Gian Franco Brignone
Founder & Visionary of Costa Careyes
Gian Franco Brignone, an Italian from Turin and one-time banker, scoured the globe searching for an unspoiled coastal area with a year-round temperate climate and a stable political environment. When he flew over the jagged cliffs and jungle-covered hills of Costa Careyes in the Pacific Coast of Jalisco in 1968, he immediately knew he’d found his spot. It was an unexplainable enchantment that convinced him to uproot his family in Paris and move to Mexico, making Careyes his own personal frontier.
Realizing that the true magic of Careyes lies in its natural beauty, he set about creating a place where the internationally adventurous could come to experience its splendor without intruding upon it. The world’s most talented, imaginative architects were deployed, local artisans were summoned, and the private estate resort of Costa Careyes was slowly erected on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. He has also designed and built beautiful land art sculptures like the Ojo de Venado, Arbol de Corazón, and Copa del Sol. For over 40 years, he has closely guarded and preserved Costa Careyes, which encompasses a wild, virtually uninhabited area, stretching along the Pacific shoreline, and includes about 2000 hectares of jungle, mangroves, cliffs, and beaches along the coast of Jalisco. Sitting at the center of the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, this private estate resort contributed a large expanse of wetlands for preservation in 1994. In September of 2006, he received the “Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca” from Mexican President Vicente Fox, as a recognition for his work over the past 45 years.