Whether it’s a full-on spiritual retreat — or just a pampering indulgence inspired by ancient healing techniques — it’s time to give in to the mystical wonders of Mexico.
Beyond the predictable Cancun experience of sun, sand and inebriation lies an unusual and wonderfully ethereal adventure at the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Fusing art and conservation, Museo Subacuático de Arte is in fact an artificial reef populated with hundreds of statues cast from real people — mainly locals from the region.
Not only do the specially commissioned sculptures make for beautiful works of art, each is also created from specialized materials used to promote coral life. Some of the works span over 4,200 square feet of barren seabed and weigh over 200 tons. They help draw some of the 750,000 visitors to the region each year and promote the recovery of the natural reefs at nearby sites.
Mingle among the 400 life-sized casts of individuals that form The Silent Evolution (2010), a permanent monumental artificial reef in Mexico. Divers not only get to paddle up-close to these incredibly life-like sculptures, they can also take in the unexpected aquatic life forms that have become part of the works: fur of algae on a girl's cheek, a starfish on a nun's habit.
The azure kingdom is a vision of modern-day Atlantis, with enthralling sights like baby fish seeking shelter within a television sculpture, and crustaceans setting up home in a life-sized replica of the classic Volkswagen Beetle. The sculptures are made from a special type of cement that is 10 times harder than its regular form and has a neutral PH, which is favorable to corals.
Part acknowledgement of the country’s deeply spiritual roots and part conservation effort, Mexico’s “Magic Town” program selects historical or religious towns across the country for conservation. Pahuatlán, for example, is a town of mysticism and tradition. Here, amate paper, is made and used by shamans to make dolls to control spiritual forces and conduct healings. Ancient curanderos (healers) who soothe the spirits and cleanse auras using the old ways can also be found.
Visit Centro Nijo Healing Centre, located in Oaxaca
It is said that visitors to San Miguel de Allende experience more vivid dreams in their sleep. Those with time in between traipsing through the cobblestone lanes and exploring handsome colonial villas in the village may attend a dream class by spiritual counselor Joseph Dispenza to examine their unconscious and shed light on their waking life.
Native ingredients, lush landscapes and indigenous rituals inspired by ancient tradition make Mexico a natural destination for inspirational pampering. Start by giving in to the healing techniques of Baja through treatments at Las Ventanas al Paraiso’s spa. It is also said that the best time to receive the universe’s healing energy is during a full moon, so attend a full moon ceremony at the El Charco del Ingenio botanical gardens in San Miguel to refocus your intentions and energies.
In the volcanic hills of Jalisco, a new generation of distillers is focusing attention on premium, artisanal tequila. Much like whiskey and wine tours, taking a trip or “tequila trail” to these distilleries can involve formal tequila tastings, food pairings and multiple-course fine dining amid lush open fields of blue-green agave.
Aficionados of artisanal tequila know that pounding hangovers are the sole domain of college kids imbibing below-premium variants of the liquor. Track down the crème de la crème of tequila in the distilleries of Jalisco. Here, take pleasure in the expansive landscape of blue agave fields, beautifully restored haciendas (estates) and brick-and-adobe architecture in the UNESCO World Heritage site, as you sample a medley of tequila varieties.
Anyone who has traveled to Mexico’s tequila-producing region understands why local laws protect centuries-old traditions kept by family-owned distilleries for generations. The making of premium tequila is a painstaking, laborious process, which can take between eight and 14 years — from harvest to bottling. But, like a vintage single malt, the results are well worth the wait. This spirit can display fruity, spicy, smoky, earthy, vegetal and herbal flavors that are fully appreciated when sipped and savored.
Remarkably, the agave plant has been fermented to create drinks and textiles as far back as 2,000 years. Today, modern distillers pay homage to the fusion of pre-Hispanic traditions of fermenting mescal juice with European distillation processes, and elevate the art of tequila appreciation through innovations like specially-designed crystal flutes or, keeping with tradition, by playing classical music to the yeast in fermentation tanks.
Cancun National Marine Park, Mexico. Tel: +52 998 881 2745. Email: jtellez@cancún.travel.
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Las Ventanas al Paraiso,
A Rosewood Resort
KM 19.5 Ctra. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur 23400, Mexico
T: +52 624 144 2800
Los Angeles Sales Office: +1 310 843 9142
Ctra. Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen KM 298, Solidaridad, Q. Roo, CP 77710 Mexico
T: +52 984 875 8000
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
Nemesio Diez 11, Colonia Centro, San Miguel de Allende, GTO 37700 Mexico
T +52 415 152 9700
Dallas Sales Office: +1 214 880 4243
Tel.: +52 1 958 100 8420. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pila Seca 11, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Tel.: +52 415 154 8465. Email: email@example.com. Hours: Tuesday, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Oxaca, Mexico. Tel.: +52 951 502 1224. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avenida Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Gandhi s/n, Colonia Chapultepec Polanco, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, C.P. 11560. Tel.: +52 55 4040 5300. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jardin del Estudiante s/n a un costado del Templo de San Diego, frente al centro comercial el Parian, en la ciudad de Aguascalientes, Mexico. Tel.: +52 1 449 1393258. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Valles Region, Jalisco State.
34 Ramon Corona, Tequila, Jalisco. Tel.: +52 1 374 7420313.
Av. Vallarta # 4095, esquina Niño Obrero , Guadalajara, Jalisco México. Tel.: +52 1 333 8809090. Email: email@example.com.