Huge respect for the local community who have built and furnished this place by hand. Xinalani eco-retreat is nestled on a very steep hill between a lush jungle and the Pacific ocean of Mexico. Every bungalow is built on poles, and there are 176 steps to navigate around this slice of paradise. So besides your yoga practice, you will definitely work on your legs while staying here! However, you will never have a dull moment; along your way you will be inspired by magical nature, animals and inspirational quotes.
All open air bungalows have an amazing ocean view. As you don’t see in other bungalows, you truly experience this home-alone-on-an-island feeling while lounging in your hammock. There are different types of accommodation: from shared dorms to spacious casitas with a plunge pool. The eco-conscious construction of the resort on poles allows for plants and animals to dwell beneath. They also recycle the shower water for sanitation purposes and provide organic toiletries.
The four owners of Xinalani are all into yoga and wanted to create a tropical haven to host individual and group yoga retreats, teacher training and mind-body workshops. Together with the local community, they started this project in 2008. It is a beautiful cooperation: they own Xinalani, the community owns the land. Without each other, they couldn’t create this unique retreat. This “togetherness” is exactly what you feel when you arrive, the staff are so proud to be a part of this sanctuary. They are super friendly and willing to help.
There are two yoga classes everyday for the regular guests. We found the variety of classes very good (Yin, Hatha, Restorative, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa) and the resident teachers help you relax with their knowledge. There are four stunning yoga spaces (indoor and outdoor) but the Jungle Studio on top of the cliff is definitely our favorite. While practicing your warriors, you look out over the treetops to the ocean. It is also a great place to spot birds. At the moment they are building a Hot Yoga studio and AcroYoga studio.
In spare time you can check out the private white sand beach. There is an amazing ocean raft in front of the retreat with a hammock, accessible by a swim, kayak or standup paddleboard. You can also go hiking through the jungle. You can surf, snorkel, scuba dive or visit one of the local fishing villages nearby. Maybe you prefer to unwind in the temazcal sweat lodge, during a meditation class or massage at the oceanfront spa.
And last but not least: the food – inspired by traditional Mexican recipes and prepared with local ingredients – is truly amazing!
To access this piece of paradise, Xinalani staff will meet you in Puerto Vallarta and transport you to the island on board a small boat. If you are lucky you can spot dolphins and whales on the way.