Think about your perfect wellness retreat. Maybe you envision beach yoga at sunrise, rehydrating with fruit smoothies in every color of the rainbow, wandering down cobblestone streets (arm-in-arm with your new travel friends), and relaxing on a massage table as a caring therapist kneads your body from head to toe. Ahhh—how dreamy. But one look at the price of some of these luxe vacations, and those dreams come crashing down, fast. Are there any affordable retreats where you can soothe your mind, body, and soul without stretching your travel budget beyond capacity? Once upon a time, you had to shell out big bucks to bliss out on a rejuvenating retreat. Nowadays, there are tons of affordable retreats around the world, complete with invigorating activities, inspiring workshops, cozy accommodations, and plenty of opportunities to bond with fellow travelers. So say sayonara to sticker shock, and check out these 13 cheap retreats. This is bliss on a budget.
Affordable Fitness & Yoga Retreats
In the mood for a getaway to reconnect with your mat and work up a sweat? Check out these affordable yoga and fitness retreats with totally zen prices.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
When: Anytime! What: Known worldwide for its deeply moving yoga instruction, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health invites guests for flexible, affordable retreats in the Berkshires. You can drop in on yoga classes, outdoor activities, and mindfulness workshops that will prove to be equal parts introspective and expansive. The beautiful mountain scenery will inspire you to disconnect from your screens and reconnect with yourself.
It’s not all woo-woo, though. Kripalu stays grounded with its weekly whole foods cooking demonstration, where executive chef Jeremy Rock Smith will have you giggling about all the activities you’re taking so seriously during the day (and fueling your retreat with some seriously tasty meals). It brings everything back down to earth. Price: Starts at $177 per night for rest & relaxation retreats, including accommodations
Giardino Ascona Pop-Up Yoga Retreat (Ascona, Switzerland)
When: October 14 to 17, 2018 What: How can a yoga retreat at a five-star hotel in Switzerland actually be affordable? We’re not sure, but somehow Giardino Ascona is offering just that. This yoga retreat includes four full days of pampering, complete with revitalizing vinyasas, Ayurvedic cooking classes, and optional spa treatments.
During your downtime, take one of the hotel’s complimentary bikes out for a spin. It’s just a short ride among beautiful scenery and fragrant flora down to serene Lake Maggiore. Talk about bliss! Price: Starts at $950 for three nights, four days
Prana del Mar Yoga Retreat & Wellness Center (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)
When: Various dates throughout the year; see the upcoming retreat schedule. What: Between strolling miles of pristine beaches and taking yoga classes with internationally-acclaimed instructors, you might never need to slip on a pair of shoes when on a retreat at Prana del Mar. However, these inexpensive yoga retreats aren’t just about spending time on your mat.
You can also add on a range of other fun activities, like watching sea turtles hatch, surfing, whale-watching cruises, horseback riding trips, cooking classes, and ATV tours. With so many natural treasures around the area, Prana del Mar does its part to preserve its surroundings by adhering to eco-friendly practices (like using solar power to heat the lap pool and recycling all wastewater) throughout the property. Unplug, and let the sound of the ocean waves soothe you throughout your time on one of these yoga retreats. Price: Starts at $280 per night
Chicks on Waves Surfing & Yoga Retreats (Algarve, Portugal)
When: Various dates throughout the year; see the retreat calendar. What: Dream of learning how to surf? There’s no better place to give the sport a try than the surf breaks in the Atlantic, especially with a group of likeminded women on a retreat with Chicks on Waves. These cheap retreats include surf lessons every day, along with body-strengthening yoga classes that will give you the balance and control you’ll need to hang 10 when you’re getting started on the board. From transportation to the beach and surf gear to yoga mats and towels, everything’s included—the only things you’ll need to bring are some bravery, a bathing suit, and a willingness to bond with other women. Price: Starts around $930 for a six-night surf and yoga retreat
Essential Zion Adventure at Red Mountain Resort (Ivins, Utah)
When: Anytime! What: With its wild red cliffs, epic hikes, and breathtaking vistas, Zion National Park is a bucket list-worthy destination in and of itself for nature lovers. But Red Mountain Resort formalizes the retreat experience at this popular park with a package deal that includes healthy cooking demonstrations and fitness classes.
The real appeal of this natural park retreat, though, is hikes throughout Zion with one of the resort’s highly trained guides. They’ll even pack a to-go lunch to keep you fueled while you tackle Angels Landing (or one of the easier trails, if that’s more your fancy). And after all that trekking, you’ll love a soak in the resort’s indoor and outdoor seasonal pools. No need to compromise your creature comforts to have an adventurous outdoor retreat. Price: Starts at $340 per night
eXtreme Hotel Circus Retreat (Cabarete, Dominican Republic)
When: Anytime! What: If you’ve ever thought about running away and joining the circus, now’s your chance to give it a try at eXtreme Hotel. The eco-friendly retreat center will have you up in the flying trapeze, learning how to juggle, defying gravity on the aerial silks, and trying acrobatics in up to eight circus classes per day. The quirky, inexpensive retreats also include tours of eXtreme Hotel’s organic farm, river tubing, and farm-to-table breakfasts and dinners. And if the circus retreat inspires you to quit your job and become a tightrope walker, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Price: Starts at $1,200 for seven nights, eight days
Cheap Spa Retreats
Perhaps your ideal retreat consists of massages, body scrubs, facials, and all-around pampering. What could be better than that? These spa retreats will soothe your body without stressing your finances.
Jaya House River Park (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
When: Anytime! What: Every culture takes its own approach to pampering. At Jaya House River Park, you can experience the distinctive art of Khmer healing on an affordable spa retreat. The expert staff will apply gentle finger pressure to ease tension throughout your body and re-energize tired muscles (a welcome relief after a long-haul flight to Cambodia!).
Guests at the stunning hotel and spa—which makes its own shampoo, lotion, and body scrub—get a complimentary treatment every day of their retreat. No need to feel guilty about self-indulgence here; Jaya House River Park supports local organizations in artistic endeavors and landmine removal, among other socially responsible efforts. Price: Starts around $206 per night
Museflower Retreat & Spa (Chiang Rai, Thailand)
When: Anytime! What: Want a wellness retreat on the cheap? You can’t do better than at Museflower Retreat & Spa. Its affordable six-day retreats include a signature 90-minute massage, body scrub, foot massage, Thai massage, and a bunch of other spa treatments you’ll definitely enjoy.
When you’re not getting pampered, take a dip in the Himalayan saltwater pool, drop in on a yoga class, indulge in an herbal steam, or bike around the local town. Then, snuggle into your cozy cottage for some rest and relaxation. This is a retreat, after all. Price: Starts at around $765 for five nights, six days
Lasko Thermal Spa Resort (Lasko, Slovenia)
When: Anytime! What: Everything centers around the thermal water at this Slovenian destination spa. The mineral water supposedly has therapeutic properties, which you can soak up on a spa retreat at the resort’s various pools and water-based treatments. True to its Eastern European roots, Lasko Thermal Spa Resort also uses another type of liquid therapy as the basis for some spa treatments: Beer! It’s used in special beer baths and massages, which pamper the skin with natural vitamins, according to the spa. (Did Homer Simpson dream this up?) Price: Around $96 per night for the Wellbeing Package
Cheap Retreats For Creativity & Mindfulness
We all need some headspace from time to time. These creativity and mindfulness retreats will give you just that, plus a whole lot of inspiration to take home with you.
Art Ovation Creative Retreats (Sarasota, Florida)
When: Anytime! What: Art and music are at the heart of Art Ovation, a recently opened boutique hotel in Florida. Rooms come with their own musical instruments, like ukuleles, cellos, and guitars, along with sketching materials to help you get back in touch with your creative side.
But the art doesn’t stop once you leave your room—Art Ovation’s events calendar is chock-full of music lessons, art and wine tours, recitals, drop-in improv comedy classes, origami workshops, painting classes, and tons of other activities. Da Vinci, eat your heart out. Price: Starts at $179 per night
Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center (Bahia, Brazil)
When: October 20-28, 2018; November 17-25, 2018; December 15-23, 2018 What: Indigenous tribes of the Amazon have used ayahuasca, a tea made from psychoactive plants, for healing and spiritual purposes for thousands of years. You can experience the powerful effects of this psychedelic substance for yourself on an ayahuasca retreat, guided by experts who have studied with shamans around South America. The music and setting have been carefully designed to give you a safe, comfortable, and supportive experience throughout your inner journey.
You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the jungle with a local guide, visit a waterfall, take yoga classes, and go on “visionary art explorations.” Your body will need to go all the way to Brazil for this retreat, but your mind will go much, much further. Price: Starts at $1,650 for eight-day retreats
Talalla Wellness Retreats (Talalla, Sri Lanka)
When: Various dates throughout the year; see retreat inquiry form. What: There’s no one path to wellness—that’s why Talalla offers a diverse selection of activities on its wellness retreats to help you achieve health, serenity, and happiness. Your body will get some TLC on the twice daily yoga, Pilates, and “Boxilates” classes, along with the surf lessons and spa treatments. Your mind gets its own workout through guided meditation and writing exercises.
And unique experiences, like Sri Lankan cooking classes, visits with elephants, and bike rides in local villages, will create memories that will inspire you for years to come. Who said the benefits of a retreat end on the last day? Price: Starts around $1,015 for seven days
Le Monastère des Augustines (Québec, Canada)
When: Anytime! What: Perhaps you’re looking for a retreat for your spirit. If so, you’ll find it at Le Monastère des Augustines, where you’ll stay in a restored cloister and choose a retreat theme that will feed your individual soul. Some of the monastery’s wellness retreats promise to renew your body through holistic health consultations, private spa treatments, and healthy meals, while others immerse you in local culture though guided tours of the property and contemplative museum visits. But the most spiritual practice of all might be the vitality breakfasts—held in complete silence, so you can sip your coffee and be at peace with your earliest thoughts of the day, sans interruptions. That’s an affordable retreat ritual you can take home with you. Price: Starts at $74 per night