One week per year, kids rule at Rancho La Puerta, the famous destination spa located in scenic Tecate, Mexico. The third annual Family Week is happening during the week of August 2-9, 2014 and named “Camp Kuchumaa” after the special mountain near the Ranch thought to possess spiritual healing powers. The week promises to provide a perfect blend of activities, fitness, education, and relaxation for both parents and children from ages 7-17.

I just returned completely rejuvenated from a hosted retreat at this amazing spa and can only imagine how much kids would also love a week here, too. Here are 10 of many reasons to book Family Week at Rancho La Puerta.

(UPDATE: Another great reason to book Family Week (or any week at Rancho La Puerta) is that as an independent affiliate of Cadence, I can book you in with agent-exclusive amenities that can include a complimentary spa treatment and room upgrade based on availability. Contact me here for more information.)

1. Getting To Rancho La Puerta Is Easy

The drive from central San Diego is 90 minutes including the time it takes to cross the border. Tecate, Mexico is a quiet town with a small border crossing that usually has no wait.

Complimentary transportation to and from the San Diego International Airport is available on Saturday arrival and Saturday departure dates. Midweek transportation can be arranged at an additional cost.

I have driven to the Ranch and parked my car in a lot on the U.S. side of the border that Rancho La Puerta has been recommending to visitors for years. Consider this, if you live within driving distance.

2. The Food Is Divine

rancho la puerta breakfast

Meals are included in your room rate and Rancho La Puerta is more than happy to accommodate special requests. Are your kids picky eaters? No problem. Do they need snacks at certain times? Let the kitchen know and they’ll deliver what you need to your room.

Parents, on the other hand, will be oh-so-happy to indulge in the farm-to-table, seasonal fare prepared by Chef Denise Roa and her expert staff. It’s eye-opening that food this healthy can taste so good. Check out the recipe for Rancho La Puerta’s green juice.

3. There Are 3000 Acres of Fun

Wide open space beckons kids to explore gorgeous meadows, mountains, trails, oak forests and more through guided hikes and free time with mom and dad. Read a book under a tree or swing in a hammock together. There’s no agenda other than your own.

4. Wildlife Is Everywhere

Spot birds, bunnies, lizards, squirrels bugs and more while simply walking between activities. Learn even more about the resident creatures during Family Week through nature walks such as “Paws and Poops”. My daughter would sign up for that based on the name alone.

5. The Entire Family Can Take Fitness Classes

rancho la puerta drumming

A wide variety of classes for parents happen all day long including foam rolling, Pilates, yoga, bootcamp, TRX, dance, Hydrofit, cardio drumming, tennis, and cardio sculpt. Kids will have a blast in kids zumba, noodle water polo, pool bingo, self-defense and more.

6. Select From a Variety of Art and Music Classes

Beat Brazilian drums, learn how to turn doodles into masterpieces and participate in family sing-a-longs where kids teach parents lyrics to their favorite songs. Then, it’s the parents’ turn to teach kids how to belt out ZZ Top, Madonna and other favorites from the 70s and 80s. Laughs are guaranteed, I’m sure.

7. Kids and Teens Learn to Garden Organically and Cook

Let me just say that kids will love the enthusiasm of head gardener, Salvador. I’m positive he’ll dig up Coke (or wine, in our case) bottle ant traps, encourage sampling of edible flowers, fruit and vegetables right off the vine and more all while teaching them to appreciate the merits of organic gardening.

rancho la puerta organic garden

And, next door to the garden awaits La Cocina Que Canta where kids will be able to transform freshly-picked fruit and veg into simple, tasty dishes during cooking class.

8. You Can Take the Perfect Family Photo

Rancho La Puerta is one of the most beautiful resorts in the world with meticulously-maintained, water-wise gardens that are nothing short of spectacular. Family photographer, Tom Birmingham, will be on site to shoot family portraits on the property, compliments of Rancho La Puerta. He’ll also teach a special photography class geared toward teens.

9. Villas Provide Perfect Family Accommodations

rancho la puerta villas sol

With a living area, outdoor patio lounge, desk, sizable bathroom and bar area with refrigerator, spacious villas offer the necessary comfort and space families crave when traveling together. Note that there is intentionally no in-room internet or TV. Conversation and inner-peace is meant to trump digital devices and promote family bonding.

10. Rancho La Puerta Family Week Rates Are a Great Value

The rate of $3150 per adult and $650 per kid (each adult may bring two kids at this rate) includes accommodations, meals and activities. Some activities such as cooking school (highly recommend) and spa treatments (also highly recommend) are an additional charge. Overall, it’s pretty good value for a luxury family vacation, if you ask me.

rancho la puerta destination spa pool

It’s difficult to articulate how good you’ll feel after a week at Rancho La Puerta. I feel as if I’ve gained a few extra years of life. I am less tired, my posture is noticeably straighter, my shoulders have dropped into normal position and I’m motivated to up my workouts at home. Loyal guests return year after year and sometimes multiple times per year to recharge. You’ll get to know them during your stay and many will tell you that the Ranch has changed their lives for the better.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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