My goal is to work closely with you to understand your unique travel interests and passions so that we can focus on designing and pulling together the perfect travel experience for you. My extensive global network of experts and trusted partners allows me to cut through the overload of online information and go straight to work crafting the perfect itinerary. Here are a few sample itineraries to hopefully inspire your own health and wellness journey with Essential Wellness Travel!
HEALING HOT SPRINGS
Iceland is well known for its awe-inspiring natural landscapes including waterfalls, hot springs, mountains, Northern Lights and glaciers. Explore and immerse yourself in all that this beautiful country has to offer. Focus on wellness and mindfulness with a morning yoga session with view of the surrounding mountains, spend the day out in nature hiking or kayaking and in the evening relax and recharge in one of Iceland’s many geothermal baths. We will work with you to design an experience that’s as active or as relaxing as you desire – from the most popular attractions to off the beaten path excursions.
Experience Highlights and Itinerary Ideas:
Stroll through Reykjavik and visit one of the city’s unique restaurants, art houses and shops.
Visit Iceland’s most popular attraction, the Blue Lagoon, named one of “The Top 25 Wonders of the World” by National Geographic. Blue Lagoon is a beautiful light blue hot spring spa surrounded by a lava field and black sandy beaches. Spend the day or plan to spend a few at the Spa Retreat.
Hike to the highest waterfall of Iceland. Cross unforgettable landscapes and panoramic views as you head towards Gymur Waterfall. Hike through canyons, birch forest and lava fields. Picnic in one of the huts in the area.
Paddle through the calm waters of the Whale Fjord on a private kayaking trip in Hvalfjordur.
Join a morning yoga session with a view over Hvalfjordur.
Explore Snaefellsness peninsula’s sparkling fjords, dramatic volcanic peaks, sea cliffs and sweeping golden beaches.
Visit the twin fishing towns of Arnarstapi and Hellnar and walk along the beautiful cliffs with views of arches and cave formations below.
Experience a private horse riding tour along the beach and passing rocks with seals. Enjoy the great Icelandic horse in its natural surroundings and get to know the Icelandic way of riding and handling horses!
Explore the lava fields of the Borgarfjordur region. This area is famous for its rich history. Visit Dildartunguhver, the most voluminous hot spring in Europe. See the cascading Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.
Drive a snowmobile up to ice tunnels reaching 4265 feet above sea level, witnessing spectacular views over the glacier and Icelandic highlands. Continue on through amazing tunnels inside the glacier.
Take in an easy hike in the geothermal valley of Reykjadular and visit a natural hot springs as the locals do. Naturally hot water flows down the slopes of the Hellisheidi mountain range, creating the ideal place to bathe in a natural hot river.
Meet local farmers at Fridheimar. Fridheimar is a restaurant, organic tomato producer, horse stables and grocery store all in one. Take a tour of the greenhouses that use geothermal heating to grow tomatoes all year round.
PRIVATE ISLAND RETREAT IN
TURKS AND CAICOS
Parrot Cay is a secluded private island reached by 25-minute boat ride from Providenciales, the main island in Turks and Caicos and approximately 575 miles or a 1 hour and 10 minute flight from Miami. Parrot Cay's topography slopes up from the ocean to a ridge along the center of the island, whose elevation is about 50 feet. Crystal clear turquoise waters surround its 3.2 miles of white sand beaches. Groves of cactus and thickly entwined scrub and spreading mangroves and wetlands accent the beauty of this island's 1,000 secluded acres. The island's two restaurants serve gourmet dishes, including organic, healthful cuisine.
Spend the day by the luxurious swimming pool (the largest in Turks and Caicos), stroll on the nature trails, unwind with the sound of the beach waves and warm breezes, enjoy holistic treatments including Ayurveda and aromatherapy or join your group at the resort’s retreat facilities, which include a yoga room, specialty treatment rooms, outdoor Jacuzzi garden, a Pilates studio, double massage rooms and Japanese baths.
These luxury resort accommodations can be combined with onsite facilities for groups, events, meetings or classes offering the ideal location to welcome your group or retreat.
Contact us to begin planning your customized experience!
Oaxaca is one of the places where each period in Mexico’s history and heritage can be clearly seen. Several hundred years of history highlight a visit to this beautiful Mexican city in the foothills of the Sierra Madre. It’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with nearby Monte Albán, a major archaeological site known for its impressive carved stonework. Explore the area in a way that is adventurous, exhilarating and authentic.
Welcome to Oaxaca City, capital of the colorful state of Oaxaca. Your guide will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful colonial city. Its cobblestone streets will lead you past a multitude of historical buildings built in the XVI century, incredible museums, world-renown art galleries and regal cathedrals. Or head to the local market for a taste of Oaxaca’s arts, crafts, folklore and delicious cheese. If you are lucky, your trip could coincide with one of the many, amazing cultural events that take place here.
Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico
Bike Ride – Teotitlan del Valle
After breakfast and once luggage and bikes are loaded onto escort vehicles, head to Teotitlán del Valle, the hub for the world-famous, traditional, woven, wool blankets and rugs of the state of Oaxaca. For generations, the locals have dedicated their lives to weaving rugs with 100% natural fibers and colors. The natural dyes used to color the fibers are a blend of fresh fruits, minerals, and the “Chinchilla”, an insect that produces a bright red tincture when crushed. After a couple of hours in Teotitlán, travel up a winding dirt road to the town of Benito Juarez. Here you will unload bikes, have a quick snack and head out on the first mountain bike ride.
Lots of single track and super enjoyable downhills on rolling terrain will take you to Latuvi, a small town deep in the Sierras. A local family will prepare the first of many incredible Oaxacan meals and will serve it in the humble comfort of their own home. After lunch, those who wish, may ride back to Benito Juarez on a variety of fire roads and single tracks or if you prefer, the van will be available to drive you back. Tonight sleep in the Benito Juarez Turis-Yu’u lodge which provides huts and rooms with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. These huts are the only lodging in the area. This excursion books accommodations here to support the sustainable development of the community as well as the ethics of their programs and efforts. Bike ride details: 13 miles/20 km, 80% technical single track and downhill, 20% dirt roads, elevation is 8,200 ft. /2,500 m.
Llano Grande, Mexico
Bike Ride – Llano Grande
Take a short walk into town for breakfast while the bikes are prepped by the local guide. Today’s ride begins with some uphill pedaling before a long, downhill single track: a spectacular challenge for any level rider. After some amazing riding in the forests, lunch awaits in a prairie filled with meadow flowers where relaxing is a must in this dreamlike setting. After lunch another hour and a half of riding will bring you to Llano Grande, a picturesque village of only 120 people. Three simple, wood cabins will be home for the next two nights. Bike ride details: 14 miles/22 km, semi–technical downhill and single track, elevation is 8,200 ft. /2,500 m to 10,200 ft. /3,200 m.
Llano Grande, Mexico
Bike Ride – Llano Grando
After a typical breakfast at the local “comedor,” head for the surrounding slopes and valleys. An uphill ride takes you to some amazing rock formations and through pristine alpine forests. Yet another great downhill will lead you to Carrizal, to enjoy a lunch of real “tostadas and tlacoyos.” Following, ride back to Llano Grande. Van lift will be available for those who wish to relax after the meal. Tonight enjoy an absolutely scrumptious “parrillada” (local barbecue) to satisfy any appetite. Bike ride details: 19 miles/30 km ride, 50 % uphill and rolling terrain, mostly single track, elevation is 8,200 ft. /2,500 m.
Santa Catarina Lachatao, Mexico
Bike Ride – Lachato
After breakfast, head out to pedal a sweet downhill run as you drop almost 4,000 feet to a lower altitude. The route, mostly single track and some fire roads, leads all the way to the town of Lachatao. Lachatao is an ancient town which features a XVI century church built by the Spanish Dominican priests. After a light refreshment, head to a nearby restaurant for lunch. After lunch, drive back to your hotel in Oaxaca City. Share memories and celebrate victories over a splendid meal at a well-known restaurant. Bike ride details: 25 miles/40 km ride, 80% downhill, single track and dirt roads, elevation is: 8,200 ft. /2,500 m to 4,600 ft. /1,400 m)
Monte Alban, Mexico
After breakfast in the hotel, head off to the spectacular ruins of Monte Alban. In the afternoon you will be free to explore the museums, plazas, markets and art galleries of Oaxaca City.
Departure from Oaxaca
Today say goodbye. Your guide will transfer you to the airport in time to catch your flight home refreshed and inspired with incredible tales to tell.
HIKING TOUR THROUGH ECUADOR’S ANDES MOUNTAINS
Ecuador is ecologically diverse with mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, grasslands, prairies, cloud forests and beaches. Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, the world's first city to be declared UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage Site. Its historic city sites are largely unaltered and still intact – telling the story of Incan and European heritages through its architecture, art and design. The city is incredibly beautiful, with hilly streets and unbelievable views of the surrounding landscape. This is one of the most unaltered best preserved historic centers in the Americas.
Enjoy your stay at Casa Gangotena, one of Quito’s iconic hotels and listed as one of Travel and Leisure’s Best Hotels of the World. Make sure to take in the hotel terrace for great views of Old Town Quito’s amazing architecture and experience the hotel’s signature cuisine: cocina mestica.
Spend the day exploring and hiking the “mountain of Quito.” Take a ride on the aerial tramway or "Telefériqo,” on the east side of the Pichincha volcano. The ride will take you up to an elevation of 13,500 feet. Take a hike on one of the many trails and take in the incredible views of the city from here.
Traverse moorlands and a small polilepis forest. This hike is very scenic with incredible views of the valley. Observe Andean gulls, hummingbirds, tiny rabbits and wild horses grazing along your hike.
Settle in at Chuquiragua Lodge and Spa. Relax a bit in the hotel’s spa, sauna, Jacuzzi or steam room or arrange to take a bicycle or horseback ride, further exploring the beautiful surroundings.
Papallacta is well known for its incredible hot springs and highland prairies. Explore the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve as you hike through its grasslands and cloud forests. View the snow-topped Cayambe volcano. See the San Rafael waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Ecuador at 430 feet.
Enjoy amazing views while you hike the lagoon and moorlands. Afterwards, settle in, spending the next few nights at Hacienda Piman.
Enjoy a trek through the beautiful Cuicocha National Park. This area includes a 2 mile wide caldera and crater lake at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano in the Cordillera Occidental of the Ecuadorian Andes. Cuicocha Lake is still visited by indigenous shaman for ritual cleansing and purification. The hiking trail is well-maintained and there is a visitor center will full facilities.
Visit El Ángel ecological reserve, cradle to several important fluvial systems and frailejones, which grow as high as 20 feet with a flower that is similar to the sunflower.
Imbabura volcano hike. This is one of the most hiked mountains in Ecuador, as it offers a very nice hike with great views to the valley of Ibarra.
Return to Quito