These Experiential Travel Destinations Connect You With Nature

The wellness travel market reached a record $720 billion in 2019 and is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2025, the fastest growth rate of any wellness market through 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Today’s travelers crave experiential travel and embracing the outdoors. As a result, hotels and resorts are evolving to offer wellness experiences that connect you with nature. From a new Desert Bathing experience to indigenous healing gardens, these outdoor experiences are sure to connect your inner being with the wonders that nature provides.

Cacao Ceremony in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

W Punta de Mita

A lush and lavish beach resort located in Mexico’s coveted Riviera Nayarit, W Punta de Mita offers an escape for travelers looking to indulge in a mindful and spiritual wellness getaway. Celebrating the traditions of their Mayan ancestors, the resort invites its guests to take part in their new Cacao Ceremony, which promotes self-reflection and spiritual awakening. Wellness seekers are invited to gather at the resort’s pristine beach where a lively altar of flowers lit by a sacred fire will set the mood. The director will then lead the group in ceremony as guests drink the ceremonial cacao and wrap themselves in an aura of sound and healing frequencies. In addition to this ceremony, the resort offers daily yoga classes tucked away in the lush jungle, healing sound bath meditations and indigenously inspired spa treatments at their expansive AWAY Spa.

Forest bathing journaling in Georgia

Barnsley Resort

Just one-hour northwest of Atlanta lies Barnsley Resort, where nature, history, outdoor adventure and southern comfort come together as one. The 3,000-acre property offers a Forest Bathing Journaling experience, in which travelers are encouraged to create natural art inspired by the gifts of nature. Guests receive a journal with sketch pencils, colored pencils, tape and glue sticks. A guide takes guests out to set an intention for the walk, and then takes them to different parts of the resort’s grounds where they can collect leaves and flowers. A fanny pack is also provided to collect natural goods, and then travelers can go back and craft it in the journal in whatever way they speak. Guests can continue connecting with nature by taking advantage of the resort’s additional nature-focused experiences, including horseback riding, catch-and-release fishing, canoeing, golf and more.

Shaman blessing in Guatemala

Casa Palopo

The luxury boutique hotel is tucked away in the rolling hills of Santa Catarina, Guatemala and backdropped by the mythical Lake Atitlán which is believed to have powerful restorative properties. Guests can immerse themselves in magic by taking the plunge, either by entering the healing waters of the lake or participating in a personalized blessing ceremony led by a Mayan Shaman. The ceremony implements ancient Mayan practices and traditional healing components such as sugary sweets, herbs and colorful candles. Guests set an intention such as finding love or cleansing bad energy and the Shaman channels the elements of fire, water and water to fulfill the intention. The blessing takes place outside the villa on an elevated patch of lush grass among the hypnotizing views of the three neighboring volcanoes. Those who opt to hold their ceremony at sunset are in for even more of a delight, as the orange hues illuminate the sky and reflect onto the majestic lake.

Bee venom experience in Tulum

La Valise Tulum

A boutique beachfront hideaway with suites centered around a private cenote and perks like king-size beds on wheels that roll onto private terraces for al fresco nights under the stars, La Valise Tulum offers an array of unique wellness ceremonies inspired by local nature and the ancient Mayan culture. The hotel’s Bee Venom Experience takes place in the jungle and begins with meditation and healing sound bowls to help guests relax while immersing them in the stunning tropical surroundings. After a local healer delicately paints a bee venom onto their facial skin, he burns palo santo and incense to help guests channel the energy of their chakras while the venom does its work to firm and tighten skin without the need for harsh chemicals or injectables. It’s 100% natural and cultivated cruelty-free through a sustainable process that ensures the protection of the local bees.

Indigenous medicine garden apothecary in St. Lucia

Jade Mountain

Jade Mountain, tucked away in the luscious greenery of St. Lucia, is a resort that embodies all the natural wonders of its surroundings, incorporated in everything from its pioneering open-air design to the many nature-focused experiences and amenities offered. In honor of the island’s indigenous influences, the resort’s Horticultural Manager Damian Adjodha leads a special tour of the property’s indigenous healing garden, which contains a variety of herbs and flora containing powerful healing and restorative properties. Adjodha guides guests as they embark on an interactive experience where they’ll weave through the labyrinth garden and select from a variety of developing herbs like ginger, turmeric and fennel to create their own elixirs, used to holistically address various ailments, as well as nourish the mind, body and spirit.

Full moon treks in Turkey

Argos in Cappadocia

Carved into the cliffs of Turkey’s historical region, Argos in Cappadocia is a boutique hotel that immerses its guests in the nature that surrounds the charming town of Uçhisar. This ancient monastery turned hotel offers 51 guest rooms designed to blend the volcanic landscape and historical texture of the region. Travelers looking for a rejuvenating experience that will showcase the beauty of the area through a different lens can take part in a guided stroll under the mystical full moon, known for its meditative and spiritual healing energy. Wellness seekers looking for more ways to unwind can attend a sun salutation yoga session or head to the Therapy Room for a holistic massage experience.