Is your chakra in check? It’s a reasonable question should you find yourself in the Riviera Maya’s hippie hangout, Tulum. The seaside town is known for its spa rituals, many of them based on ancient Mayan and Aztec practices. That’s why we’ve rounded up the three therapies you won’t want to miss when you’re in this neck of the Yucatán. Save your mani/pedi for when you’re back home.
1. Aztec Chakra Balancing Massage, Yäan Wellness Energy Spa at Be Tulum Swedish, shiatsu, hot stone… you’re probably familiar with the usual massage methods. But when was the last time a therapist busted out Aztec floral oils to allow your vibrational energy to let loose? Using the flowers, plus touch and creative visualization techniques, your chakra guru will not only soothe travel-weary muscles, but also work to ease your mind and outlook in the process.
2. Temazcal, Sensorial Spa ‘Chak Ek’ at Papaya Play There are plenty of ways to sweat at Papaya Playa, dancing beneath the palm trees at one of the hotel’s Full Moon parties being one of them. But probably the most adventurous way to work your glands is temazcal. This ancient tradition, practiced by both the Mayan and Aztecs, takes place in a brick igloo meant to represent the womb. Inside, hot stones create a sauna and a local shaman leads the group through a series of blessings and chants while sprinkling herbs over the toasty rocks to generate a cleansing vapor. All in all, the ceremony takes a little over three hours, though not all of that is spent sweating (fear not).
3. Ocean Bath Ritual, the spa at Coqui Coqui Tulum Given that the ground floor of the hotel is a perfume shop, it’s safe to say that the folks at Coqui Coqui know a thing or two about aromatherapy. The Ocean Bath Ritual is the crème de la crème of sensory indulgences. It starts with a warm aromatherapy foot soak, followed by a coconut and sea salt scrub, and then moves to a toxin-extracting Mayan clay wrap and reflexology on your feet. Next up is a one hour massage and, just when you think it can’t get any better, your therapist draws a candle-lit bath with fresh flowers, coconut milk and salts. You’ll wonder if it’s humanly possible to melt into the sides of the tub. Don’t worry, that’s normal.