10 Reasons to Make a Wellness Retreat Your Go-to Destination

Picture this: walking along sandy tropical beaches, surfing perfect waves in warm waters, hiking up a volcano, practicing morning yoga, and indulging in nutritious plant-based meals. Sounds tantalizing, doesn’t it?

Wellness retreats have surged in popularity as more and more people choose vacation experiences that enhance overall well-being and quality of life. In May 2024, one such wellness retreat is being hosted in Popoyo, Nicaragua, by Olympian and vegan chef Julia Murray, RHN, of Hooked on Plants and esteemed vegan chef and educator Danielle Arsenault of Pachavega.

The 7-Day Plant-Based Surf & Wellness Retreat is a transformative adventure among the enchanting landscapes of Nicaragua, promising “an unparalleled blend of nourishment, education, comfort zone expansion, giving back, adventure, connection, revitalization, inspiration, culture, and self-discovery.” (Pro tip: use the promo code “ALIVE” at checkout, and you can receive US$500 off the retreat cost!)

Wellness retreats like this offer a range of long-lasting benefits that nurture the mind, body, and soul along with a chance to reconnect with yourself.

1. Slow down and rest

A wellness retreat is the perfect opportunity to take a break from your routine and slow down. From managing work stress to juggling various relationships, life can get a little overwhelming, and personal goals tend to be put on a backburner. Disconnecting from real life and focusing on self-care can help you refill your cup so that you come back recharged.

2. Set new goals

Many wellness retreats offer a unique opportunity to reflect. You can evaluate your personal goals and values that may have become sidetracked over time and realign with them—or perhaps even discover some new ones. Away from outside distractions, sit and unravel your feelings and well-being goals, and then chart a course toward achieving your desired outcomes.

3. Get in touch with yourself

Most wellness retreats curate activities centered around mindfulness and healing. Wellness practices such as meditation, yoga, journaling, solo nature walks, and breathwork are a gateway to exploring your spiritual side. These activities prompt clarity, introspection, and self-discovery, helping you understand yourself better.

4. Explore a new culture

Wellness retreats allow you the opportunity to explore new places and cultures, as they often take place among breathtaking landscapes. Connect with nature; interact with locals; and immerse yourself in the tradition, culture, food, and music of a new place.

5. Improve physical health

Promoting health and well-being is the cornerstone of wellness retreats. You may be encouraged to participate in exercises and outdoor activities, allowing you to focus on your health. Wellness-focused vacations may help reduce your risk of developing various health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and stress disorder.

6. Improve mental health

Practicing mindfulness exercises regularly may help improve focus, memory, and creativity. The intentionally tranquil and comfortable environment of wellness retreats positively impacts your mood and curbs stress. Activities focused on relaxation and enjoyment also boost mental health as they allow you a chance to reflect and recover from your usual routine.

7. Boost happiness

Vacations are infamous stress busters and mood boosters, and when you pair them with wellness-focused activities, you are guaranteed an immediate and lasting respite from the daily grind. Not only do wellness retreats offer stress relief, but they also offer restorative benefits like improved health and well-being—which can then lead to enhanced work productivity when you return home.

8. Connect with likeminded people

Attending a wellness retreat creates space for you to connect with likeminded individuals from different walks of life and form meaningful connections with them that can potentially lead to lifelong friendships. Participating in group activities and experiences where people bare their vulnerabilities and true selves can help create deep bonds among the participants.

9. Practice healthy eating

Wellness retreats prioritize nutritious meals alongside healthy activities and often have highly trained chefs preparing fresh, organic dishes for attendees. With locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, the goal is to support your health as well as the environment. The best part? You can easily incorporate these culinary practices at home to reap continuous benefits.

10. Adopt a new routine

A wellness retreat is a great place to try new pursuits and hopefully add some of those positive activities into your daily routine! It can be something as small as taking five minutes at the end of your day to journal or meditate. Retreats can help you transform mindful activities into fulfilling habits that last long after your experience has ended.

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