All photos by Jeff Burgess
Jeff Burgess - Travel Invasion
I seemed to immediately rule out Ixtapa, even more so when my ex wife's sister told me she had been there. I studied up on the
Zihuatanejo area although I seemed overwhelmed by the choices.
Eventually I began to read more and more about this place up the road called Troncones. Small village, empty beaches, great food, reasonable prices... Day by day I seemed to become more drawn to this somewhat undiscovered slice of paradise. Troncones was winning the battle, while Zihuatanejo was looking less likely.
This is the first view of Casa De La Sirena once you enter through the gate. Travel Invasion decided to rent a car from the airport instead of relying on the overpriced taxis. The drive from the airport isn't bad. Just look for the Lazaro Cardenas turn off and you will be fine. Another 20+ minutes and you will see the signs for Troncones. A couple of more miles and you have hit the Pacific.
Casa De Sirena is just ahead!
The villa can be rented as a whole or broken down into three separate units. The master unit is located upstairs while there is two individual guest suites on the ground floor. My friends Mat & Jessica who assist in the research portions of Travel Invasion would be staying in the upstairs suite, while I had the ground floor to myself. No complaints on my part, as I was located just a few steps from the swimming pool and only a few more to the sand.
We arrived just in time for a great first sunset.
The ground level guest suites each have private patios with lounging sofas and panoramic views out to the ocean. I ended up sleeping each night with the doors wide open. All the bedrooms have individual AC units although they were never needed during our stay. Both guest units are nicely furnished with tile floors and a rear changing area connected to the bathroom. Ample closet space is provided as well as a mini kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave and utensils. The showers are spacious and could easily accomodate two, if the need arises. The sinks have a unique decorative inlay pattern and large counter space. The rooms offer protection from the elements with a separate screen door. I was happy to see some wash cloths which seem to be a rarity in most rental homes in Mexico.
Heading upstairs you begin to sense the fun is just beginning. At the top of the stairs you see this view pictured to your right. Visual overload at its finest. The sound of the waves mixed with all the scenery confirms why you are here. Looking down to the pool and then out to the ocean, one can fully begin to undertand how awesome this whole property really is. Casa De La Sirena is less than 2 years old and appears to have been well taken care of in its short life. The upstairs provides an open air living and dining area with a connecting full kitchen.
Enclosed and behind this area is a spacious master suite with a raised king sized bed staring directly at the water. The master suite has been well planned out with the glass block shower getting rave reviews from Jessica.
Back down stairs leads you to the swimming pool and deck areas. The kidney shaped swimming pool has a bench seat running along one side. Four loungers and two table areas share the surrounding decking. The vegitation around the pool area is still developing although privacy is assured due to the well placed tropical plants and various palms. The lot to the south is currently vacant and fenced off. No humans were ever seen on this lot although a few wild donkeys made their way inside to feed.
Scenes from Casa De La Sirena
Beyond the swimming pool is the ocean which is just beyond the privacy wall. The beach fronting the property was nearly deserted at all times. I can honestly say that we never saw more than ten people using the beach at one time. Coming from the massively populated state of California, this was just fine with the three of us.
Now for the trip report portion of this review feature. Our first night was spent at the El Burro Borracho. Travel Invasion had been told that the restaurant/bungalows offered traditional Mexican dancers on Sunday nights. Since it was Super Bowl Sunday, I was wondering how it was going to be, not seeing the big game for the first time in my life. I was surprised to see that once we were seated at the restaurant, some guys brought in a big screen TV and placed it right behind our table. Sure enough, a few minutes later the television sprung to life and there was the game. The only problem though was that it was being broadcast in Spanish. Eventually they turned the sound down and most everyone's attention in the open air space, returned to the dancers. Actually the dancers were school kids from the surrounding villages. By the end of the evening, a hat was passed around and Dewey who seems to be Troncones most well known resident and owner of the El Burro Borracho, announced that over $700 had been collected. He said this amount was the most they had ever raised for the schools in one evening. I walked away from the restaurant that evening really caring less if I had seen the game or not. Troncones was a much better trade off I was thinking as I headed back to Casa De La Sirena.
The following morning which was our first, we walked across the road to Esmerelda's. She told us which of the menu choices were actually being offered that day. Imagine going to Denny's and having the waitress tell you that half the things weren't actually available? We settled on Steak Mexicana and were somewhat surprised at how good it really was. We decided to spend the first day taking a road trip dpwn to Barra De Potosi. No cattle truck rides for our crew, we had a Jetta. I chose the airport road and was treated to reasonably smooth surface with some knockout views. Eventually we made it to Enramada Nayito where we spent the next few hours soaking it all in. The warm sun, mellow beach and some good food. This place is definitely worth a day trip if your are looking to relax. Eventually we all seemed ready to head back to Troncones. This time we chose the direct route to the highway. A group decision was made on the way back to Casa De La Sirena, for dinner we would try the Tropic of Cancer Beach Club just down the road from our villa . It was getting late so I think the staff was more interested in going home. Rated average although maybe it was due to me being lame and ordering spaghetti.
Day two started off good for me. I awoke before sunrise and headed out on a deserted beach walk. After about 1/2 mile I see this huge labrador/great dane mix coming running at me. I was thinking "holy shit, either this dog is going to maul me or this dog is going to love me". Obviously since I am writing this review, it turned out the dog was happy to see me. We walked for another mile or so, stopping to watch the sun rise. Then it was back to the house. By the time I reached Casa De La Sirena, I now had 3 dogs following me. Ready for some food, we headed back to Esmerelda's and found out there was even fewer choices. It was actually enjoyable to just let them make whatever. Like when you were little and stayed the night over at a friend's house and you never really knew what you'd be getting for breakfast the next day.
After breakfast Jessica decided for a horeseback ride on the beach while Mat and I thought some boogie boarding would be a good idea. Now I know that Jessica made the wiser decision. Just a few hundred feet down the road from the house is Jaguar Tours. All types of activities and rentals can be had here for very reasonable prices. Only one boogie board was available for $6. Heading back to the water, I remember bragging about how well I used to be able to ride them. The weird thing about this beach is that there really is never anyone else around. So out into the water and the nightmare began. My first attempt shot me straight down. My second attempt resulted a much worse wipeout. The third and final attempt was the worst of all. A wave like 6+ feet shot me striaght into the ground, and then spun me around like four or five times. The force was so strong I couldn't get up. Just as it seemed to be smoothing out, a second wave crashed down turning everything black. This time I remember spinning like 5 or 6 times. Finally the horror was over. When I came up, Mat looked shocked and told me my board had shot out into air over 10 feet high. For some reason I think this whole phenomenon is called a "shore break". After returning home, I read about 3 guys who were paralyzed last year in Hawaii by these type of waves. I was done for the day.
Later that afternoon we headed out to explore the village of Majahua just up the road. We drove for awhile and then parked the car. I decided it would better to walk the rest of the way. The village is tiny, but the connecting beach is massive. The men appear to earn their living as fishermen. It was late afternoon and most had returned from the Ocean. Down onto the beach I was in shock. The beach was gorgeous, lined with coconut trees and basically undeveloped. As we began walking, I eventually realized we were nearing the Playa Kandahar Surf Club. I had seen their ad on the Net and was interested in seeing the inside. New owners have recently taken over and everything looked spotless. Hearing that the twin lobster tail dinner was only $14, we decided to stay to eat. I have to say I was really impressed with the grounds of this place. Maybe the only problem I had with it though was that it appeared to be entirely staffed with non natives. I was wondering "who is actually benefitting here?" Feeling the need to spend our money more locally, we stopped off at a patio retaurant and had a few cervezas on the way back to our car. Now this was authentic!
Our final full day had arrived. I spent an hour taking another early morning beach walk although headed in the opposite direction this time. By the time I had made it back to Casa De La Sirena, Mat and Jessica were ready for breakfast. We ventured down the road to Mi Casa Su Casa. I had read their breakfast menu on the Net and was dying for a grande orange juice. Jessica decided on a beachfront massage while Mat and I spent the next 45 minutes entertaining the ladies who worked there with our horrible Spanish. I asked for "coco carne". The answer was "Si", only I didn't realize it would involve stopping the whole construction crew so they could retrieve a coconut from a tree on the property. Both the food and service was rated as good here. Now It was back to the house to drop off Jessica for some private time with a lusty novel while Mat and I headed down to Ixtapa for some Jet Skiing. Somehow we ended up exactly where we were hoping to end up. Within minutes we had a bucket of beers, a shade cover and a deal had been struck for a 1 hour rental. Anytime I am riding a Jet Ski or Wave Runner in paradise, I consider it money well spent. Somehow I managed to get lost and shortchanged Mat on his time but he was cool with it. How can someone get too stressed in this environment? Time was winding down and we needed to get back to the house to decide where to spend our last night out.
Casa De La Sirena photos
Click to enlarge
Located on the beach in Troncones, Mexico
The front gate always seems to be where the storybook begins.
Travel Invasion decided to take advantage of an Alaskan Air winter special to Mexico. We agreed that Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
sounded like a cool place to try out. For $270 round trip from LAX
we would worry about our lodging and final destination later.
Returning back to Troncones, we all spent a few hours just lounging by the pool. Casa De La Sirena seemed to have it all going on at this moment. El Burro Borracho was chosen for dinner once again. We were treated well the first time, the food was great and the atmosphere enjoyable. Basically the second visit was just as good although lacking the dancers. I had a $11 Filet Mignon which was perefctly prepared and smothered in a delicious mushroom sauce. A banana flambe' following was just as satisfying. An after dinner ping pong match finished in my favor. Now it was all ending. Soon we were back to the house for a few drinks and some final memories of a great beachfront rental.
Casa De La Sirena is highly recommended by Travel Invasion.
More of Casa De La Sirena
UPDATE: Casa De La Sirena has added additional units for rent since the date of this review. Check their website
for updated photos and info.