RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Riviera Maya, Mexico may be a popular beach destination for vacationers, but it’s also a magnet for yogis, hippies, spa junkies, and people on spiritual quests. Riviera Maya is rooted in ancient Mayan culture, which for centuries included natural ways of healing, self-reflection, personal enlightenment, and spiritual transformation. Travelers arrive to better themselves, whether in the tropical jungles or white sand beaches, ancient ruins, cenotes, luxury resorts with holistic spas, or ubiquitous wellness and yoga retreats along the coast.
Perhaps Riviera Maya’s most holistic, wellness-geared resort, Palmaia – The House of Aia is dedicated to Mayan culture’s nurturing philosophy. Not only does the all-inclusive, luxury resort have an excellent jungle spa oasis with ancient therapies and a natural cenote (underwater sinkhole), it’s inspired by the healing sounds and practices Mayans thrived on. At Palmaia, I was able to decompress, but also found mindfulness in every aspect of the resort, including the plant-based dishes in dining, the nightly Rituals of Sound events with DJs playing tribal beats and live acoustic performances, and thoughtful daily activities in the Architects of Life program, like sound bathing, yoga, transpersonal astrology, and meditation.
“Our aim is to offer experiences that will awaken something within, experiences that will make people question their path (or not), feel something different in order to question who we are and what our place is in this world,” says Palmaia – The House of Aia founder and CEO, Alex Ferri.
The forward-thinking programming at this beautiful eco-resort (which bans plastic, uses solar panels for electricity, and embraces “community”) encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and into alternative healing, but with a high degree of luxury, including a private beach, suites connected to swimming pools, personal butlers, and an in-house shaman. “We believe that inner exploration is key to creating meaningful change,” says Ferri. “What better place to achieve this than at the cradle of one of the most important ancient civilizations, The Maya.”