Posts

14-21 Day Travel Itinerary for Organic Vegan Raw Food, Hot Springs, Beach & Detox in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a new destination for your next detox holiday, you may want to consider Costa Rica in Central America. A year-round tropical climate offers plenty of fresh fruits such as papaya, pineapple, banana, coconut and passionfruit. Add mountains, volcanoes, beaches, hot springs, zip-line adventures and rain forest and you’ve got nature + raw food + sun…the perfect combination for a fantastic health holiday!

My suggestion for Costa Rica is to plan for at least 14-21 days; if you want to do a raw food retreat or fruit feast then plan for 28 days or even more. I recommend to hire a car for the first 2 weeks of your journey to give you a chance to get around more quickly and easily. After that, you may want to return the rental car and settle in to a retreat center for another week or two of organic raw food bliss. Scroll down to the end of this article for important tips on renting a car in Costa Rica.

14-21 Day Itinerary for Costa Rica

Day 1-3 at Playa Montezuma for Natural Beaches & Coastline

Fly into San Jose, pick up your rental car and head straight for Montezuma Beach. It should be about a 2-4 hour drive to the car ferry depending on traffic; the ferry takes you to Puntarenas, and from there, it’s about a 45-minute drive over partially dirt and pot-hole filled roads to Montezuma, but well worth it! This is a great place to relax, work on your tan, walk the beach, eat raw foods and have a nice introduction to Costa Rica. We stayed at Mariposario Bed and Breakfast which I really liked for a few reasons: 1. clean and quiet, 2. nice gardens, 3. nice owner, 4. wifi and breakfast included, 5. a small kitchen to make salads and chop fresh fruit every day and 6. a good price at $50 per night. Our days in Montezuma consisted of an early morning beach walk from Ylang Ylang Resort, in my opinion one of the most beautiful and easily accessible beach walks in the world, followed by a fresh juice or spirulina smoothie at Ylang Ylang’s gorgeous restaurant. Another option is to take the daily yoga class at 8:00am, as an outside guest it costs $12 pp.

The beach at Montezuma, Costa Rica

Ylang Ylang Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica

Yoga Sala at Ylang Ylang Resort

Afternoon activities can include taking a surf lesson, sitting in the sun, wandering the shops in town or driving along the coast to nearby Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, both beautiful beaches worthy of exploration. My favorite daily treat was to walk 10 minutes up the road from Mariposario to Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center and use their far infrared sauna – a bargain at $10 pp for 60 minutes! Without a doubt, Anamaya has the best view ever from a far infrared sauna! Imagine watching monkeys play in the papaya trees and 180 degree views of beach and sea while sitting inside the sauna, contemplating health, love and longevity!

Infinity Pool at Anamaya Resort

Anamaya Resort, a Yoga Teacher Training Center

Slice of Paradise at Anamaya Resort

Organic Market in Montezuma every Saturday

If you’re in Montezuma on a Saturday, be sure to check out the organic fruit and vegetable market in the center of town starting at 11am. Raw food fans of Victoras Kulvinskas may want to look up his schedule of workshops and retreats offered from his home in the Montezuma area.

Day 4-6 at Nicoya Peninsula for Jungle Forest

Raw Cacao treats at the Cacao Bar

After a few days in Montezuma, you may be ready for some adventure.

On Day 4 head towards Nicoya Peninsula and stay at Pachamama for a few days to experience living in a hippie commune in the jungle forest with simply divine gluten-free food made by Alon, their Israeli master chef and yummy raw cacao treats at their Cacao Bar.

Choices of accommodation include camping, casita or cabin, depending on your budget. Daily yoga classes and meditation are included in the cost of your stay.

Plan on driving to Pachamama during the day since there is about 20-30km of dirt road and not the best road signs in that area in general. If unsure, stop and ask the locals.

Pachamama’s Tara Garden for yoga classes & evening talks

Daily Silent Meditation at Osho Hall in Pachamama

I stopped by Hacienda Del Sol Retreat Center which is also in the Nicoya Peninsula and actually very close to Pachamama, but found it to be pretty run down and energetically uninviting. The local staff member at the restaurant didn’t speak any English and told us the restaurant was closed; we were unable to find any other reception or staff; the grounds appeared overgrown and bungalows seemed shabby and no one ever answered my email enquiry sent several weeks before my arrival. I’m not sure if they were closed temporarily or what but based on my experience, I would not recommend this place for detox.

Day 7-8 to Zip-Line and Hike in the Cloud Forest at Monteverde

On Day 7, drive from Nicoya inland towards Monteverde via Liberia. It’s about a 7-8 hour drive but gorgeous views as the scenery changes from rain forest and beach to pasture to cloud forest. Plan to spend 2 nights at Monteverde, and if you can, book a bunk bed room at the Arco Iris Lodge for only $35 USD per night. We felt very lucky to find this resort with nice staff, beautiful gardens, banana trees and lots of flowers…a real gem compared to other places in town! Spend one day checking out the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and the next morning book a zip-line tour before heading off for the 4-hour drive around the lake to Arenal Volcano. From Nicoya to Monteverde to Arenal, plan to stock up on fruits at roadside stalls as there isn’t much in the way of raw food restaurants in these areas.

Cabin at Arco Iris next to Banana Trees

Bunk rooms at Arco Iris, a great bargain!

Nicer cabins also available at Arco Iris Eco Lodge

Day 9 for Natural Hot Springs at Arenal Volcano

Depending on your schedule, stay 1 or 2 nights in Arenal, Costa Rica. With only one night to spend there on our schedule, we headed straight for the hot springs. A great choice is Tabacon Hot Springs, the only 100% natural hot spring resort in Arenal. If you arrive after 6pm, you get a discounted rate of $45 pp (as opposed to the daytime rate of $60 pp). We decided to splurge on the all-natural experience at Tabacon and it was well worth it! A second day in Arenal would give you the opportunity to check out the National Park and have another evening at the hot springs. We tried to stay at the Arenal Backpacker Resort but it was full, so we checked-in next door at Sierra Arenal and actually enjoyed it very much, with a nice grassy garden area and a great view of the volcano for $35 USD per night.

Scenic drive from Monteverde to Arenal, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano…Gorgeous!

View from Sierra Arenal Hotel near Arenal Volcano

Day 10-14 for Raw Food, Detox and Nature at Finca de Vida or Farm of Life

On Day 10, plan to head south for more organic raw food and the chance to do a detox at Finca de Vida, or Farm of life, my #1 pick for a raw food retreat or juice fast in Costa Rica. If you are on a 14-day trip, you may want to keep the rental car and make the 8-hour drive from Arenal to the Dominical area to be able to experience Finca de Vida for the last 4 days of your stay. Or, better yet, plan for 21 days or more and spend your last week or two at the farm to rest, juice fast or fruit feast, take raw food cooking classes, enjoy daily yoga and meditation or join an organized retreat for a detox with colon cleansing. If staying longer, you may not want to waste money on a rental car; in that case drive the car from Arenal back to the San Jose airport to return the rental and from there book a 4-hour shuttle from the airport to Finca de Vida (they can arrange this for you).

Either way, on the drive from Arenal back towards San Jose for sure plan to stop at Lands in Love. This is a must-see for animal lovers. Anyone who wants to support the rescue cats and dogs can even stay longer, either in their hotel or as a volunteer. Lands in Love is an Israeli-owned rescue center for cats and dogs with over 200 animals on site. Their restaurant is a welcomed oasis on the road from Arenal with a good menu of salads, Israeli food, and several vegan and gluten-free options as well. For any veterinary students, surgeons or physicians looking for a international volunteer job, Lands in Love is perfect and in need of your expertise! What an opportunity to work in Costa Rica, experience the culture and sights but also put your skills to work with these gorgeous rescue dogs and cats that need your help!

A project of love, and this place is full of Love!

Israeli Salad at Lands in Love Restaurant, Costa Rica

Lands in Love Restaurant, Boutique Hotel & Animal Rescue Center

Natural mineral spring at Finca de Vida

From Lands in Love, continue south towards Domincal and then turn inland to find Finca de Vida.

This place is truly an oasis and is best saved for last, after all the driving and travel around Costa Rica you will be happy to reach the quiet, beauty and organic raw food at Farm of Life.

The owners, Brian and Jodi, set a top-notch standard in caring for their guests and with smaller groups and a limited number of bungalows, you’re sure to get more personal attention and a true sense of community between staff, volunteers and guests.

If you have the time, book a room for 1 month and to eat 100% organic raw foods, be in nature and enjoy having the time to heal. Be sure not to miss the on-site natural mineral spring pools and the nearby weekly local organic market.

Paradise found…view from the guest bungalow at Farm of Life

Staff and guests joining together for a Breath Workshop

Early morning view from the restaurant at Fica de Vida, Costa Rica

If you have more time, check out Osa Peninsula in the south of Costa Rica. We didn’t have a chance to get there in our 14-day trip, but we heard it’s amazing and worth a visit. To drive onto the peninsula, you will need a 4wd vehicle.

Budget for Costa Rica

Anyone who has traveled in Thailand or SE Asia will find the prices in Costa Rica to be very high! In researching online before our trip, it seemed that every hotel was a minimum of $80-100 USD per night. By looking around and not booking in advance, we managed to find places more in the $35-50 USD per night range. That said, with the rental car and cost of food (an average salad to be $10-15 USD), 14 days in Costa Rica was expensive. If you live in North America, you’ll save money and time on the flight so that is definitely something to consider. There are many other countries in Central America which are cheaper than Costa Rica, so research and plan according to your budget. If you have the time, consider volunteering for 1 month or more on an organic farm or at one of the retreat centers – it’s a reasonable way to experience Costa Rica for just a fraction of the cost.

Practical notes on renting a car in Costa Rica

Car rental rates in Costa Rica are not cheap since the car rental companies seem to require mandatory insurance which is not listed in any online booking form. Our 2-week car rental cost over $700 USD, but there was no way we could have seen as much as we did without a car. (One word of advice: do NOT use Thrifty Car Rental). The roads in Costa Rica are not marked and it’s easy to get lost…also the GPS is not very accurate due to many dirt roads that aren’t listed in the computer. The only real way to get around is to stop in every small town and ask which way to the next town. Well, it’s the old-fashioned way but it works! We were happy we didn’t bother with a GPS, and actually we rented a Toyota Yaris 2-wheel drive which we drove everywhere ‘Costa-Rica style’ and didn’t have any problems getting stuck on river crossings or 4-wheel drive dirt roads. January being dry season makes it possible to have a 2-wheel drive car (January to March is the high-season and best time of year weather-wise to go). If you rent a 4-wheel drive car, be careful to not rent the Jimmy or if you do do not leave any valuables inside; apparently it is very easy to break into and gets robbed more often than any other rental vehicle.

Safety in Costa Rica and Where to Stay Near the San Jose Airport

With all the warning about robberies and safety in Costa Rica, it’s always important to keep your street smarts; that said, we did not have any problems at all and found the Costa Ricans to be very helpful with directions and quite friendly and nice overall. If you need to spend one night near the San Jose airport either at the beginning or end of your journey, I highly recommend Hotel Pacande in Alajuela as a clean, safe affordable option with friendly staff. I hope you enjoy your trip. Eat lots of papayas and….see you on the road!

More Articles on Costa Rica

Read my article on Pachamama: Gluten-Free, Raw Food and Detox at Pachamama, Costa Rica.
My awesome experience at Finca de Vida: Fasting Retreat, Organic Raw Food & Total Relaxation at Farm of Life in Costa Rica.

More on Traveling Raw:

14-21 Day Travel Itinerary for Organic Vegan Raw Food, Hot Springs, Beach & Detox in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a new destination for your next detox holiday, you may want to consider Costa Rica in Central America. A year-round tropical climate offers plenty of fresh fruits such as papaya, pineapple, banana, coconut and passionfruit. Add mountains, volcanoes, beaches, hot springs, zip-line adventures and rain forest and you’ve got nature + raw food + sun…the perfect combination for a fantastic health holiday!

My suggestion for Costa Rica is to plan for at least 14-21 days; if you want to do a raw food retreat or fruit feast then plan for 28 days or even more. I recommend to hire a car for the first 2 weeks of your journey to give you a chance to get around more quickly and easily. After that, you may want to return the rental car and settle in to a retreat center for another week or two of organic raw food bliss. Scroll down to the end of this article for important tips on renting a car in Costa Rica.

14-21 Day Itinerary for Costa Rica

Day 1-3 at Playa Montezuma for Natural Beaches & Coastline

Fly into San Jose, pick up your rental car and head straight for Montezuma Beach. It should be about a 2-4 hour drive to the car ferry depending on traffic; the ferry takes you to Puntarenas, and from there, it’s about a 45-minute drive over partially dirt and pot-hole filled roads to Montezuma, but well worth it! This is a great place to relax, work on your tan, walk the beach, eat raw foods and have a nice introduction to Costa Rica. We stayed at Mariposario Bed and Breakfast which I really liked for a few reasons: 1. clean and quiet, 2. nice gardens, 3. nice owner, 4. wifi and breakfast included, 5. a small kitchen to make salads and chop fresh fruit every day and 6. a good price at $50 per night. Our days in Montezuma consisted of an early morning beach walk from Ylang Ylang Resort, in my opinion one of the most beautiful and easily accessible beach walks in the world, followed by a fresh juice or spirulina smoothie at Ylang Ylang’s gorgeous restaurant. Another option is to take the daily yoga class at 8:00am, as an outside guest it costs $12 pp.

The beach at Montezuma, Costa Rica

Ylang Ylang Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica

Yoga Sala at Ylang Ylang Resort

Afternoon activities can include taking a surf lesson, sitting in the sun, wandering the shops in town or driving along the coast to nearby Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, both beautiful beaches worthy of exploration. My favorite daily treat was to walk 10 minutes up the road from Mariposario to Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center and use their far infrared sauna – a bargain at $10 pp for 60 minutes! Without a doubt, Anamaya has the best view ever from a far infrared sauna! Imagine watching monkeys play in the papaya trees and 180 degree views of beach and sea while sitting inside the sauna, contemplating health, love and longevity!

Infinity Pool at Anamaya Resort

Anamaya Resort, a Yoga Teacher Training Center

Slice of Paradise at Anamaya Resort

Organic Market in Montezuma every Saturday

If you’re in Montezuma on a Saturday, be sure to check out the organic fruit and vegetable market in the center of town starting at 11am. Raw food fans of Victoras Kulvinskas may want to look up his schedule of workshops and retreats offered from his home in the Montezuma area.

Day 4-6 at Nicoya Peninsula for Jungle Forest

Raw Cacao treats at the Cacao Bar

After a few days in Montezuma, you may be ready for some adventure.

On Day 4 head towards Nicoya Peninsula and stay at Pachamama for a few days to experience living in a hippie commune in the jungle forest with simply divine gluten-free food made by Alon, their Israeli master chef and yummy raw cacao treats at their Cacao Bar.

Choices of accommodation include camping, casita or cabin, depending on your budget. Daily yoga classes and meditation are included in the cost of your stay.

Plan on driving to Pachamama during the day since there is about 20-30km of dirt road and not the best road signs in that area in general. If unsure, stop and ask the locals.

Pachamama’s Tara Garden for yoga classes & evening talks

Daily Silent Meditation at Osho Hall in Pachamama

I stopped by Hacienda Del Sol Retreat Center which is also in the Nicoya Peninsula and actually very close to Pachamama, but found it to be pretty run down and energetically uninviting. The local staff member at the restaurant didn’t speak any English and told us the restaurant was closed; we were unable to find any other reception or staff; the grounds appeared overgrown and bungalows seemed shabby and no one ever answered my email enquiry sent several weeks before my arrival. I’m not sure if they were closed temporarily or what but based on my experience, I would not recommend this place for detox.

Day 7-8 to Zip-Line and Hike in the Cloud Forest at Monteverde

On Day 7, drive from Nicoya inland towards Monteverde via Liberia. It’s about a 7-8 hour drive but gorgeous views as the scenery changes from rain forest and beach to pasture to cloud forest. Plan to spend 2 nights at Monteverde, and if you can, book a bunk bed room at the Arco Iris Lodge for only $35 USD per night. We felt very lucky to find this resort with nice staff, beautiful gardens, banana trees and lots of flowers…a real gem compared to other places in town! Spend one day checking out the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and the next morning book a zip-line tour before heading off for the 4-hour drive around the lake to Arenal Volcano. From Nicoya to Monteverde to Arenal, plan to stock up on fruits at roadside stalls as there isn’t much in the way of raw food restaurants in these areas.

Cabin at Arco Iris next to Banana Trees

Bunk rooms at Arco Iris, a great bargain!

Nicer cabins also available at Arco Iris Eco Lodge

Day 9 for Natural Hot Springs at Arenal Volcano

Depending on your schedule, stay 1 or 2 nights in Arenal, Costa Rica. With only one night to spend there on our schedule, we headed straight for the hot springs. A great choice is Tabacon Hot Springs, the only 100% natural hot spring resort in Arenal. If you arrive after 6pm, you get a discounted rate of $45 pp (as opposed to the daytime rate of $60 pp). We decided to splurge on the all-natural experience at Tabacon and it was well worth it! A second day in Arenal would give you the opportunity to check out the National Park and have another evening at the hot springs. We tried to stay at the Arenal Backpacker Resort but it was full, so we checked-in next door at Sierra Arenal and actually enjoyed it very much, with a nice grassy garden area and a great view of the volcano for $35 USD per night.

Scenic drive from Monteverde to Arenal, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano…Gorgeous!

View from Sierra Arenal Hotel near Arenal Volcano

Day 10-14 for Raw Food, Detox and Nature at Finca de Vida or Farm of Life

On Day 10, plan to head south for more organic raw food and the chance to do a detox at Finca de Vida, or Farm of life, my #1 pick for a raw food retreat or juice fast in Costa Rica. If you are on a 14-day trip, you may want to keep the rental car and make the 8-hour drive from Arenal to the Dominical area to be able to experience Finca de Vida for the last 4 days of your stay. Or, better yet, plan for 21 days or more and spend your last week or two at the farm to rest, juice fast or fruit feast, take raw food cooking classes, enjoy daily yoga and meditation or join an organized retreat for a detox with colon cleansing. If staying longer, you may not want to waste money on a rental car; in that case drive the car from Arenal back to the San Jose airport to return the rental and from there book a 4-hour shuttle from the airport to Finca de Vida (they can arrange this for you).

Either way, on the drive from Arenal back towards San Jose for sure plan to stop at Lands in Love. This is a must-see for animal lovers. Anyone who wants to support the rescue cats and dogs can even stay longer, either in their hotel or as a volunteer. Lands in Love is an Israeli-owned rescue center for cats and dogs with over 200 animals on site. Their restaurant is a welcomed oasis on the road from Arenal with a good menu of salads, Israeli food, and several vegan and gluten-free options as well. For any veterinary students, surgeons or physicians looking for a international volunteer job, Lands in Love is perfect and in need of your expertise! What an opportunity to work in Costa Rica, experience the culture and sights but also put your skills to work with these gorgeous rescue dogs and cats that need your help!

A project of love, and this place is full of Love!

Israeli Salad at Lands in Love Restaurant, Costa Rica

Lands in Love Restaurant, Boutique Hotel & Animal Rescue Center

Natural mineral spring at Finca de Vida

From Lands in Love, continue south towards Domincal and then turn inland to find Finca de Vida.

This place is truly an oasis and is best saved for last, after all the driving and travel around Costa Rica you will be happy to reach the quiet, beauty and organic raw food at Farm of Life.

The owners, Brian and Jodi, set a top-notch standard in caring for their guests and with smaller groups and a limited number of bungalows, you’re sure to get more personal attention and a true sense of community between staff, volunteers and guests.

If you have the time, book a room for 1 month and to eat 100% organic raw foods, be in nature and enjoy having the time to heal. Be sure not to miss the on-site natural mineral spring pools and the nearby weekly local organic market.

Paradise found…view from the guest bungalow at Farm of Life

Staff and guests joining together for a Breath Workshop

Early morning view from the restaurant at Fica de Vida, Costa Rica

If you have more time, check out Osa Peninsula in the south of Costa Rica. We didn’t have a chance to get there in our 14-day trip, but we heard it’s amazing and worth a visit. To drive onto the peninsula, you will need a 4wd vehicle.

Budget for Costa Rica

Anyone who has traveled in Thailand or SE Asia will find the prices in Costa Rica to be very high! In researching online before our trip, it seemed that every hotel was a minimum of $80-100 USD per night. By looking around and not booking in advance, we managed to find places more in the $35-50 USD per night range. That said, with the rental car and cost of food (an average salad to be $10-15 USD), 14 days in Costa Rica was expensive. If you live in North America, you’ll save money and time on the flight so that is definitely something to consider. There are many other countries in Central America which are cheaper than Costa Rica, so research and plan according to your budget. If you have the time, consider volunteering for 1 month or more on an organic farm or at one of the retreat centers – it’s a reasonable way to experience Costa Rica for just a fraction of the cost.

Practical notes on renting a car in Costa Rica

Car rental rates in Costa Rica are not cheap since the car rental companies seem to require mandatory insurance which is not listed in any online booking form. Our 2-week car rental cost over $700 USD, but there was no way we could have seen as much as we did without a car. (One word of advice: do NOT use Thrifty Car Rental). The roads in Costa Rica are not marked and it’s easy to get lost…also the GPS is not very accurate due to many dirt roads that aren’t listed in the computer. The only real way to get around is to stop in every small town and ask which way to the next town. Well, it’s the old-fashioned way but it works! We were happy we didn’t bother with a GPS, and actually we rented a Toyota Yaris 2-wheel drive which we drove everywhere ‘Costa-Rica style’ and didn’t have any problems getting stuck on river crossings or 4-wheel drive dirt roads. January being dry season makes it possible to have a 2-wheel drive car (January to March is the high-season and best time of year weather-wise to go). If you rent a 4-wheel drive car, be careful to not rent the Jimmy or if you do do not leave any valuables inside; apparently it is very easy to break into and gets robbed more often than any other rental vehicle.

Safety in Costa Rica and Where to Stay Near the San Jose Airport

With all the warning about robberies and safety in Costa Rica, it’s always important to keep your street smarts; that said, we did not have any problems at all and found the Costa Ricans to be very helpful with directions and quite friendly and nice overall. If you need to spend one night near the San Jose airport either at the beginning or end of your journey, I highly recommend Hotel Pacande in Alajuela as a clean, safe affordable option with friendly staff. I hope you enjoy your trip. Eat lots of papayas and….see you on the road!

More Articles on Costa Rica

Read my article on Pachamama: Gluten-Free, Raw Food and Detox at Pachamama, Costa Rica.
My awesome experience at Finca de Vida: Fasting Retreat, Organic Raw Food & Total Relaxation at Farm of Life in Costa Rica.

More on Traveling Raw:

International Directory of Detox, Juice Fast, Healing Centers and Retreats

From Food Matters

Detox, Juice Fasting Retreat and Healing Center Directory

World Destinations for Detox, Juice Fasting, Healing Clinics

USA and Canada

Gerson Institute – San Diego, California
Gerson Therapy is tailored to treat cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis using natural treatment methods such as organic foods, juicing and detoxification.
www.gerson.org

Hippocrates Health Institute – Florida
The Hippocrates Health Institute provides a tranquil haven for peace and health restoration. Guests are treated with enzyme-rich vegan food, educational classes and exercise facilities.
www.hippocratesinst.org

An Oasis of Healing – Arizona
An Oasis of Healing offers natural options for treating cancer, whilst promoting immune strengthening and health restoration.
www.anoasisofhealing.com

The Kushi Institute – Massachusetts
The Kushi Institute is an international expert authority on the macrobiotic lifestyle for health and well-being, offering residential educational programs.
www.kushiinstitute.org

Creative Health Institute – Michigan
The Creative Health Institute is a learning facility designed to help people reclaim health through raw food nutrition and detoxification.
www.creativehealthinstitute.com

Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas – North Carolina
This holistic medical facility uses combined conventional and natural therapies to provide integrated mind-body-spirit healing for a wide variety of diseases.
www.holisticmedclinic.com

Optimum Health Institute – San Diego; Austin
The Optimum Health Institute aims to rejuvenate physical, emotional and spiritual health through vegetarian raw food, juicing, lymphatic exercise, colon hydrotherapy and prayer.
www.optimumhealth.org

The Issels Foundation – Arizona
The Issels Foundation offers alternative therapies for cancer and chronic illnesses, with the dual aim of treating disease and preventing its recurrence.
www.issels.com

Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center – Arizona
Under the guidance of world-renowned health and spiritual practitioners, The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center is a healing haven for a wide range of diseases. Expert teaching on raw food nutrition, spiritual growth and natural living is also available.
www.treeoflife.nu

Rudolf Steiner Health Center
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
This program is designed for ambulatory individuals with chronic illnesses, or anyone seeking a restorative regimen. The Health Center follows the Anthroposophic medical guidelines of Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
www.steinerhealth.org

Weimar Institute – Weimar, California
The Weimer Institute offers nutrition and lifestyle guidance, imbued with a strong spiritual focus, to remedy disease.
www.weimar.org

Oxygen Life Spa – Texas
The Oxygen Life Spa offers a spiritual space for healing through the use of Ozone saunas, Chi Tables and Tesla Coil Photon Generators.
www.oxygenlifespa.com

Rest Of Your Life Health Retreat – Texas
Under doctor guidance, guests may fast and detoxify in a remote country environment. Education about natural hygiene and raw-food healthy living is also provided.
www.roylretreat.com

Yoga Oasis – Hawaii
The Yoga Oasis offers intensive yoga and detoxification programs, with food preparation classes and nature excursions also available.
www.yogaoasis.org

Ann Wigmore Foundation – San Fidel, New Mexico
An educational and healing retreat, the Ann Wigmore foundation prescribes live, organic vegan foods and natural detoxification methods for health and recovery.
www.wigmore.org

Dr Gonzalez – New York
This clinic is headed by medical doctors who offer treatments for cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies and chronic fatigue.
www.dr-gonzalez.com

The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning – Kansas
This clinic founded by Dr Hugh Riordan uses the approach of finding the cause of illness and to correct it rather than just treating the symptoms.
www.brightspot.org

Canada

New Life Retreat – Ontario, Canada
Situated on a lush organic farm, New Life Retreat has an interactive, practical approach to teaching eco-friendly and healthy living. In addition to a fresh, organic vegetarian diet, guests will benefit from meditation, relaxation, juicing, fasting and exercise in nature.
www.newliferetreat.com

Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat – Stirling, Ontario
This natural haven provides a range of services for detoxification and health rejuvenation. Raw-juice cleansing, nutrition counselling, colon therapy, mud baths, yoga, relaxation in nature, reflexology, reiki and meditation are available in their programs.
www3.sympatico.ca/nonpareil/

Europe and the UK

Paracelsus Klinik – Switzerland
Paracelsus Klinik is an integrative conventional/complementary medicine clinic, treating a wide array of diseases.
www.paracelsus.ch

Vortex Vital – Spain
Vortox Vital is a resort-style health retreat providing fasting and numerous other detoxification programs.
www.vortexvital.com

Detox International – Spain, Portugal
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.com

Australia and New Zealand

The Vita Centre – Edgecliff, New South Wales
The Vita Centre offers a holistic, integrative blend of conventional and complementary therapies for a wide range of diseases.
www.vitacentre.com

Yarra Vallley Living Centre (home of The Gawler Cancer Foundation), Victoria
This clinic has a combined orthodox and mind/body medicine approach to treating disease, utilising treatment advice from medical doctors and natural health practitioners. Set in 40 acres of natural bushland at the foot of rolling hills, they host Wellbeing retreats in a nurturing and peaceful environment.
www.gawler.org

Fountainhead Organic Health Retreat – Maleny, Queensland
100% organic health retreat focusing on stress, detox and fitness programs.
www.fountainhead.com.au

Asia

The Farm – Phillipines
The Farm is a lush eco-friendly resort, with medical doctors that tailor individual detoxification and healing programs. Guests are luxuriously pampered during their program.
www.thefarm.com.ph

The Spa Resorts – Thailand
This Spa Resorts provide detoxification programs, fasting, massage and reflexology in the lush comfort of resort accommodation.
www.thesparesorts.net

Kamalaya – Thailand
Kamalaya is a luxury resort that offers detox and yoga retreats in Thailand. Their Wellness Sanctuary offers colonic irrigation and speciality detoxes including weight loss, sleep enhancement, optimal fitness and stress & burnout.
www.kamalaya.com

Atsumi Detox – Thailand
Atsumi Retreat Healing Center is a natural detox & therapy education facility in Phuket, Thailand where people come to fast and cleanse their systems of toxins.
www.atsumihealing.com

Julia Jus’ Innergetic Health Rejuvenation Retreat – Bali, Indonesia
This 7-day retreat provides a comprehensive detoxification program involving raw-food cuisine, pilates, meditation, colonic irrigation, detox baths, massage, ozone therapy, nutrition/lifestyle counselling and infra-red saunas.
www.juliajus.com

Central and South America

Gerson Plus Therapy – Tijuana, Mexico
Dr Dan Rogers is a trained Medical Doctor and Naturopath. He has been treating patients using integrative medicine since the late 1970’s. Dr Rogers believes in the use of the Gerson Plus therapy which is a nutrition based form of detoxification and healing from within.
www.gersonplus.com

An Oasis of Hope – Playas de Tijuana, Mexico
This is an integrative medical facility specializing in conventional and complementary cancer treatments.
www.oasisofhope.com

Sanoviv Medical Institute – Baja California, Mexico
This is a holistic medical facility offering integrative treatments for numerous chronic or general diseases.
www.sanoviv.com

Health For Humanity – Ecuador
Provides information and services for QHM technology and cancer treatment.
www.cancercuredresearch.com

Farm of Life (Finca de Vida) – Costa Rica
This remote eco-lodge is a natural sanctuary for the exploration of health-fulfilling activities such as yoga, raw food/vegetarian eating, eco-adventures and self-improvement. Farm of Life is a smoke-meat-alcohol-free environment.
www.fincadevida.com Read my article on Finca de Vida!

Pacha Mama – Costa Rica
This retreat offers numerous healing services such as yoga, detoxification, colonic irrigation, reflexology, acupuncture, nutritional consultation, meditation, spiritual teachings, juice fasting, massage and reiki.
www.pachamama.com Read my article on Pachamama!

Ann Wigmore Institute – Puerto Rico
This is an educational health retreat that practices Ann Wigmore’s methods of detoxification and raw-food health restoration.
www.annwigmore.org

Africa

Detox International – South Africa
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.co.za

Cancure.org
A valuable resource for investigating natural therapy clinics worldwide and considering treatment options.
www.cancure.org

If you know of other reputable spas, fasting retreats or healing centers around the world, please let me know!

More on Traveling Raw:

Total Reset Detox: A Women Only Retreat at the Dead Sea in Israel

Join me for this fantastic event! From 13 – 20 November, 2011, a Women’s Only Juice Fast Retreat and Detox in Israel. What better place for healing than at the magical Dead Sea, in the ancient Holy Land itself!

Dead Sea Detox, Israel

During this program, you will have access to nature walks, detox yoga, guided meditation, swimming, sun, mud bathing, enemas and of course rest and recovery for your body’s healing.

Jennifer Thompson

Inspirational and informative talks on natural nutrition and your ‘food life’ post detox will be offered by me. Every day we will cover a different topic, building on the information learned from the day before, and focusing strongly on how to continue making positive change after your cleanse. Whether your goal is to lose weight, quit smoking, de-stress, eat better foods, increase raw foods, balance lifestyle, handle social and family pressures or simply to learn more about nutrition, you will benefit from each of the daily nutrition talks.

I will also be available for private consults and individual Iridology Analyses.

This is a special event and a wonderful opportunity to ‘reset’ and ‘reboot.’ After a cleanse, when your body is pure, it’s much easier to continue with positive change in every aspect of your life.

A fast is the best gift you can give yourself. And you deserve the very best in life, so why not start now?

We are coming together to create something special just for you – A Total Reset Detox! With guided expert support, you are sure to experience your maximum potential. Press the ‘Reset Button’ on your life, feel the energy of the ancient Holy Land and give your body the gift of natural healing.

The entire program is conducted in English. For more information, please contact me.

I look forward to seeing you from 13 – 20 November 2011!

<strong>More on Traveling Raw:</strong>

Green Juice Fast with Gabriel Cousens at Tree of Life

Recently I went to Israel to participate in a 7-day Green Juice Fast with Gabriel Cousens. His program involves: 4 green juices per day, supplements recommended by Tree of Life (optional), 1 enema daily, guided meditation twice daily, yoga by Shanti and a daily morning and evening Kabbalah talk with Gabriel. The fast was hosted in a kibbutz in the north of Israel called Yehiam. All of the classes were taught in English.

Shanti and Gabriel Cousens

Gabriel has some interesting theories on fat metabolism vs. sugar (carbohydrate) metabolism. If you are drinking a lot of fruit, coconut, carrot, or beetroot juice during your fast and you are not losing weight, it is very possible that your body is still in a sugar metabolism. According to Gabriel, you need to get into the fat metabolism for the fast to really kick in.

He would recommend grapefruit juice and greens juices instead. ‘If you want your juices sweeter, you are compromsing your own progress. Too much sugar in juice will trigger a craving for more sugar.’

Sugar levels are also connected to one’s ability to meditate according to Gabriel. ‘If your sugar levels go up and down, the mind also goes up and down and it becomes difficult to stay focused,’ he says.

Gabriel has one secret for success when coming off the fast: Do not eat too much!! He says, ‘Drink your food and chew your juices.’ He also recommends to eat in silece so you are conscious and connected to the food. ‘Eat your food first, them sit around, digest and talk.’

Inspired with lots of great info!

Especially after fasting, Gabriel recommended 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed in every meal to keep the fiber content high. I tried it for one week after the fast and all I can say is wow, epic!!

This detox program is usually hosted twice yearly in Israel, every May and November. Fasting programs are available year-round at the Tree of Life Center in Arizona.

If you can’t away to join his guided detox, then you can learn from Gabriel’s wisdom through some great books – Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousens and Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens. Great additions to any health library!

For more about this green juice fast program, watch my daily updates, interviews with other fasters and interview with Gabriel and Shanti on my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/findyourhealthybliss.

More on Traveling Raw:

What’s the best detox retreat for raw food, yoga, juice & meditation in Thailand?

Detox is great for the body & mind!

I receive countless emails asking me this question. Choosing a detox holiday can be overwhelming when you start to see how many resorts there are. In Koh Samui, Thailand alone there are more than a dozen places to choose from. So what is the best retreat for fasting, wellness, raw foods, de-stressing, weight loss and healing?

Asking me that is like asking me what house you should buy. How can I answer that question based on only knowing that you want a house? If I don’t know what you are looking for – how many rooms, what your budget is, etc., there is simply no possible way I can help you.

When you think about your destination for cleansing, first decide on your budget. Know how much you have to spend on the program itself and your room accommodation, and then decide if you have any extra cash for yoga classes, massages and private healing sessions. Figure out how much time you have for your program – 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days or more….that will also help to narrow your search.

One benefit of Detox: Weight Loss

It’s then very important to sit with yourself and decide what you expect to achieve from doing a detox retreat – do you want to lose weight, rest, relax, cure yourself from disease or illness, learn more about nutrition or how to manage stress, take cooking classes, eat healthy food, learn better habits for going home, have access to yoga or fitness gyms, and also work on your spiritual and emotional healing as well? Maybe the answer is Yes! to all of the above! Haha…well, please go back and remember what your budget is too. A lot of times people want it all, but they don’t want to invest the money to do it.

Be realistic with your expectations if you choose a low-budget resort. You can still benefit from any detox you do, so whatever you choose, know that it’s the right one for you at this point in your journey. If you are not comfortable with juice fasting, choose a program with a raw food menu or gently cooked foods. That can still be a great gentle detox for people, especially if they are older, sick or living very high-stress lives.

Reboot

Are you hoping to ‘reboot’ and quit smoking, drinking alcohol, doing recreational drugs or eating junk food? Do you have an existing eating disorder or have you battled with anorexia/bulimia in the past? Will you need extra emotional support and additional therapies, such as hypnotherapy, NLP or EFT to help you with your addiction? Being honest with yourself will only benefit you in the long run. Let the retreat center know what you need and ask if they offer support. Buy some inspiring books full of success stories and read them during your cleanse.

Colon Cleansing

Some detox programs offer colon hydrotherapy as part of their package and some don’t. The colon cleansing can be called colemas, colonics or enemas – they are basically different versions of the same thing, which is cleaning the guts of that old toxic filth that you used to eat in your former unhealthy days. Personally, I would highly recommend choosing a program with this option included. When you combine colon cleansing and detoxing, you can release more toxins in a shorter period of time. It’s that simple.

Raw food, cooked food or no food?

Fresh Juice rebuilds Minerals

Herbal supplements or no? Just fresh juice or coconuts or both? Candida program, parasite cleanse, heavy metal detox, gallstone liver flush?? Just remember this: you have to start somewhere, and any detox is better than none. Don’t stress out too much over the details….just pick something within your budget that has most of what you want and preferably some colon cleansing too. Check out Trip Advisor for the latest reviews of any detox resort that you choose. Sometimes that’s the best way. Go with how you feel and embrace the fact that you are making time for a healthy holiday – to improve your health, body, mind and soul. It’s the best gift you can possible give yourself. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to book your Iridology Session with me. I can help you personalize your detox and make a long-term plan for positive change when you return home. I hope to see you soon!

Detox resorts in Koh Samui, Thailand:

  • New Body and Mind – near Lipa Noi
  • Natural High Retreats – Thong Krut

Detox resorts in Phuket, Thailand:

More on Traveling Raw:

Organic Vegetarian Food & Raw Restaurant in Dubai, UAE

Organic Supermarket & Cafe

Yes! You can be healthy in Dubai…I saw it for myself on a recent trip there! My first stop was at the Organic Foods & Cafe, a cafe and health food store. I was very impressed to see a good selection of organic fruit and veggies and not overly expensive for Dubai. Try the organic mandarin oranges – wow, so delcious! The supermarket has a good selection of superfoods, supplements, vegan foods, gluten-free items, grains, seeds, nuts and vegetarian products.

The Organic Foods & Cafe has 2 locations: the Dubai Mall and the Greens. The Cafe has a nice selection of salads and juices in addition to some vegetarian foods as well. They have a delivery menu for pizza. I asked them if it was possible to order other menu items for delivery and they said ‘yes,’ so don’t be afraid to ask!

More info at organicfoodsandcafe.com. Dubai Mall, Lower Ground Floor: 04-4340577. Greens:04-3617974.

In the Dubai Mall, I also managed to find Juice Master, a fresh juice bar that serves juices, smoothies and wheatgrass shots. Try JM’s ‘Dreamy Detox’ juice, made from apple, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon. Finish that with some fresh wheatgrass, and wow…you’ll be ready for the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building)! Jason Vale, otherwise known as the ‘Juice Master,’ is the UK’s best-selling author on juicing and health.

Find out more at juicemaster.com. Dubai Mall: Lower Ground Floor.

Magnolia Cafe, Dubai UAE

My favorite stop in Dubai was at the Magnolia Cafe in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort. Magnolia is not exclusively raw; it does have cooked vegetarian dishes on the menu.

Every selection is labeled with a V (vegan), N (contains nuts), R (raw) and/or O (diabetic friendly). Gluten-free items are also available upon request. For those reasons, Magnolia is a great choice for anyone with food intolerances or allergies. Be sure to call ahead if you have special dietary requests.

Magnolia at Madinat Jumeirah

The prices at Magnolia immediately make you remember you are in Dubai, so don’t expect any bargains. But, if you are looking for some gourmet, well-presented raw food dishes, then you won’t be disappointed.

For vegetarians, Magnolia offers cooking classes by Chef Gaby. She offers a class called ‘Rich Flavors – Low Fat’ with Asparagus Jelly, Datterini Tomato Broth, Biarritz Stuffed Baby Peppers and Summer Pudding with Lavender.

Magnolia Cafe is only open for dinner and closed on Tuesdays. For more information, go to jumeirah.com. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 4-366-8888.

Beach Yoga in Dubai

While at the Madinat Jumeirah, be sure to try their Yoga Class on the beach.

It’s a relaxing, beautiful and natural setting right on the beach with a full view of the sea and Burj Al Arab in the distance. The class is one-hour Hatha and Astanga infusion and it’s within the private beach of the resort. They have sunrise and sunset classes, and also offer a 90-minute full moon yoga class.

When you enter the hotel, go to the Talise Spa to register; from there you can either take a buggy or walk to the beach.

Contact 4-366-6818 or go to their website for more details.

More on Traveling Raw:

Iridology and Crystal Readings at the Bali Spirit Yoga Festival in Ubud, Indonesia

Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali

Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali

If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by and say hello! I will be having a booth at the Bali Spirit Festival this year doing Iridology Readings and taking on the very important task of spreading love, consciousness and healing energy 🙂

I will also be available for transition to raw food consultations. And, if I plan my weight restrictions well, I should have some fabulous crystals to sell including my favorite secret ‘manifestation’ stone. There should be some amazing raw foods there made by the Little K KAFE in Ubud – yum! Sounds like fun 🙂 🙂 Hope to see you there!!

I can teach you to program, cleanse and use your crystal stone to begin the wonderful process of manifesting all of your true goals and intentions with your healing journey and your life!

The festival runs from April 28th to May 3rd 2009 in Ubud, Bali. I am due to arrive in Bali on the 23rd April, so if any conscious souls would like to meet for an Iridology consultation or Crystal Therapy session in the days before the festival, please contact me by email and we can arrange to meet!

Smile all you beautiful people, be content with your natural beauty and remember to enjoy the view!!!!!

After that I * * * may * * * be heading to Perth, Australia for just a quick visit to see Fred Bisci on his 2009 Australia Tour. If you are in Australia already and are looking for raw food inspiration, check his dates for Perth, Gold Coast and Sydney in May 2009. But if there are any raw food lovers in Perth who would like to invite me into their homes for a few short days during the workshops, please contact me – I can trade Iridology consults for lodging 🙂 The seminars are in Guilford wherever that is :)))

More on Raw Food:

More on Traveling Raw: