Discovering the Untouched Mexican Riviera

By Scott Goetz / November 6, 2011

You can get to Costa Careyes in one of two ways. Chartering  a flight from Puerto Vallarta lets you see Costa Alegre —25,000 acres of national biosphere  reserve—-in all its stunning beauty. A two-hour  car ride provides a colorful glimpse of the more than 270 different species of birds, 70 mammals and 1,000 different plants that call this haven home.

Regardless of how you enter the region, you’ll soon understand why this 300 miles of Pacific coastline, with only a few fishing villages and not one mega-resort, is considered Mexico’s ultimate “green” destination.

The settlement of Costa Careyes was founded in 1968 by Gian Franco Brignone, a groundbreaking artist, architect  and entrepreneur from Torino, Italy, whose dream was to create a resort that honors the authentic beauty of Mexico and allows guests to embrace the Italian ideal of sensuality, “La Dolce Vita.”

Over the past four decades, Brignone has limited growth on Careyes to one beachside hotel with 48 rooms, 36 casitas on a hill above a cove, and 50 villas. Every castle at Costa Careyes boasts cliffside infinity  pools and open-air living spaces with walls painted  hot pink, shocking yellow and deep blues. These casitas and castles, with their unique  signature  design and brightly painted  exteriors adhering  to Brignone’s late ‘60s and early ‘70s vision, created the vibe and style now widely known  as Pacific Mexican Architecture.

Low-density buildings  with palapa roofing and cross-ventilation minimize need for air conditioning; roads were hand-built from rock and dirt (no asphalt); nighttime lighting is limited for enhanced stargazing; food and garden waste is composted; and solar panels provide energy.

Long breakfasts in the villa can be followed with activities such as rescuing sea turtles, beach- combing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, polo, tennis, golf and watersports.  Private yoga sessions are offered in the villa or on the beach, and end with a walk through the labyrinth to spend time with a fallen meteor or meditate  in the bot- tom of a huge man-made bowl, which sits at the edge of a rocky peninsula.

Costa Careyes attracts international travelers and expats from Europe, Mexico, and the United States and beyond. Movie stars, fitness gurus and the world’s top designers thirst for the bohemian luxury lifestyle that the creators of Careyes have cultivated. Expect late night parties (don’t miss the yearly Chinese New Year celebration)  that will segue into beachside brunches at Playa Rosa, the casual beach and restaurant, which serves fresh Mexican-inspired dishes based on daily catches and seasonal local ingredients.  At Playa Rosa, you can connect with others and enjoy a leisurely margarita  at the bar, Careyes’ answer to the town social hall, and a boho chic answer to the yacht club beaches of St. Tropez and St. Bart’s.

Scott Goetz
Scott Goetz

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