Top 5 Hotels With Unforgettable Nature Encounters
With busy schedules that require one to stay plugged in, finding time to relax and de-stress can be difficult. Modern life can create negative health effects, causing people to develop what one scientists calls a “red mind,” from over-stimulation, over-connectedness, stress and anxiety. The solution? A “blue mind,” as described by Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind.
One of the most effective and successful ways to combat “red mind” is to immerse yourself in nature. Nichols confirms that being near the water (and outdoors in general) is scientifically proven to make you happier, healthier, and better at what you do. At Regenerative Resorts, we embrace the positive mental and health benefits that transpire when you spend time immersed in the great outdoors. The advantage of such a natural remedy is that the effects are not short-lived–they can last for months after.
Your body has an innate craving for nature, and these resorts offer encounters that are designed to promote the wellbeing of your body, the community, and the ecosystem. Whether you decide to float along a river, dive into the deep, or simply relax on a beach, you will reap the blessings of being immersed in nature.
Take the first step to flipping the switch from “red mind” to “blue mind” with one these resort’s spectacular nature encounters:
1. Explore a Reef
Dive into the water at Misool Resort and you’ll feel refreshed and restored in no time! It’s a no brainer why the dives at Misool are world class and the work they are doing to preserve the ocean ecosystem will make you feel even better about your visit. Warm waters and clear visibility invite you to journey through the underwater habitat of the South Pacific. Swim-throughs, coral gardens, and placid lagoons are just a few of the local dive sites. Misool has 1,220 sq km of marine reserve, and you can bet this protected area is thriving.
Filled with vibrant and lively marine life, during your adventure you’ll see massive schools of fish, large groupers, soft corals, sea fans, sea squirts, nudibranchs, flatworms, and many more! In the shallow water, you might get lucky and witness the blue-ringed octopus flash its bright spots. Venture deeper, and you might stumble upon a black tip reef shark looming around.
2. Delve into Jungle
Hamanasi's Jungle River Canoe is a soothing excursion through the Creole village of Sittee River, past mangroves, all the way to the ocean. Along the way, you’ll spot iguanas and exotic birds including parrots, herons, toucans, egrets, and the colorful motmot. As you drift upriver, you might have a peek at a stingray, manatee, or even crocodile.
Another thrilling option at Hamanasi is the Belize Mayflower Jungle and Waterfall Hike. This intense hike leads to Antelope Falls, a 1000-foot waterfall, that invites you to cool off and make a splash in its pool. Mayflower, the Mayan city nearby, is packed with orchids, birds, and lush vegetation. Feed your senses with either of these action-filled adventures!
3. Wildlife immersion
House in the Wild is literally just that – a boutique lodge sitting next to the Mara River with their own special "voluntour" program. The property is ideal for viewing game because of its vicinity to the river and conservancies. Guests can participate in a Game Drive, where an experienced guide will take you to a world class conservation area to observe lions, leopards, and elephants. You’ll have to visit to see the Great Wildebeest Migration crossing the river at the Mara game reserve.
After a game drive, take a dip in the pool or chill out on the swinging bed overlooking the river. Your next day at House in the Wild holds fishing along the banks of the Mara River–competing to see who will catch the biggest catfish–followed by a journey up to the rhino sanctuary, where you’ll be greeted by tame black rhinos.
4. Whale Watch
Have you ever wanted to see a whale breach? Look no further, because Oceano Patagonia is located in Puerto Piramides, the best place in the world to view Southern Right Whales. Whether from your room, shore, boat, or submarine, this resort has plenty of opportunities for you to witness these amazing megafauna. Peninsula Valdes is especially unique because you can watch orcas train their young to hunt baby seals on the shore, a behavior specific to this location.
As a World Heritage Site, Peninsula Valdes is home to a diverse array of wildlife. At Oceano Patagonia, guests can take advantage of the desirable location and walk to the closest sea lion colony, spotted with elephant seals. Or visit a colony of 500,000 Magellanic penguins – ironically, under the warm sun!
5. Connect with the Ocean
The shores of Playa Viva are frequently visited by Green and Leatherback turtles during nesting season. La Tortuga Viva, or “the living turtle,” is this resort’s sea turtle sanctuary, operating fully out of love. As a volunteer, you can help collect eggs and prepare the hatched turtles for release into the ocean, a truly magical moment.
Another great way to experience the beautiful beaches of Mexico is by horseback riding. Gallop at full speed along the sandy shore, and finish your ride with a splash in the ocean! You’ll feel pure joy and return with a big smile, ready for the next “mane” event.
The answer to sustained happiness lies within nature: waterways, oceans, rainforests, are the reason for the serenity that puts our minds at ease. Regenerative Resorts offer unforgettable encounters that allow you to detox and boost resilience, proving that ecosystem services are worth protecting. Nature’s benefits are endless: improved mental health, stress relief, better concentration, stronger immune system, fostered creativity. The remedies for both mental and physical health that nature provides are all the more reason to preserve and restore our environments. With such positive experiences stemming from nature, the need to protect wildlife remains high. “Disconnect to Reconnect” during your vacation and you'll be a part of preserving the ecosystem which we rely upon for our very existence.