Home #WHERETONEXT Mexico Wellness Travel 2022: Riviera Nayarit

Wellness Travel 2022: Riviera Nayarit

The 200-mile Pacific Mexican destination gifts travelers with a mental, physical, and spiritual rejuvenation through its yoga retreats, majestic hikes, ancient spa rituals and enviable natural surroundings


The past two years created an unprecedented spotlight on health—leading to a focus on holistic wellness for the mind, body, and soul. A recent study by American Express showcased that sixty-eight percent of world travelers said they are likely to base their next trip around improving their mental well-being. With travel becoming in and of itself an opportunity to heal and a splurge on wellness, Riviera Nayarit’s plethora of yoga retreats, majestic hikes, ancient spa rituals and natural surroundings between the jungle and the sea make it the ideal destination to visit.

Yoga Retreats

With its spectacular resorts, beaches, and the incomparable backdrop of the Sierra de Vallejo, the destination sets the perfect stage for yoga retreats, meditation workshops, and other wellness therapies in direct contact with nature. The top spiritual retreats include:

  • Haramara Retreat– meaning mother of the sea, Haramara was named one of the 10 best yoga retreats in the world by Yoga Journal. Located in the hippie-chic beach town of Sayulita, this sanctuary offers travelers year-round yoga and meditation workshops on a natural stone platform overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Guests can participate in private or group sessions in two 360-degree view yoga pavilions with high thatched roofs and hardwood floors, positioned to take advantage of the panoramic views of the lush mountains and soothing ocean breezes.
  • Tailwind Jungle Lodge–located in the destination’s cultural capital of San Pancho, Tailwind is the first certified sustainable ecological hostel in Mexico. The property is the vision of the Jacobi family, lifelong dreamers and adventurers from Aspen, and perks for yogis include meeting two of its members: Judi, the yoga teacher and Tamara, the holistic nutrition coach. Both work together to offer Natural Nutrition, a weeklong retreat that includes yoga sessions, comprehensive and natural nutrition workshops and outdoor activities. Food offered here is made from produce sourced at the lodge’s organic farm.
  • Mar de Jade–nestled between the tropical jungle and the pristine sandy beach of fishing town Chacala, Mar de Jade is one of the most popular wellness retreats among health-conscious travelers. This haven offers everything from retreats inspired on ancient Mexican traditions, to meditation sessions and workshops. The most unique retreat and one of the most popular is the BodyMantra, an interactive, community-based practice that helps participants develop and strengthen self-trust and self-awareness.

Majestic Hikes

Walking is easy and low-impact. It’s a well-known fact that walking relaxes the body and sends calming signals to your brain, helping to relieve tension. On your next visit to the Riviera Nayarit, make sure you go hiking in the following:

  • Petroglyphs at La Pila del Rey – Birding San Pancho has a hiking tour to “La Pila del Rey,” one of the most important archaeological sites in the area, offering visitors a unique setting in the rainforest. The place also known as “Los Petroglifos” or “El Santuario” (The Petroglyphs or The Sanctuary), is located in the Sierra de Vallejo, in the municipality of Compostela, and has more than 2000 petroglyphs carved by the Tecoxquines, the Aztec group that is believed to have inhabited the place more than 1,500 years ago.
  • Lo de Marcos – Come here to relax in nature. Walking around this quiet coastal town of Riviera Nayarit is always rewarding: The tropical zone is rich in colors and places to see, and a guided tour will give hikers the opportunity to learn about plants, animals, the local culture, and history of the area. Located at the southern end of the beach, the Xplore company offers the hiker real adventures and leisure activities inspired by the outdoors.
  • Sayulita-San Pancho – Hiking in Sayulita is an experience to remember. Visitors can walk through jungles inhabited by jaguars, trek beautiful hidden beaches, and view exotic tropical wildlife.  One of the most popular hikes is Cerro del Mono (Monkey Mountain), providing 360 degree views of the coast and stunning sunsets. There are local companies that offer fun and adventure, such as MexiTreks, with hikes along the so-called “Jaguar Route” or fun family day trips around Sayulita and San Pancho. Along the way, hikers can enjoy captivating views of San Pancho to the north and Sayulita to the south. There is also the opportunity to explore the secluded beach of Malpaso.
  • Tecuitata Hike –This new site has quickly become a favorite for birdwatchers and adventure seekers as it stops by Salto del Cora waterfalls and has plenty of birdwatching opportunities on the way. It is a mountain community dedicated to shade-grown coffee with avid bird activity and a wide scenic landscape. Hikers can also catch a spectacular view of Matanchen Bay and the coast of San Blas before taking a dip in one of the waterfalls.

Ancient Spa Rituals

  • Seaside temazcal: The Conrad Spa at the new Conrad Punta de Mita hotel is a true seaside sanctuary, an original concept that includes a temazcal (a type of pre-Hispanic steam room) and seven treatment rooms surrounded by tropical vegetation and connected by leafy tunnels dotted with flowers.
  • Natural serenity: The Jungle Spa at Imanta Resorts Punta de Mitahas everything you could wish for to relax your body and soul, with open air treatments in a space surrounded by the jungle. Its holistic treatments are based on ancient Aztec healing rituals, incorporating the healing power of herbs, flowers, and other plants that can be found in the hotel’s natural reserve.
  • New Moon Ritual: At Tatewari, the spa shared by the Villa del Palmar Flamingos and Villa La Estancia Hotels, guests can book personalized treatments according to their state of mind. The standouts are the rituals, including the New Moon Ritual, the Water Ritual, and the Two Moons Ritual, ideal for couples. Visitors can also choose from among 14 suites for personalized treatments or any of the two VIP suites with private Jacuzzis.
  • The Huichol Collection: The Huichol Collection signature spa treatments at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit are based on the ceremonies, rituals, and ingredients used by the ancient members of local indigenous tribes. Guests can ask for a Tau-Sol Body Scrub that uses natural extracts or the Metsere Treatment with Pearl Essence Powder, inspired by the symbol of the Metsere Moon, which represents peace and spirituality.

For more information on Riviera Nayarit, visit www.rivieranayarit.com.