Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by Editor
Let travel be your medicine and go find your magical healing place of power and peace. When you are looking to go deep and for a more meaningful experience – a sacred spot to meditate, traditional ayurvedic healing treatments, or an off the grid island retreat, consider these four healing hot spot destinations.
Click the category below to go straight to it!
- 1 The White Isle – Ibiza
- 2 The Bohemian Beach Paradise of Tulum
- 3 Eat Pray Love – Ubud, Bali
The White Isle – Ibiza
Hippies first flocked to this beautiful little Island in the 1960’s, in search of peace, love, freedom and of course, music and dancing. Therapists and spiritual practitioners from across the globe now call Ibiza their home, offering visitors a wide array of retreats, healing holidays, festivals and even shamanic journeys.
The famous Las Dalias Hippy Market in San Carlos
Las Dalias, a traveling hippie market founded in Ibiza in 1954, is an iconic melting pot of vibrant people and their diverse and genuinely crafted products.
The natural rock formation, a monumental 1250-foot-high rising abruptly from the Mediterranean off the southwest coast of Ibiza is supposedly the third most magnetic place on Earth (after the north pole and Bermuda Triangle) and the tip of the sunken civilisation of Atlantis.
Other popular myths surrounding Es Vedra include that it was the home of the sirens and sea-nymphs who tried to lure Ulysses from his ship in Homer’s Odyssey, and also the birth place and holy island of the Phoenician goddess, Tanit.
Although you are not allowed on it, you can face and witness its incredible aura and beauty. Many people become conscious of a mysterious force that surrounds the area, making it a favourite place for meditation and other spiritual practices.
The lost beach of Atlantis
The lost beach of Atlantis is an ancient quarry that appears to have sunken beneath the sea. The natural cave of Atlantis, in the bay directly opposite Es Vedra, can be visited by the more persistent of visitors, its precise location is a closely-guarded Ibiza secret and to reach it involves quite a challenging trek.
There are no signposts and no maps to Atlantis, but those who do manage it are rewarded by its peaceful and spiritually inspiring ambiance, and beautiful art left by previous visitors, including an image of the god Shiva, proclaimed protector of the cave temple.
Where to stay
Can Lluc is one of those special and breathtakingly beautiful places, abundant with greenery, that has you feeling relaxed and radiating peacefulness within 24 hours. Stunning views at sunset, an amazing zen garden with Balinese beds and a Finnish sauna await you at this luxurious boutique hotel.
Can Lluc is a homely retreat where you won’t be disturbed by noise or other people. The surroundings will relax you on every level along with the tailor made massages and treatments available.
The restaurant serves a fabulous breakfast with local and organic produce. All the staff are wonderful and the owners Tina and Lucas have designed this 200 years old rustic ranch that has been in the family for at least three generations with a lot of love.
You can’t help but get blown away and fall in love with this oasis of pure paradise. Situated in the heart of the island of Ibiza and built on an orange farm, Atzaró is an oasis ripe with the scents of orange blossom, rosemary and lavender. A place that smells deeply of the Mediterranean sea and that offers every experience necessary to enjoy the island in all its moments, a chance to enjoy a different kind of place in nature.
If all you need is to find your emotional balance or perfect your technique as a teacher, Atzaró is the perfect place to find your optimal mental, physical and spiritual balance. The quality of our installations, the treatments they make available, the beauty and the only Spa and Agrotourism created to be ideal for Yoga, Nutrition and Wellbeing retreats for students as well as teachers.
The Balinese temple-style spa at is a must visit for everyone even if you are not staying there, the expansive massage menu represents the best of both oriental and western techniques and comes from over a decade of experience.
Gas Gasi is a charming and beautiful ”hotel with a heart” set within a serene and secluded garden, surrounded by pine forests, olive groves, almond and carob trees. This is a hotel that will keep you on the health and wellbeing track. As no outside visitors are allowed at the hotel, the discretion and privacy of the guests is of the upmost importance, giving it an exclusive more members club feeling. There’s no pretentiousness around this though, just no crowds and restrictiveness.
The land is abundant and colourful and grows the vegetables and fruits that are served in the restaurant. There are two pools, one of them exclusively for children so that the adults and other guests without children always have their own space to relax in.
There is a spa that offers massages, body and facial treatments and complimentary yoga classes offered in the morning. With the help of a nutritionist, they have created the most deliciously healthy menu for vegans and vegetarians including organic acai bowl, scrambled tofu with tomato and a superfood juice menu available at breakfast!.
There are some places that have a special magic and the Hacienda Xamena is one of them. Set on a cliff top on Ibiza’s northwest shoreline, the views are out of this world.
Even if you are not going to stay there, head to the stunning La Posidonia Spa (named after the protected seaweed that grows around Ibiza), to experience the famous ‘Cascadas Suspendidas’, an outdoor thalassotherapy circuit and a series of heated infinity pools where you spend 45 minutes following the bubbles of varying temperatures and water jet strength to move from pool to pool. Massages, body wraps, facial treatments and wellness programmes are offered on the spa menu.
You are really spoilt for choice with an abundance of retreats in Ibiza. Our Soulful Ibiza Wellbeing Guide is written with the wellness traveller in mind who wants to stay fit and healthy whilst on the White Isle.
For recommendations on healthy places to eat in Ibiza check out this blog post by Can Planells Agroturismo. For smoothies, superfoods and raw delights, Passion Cafe has multiple locations around the Island. At Aubergine, the delicious food is organic and freshly picked from the back garden. If you are looking for vegan and plant based, Wild Beets is the place!,
Search for the best travel deals in Ibiza and read reviews on Tripadvisor.
The Bohemian Beach Paradise of Tulum
If you have ever been to Tulum, Mexico or searched for this magical Mexican destination on Instagram, you have some idea how stunning and distinctive it can be. Travellers know it for the blue Caribbean sea matched by an equally mangrove and tropical jungle environment. Everything is on the water, and it’s an extremely beautiful, natural environment.
A healing vortex
It is believed that 66 million years ago an astroid struck the earth in the region of the Yucatan Peninsula in the area we now know as Tulum. It was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs and a long running ice age. What was most significant about the impact was the incredible amount of energy it produced in such a small area of the planet. Many people believe that the energy still lives in Tulum and creates a magical aura around the region.
The Mayan ruins
In the Yucatec language, Tulum means “wall”, referring to the large barricade that surrounds the settlement. In the Mayan language, Tulum was called Zama, meaning “dawn,” an appropriate name given its eastern location. The city was first mentioned by Spanish explorer Juan Diez, part of Juan de Grijalva’s expedition of 1518, not long after Columbus discovered the West Indies. The first detailed description of the ruins was published by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1843 in their popular book, “Incidents of Travel in Yucatan”. Tulum was thought to also be a religious center for priests with the walls protecting the sacred leaders and honored the “diving god” or “descending god” and “the god of the bee”, an important insect for the Maya even today.
Every full moon there are temezcals, or sweat lodges, which are guided by a local shaman. The temezcal is a healing spiritual ceremony used to cleanse impurities and toxins, improve health ailments, and reveal mental tendencies of fear.
Photo by everysteph who shares her visit to the Cenote Nicte-Ha here.
Cenotes are underground fresh water caves, called cenotes and are scattered throughout the Yucatan region, including the Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá. These natural sink holes were used as places for sacrificial offerings to the Mayan gods. Today, they are water holes where families come along for a dip to escape the summer heat.
Where to stay
The main intention of this sanctuary, is to offer a space for those who seek wellness, peace and happiness. There are daily yoga classes offered, workshops and retreats.
It is described as a chic blend of luxury and wilderness, a sanctuary that is charged with its own spirit and vibes. Making relaxation and transformation cool again. Synching with nature’s rhythms so you can have a taste of heaven on earth. Retreat, heal and restore in a too-good-its-actually-true environment.
In the spa therapies include biomagnetism, Thai yoga stretch, Ayurveda, deep tissues massage, reiki and pranic healing.
There are 24 hotel rooms and 24 dorm rooms, designed to retreat from it all in the middle of somewhere. A huge pool centered in the middle of the jungle makes waking up in heaven, even better. Sunlight floods the place with subtle rays of grounding energy filtered through tree’s leaves. Insects and birds musicalise the atmosphere, stars light the night skies and fires heat our hearts.
The whole purpose is to set a vibe for those to heal, balance and reconnect to their deepest self and nature.
Imagine a sacred place protected by pure energies. Imagine your tribe, dancing and playing, in search of spiritual medicine. The one that leave us bright, concentrated, conscious and connected. The one that leads us to find our own answers. For more than 14 years, Azulik has been all about the importance of reconnection with oneself, looking for introspection, the essence of happiness. Listening and respecting their natural environment.
To honour these sacred waters that surround the property, they have built water paths that wander from the lobby to the spa deck, creating water mirrors and constantly cleansing the premises energy. They offer retreat packages designed to give you a complete reconnection experience and also have a spa that offers ancient Mayan techniques with traditional spa treatments using organic products and authentic purification rituals.
Papaya Playa Project is a destination for those looking to merge nature, relaxation, and spirituality. Their mission is to promote a holistic and spiritual life, consciously responsible with nature and community. It offers physical, emotional, sensual, and intellectual experiences.
Dotted along the beach and nestled in the jungle, the simplicity of the rooms is what lends them their special charm. The resort’s restaurant overlooks the azure waters, where diners can enjoy locally sourced specialties; along the beach, drinks and snacks are served from late morning until late evening at the resort’s beach club. In addition to massages and beauty treatments, guests can also enjoy yoga, tai chi and meditation to complete the holistic circle.
Being linked to the best DJs in the world, Papaya Playa makes music a key component of the experience. All communal areas encourage creative collaboration – there’s an amphitheater on the beach, where guests can come together to perform, present or communicate in their chosen fashion with music, readings, inspiring lectures and more.
They are also developing a multi-purpose Health Corridor for guests and visitors to experience a variety of culinary, cultural and enriching shopping experiences on site. Immersed in nature, this corridor will provide a place where guests can interact with domestic artists, well-known musicians, holistic and alternative medicine practitioners.
Search for the best spa hotels in Tulum.
For healing treatments
Yäan Wellness was born from the magic of Tulum, Mexico. It is a centre of wellness and healing where you will find your inner and outer beauty in the integration of mind, body and soul. From the moment you pass the burning flame, you will be immersed in the elements of fire, air, water, and wood and feel at peace with its elegant and organic design, which respects the flow of nature in both space and time.
Soothe and enliven your senses and journey through the healing waters, purified crystalline water pools, sauna and steam room. Traditional indigenous treatments, energy healing, deep muscle relaxation techniques, herbal and flower baths are offered, prepared in custom made copper tubs.
They work with a team of professionals, from renown psychologist PHD Bobby Klein offering life- changing intuitive counselling, medical professionals offering ozone therapy and hydro therapeutic colon therapy, to nutritionist designing juice and detox cleansing programs particular to your physiognomy.
Yoga and meditation classes can be taken at their tree top yoga shala. This is also the place to go if you are wanting to do a juice cleanse, they offer 1 to 5 day cleanses: the intensity of the cleanse will vary based on the number of days chosen.
Whilst you are here, check out Be Tulum – a luxury lifestyle hotel.
Located on the shores of Mexico’s pristine Yucatan Peninsula, Maya Tulum Resort is a dedicated Yoga retreat offering a unique blend of traditional Mayan culture and healthy beachfront living.
Drawing on the ancient healing practices of Mayan culture, many of the exclusive treatments on offer at Maya Tulum Resort are not found anywhere else in the world. From the sacred Temazcal ceremony to traditional bodywork and healing practices, each one of Maya Tulum’s signature Mayan treatments start with a purifying ritual to harmonize the body, mind and spirit.
Beyond the Wellness and Healing Centre, Maya Tulum Resort’s approach to healing extends to daily Yoga, meditation, healthy cuisine and the opportunity to bask in nature. Everything about Maya Tulum Resort is designed around a naturally healthy lifestyle. Here, the day begins with Yoga and a healthy breakfast before unfolding into one filled with relaxation and pampering or activity and adventure.
For dedicated Yoga enthusiasts, Maya Tulum Resort’s calendar of Yoga retreats includes varying styles with resident and visiting Yoga teachers from around the world.
Yoga Shala offers a comfortable space to stay, relax and practice yoga. Discover the charm of living “off the grid” by staying within this tropical and enigmatic location in full contact with mother earth.
Check out these 6 mouthwatering vegan hotspots from blogger Peaceful Dumpling.
You will see a lot of a fruit called mame in Tulum. It’s shaped like an avocado but has brown skin and bright orange fruit inside. It’s full of vitamin B6 and vitamin C and is a good source of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, and potassium. You can buy them from a local vendor on the side of the road.
For smoothies and green juices and acai bowls Raw Love Cafe is your go to place, for vegan food sharing go to Charly’s vegan tacos. The best energising breakfast can be had at Cantopia that is part of the Yoga Shala.
If that’s not enough, find more recommendations in this article from blogger Eating Bird Food.
Search for the best travel deals in Tulum and read reviews on Tripadvisor.
Eat Pray Love – Ubud, Bali
Long before the book Eat Pray Love was written people have chosen to travel to Ubud in search of their own personal guru who can cure anything from a broken heart to a broken leg.
It is also common practice for Balinese to visit a healer, known as a Balian – before, or instead of, seeing a Western-style medical doctor. Each village has healers who use medicinal herbs and ancient teachings to treat their patients, and most Balian specialise in a specific type of healing; from organ and bone health to emotional wellbeing and combating black magic.
Legend has it that as far back as the 8th Century, royal families from across the island sent their ill to Ubud to be healed, and the tradition continues today.
Gods and Goddesses
In Bali, there is a belief that gods and goddesses exist in the elements of nature, so for Balinese, the spirit world and the human world are constantly interacting. More than 90% of the population practices Balinese Hinduism (the rest of Indonesia is Muslim) and everywhere you look, women are making offerings of rice and brightly coloured flowers, blessing the things they interact with.
Sacred water temple
Bathing in the pools at the sacred water temple Tirtha Empul, for example, is an unparalleled experience. The temple, built in the 9th Century, has 13 ornate spouts, and each stream of cool fresh water represents a different type of purification, from fertility and love to protection from evil spirits. But you will need a guide in order to enter the temple
Where to stay
Set above Ubud’s verdant Valley of the Kings, Viceroy Bali is one of the world’s most intimate and beautiful boutique luxury experiences situated 10 minutes from the bustling cultural town of Ubud. Consisting of 25 luxuriously appointed pool villas, it is a sanctuary in paradise.
Each villa has its own heated pool and outdoor Balinese bungalow to relax in, as well as offering unrivalled views of the surrounding valley and jungle. Adding to the serenity is the sound of the rolling river rising from the valley floor below, something best enjoyed from the private terraces.
A blissful, holistic stay inspired by the Island of the Gods – rejuvenate with daily spa treatments, fresh juices and private yoga lessons. Switch off from your busy life and take some precious time for yourself.
COMO Shambhala Estate, located near Ubud, is a true ‘Retreat for Change’ with resident experts including a yoga teacher, Ayurvedic doctor and resident dietician. The holistic, 360-degree approach offers signature massage therapies and beauty treatments. A state-of-the-art gym and outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing make the most of the Estate’s unique location.
The retreat provides a completely immersive, 360-degree wellbeing experience. In addition to the comprehensive treatments, activities and healthful food on offer, adventure and cultural discovery part of the holistic approach.
Maya Ubud Resort and Spa is bordered by the Petanu River valley to the east and the verdant rice fields of Peliatan on the west. Nestled along the river bank is The Spa at Maya, with private double and single treatment pavilions. The spa balances the human senses with a curated menu of treatments focused on holistic harmony.
A generous 187 square meter wooden floor space provides an excellent venue for their daily complimentary “Yoga for Beginners” program, open for all guests to join, with stunning views over the resort gardens and adjacent rice terraces.
If you want to rid your body of toxins, break down emotional barriers, heal the wounds of love or anything else really, Ubud might just be the world capital for spiritual retreats and second home of many international renown yoga teachers.
Open all year round, The Gaia Retreat Center in Tegallantang village, about 1.5km south of central Ubud, feels like a futuristic utopia for the holistic living set.
The centre has a yoga space, seven stylish hotel rooms, a crystalline swimming pool and unobstructed views of bright, terraced rice paddies. Guests can relax in the infrared sauna – which uses radiant heat, thought to be effective at purging toxins – and the Oxy-bounce stations – a system where you jump on a mini trampoline while breathing pure oxygen, which some say helps put oxygen back in the cells. There are also martial arts instructors, masseuses and raw food chefs on hand.
This all-inclusive “Divine Body” wellness program from the 14th – 20th November is carefully designed to assist you in reaching a spiritual state of bliss, balancing your energy and healing relationships with your body. Bali Island is a perfect place to transition from your old self to your new self.
The supportive yoga and meditation program is aimed to show you how to take much better care of your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. You will learn easy techniques that will radically shift your vibrations to the higher frequencies.
A carefully planned holistic diet will take you on a gentle detox while nourishing your body on a deep cellular level. Plant-based nutrition will give you an energy boost and amazing sensations of tranquillity and peace. Holistic food has never been so tasty before.
A healing retreat for regeneration, replenishment and alignment. At Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, they embrace holistic Balinese-inspired therapies administered by traditional Balinese healers using ancient wisdoms passed down through direct lineage.
Following the Balinese principal of Sekala-Niskala, which holds that we all live equally in two worlds; the seen or conscious world Sekala, and the unseen or psychic world Niskala, the Balinese healers engage the help of the divine source during each healing session.
The Panca Mahabhuta (fiveelements) Retreat is their signature program that comprises a holistic integrative approach designed to tune in on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels, allowing an organic healing process to naturally unfold. This begins by attuning to your authenticity and honouring your highest potential. Retreats are available in 3, 5, 7, 10, 14 & 21 nights’ stays.
In the past few years, Ubud has become something of a raw food capital, with more vegetarian, vegan and raw food restaurants per square kilometre than New York or Los Angeles.
For the die hard healthy eaters, Earth cafe is a really chilled and cool place to hang out and is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Soma cafe caters for raw vegans and every other dietary requirement possible. Alchemy Bali is the island’s first 100% raw vegan cafe and juice bar, organic health food store, and holistic clinic.
For a tasty meal in a sublime setting, try Sari Organik, set in the middle of a rice paddy behind Ubud’s main road. The family-run, open-walled restaurant has spectacular panoramic views of the terraced rice fields and serves healthy versions of traditional Balinese food, such as gado-gado, a cold vegetable dish with peanut sauce and nasi campur, a common Balinese dish with rice, vegetables, eggs and peanuts. They also have an organic farm next door. More recommendations can be found in this post from WanderWisdom.
We always recommend Happy Cow as a great resource for finding local vegetarian and vegan cafes and local juice bars. It’s an app that you can download on your phone which lists all the great places to eat in the area with reviews and tips.
Sri Lanka – the Pearl of the India Ocean
Due to its verdure and traditional surroundings, Sri Lanka, is said to be the sanctuary for reviving one’s body and spirit and been a centre of spiritual and physical healing for 2,000 years. It offers the perfect environment to connect back to nature and enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Sri Lanka has its own indigenous scheme of traditional medicine, Ayurveda, practiced for many centuries and the oldest and most holistic medical system available in the world is used to restore and rejuvenate tired bodies and weary souls. Internal herbal medication is unique to Sri Lanka and combined with spa treatments and dietary requirements.
Where to stay
A specialist wellness and nature retreat situated in a rural village, specialising in ayurveda and yoga. The retreat funds and maintains the Metta Trust charity to do community development, wildlife conservation and forest preservation activities. As part of the project, they maintain the local temples, village schools and fund majority of the community activities in our village and surrounding villages.
Over 90% of the staff team are local villagers from underprivileged backgrounds who have been trained and offered employment along with mentoring to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
Their ayurvedic doctors and senior therapists have over 15 years of experience and will develop a treatment plan to focus on your wellness goals and to address any existing ailments you may be suffering from. You can join the yoga classes to help with your mind/body connection and general mindfulness. The aim of this retreats s to provide a mind/body wellness experience through Ayurveda, nutrition, and mindfulness in a relaxing environment.
Spread over 30 acres, Plantation Villa is an eco-friendly Ayurvedic and yoga retreat with a focus on holistic health, mindfulness and ‘nature therapy’. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, ‘going green’ becomes very literal here – and perhaps it is the gorgeous natural surroundings that make Plantation Villa’s approach to wellness more than about just your state of mind.
Plantation Villa follows a ‘farm to plate’ policy. The retreat has an organic garden with fruit and veggie patch, spice and herb plot and natural spring-well, so fresh ingredients and clean drinking water are harvested straight from the earth. Ingredients that can’t be sourced from the garden are sourced locally from surrounding farms.
Serving various traditional Sri Lankan dishes, the retreat encourages guests to eat nutritionally-balanced meals in line with their body type. Meals are aligned to each guest’s specific ‘dosha’ (Ayurvedic constitution) and is supplemented with Ayurvedic herbal teas and medicines. The retreat’s in-house Ayurvedic doctor liaises directly the chef, ensuring dishes are custom-tailored with no artificial taste enhancers. The retreat also hosts cooking demonstrations to guests who are interested.
Supervised by a team of qualified Ayurvedic doctors, senior therapists, coaches, healers, meditation masters, clinical psychologists and yoga instructors, the team at Plantation Villa knows their stuff.
Ayurvedic therapies lie at the heart of the retreat and there are three main packages to choose from: ‘Detox’, ‘Full Ayurveda’ and ‘Weight Loss’. All packages include a consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor, meals and daily yoga and meditation classes (which are performed outdoors under the trees).
The Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a small, peaceful and modest retreat in a nature reserve set between a lagoon and the ocean in the south of Sri Lanka. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in natural beauty and relax and rejuvenate your body and mind. They offer Yoga and Ayurveda retreats all year round and hosts detox retreats and special signature retreats a few times a year.
They teach Kundalini Yoga and other yoga styles in twice daily classes that mark sunrise and sunset. The gentle rhythm of the sanctuary and the pared back approach and architecture of the place allow for a genuine retreat. The focus here is on rest and connection with nature and oneself. The eclectic and fascinating selection of books available are perfect to fill your time between yoga, treatments and walks on the beach. You’ll be encouraged to put away your devices as much as possible and allow for a digital detox too.
The Sanctuary programs are an integrative system of healing that blends advanced scientific principles of the west and ancient wisdom of the east. By treating each individual as a whole, the necessary changes can be made and long lasting results can be created.
Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a variety of herbs, vegetables and tropical fruits. Most of the resorts conduct cooking lessons where you can learn to make these healthy and delicious meals when you get back home.
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