An off-the-beaten-path Mexican beach town has been in the spotlight this week after Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers were spotted vacationing there following their surprise engagement news.
On Monday, photographers snapped the Big Little Lies star, 29, and the Green Bay Packers quarterback, 37 — who shocked fans by announcing their engagement back in February — on the tarmac at an airport near Careyes, Mexico, a quiet, bohemian beach destination that draws celebrities looking for a getaway far more low-key than hotspots like Cabo or Tulum.
While details on the pair's ultra-private trip are slim, there is plenty to know about the unique location they chose for it.
Careyes is a private estate resort.
It was founded by Italian entrepreneur Gian Franco Brignone in 1968. He purchased the 20,000-acre parcel of land in the western Mexican state of Jalisco and began developing it slowly, building a mix of accommodations for guests. It is still family-owned and operated and only an estimated one percent of the land has been developed so far.
It has been a celebrity-favorite vacation destination for years.
Because it's small, exclusive, and relatively isolated, Careyes has seen many famous faces, including the likes of Uma Thurman, Cindy Crawford, Lee Daniels, Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus, Christie Brinkley, Kevin Hart and Mick Jagger. Heidi Klum and Seal even held their wedding there in 2005. It's often thought of as paparazzi-proof, or at least far more private than other beach towns.
It’s a hotspot for creative types.
There's an impressive art scene, design-forward architecture, and bohemian vibe here. The estate hosts the annual art and film festival Arte Careyes in the spring and Ondalinda, an art and music festival, in the fall. There's also a famous permanent sculpture, Copa del Sol, that attracts visitors to its oceanfront site.
Accommodations in the community are luxurious, to say the least.
Options include private villas, ocean casitas and bungalows as well as a hotel called El Careyes Club and Residences. El Careyes has two fully-staffed private villas, Oriente and Occidente, which feature multiple suites and private infinity pools.
Another accommodation option is the Tigre Del Mar: a 7-bedroom villa with a butler and private beach.
The climate is perfect for a beachy getaway.
Careyes boasts beautiful weather year-round, with an average daytime temperature between 72° and 76°F. Breezes off the water can be expected at night, and they typically see no more than 25 days of rain a year.
Careyes means “tortoiseshell” in Spanish, and it’s home to many sea turtles.
The animals lay their eggs on the pristine Pacific shores, and the resort often hosts turtle release events on the beach at sunset. Around 2,000 turtle nests are protected each year as part of the work of the local Careyes Foundation.
It’s easy to get to — if you have a private plane.
Visitors fly into two different spots when traveling to Careyes: Playa de Oro International Airport, a public airport that is an hour and a half away, or a 4,000 ft. grass landing strip located just 30 minutes away, in Chamela, for private chartered flights. Careyes is also a two-and-a-half-hour drive from popular Puerto Vallarta.
Woodley and Rodgers were no doubt happy to soak up some sun after being in chilly Montreal, where Rodgers visited his fiancee when she was filming her upcoming movie, Misanthrope.
After their engagement news was revealed, insiders said that the couple immediately clicked over the summer and began spending a lot of time together. They got engaged sometime late last year.
The pair were recently seen cuddling up in a group photo posted by Historic Best Breakfast Cafe, a restaurant in Arkansas that hosted the pair and their friends for dinner.
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