The terrain is your gym and the fresh local cuisine torches any evidence of vacation excess in Riviera Nayarit. By land or by sea, this Mexican Pacific coast destination offers an abundance of wellness options for every type of health-conscious traveler. Discover secluded yoga retreats, lush mountain bike trails and a green drink so delicious that it will make you forget cliché kale salads ever existed.
So pack your yoga pants and running shoes and shake up your daily wellness routine with the following activities combining fitness with fun:
Get Your Om On – At the secluded Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, yogis will find inner-peace and true mind-body balance. Set on its own nature preserve across 16-acres of lush hillside, guests of Haramara will experience a wealth of flora and fauna. Morning and afternoon yoga sessions take place at two magnificent open-air yoga shalas with high thatched roofs and handcrafted hardwood floors. Both shalas are positioned to take advantage of the 360-degree panoramic views of the Sierra Madre Mountains and soothing ocean breezes. Private and group yoga classes are offered, and upon arrival guests can meet their instructor to determine their level of expertise or customize the practice to match their needs.
Tour de Fit – Bike enthusiasts can get a quad burning workout with Wildmex on the rugged hillside terrain from Las Lomas to Sayulita. Beginning in the small town of Las Lomas, the group rides old jeep roads through a mango plantation and over rolling hills that lead to the beautiful beach town of San Pancho. From there, riders will find a steep singletrack section through a dense jungle until arriving at a small mountain pass where they race downhill to reach the secluded Malpaso Beach. The ride concludes after a winding section of singletrack takes them along the ocean to the trendy beach town of Sayulita.
Balance on Water – This past May, Sayulita was home to award-winning watermen competing in the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship. Travelers can follow in the footsteps of the pros by booking private surf lessons or joining a group surf camp at Lunazul Surf School and Shop. Regardless of the tide, surfing in Sayulita offers excellent waves without too much swell for both short board and longboard surfing. Surfers seeking even more thrills can take a panga to the remote town of Lolas which offers some of the best barrel surfing in the San Blas area, or they can opt for Matenchen Bay and ride some of the region’s longest waves where surfers have documented riding more than one mile on the same wave.
View from Above – See Riviera Nayarit from new heights during a hike on Monkey Mountain with MexiTreks. Sacred to the native Huichol Indians and known as one of the most distinctive features of the surrounding landscape, the four-hour hike on Monkey Mountain is perfect for intermediate to advanced hikers. The Monkey Mountain tour begins with a fun hike under the canopy of the forest while a trained naturalist guide identifies the local flora and fauna along way. During a 30 minute gradual summit to the top of the mountain, hikers will find captivating 360-degree views of the Bay of Banderas.
Your Daily Dose – Return home to your daily life looking and feeling better than when you left as fresh, locally sourced healthy food is the standard in Riviera Nayarit. Opt for the “jugo verde” (green juice) for breakfast at any hotel or restaurant you visit. This traditional drink, made from a variation of cactus leaves, celery, parsley, spinach and pineapple juice, helps aid digestion and lower cholesterol. Villa La Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta is especially well-known for a wide selection of freshly-made juices including carrot, red beet, orange, pineapple and grapefruit. For lunch, enjoy the destination’s signature “pescado zarandeado” (butterflied whole fish grilled over a smoky wood fire) served fresh from the sea and ready to eat right on the beach, along the 200 mile coast of Riviera Nayarit. To taste this dish from where it originated, take a boat to Mexcaltitan, an island known for its picturesque tile-roofed homes and tranquil pedestrian streets.
Charge Up – Discerning travelers can complete their full-body wellness vacation at the World Spa at Marival Residences Luxury Resort® Nuevo Vallarta presenting spa techniques and décor of eight distinct cultures of the world in separate treatment rooms. Find full body revitalization with the Japan Shiatsu Experience which applies pressure to the body to improve and balance the flow of energy. The Russia Banya Experience based around the sauna enhances circulation and oxygenates the cells, tissues and organs. Other cultures include Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Thailand, India and Bali.
For more information on Riviera Nayarit, visit www.rivieranayarit.com.