Cuixmala: About Cuixmala

Located in Costalegre, Mexico

Relax on the beach near Casa Cuixmala

Enjoy oceanview vistas from the Cuixmala Suite

Enjoy the views from the Cuixmala Suite

Lounge in your living room in the Casa La Playa

The beach at Caleta Blanca

On Mexico’s Pacific Coast, far from the glitzy resort towns, rests an unspoiled stretch of shoreline dotted with solitary beaches and forgotten bays. It was here in the late 1980s—atop a verdant ridgeline overlooking a remote slice of golden sand—that British financier James Goldsmith chose to build Cuixmala, his private estate of grand villas and cozy casitas. Goldsmith’s reasons for selecting this particular piece of Mexican coastline go beyond its seclusion. Within the surrounding tropical forests he envisioned a sanctuary for both himself and the area wildlife. He purchased 25,000 acres and began restoring the natural habitat, which had been damaged by deforestation. Soon the land’s original inhabitants—birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians—returned of their own accord.

An eco-conscious ethos still thrives at Cuixmala, and guests have been experiencing it firsthand since the estate was converted to a lodge in 2009. Spend your days discovering the property’s far-reaching biosphere reserve, exploring its network of lush nature trails, cruising inland lagoons in search of unusual birds, and relaxing on an empty stretch of sand. Then, after the sun goes down on evenings between July and April, gather on the beach for the sea turtle release, a nightly homage to the spirit that built this spectacular wildlife sanctuary. 

Why We Love This Lodge

It’s not often that a billionaire financier decides to quit the business and devote his life to environmental conservation. But by the late 1980s, Goldsmith had already conquered Wall Street and began to turn his attentions toward a quieter place: Mexico’s Costalegre, or “coast of joy.” As Goldsmith set out to build an extraordinary estate—now the Cuixmala eco-lodge—he worked simultaneously to establish an environmental organization to protect the surrounding land. The resulting Cuixmala Ecological Foundation was instrumental in creating and preserving the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, the first piece of land in Mexico set aside to preserve the country’s tropical dry forest.

Today, the reserve is brimming with wild flora and fauna. Among the biosphere’s most intriguing species are endangered jaguars and sea turtles, as well as colorful bird species like parrots and flamingos. Lush fruit groves and organic farms dot the property, evidence of the lodge’s sustainable agriculture practices. The foundation continues to sponsor a host of initiatives geared toward species and land preservation, as well as research projects aimed at understanding the surrounding ecosystem. With all lodge revenue being invested back into the biosphere, guests aid in conservation efforts simply by staying here.


  • Visit Playa Cuixmala after dark to help resident biologists release newly hatched sea turtles into the ocean (July through April).
  • Explore the reserve’s network of nature trails on horseback, guiding your mount through lush fruit groves and past wild boars and coatimundis.
  • Take in a spectacular sunset over the Pacific while enjoying dinner around a bonfire on the beach, serenaded by mariachi music.
  • Tour the mangrove-fringed waters of the property’s lagoon at dusk to witness the nightly return of thousands of birds to their nesting grounds. 
  • Swim, snorkel, or kayak through the pristine waters off of Caleta Blanca, breaking to taste fresh fish tacos grilled in the lodge’s private kitchen on the beach.

National Geographic Exclusive

When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, you'll be invited on a guided tour of our biodynamic garden followed by a freshly prepared lunch for two using just-picked ingredients. Explore the magic of Cuixmala’s hortaliza, filled with produce cultivated using the most advanced and holistic form of farming on the planet and then reap the rewards as it is transformed into a delicious and nourishing lunch.

Lodge Features

  • 24 accommodations set within a biosphere reserve, including villas, suites, bungalows, and casitas 
  • Restaurant featuring dishes made with ingredients from the onsite organic farm
  • For guests staying at the Casitas, meals are served at Casa Gomez, which offers an open-air dining room with a casual atmosphere. Guests staying at Casa Cuixmala and the Bungalows dine at La Loma, our signature fine dining restaurant set in a stunning outdoor palapa with a breathtaking panoramic view. When renting a villa, guests are treated to their own personal chef and server who customize all meals to their tastes utilizing the seasonal ingredients underfoot.
  • Three Cuixmala beaches
  • Wildlife trails to explore on foot, mountain bike, or horseback
  • A private pool for each villa and shared pools for the casitas, suites, and bungalows
  • Sporting facilities, including a soccer field and tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts
  • Club House “Casa Gomez” with board games and playing cards
  • Boutique with a selection of local arts and crafts
  • Spa services
  • Free Wi-fi in each villa, bungalow, and suite, and in the clubhouse shared by the casitas

Spotlight on Sustainability

In 1988, Goldsmith established the Cuixmala Ecological Foundation to protect the wildlife on his estate grounds—land that now comprises the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve. The reserve sponsors several species-preservation programs, including the highly successful Turtle Protection Program. This program has incubated, hatched, and released hundreds of thousands of endangered baby sea turtles in an effort to protect them from predators and poachers.

Cuixmala has also developed strong ties with the nearby town of Emiliano Zapata, establishing initiatives that provide life skills and professional opportunities to members of this remote community. The Cuixmala School, a nonprofit academy located on the biosphere reserve, offers scholarships to local children to encourage them to pursue higher education. To that aim, students are taught an advanced curriculum and valuable language skills. With the surrounding biosphere acting as a natural classroom, an understanding of ecology and the environment greatly influences school programming.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Virtuoso Best of the Best—Sustainable Tourism Leadership Hotel Award, 2014
  • Travesías Lo Mejor de México Hotel Más Verde y Responsible (Greenest and Most Responsible Hotel), 2010

A Note About Travel to Mexico

Please note: A State Department travel warning for Mexico is currently in effect (click here to view the State Department's information page on Mexico). We closely monitor events in the region, and will alert booked guests to any significant developments.

Over a very short distance, our resident biologists take you from a dry tropical forest, where you’ll see towering, ancient cacti, to a cool and perpetually green semi-deciduous forest. While enjoying a leisurely

walk, you’ll get to experience these strikingly different microclimates and at the same time learn about the plants, birds, and animals that thrive here.

Over a very short distance, our resident biologists take you from a dry tropical forest, where you’ll see towering, ancient cacti, to a cool and perpetually green semi-deciduous forest. While enjoying a leisurely

walk, you’ll get to experience these strikingly different microclimates and at the same time learn about the plants, birds, and animals that thrive here.

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