The ultimate wellness getaway, I’ll show you what to eat and how to burn it off at Rancho La Puerta located in Baja California.
After traveling all over the US and Canada for the first 17 editions of my wellness travel series, What to Eat & How to Burn it Off, I finally decided to head south, to Tecate, Mexico, for lucky number 18!
If you’re new to the series, be sure to explore prior wellness travel guides to Washington, DC, Park City, Key West, Palm Springs, Whistler, Vancouver, Chicago, Denver, Charleston, Tucson, New Orleans, Grand Rapids, San Diego, Vail, Miami, Utah and Banff.
Rancho La Puerta is located in the northern tip of the Baja Peninsula, just 90 minutes south of the San Diego airport. Complimentary shuttles will drive you to and from making your arrival and departure in and out of Mexico a breeze.
Situated on 4,000 acres of land, Rancho La Puerta consists of 32 acres of gardens; hiking trails; an organic farm; several pools; extensive spa and fitness facilities; a wine and coffee shop; a salon; individual casitas for guests; a large dining hall, gift shops and more.
The guest rooms, better known as casitas, come in a wide variety of sizes. If you’re planning a girl’s getaway or a special week away, I highly recommend the two bedroom villa suite pictured above.
The back porch is the perfect spot to take in the views or relax with a glass of wine at the end of your busy day.
One of the best perks of the ranch is how expansive it is. Regardless of how many fitness classes or hikes you take, you’re guaranteed to get in over 10,000 steps a day getting from place to place.
Of course, you know I can’t resist a fun fitness activity so I kept pretty busy each day. One of my favorite ways to start each morning was a nature walk or hike.
The surrounding mountains offer breathtaking views and since the hikes always take place early in the morning, you were never too hot on you walk.
Whatever you do, be sure to bring your camera. The views are breathtaking.
The great thing is that they have walks and hikes for all fitness levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced.
If sunrise yoga is more your speed, you’ll be happy to know they offer that too.
Whether you prefer to take a class or simply want to practice on your own outdoors, there are no shortage of opportunities to get your zen on.
Curious about kickboxing? Yep, they have that too. Such a fun way to get out energy!
If you love TRX as much as I do, and want a safe and effective form of strength training, I highly recommend taking one of the TRX classes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of the more popular classes was the 60 minute circuit training. Fast paced music helps you breeze through this hour of cardio and strength training.
Want to get your feed in the sand and try your hand at beach volleyball? Yep, they have that too. Truly, there are no shortage of ways to stay active at Rancho La Puerta.
Now that we’ve covered How to Burn it Off, let’s get to the good stuff: What to Eat! You can read all about the culinary experience at the ranch here the lacto-ovo cuisine focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs and seafood. There is no chicken, beef or pork served on the ranch.
And guess what? I didn’t miss it. Breakfast was one of my favorite meals of the day because it always featured these beautiful beans and a wide variety of fresh salsas.
The only thing I loved more than the beans were the breakfast tacos made with eggs and corn tortillas. Tangy slaw, hot salsa and fresh herbs took these tacos to the next level.
Lunch was typically a salad topped with seafood – either grilled shrimp or tuna most days. There were always plenty of whole grains, nuts and seeds to load up your salad with as well.
While I typically sat outside for breakfast and lunch, dinner was usually enjoyed inside the beautiful dining room at shared community tables.
One of my favorite dinners was this vegetarian lentil lasagna. It was so meaty and satisfying, you didn’t miss the meat at all.
For a mid-day pickup, I highly recommend a pitstop to the smoothie bar.
It’s located right by the pool which is a perfect excuse to catch some sun.
Prefer to stay in the shade? Don’t worry, there’s a cabana for that.
In the evening hours, I recommend a visit to Bazar Del Sol for a glass of wine or an espresso.
They occasionally have live music as well which is always a treat.
Speaking of special treat, I highly recommend signing up for a cooking class one evening at the ranch’s very own cooking school: La Cocina Que Canta. During my visit I had the opportunity to prepare a meal created by Dr. Annie Fenn of Brain Health Kitchen.
Our entire dinner was centered around ingredients that improve brain health and prevent Alzheimer’s. Since my grandmother died from Alzheimer’s, this meal was close to the heart.
Focused on brain healthy foods like leafy greens, healthy fats, whole grains and more, I had so much fun getting in the kitchen with other ranch guests.
Of course, the best part was enjoying the meal we had created as a group at the end of the class. I loved seeing everyone so fired up about healthy eating.
The next time you’re looking to plan a wellness getaway that leaves you feeling restored and refreshed at the end of the week, I highly recommend you consider a visit to Rancho La Puerta.
Are there any other wellness spas you think I should know about? Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.
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