About El Nido
El Nido (“the nest”) is a housing co-op in Mazatlán, Mexico, founded in 2014.
Founding members Ruffin Slater, Peg Nolan, Kate Sumberg and Walden Swanson have been joined by Elka Malkis, Ben Trousdale, Kevin Clark, and Carol Collins.
El Nido owns seven apartments in two nearby buildings (the orange and blue houses in the center right of the photo above).
We wanted a place in Mexico where we could spend part of the year and maybe someday retire there.
We also wanted enough room so we could invite our favorite friends and families to visit.
If you are reading this, then you’ve probably been invited to visit (the website is not public).
Hope you will. That’s why we have it. It’s been a wonderful way to spend quality time with dear friends.
You’ll find Mazatlán and El Nido warm, welcoming, vibrant, inexpensive, interesting, comfortable, and beautiful.
A Historic city on the ocean
As we traveled around Mexico, we fell in love with the Pacific coast with its beautiful beaches, weather, and views. We also fell in love with the inland historical cities with their walkable layout and vibrant plazas. When we discovered Mazatlan, we knew we had found the right place--a historic city right on the coast!
The heart of Mazatlan is its “Centro Historico”, with its narrow streets, historic buildings, and charming plaza--think of historic Charleston or the French Quarter of New Orleans. This is where you find the bustling market, cathedral, and local shops.
The highlight is the Plaza Machado, with its renovated theater, art school, and outdoor cafes. Mazatlan is known for its great music, and there are usually several bands playing around the Plaza. It reminds us of 1992 Prague: full of life, artists, and music.
The historic district is on a peninsula so it feels like a small town
Mazatlan is famous for its “Malecon”, a six-mile boardwalk teeming with walkers, bikers, and skaters, with public art, a swimming club, and a salt-water pool. A short water taxi takes you to Stone Island—a rustic beach lined with coconut trees and seafood palapas. And if you like Mardi Gras, Mazatlan has the third largest in the world!
Mazatlan has all the conveniences of a modern city: stores, high speed internet, and modern hospitals. The international airport has flights from Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Denver, and Los Angeles. You can depart the US east coast in the morning and be in Mazatlan for lunch.
An active, engaged lifestyle
Most days start with a walk or bike ride along the Malecon or around the peninsula to the lighthouse. The warm weather invites an outdoor lifestyle that keeps you naturally active. Days are spent at the beach, playing tennis, taking Spanish or music lessons, or playing bridge. El Nido buildings have rooftop terraces. You can relax on the rooftop and enjoy the dipping pool and lounge in the hammock.
Sunset means drinks on the rooftop, followed by a stroll on the Malecon, and choosing among the many restaurants (very affordable!) and music options (free!). Or you can remain on the roof after sunset and grill in the outdoor kitchen.
Most people in the Centro Historico are bi-lingual, so if you don’t speak Spanish it’s not a problem. However, part of the experience is learning Spanish and participating in the community. We are already scheming ways to use our experience to develop co-ops to benefit the community.
The Malecon bustles with activity
An ideal location
We think El Nido has the best location in Mazatlan. Our co-op is located in the Pedregoso neighborhood, partway up “Icebox Hill,” which means it has a constant breeze and great views of both the Pacific Ocean and historic center.
The Centro Historico is rapidly being redeveloped. We purchased our first property for $65k; a similar property sold for almost twice that amount two years later, and after renovation it is now on the market for $300k. We feel like we invested at just the right moment, as Mazatlan is rapidly being discovered. See these articles from Forbes - best places to travel , CNBC - Best Places to Retire , USA Today, and New York Times.
Newly renovated properties
El Nido is a mix of one and two-bedroom units. All of the units are newly constructed or renovated and come with full kitchens, new appliances, and furniture. Because we are on a hill, the units have spectacular views and constant breeze. We have seven apartments.
Pedregoso 49 (Orange House) is a newly renovated three-story building. The third floor is a two-bedroom unit with 360 views, the second floor has a large one bedroom unit as well as a two-bedroom unit, and the ground floor has one two-bedroom unit, a room for the washer/dryer and bikes, and another room destined to be a library, game room, etc. The basement has an impressive workshop, including a band saw, workbench, and almost every tool you can think of. Some talk of putting a wine cellar down there too. Every unit has access to the rooftop terrace with a dipping pool, and a fantastic view of the bay, islands, and Centro Historico.
Prospero Martinez 9 (Blue House) is a newly renovated three-story building with three flats, multiple patios, a rooftop terrace with ocean and city views, and a dipping pool.
How do I schedule my time at El Nido?
Friends and Families schedule their time through an El Nido member/owner.
We are purposefully small, so scheduling your time shouldn’t be a problem.
Of course members get first choice of time and unit using El-Nido’s on-line scheduling system. The scheduling happens in four-week rounds, so all members have access to their preferred times and units.
Members can schedule more than one unit so they can bring family and friends. The current scheduling system has worked extremely well so far, and we will modify it as needed to maximize member enjoyment.