If you just need some rest and relaxation, then Mexico is the place for you. Just being there and adjusting to the slower pace of life outside Mexico City may be enough to calm your frazzled nerves. But if you want to really relax, you'll need to spend some time lying under a
If you're a beach lover, you'll love Mexico. The country abounds with fine beaches spread out along its 6,000 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea to the east and the Sea of Cortés and Pacific Ocean to the west.
The white-powder beaches of the Pacific Coast attract thousands of people each year. Though resorts line many of them, there are some like Pié de la Cuesta, north of Acapulco, that offer quiet seclusion. Unexplored coves, quiet lagoons, and virgin beaches dot the shoreline of the Sea of Cortés.
While the beaches along Mexico's Caribbean coast are soft and white, those along the Gulf Coast are darker. But unlike the Pacific beaches, those along the 1,400 miles of eastern shoreline have strong lateral currents and undertows. Rainy season begins in late April and lasts until mid-December, and between August and November, tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally hit. Though you can enjoy the beaches along the Pacific Coast all year, the ocean temperature drops in winter and the sea can be quite choppy and dangerous at times.
All Mexican beaches are public, so you can sun and swim at any of them, including those in front of luxurious resorts. But if you want privacy, you'll find plenty of untouched beaches to choose from.
Interest in fitness is on the rise around the world, and Mexico is no exception. Ever since the Aztecs first built a resort in the hills southwest of Mexico City to take advantage of the mineral waters there, visitors have been flocking to Mexico's famous spas. For centuries, Mexico's mineral springs have been recognized for their healing properties and for providing a way to soothe the stresses of everyday living.
Moctezuma II, the Aztec emperor, was one of Mexico's earliest spa enthusiasts. In fact, three of the mineral baths he visited regularly — Tenochtitlán, Oaxtepec, and Ixtapan de la Sal — are still in use today. These springs are heated deep within the earth and, like those at Tequisquiapan, are usually enriched with a host of minerals.
Set atop an underground volcanic spring two hours from Mexico City is the charming Colonial-style spa village of Tequisquiapan, known as “Tequis” to veteran visitors. A dozen small hotels, like the Hotel Relox, offer curative radioactive waters of volcanic origin, which are said to ease the pain of arthritis, cure insomnia, and improve digestion.
A number of Mexican spas, or
Though there are warm water mineral springs throughout the country, today the word “spa” conjures up more than that. Luxurious spas have sprung up in all the beach resorts and many deluxe hotels. Most offer a wide range of health and beauty options, such as facials and massages, body-wraps with herbs and mineral salts, yoga, tai chi, reflexology sessions, hair styling, nail care, vapor and sauna baths, and daily personalized exercise sessions. At some, like Hosteria Las Quintas in Cuernavaca, outdoor sports like horseback riding and nature walks complement the spa treatments.
JUST FOR PARENTS
A good way to find the spa that matches your interests is to look in The Spa Finder, an international guide published by Frank van Putten (800-255-7727).
Among Mexico's hotel spas are a number of special-interest resorts. These focus on particular activities, like golf, at Hotel Avandaro Golf and Spa Resort in Valle de Bravo, northwest of Mexico City; fitness, at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, about thirty miles east of Tijuana in Baja California; and beach activities, at Body and Sol at Puerto Aventuras Resort, sixty miles south of Cancún.