Rancho La Puerta is considered one of the top retreats in Mexico. // © 2016 Rancho La Puerta
Feature image (above): Many of Mexico’s health resorts are located by the ocean. // © 2016 Mar de Jade
For those seeking a vacation that emphasizes healthful activities, Mexico is an ideal spot. Many visitors travel to the country to stay at the different wellness retreats that have been designed to improve physical and mental well-being. These 10 retreats each offer a unique experience that will kick start a client’s journey to better health.
Located on 12 acres of wild land and just five minutes by car from Sayulita, Haramara Retreat is a luxurious yoga retreat on the Pacific Coast just north of Puerto Vallarta focused on detoxification and relaxation. Guests stay in palm-thatched huts that feature ocean views and are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, and the property includes two yoga pavilions, an infinity pool and an open-air spa. In order to minimize environmental impact, there’s no electricity, aside from inside the restaurant and yoga studio.
Baja Cleanse takes place in a private beachfront home between Los Cabos and La Paz, where a raw-food chef prepares organic meals and fresh juices daily. Guests receive nutritional counseling and meet with experienced therapists who provide treatments such as massage, acupuncture and holistic facials. The seven-day program is meant to clear the mind, body and spirit of stress and toxins, and includes meditation, yoga, breath work and other outdoor activities.
Ancient Sweat Lodge
Experience the traditional Mexican ritual steam bath known as temazcal — an ancient practice that’s used for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual purification. Cancun Temazcal is located in the jungle of Colonia Doctores, just 10 minutes away from Cancun. An expert guide leads participants through a campfire ritual and temazcal session; afterward, they are treated to a refreshing outdoor shower, a facial mud mask and natural snacks.
Nestled between the jungle and the beach in Chacala, in the state of Nayarit, lies Mar de Jade — a unique property that offers a multitude of yoga and meditation retreats throughout the year. Its Silent Zen Meditation Retreat occurs twice per year and is led by a well-known Buddhist priest. The retreat includes daily vegetarian meals, sitting and walking meditation, Buddhist teachings and a private session with the teacher.
Sun, Surf & Sand
At Las Olas Surf Safaris in Puerto Vallarta, an all-female crew of instructors teach women how to hang ten in a relaxed and supportive environment. A typical day includes morning yoga, multiple surf sessions, a fun activity such as margarita-making or Spanish lessons and three balanced meals.
Popular with celebrities such as Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, Tulum’s Bikini Bootcamp is a weight-loss vacation combined with a yoga retreat that helps tone the body and center the mind and spirit. This six-day program provides daily beach walks and workout classes, yoga, healthful meals, spa services and tours.
Designed to strengthen the body and enrich the mind, Rancho La Puerta in Baja encourages integrative wellness by offering fitness classes, wellness workshops, educational lectures and holistic therapies. Unique class offerings include chanting/crystal bowls, sound healing, acupuncture, water dance and biodynamic craniosacral therapy. Its Executive Wellness Program is a weeklong experience that begins with a comprehensive wellness exam and features one-on-one meetings with a nutritionist and exercise specialist.
Mind and Body Wellness
Yaan Wellness in Tulum hosts Open Moon Temazcal Ceremonies led by a Maya healer during the monthly moon cycles. These sessions enable participants to cleanse and heal as they are guided through the four doors of a pre-Hispanic sweat lodge ceremony. Treetop yoga and meditation classes are offered daily, and the spa has purified crystalline water pools; energy healing; an Aztec chakra massage treatment; and herbal and flower baths in copper tubs.
A variety of retreats and workshops are offered year-round at Present Moment Retreat — a private boutique resort situated on a peaceful beach in Troncones, near Zihuatanejo. The diverse monthly retreats include self-care for women, yoga and wellness, guided meditation, chakra balancing, dancing and more. Present Moment also recently opened Lake Zirahuen Mountain Retreat Center in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains, which offers corporate and group retreats, silent and guided meditation, qigong, tai chi and more.
Sanara Tulum is home to a world-class wellness center that provides guests with alternative treatments, including nutritional consultation, crystal healing and aromatherapy. In addition to a la carte healing therapies and spa treatments, Sanara offers Cleanse & Heal — a three- to seven-day wellness program that includes a juice cleanse; consultations and treatments at the wellness center; and counseling and motivational support.