Yoga overlooking the ocean, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), whale watching and plenty of time relaxing in a hammock: Tailwind Jungle Lodge in San Pancho, Mexico is an adventurous wellness seeker’s paradise. Located approximately an hour north of Puerto Vallarta on the Mexican Pacific coast, this sustainable eco-lodge encourages guests to “unplug, rejuvenate and explore natural paradise on the Mexican Pacific coastline.” The lodge was started and largely hand-built by “wildpreneur” Tamara Jacobi and her parents in 2007; it provides travelers with the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation.
The lodge offers glamping-style accommodations ranging from the rustic to the luxurious. Guests can choose between a platform-style palapa with a composting toilet and outdoor shower or an enclosed casita or bungalow with indoor facilities and a full kitchen. Regardless of which one you choose, you are guaranteed a comfortable bed, your own hammock and a view of the jungle or ocean. Jungle lodging can accommodate solo travelers, couples and families, and the Jacobi family is happy to help travelers select the best option.
Opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation abound at Tailwind and in the surrounding communities. A well-marked path leads to the ominously-named, but nearly private, Playa de Los Muertos (Beach of the Dead). A yoga platform with views of the jungle and ocean is available for private practice, as well as private and group classes. A small pool and plenty of hammocks allow for jungle lounging and relaxation. Those interested in venturing farther afield can sign up for guided SUP or sea kayaking tours, and nearby towns offer more beaches, whale watching (the migrations are best experienced in December), shopping, festivals and the best tacos and margaritas around. You’ll need to go into San Pancho at least once to shop for groceries, and travelers can’t help but be taken in by the town’s charming shops and restaurants. Locals and tourists alike flock to La Playa San Pancho (San Pancho Beach) to watch the sunset. For those interested in a more structured experience, Tailwind also offers yoga, Pilates, adventure and wellness retreats throughout the season; they can also help you design one for your family or group. Services include catering, adventure tours, classes and wellness treatments. They also specialize in intimate weddings and other celebrations.
One of the most appealing parts of Tailwind is its commitment to sustainability and the health of the local community. In March 2009, the lodge became the first certified sustainable eco-lodge in Mexico. The palapas, casitas and bungalows are carefully built into the hillside to minimize disruption of the landscape, showers drain the water back into the jungle (travelers are asked to bring only biodegradable soap) and the lodge is completely off the grid without sacrificing comfort. The Jacobi family invests in the San Pancho community by employing local workers and encouraging visitors to support local businesses. San Pancho itself is known for its environmental and social initiatives, and a visit to the Entreamigos community center is a must. The center provides educational scholarships to local students and runs a recycling program, the materials from which local women make and sell jewelry. Visitors to Tailwind and San Pancho are encouraged to not just be passive tourists, but rather to engage with the environment, community and culture in meaningful ways — a perfect complement to a relaxing vacation.
With so much put on hold for the last year, planning a trip to Tailwind can rejuvenate and inspire a sense of much-needed vitality. The lodge only operates from November to June, so summer and fall are the perfect time to book a trip. If this isn’t the right time for you to take a jungle vacation but you still want some inspiration, you can also check out Tamara’s recently published book Wildpreneurs, which provides a blueprint for anyone wishing to live the life they have always dreamed of.
For more information about Tailwind and to start planning your own jungle vacation, check out their website at tailwindjunglelodge.com.
Photos courtesy of Tailwind Jungle Lodge.
Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2021 issue.