Before 2000, the private peninsula studded with high-end resorts known as Punta Mita was simply a collection of fishing villages on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, northwest of Puerto Vallarta. Then a developer showed up. Now, even as much of the world hunkers down in all-too-familiar humble abodes, this piece of paradise is turning into a boomtown—one that practices social distancing—for the 1 percent.

There’s a newly redesigned Four Seasons, a St. Regis with private butler service, and a state-of-the-art hospital with coronavirus tests to spare. There are two Jack Nicklaus–designed golf courses and too many swimming pools to count. Multi-million-dollar villas offer panoramic ocean views. John Legend and Chrissy Teigen spent the month of July at Casa Tesoro, a seven-bedroom, privately staffed home that rents for $8,500 per night (in the off-season).

But all of this pales in comparison to what Punta Mita offers parents: a break from heading up Zoom school.

Support System

In July, the Four Seasons launched Schoolcations, in which children staying at the hotel, or in one of its 54 villas, receive an elder “study buddy” to make sure they aren’t just playing Fortnite. A “screen doctor” in a white coat and stethoscope patrols the infinity pool and surrounding loungers, cleaning iPad screens that inevitably get splashed with chlorine. Off-line extra-curricular activities abound, such as golf lessons with a P.G.A. veteran, sea foraging, and craft-making in the style of the Huichol, the people indigenous to this region.

One of Punta Mita’s educational programs, which is held at a local beach club, is based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.

“We’re converting one of the in-house TV channels so that it’s all about the Marieta Islands,” off the coast of Punta Mita and protected thanks to the efforts of Jacques Cousteau, said John O’Sullivan, the general manager of the Four Seasons, which Bill Gates bought through his Cascade Investment firm in 2014. “We have the ability to re-invent and pivot. People are hungry for new options because they’ve been locked up.” (In May, O’Sullivan e-mailed a poem he wrote to some of the resort’s regulars. Titled “Zoom,” it begins, “What a lovely / Way to not / See people.”)

Several families who came for a week or two extended their stays indefinitely. Punta Mita’s name comes from the Aztec mictlan, which means “gateway to paradise,” and indeed, with nine miles of breezy coastline and 1,500 verdant acres, in the midst of a global pandemic this peninsula might almost be the promised land.

“We’ve got a number of people coming from certain cities that you see in the news,” said Brendan Wood, who leads Punta Mita’s residential-sales team. A family from Portland, Oregon, recently dropped $3 million on a home overlooking the tranquil Bay of Banderas. “They were like, ‘We need to move right now,’” Wood said. “We already have $40 million in sales under contract this year,” he added, “which is ahead of what we were projecting before the pandemic.”

Happy parents have told teacher Stephanie Coufal, “It’s been so helpful, without the pills and the psychologist and all of that.”

To meet the needs of families relocating to Punta Mita, Stephanie Coufal, a resident of 10 years, runs a more formal education program. Inspired by the holistic philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Coufal’s socially distanced classes are led by accredited instructors (one from Hunter College) and held at a local beach club (beats the average backyard). Thirty children enrolled for the summer, including a young boy who arrived with debilitating anxiety. “He wouldn’t let his mom leave,” said Coufal. “He was very scared that something bad would happen. There have been a lot of children like that.” By the 10th day, “he was a normal kid again. His parents had planned to come for a week—they ended up renting a house for a month. They said, ‘It’s been so helpful, without the pills and the psychologist and all of that.’”

A “screen doctor” in a white coat and stethoscope patrols the infinity pool and surrounding loungers, cleaning iPad screens that inevitably get splashed with chlorine.

Coufal’s extra-curriculars sometimes include teachable moments for parents. “They caught fish, brought them home, and we cooked them,” said Carla de la Mora, whose 6-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son spent two months at the school this summer. “It was a little gross. I’d never cleaned a fish in my life before.”

Activities for adults abound: Reiki, surfing, aerial yoga. But for de la Mora, who, in August, decided to move her brood from León, Mexico, to Punta Mita for the foreseeable future, private school in paradise offers other perks. “I’ve found myself, for the first time in 11 years, with a little time to read,” she said. “It’s fantastic.”

Sheila Marikar is a Los Angeles–based writer