We love the off the beaten path travel experience. But off the beaten path does not mean roughing it! The good life – luxury, pampering, super cool experiences – can be part of your off the beaten path experience.
In Mexico, specifically the Riviera Maya, local businesses have combined luxury and hidden treasures. Experience Hacienda lunches as you explore the region, Mayan inspired spa treatments with local plants in exquisite locations, private tours to local ruins and hidden cenotes.
1. Private Tours of the Mayan Ruins – Yucatreks has private tours for local ruins. Your guide takes you to remote ruins, cenotes, cool beaches and great restaurants. You have their undivided attention for the entire day.
2. The Xpa Maya In Puerto Aventuras – This is a step into another world. Deep in the caverns of a local cenote, therapists offer massages, facials, detox body wraps and couples massages. You would think you would have to travel a great distance for this experience, but it is nearby. Puerto Aventuras is a stone’s throw from any Riviera Maya city. Really.
3. Temazcal – Known as steam lodges in other parts of the world, the temazcal is a cleansing treatment. With your partner or a group of friends you can experience this Mayan ritual in a few Riviera Maya places. Dos Palmas is a favorite temazcal near Dos Ojos Cenote. Maya Tulum is on the famous Tulum Beach. With the leadership of a shaman, you will be taken through a mother earth ceremony that will have you cleansing your mind, body and soul in the depths of the jungle or on the shores of the sea.
4. Hacienda Lunch or Dinner – If you are curious about these plantation homes that were the center of the henequen trade in the 19th century but also a black spot on local history, check out one of the many refurbished haciendas inland. Getting to a hacienda will take you off the beaten track, but your reward is a locally grown, authentic lunch or dinner in the heart of a historical home.
5. Hidden in large hotels on the coast of the Riviera Maya are some pretty spectacular restaurants that have little publicity. El Chique is one of these restaurants, where modernist cuisine meets local ingredients in the kitchen of Chef Jonatán Gómez Luna and his culinary team. Choose their seasonal menu with or without wine pairing. You will walk away amazed!
So when you think traveling, off the beaten path, into the heart of the community, luxury is not tossed aside. If anything luxury and the good life bring you deeper into your travel with exclusive experiences.