Casa Duna was completed June 2013 on a large 1.5 acre private walled beachfront compound, on beautiful South Beach, in the friendly and laid-back Baja fishing village of La Ventana. - 4000 square feet of interior air conditioned space and over 6000 square feet of patios and shaded outdoor areas.
Designed by leading Santa Barbara, California architects Shubin & Donaldson. (Click here...)
It has breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez, miles of unspoiled soft sand beaches, the rugged and uninhabited Cerralvo Island, recently renamed Jacques Cousteau Island by the Mexican government for its pristine and protected beauty and its association with the late underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, who called the nearby sea "the world's aquarium," mountains circling more than 270 degrees around you, and a huge cardon (giant cactus) forest just behind you, with many huge specimens within your private walled property.
And it is just a 10 minute walk along the beach to the center of the safe and picturesque La Ventana village, with fishermen's pangas (boats) lining the beach, casual and inexpensive restaurants with the freshest of seafood, simple and friendly bars (many offering excellent musical entertainment in the winter months) and coffee shops, small groceries, world-class kite and windsurf instruction, and even some spas.
Launch your kite, windsurf, stand-up-paddle, kayak, or fish just feet from your front door -- or mountain bike, hike or off-road from your back door on miles of well-kept single track trails or jeep trails through a forest of thousands of huge seguaro-like cardon cacti, or through arroyos to remote beaches for snorkeling, or to an old lighthouse you can climb for views across the Sea of Cortez. World-class sport fishing right in front of you, for marlin, sailfish, dorado, roosterfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, pargo, sierra, yellowtail, and sea bass.
You can make arrangements with local fisherman to take you out (for a fraction of the cost of Cabo charters);
- or even fish from your surfboard or kayak,
- take a whale-watching excursion,
- look for giant manta rays, jumping from the sea, swimming turtles, or schools of dolphins,
- or even swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, almost always in the vicinity.
- Or just relax and enjoy the amazing views, bird watch, or walk for miles along the beach -- one renowned for sea turtle hatches. This region of Baja, land and sea, is famous for its many endemic species of plants and animals. You will see why Baja is recognized as a biological treasure in ways not easily apparent in highly developed and commercialized Cabo.
Enjoy mountain and desert sunsets from the pools or several upper decks, soak in two hot tubs, one on an upper deck with gorgeous views, and swim in two pools -- a large pool in the large inner courtyard shielded from winter winds, and a smaller one for non-windy days off your front patio between you and the beach. In the ocean, there is soft sand under your feet and gentle waves for safe ocean swimming. And there are beautiful cactus and palm and flower gardens around the courtyard.
Enjoy drinks at the bar on the 3rd floor observatory level, and enjoy ocean, desert and mountain views as the sun sets, from seats in or near either of the pools, in the beachside or courtyard palapas, or by a firepit on the master balcony.
3 deluxe queen bedrooms, and gym/bedroom with twin beds. Separate casita with queen bedroom, living room and kitchen, can be made specially available. Ideal for one to three couples with up to four children -- more with optional casita. Extra beds available for more people with prior agreement.
Master: 1 queen
Bedroom #2: 1 queen
Bedroom #3: 1 queen
Gym/Bunk room: 2 twins
Casita: 1 queen, 1 sleep sofa /futon
Casita available for additional nightly rate
Bathrooms: 4 Bathrooms
Master Bath: toilet, tub, shower
Guest bathroom #2: toilet, shower
Pool bathroom: toilet, shower
Guest bathroom #1: toilet, tub, combination tub/shower
Barn: toilet, outdoor shower
Beautiful tile work throughout all of the bathrooms
Kitchen and Dining
Kitchen: Island kitchen with top of the line GE Monogram appliances
Dishes and Utensils: Handmade pottery dishes and quality utensils
Refrigerator: Huge refrigerator and equally large freezer
Dining: Multiple dining areas around the home
Outdoor cooking also for Great Pizzas
It Is Gorgeous All The Time, And The Sun Shines Almost 350 Days A Year.
"Peak" season for visitors to La Ventana is when the remarkably reliable north winds blow from the north down the Sea of Cortez. Usually from mid-November to mid-March, strong and steady wind usually occurs at least 4 or 5 days a week, and usually from around 11 or noon until 5 or 6 each of those days. The temperatures then are usually in the 70s during the day, though they can be in the 80s, and are usually in low 60s at night, though they can be as low as 50 at night. If you don't want to be on the beach, it is easy to get out of the wind, and in to the heat of the sun, including lounging by our courtyard pool. And even on most of the windiest days, the morning hours are usually beautifully calm, and you can stand-up paddle or kayak on the flat sea. If it is a windy day and you want still to spend the windy part of it sitting on a beach, there are beautiful beaches sheltered from the wind only 20 minutes away.
If you want to have few (or perhaps no) windy days, come between April and October. April to June at least are usually ideal temperatures with little humidty, with daytime highs usually in the mid-80s, and lows at night in the mid-60s. July through September are hot and increasingly humid.
Daytime highs at Casa Duna then are usually in the low to mid- 90s, even though temperatures in La Paz, and even elsewhere just hundreds of yards away from the shore in La Ventana often cross 100. It is usually about 10 degrees cooler at Casa Duna than other locations nearby because of the gentle sea breezes, and the house's design to capture cross-ventilation. But the evenings and early mornings are usually comfortable, both swimming pools refreshing, and you can swim in the cool-feeling mid-80s sea water.
There are some special rewards these months, with perfect conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling and swimming, some of the objectively best fishing in the world, ideal conditions for stand-up paddeling and kayaking, etc. And as Casa Duna is air-conditioned, and with many shade structures and palapas, and fans in some of the palapas, you can be very comfortable even if it gets very hot. The town is quiet then, but the little markets and at least one excellent restaurant is always open. And birdwatching is great that time of year, and you may be lucky to see baby sea turtles hatching while you are there.
April to early June might be the best time for a classic, calm and windsport-free beach vacation, (or October, though that is when there is a larger (though still small) chance of rain, and it is more humid than the spring months. Most restaurants and windsport contractors are open from November 1 through May 1, though some are open in October and May as well. Fishing, and diving and spearfishing (with instruction) is available year-round.
November through March is local high season and perhaps the most fun. The village is full, all the little restaurants and bars are open, the sea is alive with kiters and windsurfers, from beginners taking lessons to some of the best professionals in the world practicing their jumps and tricks. There is even decent surfing just 25 yards east from Casa Duna where some larger waves often break.
Most days are mostly sunny year-round. Rain is rare any time, but most likely in September-October, when it is also most humid, but usually nothing like the humidity in much of the southern U.S. It is "hurricane season" then, as it is in most tropical areas, but they are rare, and a threat mainly to the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula. And even in that "rainy" season, it is usually sunny and any clouds/rain tends to stay in the mountains that surround the village. And when it does rain, the desert comes alive almost immediately, turning green and sprouting flowers almost overnight. As regulars to La Ventana, we love it when it rains! November is usually a great month, with the reliable winds starting up most days then.
Very "cold" spells in La Ventana, which could happen anytime in December-February, usually mean a day or two in the mid- or high 60s and in the low 50s at night -- the locals wear ski parkas and wool hats when it is under 70! (and think nothing of it when it is 100...). But most winter days have highs in the high 70s or higher, and lows around 60 at night. And if it is a colder day and with strong wind, it is usually warm and sheltered and comfortable in the courtyard (and courtyard pool), shielded from the off-shore wind by the house. You can sit by our fruit trees, or behind nearby dunes, and be out of the wind and feel temperatures 10 degrees warmer than those just 30 yards away. If some in your group don't want to enjoy the windsports, they can walk for miles on the beach, watching the action on the water, or take excursions to interesting nearby sites and towns. Winter is also the best time for whale-watching in the Sea of Cortez, and swimming with whale sharks in the bay of La Paz, but whales are visible in the Sea of Cortez year-round; in fact, it is one of the best places in the world to see whales, and with the widest variety of species present anywhere. (If whale-watching is a priority, we can arrange for a boat and guide out of La Paz). But it is common to see jumping manta rays and dolphins from the patios, while watching magnificent frigate birds glide overhead and hummingbirds visit Casa Duna's flowering plants.
Arranging Your Flights To Casa Duna
There are nonstop flights from 18 North American cities to Los Cabos (SJD), just under a two hour drive to Casa Duna. (The airport code SJD stands for San Jose del Cabo, the city closest to the international airport. "Los Cabos" refers to the two adjacent "Cabos" -- Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo -- Check It Out
There also is an airport in La Paz (LAP), the capital city of Baja California Sur (BCS) and the municipality in which Casa Duna and the village of La Ventana are legally located, a city as large as Los Cabos, and only 45 minutes away from Casa Duna. But for now, the only flights to La Paz are on Aeromexico from Mexico City, and sometimes from Los Angeles. (Alaskan used to have flights LAX-LAP so check if they resume). If you are coming from either city, it is worth checking if any flights to La Paz are convenient. (Even if they are, the fares to Los Cabos are usually better).
As so many airlines serve Los Cabos, fares are quite competitive, so it is well worth taking the time to compare your options.
You can leave most east coast cities in the morning and be at Casa Duna by 3 or 4 pm. Returning, most flights leave Cabo in the early afternoon, so you would typically leave Casa Duna comfortably after breakfast, leave Cabo early afternoon and be home late night (with the 2 hour time difference).
If you are travelling from Europe, make sure to compare options through Mexico City (to Los Cabos or La Paz), with options through the U.S. -- on United through Newark, Chicago or Houston; American through Dallas; Delta through Atlanta; and US Air through Charlotte. From Asia, the best options are through LA and SF. From Latin America, fly through Mexico City.
TIME ZONE - Casa Duna, La Paz and Cabo are in the Mexican state consisting of southern Baja (BCS) and the in mountain time zone, while northern Baja (BCN/eg,Tijuana) is in the pacific time zone.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME CHANGES - If you are traveling in late March-early April or late October-early November, note that Mexico goes to daylight savings time 3 weeks later than the U.S., and returns to standard time 1 week earlier).
DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM THE LOS CABOS AIRPORT (SJD -San Jose del Cabo).
To Casa Duna, Calle Tuna s/n y Calle Biznaga, La Ventana, Municipalidad de La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico 23232
The drive is usually just under 2 hours, about 90 miles, and quite easy as the airport is north of all the Los Cabos development, and the traffic is light and the roads quite good, albeit two-lane, so you could get stuck behind slow trucks. You will mainly be crossing uninhabited desert and mountains.
(If you arrive early in the day and are planning to stop in central Cabo San Lucas at all, or in the lovely old town of Todos Santos with its shops and galleries and Pacific beaches, ask us for the directions via the Pacific route (Rt 19). If already near downtown Cabo San Lucas, it is also only about 2 hours to Casa Duna ).
PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT. Cows, horses, donkeys and goats sleep on the warm pavement at night and are very hard to see! Seriously. This should be no problem though as most flights arrive mid-day.) AND TAKE CARE PASSING -- ALL ROADS ARE TWO-LANE. WAIT FOR PASSING ZONES. NO RUSH; BEAUTIFUL ALL THE WAY.
Take HIGHWAY 1 NORTH toward LA PAZ, and continue past towns of Santa Anita, Miraflores, Santiago and Buena Vista/Los Barriles (Los Barilles, the largest of these is at 66 kilometers) , and then through the little oasis town of San Bartolo (stop here to buy wonderful grapefruit and oranges and mangos, depending on season, at roadside markets).
Continue north from San Bartolo. You will be turning off Rt 1 at the next town, San Antonio. (About 10 km before San Antonio, around the 145 km milepost, there will be a sign and left turn directing you to San Antonia a la Sierras; do NOT turn here. The center of San Antonio will be further on Rt 1).
You will know you are approaching San Antonio when you go up around some tight corners in the mountains and then drop down into a village in a green valley with palms. Near the bottom of your decline, you will pass the 155 kilometer post and a San Antonio sign. Soon after that there will be a school crossing sign on your right and a small Pemex gas station on your left (which is easy to miss). Just after the gas station, and a red cross hospital sign on your right, you will start to go up a hill and then see a small sign directing you toward Bahia de la Suenos. A cobblestone road will be on your left.
TURN RIGHT HERE. There will probably be some commercial signs here as well, eg, for GranSueno, Ventana Windsports, etc. As soon as you turn you will see a sign directing you straight to the town of Los Planes.
Continue following this fairly well paved road (watch though for some washed out areas along some shoulders -- when it rains, which is rare, much damage can follow) until it ends in a T junction in about 20 km. You will pass basically nothing but cacti and desert scrub.
GO LEFT here on what is Highway 286, or the La Paz-Los Planes road, but probably unmarked. In 3.6 km, after a Pemex gas station on your right, you will come to an intersection marked by many signs for the various businesses in La Ventana, and a sign to El Sargento.
TAKE A RIGHT there, and START YOUR ODOMETER AT ZERO.
IN 6.6 km, on your right, you will reach a small American-style green road sign on a metal pole marked Calle Biznaga - at a sand road by a telephone pole. (If you reach the green/white desalination plant on your left, you've gone 50 meters too far). Turn right and you will see a cactus in the middle of the road that you will drive around.
Follow this sand road about 300 meters, passing some walled and gated houses on your left. Take first right on another sand road, Calle Tuna (similar green sign), and proceed to our entrance on the left in about another 100 meters. You can't miss it - 2 meter wall all around the property with a wooden entrance gate.
Some Maid Service Included; Extra Services Readily Available.
Los Cabos and La Paz airport pick-ups and returns can be arranged (the beautiful state capital city of La Paz is just 45 minutes away). If you have your own plane, a private airport is just 20 minutes away near the Bay of Dreams.
Pre-stocking with food and drinks of your choice can be arranged, as can shopping while you are there. We can arrange for an excellent cook for all your meals, or just some of them.
Kiting, windsurfing and other equipment can be rented locally through the property manager.
Professional massages can be arranged at the house, easily and conveniently by the resident property manager.
Local guided excursions available to many fascinating locations, including desert waterfall with large river pool to swim in; desert hot springs to soak in; guided trips to sites of ancient rock paintings done by native Indian tribes, to the Pacific Bays famous for whale calfing, to Espiritu Santos island, renowned for some of the best kayaking on earth; to La Paz bay to swim with whalesharks; to amazing beaches north of La Paz; and to the charming town of Todos Santos with its history, art galleries, fine restaurants and world-famous pacific swells for surfing.
And it is just a 10 minute walk along the beach to the center of safe and picturesque La Ventana village, with fishermen's pangas (boats) lining the beach, casual and inexpensive restaurants with the freshest of seafood, simple and friendly bars (many offering excellent musical entertainment, including some great bands from the United States) and coffee shops, small groceries and world-class kite and windsurf instruction.
Here is a link for information on food. Click...Best of La Ventana