Frequently Asked Questions
Are you right on the beach, and how close is the water?
All of our regular rooms and the bungalows have a beach view and the three on the ground floor and the four bungalows exit right on to the beach; it’s about 15 yards to the water.
Of our 4 new suites, two have beach views and two don’t. The two suites on the beach level have thier own path to the beach.
How do I get out to your place from the airport, and how long does it take?
You can take a taxi to Eden from the airport (and back) or you can rent a car. Hertz, Alamo, Budget, and National have rentals at the airport. The trip takes about 50 minutes. As of 4/2007 the one way trip from the airport in was $78 US. The trip from Eden and back to the airport is $ 40 US. The airport to Eden leg of the local taxi service is controlled by a national union, unfortunately with fixed prices.
It is simple to get a taxi at the airport; there is a “Ground Transportation” desk when you come out of customs. Tell them that you want to go to Troncones and they will take your payment and give you a chit that you can take out the door to the Taxi stand. The cars are in good shape though and most have AC. All of the taxi drivers know how to get to Troncones. But you might want to take my directions so that you can help the driver along once you get to the beach. Don’t worry, there is only one road, you can’t get lost.
Do all of your rooms have a private entrance/exit?
Yes, all of our rooms have their own entrance and private balcony or porch.
When are you open?
We are open from the first of November to the first of May. The hotel and restaurant are closed from the first of May to the first of November.
Where is Eden located in reference to other well known landmarks?
We are on the pacific coast of Mexico. We are 200 miles north of Acapulco, and about 7 hours drive south from the city of Manzanillo. We are a 7 hour drive west from Mexico City. We are a 35 minute drive from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.
Which airport to I fly into?
You need to fly into the Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International Airport.
What is the surf like?
In the wintertime the surf is anywhere from small to medium, it is perfect for boogie boarding and body surfing. In the summertime the surf is usually from medium to big, depending on the conditions. If there is a tropical storm in the vicinity it will really bring the surf up.
Do you have a restaurant on the premises?
Yes! Our new restaurant Jardin del Eden serves breakfast lunch and dinner. The owner & chef, Mary & Jean Pascal Bochet, a Mexican-French couple, are very happy to share with you their passion of hosting and their unique cooking way of life. They feature Contemporary & Traditional Mexican Cuisine and Mediterranean Fussion.
Do you have fridges in your rooms?
We have mini fridges in our new suites but not in our rooms.
Can we use the kitchen?
The kitchen is in use for breakfast lunch and dinner; it would not be practical to let guests into the fray.
Do you have AC?
We have air conditioning in the new suites, in our other rooms we have ceiling fans and ocean breezes.
What temperature is the water?
It is between 72-78 degrees F.
Can you snorkel in front of Eden?
You can snorkel in front of our place when the surf is small which is about 50% of the time, when it is big the water is too cloudy.
Do you have masks and snorkels that we can borrow?
I am sorry but we do not. BYO!
Can I rent a surf board in Troncones?
Yes, There is a place down the beach that rents boards. We have some boogie boards for our guests to use free of charge and, also a couple of mountain bikes.
Do you have beach towels?
Yes, two large beach towels are with every room.
Can I bring my 18 month old baby?
We welcome children age 5 and older.
What is there to do around Eden?
There are a number of activities available in the vicinity. You can go hiking, bird watching, mountain biking, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and horseback riding in Troncones. In Zihuatanejo you may go sport fishing, scuba diving, or shopping. See the activities section for more details.
Do I have to know how to speak Spanish?
No, Jim, Christian and I are Americans, I also speak a little French and we all speak Spanish and can do any translating that you need.
How old are you?
Jim is 46 and Eva is 43.
Can you drink the water?
Although we have all of our water delivered in a big truck from a deep well we do not drink it. There are no regulations for water quality in Mexico. We have bottled water in each room for your teeth brushing and drinking etc. We only use purified water to wash vegetables and for other kitchen uses and all of our ice is made with purified water.
How much do you think we will spend a day in the restaurant? And what are your average prices for lunch and dinner?
About $50 US a couple a day is the average from most guests. Lunch prices range from $3.50 US to $10 US and dinner ranges from $9 US to $17 US.
I don’t want to bring much cash what should I do?
You can pay the balance of your hotel bill before you arrive, which will leave you with only your restaurant bill to pay while you are here
Can you go scuba diving or sport fishing?
Scuba Diving and sport fishing can be arranged in Zihuatanejo.
There is an official scuba center there and they have guided trips that start at around $50 US a person. The scuba diving on the pacific coast of Mexico is not ‘world class’ but it is a fun way to spend the afternoon.
Jaime Vargas is the captain that we have used for sport fishing in the past. For a small boat that holds from 2-3 persons it is 135 $ a day. The boat leaves the dock at 7 am in Zihuatanejo. We can have a taxi pick you up at Eden or you can drive your rental car. For an extra charge Jaime will also bring lunch. He takes you out and fishes for bait, and then to all of is favorite spots. See the Sport fishing section for more information.
How strong is the sun?
The sun is strong. Always bring sunscreen and a hat and most of all use them and Re-apply every hour!!
Can we buy land near you?
There is still property for sale in our area. Call Dewie McMillen (we used him as our agent) at 011-52-755-553-2812.
How do you own your property?
We own our property through a Mexican Corporation. We have a lawyer and accountant who make it possible. All in all it is only worth the trouble if you really want to live in Mexico. It is also possible to own property in a trust with a bank, that is much more simple and cheaper, but the trust is only for 99 years. If you want to buy property in Mexico, no matter how you are doing it, get a lawyer. Our lawyer is David Connell 011-52-755 554-7957.
How do we get into Zihuatanejo or Ixtapa from Eden?
It is simple to take a taxi in, which will cost you about 50$ round trip or you can rent a car. Car rentals are anywhere from 50$ a day to 120$ for a big van.
Is there a place where I can watch sports?
There is a bar about 2 miles for Eden that has a TV and shows all of the major sporting events.
What if we need a doctor?
For a minor injury there is a clinic about a ten minute drive away. For something more major there is a private hospital in Zihuatanejo. No matter what, if you are injured we will do all we can to help.
Are there any dangerous bug/animals?
There are no large dangerous animals. There are fire ants, scorpions and tarantulas though, if you want to find them. None of these insects are deadly but give a bad sting. If you are allergic to bees please bring your adrenaline shot (epi-pen), just in case.
Can I get laundry done?
No we do not do laundry; our machine goes almost 24 hours a day to keep up with our own laundry!
Are there good surfing spots nearby?
There are lots of good surfing spots with in an hour drive from Eden, not to mention the one right in front of the hotel! A few of them world class: La Saladita, Playa Linda, The Ranch, Rio Nexpa, La Boca, Troncones point to name a few.
Are there places to buy gifts?
We have opened a gift shop at Eden. Eva does all of the shopping and tries to get a variation of beautiful and special things from all over Mexico.
Can I send e-mail while I am there?
There are many places in Zihuatanejo and a couple of places in Troncones that allows you to use their computers for a fee. If you bring a laptop you can use our hot spot for free.
Is there a departure tax at the airport?
No, and don’t let them convince you otherwise.
Do I need to bring my passport?
Do I need a visa?
If you are an American or Canadian when you are on the plane the attendants will give you a form to fill out this is your tourist visa, they will stamp it at the airport. Don’t loose it. You will need to give it back when you leave the country.
I have minor children do I need to do anything special?
YES!! Last year a number of guests to Troncones were stopped at the airport in the United States with their minor children. They were traveling with only one parent and were not allowed to leave the country with out the consent of the other parent. Ask your airline about this. It is very troublesome; they will not let you board the plane with out the correct documentation!!
Do I need an international driver’s license to rent a car?
No, any local driver’s license is OK.
Do I need a jacket or sweater?
The most that you might need in December or January is a long sleeved t-shirt. It is good however to bring a pair of socks. I find that sometimes at night no-see-ems will bite my ankles. A pair of socks is enough to keep them away.
How are the mosquitoes?
There are mosquitoes in the jungle. If you wear insect repellent they will not bother you. They aren’t bad and some people say that they go away altogether in the winter months. It just depends on how sweet you are.
How late is your bar open?
How far should I book in advance?
It is always better to book as far in advance as possible. It is difficult for us to predict when we will be full. But one thing is certain, for reservations during the Christmas season you should book one year in advance. No kidding!
Can I use my credit card?
We do not accept credit cards to settle bills for the rooms or the restaurant. We have a machine for the gift shop for those last minute purchases.
Do you take travelers checks?
Yes we do.
Where can I get pesos once I am there?
We will be happy to cash traveler’s checks or any other foreign currency for pesos. Yes the rate is better at the bank.
Can I use my ATM card?
There are quite a few ATM machines in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa that take the Plus system and Cirrus. But sometimes they are out of service, although not too often. Sometimes, although you think that you can use you card anywhere; it hasn’t been programmed to go international: check at your bank before leaving.
How safe is it for a single woman traveling in your area?
We have had quite a few single women (and men) guests at Eden, so far there has never been a problem. I don’t recommend, however, long solitary walks miles down secluded and empty beaches. Why tempt fate, or the local Casanova. There is enough beach traffic on our cove for security and not so much as to ruin the serenity. There are always other guests around to talk to and hang out with.
I am a vegetarian, can you accommodate me?
There are a number of vegetarian options on the menu for lunch and dinner. Jean Pascal is always happy to work with our guests who might have food allergies etc.. just let him know in advance and he will concoct something just for you.
Do you accept animals in the rooms
I’m sorry but we don’t. There are a couple of hotel/restaurant animals and that is enough to cause “trouble” when outside animals come in.
And Finally How did we get here!
Well, it’s a long story, are you going to stay for a while?” I usually reply. “Sure, I’ll just have another Corona, watch the waves and work on my tan…”
My husband, Jim, and I moved to Hong Kong, “Hong Kong??”, “Yes, it all really begins there.”, 9 years ago; we were looking for excitement and a good place to work. In Hong Kong we found both. It was a wonderful experience as we traveled around Asia and managed to save money at the same time due to Hong Kong’s booming economy. We loved it! But, the biggest drawback to living in Asia was that the rest of our family was 12,000 miles away.
In 1993 NAFTA was signed and we began to focus our attention on Mexico. After all, in comparison to Hong Kong, it was right in our parents’ back yard. Plus after a stint with the Peace Corps for Jim, in the Dominican Republic, Spanish would be easy to master, especially compared to Cantonese!
Latin culture has always attracted Jim and me. We still told stories of the “D.R.” days and missed the “gregariousness” of the tropical temperament. Mexico was also affordable, and due to NAFTA the property ownership laws were becoming more flexible. The idea was taking shape. I had always wanted to work from home, not to mention live on the beach, and Jim was experienced with cross-cultural enterprises. But, what business could we start in Mexico?
One of the things that we loved about living in Hong Kong was the number of friends and family that came to visit us. Each time we entertained someone new, it was as if we saw our surroundings with a new perspective. When our guests departed, with smiles on their faces, we were left with a wonderful feeling of goodwill. But can you make money from making your friends feel special? You can if your house is big enough, and you live in a place where everyone wants to visit for vacation.
In August 1996 Jim and I both quit our jobs, bought a truck, packed a box full of guide books, and drove across the Mexico-Arizona border at Nogales. We were on our way! We had decided to tackle the Pacific coast first. After separate trips to the Yucatan we felt that we already knew the east coast.
We felt that we wanted to live in a small town and be a part of a close-knit community we missed out on in Hong Kong. We also felt that wherever we landed, we wanted to be within one hour of an international airport – to make it as easy as possible for people to visit us. We also were looking for a location where the land had been registered with the government. That way, any property we bought was indisputably ours.
As we drove along the coast we visited many towns and cities that were of little interest to our expedition. Often we would find beautiful deserted beaches or small fishing villages that inspired us. Nonetheless there was always a piece of the equation missing. We drove on, past Mazatlan, past Manzanillo, past Puerto Vallarta. Finally we arrived at Zihuatanejo.
On our first night in “Zihua” we met a wonderful couple who had been in town for a few weeks. According to our new friends ‘the place’ to go was a beach town north of Zihuatanejo It was said to be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of town. The next morning we packed our things and headed for Troncones.
On the way out to Troncones we searched our box of reference materials The Lonely Planet Guide to Mexico, The Pacific Coast Handbook (both of which can be purchased online through Amazon.com, and the most recent issue of Outside Magazine with a cover story on hidden beaches in Mexico. Troncones was listed in all three as a very special place. Each guide also recommended a restaurant called the Burro Burracho, a Bed and Breakfast called La Casa de la Tortuga and the man in charge, Dewie Mcmillan. We were getting excited!
We pulled into the Burro Burracho hungry and amazed. How did this place end up here? It was a regular restaurant, sitting right on the beach practically in the middle of nowhere. They had hamburgers! We walked in. The first person we saw was lying in a hammock smiling at us as we walked up. “Hi” he said without getting up, “I’m Dewie Mcmillan. How would you like to own a piece of paradise?” Four days later we were the proud owners of three quarters of an acre of beach-front property on the most beautiful cove on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
During our time here we have gradually learned the how Troncones really got started. 30 years ago the land comprising Troncones was owned by one (or two) people. This person split some pieces off and sold them to a few other people back in the 60’s. A few houses were built and a few people moved into the area. In 1971 FONATUR (the Mexican tourist association) selected the land that was to someday become Ixtapa, and started building. They also selected Troncones as a point of development. The few people who lived in Troncones were asked to leave and some government sponsored tourist projects were started.
The government built a camping area with six bungalows (later to become the Burro Burracho) and a ‘model home’ (later to become La Casa de la Tortuga). As Ixtapa started growing and becoming a more popular destination, the interest in Troncones waned. Soon the government projects were reclaimed by the jungle as were the houses of the original owners.
There were some people who hadn’t forgotten Troncones. They were the local Mexicans who had come to work for the government sponsored projects. This small group of villagers loved their little town and they wanted to call it their own. Together with some people in Zihuatanejo, the villagers filed a suit with the Mexican Government asking for the land to be awarded officially to them. The request remained with the courts for 12 years.
In 1993 then President Salinas landed on the Troncones beach in a helicopter and officially presented the entire three mile area to the local residents.
We started building on our land in April 1997. We hired a local contractor and had a Venezuelan architect draw up the plans for our hacienda on the beach. We finished the building in December 1997 and opened up for business on the same day.
Every year we are doing a bit more to our piece of paradise, since we have finished building we have added a beautiful courtyard full of bougainvilleas that already reach way above the second floor, and a back yard patio area with a traditional baking oven and special tortilla oven. It is really neat to watch our dinner being made the old fashioned way.
We will never really be finished with our Hacienda but at least we will have fun trying. Hope to see you here! We are working very hard to make our dream come true and hope that you will join us.
Eva and Jim