woman overlooking buenos aires argentina

Find a moment of serenity in Buenos Aires. (Photo: Getty Images)

Health + Fitness

From Hot Spring Soaks to Cenote Swims, 5 Wellness Staycations in the Caribbean and Latin America

Healing treatments incorporating ancestral techniques, indigenous ingredients and healing hands may be just what you need from a restorative vacation. But wellness can also mean taking part in more active pursuits — or at least active enough to take you somewhere where you can thoroughly relax.

Whether you want to take a dip in a hot spring near a volcano, soak in a mud bath or participate in a traditional temazcal ceremony, these are the places where you can Zen out in the Caribbean and Latin America.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Zen Out at a Park in Buenos Aires

Yoga is taking Buenos Aires by storm. And while there are some pretty amazing studios out there — like the three-story Valletierra in the Palermo neighborhood — yogis who find themselves in the Argentinian capital can also Zen out at a park.

As part of a government initiative to promote healthy living, countless parks throughout the city offer free yoga classes. Reservations are not required, and mats are provided, so all you have to do is turn up at your park of choice with a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

Consult the locations and class times on the official city website.

Hot Springs in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

man hiking at waterfall in costa rica
Take a deep dive into nature in Costa Rica. (Photo: Getty Images)

Costa Rica’s expansive nature makes it one of the most sought-after wellness destinations. And while outdoor hikes, yoga and healthy food options are certainly on the menu, its nearly 200 volcanic formations have given way to myriad natural hot springs ripe for discovery.

Located in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, in the Guanacaste province, Vandará Hot Springs & Adventure Park has thermal pools nestled in the verdant jungle.

Besides soaking in the bubbling water, visitors can admire the volcano, go horseback riding and take part in the perhaps less relaxing, but definitely fun, high adrenaline experiences like zip lines and water slides.

Cenotes and Temazcal near Cancun, Mexico

swimmers in a cenote in mexico
Take a dip in a cenote. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Yucatan Peninsula is blessed with natural sinkholes — known as cenotes — throughout the region. Considered gateways to the underworld by the ancient Maya, cenotes are now popular places for visitors and locals alike to swim, unwind and reconnect with nature.

Dos Ojos is one of the longest underground systems of caverns in the world and is a favorite among divers, while Gran Cenote’s dense nature at each of its entrances can’t be passed up.

Continue your wellness journey on land by participating in a healing temazcal (steam bath) ceremony held in a traditional sweat lodge. Temazcal Cancun offers group and private experiences led by an expert shaman.

Mud Bath in Cartagena, Colombia

people in a mud bath
Experience the healing properties of a mud bath. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cartagena might not be the obvious choice for a relaxing spa holiday — its buoyancy is present in everything from its brightly colored houses to its people dancing in town squares. But dig a little deeper and this port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is bursting with spas.

Those wanting to try something other than a luxury spa experience can opt for a dip in a mud-filled volcano instead.

Visitors can climb into El Totumo volcano’s caldera to float and splash about in mineral-rich mud before heading to a nearby lagoon to wash it off. Several tour companies can collect you in Cartagena to enjoy this naturally heated mud bath.

Healing Hands in Dorado, Puerto Rico

A visit to Spa Botánico at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico, might be just what you need for a thoroughly restorative experience.

Combining herbs and other indigenous ingredients to make medicinal teas and ointments, the onsite Manos Santas healer not only offers traditional massages, but also a full menu of rituals that will truly heal you inside and out.

Signature treatments include the Spa Botánico Ritual incorporating dried and fresh botanicals; the Treehouse Massage, which takes place — you guessed it — in the treetops; and the Botánico Al Fresco Scrubs.