As any Latinx person knows, times have not exactly been stress-free in the U.S. lately. Every day, we read about a new development in the way immigrants are being cruelly treated, families being separated, and our children abused. There’s always a new video of some racista calling the cops on us for being a little too brown, or ICE for speaking Spanish. Frankly put, most of us are in dire need of a serious vacation away from the nonsense.
Self-care looks different for different people. Some of us are into hot springs and hot tubs, others like yoga and meditation, while still others are looking for healing experiences that might bring us closer to our ancestors. Here, I’ve compiled a list of relaxing destinations for a variety of needs, located in the U.S. (sanctuary states only, please) and Latin America. Check it out, then consult your calendar and see when you can book some time to get away and de-stress — you deserve it, mi’ja!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The slow-paced, artsy town of Santa Fe (located in the sanctuary state of New Mexico) offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy art, nature hikes, and delectable cuisine. It also happens to be the home of Ten Thousand Waves — a picturesque, Japanese-inspired spa and hotel that began as a small bathhouse in the 80s and has grown to be one of the most sought out destinations for relaxation. Spend time soaking in one of their outdoor hot tubs (modeled after Japanese hot springs), unwind with a facial or shiatsu massage, then retreat to your room and do it all over again the next day.
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Ayahuasca brewing day. The shamans are fasting when they brew the Ayahuasca medicine as per traditions. We only use fresh ingredients, and our medicine is brewd only with fresh Ayahuasca vines, fresh leaves of chacruna or chaliponga and water. Nothing else is added. On this picture: Don Leonardo, one of Don Benignos apprentices. #ayahuasca #plantmedicine #medicine #shamans #shamanism #healing #brewingday #jungle #fasting #Chacruna #chaliponga
If your idea of self-care is more in line with healing than simple pampering, you may want to head down to La Luna Del Amazonas — a retreat center located in the rainforest just outside Iquitos. Here you’ll get the chance to go on hikes and boat tours, laze about in hammocks, view monkeys and sloths in the wild, take flower baths, nosh on organic meals, and even participate in ayahuasca ceremonies. Run by two curanderos who truly know what they’re doing, Maestro Don Guido Rimachi and Don Benigno Dahua, La Luna has become a transformative home away from home for many for over 30 years.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
This family-owned hacienda situated near the mystical archaeological ruins of Chichen Itza is the perfect place to disconnect and lose yourself for a few days. A popular eco-wellness destination, the hotel follows many sustainable practices, protecting local wildlife, as well as, Mayan cultural traditions, with a staff mainly composed of indigenous Maya rural people. Mayan holistic healers also work at their Yaxkin Spa, where you can experience a number of traditional rituals and treatments from sweat baths to corn ceremonies, massages and medications — all perfect for self-care and achieving balance.
San Ignacio, Belize
If staying in posh digs and going exploring sounds like your form of self-care, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Ka’ana in Belize. This cozy Central American resort features yoga classes, farm-to-table dining, an organic garden, and a number of local excursions like zip-lining, horseback riding, helicopter tours, and exploring caves. Once you’re done with your adventures, you’re free to laze about by the pool or delight in a facial, massage, or other treatment at their on-site spa. And of course, you can always just nap in your gorgeous suite, tucked away in the jungle and far from the hustle of everyday life (at least, temporarily).
Palm Springs, California
California is another sanctuary state we’d like to recognize on our list — one which enjoys plentiful sunshine and happens to be very LGBTQ+ friendly. As such, I’m happy to recommend La Quinta Resort and Club in queer-friendly Palm Springs, as another place for you to get away from it all (at the very least for a weekend). Enjoy a few days at this chic resort that features golf, yoga, an adults-only pool, a variety of dining options, plus an on-site salon and spa for you to enjoy some pampering. La Quinta also happens to be a pet-friendly establishment, so you’re free to bring your pup along on your self-care journey.