If you’re thinking of coming to Puerto Vallarta and in particular Bucerias for an extended stay or to retire and live permanently, the estate called Terralta is one you should certainly consider. In fact most westerners who live at Bucerias, can be found residing at Terralta 1, 2 or 3.
Terralta is located at the Northern end of the town of Bucerias. It’s position gives it an advantage in that it’s still only a couple of minutes from the center of Bucerias but it’s also closer to towns further north such as La Cruz and Punta de Mita. It’s an area that’s quite though still frequented by westerners, only far less than you’ll find in down town Vallarta. The other advantage to the area is that being out of the main Puerto Vallarta area, on the north shore of the bay, prices to rent and to buy are much cheaper.
The complex is divided up into 4 sections, Terralta 1, 2, 3 and another area called Los Amores.
The area has mostly all the amenities you’ll need pretty close by. For example:
1. For most of your shopping needs, you’ll head to the MEGA mart (just like Walmart) just down the highway. The bus ride is about 7 minutes, and costs 6 pesos or 50 cents USD.
2. Beach. Of course! About 3 minutes walk from the front of Terralta is a great quiet stretch of beach with multiple beachfront bars and restaurants.
3. In a complex at the very front of the estate, 5 minutes walk from basically any apartment in Terralta, there’s a center with a bakery, Tower Pizza, about 3 restaurants including a great sushi place, a gym, a pharmacy, and a number of furniture outlets, as well as a 24 hour OXXO convenience store.
4. Anything else you need (generally not much) you can get from the Liverpool mall or the Sam’s Walmart across from the Marina in downtown Vallarta. The bus ride is about 40 minutes and costs $1 USD.
Here’s what you need to know as a buyer, before finding the perfect place in Terralta.
1. At the moment (as of 2010) there are a lot of places available in Terralta. Despite what real estate agents or owners tell you, it’s a renters market, particularly after the financial crisis of 08/09. IF you’re looking, make sure you shop around.
2. If you speak spanish or have a friend that does, you’ll be at a tremendous advantage. It’s easy to find places either furnished or unfurnished in Terralta, and they are available either through real estate agents or the owners privately. Many of the private owners who are looking to rent the apartment out, only have small signs on their windows, so you can go and collect phone numbers and do some investigation. It might take a little longer but it could save you considerably over the long term. If you don’t speak Spanish, you can still get a great deal through a real estate agent in the area.
3. The majority of places available are in Terralta 2 and Terralta 3. While both of these are nice and very livable, Terralta 3 has generally nicer houses that are a little bigger and it also has a Palapa (that offers free WiFi internet) and a communal pool. Terralta 2 is still nice but a little cheaper and none of the additionals of T3.
4. Prices. Prices in Terralta vary considerably based on a number of factors but the main one is:
Furnished or Unfurnished (of course). For a furnished place you can expect to pay from about 6000 to 9000 pesos depending on exactly what furniture is available. That works out to about $500 to $800 USD per month. Of course for unfurnished you can pick up places from 4500 peso’s and up.
5. Maintenance: All apartments come with a compulsory fee of about 300 pesos for garden fees and security.
6. Check with the owner whether your place has a phone line already installed. If it does, you’ll be able to get your phone service and internet set up cheaper and more easily. If not, things will take a couple of weeks longer and depending on the length of your stay.
7. Utilities. These often vary between apartments so check with the owner. Usually you’ll have to pay gas (apartments have a gas heater that you need to light up 10-20 minutes before you want to use hot water) and electric, with water included but again, check with the real estate agent or owner.
8. Sales office at the front. At the front of the complex is a little caravan. Despite the fact that they’re obviously in business, trying to make sales and get renters of their own, the girls in here speak great English and can be helpful for the start of your search.
That’s about all.
From our personal view, Terralta is a great place to live. It’s close enough to everything you need and yet still quiet enough for you to relax. If you’re thinking about moving to Terralta and have questions, feel free to ask us!