Nearly two decades ago I discovered Rancho La Puerta (rancholapuerta.com) in Tecate, Mexico, a destination spa resort that would become my go-to game changer for whenever I need to reboot my wellness, health and fitness regimen. “The Ranch” is not a spa where guests idle around in white puffy robes with cucumber-covered eyes. This is a retreat for superactive people who want to dive into an intense week of hiking, fitness classes, yoga, meditation and mindfulness, as well as enjoy indulgences like a four-star organic chef, a spa sanctuary incorporating medicinal herbs and healing plants, immaculate manicured gardens and charming casitas to nest in after a full day of transformative activities. Founded in 1940 by spa pioneers Edmond and Deborah Szekely, Rancho La Puerta draws guests to its estate filled with gardens, mountains and meadows in Baja California. An admitted spa fanatic, I find its fitness program unmatched— with a staff of over 20 full-time instructors and a choice of five different classes offered every hour on the hour from 9am to 4pm. After 12 trips to The Ranch, I’ve carved out my perfect recipe for fast, healthy and fun weight loss, as well as a mind-body reset in only one week.
My days begin with a 6am hike ascending Mount Kuchumaa. Choose from four levels of hikes each day, followed by a varied schedule of classes, including Pilates, yoga, circuit training, strength training and more. Sound exhausting? It is... in the best way! When you need a break, escape to one of three tranquil spa centers, where you will be pampered back to a blissful state.
Water-based bodywork performed in a 96-degree heated pool (the temp in the womb), which lets the spine move in ways that are impossible on land, allows for deep healing and an out-of-body experience as you glide in the water like a mermaid.
The Ranch’s state-ofthe-art kitchen is in the middle of rolling organic gardens. After a meandering hike out to the gardens, pull your vegetables from the ground and learn how to prepare easy, delicious farmto-table recipes to take home with you.
EARLY TO BED
Chill in your casita, where your fireplace has already been lit, and map out your next day’s schedule. (Tip: For quicker muscle recovery, book a deep tissue massage every night before bedtime.)
Photography by: Courtesy of Rancho La Puerta