5 Vacation Spots That Combine Travel and Healing

Travel around the world to dream destinations with soul!

A woman meditates on the beach at sunset.

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Everyone likes to get away, yet it is incredibly gratifying to take a vacation that combines travel and healing. Travel + Leisure just came out with the world’s top ten destinations for healing. From the lowest place on earth to ancient forests, and from mysterious vortices to pink salt flats, there is a soul-satisfying vacation for everyone. 

To get a taste for some of these places and whet your appetite for travel, this is what your body and soul can expect at the top five healitravelng spots that Travel+Leisure aptly calls ‘salve-cations.’

1. The Dead Sea, Israel

You will feel so relaxed here, you will literally float away! The density of the salt in the Dead Sea turns swimming into a float fest. This lake is 1,412 feet (430 meters) below sea level, making it the lowest place on earth. With sunny skies year-round, dry air, and an incredible mountainous desertscape, the Dead Sea has attracted visitors for thousands of years.

The Dead Sea offers the ultimate in natural healing. It relaxes the soul and heals the body with its abundance of rich minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, according to the travel resource Dead Sea.com. Even the air is healthy; rich in bromine, it contains five percent more oxygen than that found at sea level.

In addition, dangerous sun rays are filtered out here, making this a great spot for heliotherapy. People with psoriasis, vitiligo, dermatitis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia find the Dead Sea’s sun, water, and air to be soothing and healing.

A woman sits on a salt-packed shore of the Dead Sea in Israel.

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2. Yakushima Island, Japan

If hiking in inspiring nature soothes your soul, add Yakushima, Japan to your bucket list. Footpaths wind through subtropical forests, home to Japanese cedar, rhododendrons, and other beautiful, rare trees, many of which are over 2,000 years old. 

For those who connect with the power of trees, Jomon Sugi is one of the most ancient trees, said to be over 7,000 years old. It is just 82 feet high (25 meters), yet its thick truck measures 16 feet (5 meters) in diameter, according to Japan Guide. Another evocative pair of trees looks like they are lovingly embracing.

The coastal area is also the largest nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. There are many lush mountain paths on the island, as well as soothing hot springs to dip into at the end of an uplifting day.

Exploring the mossy subtropical forests on Yakushima Island in Japan.

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3. The Healing Hole, Bimini, The Bahamas

This small chain of islands is just 50 miles (80 km) east of Miami, yet they are a world unto their own. There are rumors that the legendary Fountain of Youth is in Bimini. When Ernest Hemingway spent time in Bimini, he was inspired to write several stirring novels.

Today, if you take a boat through thick, tangled mangrove, you will find the famous The Healing Hole, whose fresh waters are said to have curative properties, The Islands of the Bahamas tourism site wrote.

This pond is percolating within salt water and contains sulfur, lithium, and magnesium, according to Ruby Ray Media. Magnesium is an extremely healthy mineral, while lithium is said to help those with depression. In fact, visitors report feeling uplifted and joyous while immersing themselves in The Healing Hole.

An islet in Bimini.

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4. Taos, New Mexico

This pretty town is located high up, at an elevation of 6,969 feet (2,124 meters), and offers restoratively dry air. Locals say the force of gravity here is less and one actually feels lighter, New Age Towns wrote. This high elevation and the crisp air invite spiritual work and many healers practice holistic healing including reiki, yoga, massages, and energy healing.

Those who connect with nature will enjoy the trails through the breathtaking yellow, red, and lavender mesas, according to Vortex Hunters, followed by a relaxing soak in a mineral pool or hot spring.

The sun sets near Taos, splashing light across desert sage brush.

(Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com)

5. Salt Flats, Jan Thiel, Curaçao

The fifth healing spot on Travel+Leisure’s list is also in the Caribbean. The island of Curaçao is in the southern Caribbean just 45 miles north of the Venezuelan coast.

Once colonized by the Dutch, these landowners had such difficulty growing crops, they  turned to producing salt. They trapped seawater in flattened areas, and after it evaporated, swathes of pinkish salt were left, according to the Curaçao for 91 Days guide. 

These areas are known as saliñas, and although salt mining is no longer practiced, the pools look like enormous skating rinks and are wonderful to visit.

One particular saliña, called Jan Thiel Lagoon, is now a nature reserve, attracting an amazing variety of colorful birds. Follow a path that winds to the lagoon through dark woods to the shore, where birders and nature lovers can observe the largest flamingo colony, watch pelicans soaring, and hear parakeets chattering.

With a backdrop of azure Caribbean skies and sugary sand beaches, the body and soul are sure to feel fulfilled and satisfied here.

Pink flamingos near the salt flats of Curaçao.

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