Stories from Wellness Retreats

27 life-changing wellness retreats for winter and spring 2017

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Photo: Free People

No matter what your goals are for the new year, there’s one intention just about anyone can get behind: have more adventures.

Okay, so out-of-town escapades may have once been at odds with your wellness resolutions—looking at you, swim-up bar—but that’s definitely not the case anymore. We’re in a golden age of healthy travel, with fitness stars, lifestyle brands, and exotic resorts offering getaways that’ll give you awesome memories (and Instagram photos), but also a few new habits. (Even your flight there is getting healthier.)

Need further proof that wellness retreats are one of the biggest trends of 2017? In the first five months of the year, you can embark on circuit training and safaris in Botswana, do a digital detox under the Northern Lights, take nightly sound baths in Nicaragua, learn about astrology in Costa Rica, or work on your warrior pose in Cuba, Japan, and Morocco.

So add a few more pages to your passport and memorize your frequent flyer number—there are so many dreamy healthy getaways coming up, you’ll probably be tempted to book more than one.

Keep reading for the 27 best wellness retreats happening winter and spring 2017.

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Photo: ITC Grand Bharat
Photo: ITC Grand Bharat

Ongoing: Ayurvedic Detox Wellness Retreat

Gurgaon, New Delhi, India

If you’re intrigued by the idea of an Ayurvedic cleanse but aren’t down with induced vomiting, this seven-night experience is a happy medium. The journey starts with a doctor-administered Ayurvedic wellness consultation, followed by a wide range of detox therapies including 12 (!) massage sessions, nutrition customized to balance your doshas, personalized yoga classes, pranayama, and meditation. Oh, and enemas are indeed part of the deal, but at least you’ll be receiving them in luxury—everything goes down at the lush ITC Grand Bharat, India’s first all-suite resort.

Photo: Free People
Photo: Free People

January 22–28: FP Escapes Todos Santos

Todos Santos, Mexico

Feeling a little off-kilter after a gnarly 2016? This retreat, a joint effort between Free People and Yogascapes, will help you find your center again. Nutritionist Tara Curran and aesthetician Hayley Roy of Skin Food have designed a menu of cleansing foods for the week, which will help fuel you through their holistic beauty workshops and the yoga and breathwork offered by instructor Kate Mulheron. Guests receive $500 in Free People gear and a pair of Teva sandals to wear to all the retreat’s activities—from stand-up paddleboarding to a sweat lodge ceremony.

Photo: Instagram/@sarah_levey
Photo: Instagram/@sarah_levey

January 29–February 4: Y7 Yoga Retreat

Montezuma, Costa Rica

Booming bicoastal hip-hop yoga brand Y7 is gearing up for its first ever international getaway. You’ll join co-founder Sarah Levey and instructors Stephanie LaSpina and Casey Layne Anderson for a packed schedule of twice-daily yoga classes and workshops, surf lessons, bodywork, hiking, drinks, and dancing. But perhaps the coolest experience of all? A “waterfall wellness ritual” involving indigenous fruits, flowers, herbs, and oils. (Insert bad TLC joke here.)

Photo: Wanderlust
Photo: Wanderlust

February 2–5: Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo

Wairakei, Great Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Early February is the time when winter starts to seriously lose its charm, but thankfully Wanderlust is giving us an excuse to escape Down Under for a little glimpse of summer. Top teachers including Rod Stryker, Elena Brower, Briohny Smyth, and Dice Iida-Klein will be making the trip, and Ladyhawke will be leading the dance party. And if you need to take a break from chaturangas, expect plenty of outdoorsy extracurriculars like bungee jumping, guided forest hikes, swims at the Wairakei Thermal Resort, and tastings of the region’s famous wines and brews.

Photo: Telluride Ski Resort
Photo: Telluride Ski Resort

February 12–16: 5-Day Women’s Ski and Wellness Week

Telluride, CO

There’s nothing quite like skiing for relieving stress and sparking an endorphin high—and those feelings are amplified when you’re navigating the slopes with a squad. During these four days of expert instruction for women, by women, you’ll get personalized feedback on your technique, daily yoga and fitness classes, nutrition counseling, and après-ski lectures from some of the most knowledgeable pros in the biz. (That is, if you’re not already cozied up with some cocoa at one of the two host hotels: the Telluride Ski Resort or The Peaks Resort and Spa.)

Photo: Maha Rose
Photo: Maha Rose

February 12–18: Maha Rose Healing! Healing! Healing! Retreat

Mazunte, Mexico

Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine and multifaceted healer La Vonne Natasha Caesar are ditching Brooklyn for a week of holistic wellness on the coast of Oaxaca. You’ll start the journey with a circle honoring the full moon in Leo, which will be followed by hands-on healing, natural spa treatments, tea ceremonies, hiking, sound healing, whirlpool swimming, and other ways of recalibrating your energy for the year to come. And the Maha Rose crew couldn’t have picked a better spot for all this R&R—the location was used as an astronomical viewing point in ancient times and is known for its sky-high vibes.

Photo: Sophie Jaffe
Photo: Sophie Jaffe

February 17–20: Nourish Your Soul Retreat

Santa Barbara, CA

Want to manifest something huge in 2017? Learn from wellness entrepreneurs and BFFs Rachelle Tratt (creator of The Neshama Project jewelry) and Sophie Jaffe (the chef behind Philosophie Superfoods), who are teaming up for three nights of glamping on the California coast. They’ll be leading you through daily yoga and meditation practices, workshops on love, entrepreneurialism, vision boarding, biking, hiking, and at least one all-out dance party. You may leave with a few new ideas—and definitely a lot of new girlfriends.

Photo: Folk Rebellion
Photo: Folk Rebellion

February 17–24: Folk Rebellion’s Digital Detox Under the Aurora Borealis

Yellowknife, Canada

There are a lot of arguments for giving up your phone on vacation, but it’s definitely not easy to power down. One way to distract yourself from the discomfort: Witness the Northern Lights in person before they go dim for a decade. At Folk Rebellion’s next digital detox retreat, you’ll be doing just that while staying at the remote Blachford Lake Lodge in Northern Canada. Other activities on deck include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, arts and crafts, analog photography lessons, and yoga. You’ll be so busy you won’t even miss your Instagram feed, promise.

Photo: Gabrielle Bernstein
Photo: Gabrielle Bernstein

February 24–26: Reclaiming Goddess: A Women’s Workshop for Sexual Inspiration and Power

Stockbridge, MA

When you’re hustling at the office and going hard at the gym after hours, it’s not exactly easy to remember to tap into your feminine energy. At this Kripalu retreat—hosted by spiritual guide Gabrielle Bernstein, self-love expert Teal Swan, and love and sex therapist Laura Berman—you’ll be focused on stoking your sensual side through guided meditation, intuition-building work, and rituals. See you later, inhibitions.

Photo: Instagram/@kassiasurf
Photo: Instagram/@kassiasurf

February 25–March 3: Love x Kassia + Surf x Maderas: Yoga, Surfing, Sound Healing, and Meditation Retreat

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Pro surfer Kassia Meador’s sound baths are one of the hottest tickets at Los Angeles’ Love Yoga, and this winter, they’re going international. At Maderas Village in Nicaragua, guests will partake in two yoga classes a day with Love founders Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon, nightly sound baths led by Meador, surf lessons, a catamaran cruise, horseback riding, massages, and more. Given how blissed-out one feels after a single session with the singing bowls, you’re practically guaranteed to be floating home at the end of the week.

Photo: Instagram/@kelseyjpatel
Photo: Instagram/@kelseyjpatel

March 1–5 and March 29–April 2: For the Love of Wellness with Kelsey J. Patel

Isla Holbox, Mexico

For the ultimate in unplugging, wellness insiders have been flocking to Isla Holbox—a near-deserted island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula with no cars or paved roads. (“Holbox” is actually the Mayan word for “black hole.”) This March, LA-based healer and entrepreneur Kelsey Patel will be leading two separate excursions to the destination, filled with guided meditation, yoga, cooking, nature excursions, reiki healing, and a manifestation workshop. And don’t worry: There will be ample hammock time included. 

Photo: Maggie Harrsen

March 3–10: Nuna Wellness Retreat

Sacred Valley, Peru

If you like your wellness with a mega-dose of culture, you’ll love this eight-day trek throughout the Sacred Valley of Peru, led by energy healer Maggie Harrsen and Hannah Rae Porst of Peruvian non-profit Willka Yachay. Yes, you’ll participate in plenty of spiritually charged Andean rituals, ceremonies, and healing circles, but you’ll also get to know the locals with visits to organic farms and botanical gardens, and you’ll flex your creative muscle during a fabric dyeing workshop.

Photo: Instagram/@amandabisk
Photo: Instagram/@amandabisk

March 4–11: Fresh Body, Fit Mind with Amanda Bisk

Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

This year, the ritzy Le Soleil d’Or resort in the Cayman Islands is debuting a killer new program of wellness retreats led by digital influencers. One of the first up is Instagram sensation and former pro athlete Amanda Bisk, who will be leading guests in her signature “Fresh Body, Fit Mind” workout program each day. When you’re not sweating, you’ll be busy with island excursions, water sports, spa treatments, and yoga, all of which will be fueled with a menu of organic meals.

Photo: DuVine
Photo: DuVine

March 5–10, March 26–31, and April 16–21: DuVine Southern Spain Bike Tour

Various locations, Spain

You’ll never be satisfied with indoor cycling again once you’ve taken this tour with DuVine, during which you’ll bike through olive groves, mountain ranges, gorges, and natural park land from Granada to the sea. Rest breaks take place in charming Spanish villages that aren’t on the usual tourist maps—like the market town of Rute, historic Ronda, and the whitewashed Pueblos Blancos—while you’ll be spending nights in hotels with out-of-this-world spa amenities, from thermal baths to Spain’s only ice cave. And don’t expect the typical wellness retreat menus—you’ll be noshing on gourmet feasts and family recipes served in locals’ homes, with nary a raw kale leaf in sight.

Photo: Syncstudio
Photo: Syncstudio

March 25–31: Syncstudio Retreat

Santa Marta, Colombia

Brooklyn-based Syncstudio is giving its members a change of scenery with a jaunt to the Gitana del Mar resort on the northern coast of Colombia. There, you’ll participate in daily yoga and circuit classes led by the cycling gym’s top instructors, take a day trip to the rainforests of Parque Tayrona, and choose from other optional adventures and spa treatments—or take a well-deserved rest day.

Photo: Sandra Sitron
Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Sitron

March 19–24: Cosmic Mind/Cosmic Body Yoga + Astrology Retreat

Cahuita, Costa Rica

Well+Good’s resident astrologer, Sandra Sitron of Strong Eye Astrology, will be giving guests a deep read of the 2017 stars during this Costa Rican getaway. Attendees will each get a personalized astrology reading and take part in group workshops and hypnosis, while yoga instructor Ashley Newsome is set to lead classes each day. Add in organic, Ayurvedic food and plenty of downtime to explore or unwind, and you’ve got an experience that ticks just about all of the wellness retreat boxes.

Photo: Escape to Shape
Photo: Escape to Shape

March 19–26: Escape to Shape Botswana

Various locations, Botswana

Don’t forget to pack your khaki leggings. On this unforgettable fitness trip, your circuit workouts and vinyasa flow classes will be sandwiched in between twice-daily safari expeditions into Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Expect to get within an exercise ball’s throw from zebras, hippos, elephants, wildebeests, and more—by car, by boat, and on foot. Healthy gourmet meals and massages are also part of the package, which all plays out at the super-chic Vumbura Plains North Camp.

Photo: WeTravel
Photo: WeTravel

March 19–26: Sky Ting Yoga Morocco Retreat

Various locations, Morocco

The ultra-full itinerary for Sky Ting‘s latest retreat is split between the city (Marrakesh), and the beach (Taghazout). You’ll be taking a cooking class, visiting Morocco’s famed souk and Jardin Majorelle, surfing, wine tasting, visiting an argan oil farm, riding camels, chilling in a hammam— and somewhere in the midst of all that, you’ll also be practicing yoga twice a day. Rest up!

Photo: Wakura Onsen Tadaya
Photo: Wakura Onsen Tadaya

April 2–9: Yogascapes Japan Yoga Retreat

Various locations, Japan

For an alternative to the usual tropical retreat destinations, check out Yogascapes’ ultra-Zen sojourn in Japan. Your guides will be leading you through not just a daily practice, but also an authentic matcha tea ceremony, a hot spring dip at a local onsen, and tours of the gardens and castles of Kanazawa and Tokyo. Plus, you’re sure to come back with some super-cool new translations for “down dog” and “mermaid pose.”

Photo: Instagram/@heatherandersen_
Photo: Instagram/@heatherandersen_

April 4-10: New York Pilates Retreat

Tulum, Mexico

Don’t let the laid-back beach setting fool you—you’ll be seriously sweating for your margaritas during New York Pilates’ inaugural out-of-town excursion. Founder Heather Andersen will be leading two Pilates classes per day, and as if that didn’t sound tough enough, you’ll also have the option to embark upon a daily beach jog and Ashtanga yoga class. When you’re not knocking out teasers and hundreds, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Mayan ruins, scuba dive, go hiking—or just eat guac by the pool. (Whatever, you’ll have earned it.)

Photo: Unsplash/Jasper van der Meij
Photo: Unsplash/Jasper van der Meij

April 6–10: Ketanga Fitness Desert Escape

Phoenix, AZ

If you’re looking to break a major sweat on your healthy getaway, join P.E. Club owner Nedra Lopez and holistic health expert Holly Goodwin among the red rocks of Arizona. You’ll bookend each day with high- and low-intensity workouts, with free time in the middle to hike and explore. (Hummer tour through the desert, anyone?) And after dark, you’ll be heading into town for dinner and drinks, so bring your going-out sneakers.

Photo: Instagram/@dybrkr
Photo: Instagram/@dybrkr

April 7-9: Fontainebleau Wellness Escape Weekend

Miami Beach, FL

Think of this as the Coachella of boutique fitness: six superstar players coming together for a weekend of programming in paradise. The lineup includes classes by Barry’s Bootcamp, Tone House, 305 Fitness, Daybrkr, Green Monkey Yoga, and Meditation by Nikki Novo—and there will also be cooking demos, expert powwows on holistic health and spiritual healing, and a marketplace where you can shop for all manner of healthy gear. Rock on.

Photo: Instagram/@rksolidnyc
Photo: Instagram/@rksolidnyc

April 15-22: RKSolid Retreat

Oahu, HI
Attention, adrenaline junkies: Barry’s Bootcamp rockstar Rebecca Kennedy is taking 10 fit friends on a week-long trip to Hawaii, where you’ll ride the waves, climb waterfalls, and hike all 3,922 steps of the super-steep (and kinda scary) “Stairway to Heaven” trail. If you’re feeling sore just thinking about it, know that Kennedy also created the A.C.C.E.S.S. active recovery class—so she’ll be able to give you plenty of stretches to do before the next day’s adventures begin. (Though she can’t promise the same relief for mai tai headaches).

Photo: Instagram/@yogaforbadpeople
Photo: Instagram/@yogaforbadpeople

April 16–22: Yoga for Bad People Cuba Retreat

Various locations, Cuba

Couldn’t make it to Yoga for Bad People’s December Cuba retreat? Don’t stress—they’re doing it all over again in April. Judging by the Instagram snaps from the last trip, it’s bound to be next-level, with walking tours of Havana’s stunning old city, museum visits, a tobacco farm trip, beach days, private cultural performances, and traditional meals. Plenty of yoga and meditation will also be on offer, to help you recover from all of the fiestas.

Photo: Instagram/@foodheavenshow
Photo: Instagram/@foodheavenshow

May 2-9, 12-19, and 22-29: The Runaway Experience

Bali, Indonesia

If a week-long retreat just isn’t enough for you, you could always post up in Bali for all three installments of this holistic wellness getaway. (Of course, you’re welcome to come for a single session, too.) The first week’s hosted by yogi Koya Webb, who’ll be schooling guests on self-love and self-care. During the second week, fitness coach Lita Lewis is kicking things into high gear with eight days of bootcamp training. And the final week will be all about healthy eating, led by the registered dietician BFFs behind Food Heaven Made Easy. Sounds like the perfect excuse to take a month-long sabbatical.

Photo: Bend & Bloom Yoga
Photo: Bend & Bloom Yoga

May 6-11: Bend & Bloom Yoga’s Full Color Cuba Retreat

Havana and Viñales, Cuba

We’re calling it—Cuba is the yoga retreat destination of 2017. Park Slope instructors Amy Quinn Suplina and Karen Shelley will be your fearless leaders for this two-city tour, which features artist home visits (including that of the late Ernest Hemingway), city walks, museum time, and more. Each morning vinyasa practice will prep you for the sensory overload you’re sure to experience during your explorations. (Palm) tree pose, anyone?

Photo: Instagram/@theannakaiser
Photo: Instagram/@theannakaiser

May 7-13: AKT Austin

Austin, TX

Anna Kaiser’s taking a break from her busy studio-opening schedule to hold court at Austin’s ultra-dreamy Travaasa spa resort. There, she’ll be leading two of her signature dance cardio conditioning classes per day, plus topical Q&A sessions over lunch. And you know how, after a killer AKT class, you want nothing more than a good massage? Well, there will be plenty of time for that, plus other adventures like a mechanical bull workout (!), vision boarding, wine tasting, and Texas two-step lessons. (Don’t worry—if you’ve already mastered the Rocking Horse, you’ve got it in the bag.)

Can’t wait until wheels-up to get your detox on? Here’s how the America’s Most Inspiring Trainer finalists cleanse their minds and bodies for the new year. And before you start stocking your carry-on, get some packing tips from the ultimate experts: flight attendants

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