Words: Tara Michie. Images: Tara Michie.
Todos Santos, Mexico—nicknamed “Pueblo Magico” and situated just one-and-a-half hours north of the Los Cabos International Airport—is a coastal town dotted with great little restaurants, colorful boutiques, and warm beaches. It was the perfect backdrop for a week of escaping the cold weather with Free People Escapes.
I’ve never been on a retreat before (let alone get a massage or stand in Warrior One pose without falling over). But after joining the Pachamama Mexico Retreat, I understand the importance of slowing down, listening to your body, and getting reconnected.
I’m not much of a yogi, but I should be.
I wear a lot of stress in my shoulders and I’m in a constant state of physical tension. I started avoiding the practice a few years ago when a yoga instructor overstretched my lower back and I couldn’t get out of bed the next day (yes, it was that bad).
But Kate Mulheron, the yoga instructor on this retreat, taught me a completely different way to address my body, focusing on breathing, energy work, and releasing physical, mental, and emotional issues in an effort to get rooted. I was able to release a lot of my physical tension throughout the trip and it gave me a new sense of empowerment and strength.
I’m also not very good at eating healthy, but the girls at Skin Food Talk curated an entire menu that catered to eating right and feeling better. Although I cheated a few times in town, eating the right kinds of food made me feel so much better about my body (goodbye, bloating).
The thing I love most about traveling is being able to support local businesses and artists.
Mexico is no exception; they have such a rich and vibrant culture dating back thousands of years. Todos Santos was founded as a mission in 1723 and later became the sugarcane capital in Baja Mexico. Now, it has a growing tourism industry and a boom in real estate.
I’m always a little disappointed when I visit a town that has been taken advantage of (western gentrification, if you will). Todos Santos is a budding town, and while there is nothing wrong with a growing region, I like to encourage friends to be mindful of how they spend their money and choose to support people from the community. Here are a few of my favorite locally owned businesses in Todos Santos:
PACHAMAMA MEXICO: Although we didn’t get to meet the owner of Pachamama, his son Miguel went with us on a hike and told us he is starting his own eco-adventure tour company. The entire crew at Pachamama felt like an earnest, hard-working community. Elizabeth and her ladies worked tirelessly to provide us with healthy, vegan meals three times a day. Anabelle was always checking on us and making sure we were comfortable. We even got a ride from José (one of the groundskeepers) when we attempted to walk into town. It felt like a family.
TALLER 17: I am always looking for a good coffee shop when I travel to new places. Taller 17 is a new coffee shop that opened just a week prior to our visit and it brews Todo-Santos-grown coffee beans. They also make a bomb blondie brownie (remember how I cheated while I was retreating?).
ALMA AND MANNY’S: Elizabeth from Pachamama suggested this little restaurant to us when we were craving real Baja Mexican food. The fish tacos and Shrimp Chile Relleno were delicious. We sat on the rooftop and got a pretty view of the town, and the margaritas didn’t hurt. Shop the Women’s Original Universal Premier Leather and more new arrivals at Teva.com. Show us your #OldSoulNewSole on Instagram @Teva.