Mindful retreats are portals to inner peace and calm, as well as a chance to step outside of your routine and discover a new vantage point. From the jungles of Guatemala to the lavish luxury of a California Zen spa, these experiential travel destinations offer the opportunity to get off the grid, ditch the technology and reboot your life.
The Yoga Forest
Check into your thatched roof cabin or hang in the hammock of your cabana in the jungles of Guatemala at this sacred sanctuary, set into the cliffs overlooking Lake Atitlán and the surrounding volcanoes. This mindful retreat focuses of the art of living in the present and connecting with nature. You can explore the ancient Mayan altars and natural springs, try Thai massage or reiki, paddleboard across the lake, practice yoga in a tree-top glass studio, participate in sound healing ceremonies and plant medicine workshops or meditate at a natural temple. Get lost in a landscape of green and find your center.
Based on a Japanese Kyoto (country inn), this Zen Spa in the gentle mountains of Escondido, California, is a magical Eden with its ancient oak-lined pathways, bamboo forests, raked sand gardens, koi ponds and waterfalls. Silent hikes in the morning lead to mountaintop Tai Chi. Days are filed with massage, fitness classes, dance workshops, lectures on wellness, organic lunches in the garden, shaman rituals, sound healing, meditation and more.
The Sanctuary at Two Rivers
Sign up for a yoga retreat at this tropical hideaway in Costa Rica where you can enjoy daily yoga sessions, spa treatments, and gourmet vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Relax on the deck of your solar-powered Jungle Lofts and Studio House and espy howler monkeys, toucans and sloths. Cascading waterfalls and warm water beaches can also be found in this corner of paradise.
This nonprofit group builds houses and schools in third world countries and offers life-changing trips to exotic spots like Bali for retreats based on mindfulness, meditation and growth. Their workshops help unleash personal passions and greater purpose, offering a dynamic setting to connect with other like-minded individuals who want to accelerate their life and goals. Travelers also participate in cultural experiences and local impact projects on their journey in Bali. Retreats occur in San Diego, too.
Red Mountain Spa
Set in the red rocks of St. George, Utah, this beautiful spot is a hiker’s haven and healing oasis. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge where adventure and wellness live in harmony. Red Mountain offers everything from nutrition and fitness evaluations, acupuncture, Qi Gong, meditation, labyrinth walks, daily trips to Zion National Park, photography, pottery classes and nature-inspired spa treatments.
Journalist Ann Wycoff has written about wellness, fitness, longevity, travel, spas, food and wine for the past 20 years for magazines like Shape, Fitness, Spa, Outside, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Redbook, Modern Luxury, San Diego Magazine, Redbook, Marin Magazine and more. She lives in Encinitas, California.