I have made a list of my favorite surf and/or yoga destinations. I find it really hard to have only one favorite, so they are sorted alphabetically – all equally stunning places!
Bonbini! Welcome to one happy island!
I’ve been to Aruba twice, and the first time I was there I completely fell in love with the island life, and strongly considered to just move there.
Aruba is amazingly beautiful and it’s windy 24/7 which makes it fabulous for kitesurfing. Aruba mainly has two spots, one on the north west side of the island, located next to all the hotels, and one on the south tip of the island. The one close to the hotels is a offshore wind butter-flat water spot, while the one down south is a bit more choppy with side-onshore. If you go down there to kite be sure to bring some lunch as it’s pretty much only you, the beach and the sea down there.
What is really nice about Aruba is that the island is breathtakingly beautiful, very safe and very clean. On the downside it is very Americanized, you’re dependent on a car to get anywhere, and you hardly find any local food.
Where to stay: Boardwalk Hotel Aruba – no doubt about this one!
Don’t miss: New Years Eve fireworks at the beach. Absolutely amazing!!
Yoga: I wouldn’t go here for the yoga, except if you want to do SUP yoga with Yogagirl.
Kitesurfing: YES! Warm water and windy 24/7. It’s the perfect place.
Wave Surfing: I wouldn’t go here for the surf either. There’s plenty of better destinations if your main purpose of your trip is to surf waves.
Good for non yogis/surfers: Absolutely! The beaches are beautiful, the sun shines and the water is warm. Who wouldn’t enjoy themselves?!
When to visit: Aruba is good all year, but if you are looking for wind, maybe try to avoid aug – nov.
AUSTRALIA – Perth and surroundings
Living in Vietnam at the time, in January 2017 I decided to take a quick trip down-under and explore western Australia for a couple of weeks. Western Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and the water has a nice temperature in the summertime (the winter months in the northern hemisphere). The people are friendly and every day is a good day for bbq – an Australian favorite!
Where to stay: Hotels are very expensive in Australia. I was staying two weeks in Fremantle, a port city in Western Australia that’s part of the Perth metropolitan area, and chose to stay at Tradewinds Hotel, in East Fremantle. It’s s friendly hotel, nice and clean, and with a swimming pool, perfect for the hotter days. Tradewinds Hotel are also walking distance to Fremantle city center (25 min walk) and you can go swimming in Fremantle river that runs right outside the door. If you are more on a tight budget, Airbnb has lots of nice options in the Fremantle area. Fremantle is also home of world class kitesurfing, so if you love to be out on the water as much as I do, Fremantle might be your place!
Don’t miss: North of Perth, the pink lagoon, the amazingly beautiful Shell Beach, Monkey Mia dolphin resort as well as the whole Shark Bay area is definitely worth a visit. South of Perth, Margaret river is know for both kitesurfing (waves) as well as delicious wine. The North and the south is so different – the north being mostly dessert and less inhabitant, and the south being more lush and green with giant trees surrounding you as you drive down towards the southern coast. If you have time, Albany and Denmark is also worth a visit, and Hamlin Bay in between Margaret River and Denmark is mesmerizingly beautiful.
Yoga: I’m sad to say I didn’t go to any yoga classes as I was there. Even though yoga is quite big in Australia, and you will find yoga studios – at least in Perth – it’s a big difference between the east and the west coast, and if you are traveling for yoga purposes, I would definitely travel to eastern Australia instead. On the east coast you’ll find tons of little hippie towns with yoga and boho-chic style everywhere, my favorite hippie town being Byron Bay.
Kitesurfing: YES! There is tons of good spots in Western Australia, and kitesurfers have begun to flock to Perth’s beaches between the months of September to April, enticed by the consistent winds, warm weather, long stretches of sandy white beaches and pristine waters. My friends and I was road-tripping for ten days, checking out some world class kite spots, and I can definitely recommend it. Close to Fremantle you find “Woddies” and Safety bay, both with butterflat water and consistent wind. Further north you’ll find Lancelin, Jurien Bay, Geraldton and the beautiful Shark Bay area, to name a few. Once you leave the Perth area, most places are pretty secluded though, and it was only the tree of us on the water most of the time. South of Perth, we were checking out Margaret River – but here you should be aware of being a shark bait, They thrive down there! If you need even more spots to choose from, have a look at In Motions Kitsurfing’s guide to kitesurfing in the wild west.
Wave Surfing: Australia is amazing for surfing waves! From the east to the west coast, here are 11 beaches known for their beauty as well as their breaks.
Good for non yogis/surfers: But of course! Australia has tons of adventure for everyone. Check out this link for great tips on what to do on your holiday down under!
When to visit: The Australian summer – as well as their windy season – runs from September to April, with the warmest summer months being December – February. The further north you go, the hotter it is and vice versa.
Bali is beautiful and friendly and great for surfing waves. There is plenty of good places to surf in Bali, but my favorite place is Uluwatu. It may get quite crowded during their peak season though, and the waves are mostly for experienced surfers. If it’s yoga you are looking for, it’s pretty much yoga everywhere you go. If you travel to Bali mainly for yoga, be sure to visit the “yoga capital” Ubud.
Where to stay: If you go to Uluwatu, I would stay at the Uluwatu Surf Villas. Here you are close both to great surf and fabulous yoga with a breathtaking view. Or stay at the beautiful Yoga Searcher – a unique yoga retreat center built in the original Java architecture, with 100% recycled wood. It is a place for share yoga and experience Ayurveda, 200m from the world class beaches of Uluwatu and Padang-Padang! If head up to Bali’s spiritual capital, Ubud Yoga Barn is the perfect place to stay if you are a yoga enthusiast. I stayed in their dorm when I was there, and it is really nice, as they only accommodate four people in each dorm, making it more spacious and quiet than a regular dorm room.
Don’t miss: You have to test out one of Bali’s natural healers. If you are in Ubud be sure to see the talented Tunjung. Go to Tunjung Bali Healer to book your appointment. She is amazingly accurate!
Where to eat: Bali has so much good food that I don’t even know where to start. I you are in Uluwatu you have to try out the delicious Nalu Bowls for breakfast or lunch. Or maybe just a snack. It’s literally heaven in a bowl! The Yoga Searcher has a delicious cafe and restaurant as well, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Finns In is a must for after beach beers and a yummy pizza with a view. If you head over to Ubud they have the amazing Nalu Bowls here as well, and be sure to test out Raw Food Café & Tonic Bar for the best raw food lasagna in history. Clear Café and Alchemy are two other big favorites, along with Kismet, and if you visit the latter be sure to test our their absolutely yummy poke bowls. Last but not least, Yoga Barn has an amazing restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinners all day every day. Don’t miss out!
Good to know: Rent yourself a scooter! Makes getting around Bali a lot easier.
Yoga: A big YES! Bali is a yoga heaven.
Kitesurfing: I met a couple of people who said it’s possible to kitesurf in Bali, but I wouldn’t go to Bali mainly for the kitesurfing. There is however a large flat water lagoon and a couple of kitesurfing schools that operate on the east coast , close to Sanur. Check out Bali Kitesurfing for more information about kitesurfing in Bali.
Wave Surfing: Another big YES! Bali is the place to surf, and have lots and lots of great surf spots all around the island.
Good for non yogis/surfers: Absolutely! Bali is beautiful, lush and green with a magical atmosphere that everyone should experience at lest once in their life. Bali also has delicious food, beautiful temples, stunning hikes ++. You will get bored at this extraordinary island!
When to visit: April – September
I’ve been to beautiful California no less than ten times, so it easily made it on to my list of favorite destinations.
I’m not too found of the stress of big cities, so downtown LA is not a favorite of mine, but the free, fun, and funky area in Venice is right more down my alley, so that’s where I’ll stay if I go to LA.
My favorite city in California is San Diego. SD is not too big, beautiful, and with a nice and friendly atmosphere, great food and pretty good surf. Several summers me and my friends used to rent a beach hose in Mission Beach and just hang out on the beach and surf all summer.
If your a spirit junkie like me, both San Francisco and Venice (LA) are must visits. These areas are filled with great yoga and spiritual happenings all year around
Where to stay: In San Diego, Mission Beach is the perfect place to hang out for the summer You can rent an affordable place with the friendly people at Mission Beach Management. In LA my favorites are The Georgian in Santa Monica (make sure you have a meal at the cozy patio with beautiful sunset view) and Hotel Erwin in Venice. And even if you don’t stay here, at least visit their roof top bar with food, drinks and priceless ocean view.
Don’t miss: Cruising down the Mission Beach boardwalk with your long board as the sun sets. Also be sure to check out the beautiful harbor in downtown San Diego. Are you visiting LA? Eat til you drop among all the delicious organic restaurants in Venice. If you go downtown LA be sure to check out Gracias Madre who has amazing vegetarian Mexican cuisine!
Kitesurfing: I know people who has been kitesurfing in California, but I’ve never tried it out myself. It’s on the bucket list!
Wave Surfing: YES! So nice. Lots of great spots along the coast, long beaches and usually not too crowded. Beachbreak. Bring Your own board, or rent at one of the many surf shops along the California coast.
Good for non yogis/surfers: No Doubt! In CA you have everything from chill beach life to nice shopping, wining and dining and clubbing. There’s also plenty of amusement parks to choose from if you feel the need to bring out your inner child.
Festival & Events: If your a music lover be sure to not miss out on the annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival in the Indio Valley, right outside LA. The vibe is nothing but magical!
When to visit: You can visit California all year around, and it’s always pretty dry and sunny, but May-September will be the warmest months.
Tulum has become a mecca for yogis, kitesurfers, conscious travelers, eco-friendly tourists, as well as upscale city-dwellers looking for paradise. And honestly Tulum is as close to paradise as I have come on my travels. To me, Tulum has everything. Besides being drop dead beautiful, Tulum has plenty of yoga and a spiritual community, it is great for kitesurfing, and it has friendly people, white beaches, warm water and my all time favorite food – Mexican. I simply love tacos!
Where to stay: Shambala Petit Hotel has a wonderful vibe and a friendly and smiling staff ready to help you with just about anything. The food is delicious, and all the beautiful casitas are located within steps from the Turquoise waters of the Caribbean Ocean, which is revered as the best beach in Mexico.
Don’t miss: Tulum is Mayan land, and it’s filled with amazing history and traditions of their indigenous people. Every full moon there are temezcals, or sweat lodges, which are guided by a local shaman. The temezcal is a spiritual ceremony used to cleanse impurities and toxins, improve health ailments, and reveal mental tendencies of fear. Me and five other girls decided to do one on the Scorpio Full Moon, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have witnessed.
Yoga: Absolutely! Tulum, like Bali is a yoga Mecca. With Tulum being a bright portal of energy, there’s no shortage of range of styles to accommodate all levels. Check out Shambala Petit Hotel, Maya Tulum or Yoga Shala Tulum for daily classes.
Kitesurfing: The windy season goes from December to April, but when I was visiting in May I could still see kites (12-14 m2) on the water every day. The spot is beautiful, with soft white sand, no big rocks, shells or concrete and just a few people.The wind is stable, and the water flat with little chops as perfect natural kickers. Dominant winds are NE, E and SE., and respect to shore; onshore, side-onshore ad side-shore. The wind strength varies between 12 knots to 25 knots, and it’s pretty much windy all day long.
Wave Surfing: No, the long reef prevents waves from getting large enough to surf. But Mexico’s got plenty of amazing surf! Click here for the best surf destinations in Mexico
Good for non yogis/surfers: Yes, there is plenty to do. Chillin’ on the beach, excursions to the ruins, natural pools and other amazingly beautiful natural sites, there is world-class diving, snorkeling, great SUP opportunities and of course lots and lots of yoga. Tulum is paradise for anyone.
When to visit: The winter months is the high season, but it’s possible to visit all year around. Actually, the best time to visit might be between April and June, before the rainy-season, when the weather is still nice, but with less tourism and more affordable room rates.
Puerto Vallarta is a resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, in Jalisco state. It is known for its beaches, water sports and nightlife scene. Its cobblestone center is home to the ornate Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, boutique shops and a range of restaurants and bars. El Malecón is a beachside promenade with contemporary sculptures, as well as bars, lounges and nightclubs. Check out Lonely Planets guide for the top sights in Puerto Vallarta.
Where to stay: For you yoga vacation Xinalani or Haramara are both magical, beautiful yoga retreat centers with lots of different yoga retreats throughout the year. For non yogis, check out Trip Advisor’s top 10 hotels forPuerto Vallarta.
Yoga: Yes! When I was in Puerto Vallarta, I was hosting a yoga retreat at beautiful Xinalani eco-retreat center. Xinalani offers an unparalleled retreat experience: authentic and magical, immersed in lush jungle surroundings with views of the emerald ocean. Here you sleep in beautiful eco-chic accommodations, enjoy delicious and healthy Mexican food, while practicing yoga in world-class open-air or heated yoga studios (Xinalani). Pure bliss!
Kitesurfing: I wouldn’t pick this solely for my kitesurfing destination – the Caribbean side of Mexico is absolutely amazing for that – but it is possible. Between Sayulita and Nuevo Vallarta is “Bucerias”, which is a decent spot with consistent wind between 15 – 20 knots and sometimes as much as 20 – 25 knots. The windy season runs from march to June.
Wave Surfing: YES! During the winter months, Puerto Vallarta is a great destination for wave surfing. Even though Puerto Vallarta and the entire Banderas Bay is stock-full of beautiful sandy beaches, the real surf action is on the North side of the bay, even beyond Bucerias in places like Lo de Marcos and Sayulita. Warm water, a variety of surf breaks, and and gentle winds that are usually offshore make the Punta de Mita area an ideal surf destination (Puerto Vallarta Surfing). Or if you think Puerto Vallarta is not your cup of tea, click here for the best surf destinations in Mexico.
Good for non yogis/surfers: Yes, absolutely. Enjoy the sun, sand and sea, indulge in yummy Mexican cuisine, or check out Lonely Planets guide for the top sights in Puerto Vallarta.
When to visit: The winter months is the high season, but it’s possible to visit all year around. Actually, the best time to visit might be between April and June, before the rainy-season, when the weather is still nice, but with less tourism and more affordable room rates. If you’re interested in whale watching, however, visit from January to March.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
MUI NE, VIETNAM
There is plenty of stuff to do in this beautiful place, so when you’re not flowing the waves, surfing or kitesurfing in the warm Mui Ne sea, you can hit the yoga mat, eat delicious Vietnamese food, treat yourself to one of the very cheap massage places or maybe just chill at the many miles long beach. Nighttime is perfect for wining and dining and maybe to hit the dance floor, whisking the night away dancing bare feet at one of my favorite lounge bars – Dragon Beach and Pogo.
Where to stay: I always stay at Ngoc Beach Bungalow because it’s literally at the kite beach, but Mui Ne Hills and Mui Ne Backpackers Village are other nice places to stay! Looking for a cheaper option? Dong-Phat is the place to go. Nice, clean and friendly staff, and located right across the road for the beach.
Don’t miss: The goat barbecue! It’s amazing. Ask any local, and they’ll guide you.
Favorite breakfast place: Hills Smokeria – I love this little lounge cafe in the Mui Ne Hills with sand floor and chill music. his family run BBQ restaurant is a hidden gem in busy Mui Ne. Hidden up a small alley, away from all the hustle and bustle from the main tourist strip. Palm trees and windsurfing sails provide shade, lots of sand and chill music give you a beach like feeling.
Yoga: It’s not a yoga mekka like Bali, but Mui Ne Hills offers yoga throughout the high season from November – March. This winter 16/17, I will be teaching both at the Mui Ne Hills and at Full Moon Village. You can read more about that here.
Kitesurfing: YES!! You can be lucky all year around, but from November – March Mui Ne is windy pretty much every day. It’s not a flat water spot, so if you’re not used to make your way out through a waves, it can be a little tricky to begin with, but you will quickly get the hang of it. There is plenty of kite schools to choose from from the very top to the very bottom of the miles long Mui Ne beach, but my all time favorite is SURFPOINT. The length of the beach also makes sure there is always plenty of space even when there is a lot of kiters out.
Wave Surfing: Yes! And this is one of the reasons Mui Ne is a place I can come back to every season and stay moths at a time. No wind? Surfing it is! There are several surf spots to choose from, but Little Buddha is my favorite and it’s usually fun for long-boarding. Clean waves and beach break! Also, if you are a beginner, Mui Ne can be a good place to start, and Full Moon Village offer surf lessons if you want to check it out. If you’re an experienced surfer and are looking for a pure surf vacation, I would rather go for Sri Lanka or Bali.
Good for non yogis/surfers: Absolutely. And if your travel companion is not up for chilling and tanning at the beach all day, there’s several excursions, massage places, cute little shops and nice cafe’s and restaurants to go to.
When to visit: All year is pretty nice, but for kitesurfing November – March is the best season.
Mui Ne, Vietnam
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Machu Picchu, Peru
Where to stay: It depends on what you will be doing. See recommended places below.
Don’t miss: a visit to the beautiful Galle Fort! Be sure to have a slice of the amazingly delicious banana bread with passion fruit butter at the cute boutique café Poonie’s Kitchen. And don’t miss out on the rotis – really yummy Sri Lankan pancakes with filling of your choice.
Kitesurfing: YES! The flatwater lagoon in Kalpitiya is great for kiting and Kitesurfing Lanka is the place to stay! This year (2017) my favorite in Mui Ne, Vietnam, SURFPOINT, will open a school in Kalpitya as well, so be sure to check them out. They are great!!
Wave Surfing: YES! Mirissa down sout being my favorite area. Lush and green, white sandy beaches and truly beautiful!
Good for non yogis/surfers: Yes! In most of Sri Lanka theres’s lots of stuff to do. Nice beaches, jungle safari, spa, cute little shops, tea plantations, delicious food, and the list goes on… But to be honest, if you’re up in Kalpitya kitesurfing, there is not much else to do than kitesurfing. There is only beaches for kiting and no nice place to hang out if you only want to chill at the beach. Kalpitya is also a very small town, so not much going on there. If you go to Kalpitya to kite I suggest you stay at Kitesurfing Lanka where there’s a nice after kite community to hang out with!
When to visit: Sri Lanka can be visited all year around, but it is great for surfing waves in the south in the winter months and great for kitesurfing on the north-west side of the island in the summer months.
THAILAND, KOH SAMUI
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Buddhist Temple, Koh Samui
THAILAND, KOH PHANGAN
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Beautiful tropical beach, Koh Phangan