Top Ten Yoga Retreat Destinations
Here at Seek Retreat we’ve compiled the list of the top ten yoga retreat destinations. Some of them may surprise you, from the Eat, Pray, Love destinations of Italy, India, and Bali, to the gypset luxury bohemian getaways like Thailand, Tulum, and Hawaii–we are sure you will find something that will make you want to pack your bags and escape to one of these life-changing locals.
Costa Rica: Yoga and Surfing all a quick flight from the United States and one of the most progressively environmental countries in the world make Costa Rica any easy escape from North or South America. Did we also mention it was named #1 on the Happy Planet Index in 2009 and 2012 by the New Economics Foundation? Lonely Planet calls it, “The Switzerland of Central America because of its comfortable lifestyle, peaceful democracy and overwhelming natural beauty.” And with so many amazing instructors leading retreats here and classic retreat centers like Blue Spirit– Costa Rica makes it to the top of our list of yoga retreat destinations.
Bali: Harder to get to but worth the time, Bali is the island province of Indonesia that is home to the countries largest Hindu population. Is the Hindu influence the reason it has so many great yoga retreat destinations? Or is it the amazing retreat venues like Michael Franti’s Soulshine Resort just five minutes from Ubud? Bali also received the Travel + Leisure Best Island award in 2010 and of course, was immortalized in the re-discover yourself classic: Eat, Pray, Love. There are so many things in Bali: Visiting Temples, Surfing, Yoga, Biking around the terraces, and Scuba Diving.
Tulum. This incredible destination situated on Mexico’s Maya Rivera has everything from eco-chic resorts, all inclusive hotels, and spa getaways. A perfect place to escape, tune-in, and get a little sun while you’re there. Check out Maya Tulum resort for everything from yoga bootcamp, yoga and art retreats, or a yoga teacher training. While you’re there, check out the famous Chichen Itza ruins, unwind at the Sandbar Smokehouse, or grab a vegan meal at Restaurare.
Hawaii Another great beach destination with a different islands for any type of getaway. Hit up Oahu for the annualWanderlust Yoga Festival at Turtle Bay. Check out one of the best luxury yoga retreat hotels in the world–Lumeria in Maui. The Big Island offers the perfect setting for a tropical yoga teacher training with Yoga Works instructor Alicia Cheung. Check out the Beet Box on the North Shore of Oahu for some amazing vegetarian fare. Wailua Falls is an amazing stop in Kauai. For some amazing spa treatments don’t miss the Hualalai Spa at the Four Seasons Ka’upulehu.
Santorini. Greece by itself is an a must see for anyone interested in history, but the jet set, seekers, and photographers love Santorini for its captivating bright white buildings and domed churches overlooking perfect blue waters. Annual retreats by some of the top yoga instructors in the world have made this a mainstay in the yoga retreat world. Unwind after a long day practicing over the Aegean Sea with a cappuccino or Bellini at a local café. Roam the narrow streets for unlimited Instagram opportunities. Shop in the village of Fira and hit a nightclub while you’re there. Check out this Santorini Retreat or get certified at this Santorini Yoga Teacher Training with YogaWorks.
Tuscany. There are so many options for yoga retreats in Tuscany from yoga and meditation retreats to yoga adventure tours, one thing is consistent for all of them—food! As it is so much a part of the culture, it’s hard to visit Italy without having the cuisine become part of the experience. Finish your day with a sunset practice and dinner at your group’s private villa on top of a hillside overlooking olive trees and vineyards. With so many things to see, it’s not only a retreat, it’s a sightseeing delight. Check out the amazing town square of Siena, sip espresso in a small courtyard in Florence, or tour the Tuscan countryside tasting wine. Retreat to Tuscany with Gayle Olson and Talya Lutzker for an amazing Ayurveda retreat.
India. You can’t talk about yoga without talking about India. As the birthplace of yoga, India has yoga retreats and teacher trainings of every fashion. From the backpacker and gypset haunts of Goa, to rustic mountain ashrams, to luxury yoga & spa getaways–India has anything you can set your intention to. Be a spiritual tourist and experience the temples like the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, or Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. Stop by Amma’s ashram for a hug in Kerala. Take a yoga and culture tour of the south, and take in the sights while keeping up your practice. Hit the luxurious Ananda Spa for some yoga and relaxation.
Thailand. Explore the small fishing villages or take a Tuk Tuk ride around Bankok to explore the nightlife of Thailand. Head to Krabi for some rock climbing over crystal blue water. Explore Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary to roam with rescued and rehabilitate pachyderms. Somewhere in there you might get some yoga in too! Check out Alchemy Tours’ Retreat to the island of Ko Samui at the Samahita Resort.
Ibiza. When the Ecstasy wears off and the techno gets old, it might be time for a detox. Ibiza is more than just Mega-Clubs, this amazing island surrounded by perfect water full of dolphins and full of wooded hills. According to Ibiza Retreats’ own Larah Davis, Ibiza is, “Known as a, ‘triple scorpio island,’ (according to astrological maps). Ibiza, grounded in soil that is laced with crystals, everything looks brighter, bluer, greener and feels more potent, poignant and evocative.” Ibiza Retreats host everything from a weekend yoga and detox retreat to a full yoga and lifestyle detox. What a perfect way to escape the party life, or at least take a break from it!
California. Last but not least is Seek Retreat’s own home, California. With everything from the cliff-side hot springs of the historical Esalen Institute to Casa Barranca in Ojai–California has always been a bastion of yoga and wellness since Paramahansa Yogananda took up residence in Encinitas back in 1936. Esalen has amazing retreat programming throughout the year, and weekend and weeklong retreats can easily found outside of San Francisco, Los Angeles, or any other major city in California for that matter. With so many great yoga retreat destinations, why leave? Why not have a staycation at a local hotel like the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica where our good friend Cristi Christensen is known for running yoga and surf retreats out of the amazing Exhale Spa.