A visit to Rancho La Puerta is like drinking the wellness Kool-aid, except it’s fresh brewed organic hibiscus tea.
Don’t believe me? Over 50% of their weekly guests have been previously and not once, but frequently 15 to 20+ times. In fact, during our final dinner they announced a women visiting for her 95th time!
What brings all the adults to the yard? It’s not the milkshakes, since this is a vegetarian healthy food only retreat!After 7 days, there’s so much I want to share from this little oasis just across the border in Baja California, Mexico, which I was so lucky to enjoy courtesy of their PR team. It’s more than a fitness retreat, it’s a true wellness getaway…but let’s start with the sweat!
Gorgeous Groomed Trails
No surprises here, my favorite thing was the nature. From the flowers around the property to the stunning views, there’s an immediate feeling of being away from it all (it helps that cell phones aren’t allowed in common areas!).A few steps from the center of the Ranch, you find yourself ready to explore Mount Kuchumaa and her many trails.
Set on 4,000 acres Rancho La Puerta is adjacent to a huge national park, but has their own private trail system. It’s extra well marked and offers a wide variety of difficulties though you’ll definitely be going uphill to start on most. Of course that just means you’re heading up to spectacular views and still only around 2,000 feet.In trying to find a comparison, the closest I can pick is our hikes through Arizona, but without the large cacti. The trails are packed dirt, but around you everywhere are these stunning rock formations and you’re constantly able to look off in the distance to some incredible views of the surrounding areas.
The first morning, we joined a group to hike Pilgrim’s Pass. As the sky started to glow, my cheeks were rosy from the cool temps and I was enjoying myself, but unprepared for what lay around the corner. As we reached the peak a whole new world came in to view!
A fog laid over the valley for miles, while mountains popped out among the pink clouds. I wanted to run around forever feeling like I was playing in the clouds. It was surreal and pictures simply don’t do it justice since I’m not a world class photog!! (note to self, take one with me everywhere for future amazing moments)
During an afternoon hike with David, we came across a pack of wild horses and I swear I couldn’t pick my jaw up. Cool sounds childish, but dude it was sooooo cool! Again not the worlds best photo, but I could only get so close! We also saw a roadrunner, rabbits, a fox, squirrels, a cow and heard tails of rattlesnakes. None of this is that weird coming from CO.
Apparently, I just missed their first ever running focused week, but no worries the trails were still ready and waiting.
While Denver can easily make a trail snob of you, I was beyond pleasantly surprised at how much I loved hiking and running here. Countless times early in the week, David and I both found ourselves saying “this is stunning“.
It’s a completely different feeling than Colorado obviously, but beautiful in it’s own unique way, plus as someone who wasn’t technically cleared for trail running yet…it was perfect to have some packed dirt trails and non-technical options to begin testing out the knee! Currently they don’t offer trail maps and encourage you to stick with the guided groups.
Which I fully understand as it’s hard for them to ensure safety of miles and miles of trails, but as much as I enjoy the groups it was the times we did venture out alone that I could really connect to the nature and found my heart singing. As noted, the trails are well marked and even in the afternoons, I found others meandering around, along with staff monitoring the area.
One of the fundamental ideas of Rancho La Puerta is to connect with nature. Every morning they offer a few different guided hikes before breakfast and twice a week there’s a guided trail run. That first group run was the perfect chance for me to run some rolling trails without pushing my knee too far. In every single group, you’ll find a wide range of abilities. And let me tell you, even power hiking David and I couldn’t keep up with the leaders in the first group!
The only downside to this time of year is all the guided hikes and runs start in the dark. If I’d brought a headlamp no problem, but hard to run well with a flashlight and we did hear of a few trips and falls this week. However, I talked to people who had been many times and said they’ve never really seen that be an issue.
Indoor Sweat Sessions
Though the demographic may skew slightly older at the moment, don’t let that fool you. Every class is designed for you to push to your specific level. You won’t find soul cycle style instructors here, but you will find competent knowledgeable instructors who have likely been at the ranch for many years.
A few of the options:
- TRX Combo Workout
- Circuit Training
- Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Stretch and Relax, Mobility
- Mat Pilates, Reformer Pilates
- Strength and Sculpt
- Bounding (trampoline!)
- Water Aerobics
One of the great things for me was the reminder of which things I really ENJOY. Since surgery, I’ve been so focused on what I can do that it was fun to mix it up. I am in love all over again with the Pilates Reformer and hoping to get in to a studio here now consistently.David joined me for spin class and no surprise due to his mountain biking, I kept peeking over at his gears and he was always way above me. Pretty standard for him to kick my butt in all things physical, but hey I eat better…hmm not sure it’s equal.I may have also conned him in to a mobility class, which was basically 45 minutes with a tennis ball and foam roller. Painful, but I’m pretty sure he loved it almost as much as TRX or sitting in the hot tub for an hour.
Restoring Tired Bodies
Don’t think it’s all about the hard work because total wellness is equally about treating your body to relaxation! In part 2, I’ll dig in to the food and the mental side of things, but for now can we just talk about the spa?!
David has gotten a few massages with me over the years and is always sort of ho hum on them, but this hot stone massage changed his tune! Instead of a massage where they’re really digging in to his so tight he can’t touch his knees muscles, the stones loosen you up and create just a relaxing touch.I enjoyed that too, but was blissed out after a Runner’s Reflexology massage. Oh heaven, help me it was so beautiful to have someone focus largely on the tired muscles of my feet after a week of putting in 20,000 plus steps daily.Then of course it was off to bed, which was super easy to do sans TV or WiFi!! I loved our little casita. That’s right no hotel here, just small individual villas.
Ready to learn more about why it’s digital free? What’s on the menu? And who’s there?
Click here to read part 2 >>
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