Savor the Ranch: Our Wellness Retreat to Rancho La Puerta
- February 8, 2014,
- Fitness ,
Nestled in the shadow of Mexico’s Mt. Kuchumaa in Baja California lies one of the world’s most well-known destination spas, both loved and respected for being one of the foremost wellness retreats. Created in 1940, Rancho La Puerta started the modern-day Fitness Revolution and fast-foward to 2014, a time when traveling for fitness, wellness, and health is booming, the Ranch is still one of the best places to go to completely detox your body and mind.
Scroll through to follow along on a recap of our time at Rancho La Puerta!
Day 1: Getting Ready & Getting There
We excitedly began our trip to Rancho La Puerta with a quick drive from from SoCal to the California/Mexico border. There we met with one of the Ranch’s team members who guided us through our border crossing and took us on a 15 minute drive to what would be our sanctuary the next few days.
After a quick 5pm check in we settled in to our accommodations, which in short can be described as unbelievable. We stayed in the Luna-2, which is a spacious villa featuring indigenous and local craftsman touches throughout. From the solid brick walls and handmade tiles in the bathroom to the hand-embroidered Mexican pillows and blankets and added comfort to the bedroom and living area the villa oozed charm. Though we spent very little time in the room it was the ultimate place to lay our head after each day’s activities.
Day 1: Dinner & Modern Ayurveda
After settling in we met the rest of the group for a delicious and healthy dinner in the dining room which included roasted root salad with kumquat-lemon vinaigrette, shrimp basil over polenta with chunky tomato, and an equally yummy fettuccine option! We went with the roasted root salad and it was fantastic!
Following our wonderful meal we enjoyed an equally as easy-to-digest presentation from Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary on Modern Ayurveda: Unlocking Ancient Secrets of Health. We learned all about Ayurveda and its uses in modern medicine and health practices as well as the doshas and how changing our diet and herbal intake can assist and easing symptoms and root-causes of disease. Dr. Chaudhary also shared a recipe for a fat-melting tea, taught us how Panchakarma can work as an age-reversing therapy, and recommended Triphala for overall wellness and weight loss.
Lectures and lessons like this are part of Rancho La Puerta’s daily programming and a great way to learn how to apply what you experience at the Ranch into you daily life when you go back home.
Day 2: Fueling Up!
Day two began bright-and-early with a sunrise “Professor’s Hike” at 6:15am. Named after one of the Ranch’s founders Edmond Szekely (late husband to its other founder, the incomparable Deborah Szekely) the hike was both enlightening and invigorating and featured some of the most beautiful rock formations we’ve ever seen. We followed up our hike with a healthy breakfast which included papaya, banana, and pinapple with yogurt, “Ranch granola,” and Chia seeds paired with organic eggs, salsas, and corn tortillas to make breakfast tacos, Bircher Muesli, and fresh-pressed green juice! Needless to say, we were fueled up for the activities that would follow!
Day 2: Sweating it Out & Cooling it Down
After breakfast our day was packed with fitness and fun!
9am: We had a tennis clinic with the Ranch’s tennis pro, Manuel, who taught us the best practices for forehand and backhand swings!
10am: TRX Combo class was next. This is a fun and fast-paced circuit-style class with a set of stations – you’ll do 50% TRX and then 50% other moves such as mountain climbers, lunges, steps, and sit-ups… sweating yet?
11am: We cooled it down a bit with a yoga level 2 class with Mia and then headed to the First Timers’ lunch at noon where we met with other first-time visitors to Rancho La Puerta – a group that ranged in age from 30-70 and came from a variety of different cities!
2pm: Following lunch it was time for Cardio Drumming (Pictured! Check out our Instagram for a fun video!) This exciting cardio workout uses fitballs, drumsticks, and high-energy drumming beats and choreography!
3pm: Time to cool-it-down again with Crystal Sound Healing – SO relaxing! Crystal bowls emit pure sound waves and vibrations that resonate throughout the body’s tissue and organs which affect brain wave activity. This causes us to release powerful neurohormones that suppress pain, heighten the immune system, and produce deep relaxation!
The rest of the afternoon and evening included a 90-minute custom massage which utilized deep-tissue work to help work down our muscles and get us ready for the next days’ vigorous activity and another fabulous dinner!
Day 3: Feeling Fabulous & Fit
Day 3 began with a leisurely breakfast and then a 9am Burn Lab class! What can we say except: this was intense! Burn Lab fuses nearly every imaginable type of cardio training method, sets them to music, adds some choreography, and gets your heart rate skyrocketing. Visiting instructor Breann Mitchell rocked it and had us all pushing ourselves through an amazing workout.
We followed up the intensity of Burn Lab with the low-impact aerobic dance workout, Nia. Nia strengthens the body, improves balance, and nourishes the spirit!
Restore Lab was next, again with Breann, which focused on “rebuild, repair, recover.” We enjoyed a chill 45-minutes of toning choreographed stretches and then headed to lunch!
Day 3: Beautiful, Inside & Out
After lunch we headed over to the spa to get an amazing Japanese Rejuvenation Facial using Amala facial products – the difference was immediate and our skin still looked so amazing the next day that we enjoyed the day makeup-free!
Dinner this night was once again delish and after we took a stroll around the Ranch’s new Bazaar del Sol lounge for a few wine tastings and some shopping before our final event that night: an amazing lecture from Deborah Szekely, Aging by Choice. Szekley, 91, is a force to be reckoned with – still doing Pilates 6 times a week, walks with her girlfriends once a week, and lives a life that is centered around eating, living, and being well. Best takeaway? “The person you are is how you use your time,” she encouraged us to take 10 minutes or so twice a day to reflect and understand what we’ve achieved.
Day 4: Gardening from the Heart
Our final day at the Ranch began nice and early at 6:10am (but isn’t it amazing how when you feel healthy and rested, waking up early simply becomes a breeze?!). We set off on our Organic Breakfast Hike Garden Tour – where we toured the six-acre farm and ate at La Cocina Que Canta (“The Kitchen That Sings)! This was definitely a highlight of our trip – just at sunrise you can see the rusted fence dividing California and Mexico where there are little holes for animals to pass through – as our guide mentioned, coyetes, jack rabbits, and other creatures have no nationality or boundaries.
Speaking of our jovial and passionate guide, head gardener Salvador Tinajero was a true pleasure. He told us all about his “friends” (the plants and the trees) and shared tastes of organic garlic and arugula straight from the earth!
Following our tour we enjoyed one final spinning class and headed home, rested and renewed thanks to our retreat at the Ranch and looking forward to the next time we’d get to #SavorTheRanch.
Scroll through for even more photos from our stay!
Scenes from Rancho La Puerta and Salvador showing us the biggest leek ever!!
Our guided sunrise breakfast hike!
Just a taste of what we were tasting!
A peek inside the Luna-2 Villa!