Ranch & Coast Magazine

March 2024

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bedroom tease the tent concept, but really, this is the height of unfussy luxury. ere is art on the walls, a stocked mini refrigerator, coffee maker, ceiling fan, air conditioning, rain shower, soaking tub, and fine linens on a beautiful bed. If anyone comes to really rough it, they're in for a (plush) surprise. On my first night, Sampere let me know that my initial itinerary, created after our call, had a slight revision. Bumping my original plans was the opportunity of a lifetime: an invitation to assist in the release of just-hatched olive ridley turtles on the crescent of beach that fronts the resort. It was the first time in the property's brief history (it only debuted in late 2022) this took place; when they discovered the beach was a nesting ground for these turtles, a conservation organization was engaged to ensure their safe incubation until it was time for their release. Just my luck, they hatched exactly as I arrived at Naviva. Every guest and member of the staff received a box with a pair of eager hatchings clamoring to begin their journey. Watching their fragile, adorably clumsy bodies make their way to the waves at sunset was easily one of the most transformative moments of my life. is is how the stage was set for a magnificent stay marked by warmth, generosity, and an incomparable Mexican hospitality. Attentive without being overbearing, everyone at Naviva is ready to assist in creating an exceptional experience specifically for you. I mentioned I enjoyed the coffee and was invited to learn how to roast my own beans with the resort's machine, then given a generous bag of my own roast to take home. I enjoyed a cocktail crafted with a fermented beverage made from pineapple skins I'd never heard of before — tepache — and was taught how to make this naturally effervescent Mexican beverage myself. (e pineapple skins are diverted waste from nearby Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, just one example of the sustainability efforts that shape operations here; another is the spent coffee grounds used to make coffee- infused tequila.) When I delighted in a bright, delectable iteration of ceviche made from jicama and beet sauce, a private ceviche-making class with the resort's incredibly talented and innovative chef, Sofia Mojica, was added to my afternoon the following day. ese impromptu additions to my itinerary joined scheduled experiences including a guided hike, where I learned so much about the natural environment of Naviva, a centering, peaceful outdoor guided sunset meditation, and a fabulous massage that took place in one of the resort's spa pods. I savored a delicious lunch and lounged poolside, having only to share it with the tropical birds fortunate enough to call this home. At a destination defined by the creation of incredible, unmatched experiences, however, one rises above the rest. Naviva's temazcal ceremony is its signature experience, a two-and- a-half hour guided spiritual journey that takes place in a "House of Heat" — effectively, a dome-like mini sweat lodge. e session is divided into segments focusing on different elements, making connections in personally meaningful ways for self-discovery and healing. To put it plainly, it is intense. A pit at the center of the lodge is filled with hot rocks and water poured over them fills the dome with dense steam, with respite coming between segments as the opening to the lodge is uncovered and fresh air surges in, then the process repeats. During one segment, or "door," our focus was on the maternal energy. I realized it was my grandma's birthday, which I mentioned to the healer, to which he replied simply, "ere are no coincidences." I was rocked. Its lush privacy, awe-inspiring views, incredible cuisine, and unrivaled experiences (their website proclaims, quite truthfully, "We can arrange virtually anything.") are unlike anything most could ever imagine, but it's the people of Naviva that make it truly extraordinary. One staffer shared with me the story of a departing couple (all of whom, by the way, they remember by name and talk about like the dearest lifelong friends). As they were leaving the resort to return home, the wife announced to her husband that she had plans to return in the not-too-distant future. "You can come with me if you want to," he recalled her telling her husband. "But if you don't want to, that's OK, because I have friends here." And now, I thought as he told me that story, how lucky that I do, too. detour destinations << ranchandcoast.com 82 MARCH 2024 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Naviva's temazcal experience is intense, but transcendent My adorable pair of olive ridley turtles embark on their journey to the sea TURTLES: PHOTO BY DEANNA MURPHY NAVIVA'S TEMAZCAL: PHOTO COURTESY OF NAVIVA

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