June-October), bring an umbrella and perhaps a light raincoat and rain shoes. Dress to stay cool — loose cotton shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses and sandals and don’t forget your bathing suit!
What personal items do I need to bring?
Personal toiletries and hygiene products, a supply of medications you use, sunscreen, sunburn lotion and insect repellent. Sunglasses, sun visor and/or hat, flip-flops and comfortable walking shoes. Camera, flashlight and extra batteries. Water bottle for purified drinking water, small daypack and money belt.
What is your booking and deposit Policy?
Booking policies can vary depending on whether you are booking through a group or directly at Mar de Jade. However, for all reservations the following applies:
• All rooms are assigned on a first-reserve basis.
• Requests for specific room numbers are never guaranteed.
• Reservations require a 50% deposit of the total to be confirmed.
• Balance payment will be charged to the credit card on file two weeks prior to arrival.
What is your cancellation policy?
You are responsible for all nights reserved: no refunds or pro-rating for arriving later or leaving earlier than the reserved dates. • Early Cancellation: You will be entitled to a full refund less 10% of the total cost, if you notify us at least two months prior to your scheduled arrival date. • Late Cancellation: With notice of cancellation less than two months from your scheduled arrival date, there will be a cancellation penalty of 25% of your total stay. • No Refund: with notice of cancellation less than 2 weeks from your scheduled arrival date. • Credit: You can apply your full deposit towards another reservation within 12 months of your cancellation date, with no cancellation penalty. There will be no monetary refund in this case and you must cancel with at least two weeks notice. • No Show: No refund or credit for failing to show up for a reservation without prior cancellation. Guests who choose to travel on overnight excursions away from Mar de Jade during their stay will not receive refunds for those nights. No refunds will be given for missed meals. If you are traveling with a group, please check with your group leader as applicable policies might differ.