These Secluded Vacation Spots Will Help You Reconnect with Nature—and Yourself
These trips will help you connect with nature, building a sense of peace and fulfillment—and transforming your body and mind—along the way.
Today’s most popular getaways go much deeper than sightseeing or relaxing.
“People are using travel to explore their connection to the earth and to one another and even the meaning of life,” says Beth McGroarty, the VP of research for the Global Wellness Institute, which has seen a major surge in spirituality-based trips. “Travel is now about experiencing the magic of nature and finding something more purposeful in this world. There’s an openness to all kinds of experiences that help us reset our minds—sound baths, chakra balancing, visiting an igloo in the Arctic to disconnect from news, emails, and texts.”
Resorts, hotels, and destinations across the U.S.–and around the world–are infusing spirituality and the natural world into their offerings. “For a lot of people, nature is their spirituality,” says McGroarty. These four places will inspire you and help you connect with nature in exciting new ways.
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Feel at one with the trees and the stars at Brockloch Treehouse in southern Scotland. Located on a working farm in the middle of a bluebell forest, this off-the-grid escape in the treetops will give you an instant sense of tranquility and help you connect with nature. During the day, light streams in through many tiny windows, creating the effect of dappled sunshine, and skylights above the bed and sunken bathtub let you luxuriate while marveling at the sky.
But the real draw is the celestial bodies that come out at night. Scotland has some of the largest expanses of dark skies in Europe, and the nearby Galloway Forest Park was the first Dark Sky Park in the U.K. There, you can head to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory to participate in the Night Sky Experience, visit one of the panoramic viewing points, or simply lie on a blanket and stargaze. The planets and stars are so plentiful that they light up the sky and look close enough to touch. It inspires awe, and it will make you feel more connected to the planet—and the entire solar system—than you thought possible. (Related: Gorgeous Places to Go Glamping If Sleeping Bags Aren't Your Thing)
Price: $192 a night, 2-night minimum
Ojo Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Customize a program that takes you on an intensely personal spiritual journey at the peaceful Ojo Santa Fe, which is surrounded by natural springs and desert landscape. You’ll work with American Indian healers, Reiki masters, and spiritual guides to become more focused, gain insights into your emotions, and harness positive energy. (More here: What Is Energy Work?)
During your stay you can also connect with nature through hands-on horticultural sessions in the resort’s gardens, explore the 50 acres of trails, and soak in one of the healing spring-fed pools. Best of all, your team of experts will help you develop strategies you can take home to feel more spiritually connected.
Price: Garden-view rooms starting at $300, Casitas starting at $375
Río San Juan, Dominican Republic
Restore and replenish yourself with the Healing Through Lunar Forces Wellness Experience at Amanera, a sleek oceanside luxury resort at the edge of the jungle on the northern coast of the D.R. During the three-or five-day program, you’ll become attuned to nature under the guidance of a local expert and learn how the forces of the moon impact physical and emotional healing. For instance, when there’s a new moon you’ll be treated to a Palo Santo smudging ceremony and a deep-tissue massage using therapeutic herbal mixes. For a waxing moon, which instills energy, a full-body coffee exfoliation blended with black pepper and rosemary will help awaken your senses. (Related: I Tried Spiritual Healing In India—and It Was Nothing Like I Expected)
Throughout your stay, you’ll enjoy healthy meals with local ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits based on the moon cycle. Start your day with sunrise yoga and meditation. Later, hike through the jungle to experience the rejuvenating qualities of nature.
Price: from $1,977 per night for 3 days, and $1,950 per night for 5 days
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Finding balance and living in harmony with the world around you is the focus at the tropical beachfront wellness getaway Chablé Maroma, and that theme is infused into all the Mayan-inspired holistic treatments and programs. Try the Deep Forest Awakening, a ritual that purifies the body and centers the mind with a connective-tissue massage using oils from different trees, like balsam fir, juniper, and cypress, to symbolize the interconnectedness of life. (ICYMI, forest bathing is a thing too.)
The Sound of the Sea hydrotherapy program will restore and soothe you with water and a seaweed wrap. Afterward, practice guided meditation or book an ancient Mayan ceremony with a shaman that’s designed to cleanse your spirit.
Price: From $650 a night for double occupancy, villas have private plunge pools