The mild climate of Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Puebla, provides fertile soil for one of the most versatile plants to grow: lavender.
For over 20 years, Rancho San Martín Lavanda has been able to create a violet Eden on five hectares in this municipality. Thanks to the planting and harvesting of lavender it distills to take advantage of its therapeutic properties and from which it manufactures oils, creams, scrubs, soaps, sanitizers, and antibacterial gel.
The plant itself has about 30 varieties. The most commonly found in Puebla are:
Grosso: with stems that can be up to 45 cm long, it blossoms during the summer and is used mainly to obtain oils.
Provence: with stems up to 50 centimetres long, its colour is violet and its scent is strong; it is edible and is used to create bouquets and handicrafts.
In addition to the above, at Rancho San Martín it is also possible to find the following varieties: spike, white spike, folgate, royal, velvet, Spanish, among others.
It is possible to visit the purple fields. Rancho San Martín offers walking tours (booking required), where you can visit the distillery, the greenhouse, the lavender trails, as well as the vegetable garden and the rabbit farm.
The tour around the place starts in the distillery where the extractors are located. There you get an explanation of how distilled water and oil with different aromas are obtained, out of which over 17 products are made.
Said aromas come from:
- Plants, such as lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary, and lemongrass, brought from Atlixco.
- Citrus peels such as orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon.
- Branches, either from authorized pruning or waste, including white cedar, lemon cedar, eucalyptus, oyamel, pirul and Douglas fir.
All natural handcrafted oils and essences have therapeutic properties with different functions. Some reduce pain, inflammation and have antioxidants, while others are more relaxing, antiseptic, and even balsamic.
After the explanation, visitors go to the greenhouses, where they have an explanation about the different types of lavender that are harvested and their uses.
This year, they have decided to start the process of renewing the soil. The process consists of composting the soil with organic material, harrowing and furrowing the plots again, and transplanting the plants that are in the plots into pots.
Vegetable gardens and rabbit farms
The trail continues onto the rabbit farms and the vegetable gardens. To get there you have to walk up the forest trails, surrounded by a great variety of trees and ferns. At the same time, the volcano Iztaccihuatl begins to loom between the mountains.
At the highest point, you will find the vegetable gardens where tomatoes, chili, coriander, chard, cucumber, radishes, and carrots are grown. These products are gifts to tourists as part of the tour of the ranch.
There you will also find the rabbit farm, with over 200 species that you can feed with plants. In this same area, you can also find some cabins available to rent.
in addition to tours and visits to the lavender trails, tourists can rent cabins and cottages for two, four, or up to seven people.
The rental prices are:
- Cabins for 2 persons: 1,300 pesos per night.
- Cabins for 4 people: 1,650 pesos per night.
- Cabins for 7 people: 1,950 pesos per night.
- Extra-person 100 pesos.
Should you want to spend just one day, visitors can have a picnic in the middle of nature or attend a lavender soap-making workshop.
At the end of the tour, where you learn about the distillation processes and uses of the plant, you should visit the shop where you will find soap, shampoo, diffusers, handicrafts, key rings, coffee mugs, crockery, and even sauces, all made of lavender.
Before you go in, you can try a pastry made with edible lavender. The shop has a terrace, ideal for sitting and enjoying snacks and nature.
They also sell popsicles and ice creams made from the plant, such as tequila with lavender and lemon with lavender.
Once in the shop, the aroma is unmistakable. The violet tones harmonize the visit. The shop managers assure that no plant is more relaxing than lavender, and for this reason, they make recommendations to the visitors about the products to buy.
Lotions for sheets and pillows, sea salts, massage oils and grapefruit, mandarin, and mint soaps are also for sale.
To visit Rancho San Martín Lavanda, reservations must be made by phone: 55 40 26 46 13, with Manuel Cossío. There is no entrance fee.
How to get to Rancho San Martín? The place is located in the municipality of Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Puebla, almost at the border with the State of Mexico.
The address is Mexico-Puebla Federal Highway km 53.75, between Rancho Los Ciervos and the lake of Arcoiris Sport Fishing.