In the mood for a little adventure travel? We’re right there with you! Spas around the globe are catering to their clientele who like spa-ing and adventure-seeking in high doses, offering a variety of activities that embrace the great outdoors—because, as we all know, being outside brings amazing health benefits. (In fact, 100-plus studies have suggested outdoor recreation reduces stress and improves physical and psychological wellbeing.) So as part of our Wellness Week® Pledge, Connect with Nature, we’ve rounded up 10 great adventure getaways that instigate the thrill seeker in all of us.
Here are just a few of our editors’ picks—we want to hear your faves in the comments!
Image: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
August Moon Spa at La Tourelle Resort – Ithaca, New York
This resort has an “adventure center concierge” to help you plan your perfect vacation, from fishing and golfing to geocaching and hiking the Upper Buttermilk State Park trails and the Finger Lake Trail system.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo – Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Channel your inner adventurist with adrenaline-charged activities that include zip lining through the Gulf of Papagayo’s tropical forest, meandering around Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park’s mud pots and furnaroles, and exploring Palo Verde National Park’s ecosystem.
Image: Four Seasons Coasta Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
One&Only Palmilla – San José Del Cabo, Mexico
This luxury resort isn’t just for relaxation. Make arrangements to hike the region’s ancient canyons, swim in natural spring pools, and deep-sea fish in the “marlin capital of the world,” while staying at this former Hollywood hideaway.
Red Mountain Resort – Ivins, Utah
Spend a week or weekend at this Southwestern resort, surrounded by imposing red rock cliffs and canyons—with 30-plus distinct hiking trails for varying skill levels that wind through sandstone rock, lava caves, and Native American petroglyphs, you’ll never be bored.
Image: Red Mountain Resort
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite – Fish Camp, CA
Explore the sweeping beauty of the High Sierra with daily guided and nightly flashlight hikes that lead you from this northern California resort spa through the Sierra National Forest; as well, take advantage of Tenaya’s easy access to Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts four million visitors annually for fishing, rafting, skiing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding…we could go on and on.
St. Regis Aspen Resort – Aspen, CO
Yes, we know there are several winter playgrounds, but we’re highlighting this St. Regis locale, at the base of the Aspen Mountain, for its year-round sense of adventure, which includes skiing, ice skating, winter fly fishing, and dog sledding come winter (the resort’s Ski Valet Program also provides transportation to the different mountains), and golf, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and paragliding during the warmer seasons, all available on site or in the surrounding area.
Image: St. Regis Resort Aspen
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort – Alajuela, Costa Rica
Area hiking trails lead to a mirador, or lookout point, where you can view close-up shots of the nearby Arenal Volcano and its flowing lava…we don’t think we need to say anymore.
Travaasa – Austin, TX and Maui, HI
Adventurists have met their match: Travaasa offers its own adventure program, with alfresco activities like equine excursions, hiking, geocaching, snorkeling, archery, and stand-up paddle boarding at its Austin, Texas, and Maui, Hawaii, locations.
Rosalie Bay Resort – Rosalie, Dominica
“If adventure travel is what you seek, you can find it here on Dominica.” I found that phrase on Rosalie Bay Resort’s website and would be hard-pressed to disagree: Swims in the Emerald Pool, part of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; seven-hour hikes to the world’s second-largest boiling lake; and dives into crystal seas to snorkel the Champagne Reef or scuba dive with sperm whales are just some of the experiences here.
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto – Loreto, Mexico
Jacques Cousteau called the Islands of Loreto “the world’s aquarium” for its 155-plus miles of coastline; contact Villa del Palmar’s on-site operator to arrange adventures by sea like paddle boarding, fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, and snorkeling on the resort’s private beach.
Image: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto
See more adventure getaways, plus check out the Top 10 spas voted “best for outdoor adventure” in the 2012 SpaFinder® Wellness Readers’ Choice Awards.
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This post was written to help you embrace the “Connect with Nature” pledge for Wellness Week! From March 11 through 17, make your week well with valuable wellness tips, free classes and events, and exclusive deals and offers. Plus, enjoy a free $25 Wellness Week Gift Card when you purchase a $25 SpaFinder Wellness Gift Card during Wellness Week (March 11-17). Learn more about Wellness Week 2013!
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