Rancho La Puerta is Camp for Grown-ups

Today I took a Hoola Hooping Class.

Have I gone over the edge into La La Land? Well, maybe, but I’m having a wonderful time.

I am relishing a week with my daughter at a Fitness Resort/Spa just over the Mexican border on the Baja.  I resist calling Rancho La Puerta a spa because that evokes images of fat ladies padding about in bathrobes, hair wrapped in towels, waiting for their next mud bath or pedicure.

Yes, this place has all those pampering spa experiences including sports massages where the therapist kneads your body like bread dough and then stretches the screaming muscles until they let go.  The refreshing facial I always have on the last day sends me back to reality glowing and renewed.

But, it’s not a fat farm.  It’s Camp for Grown ups.

Even the building that houses the spa treatments isn’t called The Spa.  It’s named the Health Center and health is what Rancho La Puerta, a fitness resort started in the 1940 by some people really ahead of their time is all about.

Rancho La Puerta reminds me of the camp I enthusiastically attended as a youngster in 1950s for five weeks every summer.

Just like my childhood camp, the Ranch gives guests opportunities to try new things like hoola hooping—providing great exercise for the abs and a lot more fun than crunches.

I meditated to the bonging of crystal balls.  Still not sure what I was supposed to hear, but I sank deep into the floor and totally relaxed.

At Rancho La Puerta, the days are jam packed with interesting activities including hikes, water aerobics, cycling, yoga, stretch, strength, balance and coordination training.  Guests enjoy thought provoking talks, healthy eating, no TV, lots of time for lolling about on the grass contemplating the clouds or in the case of the ranch, strolling the stunningly beautiful grounds enjoying the carefully orchestrated desert landscape.

When I hear the dinner bell calling us to the Mexican inspired dining hall,  my mind rushes back to being called to dinner at camp, gathering with my friends, discussing what we did that day.  It’s the same here although the mostly vegetarian fare is a bit different from the camp grub we complained about in my pre teen years, the feeling of gathering with a convivial group feels the same.

What is different here is the Mexican décor, reflected in all the buildings.  Wall hangings, traditional pottery, murals, tiles and adobe like structures are a constant reminder that we are in Mexico with much to enjoy and appreciate.  Much effort has gone into making the facilities and the grounds beautiful and interesting without being pretentious.

If there’s a chill in the air, the fireplaces crackle and glow.  Or, one can always slip into one of the many hot tubs nestled into landscape around the ranch.

I have enjoyed interesting lectures. This week there’s a book reviewer who is exploring Best Sellers and a sex researcher who discovered and named the G-spot.  Other times I’ve been here I’ve enjoyed hearing from a Tibetan Monk, an 80 year old woman travel adventures in Bhutan, a photography class, a lecture on climate changes and a musical walk down memory lane given by a man who headed up the NBC studio in New York in its hey day.

The presenters come from all over. While the topics any given week at the Ranch feel a bit random, they have given me an exposure I would not have otherwise.

Our rooms and beds are certainly more comfortable than the tents, cots and sleeping bags of my childhood getaways.  And a hot tub was a few steps away.

So, I’ll finish my post and head off to my next class…….Now let’s see……  I think World Drumming is on the schedule.  I wonder what that is all about?

If you’d like to see my Hoola instructor at the ranch doing her stuff, search Hooping Hazel on U-Tube. She’s amazing.

This entry was posted in Experiences, Places to eat., Places to sleep., Spa visit and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Rancho La Puerta is Camp for Grown-ups

  1. KATHY PLEUNE says:


  2. Yes, I can attest, you were glowing when you arrived in San Diego after your stay at the resort!

  3. smithsj says:

    Thanks, Lyle. I appreciate the comment. And Kathy, you’d love the Ranch! So healthy and fun.

  4. Yes! This is definitely a place for me!! Thank you for the photos, insight and the link. Can’t wait to visit.

  5. Julie says:

    Love, love, love Rancho! I’m going in June and this post just got me so excited!

  6. Pingback: DesignDestinations: Celebrating 125 Posts | DesignDestinations

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