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Health Spa Guide


Time spent in a health spa can truly change your life, but only if what you book is in fact the experience you’re seeking. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when bombarded by choices and multitudes of information online, so we’re here to help break it down for you. After all, it’s important to know all the facts when it comes to making choices for you and your body.

If you’ve heard the term “health spa” in the past and felt a twinge of curiosity flicker deep down somewhere, you’ve come to the right place. This article—a guide rather—will help you fully understand what a health spa is (and how they differ from a “day spa”), the benefits you can expect from attending one, how to find the right one for you, and offer you a list of the best health spas in the world right now.

What is a Health Spa?

If you were to look in either the Merriam-Webster or Cambridge dictionary, you’d see definitions that date back to the 60’s, when the term first appeared. However, a lot has changed in the last 60+ years. Today, as the entire “wellness tourism” market explodes, and hundreds of niche variations surface, from yoga retreat to fasting retreat, an update of the term is needed.

A health spa is a multi-day destination retreat or resort that focuses on providing guests a complete and balanced rejuvenation of body and mind, often layering physical fitness activities (like hiking, yoga, and exercise), eating clean food, detoxification and stress reduction practices, spiritual inspiration, and even sleep support and educational seminars, on top of a traditional spa experience (steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, cold plunge, and massage/treatment rooms).

Health spas are typically located in an inspiring and remote setting to allow natural beauty and tranquility to aid in healing the whole being, are only attended by a small number of guests at a time, and usually have a well-rounded staff of caring, nurturing, professionals to assist guests in meeting their individual health goals.

What is a Day Spa?

Day spas are the most commonly confused with health spas. Day spas are just that: a place you go for the day to relax in spa amenities like a steam room, sauna, or jacuzzi, and/or receive spa treatments such as massages, facials, waxing, and nails. Generally speaking, you pay an entrance fee to access the facilities and then buy treatments a la carte. No fitness or nutrition aspects involved, and the service is over when you leave the building—overnight accommodations are typically not available nor included. Fantastic if you are looking for an outing with your friends or a little “me” time, not so great if you are looking for a major health reset or lasting lifestyle changes.

The History of Spas

The idea of a health spa is by no means new; rather, health practices such as detoxification, healing and deep relaxation have been around in some shape or form for almost as long as we homo sapiens have walked the earth.

It’s long been known that water is essential to our health and wellbeing. Many of the first settlements around the world were built near seas and rivers, and not just for agricultural reasons either. Water was believed to have healing properties and was considered to be a gift from the gods. Hindus would plunge themselves into the sacral Ganges River to heal their body and soul, while ancient Egyptians used the waters of the Nile for beauty procedures. In Buddhist Japan it was believed that bathing was a way to ward off disease and bring good fortune

And while most ancient cultures valued water in all its forms, there were a couple of them who recognized the added benefits of hot water. Specifically, natural hot springs. The ancient Greeks with their baths, and Japanese, with their onsens, were well-aware of the healing properties of hot springs heated by geothermal heat from the earth’s interior. Greek philosopher Hippocrates hypothesized that all human diseases begin with an imbalance of “bodily fluids” and that to restore balance, changes needed to be made to your habits and environment. He also suggested that bathing, massages, walking, and perspiration were crucial to restoring balance in your body. Hippocrates knew intuitively what so many of us are just discovering now; that hormone (“bodily fluid”) imbalance wreaks havoc on our health, that movement induces circulation and sweating, both of which detoxify the body naturally, and that human touch is not only a core need, but also helps move lactic acid and other fluids out of our muscles and through our detox organs (kidneys and liver).

The water in hot springs essentially acts like a multivitamin for your skin. Heated water can hold more dissolved solids than cold water (picture dumping table salt into a glass of cold water versus hot water), so the water is packed with good-for-you elements such as calcium, magnesium, silica, lithium, and radium. These elements found in the water of natural hot springs (in addition to the high temperature of the water) have been found to help with everything from soothing aching muscles to softening your skin, to clearing nasal congestion and improving circulation.
Even without natural hot spring water, and well before knowing the science behind it, cultures all over the world understood the importance of heating our bodies, especially in the colder flu season months to induce a “false fever” when they were more sedentary, inflamed, and susceptible to illness. Turkish Hammams, Russian Banyans, Finnish Saunas, and Native American Sweat Lodges have all been around for millenia, and an integral part of each culture’s ancient healing practices.

While many ancient cultures understood the value of hot water, it is the Romans who deserve the credit for developing what we now know as a health spa. Romans considered regular bathing to be part of their regimen for good health, so it wasn’t long before private and public spas were built all throughout Rome and their conquered lands. They were a place for socialization as well as healing. The word SPA comes from the Roman “sanus per aquam”, which means “health by water”. And these new thermal centers not only had areas for bathing but also gardens, libraries, shops, and medical facilities.

Unfortunately, spas took a decline during the Middle Ages with the fall of the Roman Empire, but they underwent a small resurgence during the Renaissance. This time, however, they were targeted more as treatment centers for specific medical conditions, not as places of relaxation or socialization, and were primarily used by the aristocracy, as only they could afford what was then a lavish luxury.

During the Industrial Revolution, as pollution rose in Europe and North America, spas began to see a rise once again. The need to leave the city for the clean air and waters of the mountains and seaside changed health spas, who began adding “combined treatments” to their offerings. These treatments often included things such as physical exercises, massages, herbal baths, time in nature, and specialized diets. The spas, while evolving, never lost their original purpose of restoring wellness and healing the body, mind, and soul.

By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, health spas had become a staple in the lives of the wealthy and elite. Hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues started popping up around spas, making the surrounding areas popular getaways for those who couldn’t afford the spa itself, and the culture strengthened. WWII took its toll, however. Between the post-war economic struggles and the rise of modern medicine, people no longer flocked to health spas like they once had.

And now, modern society is understanding that preventative care is vastly more potent than relying on prescription pills and palliative care, and is once more seeking alternative methods for living a long, healthy life. Health spas are taking center stage again, helping people take the time to focus on self-care and wellbeing; physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Benefits of a Health Spa

Spending time at a health spa allows you the opportunity to leave regular life behind and give undivided attention to your healing experience. Day spas may be able to do that for a couple hours, but oftentimes multiple weeks are needed to make genuine progress. This is probably the biggest benefit of a health spa; complete, immersive, accelerated healing. You can be fully present with the healing process. All with the support and guidance of trained professionals every step of the way (why you want to choose the health spas with the best staff).

Modern health spas focus on a blend of physical and psychological improvement. Physically, it’s expected you will move towards a more ideal body composition (read: lose weight) and re-engage muscles you once used. Mentally, reducing stress and achieving a more calm, less anxious mind. And emotionally, finding peace, even in the most chaotic of lives, as well as new found inspiration.

What To Look For In A Health Spa

Health spas (and all of the variations) are most definitely not one-size-fits-all, so before committing to one versus the other, it’s crucial to understand the differences to help you decide which is the best choice for you based on your individual needs.

Retreat vs Resort

The largest category difference is whether the facility is a Retreat or a Resort. A health or wellness retreat is usually fully programmed, all-inclusive, and hosts less than 50 people at a time. You should expect to check in and out on a certain day, follow a schedule of events, and have most everything taken care of for you, from each calorie consumed to which type of movement you should do each day. Once you arrive, you can turn off your mind and let the staff take care of you. A health or wellness resort, on the other hand, offers guests a health-promoting environment with a la cart options to personalize the experience, hosts more guests at once, and allows you to check in and out as you normally would at any hotel. You should expect the resort to offer a wide variety of healthy options, like pools, fitness centers, and spa facilities, but for you to self-direct your wellness journey. Due to their intimate nature, all-inclusive programming, and higher staff-to-guest ratios, retreats are typically more expensive than resorts. Retreats are best if what you need is to fully unplug, turn off your mind, and have a team of experts guide you. A resort is best if you seek a healthy holiday but are more budget conscious and have the internal motivation to ensure you take full advantage of the healthy options available with your stay.


The location of your health spa is integral to your success, and is very much a personal choice. Some retreats are located in the dry deserts, and might appeal to you during cold winter months, while some are located in more rugged wilderness, and might appeal to you if you’re craving to get far away from your stress/pain and reconnect with lush nature, trees, water, and fresh air. Look at both macro and micro location. Literally look at the retreat on google earth/maps to see if the region and immediate surroundings appeal to you. You may find that the health spa you are really excited about is actually located within a larger hotel, a busy development, or so far away from the nearest airport that travel to the spa is prohibitive.

Staff-to-Guest Ratio & Staff Credentials

Finally, look into the staff-to-guest ratio and staff credentials. Ensure, especially if you are going to a speciality retreat (like a yoga or meditation retreat), that each instructor is properly certified and there are only so many students to share attention between. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime investment you are making—you don’t want to entrust your health to unqualified people, nor yourself! If you are considering a hiking-based health spa, are all of the guides fully certified in wilderness first aid? How many guests are in each group? If you are considering a fasting retreat, is the lead practitioner a doctor or other highly-regarded medical professional? If you’re going to a large wellness resort, how easy will it be for you to get assistance? If you are going to a ceremonial retreat in South America for the first time, perhaps bring a best friend or trusted partner to ensure you have a built-in layer of psychological safety. If this information isn’t listed on the spa’s website, don’t hesitate to call and inquire.

Best Health Spas

Now that you know what a health spa is, the history of them, and what to look for when booking one, you may be eager to begin your own research and may not need to read on. However, if you’d rather us suggest a few of the top health spas to consider, by all means, please continue reading. We’ve broken the list into two, based on whether the spa is a Retreat or a Resort.

Disclaimer: We, Mountain Trek, have put ourselves on the list of best Retreat Spas, but are subjectively offering up this list of other experiences that our own guests have experienced and enjoyed as well as including those spas that we know are high quality by being in the industry ourselves. Our intent in writing this article is not to sell you on coming to Mountain Trek—although we would be honored to see you for a week (or two!)—but rather, to introduce you to the wonderful world of health spas, and the experience of investing in your physical, mental, and emotional health, for your own wellbeing and longevity, as well as those around you.

Best Health Spa Retreats

Woman hiker standing in front of mountains at a fitness retreat

Mountain Trek Wellness Retreat & Health Spa

Yes, this is us, and yes, we are biased, but for good reason. Mountain Trek was recently rated the Best Wellness Retreat in Canada (by both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast), the #4 Destination Spa in the World (the term Destination Spa was created by the wellness tourism industry and is often interchangeable for Health Spa), and routinely sees a return guest rate of over 40%. Mountain Trek is a 30+ year-old hiking-based health retreat located in the lush forests of British Columbia, Canada. 16 guests at a time are cared for by over 40 staff members and follow a proven schedule featuring daily guided hikes, nutritionist-designed chef-prepared meals, mobility and restorative yoga, functional fitness classes, and ample time in the state-of-the-art spa. If you are looking to escape far from your typical routine, want to be expertly guided into lush nature, and seek a highly rewarding, highly effective “health reset”, Mountain Trek is for you. The seven day/seven night program costs $6,400 USD (2023 pricing), with gratuities and extra spa treatments optional add-ons.

The Ranch, Malibu

Located in beautiful Malibu, California, The Ranch Malibu is a relatively new player in the Health Spa world, but has been quick to make a splash, and is routinely rated one of the top Destination Spas in the world. Similar to Mountain Trek, you can expect to follow a trusted program that incorporates daily hikes, clean food (plant-based only at The Ranch and coming from their own 2+ acre certified organic garden), yoga, exercise, and a state-of-the-art spa experience (including a cryotherapy sauna). The Ranch Malibu features larger, more luxuriously appointed guest cottages, more flexible booking options (up to four weeks, and is offered year round. Weekly guest counts are around 20 and a 6-night stay at The Ranch, Malibu is $7,600 USD per person for a shared room or $8,900 USD for private accommodations. This is an all-inclusive price but note a 16% service charge is automatically added to cover gratuity and tax.

The Ashram

One of the original health spas in California (opened in 1974), The Ashram, located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, California, has deep roots in spiritual healing, but also still focuses its offering around daily hikes, exercise classes, spa time and massages, and healthy plant-based food. Weekly guest counts are around 12, and guest rooms are often shared with another person. The all-inclusive 6-night program is $6,300 USD.

The Pearl Laguna

Take all of the above, and imagine it was run by two world renowned yogis and you’d be envisioning The Pearl, in Laguna Beach, California. Hosting a maximum of 14 guests each week, but routinely less, and offering daily hiking, clean food, and power yoga, The Pearl is the most intimate and spiritual of the experiences listed here. You should expect to let your physical movement, clean nutrition, and guided yoga sessions be a pathway to a calmer mind and improved emotional health. Located in a renovated and expanded estate in Laguna Beach, California, you can join an all-inclusive 6-night retreat for $6,200 USD.

Golden Door

Located in San Marcos, California, and with 600 acres, 25 miles of private trails, 7 state of the art gyms, 2 swimming pools, and a tennis court, the Golden Door takes Japanese-inspired luxury to a new level. The Golden Door tip toes the line between retreat and resort, as it blends elements of each. Booking is limited to specific programs with scheduled check-in and check-out dates, like a retreat, but guests, a max of 40 at each time, are free to make their own healthy choices while at the facility, like a resort, but are guided by a personal trainer, again, like a retreat. The Golden Door labels themselves a resort, but have placed them in the retreat list after much deliberation. Either way, if you are looking for no sacrifices, luxurious pampering with personalized guidance, Golden Door is for you, but only if you have the funds to afford it; a 7-night stay starts at $11,000 USD.


If the price tags are starting to make your head spin or you are just starting your wellness journey, then Skyterra may be the retreat for you. Located on the other side of the country, in North Carolina, Skyterrra hosts a maximum of 35 guests a week and offers a budget-friendly program that balances following a specific schedule while allowing personal choice, often offering up to four different options per time slot. Over 80 different fitness classes are offered in one week, to give you an idea of the variety of choice on this pre-set menu. One week programs start at $4,025 USD per week, and stays of three weeks or more are possible, earning you a discount on the weekly price.


Best Health Spa Resorts

Canyon Ranch

Easily the largest collection of facilities on this list, with locations in Tucson, Arizona, Lennox, Massachusetts, Woodside, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, Canyon Ranch uses it size to offer a wide variety of experiences, from programmed multi-night “pathway” experiences to day passes at their Fitness & Day Spa locations. You can even live at two of the locations if you want. Canyon Ranch is becoming a brand dedicated to being “the world’s premier leader in wellness guidance”, and is opening up a new resort in Austin, Texas as well as members-only “clubs” (think Equinox) in Fort Worth, Texas, and Houston, Texas. The 7-night “Lifestyle Reset” pathway at their original resort in Tucson, Arizona, starts at $9,800 USD.

Rancho La Puerta

Perhaps the oldest on this list, with doors opening in 1940, Rancho La Puerta continues to lead the way for wellness resorts all over the world, routinely being rated one of the best. Over 4,000 acres include 86 casitas, 40 miles of hiking trails, 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, 11 gyms, 4 outdoor pools, central fitness and spa facility with ample steam rooms, saunas and treatment rooms, and an organic farm. The facility map is reminiscent of a theme park map, only all the rides are designed for burnt out adults. While Rancho La Puerta is one of the most tried and true resorts on this list, they do only offer a Saturday check-in and check-out, taking a nod from the retreat world. However, once booked, it is up to the guest to involve themselves in any one of the 50+ daily activities such as hiking, yoga, trail running, arts & crafts, dance, HIIT workouts, and inner journey classes. Scheduled transportation on Saturdays to and from San Diego Airport are also included. The 7-night package starts at $5,050 USD, making a week at Rancho La Puerta one of the more economical options on this list.


Truly a spa resort (and one owned by Hyatt), Miraval lets you book any check in and check out day (on a Hyatt webpage) for either of their three resorts, located in Arizona, Austin, and the Berkshires. Miraval is focused on helping guests “create a life in balance through mindfulness”, and works hard at offering environments that embody this mission. At almost every step of the way, intention is designed into the experience, from eating mindfully, to being invited to see, smell, and even feel their serene spas. Miraval may be the place for you if sweating sounds best done in a sauna. A 7-night stay at any of their three includes all meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, a $175 USD nightly resort credit per person to use toward spa services, fee-based activities and private sessions with Miraval Specialists, and starts at $9,900 USD, or $9,600 if you register for a Hyatt credit card on the spot.

Red Mountain Resort

Carving out its niche in the market as an “Adventure Retreat”, Red Mountain Resort is one of the largest and most affordable on this list. Guests can either check in and out as they please, and are told upon booking this option that, “this resort style rate is room only and does NOT include meals, hiking or spa program activities”, or guests can book “Adventure Retreats” that include accommodations, daily guided hikes, bike rentals, three healthy meals daily, fitness classes, healthy life classes and events, personal discovery activities, and WiFi. Red Mountain recommends you download their app so you can review all activities and schedules during your stay, opposing most others on this list who recommend guests try to unplug from their devices as much as possible. A 7-night (minimum 3) “Essential Retreat”, where meals and activities are included, starts at a modest $3,000 USD. You can upgrade to the “Ultimate Essential Retreat” where you get a $150 resort credit every day of your stay, which, at this price—the lowest on both lists— seems worth it to customize your experiences with extra services that are otherwise included by the other spas.


One of the more traditional health spas, where an inspiring estate and location offer primarily spa time, but a long list of auxiliary healthy activities are readily available included or on offer to further enhance your stay. Cal-a-vie dubs itself, “A European-style Spa & Wellness Retreat”, but per our definition above, they really are more of a resort, as they offer varying accommodation levels (25 villas and 7 suites), a variety of self-guided health-focused experiences, a la cart add-ons, and even host weddings, where a 400-year-old chapel from Dijon, France steals the show. The European Package, their most popular, is a 7-night all-inclusive package with three meals per day, four massages, and a healthy dose of additional spa services, and starts at $11,500 (2023 rate).

Moving forward

Clearly, not all health spas are one and the same, and seemingly, as our stressors and needs evolve, they become more specialized. Investing in any of the health spas listed in this article will probably provide you great value. Which one you choose ultimately comes down to; whether you are looking for a more private retreat environment that eliminates the guesswork, or a resort environment with more options and permits you to self-guide; which location and surrounding environment is most attractive to you (desert or forest, mountains or ocean, dry or wet); and price.

If you are looking for an intimate retreat deep in lush nature that will give you the physical, mental, and emotional reset you are looking for, we invite you to learn more about our award-winning program located in the majestic forests of British Columbia, Canada. With only 16 guests at a time, our staff of 40+ are permitted the time to slow down and be authentic, genuine, and present—pulling, not pushing, you the experience. Routinely visited by the same guests year after year, our program focuses deeply on all aspects of your health, head-to-toe, inside and out, and over the course of a expertly-designed week (or two), transforms you into a better version of yourself; stronger, leaner, more full of life and energy, and more resilient than ever.

If Mountain Trek is not for you, we completely understand. That’s why we wrote this guide! We wish you the best of luck on your health journey. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Farewell.

To learn more about Mountain Trek, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

Detox Retreat

If you’re looking to detox your body and mind, there’s no better place than a detox retreat. A detox retreat removes you from electronics, unhealthy food, and the stress of your busy, everyday life. Many detox retreats offer all-inclusive packages that include yoga classes, meditation sessions, and healthy meals. They also provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and swimming.


If you’re feeling a little run down, overworked, and stressed out, it might be time to visit a detox retreat. Mountain Trek, our award-winning detox retreat, is located in the beautiful province of British Columbia; our retreat offers the perfect opportunity to get away from it all and restore your health and well-being. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing yoga retreat or a more intensive detox program, there’s sure to be something that fits your needs.


So if you’re ready to recharge your batteries, take a look at everything our British Columbia detox retreat has to offer!

What to Expect at Mountain Trek’s British Columbia Detox Retreat

Mountain Trek’s detox retreat in beautiful British Columbia is the perfect place to rejuvenate and detoxify your body. Our program is designed to help you cleanse your body of toxins and stresses while giving you the tools you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


During your stay at our detox retreat, you will enjoy a variety of activities and treatments that we design to help you detoxify your body, including:


  • Infrared sauna therapy– Infrared sauna therapy is a great way to help your body sweat out toxins.
  • Massage therapy– Our detox massages are designed to help increase circulation and lymphatic flow, which can help your body eliminate toxins.
  • Yoga and meditation– Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress, which can help your body detoxify.
  • Detox foot baths– Detox foot baths can help to draw out toxins from your body through your feet.
  • Nutritional counseling– Our nutritional counselors will work with you to help you make healthy food choices that will support your detoxification process.
  • Exercise classes– Our exercise classes are designed to help you get your blood flowing and detoxify through sweating.
  • Guided hikes– Our guided hikes will take you through some of British Columbia’s most beautiful scenery and help you get some fresh air and exercise.
  • Lifestyle and health workshops– Our workshops will help you learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and detoxifying your body.


After completing our detox retreat, you will leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You will also have the knowledge and tools you need to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

Visit Mountain Trek’s Detox Retreat in British Columbia

Regardless of your reason for needing a disconnect and reset to your daily life, our luxury detox retreat in British Columbia will exceed all your expectations. If you’re ready for a refresh, book a stay at our detox retreat or contact us to learn more.


The Truth About Collagen Gummies


Collagen gummies are becoming extremely popular. But are they really the best solution to healthier hair and nails, pain-free joints, and better skin? In this article, we share the opinion of our award-winning team, consisting of feedback from our Registered Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor, Fitness Director, and Program Director. Our opinion on this matter comes from an overarching goal to see our body as a holistic system that thrives on balance. From this lens, we offer you insights you may not have considered, and a fundamental understanding that will afford you the ability to create your own opinions moving forward.

First, let’s clear one thing up right away: there is no debate as to the benefits of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It forms a scaffold that provides strength and structure within the body. It is an essential component of connective tissue and plays a crucial role in holding the body’s cells together. It also gives strength and elasticity to the skin. In summary, collagen is very important.

Our Ability to Produce Collagen Decreases With Age

As we age, we produce less and less collagen. This causes our skin to become less elastic and wrinkle, and become thinner. This can happen as early as 25-30, and accelerates in women after menopause. This scary fact is why so many people are turning to supplements, and, lately, gummies.

Rome Was Not Built On Collagen Gummies

Collagen gummies, however, are a supplement, and therein lies a massive clue as to what our relationship with them should be. Supplements, by definition, are not primary sources or fundamental building blocks; they exist just to fill in the cracks. Unfortunately, gummies are marketed as a quick and easy way to restore your collagen levels, and, all too often, taking supplements like these causes us to overlook producing essential vitamins, minerals, and collagen naturally—which is always a much more effective and sustainable way.

Collagen gummies are crack filler, and there’s no way to build anything of significance with just mortar. We must continue to focus on the natural building blocks of our health if we are to live a long, and happy life. And if, and only IF, we cannot genuinely derive or produce enough collagen naturally from our lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, habits), then we can, and should look to supplementation for help.

So what should we be doing to naturally support our collagen levels? And when those efforts don’t quite cut it, are collagen gummies really the best way to increase our collagen levels?

Our Bodies Naturally Create Collagen

Fortunately, our bodies are nothing short of extraordinary! We have the ability to create collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids. If our diet contains a variety of whole food proteins at each meal, we can consume the necessary amount of protein to create ample collagen without needed supplementation. Fabulous sources of both plant + animal protein sources (to promote natural collagen production!) include:
  • Spirulina
  • Legumes
    Seeds: especially pumpkin + chia
  • Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Bone Broth (ideally home made). Pro tip: use bone broth instead of oil to sauté vegetables, or instead of water when making quinoa or brown rice; both great, and sneaky ways, to add protein to your diet.
  • Organic, free-to-range eggs
  • Organic, pasture-raised meats
  • Wild fish

Healthy Lifestyle Factors Support Collagen Creation

However, it’s not just as easy as eating the above items and presto, your skin starts glowing and your nails never break. There are other lifestyle factors you need to focus on to help support your body to naturally up-regulate collagen:
  • Make sure you consume enough Vitamin C, zinc, and copper, which are cofactors required for collagen cross-linking. Eat your oysters, which are incredible sources of zinc and copper, and consume plenty of red peppers and citrus fruits, which are full of Vitamin C.
  • Do not smoke, and limit alcohol consumption. Both are toxic.
  • Limit exposure to pollutants. Also toxic.
  • Avoid deep-fried foods and processed meats (bacon, hot dogs), as they contain Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s), which can cause the stiffening of our collagen.
  • Wear your natural sunscreen! UV damage also increases AGE’s and collagen loss.
  • Eliminate added sugar. Sugar is collagen’s enemy! Glucose and Fructose (the two most common types of sugar) link amino acids in collagen and elastin and create harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products. These damage collagen and contribute to inflammation.
  • Eat regularly throughout the day, rather than all at once, and include some protein with every meal and/or snack. This  improves absorption.
  • Thoroughly chewing your food. This also helps absorption and reduces stomach acid, which might denature (damage) the proteins before becoming collagen.
  • Take a high quality, refrigerated probiotic, or add a fermented food (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, plain greek yogurt) to your daily routine.

Supplement only when all else fails

If you have reached the point in your life where collagen production has diminished so significantly, or your lifestyle is not producing enough collagen no matter how hard you try, it may be time to look for a supplement. Collagen Gummies, however, are not the answer. Typically, these gummies are often just glorified adult candies, and immensely packed full of sugar, which as noted above, is collagen’s enemy! Better than gummies, is hydrolyzed collagen powder, which you can add to your morning smoothie (see our Energizing Morning Smoothie Recipe) or take directly with cold water. It will give you all of the benefits a collagen gummy, and more, without the need to consume an over-processed sugar cube.

In summary, and as is with most aspects of our health, focus on supporting healthy (collagen) levels naturally. Follow our tips for how to do so. If those efforts fall short, look for as clean of a supplement as possible, and remember, it’s only there to fill in the cracks, not build your temple entirely.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

Best Yoga Retreats

There are many factors to consider when it comes to finding the best yoga retreat. Do you want to stay in a luxury resort or a more rustic setting? Are you looking for an immersive experience or just a chance to relax and rejuvenate? And of course, where in the world do you want to go?

To help you narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best yoga retreats in the world. From stunning locations like Bali and Costa Rica to more unexpected destinations like Iceland and Morocco, there’s sure to be a retreat that’s perfect for you.

So, whether you’re looking for a challenging yoga program or just a chance to unwind, check out our list of the best yoga retreats in the world.

Best Yoga Retreats

(Around The World)

Yoga is a worldwide practice, which means that no matter where you travel, you’re likely to find a yoga retreat that’s perfect for you. Here are some of our top picks for the best yoga retreats worldwide.

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health,

United States

Set in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is one of the most well-known yoga retreats in the United States. The center offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

If you’re looking for a challenge, sign up for one of the center’s intensive yoga programs. These programs range from five to seven days and include a variety of classes, as well as time for meditation and reflection.

If you’re just looking to relax and rejuvenate, shorter programs and a la carte yoga classes are available. In addition to yoga, the Kripalu Center also offers massage, Ayurvedic treatments, and a variety of other wellness activities.

The center is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains, so there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Accommodations at the Kripalu Center range from shared rooms to private cottages so that you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Sen Wellness Sanctuary, Sri Lanka

If you’re looking for a truly immersive yoga experience, look no further than the Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. This luxurious retreat offers a variety of programs, ranging from seven to 21 days.

The programs at Sen Wellness Sanctuary are designed to help you detoxify and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. In addition to daily yoga and meditation classes, you’ll also enjoy massages, Ayurvedic treatments, and healthy meals.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes with guided hikes and nature walks. And when you need a break from all the activity, you can relax by the pool or in one of the beautiful gardens on the property.

With just ten rooms, the Sen Wellness Sanctuary is one of the most intimate retreats on our list. But don’t let its size fool you – this retreat has all the amenities you need for a luxury experience, including a fitness center, sauna, and steam room.

Miraval, United States

The Miraval in Tucson, AZ, is a world-class yoga retreat. This luxurious resort offers a variety of programs and activities, making it the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

At Miraval, you can choose from various yoga classes, from beginner to advanced. There are also classes specifically for kids and families. In addition to yoga, you can enjoy various other activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the resort’s three pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Miraval range from standard rooms to suites, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Blue Spirit, Costa Rica

Blue Spirit is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in Nosara, Costa Rica. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

One of the best things about Blue Spirit is its location – the retreat is on a stunning stretch of beach, so you can enjoy the sun and the sand while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Blue Spirit also offers a variety of other activities, including surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the two pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Blue Spirit range from standard rooms to villas, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Ashiyana, India

If you’re looking for a truly authentic yoga experience, look no further than Ashiyana in India. This world-renowned retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

The Ashiyana retreat is located near the beach, so you can quickly visit it while you’re there. In addition to yoga, Ashiyana also offers a variety of other activities, including surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the two pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Ashiyana range from standard rooms to villas, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Tri, Sri Lanka

Tri is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in Sri Lanka. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Like other yoga retreats, Tri is situated on a beautiful stretch of beach, so you can enjoy the sun and the sand while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Tri also offers a variety of other activities, including surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the two pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Tri range from standard rooms to villas, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Ananda in the Himalayas, India

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Ananda is a world-renowned yoga retreat. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Ananda is located in the Himalayas, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Ananda also offers a variety of other activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the three pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Ananda range from standard rooms to suites, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand

Located on the island of Koh Samui, Absolute Sanctuary is a world-renowned yoga retreat. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Absolute Sanctuary is within walking distance of an excellent beach, so you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing while visiting. In addition to yoga, Absolute Sanctuary also offers a variety of other activities, including Thai boxing, Muay Thai, and cooking classes.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the two pools or get a massage at the spa. Rooms at Absolute Sanctuary range from standard rooms to villas, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.


Best Yoga Retreats in Canada

Canada is home to all sorts of fitness retreats, including those focusing on yoga. If you’re looking for a yoga retreat in Canada, here are some of the best options.


Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat, British Columbia

Mountain Trek is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in British Columbia. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Mountain Trek is situated on the stunning Kootenay Lake and Purcell Mountains. You can enjoy the beautiful mountain range, lake, and wilderness during your visit. In addition to yoga overlooking a lake, Mountain Trek also offers a variety of other activities, including guided hikes, spas, health talks, spin classes, massages, and much more.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the two pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Mountain Trek range from standard rooms to suites, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Grail Springs, Ontario

Grail Springs is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in Ontario. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Grail Springs is situated on 200 acres of pristine wilderness, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Grail Springs also offers a variety of other activities like swimming, spa, meditation, and nutrition support.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the three pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Grail Springs range from standard rooms to deluxe suites with fireplaces and lake views, so you can find the perfect option for your needs.

Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre, Ontario

Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in Ontario. The retreat offers a variety of programs and workshops, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Sugar Ridge is situated on 100 acres of pristine forest, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Sugar Ridge also offers a variety of other activities such as meditation and meals.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the three pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre include ten cabins and the retreat center.

Northern Edge Algonquin, Ontario

Northern Edge Algonquin is a world-renowned yoga retreat located in Ontario. The retreat offers a variety of programs for both beginners and experienced yogis.

Northern Edge is situated in Algonquin Park, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery while you’re here. In addition to yoga, Northern Edge also offers transformational retreats for groups ranging in size from 8 to 30 people. It has a variety of other activities, too, such as canoeing, biking, hiking, and campfires.

When you need a break from all the activity, you can relax in one of the four pools or get a massage at the spa. Accommodations at Northern Edge Algonquin include rooms in the main lodge and cabins.

Are Yoga Retreats Worth the Cost?

Yoga retreats can be a great way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. But are they worth the cost? Here’s what you need to know.

The cost of a yoga retreat can vary greatly depending on the location, duration, and amenities offered– generally speaking. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 for a week-long yoga retreat.

So, is a yoga retreat worth the cost? It depends. A yoga retreat may be worth the cost if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience that offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. However, if you’re simply looking for a week of yoga classes, you can probably find a more affordable option.

No matter your budget, there are plenty of great yoga retreats to choose from. So, do some research and find the perfect retreat for you.

How Do I Choose The Perfect Retreat?

Choosing the perfect yoga retreat can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, location, duration, and amenities. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect yoga retreat:

  • Decide what your goals are for the retreat. Do you want to focus on yoga, or are you looking for a more holistic experience?
  • Consider your budget. Yoga retreats can range from $2,000 to $7,000 per week.
  • Decide what kind of location you’re looking for. Do you want to stay in the city or head to the mountains?
  • Consider the duration of the retreat. Most yoga retreats last one week, but some are shorter or longer.
  • Choose a retreat that offers the amenities you’re looking for. Do you want a spa, pool, or private accommodations?

Now that you know how to choose the perfect yoga retreat, it’s time to start planning your trip. So, what are you waiting for?


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, there’s a yoga retreat out there for you. With so many great options to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect retreat for your needs. Start planning your yoga retreat today!

31 Best Wellness Retreats For 2022


Though we have been in one of the most uncertain and stressful times since the Second World War, the need for a wellness retreat is something humans have sought for millennia. Whether stepping out of day-to-day responsibilities or adversity, cultures of all times and places on the earth have seen the benefit of taking a break from giving and striving to take time to receive and recalibrate physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

It was a sanctified personal investment whose benefits were returned to the family and community tenfold. Vision Quests, Pilgrimages, Monastic Retreats, Contemplative solo time, and later Health Spa visits are all part of this generative reset. This was all before the fast-paced, plugged-in world we live in now.

Since the last recession 2008-2010, Globalization has increased the length of the workday, with the need to work with teams across a spectrum of time zones and travel for meetings sometimes 1-2 times per week. And, as our digital tools have provided us with a plethora of apps and platforms on which to stay connected (at work and home), we rarely have a moment to pause and breathe. Work hours in Canada and the USA have gone up an average of 2 hrs per day with working from home since the Covid pandemic.

What used to be time to listen to a podcast or rock out to our favorite FM channel during our commute to and from has turned into compulsive extra time on the computer. Ironically, the inundation from the communication prompting pocket tools has lowered our actual efficiency. It’s not just the working from home interruptions of family, pets, and the refrigerator during the Covid pandemic that has diminished our focusing capability; it’s been a downward trend since the cell phone. 

We have been “redlining” our personal metabolic tachometers for two decades, and it’s showing up as chronic workplace “burnout.” Thankfully, wellness retreats can help alleviate burnout and get you back on track.  

Signs That You NEED a Wellness Retreat

Life is often chaotic, busy, and so hectic that you find yourself mere inches from total burnout. Yet you continue to keep on going, frantically trying to keep up with your schedules and daily demands, so busy with life that you’re blind to the impending exhaustion. 

Generally, numerous factors indicate that you’re nearing the precipice of burnout. Some of the common signs may include:


  • You feel drained mentally
  • You feel overwhelmed
  • You don’t have the energy to work or go to school
  • You don’t enjoy your favorite things or things you previously looked forward to
  • You struggle with focusing and being mindful
  • It’s been a long time since you went on a vacation

How a Wellness Retreat Will Help You Feel Fresh, Mindful & Alive Again!

A wellness retreat is often the perfect solution to an impending burnout. You can visit a retreat for varying lengths of time, ranging from a single day to a short weekend to a week or so. The beauty of wellness retreats is they seamlessly combine a much-needed vacation with “me-time.”

You don’t need to worry about anything going on in your everyday life, whether that’s an upcoming deadline, stress at work, overwhelming feelings surrounding work, family difficulties, or any other stressor in your life. A retreat focuses on the health and well-being of you. They help you feel fresh and invigorated again by teaching you to focus, be mindful, and take time for your personal health. 

31 Best Wellness Retreats That You Can Choose From

If you feel like you’re in dire need of a wellness retreat, you have an abundance of options to choose from. To make it easier for you to choose, we’ve compiled 31 of the best wellness retreats in various locations so you can select the retreat that is best for you. 

  1. Mountain Trek’s Fitness Retreat & Health Spa

    Mountain Trek’s British Columbia retreat is an all-inclusive lodge designed to reset your wellness. It includes full amenities that help alleviate stress, detox, and get fit while in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. 

    The amenities include a yoga room overlooking a scenic lake and mountains, an outdoor spa, an indoor spa, a living area with a fireplace, a full gym, a large dining room, a private bedroom, daily housekeeping, guided hikes, and much more. The retreat is nestled between the Purcell Mountain range and Kootenay Lake in BC. 

    Cost: $6,100 per week for single-week stays, $5,795 per week for two-week stays (all-inclusive)


  2. Skyterra Wellness Retreat

    Located in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, the Skyterra Wellness retreat focuses on healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Their program meshes self-care, weight loss, nutrition, fitness and mobility, stress management, and more. 

    The combination promotes your overall wellbeing, both body and mind. You can choose from a wide variety of activities, including workout classes, spa services, mindful discussions, yoga, and hiking. 

    Cost: $3,675 per week


  3. Ayurveda Renewal

    The Ayurveda Renewal is located in Aurora, New York, and offers people a respite from the busyness of life. The charming getaway is open year-round and offers numerous different programs. 

    One of the four-day options, the Gift of Wellness program, incorporates mocktail-making classes, customized tips for improving your wellness journey, fitness consultations, nature meditations, massage therapy, restorative yoga, and balanced, custom meals concocted by executive chef Eric Lamphere. 

    Cost: $3,500 per person for four days


  4. YO1

    Located in the heart of the Catskills Mountains in Monticello, New York, YO1 offers various services to align your body, mind, and spirit. The name YO1 is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yovan,” which translates to youthful and the quest for attaining everlasting youth. 

    The retreat sits on an expansive landscape of greenery, promising a serene, relaxing experience among nature. YO1’s spa offers various services, ranging from reiki energy healing to Ayurveda massage. 

    Cost: $224 per person per night


  5. Mayflower Inn & Spa

    The Mayflower Inn & Spa, located in Washington, CT, seats guests in the lap of luxury. The inn rests on 58 acres of exquisite gardens and woodlands, an oasis just two hours out of the bustling rush of New York City. 

    Guests can enjoy various activities, from hiking throughout the picturesque meadows and wetlands to relaxing spa treatments. Spa treatment options are plentiful, including choices like sound healing, breathing classes, and massage.

    Cost: $730 per night per person


  6. Sensei Lāna‘i Resort

    Spend five days relaxing in paradise at the Sensei Lanai Resort located in Lanai, Hawaii. The oceanfront retreat provides its guests with ultimate relaxation and a stunning view. Guests can participate in yoga, mediation, tai chi, and flexibility classes. 

    The resort also offers various other activities, including a Zen sports experience featuring golf or tennis customized to their interest and skill level. 

    Cost: $6,675 for 5 nights, Optimal Wellbeing Program


  7. The Lodge at Woodloch

    The Lodge at Woodloch, located in Hawley, Pennsylvania, neighbors the family-friendly Woodloch Resort. The lake view property prioritizes guest health, going as far as to ban the use of electronic devices in public spaces. Considering how many of us stare at a screen for work, time away from electronic devices is beneficial. 

    Guests can relax in the Aqua Garden Hydromassage WaterWalls, indoor activity pool, or whirlpools. There are numerous hot tubs across the resort for a warm, muscle-relaxing soak. Classes are plentiful and inclusive, ranging from painting to terrarium-building to yoga. 

    Cost: $500 per night per person


  8. The Lake House on Canandaigua

    Encompassed by peaceful waterfalls, wineries, and stunning landscapes, this retreat offers wellness healing in a stunning location. Guests can partake in various wellness activities and experiences, ranging from guided meditation sessions to candlelit yoga classes.

    The hotel offers a signature restaurant, a destination spa, an outdoor pool, and a timber frame event barn. Guests can choose from rejuvenating spa treatments, including therapeutic massage and advanced skincare treatments. 

    Cost: $322 per night per person



    This wellness sanctuary is nestled on 250 acres in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The programs focus on helping guests reconnect with their bodies, energy, emotion, mind, and spirit. Guests can choose from various holistic programs that target multiple bodies, such as ultherapy, a natural facelift therapy. 

    Guests may also choose to incorporate hydrotherapy, hot stone therapy, floatation therapy, and more throughout their stay.  

    Cost: $1,979 per week


  10. Chablé Yucatan

    This secluded resort, surrounded by the jungle, is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. The focus of the experience falls to the spa, which is built into a cenote (a natural sinkhole, which the Mayans consider a sacred spiritual gateway). 

    Each guest receives a personalized program, courtesy of the resort’s resident shaman and the spa director. Programs may include various activities, such as yoga in the cenote, chakra treatments, detoxifying massages, walking meditation, or astrology consultations. 

    Cost: $5,625 for 5 nights


  11. Bodyholiday Saint Lucia

    The Bodyholiday resort is located in Saint Lucia and supports four base pillars: diet, exercise, restorative beauty, and relaxation. Spa treatments target these four categories, treating guests to various relaxing, restorative services. 

    Programs feature all-inclusive rates covering a daily 50-minute spa treatment, various on-site activities, personal concierge services, healthy food, and beverages. Additional fees apply if guests stay in the luxury villas and incorporate customized spa treatments, retreats, and meals. 

    Cost: $1,309 per night 


  12. The Lodge, British Columbia

    The Lodge fitness retreat and health spa is located in the beautiful forests of British Columbia. The modern timber frame lodge rests comfortably among the stunning environment flanking its walls and is the perfect place to reset your wellness among nature. 

    Guests enjoy luxurious private rooms, an outdoor spa area, an indoor spa area, a gymnasium, and a dining room overlooking the grounds. Guests can book their stay anywhere between April and October. 

    Cost: $5,900, all-inclusive one-week stay for one person


  13. Castle Hot Springs

    Tucked in the Bradshaw Mountains in the Sonoran Desert, roughly an hour from Phoenix, this luxurious resort has remained a popular choice among the rich and famous. Although it was closed for 40 years, it reopened in 2019. 

    Guests can enjoy the mineral-rich, 115-degree hot springs, a range of fun activities, like yoga and ATV tours throughout the surrounding land, and decadent, farm-to-table cooking. Spa service options are abundant, ranging from personalized massages to various energy therapies.

    Cost: $450 per night


  14. L’Auberge de Sedona

    Nestled in Sedona’s breathtaking red rock canyons, alongside the banks of Oak Creek, sits L’Auberge de Sedona. Guests can benefit from the skilled team of practitioners and healers who can guide them through a five-day, four-night experience. 

    Guests can also benefit from various coaching tools and activities that enable them to make intentional and sustainable changes to their overall health and well-being long after they finish their stay at the L’Auberge. 

    Cost: Starting at $823 per night


  15. Crestone Mountain Zen Center

    This resort is an excellent place to recharge. Situated with views of the picturesque mountains of Crestone, Colorado, this resort offers top-notch accommodations. Guests receive three vegetarian meals delivered to their room each day and choose from various activities, such as meditation, personal yoga, and tai chi. 

    Nature trails, located a stone’s throw away from guest accommodations, are perfect for guests interested in healing in nature. 

    Cost: $150 per night, minimum of 4 nights  


  16. The Reeds at Shelter Haven

    The Reeds at Shelter Haven offers guests abundant spa services for the ultimate relaxing experience. The Salt Spa treatment menu features a blow-out bar, makeup application studio, nail care studio, waxing and tanning services, and a decked-out fitness center. 

    Guests can also incorporate various facial treatments, flotation therapy, massages, and the like into their schedules to boost their rejuvenating experience. 

    Cost: Rates start at $174 per night, not including treatment services


  17. Carillon Miami

    As the name implies, this resort is located in Miami, Florida. It boasts the Eastern Seaboard’s largest spa and wellness facility, with spacious rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows. Top medical and wellness experts are available to assist guests. 

    Guests can choose from countless treatments, from private fitness classes to spa treatments. 

    Cost: Starting at $399 per night



    Every year, during November and March, guests have the chance to stay at the award-winning lodge nestled in the Appalachian mountains. The views from the lodge are exceptional, featuring the deep bluish hue of the mountains and lush, green forests dipping into valleys. 

    The retreat is all-inclusive, incorporating various exercises and activities to promote physical and mental health. 

    Cost: $5,900 per person per week


  19. Park Hyatt Aviara

    This exquisite luxury resort in San Diego, California, recently underwent a dramatic transformation that revamped its health and wellness offerings. The new selection includes VeraVia, an all-inclusive health and wellness retreat. 

    The resort specializes in weight loss, fitness, stress management, nutrition, spiritual healing, rejuvenation, behavior, and lifestyle changes. 

    Cost: $642 per night


  20. Lake Austin Spa Resort

    This stunning property is situated right on Lake Austin in Texas. Guests enjoy beautiful scenery, including shoreline views stretching into hills shrouded with sycamores, maples, and oaks. The resort itself is peacefully secluded, allowing guests to savor their respite from the monotony of everyday life. 

    Guests can choose from a lengthy list of spa treatments spread across the 25,000 square foot spa that features hot tubs, saunas, whirlpools, and treatment rooms. Participate in activities ranging from spin classes to drumming to forest bathing. 

    Cost: starting at $625 per person per night


  21. Fivelements Retreat Bali

    This eco-friendly resort, located in Bali, Indonesia, incorporates various sacred arts and Balinese healing traditions to promote the wellness of each guest. Guests can enjoy deep bodywork, meditation, energy movement, and so on. The property is serene, surrounded by lush gardens and tropical ponds. 

    Cost: Starting at $94 per night


  22. Cal-a-Vie


    Open year-round in sunny Vista, California, this 500-acre health spa offers many classes and activities to entertain guests. The spa is designed with a French Provencal retreat in mind, featuring antique furnishings, lavender fields, and stone fireplaces. 

    The guests are outnumbered by staff at a 5:1 ratio, ensuring outstanding service. Guests can choose from over 160 fitness classes and activities, spa treatments, and guest lectures. 

    Cost: Starting at $3,595 per person, 3-night minimum


  23. Sweetgrass Inn

    Hilton Head Health, a resort that also earns a place on our list, opened the Sweetgrass Inn, which is located in South Carolina and focuses on health and well-being. The inn offers several health and wellness programs, and guests can participate in fitness classes, daily meditation, healthy cooking demonstrations, and outdoor activities, such as beach yoga and kayaking. 

    Cost: $295 per night 


  24. Lake Tahoe

    The Lake Tahoe Mountain Villa sits in an ideal location, perfect for breathtaking panoramic views and easy access to Lake Tahoe’s best hikes. Guests can partake in a refreshing experience focusing on both body and mind during September and October. 

    The all-inclusive price includes meals and snacks, morning yoga, guided hikes, health workshops, spa time, a trio of 50-minute therapeutic massages, and movement classes. 

    Cost: $6,400 per person per week


  25. Mii Amo

    Flanked by the rich, russet rocks of Sedona, Arizona, Mii Amo promotes the ultimate relaxation experience. Guests partake in “Mii time,” which focuses on shifting one’s awareness to your own being. Mii time comes in several different forms, including listening to meditations and lectures, participating in a private consultation, or listening to a live series with a group. 

    Guests may also choose to incorporate various spa services into their stays, such as body treatments, massage, fitness, and skin care services.

    Cost: $3,869 per person for four days


  26. Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa Oasis

    Relatively new on the scene, the Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa Oasis sits in Desert Hot Springs, California, and is open year-round. Guests can soak in the area’s geothermal fresh-flowing mineral pools while enjoying the stunning backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains. 

    The resort offers various massages, body treatments, and facial therapies. Guests can participate in five or seven-day cleansing, juicing, and fasting retreats throughout the year. 

    Cost: Starting at $228 per night


  27. Rancho La Puerta

    This picturesque retreat, open year-round, is located in Tecate, Mexico. The retreat is tucked back on a 4,000-acre preserve, allowing guests to relax in the calming essence of nature. 

    Rancho La Puerta’s programs revamp your entire approach to self-care. They promote self-healing through various medicinal plants and a meditation labyrinth. In addition, the program seamlessly incorporates stunning sunrise hikes, various scheduled activities, and eco-programs at a sustainable farm. 

    Cost: $4,650 for one week


  28. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

    Open year-round, this resort and spa is located in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Guests benefit from the experience of the team of preventative medicine and epigenetics specialists, who assisted in developing the resort’s Wellness Collective program. 

    The program features various themes that target different things, such as Movement and Fitness, Sleep and Respite, Nutrition and Detox, or Stress and Balance. The option you choose determines what your schedule looks like, whether that is a daily private fitness session, a meditation session, or a lymphatic drainage massage. 

    Cost: $1,049 per night


  29. The Art of Living Retreat Center

    Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, this retreat center offers a great lineup of programs to promote the wellness of its visitors. Guests can pick from various programs that incorporate yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic detox. 

    Guests can participate in various classes, such as fire circles, hiking, pottery, and community singing. 

    Cost: $595 per person for a 3-day program


  30. Rush Creek Lodge

    The Rush Creek Lodge, located in Yosemite, California, recently introduced Rush Creek Spa. The spa, open year-round, features various luxurious treatments in the indoor-outdoor facility, including warm waterfall coves, an aromatherapy steam room, cool mist showers, a granite waterfall hot tub, a Himalayan salt sauna, and a sensory room. 

    Cost: Starting at $264 per night


  31. Hilton Head Health

    This resort has garnered national recognition as the leading health and weight loss retreat. Situated on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, it’s open year-round and offers a variety of treatments and activities to promote the health and wellness of each guest. 

    Programs incorporate a holistic weight loss approach that combines clean, healthy eating, fitness, and mindfulness. 

    Cost: Starting at $3,525 per week


    Wrapping Up

    When life becomes overwhelming, exhausting, or taxing, a wellness retreat is often precisely what you need. You may notice that you often sacrifice your physical and mental health in your daily life as you prioritize work, school, family, or any other factors in your life. 

    However, you may begin to notice adverse effects from your failure to prioritize your health over time. This is where a wellness retreat comes in: take a step back from your daily routine to focus on your overall health and well-being. You’ll leave feeling energized, empowered, and rejuvenated. And who doesn’t want that?

    If you’re interested in booking an award-winning fitness retreat in British Columbia, contact our team at Mountain Trek today or find a date to book now here




The Cause of your low energy and how to fix it

Feeling tired and low on energy has a dramatic effect on your life. Being low on energy reduces productivity, happiness, longevity, and your overall health. Understanding what causes a lack of energy and how to fix it is critical, and what we aim to share with you in this article.

What Causes Low Energy

Essentially all life in the universe is composed of energy. And, energy (which is never created or destroyed) is constantly changing into one form and through utilization or decay into another. In the cells of our human body, we take in thermo-electric energy from our sun that has been converted into plant life (and up the food chain into animal life) in the form of glucose (sugar). Tiny organelles in each of our cells called mitochondria convert the sugar transported by blood (“blood sugar”) into energy to power every organ, muscle, and neuron. These 1000-2500 power houses extract energy from food and supply it to all parts of every cell in an energy currency called ATP. The healthier and more efficient our mitochondria are, the healthier and more efficient our bodies are.

How To Fix Low Energy

Now if energy is never created or destroyed, how come we feel like we are losing energy? Aging and our lifestyle choices affect the efficiency and longevity of our mitochondria. Oxidation (the bombardment of mitochondria and other cell components with “free radical” electrons from energy production), nutrient deficiencies, and environmental toxins are the root causes. According to Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, “the better a species does at protecting its mitochondria, the longer a species lives”. So, in a nutshell, we need to ensure our lifestyle supports our mitochondria operating efficiently.

Optimize Your Nutrition and Meal Timing

The primary way mitochondria are protected from ‘oxidative stress’ is through plant-based dietary building blocks containing CoQ10, manganese, glutathione, and vitamin E from omega 3 oils. Then there is the need for rest. Intermittent Fasting for as close as possible to 12 hrs through the night, gives the mitochondria a break from energy production so they can repair and regenerate.

Reduce Toxin Exposure

Decreasing toxin exposure (plastics, petrochemicals, heavy metals, alcohol, etc.) lessons damage.

Build Muscle Mass

And, building muscle mass counters the diminishing number of mitochondria as we age. Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates warn us about sedentarism contributing to a loss of muscle mass prematurely lowering our number of mitochondria and ATP production. Strength training rebuilds energy-producing mitochondria in our muscle cells.

Reduce Stress Hormone Cortisol

Stress reduction is important to lowering cortisol which through both the increase of inflammation and reduction of ATP production becomes another energy zapper.

Prioritize Sleep

It’s one thing to target longevity through incorporating as many balanced health lifestyle habits as possible (refer to the previous blog on Blue Zone Centenarian lifestyle commonalities), but living consciously now with a focus on supporting our cellular energy engines and maintaining a charged battery with deep sleep will keep you feeling youthful until your ‘due date’.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

How To Live a Long Life | 6 Common Habits Of The Oldest People on Earth

There are cultures of centenarian populations around the world that have been studied by researchers and chronicled by National Geographic for decades. They have been labeled the Blue Zones, and they live the longest of anyone on this planet. They have common lifestyle components that researchers believe are the contributing factors to their longevity. Here are 6 of their longevity habits to consider weaving into your life to increase your lifespan and healthspan:

1. Move naturally

The longest-living people in the world don’t go to gyms. They walk, a lot, outdoors and tend to their gardens.

2. Sense of purpose

Knowing why you get up every day is worth seven years of extra life expectancy! Contemplate who you are as a unique individual, and consider how you can share your strengths and gifts to others.

3. Shed stress

Centenarians have stress like you and me, they just incorporate practices in their daily routines to let it go. Prayer, meditation, compassion, and gratitude are the most common.

4. Eat to Nourish

The diet of these people is mostly plant, high in omega 3 oils, with limited alcohol consumption. They also eat slowly and mindfully enough to notice satiation and stop eating when they feel 80% full.

5. Belong

Belonging to something that connects you to a context beyond the day-to-day mundane living and anchors the ups and downs of life to a sense of trust and faith adds 4-14 yrs to our life expectancy.

6. Find Your “Tribe”

Putting loved ones first (but not at the sake of ourselves), and maintaining regular connections to a tight tribe of friends and community that care and inspire us enriches our life through loving relations and shared growth.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey to a long and happy life.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

What To Do If You Are Feeling Lonely

There is no doubt that this year of isolation during the pandemic has had a toll on young and old alike—universally, we all feel a bit lonely. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just affect our mood—we now know from studying the elder population that loneliness and isolation also have a negative effect on our health and longevity. Research has shown that people who feel lonely or isolated are at increased risk for developing coronary artery disease, stroke, depression, high blood pressure, declining thinking skills, an inability to perform daily living tasks, depression, and an early death. Feeling lonely doesn’t have to be your path forward.

First, we need to understand the difference between “feeling lonely” and “feeling alone”. The difference is a mix of attitude, lifestyle habits, and life context. Inevitably, we are all alone. We are alone with our thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and experiences. What we do with our aloneness is what creates feelings of loneliness or self-comfort.

However you get to a state of feeling lonely, we are here to help. Here is a collection of 7 suggestions to consider that directly affect your health and happiness day to day as well as your lifespan and healthspan.

1. Connect Meaningfully

Connect with family, friends, and even strangers. Taking the courage to reach out, keeps us moving towards others rather than shying away. Whether by phone, via video chat, or even by talking with your neighbors across the fence or a stranger in a park, know that doing so builds confidence and a sense of deservedness to belong to all of humanity.

2. Be Thankful

Loneliness can lead us to focus on ourselves and our hardships. Aim to express appreciation toward friends, family, strangers, and personally through ‘gratitude practices’.

3. Focus on what you can change

Spending time dwelling on our or the world’s current struggles can perpetuate helplessness which leads to disempowerment and loneliness. Consider focusing your attention on something that is within your sphere of influence, or taking a small step towards making a change to empower yourself.

4. Enjoy “being” while “doing”

Whether completing a chore, doing something creative, or going for a walk, savor your experience in order to live it fully. When we do the world feels fuller and we feel more connected to it.

5. Remove negativity

Consider taking a break from the news, or at least limiting your consumption.

6. Be kind, understanding, and patient

Work on treating yourself and others with compassion. Did you know the act of smiling can actually make you feel better?
Develop a routine that provides balance: Create a daily plan that includes physical activity (ideally out of doors whenever possible), time for connecting with loved ones, a creative pursuit, and something pleasurably relaxing (warm bath with essential oils, candlelight yoga, reading something inspiring).

7. Seek help

We may live alone and feel like we need to talk deeply with someone who can help us if we are in a place of confusion or uncertainty. Counseling Therapists and Life Coaches are available to support us even online.

We live in a very fast-paced world with lots of stressors and distractions. It’s hard for us to believe we can enjoy being alone, as we’ve wired our brain, nervous system, and hormonal balance for constant stimulation. Whether we live alone or in a busy household, taking time daily to be with ourselves is critical for balanced mental and emotional health. It allows us to slow down enough to notice how we are feeling, and what kinds of thoughts we are generating or obsessing about. We only truly get to know who we are and what our deepest needs are when we stop, breathe, and become curious. The more we practice this noticing or mindfulness, the more comfortable we can be in our own skin whether we live alone or with others.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

How Chronic Inflammation Causes Metabolic Disease, Dementia, and Cancer

According to the Mayo Clinic, 90% of the illnesses they deal with are caused by lifestyle, while only 10% are congenital. These are illnesses we have all come to accept as just a part of life, aging, and luck; demential, diabetes, and cancer to name a few. But now, more than ever, we are realizing that there is something familiar, yet very misunderstood at root of those lifestyle illnesses: inflammation. Specifically, chronic inflammation.

Acute Vs. Chronic Inflammation

Acute inflammation is the body’s immune and repair response to an injury or a harmful substance or invader entering our body. Low-grade chronic inflammation is the result of an imbalance in our immune function due to ongoing stress or lifestyle choices that keep our immune system working overtime. Research is showing us that balanced health measures that prioritize regular movement (through a variety of exercises), an anti-inflammatory fiber-rich diet, deep regular 7-9 hr sleep, and stress-reducing activities like meditation coupled with trauma resolution therapy, counter chronic inflammation and reduce the likelihood of contracting these and other diseases.

Chronic Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke (and its contribution to dementia), and cancer. These conditions include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, abnormal negative cholesterol levels, and chronic inflammation from an overactive immune system. Metabolic syndrome, obesity (over 30% body fat), and type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) are interconnected. All 3 are linked by genetic markers, overeating an unhealthy diet, and lack of consistent movement/exercise… as well as a chronic state of inflammation in the body. Most of us think that fat cells are inert storage containers, however, newer research has shown that belly fat is metabolically active and produces pro-inflammatory substances that contribute to insulin resistance. It’s confusing, but chronic low-grade inflammation has been identified as both a cause and consequence of metabolic syndrome!

Chronic Inflammation and Cancer

When infections, autoimmune responses, or conditions such as obesity go unchecked the ensuing inflammation can promote the growth and replication of cancer cells. Type 2 diabetes (from insulin resistance) is associated with a higher risk of liver, pancreas, ovary, lung, bladder, and breast cancers. According to Harvard Health reports, chronic inflammation and high blood sugar levels also contribute to the general development of cancer cells through the damage to cellular DNA and the creation of an environment hospitable to cancer growth. An estimated 1 in 5 cancer cases stem from a combination of excess fat stores, inactivity, poor nutrition, excess alcohol use, and unresolved stressors.

Chronic Inflammation and Dementia

Dementia including Alzheimer’s, like heart disease, has its root cause in plaque build up in arteries and between neurons. Research still isn’t clear about what is behind these protein deposits, but what we know is the protein plaque deposits in brain tissue and cardiac arteries initiate an immune response. Microglia and white blood cells will attempt to eradicate the plaque, but it isn’t as easy to destroy as viruses or harmful bacteria. Cytokines and other inflammatory chemicals are released in a long-held effort which amps up the immune system creating more chronic inflammation. Research is also seeing how chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerotic heart disease, and diabetes have been linked to an increased risk for depression! Recent findings suggest inflammation may increase depression risk by suppressing the birth of new brain cells (neurogenesis).

Though there are many ongoing experiments and tests utilizing medications like anti-inflammatories to help turn off an over-functioning immune system and lower chronic inflammation, the safest and most effective approach is to focus on lifestyle interventions like diet, exercise, stress reduction, sleep depth, and detoxification.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below: