If Alice fell down a rabbit hole to Mexico, this dreamworld called Careyes would capture her imagination. She could follow a white polo pony to the breakfast table of a great giant, only to discover a sound therapy session going on in the two-story-high concrete cereal bowl. Houses painted blue or pink, orange or yellow, with swimming pools shaped like the sun would make for a colorful tale when all is said and done.
Though visitors do not just end up in Careyes. People come here with intention: to escape, to socialize, to feel better. The private resort community is far from Cabo and Cancun, way down the Pacific Coast about a 2.5-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta. An adventurous Italian banker bought the nine miles of coastline in the late 1960s, collecting European aristocrat friends and constructing bright villas along the ocean cliffs. Creativity more than stringent building codes inspired star-shaped sea castles built sustainably and favoring climate-smart designs for ocean breezes over air-conditioning (but yes, there is air-conditioning). Single-file stairways wind down rocky cliff faces to secret beaches. Or venture out to discover oceanfront drink service at Playa Rosa Beach Club. The development remains family-owned and small, just 65 villas plus more casitas and bungalows, and it regularly swells with visitors for weddings, wellness retreats, annual film and music festivals, and polo season. This year Careyes has invited a different yoga instructor each month to inspire its residents and guests.
Arriving in May is Rob Starbuck from Santa Barbara, California, who specializes in breathwork. In July, meditate with Mexican yogi Regina Marco and in August, emulate the impossible inversions of American Andrew Sealy. Programs by visiting practitioners will complement those of resident yogi and healer Niki Trosky, who leads private and group sound healing sessions at the 35-foot-tall by 88-foot-wide La Copa del Sol. Climb inside the big basin for a deep dose of sound medicine. Seated or horizontal, you can receive the transformational waves known to calm the nervous system and promote healing at a cellular level.
Book treatments including facials and massages in a new spa named the Perfect Day at Careyes’ hotel-like Club and Residences complex, completely redesigned in 2018. The spa menu incorporates pre-Hispanic and Ayurvedic methods to accomplish anti-aging as well as relaxation. The 90-minute detox decreases inflammation and flushes toxins. An after-beach moisturizing treatment uses all-natural products from Colorado-based ISUN to hydrate and regenerate damaged skin.
Careyes, being what it is, inspires healers and gurus from across the globe, who live locally and regularly contract with the community. Inquire about mud baths or Temazcal steam baths that incorporate medicinal herbs. And not to be missed, guests can request to take the guided Camino de la Vida hike to see spiraling sacred stones at El Centro Del Universe—always a good story, and photo op. From $350; careyes.com
—Jennifer Ashton Ryan