Yoga and fitness retreats used to be little more than a daily workout offered alongside healthy meals and access to a beach.
But each season, they get more and more elaborate—pairing exotic destinations with hardcore fitness goals, celeb yogis, and activities like dance, wine tasting, and paddleboarding.
We found eight for fall that will have you scratching your travel itch—from touring sacred Mayan sites with Rodney Yee to training for a triathlon by swimming the Caribbean Sea to a Miraval Spa experience in Bosnia and Croatia.
And if you can’t get away, you can still dream… —Lisa Elaine Held and Melisse Gelula
Photo: Yaxha Overnight Experience hosted by Ka’ana Belize
Miraval Journeys: Bosnia and Croatia
The Arizona spa known for creating self-awareness experiences, like jumping off a pole to face your fears, has other life-changing experiences in mind for you with its new Journeys—like a 10-day visit to the historic sites of Bosnia and Croatia, with daily yoga and meditation. “There are places all over the world where travelers find solace, comfort, spirituality, and stress reduction, says Miraval’s CEO, Michael Tompkins. “We wanted to use the renowned Miraval programming and professionals to lead trips that create once in a lifetime experiences with a similar feel to a Miraval stay.”
$6,740 (most meals included), www.miravalresorts.com/journeys
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Exhale and Core Fusion cofounders, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, are hosting this five-day surf-and-turf retreat at their chic off-shore spa in the Caribbean. Mornings you’ll traverse the turquoise water on standup-paddling adventures or step up to the barre for Core Fusion taught by Halfpapp and DeVito, who’ll also lead daily afternoon Core Fusion Yoga. The core-tastic retreat includes a 50-minute Fusion Massage, and 25 percent off all additional spa therapies, which is good because you’ll probably need them.
Can’t get away? Visit Clay Health Club + Spa—a retreat just steps from Union Square—where you can take advantage of yoga and fitness classes, spa treatments, and healthy food. Click here for a 3-day trial.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
October 28–November 3
Beloved West Coast yogi Ashley Turner calls this retreat the “sexiest trip on earth.” Heat. Tango. Wine. The romance of your boutique hotel in Buenos Aires. And sensual vinyasa yoga classes fused with the teachings of Tantra. One question: Will Sting be there?
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
The roving fitness retreat is headed to Lake Atitlan (considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world), where you’ll spend six nights in a private villa in view of three volcanoes. Daily yoga classes and hiking will be paired with meals that reflect the local culture (but that have also been carefully nutritionally balanced by Escape to Shape founder Erica Gragg) and guided tours of Mayan cultural sites and markets. These trips breed camaraderie, so expect to leave with a handful of new friends and with plans to book your next getaway to Laos or Cambodia.
Nevis, West Indies
Hotshot Flywheel instructor and Training Camp creator Holly Rilinger inspires cult-like devotion from her followers, and many of them follow her around the city and the globe to shed pounds and build muscle. In Nevis, you’ll get her back-to-back boot camp and yoga classes, plus opportunities to hike, bike, and kayak. Of course, you can take some time to sunbathe on the gorgeous shores of the Caribbean or the pool of your luxury boutique hotel.
November 25–December 2
If you’re an aspiring triathlete with weak swimming skills, this trip—with New York’s largest all-female tri team—is for you. When you’re not on daily runs or in outdoor yoga classes with Taylor Dunham (who teaches at Pure Yoga and Sangha House), you’ll be in serious swim clinics (4 hours!) in the Caribbean. Sure beats the Hudson. There’s also an all-day boat tour for when your limbs are aching.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Practice with this yoga-luminary couple at the Tao Wellness Center in the Mayan Riviera, where twice-daily yoga classes will tap the duo’s incredible yogic knowledge—from meditation in movement to restorative postures and pranayama. The trip also includes a Mayan sacred sites tour and a “deep jungle” excursion.
$1,690-$1,770 (10% off if you book before October 10), www.taoinspiredliving.com
Belize and Guatemala
Available through 2012
Ka’ana Belize, a luxe jungle resort with contemporary design and organic gardens, is hosting the Yaxha Overnight Experience, a spiritual adventure where you’ll spend the night on an 1,100-year old Maya ruin. On this excursion, you’ll ride through the Belizean jungle and into Guatemala’s Yaxha National Park, enjoy dinner at the base of the ruins, climb the highest temple with an archaeologist, and turn in to your luxury tent with a king-sized bed (pictured). After yoga in the morning, you’ll visit another not-yet-excavated ruins by boat.
Photo: Holly Rilinger Training Camp in Nevis