According to The Global Wellness Institute in 2017, travelers took 830 million wellness trips — 139 million more than in 2015. As one of the fastest-growing travel trends, wellness travel currently represents 17 percent of total tourism expenditures.​ As people worldwide embrace their own health and wellness destinies, Health and Fitness Travel (a company that specializes in wellness-based vacations) predicts that Nature Immersion Getaways will be an emerging trend in 2019.

From Belize, Canada to Japan, here are a few of the top destinations across the world that allow visitors the chance to focus on their health and wellness — whether it’s reducing stress, staying active, connecting with their emotions, or indulging on the thrill of a lifetime.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

 

Banyan Bay Suites

Home to the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, Ambergris Caye is a perfect destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. The Great Blue Hole allows visitors the chance to witness offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and endangered species. Travelers who would like to stay above water can visit the ancient caves, zipline through the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, or visit the stunning Mayan temples.

Where to Stay:

 Travelers who would like to explore Belize’s natural underwater beauty, can stay at Banyan Bay Suites or Grand Colony Island Villas — before the highly anticipated opening of Alaia Belize.

Alaia Belize

Bristol, Virginia

Just moments from the world’s most sought-after adventure destinations, Bristol is a go-to destination for nature-loving travelers. For those looking to go off the grid for a bit, the scenic small town is in close proximity to the Appalachian Trail, where visitors can enjoy a day hike on one of the trail’s challenging paths or a rugged adventure through the ancient Bristol Caverns.

Where to Stay:

After a long adventurous day in the outdoors, guest can kick back and relax at the recently opened The Bristol Hotel.

Asheville, North Carolina

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a hip, thriving mountain city offering a near-perfect blend of natural beauty and quirky culture in the heart of Southern Appalachia.

Hike through the Great Smoky Mountains, take a day trip to the legendary Biltmore Estate or walk through Asheville’s Botanical Gardens.

Where to Stay:

Guests looking for a serene retreat after a thrilling hike can book a room at The Foundry Hotel, the city’s newest boutique hotel.

Where to Stay:

At any of the three elevated camping options in the safari tents at Seneca Sol, in the tents with hardwood floors and covered porches at Firelight Camps, and in the Sioux style teepees at Mountain Horse Farm.

Finger Lakes Region, New York

Travelers can hike or hot air balloon over the “Grand Canyon of the East,” stroll past 19-plus waterfalls, book a silent retreat at a monastery, take Wilderness Survival Training, engage in cow cuddling and horse therapy sessions, zip line and ride a mountain coaster through the wild, or air glide over vineyard-dotted valleys.

Nova Scotia, Canada

Whale watching reigns supreme in this Canadian region, and guests of Whale Cove Campground  (easily bookable via Pitchup.comin Digby are afforded the luxury of discounts on nearby whale watching boat excursions. For visitors who want to be totally immersed in nature, there are plenty of beaches and birdwatching in the area as well, along with the natural phenomenon Balancing Rock, which appears to defy gravity and “float” above the natural rock formations that line the sea.

Where to Stay:

Whale Cove Campground, a stunning seaside campsite.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Home to breathtaking natural wonders like Mystic Mountain, Dunn’s River Falls and the Martha Brae River, wellness seekers can hike, raft, zip line and even bobsled their way through Jamaica’s stunning northeast coast.

Where to Stay:

Combining local island ingredients with ancient Jamaican healing rituals, guests may choose to stay at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa.

Islamorada, Florida

Nicknamed the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World,” Islamorada is the epicenter of Florida’s most vibrant ocean activities, as diving and snorkeling enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Islamorada to explore the dynamic reef line.

Where to Stay:

Situated on a former coconut plantation with one of the largest private white sand beaches in the region, The Moorings Village is a luxury resort with 18 West Indies-style villas.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Visitors will have access to the underground tunnels at Iguabonita Cave, a Zip Line Eco Adventure, the secluded Juanillo Beach, the Sunshine Cruise catamaran, the sinkhole at Cenote Indigena Las Ondas, horseback riding and Sanctuary Spa’s new ZEN garden.

Where to Stay:

The newly reimagined, adults-only Sanctuary Cap Cana resort, which offers 20 tropical acres.

Iya Valley in the Setouchi Region of Japan

Travelers who need a quiet escape from their busy lives can immerse themselves in the Iya Valley. Known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor wonders, the Iya Valley offers quiet yet dramatic mountain valleys and gorges, sometimes called “Japan’s Grand Canyon.”

Where to Stay:

The Togenkyo Iya Farmhouses offer private accommodations and offer a way for travelers to experience traditional life in the Iya Valley.