The world-class spa offerings, the dizzying list of fitness classes, the outstanding meals (often made from the resort’s own, massive organic garden) – these are just some of the reasons why Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, is consistently ranked among the best places on the planet for a retreat. That’s no exaggeration. For what seems like too many years to count now, Rancho La Puerta has consistently received top honors from such illustrious publications as Travel + Leisure and Conde Naste Traveler, as well as Organic Spa, Spa Finder, etc. There is much to recommend at this iconic and renowned resort.
Embark on a journey to true wellness
Located in Tecate, which is just across the United States’ southern border, in Mexico, Rancho La Puerta is a secluded resort full of winding trails, charming casitas and meadows that in springtime, are awash in wildflowers.
Getting to the ranch is about an hour journey from San Diego’s International Airport (the nearest airport.) The drive takes you through the rolling hills of Southern California and Northern Mexico. And once you arrive, the rest of the world seems to slip away. Most visitors visit for at least one week and rarely, if ever, leave the property during that time.
Days at Rancho La Puerta are spent engaging in hikes, cooking classes, spa treatments and the hourly fitness classes that begin early in the morning and last until evening. After dinner, there’s often lectures from well-known intellectual leaders or luminaries, music or other engaging options. With so much to do, a week seems not nearly enough time.
The accommodations at Rancho La Puerta are made up of 86 charming, colorful garden casitas, that range in size and price. They are all nestled in the rolling hills and along the picturesque paths that weave throughout Rancho La Puerta’s property. Many have lovely patios that beg you to spend some time sitting and reading, or just enjoying the sounds of the woods and nature.
The smallest accommodations are the Ranchera Solos, which are studios with one bed designed for a single guest. Haciendas meanwhile have a private bedroom, as well as a sitting area and fireplace. Two-bedroom Villa Suites are something closer to a small vacation home then a hotel room and include living room, dining area, wet bars and fireplaces.
No matter which size accommodation you select, they’re all decorated with Mexican folk art, hand-made furniture and tiles, vibrant weavings and more.
Dining at Rancho La Puerta
The food at Rancho La Puerta is fresh, healthy, and produced organically, free of toxic chemicals. It’s also delicious, sophisticated and a true treat at every meal. An important note however, no meat or poultry is served at the ranch, so if dining meat-free is challenging for you, it may be something to consider.
In place of meat, or perhaps as an alternative, seafood is served four times each week for dinner and several times for lunch. The remainder of the menu here is a combination of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and more.
You will never leave a meal hungry. And it’s more likely, you will depart the dining room pleasantly surprised and pondering how you might incorporate Rancho La Puerta’s healthy style of dining into your life back home.
It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that the spa at Rancho La Puerta is ahead of its time. Described as a place to renew your mind, body and spirit, the spa here is about far more than just fluffy facials and pedicures. Rancho La Puerta is constantly on the cutting edge of all that’s new and advantageous when it comes to well-being and spa therapies. Just recently the spa announced a variety of new energy healing treatments including Reiki, Reconnective Healing, Somatic Experiencing and Lifeline Technique (definitely not your typical spa fare.)
Some of the existing favorites here include hot stone massages, detox massages, four hand massages, herbal wraps and seaweed wraps. So many fabulous options, so little time right?
Often, the recommended approach for a weeklong stay is to start with cleansing treatments, fill mid-week with treatments that relax and restore, and then conclude your getaway with treatments designed to energize. Thus, you head back to the real world fully refreshed and renewed.
Fitness takes on all forms...
Just as Rancho La Puerta has always been a leader in spa therapies, it has also become a place where fitness takes on all forms. You may get slightly overwhelmed at your first glance of the week’s fitness schedule, not only because there are so many offerings, but also because many will probably be entirely new to you. It’s a chance to try things you’ve never done before.
A sample day’s schedule begins at 6 a.m. with a hike to the property’s organic garden and then goes on to include such things as yoga, pilates matwork, weight lifting, tennis clinics, chanting, dance classes, sand volleyball, tai chi, and guided meditation. And those are just the highlights, from day one. The week continues in this fashion, with more choices than time. It’s an experience that will open your mind to the many ways of exercising, renewing and refreshing your body and spirit.
Why Rancho La Puerta is So Good for You
Guests often say Rancho La Puerta is like summer camp for adults. While summer is not the only time the visit, the point is, the ranch provides the type of getaway that adults so often miss out on, something reminiscent of our relaxing, unhurried, stress-free childhood years.
Time is spent engaging in a seemingly endless schedule of fun classes and activities on Rancho La Puerta’s picturesque, campus-like grounds. At day’s end, a lovely dinner awaits you in the communal dining room. There’s no hurried driving anywhere and no worries about what your next meal will be. There’s no stress. And each morning, you rise early and have yet another opportunity to do it all again, spending another idyllic day relaxing, renewing, and exploring. It doesn’t get much better than that.
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