Rancho La Puerta : The setting … simply stunning.
It’s true, guests are served divine meals with a Mediterranean flair during a stay at Rancho La Puerta. Certainly the full schedule of classes and presentations offers an opportunity to arrive a peaceful center after enjoying one perfect day after another. Finding balance might begin with an early-morning hike, and breakfast at the Rancho’s cooking school, La Cocina que Canta. That invigorating experience may be followed with a yoga or tai chi session; perhaps an art workshop or an informative lecture about sleep after dinner.
The beauty of the landscape itself can be transformative. Majestic evergreen live oaks offer shade and shelter throughout the Rancho’s gardens, while succulents such as cacti and aloes, native and Mediterranean species, and drought-tolerant flowering perennials and shrubs add beautiful punctuation to the terrain’s natural rock formations.
And then there is the birdsong…
enlivening every pathway, patio, and passageway during daylight hours. Art emerges at every turn, from mosaics & metalwork to stained glass embellishments:
An exceptional collection of bronze sculptures appears amid grassy clearings, or as focal points all round the property: Works by Mexican artist, Víctor Hugo Castañeda.
The presence of Mount Kuchumaa – “the exalted high place” of the Kumeyaay Indians – has remained with me since returning home, leaving me with a sense of nourishment and fortitude. Whether one is inclined toward spiritual pursuits or not, I would guess that the scenery’s powerful energy is felt by all who have walked the Rancho’s pathways over the course of a week. The stunning setting has that effect on people.