April | Travel
Cocolia, Oaxaca, Mexico
If you’re after a spiritual moment, you've come to the right placeSusan Ward Davies
The gorgeous eco resort Cocolia in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, opened just at the end of 2019, so the global lockdown totally scuppered its launch plans. Hidden away in a tangle of vines, cacti and medicinal plants, the resort’s nine, well spaced out bungalows are positioned above Playa Mermejita beach. Using sandy-coloured local stone, indigenous mahogany and Huanacaxtle wood, architects Septiembre Arquitectura designed the clean, angular lines and geometric shapes of the buildings to contrast with the wild, jungly surroundings.
Overlooking an ancient site of the Mixteca people, bungalow doors slide back to reveal views of the ocean and Punta Cometa, a long finger of strangely shaped rock. The stone formations here have evolved in such a way that, at the winter solstice – which attracts a lot of shamans – the sun can be seen rising through a circular rock opening just as the full moon sets. If you’re after a spiritual moment, you are in the right place.
Eco-wise, Cocolia runs on solar energy, and rainwater is controlled to prevent erosion and recycled for irrigating the citrus, papaya and banana trees. Swim in the saltwater pool, swing by the wellness palapa and fill up in the restaurant on organic fruit, veg and freshly caught bonito or dorado. Surfers will know that Playa Mermejita is one of the best in Mexico for breaks, and Attenborough-types will be aware that you can spot whales here from December through to April.
Doubles from $110, B&B, cocoliahotel.com
Carbon offsetting: very simplistically, the theory behind the UN’s Trillion Trees project is that the planet has space for 1.2 trillion more trees, and if we plant those we could reverse the effects of global warming and rebalance the earth. Trees4Travel was founded by Nico and Elkie Nicholas – she, a former fashion designer, and he with a background in tech – to help people offset their carbon footprints by planting trees. It’s very user friendly; you enter your trip details and the calculator tells you how many trees you can plant at £3 a pop, and they do it all for you.