The best yoga retreats in Mexico

Mexico – birthplace of flavoursome tacos, exquisite tequilas, and extraordinary street fiestas. Where ancient pyramids rise out of pristine jungle and cooling natural sinkholes appear mirage-like from the undergrowth. Where close to 6000 miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea combine with thriving ever-changing cityscapes. While the second most populous nation in Latin America might bring up thoughts of endless thrills in megacities, there are plenty of more tranquil escapes to be had. In fact, Mexico is making a name for itself as a top-notch yoga vacation destination with an incredible variety of yoga retreats in Mexico to choose between. Here are those so good they’ve caught Mr Hudson’s discerning eye.

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Photo: Haramara Yoga Retreat

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Yoga sessions take place primarily on the beach and are led by world-renowned instructors

1. Pachamama

With a secluded location close to the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula in the small town of Todos Santos, Pachamama offers a hard to rival relaxed ambience that makes it one of Mexico’s best yoga retreats. Here you can adopt downward dog in the dedicated yoga studio, on the outdoor deck, or on the sands of the beach. The on-site holistic spa offers deep tissue massages, hot stone therapies, organic facials, and exfoliating body polishes to the sound of the Pacific’s crashing waves and views that stretch across a desert landscape of totemic cacti and palms, while the artistic delights of Todos Santos are only ever a short distance away. What’s more, the treatments are available within the shabby-chic luxury of the 12 authentic air-conditioned en suite adobe tepees the likes of which you won’t find it at any other yoga retreat in Mexico.

2. Prana del Mar

 At the very tip of the peninsula is Prana del Mar. Here yoga sessions take place primarily on the beach and are led by world-renowned instructors. Whether you come seeking full spiritual enlightenment or a blend of mental and physical activity (such as whale watching and hiking) Prana del Mar is the yoga retreat for you. Everyone seeking a place to unwind is welcome, with the incredible accommodation and superb dining making it supremely easy to feel at home.

Photo: Pachamama

3. Haramara Yoga Retreat

Alternatively, try Haramara Yoga Retreat Mexico, where elegant thatched structures stud the jungle-clad hillside alongside an infinity pool and large yoga pavilions offering panoramic views over the tree canopy towards the sunsets of the Pacific. Specifically-design for those looking to truly escape the daily grind, it boasts its own private beachfront, open-air spa facilities, and just 18 individually-designed cabana-style suites with private bathrooms and oodles of charm.

4. Xinalani Yoga Retreat

Situated on the Pacific coast of central Mexico west of Guadalajara, just an hour south of Haramara, Xinalani Yoga Retreat swaps the tepees of Pachamama for thatched bamboo huts almost hidden into the side of an ocean-facing mountain above the beach. It all but guarantees the solitude required to seek a more spiritual and less consumerist approach – with the only way in and out by boat. In addition to daily yoga classes in a roofed open-air space, visitors get access to a sauna-like traditional temazcal sweat lodge, and the chance to try their hand at everything from surfing to cooking authentic regional dishes.

Photo: Haramara Yoga Retreat

Photo: Haramara Yoga Retreat

5. Eight Day Luxury Yoga Retreat

For a ready-made, 8 Day Luxury Yoga Retreat in the same locale, look no further than this burnout recovery yoga retreat that is perfectly designed to wash away the stresses of everyday life. Practising more types of yoga than most of us can name, accommodation on this most luxurious of yoga vacations comes in the form of fully-serviced modernist villas whose design stands out all the more for the position surrounded by lush vegetation. In between sessions in the studio, you can indulge in the healthy meals prepared by the on-site chefs, join the tour guide on activities such as walking tours of the old town and enjoy the soothing contact of a complimentary hour-long massage.

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An ecologically-minded boutique hotel with a variety of delightfully rustic bespoke accommodation options located on a mile-long stretch of private Pacific beach

Courtesy of Playa Viva | Photo: Jaquory Lunsford

6. Playa Viva Yoga Retreat

Further south, near the small village of Juluchuca, north of Acapulco, you’ll find the Playa Viva Yoga Retreat. An ecologically-minded boutique hotel with a variety of delightfully rustic bespoke accommodation options located on a mile-long stretch of private Pacific beach backed by the Sierra Madre Mountains. Spanning almost 200 acres in all, Playa Viva is more than a simple beachside Mexico yoga retreat. A masseuse is ready on stand-by whenever you might need them, while the grounds include a turtle sanctuary, Aztec archaeological site, and expansive areas of natural habitat supporting a reem of native species. The daily menus incorporate a farm-to-table ethos, while each guest receives a specially-created personal programme of activities, with yoga taking place beside the ocean-facing pool or in the observation tower six days per week.

Courtesy of Playa Viva | Photo: Kev Steele

Photo courtesy of Playa Viva

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7. Hridaya Yoga

Continue south along the coast into the state of Oaxaca and you’ll eventually stumble on Hridaya Yoga, one of the ashram-style Mexico yoga retreats. Dedicated to the teaching of tantra and spirituality, this is one for those seeking a better understanding of all yogic elements. As such, guests can expect classes in hatha yoga, silent meditation sessions, and guidance on life awareness. Our interaction with the natural world is an important part of this, so it’s no surprise that Hridaya should be located in a region of small quiet beaches and beautiful greenery.

8. Nômade

On the opposite side of the country, in the Yucatan Peninsula’s Quintana Roo state is a Tulum yoga retreat by the name of Nômade. Lined up along exquisite Caribbean beaches and warm turquoise waters, Nômade stays firmly on the swankier side of hippy while managing to retain much of the atmosphere that makes such places so attractive, to begin with. The shala has been specifically designed for yoga, and a Moroccan-inspired gratitude tent makes an excellent meditation space despite the rather pretentious name. In addition, this top yoga Tulum destination has two fine (but not fine dining) restaurants, and plenty of space to stretch out on the beach.

Photo: Haramara Yoga Retreat

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