Weekend getaways are easy when you live in Los Angeles. Whether you prefer the beach, the mountains or the desert, you can hop in your car and within a few hours, escape into another world… or even another country.
Last week, that’s exactly what I did. I jumped in the car with the BF and headed south. After three-and-a-half hours, we were at the border, ready for our visit to Rancho La Puerta, a fitness and spa retreat in Tecate, Mexico (yes, the town best known for its beer).
If you know me or follow any of my social media feeds, you know that I love being active and eating healthy… even when I’m on vacation. That’s why the ranch was perfect.
ACTIVITIES & LANDSCAPE
Not only can you take daily morning hikes (ranging from 2 to 7.5 miles… you pick), there are fitness classes every hour (from circuit training to stretching and even water sports just to name a few). There’s also the option of doing nothing but lounging by one of the pools or spending the day at one of La Puerta’s three spas. This place has anything and everything you could want on its vast property of 3,000 acres situated at the base of Mount Kuchumaa (a mountain that has been sacred to Native Americans for thousands of years). I especially enjoyed the daily hikes with Barry who has been with the resort for over 15 years and is one of the fittest people I know (he’s in his 50s and I could barely keep up with him on the 5.5-mile hike!).
The majority of the meals are served buffet style with healthy and delicious pescatarian choices, which was perfect for me. While no meat — aside from fish — is served, eggs are available at breakfast and used in baked items… although there were always vegan and gluten-free options available. After every meal, I was satiated, but not overly stuffed. As a bonus, I always enjoyed the short walk back to our casita along one of the many beautifully landscaped paths.
One of the highlights of my three-day getaway was a cooking class led by visiting Chef Laura Pauli. She taught us basic knife skills and focused on techniques that I’ve already begun to implement in the kitchen, such as placing a paper towel underneath your cutting board so it doesn’t move and tossing my bottled salad dressing and making my own (it literally takes less than five minutes to make a tasty and fresh vinaigrette (recipe included below)
Hope you enjoy the pics and videos from my active – yet relaxing – mini vacay in Baja, Mexico.
Rates start at $3,400 per person for one week (Rates include three meals a day plus snacks, private casita, over 60 different fitness classes a day, use of all facilities, evening programs and lectures, and scheduled transportation to and from the San Diego Airport (on Saturdays)
Picking produce from the organic garden outside La Cocina Que Canta
Several sculptures made by Jose Ignacio Castaneda are on the property… I couldn’t help myself but pose next to one of them
There are more than a dozen gyms/studios on the property. Take your pick! And if you need some alone time or a place to nap… there are colorful hammocks hidden along numerous paths.
Juice Bar – Tierra Alegre
La Cocina Que Canta
Me and Chef Laura Pauli
Note about Vinaigrette: I learned that the most basic technique for a vinaigrette is combining an acid, fat and flavor. Acid can be anything from the juice + zest of lemon, orange, grapefruit or something like balsamic or red wine vinegar. Olive oil is typically used for the fat component and the flavor portion of the can be as simple as a pinch of sea salt, pepper and a mild herb, like thyme.
-Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
-Few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
-Pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
-1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
Coyote Hike (5.5 miles)
Mt. Kuchumaa (of course I had to take King Dancer Pose when we got to the summit on one of our morning hikes)
Bazar Del Sol (the one spot on the property where you can get a glass of wine)
Me and the BF… until next time!