All-Natural All-Inclusive: Viceroy, Mexico

Resident shaman Joe Colli waves a smoldering wand of copal incense around my shoulders and delivers his blessing: "Ah yum hunab ku evam maya ema ho" (Let the peace of nature and the cosmos be with you). Standing in the midst of this stunning natural environment, I already feel lucky to be here. But now — magically, perhaps — I also feel connected to the ancient Maya who wandered these same verdant coastal forests many centuries ago.

I head deeper into the forest of sapote, ceiba and tulip trees, where troops of spider monkeys parade in the afternoons, iguanas slither along at a languorous pace and birds trill contentedly from above. A labyrinth of pathways flanked by tropical palms and palmetto and guava trees winds circuitously through light and shade to secret hideaways and, eventually, to my own spacious palapa.

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Photo by: Debbie Snow

Privacy is prized here, and the resort's 41 villas, crowned with traditional thatch, are all concealed from their neighbors by fences draped in layers of palm fronds and resembling giant grass skirts. Each sanctuary boasts spacious living and sleeping areas, an outdoor shower, a dining terrace, private plunge pool and a hand-crocheted hammock for midday naps. Beyond the plush cloisters, there are myriad places on this six-acre preserve where guests can revel in nature's splendor. Voile-draped swinging beds overlook the sea, seven miles of pearly sand invite early morning exploration, cabanas sit mere steps from the water's edge, and trickling waterfalls secreted within the lush undergrowth provide even more opportunities for personal contemplation. I can't wait to discover them all. —Debbie Snow

Viceroy's all-inclusive package includes three meals daily, plus select beverages. Room-only rates are also available. From $675.

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Photo by: Debbie Snow


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