Indagare member Margaret Pierpont just returned from her sixth visit to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, located just an hour by car from San Diego. She writes that it’s the sense of connection that keeps her going back.
When I really need to renew, I always go back to Rancho La Puerta. I’m not the only one—many guests return every year, and there are some who have visited 10, 20, 30 times. I have gone there happily alone, with my best friend, with my 80-year-old mother and with my husband. This year, when he and I went, there were many teenage daughters on spring break with their moms. The variety of people—about 130 at a time, most there for a week—makes for a lively atmosphere and lots of interesting conversations around the communal dining tables.
The exercise instructors and options—morning mountain hikes, gym training, Pilates, yoga, dance, water workouts—are the best I’ve found at any spa. Every hour, there are five or six activities to choose from, and not just exercise, but art classes, photography workshops, bird walks, meditation. With so many choices, what I discover in one place naturally connects somewhere else—I’m hiking a tough hill and the breathing I just learned in yoga helps me. Over a week at the Ranch, these connections multiply and make for a rich and holistic experience that is restorative on many levels.
There’s also a wonderful sense of place. I love the way paths wind through a xeriscaped landscape of flower and herbs, so walking from one place to another is a total sensory experience. The vegetables you eat everyday come from the Ranch’s own organic garden, and guests can try their hand at the on-property cooking school. The Ranch has expanded and evolved in the same location for 70 years, and I love that sense of connection to place that only comes over time.
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