La Saladita, Mexico

Packing up and Moving to La Saladita, Mexico to Build a Surf Home

Meet Tim, amongst our most beloved Wavecation hosts, who has an inspirational beach home full of stories
Villa de los Mangos, La Saladita, Mexico

How many times have we thought to ourselves to give up on this rat race, cash in the chips, throw a mean party with friends, and escape to south of the border to buy a lot of land near a dreamy surf break and build the home of our dreams? How many of us actually end up following through on this dream? We sure haven’t yet—but hey, one can certainly dream.

As with everything, things aren't always so peachy as what we might see on the interwebs, but we sure as hell do celebrate these surf pioneers that go through with it, all in the name of stoke and joy. One of these very special surf pioneers is Tim. Tim moved to La Saladita on the coast of Guerrero in 2016 and he shared with Wavecation a little more about the steps he took to turn his dream into a reality.

The view from Tim's tree house rooftop lookout— we could get used to this!

What made you decide to leave the US for the Mexican surf house dream, and when did you make the move?

I had surfed Saladita with family for quite a few years. I was ready to end my very successful 35-year career in psychiatry in California. I could not live in expensive Santa Cruz without working, so Mexico, and Saladita, in particular, was an attractive alternative. I had a vision in September 2014 while surfing in Poipu in Kauai, under very unusual circumstances, that I could live in the settlement just up the shore from the Saladita point break. So in effect, it was the readiness for change that existed in the moment and the knowledge and opportunity to make the relatively huge transition.

Tim with a group of surfers who recently spent a week at Villa de Los Mangos.

What was the first thing you did when you decided you would move?

At the time I made the decision I was living with a woman who had gone sailing with a guy named Curtis who had a place in Saladita. I had known about this for quite a while, but it wasn’t until my “vision” that morning at Poipu that I knew I needed to get acquainted with him. Call it “intuitive insight”. So I was introduced to him in December of 2014 and he became my benefactor and together we planned the move over the ensuing year. I now count him amongst my very good friends.

Tim's whimsical home begs to be explored, and there's plenty of room to do so!

How was it getting started? Where did you begin?

I arranged to meet Curtis, who I had been meeting with to discuss the move in 2015, in Saladita in December 2015 just to see if I could actually live there. If I decided that it was for reals then I had a subsequent ticket to see about purchasing a property in February 2016. However, Curtis and Timoteo* (retired Seal Beach Lifeguard who had been living in Saladita for the preceding 10 years) laid out the red carpet for me.

Curtis introduced me to all the significant players in the area, and before I knew it I had selected the property I now possess and shook the hands of Corky Carroll** who with that handshake welcomed me to the community. It was basically a handshake deal as Corky was the realtor representing the property for the owner.

*Tim Dorsey is one of the great big wave surfers of his era who made a huge name for himself surfing on the North Shore of Oahu. He went on to become chief of lifeguards in Seal Beach for decades before he retired to La Saladita, where he is now a beloved “gringo”.

**Corky Carroll is a former professional surfer considered a pioneer in the sport by becoming the first real professional surfer as well as being the first to make paid endorsements. From 1966 to 1970 he won the United States Surfing Championship and also won the International Surfing Championship three times. He also retired to Saladita over 10 years ago. Hone your surfing with Corky—book your stay through Wavecation.

Tim on a long peeler at the nearby break The Ranch.

What were the biggest challenges in building your dream home?

Mexico (if you know what that means!). Incorporating myself as best I could, with little or no prior knowledge and experience, into the local culture sufficient enough to be able to manage and understand how to get local people involved efficiently and accurately in what I was trying to create. One really needs to be there, physically present, in my opinion, to keep people on task.

Situated in the main living area lined with original, authentic Mexican artifacts is a sensational large historical mural painted by local artist Layla Torres from Morelia, Michoacan. The mural depicts a centuries old story and tradition prior to and at the time of the Spanish conquest entitled "La Danza de Los Viejitos" or "The Dance of the old Wisdom Men" who traditionally danced at the spring and fall equinoxes in trance (with the help of magic mushrooms) to talk to the Dad and the Sun to request from them rain, knowledge and health for their sons and daughters living on mother earth.

What advice would you tell a friend looking to move abroad in search of the tropical surf dream?

Find someone who is knowledgable and whom you can trust!

Villa de Los Mangos as seen through the trees from a neighbor's home.

Words to live by when making an international move…

Find someone who is knowledgable and whom you can trust!

Party ready at Villa de Los Mangos

Click Here to Book Villa de Los Mangos

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About Ren Fuller-Wasserman

COO at Wavecation. Passionate about helping folks find their perfect surf destination so they can spend more time surfing, and less time planning!
  • Mexico City