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There's Way More To Mexico Than You Think, with Journey Mexico Founder Zachary Rabinor

Zachary Rabinor, the founder and president of Journey Mexico, takes us on a country-wide tour across all the best cultural, adventure, culinary, and secret spots in Mexico. Discover the beauty of historical hacienda hotels, the excitement of expeditions in the Copper Canyon and Chiapas, the surf of Sinaloa, and much more. This is definitely not your typical Mexico vacation!

We might as well call this “The Big Book of Mexico” episode, because it’s filled with a lifetime of adventures, insider spots, and authentic luxury hotels throughout the country.

 

Our guest is Zachary Rabinor, the founder and president of Journey Mexico, a unique luxury travel company that takes clients far beyond the country’s well-known beach destinations. Not that he doesn’t appreciate Mexico’s great beach resorts—he’s been living in Puerto Vallarta for almost 20 years, and he joins Bruce in person from the town they both call home for this special episode. Zachary is the perfect person to lead us on a whirlwind tour of Mexico’s cultural, natural, and culinary riches, from Campeche and Chiapas in the south to the Copper Canyon and Baja wine country in the north. If you love Mexico like we do—or even if you’re just slightly curious about the country—this episode is a must listen!

Learn More: Journey Mexico

HACIENDAS:

COSTALEGRE

COPPER CANYON

CAMPECHE

PUEBLA

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Wallin Wrap-Up

I’m just going to assume that hearing from Zach got you very excited to visit Mexico. And now that you’re coming down here to visit, you’re going to need a few ideas about where to stay, so I thought I’d share some of my personal favorite hotels and resorts around the country.

Now, Mexico really does have some of the best hotels in the world, and one that I’d say has kind of been the standard bearer over the years is Las Ventanas in Los Cabos.

There are so many great beach resorts in Cabo—you’ve got One & Only Palmilla, Esperanza, Zadun, Pedregal—and you really can’t go wrong at any of them. But I’ve visited Las Ventanas a few times over the years, and I’m just always blown away by how good it is—the feel, the ambience, the service is spectacular.  

Another Rosewood resort that is right up there with anything is Rosewood Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya. We’ve talked about this place before on the show, and it’s this very peaceful sanctuary in the mangroves and along this great stretch of beach. The food is really a standout here.

Other spots I love on the Riviera Maya—the Hotel Escencia and the Belmond Maroma. Both on incredible beaches—like that soft white-sand beach Caribbean dream beach. Escencia is a very chic designer type place, while the Belmond is a little more classic Mexican in style. That one is closed for the next couple years for renovations, and I’m curious to see how that turns out.

Closer to where I’ve been based here in Puerto Vallarta, Zach briefly mentioned Las Alamandas, which is a truly magical place. It’s on the Costalegre, south of Vallarta, and like Zach said, this area just hasn’t been developed like other coastal regions, so you have these huge pieces of land with only one small resort or a few homes. Alamandas is on 2,000 acres, it’s got four private beaches, and there are less than 20 suites. Definitely one of my favorite hideaways.

Another one that came up in our conversation is Hacienda de San Antonio. This place is a working hacienda in the foothills of the Colima Volcano. Honestly, I don’t even know how to describe it. You just have to go check out their website, look at how incredible the photos and videos are, and then trust me that it really is that incredible. Unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been.

Another hacienda property I love is Hacienda de los Santos in northern Mexico. Not a place that’s very easy to get to, but it’s in a great town called Alamos, which is kind of like a smaller, less discovered San Miguel de Allende.

There are, of course, many, many great hotels in San Miguel and other cities throughout the country, but my favorite is the brand-new Casa Polanco in Mexico City. It’s just opening this month, and it’s another one of these converted mansions—I think it has 16 suites. It’s in probably the nicest location in the entire city, right on Lincoln Park in Polanco.

You walk a few blocks one way and you’re at Bosque de Chapultepec, which is like the Central Park of Mexico City but twice the size. Walk a block the other way, and you’re in Polanco’s main shopping and dining area. Mexico City is such a fantastic place for food, for museums, for exploring, and when you come back at the end of the day, Casa Polanco is like returning to your own private mansion on the park.

I’ll tell you, my recent trip to Mexico City definitely got me thinking that my next stint abroad should be in the capital. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my time in Puerto Vallarta. And I hope to see you all down here—or somewhere else in Mexico—very soon.

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Hosted by: Bruce Wallin

Produced and edited by: AJ Moseley

Music by: Joey Salvia