Xala is making its home on Mexico´s west coast, located around a 1.5-hour drive (105km) south of Puerto Vallarta´s Airport and just 5 minutes from the future Costa Alegre Airport. The huge scale blueprint is moving into the Tomatlán municipality of Jalisco state, with the development adapting its name from the area´s local town of Chalacatepec. This secret stretch of the Costa Alegre is ruggedly beautiful; 3000 acres of Pacific coast with white sand beaches backing onto agricultural hillsides, all pitched between two freshwater estuaries.
It´s over a decade since the seed of an idea was planted, now phasing into bloom under the keen eyes of Ricardo Santa Cruz and the Bremer brothers, developers behind the low-density, nature-mindful, and ultra-luxe Mandarinas O&O in neighboring Nayarit state. While Xala will have all the features of a luxury development, its foundational moral pillars and background work set the project apart as a socially and environmentally conscious development. Observing the often-divisive social effects and environmental harm of traditional resort models, the project´s concept pours through a lens of community and environmental preservation. It wants to get back to the roots of what traveling is all about: cultural immersion, meaningful exchange, and inspiration. Xala aims to bring social integration, environmental conservation, and a luxury lifestyle proposal into harmony.
The voices of the 68 families who already call Chalacatepec home have played a big part in the trajectory of the project´s development. The local community knows what it truly needs, and developers who listen and act on these extend the agency for a local sense of pride. Originally there was a plan to build schools in the area, however passing the microphone to locals revealed that after-school programs would have a more positive impact. As a result, Xala´s extensive vision includes constructing a cultural center, soccer field, skate park, and beach club for residents. Such spaces and resources give local children the opportunity to find out what inspires them, whether that be art, dance, music, skateboarding, soccer, learning English, or volunteering at local turtle sanctuaries.
In a bid to restore and protect the natural environment, Xala is reforesting over 600 acres of land, allocating some 1200 acres as a protected area, and will create programs to preserve species in the area such as reptiles, ocelots and turtles. For the past 5 years the project has been working on programs with local farmers and fisherman, to deoxygenate and purify the land in response to erosion and the use of pesticides on crops, as well as estuary restoration. Additionally, the new waterway built for the development will provide year-round drinking water to the families living in the area it will travel through.
Xala will of course offer plenty of luxury with plans for more than 75 new residences, a handful of boutique hotel brands, a hostel, and beach clubs. The idea is that a wider demographic will be able to access and invest in the sliding scale of products, from 6-figure 1-bedroom residences up to the multi-millions. The difference is that unlike other high-end, master-planned communities, the same rights, access (including 5 miles of public beach) and amenities will be available to all. Together with a program of environmental, social, and agricultural community projects for residents and visitors to get involved with, the concept supports diversity and integration.
Xala´s doors will be opened to new homeowners and visitors in early 2023 upon completion of phase one´s initial 125-million-dollar investment. Several community-focused aspects like the cultural center and soccer field are already underway or even completed, as is the case of the skate park constructed with partner Johnny Schillereff, former Element Skateboarding CEO and founder of The Heart Supply. This strategy forges an organic opportunity for the local community to first find itself amongst the new developments before outside interests move in.
Much deeper than simply a high-end destination, Xala strives to be the benchmark for the sustainable, eco-friendly, and conscious travel of the future.