I'm not sure what took me so long to plan a trip to Mexico, but I'm glad that when I finally did, it was to visit two of the most charming and beatufiul towns, Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita.
My home base throughout my trip was at the gorgeous Xinalani, an exclusive Yoga Retreat Center about 20 miles south of the airport in Vallarta. Xinalani is nestled into the mountains on Quimixto Beach, and has the most breathtaking views overlooking the ocean and the jungle. My room, the Eco Chic Suite, was like a little oasis, complete with a private terrace, seating area, hammock, open-air shower, and mosquito netting surrounding the bed. I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive about sleeping in a room that was partially exposed to the outdoors, but with the shades lowered at night, the soothing sound of the ocean was the perfect soundtrack to drift to off to sleep.
With it's twice daily yoga classes, beachfront bar lounge, assortment of spa treatments, and the delicious food, there was no real reason to leave Xinalani, but my wandering spirit urged me to venture out and explore some nearby highlights and neighboring towns.
One of our first outings included a 20-minute horseback ride to a local waterfall. Once there, you can swim in the water, or have a seat at the quaint little cafe adjacent to the waterfall. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cold drink or snack while taking in the stunning scenery.
Another day-trip involved a short boat ride up to PV for breakfast, and then an hour cab ride north to Sayulita. I'd heard about the charm of this small town, but words simply don't do justice to describe the magic of this enchanting neighborhood. With it's natural beauty, vibrant streets, and the adopted village trademark of Love, Sayulita is a place like no other. One could wander it's colorful corridors for hours, never tiring of it's sights and sounds - the abundant artwork, flag-decorated roads, delicious food, assorted shops, popular beachfront, and medley of pretty hotels to name a few. My only regret is having only one afternoon to spend in this fairy-tale village.
Between the incredible hospitality at Xinalani - the friendly staff, delicious food, fun activities like Salsa dancing lessons - and our enjoyable excursions to explore nearby attractions, this trip could not have been a more perfect getaway.
It helps of course to have some pretty awesome travel-mates, which luckily was exactly what I had. This trip would not have been the same without these two lovely souls, Mandy Martini and Nathan Rose.