The last getaway in our destination series from Mr & Mrs Smith is the tropical hideout of Verana in Jalisco, Mexico. Not far from Puerto Vallarta, but so far off the beaten path that you can only access it by boat trip followed by mule ride, Verana is a swoon-inducingly gorgeous collection of thatched-palapa huts overlooking a dramatic vista of jungle and ocean. With in-water massage pools in the spa, cotton-canopied beds open to the balmy air, and a mouth-watering menu of fresh Mexican cuisine, it’s the definition of remote luxury.
Mr & Mrs Smith Insider Tip: We love the lofty, arboreal setting of the Tea House, a Japanese style suite spread over a series of floating wooden platforms above the forest canopy. Although smaller, the Studio also raised our appreciative eyebrows with its pale blue-grey concrete walls and natural-effect crackly pattern, huge wrought-iron four-poster, and whole wall of metal-framed windows that capture the pastel brilliance of the Verana sunrise. Mayan, the bedroom of which opens out onto a wide private terrace with staggering sea views, is one of the hotel’s most theatrical, and has an outdoor bathroom.
Yelapa tends to be flooded with tourists during the day, but it’s worth an afternoon’s meander. The coastline to the south of the village makes for rewarding exploration by boat – Verana can arrange day trips stopping off at the fishing villages of Pizota, Chimo and Corales, and featuring snorkeling and fishing excursions followed by a freshly prepared ceviche on the beach.
Take a trip to the Marietas Islands, a wildlife sanctuary and marine reserve that’s home to a dazzling array of sea life. Look out for giant manta rays, dolphins, humpback whales, and turtles on the boat ride over, and keep your eyes peeled for the blue-footed booby – other than the Galapagos, this is its only natural habitat!
Cathedral Falls, where there’s a lovely deep pool ideal for wild swimming, is within hiking or horse-riding distance of Verana.
What To Pack
The hotel library is well stocked with books and magazines, so don’t waste suitcase space on reading matter. Outdoorsy clothes would be a wise inclusion if you plan on hiking or horse-riding in the jungle.
Photo credit: Mr & Mrs Smith
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