Magical Mexico, Where to Go For Your Next Getaway

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.

 Beachfront relaxation at Xinalani

Beachfront relaxation at Xinalani

 Hammock happiness at Xinalani

Hammock happiness at Xinalani

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.

 Chasing Waterfalls in Quimixto.  Photography by Nathan Rose  Photography .

Chasing Waterfalls in Quimixto.  Photography by Nathan Rose Photography.

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.

 In Sayulita, at the charming Petit Hotel Hafa.  Photography by Mandy Martini

In Sayulita, at the charming Petit Hotel Hafa.  Photography by Mandy Martini

 Rooftop lounging at the Petit Hotel Hafa in Sayulita, with Mandy Martini, Paige Rene, and Sergio the dog.  Photography by Nathan Rose  Photography .

Rooftop lounging at the Petit Hotel Hafa in Sayulita, with Mandy Martini, Paige Rene, and Sergio the dog.  Photography by Nathan Rose Photography.

 Street art in Sayulita

Street art in Sayulita

 Xinalani Retreat

Xinalani Retreat

 Ocean View Room at Xinalani 

Ocean View Room at Xinalani 

 Quimixto Beach

Quimixto Beach

 Beach Yoga in Quimixto

Beach Yoga in Quimixto

 The Bar Lounge at Xinalani Retreat... always an abundance of fresh fruit and a pretty place to relax.

The Bar Lounge at Xinalani Retreat... always an abundance of fresh fruit and a pretty place to relax.

 Handstands in Sayulita

Handstands in Sayulita

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.

 Amor Boutique Hotel in Sayulita.  Photography by Nathan Rose Photography.

Amor Boutique Hotel in Sayulita.  Photography by Nathan Rose Photography.