Going on vacation to unplug is one thing but getting away from it all to fully decompress, detox and do a little soul searching is even more special on far-flung journeys. Many destinations have a reputation for their holistic virtues where visitors can immerse in natural beauty, dine on organic cuisine and focus on bettering mind, body and spirit with activities like hiking and outdoor yoga. There’s no better time to visit these 5 spiritual vacations if you’re looking for mindful travel moments and soul searching.
5 best spiritual vacations to book for mindfulness and soul searching
- Greater Aspen and Boulder, Colorado
Colorado may not be the first place you think for a spiritual vacation, but the culture is so laid back, there’s no surprise it was the first state to legalize marijuana, it’s home to Naropa University (founded by a Bhuddist teacher) in Boulder and people from all over the world come here to do a little soul searching in the vast landscape. Colorado is also one of the cheaper travel destinations on our list.
With its liberal sensibility, farm-to-table cooking, history in wellness, “bohemian chic” reputation (and proud of it!) and, of course, the iconic natural setting made famous by the Colorado mountains, Colorado attracts inner-peace seeking visitors from all over the world.
Known for its winter skiing scene, Aspen’s summer times are equally enticing with perfectly warm weather, lush foliage and myriad outdoor activities. Fitness enthusiasts who like to catch up on “me” time take to the mountains for leisurely nature walks, mountain climbing and biking, all of which have a meditative quality, making it one of our best spiritual vacations.
Healthy, locally sourced eats abound (vegetarianism is popular in Aspen), including Pyramid Bistro, a nutritarian restaurant, among many other health-minded spots. Travelers can also find a handful of spiritual retreats to participate in throughout the city.
2. Koh Samui, Thailand
Thanks to its sublime beaches, lush hills and pleasant locals, Koh Samui in Thailand s one of the most popular island destinations in Thailand. In fact, Koh Samui has built a reputation as a premiere getaway for affluent, holistic-minded travelers who find themselves immersed in unspoiled nature and, for lack of a better term, “good energy” that’s positively abundant on the island.
For this reason, Koh Samui is home to many wellness retreats, yoga studios and plenty of meditative water activities like stand-up paddle boarding (even paddle boarding yoga!).
A visit to Koh Samui isn’t complete without spending hours in a traditional beachside open-air spa for total wellness, where ancient healing traditions like Ayurveda are offered. A lot of travelers take a spiritual vacation for weeks here.
There’s no other Hawaiian island that embraces the holistic (and hedonistic) lifestyle like Maui. The island has served as a modern spiritual destination for decades (it was even stomping grounds for ancient Hawaiian royalty seeking a soulful getaway).
Thanks to its calming beaches and “au natural” island culture embracing well being, Maui is a therapeutic destination that travelers often visit and, well… they never leave (expect a large ex-pat community that leads many holistic initiatives).
The island is chockfull of holistic and spiritual centers, like Maui Holistic Garden Center, Maui Healing Retreat, Three Treasures and Holistic Health, and visitors can find a range of Eastern treatments like acupuncture and cupping at top spas.
Yoga, meditation, herbal medicines and general wellness are traditional themes found in Maui but the most reflective moments for most travelers is sitting on the gorgeous beaches and remembering you’re worlds away in tropical paradise. This makes it one of our best spiritual vacations for soul searching.
4. Bali, Indonesia
If you learned anything from Eat, Pray, Love, it’s that Bali is a destination that touches the soul. It’s the perfect sanctuary for a life-changing vacation largely due in part to the country’s Hindu background, unforgettable, centuries-old temples, tranquil landscapes—from lush jungles to sublime oceans—and abundant organic farming.
Many of Bali’s regions are well known for their spiritual healers, where visitors can get a dose of wellness in a non-traditional perspective and even participate in Hindu ceremonies. They really fulfill all their soul searching in Bali.
Bali is a destination where one learns to love themselves physically and emotionally, finding awareness in their philosophical perspectives and taking on personal life challenges, health and serious detoxification. In Bali, there’s something magical in the air that inspires travelers to better themselves in all aspects.
5. Costa Rica
The beautiful country of Costa Rica is known for its commitment to sustainability, and it’s often regarded as one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world (in fact, the local airline is fully carbon neutral!). It shows how much the country cares about the environment, organic lifestyle and natural beauty.
With this philosophy and practice, it’s no wonder Costa Rica is constantly voted as one of the happiest places in the world, and the locals are a true testament. It’s also worth a spiritual vacation if you want an exotic one.
Visitors immerse themselves completely in nature, from the healing waters of the sea to the mineral hot springs by the massive volcano to the untainted rain forests teeming with beautiful wildlife. There’s a range of therapeutic activities—from horseback riding to surfing—visitors can participate in solo or, for soulful interaction, they can join in on yoga classes and various wellness lectures. Healthy eating is also a bonus as most fruits and vegetables are super fresh, grown locally! This makes it one of our favorite and best spiritual vacations for mindfulness!
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