13 reviews

1 / 75 Entrance to The Villas at Sin Vacas 7601 North Calle Sin Envidia, Tucson



Pets allowed:
Wi-Fi available:

Description from owner

Enchanting 'Cactus Villa' in exclusive "Rancho Sin Vacas," a prestigious enclave of private homes situated high in the heart of the desirable Catalina Foothills at Tucson's northern edge -- one of the city's best locations, and premier communities.

The upscale, gated community has 24/7 security manned by a professional and friendly staff that monitors every vehicle entering and leaving 'Rancho Sin Vacas.' You won't find a more private or exclusive setting than this.

This desirable villa, at a desirable price, is one story -- no stairs to climb with luggage or groceries -- and there is no one living above or below you as there are in two-story condo complexes. Your personal, covered parking spot is steps away from your front door in a unique parking lot reserved for the 4 units and their guests, unlike the shopping mall-like mass parking of all the other units, as can be seen on my aerial map of the complex. Note the prime location of "The Cactus Villa."

Tucked as close to the mountains as it gets, The Cactus Villa is peaceful and quiet, and is surrounded by mature shrubbery for privacy. As a desirable end unit, with wraparound walls of windows, it is sunlit and sparkling, with views from every window. Watch the glorious morning sunrises in the east, and the awesome evening sunsets in the west. You are not sandwiched between the claustrophobic common side walls that make interior units dark--even after you open the blinds. Those common walls block the energizing and uplifting natural light, the mountain views, and the distant city lights.

"The Cactus Villa," approximately 1000 SF, is well appointed and tastefully decorated in Southwestern/Mexican decor, with artsy and eclectic designer touches, and authentic Mexican Saltillo tile flooring throughout. Saltillo tiles are a product of the earth and through their natural rustic beauty radiate energy, warmth, and peace. Tile flooring is also more sanitary, easier to keep clean, and therefore healthier than carpeting, especially in bedrooms, as it provides a low allergen environment for persons with allergies, as well as for persons without allergies. Carpeting retains dust, odors, and unsightly stains. There is NO carpeting anywhere in The Cactus Villa.

My primary goal is to please my guests and to make them comfortable. To this end, I also provide extra touches to pamper you, like feather pillows, Egyptian cotton linens, and thick fluffy towels. The convenience of full size washer and dryer means you can pack lighter and save on airline surcharges.

Say goodbye to the spartan, generic 300 SF cookie-cutter hotel room, and enjoy resort-style living in a unique home, "The Cactus Villa," at a fraction of the cost of the resorts that are just a few minutes away down Skyline/Sunrise, and without the high taxes and surcharges. Just unpack, and relax in affordable luxury.

The Great Room has a spacious, open floor plan combined with the kitchen and dining area, which is ideal for entertaining. It has 18' vaulted ceilings, a French door to the private courtyard garden patio, and wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the rooms with light and sun, and offer panoramic views of the breathtaking Catalina Mountain range from your north facing windows, the awesome sunrises from your east facing windows, the distant twinkling city lights of the city below from your south facing windows, and the amazing sunsets from your west facing windows.

The kitchen in The Cactus Villa is larger than those one finds in most condos. You will entertain with pride in a kitchen that is fully equipped with high quality stainless steel cookware, Cuisinart blender and food processor, crock pot, cookbooks for all types of cooking, brand new, full size, top-of-the-line appliances that include a refrigerator with ice maker. You will have every utensil you need to prepare anything from breakfast to snacks, cocktail foods to a feast, or for an intimate candlelit dinner with your spouse or with your guests. You don't have to go out for any meal unless you are in the mood to dine at any of the many wonderful restaurants in Tucson.

Included are electricity, Wireless, high-speed Internet, Digital Preferred cable package with over 200 channels, DVR, Video on Demand, a brand new BluRay disc player with Ultimate Streaming Entertainment, and phone service with unlimited local and long distance calling to all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Some owners have discontinued providing the phone service amenity since everyone has cell phones. But due to the proximity of the villa to the mountains, cell phones often have reception problems, so it is necessary to have a land line available at all times, especially in case of an emergency.

There are cable TVs in every room: In the Great Room, a new 32" flat screen HDTV with a DVD/VHS player. In the master bedroom a brand new 32" flat screen TV. In the guest room/media/library/office, a TV with a VCR.

For your additional enjoyment you will find an extensive collection of DVD and VHS videos, a stereo CD & tape player, a classical music tape library, as well as other types of music tapes.

Lounge on your futon in the guest room/media/library/office and read, surf the Internet, watch TV or a video. Or relax in your cozy reading corner in the bedroom with a good book from our large personal library of interesting, quality hard cover books, or perhaps one that was donated by one of our many lovely guests.

Play board games, chess, cards, work on a jigsaw puzzle, enjoy a fondue, gather around the piano, or just relax in front of a cozy fire in the kiva fireplace after a day in the invigorating mountain air of Tucson or greater Arizona.

Outside the Great Room is an extra large, private courtyard garden patio that offers direct access to the miles of winding mountain roads to walk, hike or bike within gated "Rancho Sin Vacas." If you like to get up early, you can greet the dawn and welcome another beautiful Tucson day as you watch the sun rise, and enjoy the closeness of the mountains while enjoying your morning coffee or tea on your private courtyard patio.

Go for a walk or hike in the cool morning hours on the miles of winding mountain roadways, work out in the fitness/weight room, swim in the year-round heated pool (83 degrees; spa 101 degrees), enjoy the sun or the shade of the palms in a chaise lounge pool side, have your lunch at a table on the pool patio, or just sink into an over-stuffed chair in the beautiful clubhouse.

When you return to your villa patio to relax, dine, or to have a barbecue, you will welcome the shaded comfort of the east facing patio of The Cactus Villa versus the brutally hot and dangerous UV rays of the afternoon sun that beat down on the west facing patios of some villas.

The courtyard garden patio is surrounded by lush, mature vegetation, with two bistro tables and chairs, patio umbrella, ample additional seating for your guests, 2 comfortable anti-gravity reclining chaises, a brand new Weber gas grill, a copper wood-burning pit, cozy lanterns, candles, and a collection of musical wind chimes that create a magical atmosphere in which to rest or star-gaze and enjoy the cool nights, or the warm, sunny days of the serene and starkly beautiful Arizona Sonoran Desert.

In the winter, you can view the snow-capped mountains from your wraparound windows, or while you soak in the warm Arizona sun in a comfortable chaise lounge on your private courtyard patio. In the summer, the higher foothills elevation (approximately 3500 ft) keeps the temperatures cooler than the city below.

"The Cactus Villa" is a year-round birder's paradise and is host to a spectacular variety of desert wildlife that you will enjoy watching every day from every room of the villa, or as you relax on the patio. You'll delight at the many species of hummingbirds, gambrels quail, roadrunners, cardinals, finches, orioles, and other birds that abound in the trees and shrubbery right outside your doors or at our feeders. You'll see majestic hawks, and hear owls and other nocturnal birds and other wildlife as they leave their homes in the mountains to visit you. You'll also hear the coyotes yipping in the mountains just a short distance from your doorstep or walking down the road outside your door. If your timing is good, you may even get to see the beautiful bobcats that live in those mountains.

Keep a camera handy because if you like wildlife and beautiful natural desert scenery, you will love your surroundings and the "desert visitors" to "The Cactus Villa."

"The Cactus Villa" is perfect for a vacation at any time of the year. You will feel so comfortable and at home in this quiet and private enclave in the Foothills that, like the wonderful repeat guests we enjoy, you too will want to make "The Cactus Villa" your "winter retreat" -- or "any time retreat" -- year after year. "The Cactus Villa" is not just a holiday destination -- it's an experience.

Our pride in our villa is evident in the number and variety of photos we provide to give the traveler a true representation of every aspect of our property -- inside and outside, and we do not make false statements in our property description.

Beds: 1 Queen Bed, 2 Sofa Beds

TripAdvisor Property ID: 4904063

About the area

The peaceful community setting of "Rancho Sin Vacas," off Skyline Drive/Pima Canyon and north of Ina Road, is secluded and removed from traffic and noise, yet only minutes from Campbell Avenue and Tucson's acclaimed La Encantada, an upscale open-air shopping mall with world-class shopping and dining, with many boutiques and specialty shops such as Crate and Barrel, an AJ's market, as well as a beautiful Apple computer store. Also a few minutes away are The Foothills Mall, The Tucson Mall, supermarkets, pharmacies, the post office, FedEx/Kinko's, state-of-the-art medical facilities -- and all the amenities one could desire at a home-away-from-home. It's only a five minute drive from "The Cactus Villa' to the fine art galleries and restaurants at the corner of Ina and Campbell to the east, and less than a mile west to Oracle Road (Route 77) -- a main north/south thoroughfare with shopping and restaurants to suit every palate and price range. You probably know that Tucson has 350 days of sunshine, more than two dozen golf courses designed by the likes of Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus, and some of the best Southwest cuisine this side of the border. What you might not know is that Tucson is surrounded by four different mountain ranges, and there's great skiing at nearby Mount Lemmon. The city has a wealth of historic places to explore, from the 19th century St. Augustine Cathedral to the old homes and store fronts in El Presidio. Just outside of Tucson, you can visit old mining towns, missions and archaeological sites, including the petroglyphs at Signal Hill and the reconstructed dwelling at Dankworth Village. When summer temperatures get too warm for outdoor pursuits such as hiking the 150 miles of trails in the Santa Catalina Mountains, you can always enroll in a summer class with the University of Arizona at Tucson's lifelong learning program. There are fantastic course offerings. If you have the time, side trips to places like Rocky Point, Mexico on The Sea of Cortez -- about 4.5 hrs. Las Vegas -- about 6.5 hrs. Los Angeles or San Diego -- about 7 hrs. Tubac - 50 min Nogales, Mexico - 1 hr. (shopping on the border of Mexico/Arizona) The Grand Canyon Sedona National Parks at the Arizona-Utah border and the Four Corners area are a must. All can easily be made from "The Cactus Villa" -- our little corner of paradise! Highlights of a few Tucson activities and attractions-- Hiking Bicycling Skiing at Mt. Lemmon (9157 ft) The U of A, and the endless downtown activities and cultural events 4th Avenue - Funky shopping in the "60s" or NYC "Village" atmosphere Casinos - the popular Indian casinos 1/2 hr; the Las Vegas casinos 4.5 hr Movie theaters Gem & Mineral Shows (January-February) World-class golfing - 15 min Tucson Rodeo (February) Major league baseball spring training mid-February through early April Tohono Chul Park - 1 mile U of A's Biosphere 2 - 50 min. Pima Air Space Museum - 30 min Titan Museum - 40 min Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum - 40 min Old Tucson Movie Studios- 40 min Tombstone - 40 min Catalina State Park - 15 min Sabino Canyon - 20 min Saguaro East National Monument - 20 min Tucson Mountain Park - 30 min Beautiful and peaceful Mission San Xavier del Bac - 25 min Arizona Desert Jeep Tours Colossal Caves - 30 min Kitt Peak Observatory - 1.5 hr -- and so much more of what makes Tucson such a premier vacation destination.

Owner profile

Argie L.
Years listed:

Languages spoken: English



  • Air conditioning
  • Grill
  • Heating
  • Fireplace
  • High Speed Internet
  • Hot tub/Jacuzzi
  • Linen provided
  • Mountain Views
  • Private outdoor pool (unheated)
  • Parking Included
  • Balcony/Terrace


  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Fax machine
  • Hair dryer
  • Iron
  • CD player
  • Refrigerator
  • Satellite TV
  • Microwave
  • Stove
  • Telephone
  • Toaster
  • Video player
  • Washing machine


  • Cycling Trips
  • Fishing
  • Water sports
  • Horse riding

Reviews (13)

Excellent – based on 13 reviews Excellent
13 reviews

“Beautiful Get Away”

Reviewed 5 Mar 2016

How do I begin? The villa was everything we needed to relax and enjoy our stay. The facility has all the "extra's: that you would want to make your stay just right including a lovely pool area and a workout facility right there. Also the convenient locations has grocery shopping, any other kind of shopping, several attractions close by, golfing and of course the best of all - Mother Nature at her best! The sheer beauty of the foothills area is breath-taking! I truly enjoyed my stay - wish it could have been longer than a month and would definitely recommend to others. All this AND a great owner to work with! Dave is just the best and accommodating and friendly like no other. We would love to visit again.

“Santa Catalina Mountain Retreat”

Reviewed 3 May 2015

Nestled in the gated community of Rancho Sin Vacas under the beautiful Santa Catalina mountains in the villas of Sin Vacas we had the most wonderful holiday of our lives, this well located comfortable well cared for and decorated condo has everything you will require to have the same result. We were out touring daily and back by 3 to enjoy some sun at the pool and hot tub. Argie the owner was always concerned for our comfort and happiness and called to make sure we had all that we needed to make a great holiday. We will come again whenever possible and recommend The Cactus Villa to all our friends and family.

Owner's reply: Garth & Anne, thank you for your lovely review! I am extremely happy to hear that you had the most wonderful holiday of your lives in my condo in Sin Vacas. I strive to provide a comfortable environment for a memorable experience, and appreciate it when my guests leave saying that my villa was a perfect fit for their stay! Thank you for being such wonderful guests, and for recommending my villa to all your friends and family. I hope you will return to visit The Cactus Villa. Argie

“Amazing Condo, Amazing location!”

Reviewed 18 Dec 2014

We spent 1 month at the Villa with our 4 month old baby. We really enjoyed our stay. First, Argie is amazingly kind and easily reachable if needed. Second, the condo is just as the pictures and answered really well to our needs. Third, the location at the foothills is awesome! Without being in the city, it's closed to everything, especially close to the nature and amazing landscape. Great location for hiking, running, biking and swimming at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. So, we loved everything about this place and the owner! Would go back anytime!!

Owner's reply: Dear Melanie & Pier-Yves, Thank you very much for your wonderful review. I'm pleased that you loved my place, the location, and me! I hope you did all the things that you had planned for your trip to Tucson. Glad you enjoyed the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. It was my pleasure to have such a lovely young couple and your beautiful Little Marianne as guests. Thank you for taking good care of my property. I look forward to a return visit when you are in Tucson again. Argie

“Cactus Villa Tops in TLC”

Reviewed 21 Sep 2014

My long-awaited visit to Cactus Villa began with my arrival via impeccable directions from the airport! It was my first visit to Rancho Sin Vacas but as soon as I opened the front door, I felt as if I were home at last! Peace, quiet and rest were what I needed and all three were delivered - and then some. Everything seemed to work as one to provide a wholesome respite: moderate temps in the mornings and evenings; lovely vistas all times of day; comfortable and attractive appointments at the villa, inside and out; convenient location and ease of getting around the city; proximity of villa to almost everywhere I wanted and needed to go (grocery stores; post office; et al); great neighbors who hardly ever appeared except for couples who frequented the pool that was only a stone's throw away. Then there was the villa itself, where Argie's fine taste and desire to make accommodations comfy and pleasing to the eye was apparent in every room. The piano in the living room was a total surprise although I must admit that I was too busy with other pleasures to sit down and play more than a couple of times. Argie and previous guests were generous in leaving unused staples so I would urge guests to check out the cupboards before shopping, especially for anything that is not likely to be used up in a month's time: condiments, foil, plastic bags, etc. Having spent a month at the villa, I now long to return regularly, annually if possible. It is almost fall and I'm back here in Maryland but my heart is at the Cactus Villa at Rancho Sin Vacas in the Tucson Foothills!

“Cactus Villa feels like "home"”

Reviewed 6 Sep 2014

We arrived at the Cactus Villa late on a Tuesday evening. The minute we walked in, we felt welcomed, as if it were waiting just for us! Argie has decorated the Villa with respect to the desert and Arizona culture. Every convenience was there for us. It was difficult to leave to go exploring in the area because the Villa was so lovely. The Saltillo floors were amazingly beautiful. Her furnishings were perfectly chosen and placed. We spent every evening outside on the back patio and observed many birds and wildlife. Morning walks in the gated community were gorgeous and everyone I met was very friendly. The location was also convenient. We were never more than minutes from any destination, yet we were tucked up into the foothills. We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to be guests at the Cactus Villa. We would love to come back for a longer stay.

Owner's reply: Sharon, Thank you for your lovely review! It was my pleasure to have you and Gary as guests. I am very happy to hear that your stay at The Cactus Villa desert retreat was enjoyable. It is my desire to consistently delight our guests with a positive and memorable experience. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments. I look forward to a return visit in the future! Argie

“Right at home”

Reviewed 14 Oct 2013

Stayed for a week and felt right at home. Clean, comfortable and had everything we needed. Spectacular location and views nestled in the foothills, and felt like we had the place & pool to ourselves- very relaxing.

Owner's reply: Hi Ryan & Nicole, Thank you for your very nice review and email-- "Hi... Thanks so much we had a great time and your accommodations were ideal. We were very pleased. Only bit of feedback is when we arrived the ac was off and it was extremely hot that week, took awhile to get comfy that day. No worries though. Loved your place, thanks, and hope all is well." Thanks for the feedback on the a/c. Issue addressed. Thanks for being great guests! I look forward to a return visit. Argie

“the holidays at Cactus Villa”

Reviewed 7 Jan 2012

We rented Cactus villa for the month of December. It was easy to deal with Argie as she was only a phone call away. The villa was very well appointed in a great area of Tucson. My wife and I are outdoor people, so when we weren't golfing we were hiking. There are to great hiking trails within 5 minute drive of the villa. One is called The Pima Trail and the other is Finger Rock Trail. I would advise hiking with boots not running shoes. There are also fine restaurants and excellent grocery stores as well as other shopping. The villa itself is nicely decorated and has everything you need for an extended stay.There is also 24 hour security. In short,we loved our stay and plan to go back.

“Perfect getaway”

Reviewed 30 Jun 2011

We stayed at the Cactus villa in May and really enjoyed our time in Tucson. The villa is just as pictured, no surprises. Everything is up to date and very comfortable. The pool is just steps from the front door. There is plenty of shopping nearby and places to eat. Arranging the rental was easy, Argie is very accommodating. I would like to come back.

“Beautiful home - great for leisure time”

Reviewed 14 Jun 2011

Sandy and I spent the month of February at Cactus Villa and enjoyed every minute of it. The villa is inviting and comfortable - we really liked the saltillo tile floors and tasteful southwest decor. The gated community is quiet and friendly and the views from the foothills location are great. It's easy to drive around Tucson and there is plenty to do - we were as busy as we wanted to be and always glad to come home to the privacy of our patio. The kitchen is adequate for light cooking. The space is ideal for two and can work for four with minimum disruption. Thanks, Argie - we hope to come back again soon.

“Calm base for a family holiday”

Reviewed 19 May 2011

I wanted to bring my family to Tucson where I lived as a boy. We found the Cactus Villa over the internet - it was easy to arrange and when we arrived it matched the description. We stayed 10 days, spending a few hours in the pool each day, and visiting the airplane boneyard, desert museum, Mount Lemon, Tombstone, L'il Abners Steakhouse and much more. The pool is the best bit - we were the only ones there most of the time and it's about 20 steps from the front door. We played ball, swam and then heated up in the jacuzzi. I loved lying on a lounger, looking up through the palm leaves at blue sky and hearing the birds sing. The villa's setting on the foothills is my second favourite point. This is an area where people live in their own holiday houses, so it's all well kept, quiet and friendly. Car is obviously essential and gets you anywhere you need - Tucson's not that big a place and the roads are delightfully empty compared to the UK. We would normally choose a house with more bedrooms. The master bedroom is ample for parents, but the boys slept effectively on sofa beds, one of which was in the living room, so had to be made up and demounted each day. For us though, the pool outweighs a lot of indoor space. Our deposit was returned speedily without us asking. All in all a very good experience.

Review 1-10 of 13
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Owner Supplied Testimonials

Jacksonville, Oregon
"It's been a great stay with the location, stunning views, great neighbors, and extremely quiet environment making the time spent here go too fast." 1/30/10

Drew, Santa Fe, NM, October 2010
"Cactus Villa, An Exceptional Tucson Experience
I have stayed at The Cactus Villa three times. The location is superb, offering the best of both the city of Tucson and the privacy of the secluded, beautiful foothills area. The villa accommodations here are excellent, the owner is friendly, conscientious and responsive, and there is a good local contact as well.

I usually vacation in the summer, so I enjoy the cooler, high mountain setting. The main exposure is northeast, providing a welcome respite from the sun when you are outside. There is nothing more enjoyable than a night under the stars after a day of exploring Tucson's many treasures, an invigorating swim in the pool, or a barbecue with friends in the comfortable and private patio - or all of the above!"