(19) Chapada dos Veadeiros
Brazil’s New Age paradise
But it may be the natural beauty that does the most for your peace of mind. Absorb the rays of the setting sun while meditating on Whale Rock, or hike an hour into the national park named for the region and indulge in a hydromassage under a spectacular waterfall. The town of Alto Paraíso provides simple accommodations and ample opportunities to shop for healing crystals andmedicinal herbs. Stay at the Pousada Alfa e Ômega (55-61/646-1225; doubles $30), a small inn with a pool and sauna. At dusk, head to the Gamma Space Café to have a drink and chat with other seekers of enlightenment.
A growing number of spiritual travelers are making pilgrimages to Chapada dos Veadeiros, an ancient mesa with a holistic pedigree in central Brazil. A three-hour drive north of Brasília, it lies on one of the world’s largest beds of quartz crystal; a field of boulders that looks like a Zen gardensits right on the mystical 14th parallel. What’s more, a strong magnetic field is said to be focused in the area.
Trio For Tranquillity
(20) Experts at the new Taj Ayurveda Centre (91-495/765-354, fax 91-495/766-448; doubles $924 for seven days) in Calicut, India, on the Kerala coast, create inner harmony by balancing mind, body, and spirit. (21) Consider the reopened Red Mountain health resort in Ivins, Utah (800/407-3002 or 435/673-4905; doubles from $1,495 for seven nights), when you can’t face the gym anymore. The red rocks,desert air, and tailored exercise programs guarantee increased fitness and decreased stress. (22) Find peace on the peaks at Mountain Trek(800/661-5161 or 250/229-5636; $1,780 per person for seven nights), a retreat in British Columbia’s Kootenay range. Swim in hot springs, hike alpine slopes, and feast on desserts such as berry crumble.
Hart & Hind Fitness Retreat & Ranch (713/868-1264 or firstname.lastname@example.org; seven days, $3,200 all-inclusive; open January through May; for women only). This 5,000-acre ranch nestled in Texas Hill Country opens this month and aims at rejuvenation and restoration through custom-designed fitness and culinary programs. On offer are horseback riding, hiking, aerobics, aqua regimes, and personalized exercise schedules created by the program director. For quiet moments, guests can sit by the small pond hidden under dusty oak trees or visit the masseuse. Menus are specially prepared from fresh native ingredients, and the chef gives out healthy cooking tips in the demonstration kitchen.
TravelandLeisure.com exclusive itinerary additions:
Pura Vida (888/767-7375 or puravidaspa.com) Wellness Week from $795 per person, double, including all meals). Sunlight floods the glass-enclosed yoga room that overlooks the San Jos&233; Valley in Costa Rica. Here guests take part in daily yoga and meditation while gazing at the surrounding hillsides. Also included are excursions to dramatic waterfalls in the rain forest, talking stick circles, and a visit to an animal conservancy. The retreatÌs main focus is on the spiritual side of relaxation, or rebuilding vitality through “conscious living.” Guests have their choice of rooms, from a luxury tent to a Japanese pagoda with private outdoor shower, hot tub, and sunken living room.