Mexico’s sixth highest peak—a dormant, often white-tipped volcano befittingly named El Nevado de Colima (snowy one of Colima)—provides a stunning backdrop to the lush forest and meticulously manicured grounds surrounding Mahakua-Hacienda de San Antonio. Still more spectacular is El Nevado’s active brother, Volcán del Fuego (volcano of fire), which offers up perpetual wisps of white steam and, on rare occasion, a shot of fiery lava. Notwithstanding Fuego’s episodic outbursts, this converted 19th-century grand manor estate presents a serene and temperate tropical mountain setting, ideal for uninhibited relaxation.
Set on a 5,000-acre working ranch and organic coffee plantation, Mahakua (pronounced MA-ha-kwa) is tucked away between Guadalajara and Manzanillo in Pacific Mexico’s unspoiled highlands. The hacienda’s airy courtyards and slender arcades, inspired by those found in Spain’s Alhambra Palace, line a vibrant palette of fruit trees, tropical flowers, and colorful bird life. Nourishing to both flora and fauna—as well as to the human spirit—water flows throughout Mahakua’s sprawling grounds in the form of fountains, ponds, lakes, and streams. A neo-Roman-style aqueduct, carved from volcanic stone more than a century ago, carries water from the nearby river, providing rustic beauty as well as a practical irrigation source for the resort’s prodigal gardens.
The best time to stroll the landscaped grounds of this Mexican Eden is at daybreak. The air is crisp, and the rising sun casts a glow on the richly abundant foliage of laurels, vanilla plants, and fig, mango, and walnut trees. Also adorning the property are blue agave cacti, root of the country’s most celebrated spirit: tequila. But after a morning walk, the caffeinated libation created from the plantation’s coffee beans provides a more appeasing (and appropriate) shot—and the perfect stimulant to spark another restful day in this mountain paradise.
Mahakua-Hacienda de San Antonio
Nestled among the pastured mountains of Pacific Mexico in the state of Colima.
Mountain biking and horseback riding, swimming in the 115-foot tiled pool, or hiking with the resort’s
professional naturalist, who will point out hidden volcano trails.
Alfresco dining is available throughout the hacienda. The estate’s Moorish-style Mirador Room on the Roof Terrace provides panoramic views, while the Gallery offers romantic, candlelit dinners.
Mahakua’s extensive library includes rare volumes on Mexican art, in addition to books on popular and general topics. The resort’s miniature volcanic-rock amphitheater hosts rodeo-style performances upon request.
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