Tulum, Mexico

Hosting a wellness retreat in Mexico: What you need to know

Hosting a wellness retreat can be a life-changing experience for your soul and your wellness business, but there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to a destination retreat. If you’re looking to book in Mexico, check out our guide to make your trip flawless and hassle-free.
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Mexico is brimming with history, beaches, jungle, and so much more to see. That’s why it’s the perfect location for any type of wellness retreat. From yoga and fitness to empowerment and art, Mexico offers a variety of backdrops that can support your retreat needs.

Check out our guide to hosting a destination wellness retreat in Mexico and learn the ins and outs of location, activities, and resorts.

Retreat basics

When it comes to planning a wellness retreat, there are a few things you need to know before you can get started:

  • What kind of retreat do you want to host? (Yoga, fitness, empowerment, art, etc.)
  • What will you need during your retreat? (Yoga shala, fitness equipment, a kitchen for cooking, conference space, etc.)
  • What’s the budget, and are you adding a personal commission?
  • Will you stay in one place, or do you want to create a journey with two or more locations?
  • What activities do you want to include? (Daily wellness classes/workshops, archeology tours, adventure parks, village visits, spiritual experiences, etc.)

To learn how to plan a destination wellness retreat, check out our article to guide you from start to finish. If you’re still questioning the location or are considering Mexico as your top choice, read on for a deep dive into the top wellness locations around the country to ensure you select the perfect spot for your next retreat.

Location

Now that you know exactly which type of wellness retreat you want to host, picking the location is easy. Be sure to match the retreat vibe with the location’s atmosphere, connecting to the local culture and environment whenever possible.

Regarding environment and vibe, Mexico has a few top themes:

  • Beachside paradise
  • Jungle immersions
  • City living

Here are a few popular options when it comes to creating wellness retreats in beautiful Mexico.

Tulum

Vibe: Beachside paradise, cultural connections, cenote swims & jungle joy

Pricing: $$ – $$$$

Tulum is the most popular place in Mexico to host a wellness retreat, and it’s no secret why. You can sit on the beach, meditate at a secluded cenote, tour the historic Mayan ruins, stay active with an array of water sports, and eat up all the delicious local fare you can stomach.

Tulum is also a gem because it can fit an array of budgets. While it’s more expensive than some of the other beachside areas, you’re paying for peace and quiet, along with an array of nature options at every turn. From traditional cultural ceremonies to adventure activities, you can have it all in Tulum.

Accommodations

While Tulum has no shortage of resort options, here are a few you might consider when planning your next wellness retreat.

Activities

Dos Ojos Cenote, Tulum
Darren Lawrence via Unsplash

From beaches to historic sites, there’s a lot to see this in this part of the Yucatan. Here are some of the top activities that draw so many tourists to Tulum each year.

  • Beaches
  • Tulum ruins
  • Cenotes
  • Nature parks
  • Snorkeling/diving

Bacalar

Vibe: Secluded lodging, tranquil vibes, water activities & jungle joy

Pricing: $$$ – $$$$

Located near the Belize border, Bacalar is a lesser-known gem, calling those travelers who want to truly get away from the world and enjoy a quiet respite in nature. Its Lake of Seven Colors offers an idyllic backdrop for yoga retreats and fitness fans who enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, and daily workouts.

There isn’t much to do in this tropical paradise, and that’s exactly the point, making it a stellar spot for any type of wellness retreat. You can lounge in the lake, spend the day at a cenote, cruise around the area on a sail boat, or explore the town and neighboring ruins site. Create your own schedule and find your bliss in this secluded paradise.

Accommodations

If peace and harmony are your retreat vibes, these are a few great options for planning a wellness retreat in Bacalar.

Activities

Bacalar Lagoon
Clive Kim via pexels

While you won’t find a high-energy vibe in Bacalar, there is still a lot here to occupy your time.

  • Water sports (paddle boarding, kayaking, etc.)
  • Yoga and relaxation
  • Lakeside lounging
  • Boating excursions
  • Cenote swims
  • Visit Kohunlich ruins or Fuerte de San Felipe

Oaxaca

Vibe: Cultural connections, historic city, secluded beaches & nature love

Pricing: $$ – $$$

Oaxaca can offer the best of both worlds — city living and beachside fun. In the city proper, you can wander around the ancient streets with its colorful colonial buildings, enjoying the markets, art galleries, local workshops, the food, and the welcoming vibe.

On the shoreline, especially in Puerto Escondido, you’ll find an array of accommodation types that focus on health, wellness, and body movement. This laid back coastal area is also less crowded and less expensive than Tulum and Cancun. You can hang in one area or create a custom wellness retreat itinerary that will bring you from the city to the seaside and back!

Accommodations

There are a lot of options when it comes to accommodations in Oaxaca. Here are a few choices in each of the main resort areas.

Activities

Oaxaca Cathedral
Jhovani Morales via Pexels

A trip to Oaxaca can give you city vibes and beachside bliss with an array of things to do in both locations.

  • Historic city and market tours
  • Cultural connections (cooking classes, hands-on craft workshops, etc.)
  • Beachside fun
  • Water sports
  • Mezcal distillery tour
  • Visit Monte Alban ruins

Playa del Carmen

Vibe: Beaches, shopping, adventure parks & cultural connections

Pricing: $$ – $$$

Playa del Carmen rests in between Cancun and Tulum. Offering the best of both resort worlds, you can find a quiet, five-star resort on the beach, you can hang at a posh hotel downtown, you can explore the shopping on fifth avenue, you can play at the surrounding adventure parks, and of course, you can party at the bars until the sun comes up.

This area features all types of lodging and budget options, along with different vibes to fit your needs. You can host a yoga class in the morning, ride ATVs in the jungle by lunch, and shop at the markets before a group dinner on the beach. From high-energy activities to restful resorts, PDC is a great choice for all retreat types.

Accommodations

Selecting a location in PDC is key, since it offers are a variety of vibes and resort-types. Here are a few to get you started with your search.

Activities

Fifth Avenue, PDC
Braden Collum via Unsplash

In PDC, you can have every type of experience — from food to fun!

  • Beachside fun
  • Water sports
  • Shopping and market trips
  • Archeological tours
  • Adventure parks
  • Downtown restaurants

Cancun

Vibe: All-inclusive resorts, adventure activities, party vibes & popular hub

Pricing: $$ – $$$

We all know Cancun as the party spot of the Yucatán, bringing spring breakers to the area in droves for some beachside fun in the sun. But Cancun has a wealth of high-end resorts that can work perfectly for a wellness retreat, especially if you want a little party fun added into the mix.

By no means do you have to go out during your stay, but Cancun is the perfect place to see the Chichén Itzá ruins and play at the various adventure parks scattered throughout the area. Cancun is also the closest destination to the airport, making it the most accessible option in the Yucatán. This area may not be the best place for a chill yoga retreat, but fitness fanatics and empowerment groups may find the perfect balance of sun, fun, and inner/outer work here.

Accommodations

Cancun is a hub for all-inclusive resorts. Here are a few that welcome wellness retreats of all kinds.

Activities

Yacht in Cancun
Fernando Jorge via Unsplash

Cancun is known for spring breakers and adventure, but there is so much more to see and do!

  • Beachside fun
  • Boat/snorkeling excursions
  • Archeological tours
  • Adventure parks
  • Clubbing/bars
  • Downtown restaurants

Mexico City

Vibe: Cultural connections, history hotspot, foodie paradise & urban atmosphere

Pricing: $$ – $$$

Mexico City has a lot to offer, especially by way of gastronomy and cultural connections. Not only can you shop and eat, but you can also travel to ancient ruins and smaller towns to see the real Mexico, away from the tourists and resorts.

Here, you’ll be surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the city energy will fill your heart. You can stay at a high-end hotel/spa, hang at a chic boutique guest house, or simply rent a villa or apartment in the area to create your own retreat vibe.

Accommodations

Renting a villa or guest house is a plus when it comes to building your retreat in Mexico City, but there are also a handful of stellar hotel/spas that can take care of your needs.

Activities

Mexico City, CDMX
Pyro Jenka via Unsplash

This city features so much to do and see, especially when it comes to Mexican history and culture. Add a few of these activities into the mix!

  • Food tours
  • Shopping
  • Archeological & history tours
  • Bars & restaurants
  • Cultural connections (Cocktail classes, cooking lessons, craft workshops, etc.)

Flights, visas, and vaccinations

Annika Gordon via Unsplash

(Please note: Entry, visa, and vaccination requirements can change at any time. Please be sure to do your own research when planning a retreat and booking a trip.)

Flights and transfers

Booking a flight to Mexico is dependent upon your wellness retreat location. For most retreats, such as those located in Cancun, PDC, and Tulum, you’ll fly into Cancun International Airport and take a shuttle to the resort. Mexico City and Oaxaca have their own airports, making those trips easy peasy.

For the beachside locations, it’s a good idea to book an airport shuttle in advance if your hotel or package doesn’t feature that option, as the properties are farther away from the main areas. For those staying in the cities, you can do the same, or use public transportation options to save cash.

Entry requirements and visas

For most travelers, especially those with a US passport, you won’t need a visa to hang in Mexico. You can stay up to 180 days without documentation. However, you will need a passport that’s been valid for six months and a blank page for the stamp. You also cannot arrive or leave Mexico with over USD 10,000 on your person.

Vaccinations

(This section is a guideline for travel based on information from the CDC and WHO. Consult with your doctor before traveling to any foreign country and decide what medical advice is right for you.)

There are no required vaccinations to enter Mexico. However it’s important to remain up to date on your routine vaccinations (the vaccines you received in childhood/adolescence). The Hep A vaccine is recommended, as it can help you avoid sickness during your travels.

While there are no requirements, based on the current COVID pandemic, there may be health screenings at the airport that could delay your travels if you arrive with symptoms of any kind. In this day and age, it’s always a good idea to check the embassy website of your country to ensure you won’t have a problem at the border.


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