Transformational Journeys Throughout Arizona - TravelMole

Transformational Journeys Throughout Arizona

Friday, Aug 11, 2023 0

Arizona is filled with one-of-a-kind places and activities that strengthen spirituality, ignite inner growth, connect with nature and deliver cultural experiences. Read on for suggestions on how to embark on a transformational journey in Arizona. Help us keep these places special for future generations by following the seven principles of AppreciateAZ and Leave No Trace.


Awaken Your Spirit 


Sedona’s Vortexes
Absorb the power of Sedona’s vortexes, locations where energy from the earth can inspire healing and self-reflection. Many people believe Sedona’s vortexes are especially powerful and can enhance meditation, self-discovery and spiritual growth. Head to Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Airport Mesa,  popular vortexes within Sedona, to feel inspired and rejuvenated. Simply taking in the breathtaking views is enough to lighten one’s spirit. Or embark on a vortex tour, where your guide will take you to visit these special energy sites across Sedona.  Sedona Mystical Tours offers a healing experience to realign one’s energy in a manner that honors the traditional use of vortexes by American Indians or jump on Pink Jeep’s Touch the Earth Tour to explore vortexes and high-desert landscapes.


Lake Havasu’s Vortexes
Visit Lake Havasu to experience the rejuvenating energy of the most recently discovered vortexes in Arizona. For travelers seeking an incomparable experience, the close proximity of Lake Havasu’s vortexes to the Colorado River and the city’s sparkling lake create a distinct spiritual adventure that encourages visitors to spend time near water to achieve inner peace and receive spiritual healing. Lake Havasu’s five vortexes can be found at Take Off Point Recreation Area at Parker Dam, Castle Rock Bay, Yonder Park, Topock Gorge and Rotary Park. 


Arizona’s Dark Skies
Feel awestruck when star gazing at Arizona’s unending dark skies filled with constellations and shooting stars. The simple act of observing these starry skies reminds one of the vastness of the universe and every individual’s small, but irreplaceable role within it. Witness the Milky Way in all its glory when looking up at night in one of Arizona’s 19 Dark Sky communities and parks. Dark Sky communities and parks are designated for their limited light pollution allowing visitors to easily view countless stars scattered across the night sky. Ever since Flagstaff earned the designation as the world’s first International Dark Sky City in 2001, Arizona has continued to be a pioneer in providing travelers the chance to get lost in the stars. The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Petrified Forest, Cottonwood, Chiricahua National Monument and Fountain Hills are a few popular Arizona places crowned by never-ending dark skies.


Experience American Indian Culture


Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass
Unwind at Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix and enjoy the rejuvenating and sacred treatments of the Pima and Maricopa tribes. A recipient of Forbes Five Star accolade, Aji’s use of Indigenous plants and traditional healing practices helps guests achieve both physical and mental well-being in a traditional way. The spa’s Nahtogig treatment reflects the tribes’ Creation Story utilizing indigenous ingredients of prickly pear, honey, salt and blue cornmeal to represent the sunset, water, illumination and sandstorm. Guests can end their spa day sipping prickly pear tea while reading their complimentary copy of the Creation Story, leaving with a stronger understanding and admiration of Native American culture. After a day at the spa, guests with a newfound passion for American Indian experiences will want to dine at the resort’s restaurant, Kai, to enjoy Native-inspired cuisine in Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant.


Mitakuye Oyasin Morning Ritual 
When staying at JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, welcome the day with “Mitakuye Oyasin,” a traditional American Indian ceremony that takes guests on a journey of self-discovery by connecting with their spirituality and gratitude for their personal blessings. The ceremony is led by Larry Redhouse, of Navajo descent, who starts by playing his flute while guiding attendees on a meditation. Each guest then makes an intention satchel, placing sage onto a piece of cloth and thinking of positive intentions while folding the cloth together before placing their satchel into the fire, releasing their intentions to the world. As the ceremony ends, Larry performs a cleanse by approaching each individual with a shell of burning white sage and a light tap of an eagle feather.


Transformative Stays


Castle Hot Springs
Unwind in crystal clear hot springs surrounded by picturesque views of the desert when staying at Castle Hot Springs. Castle Hot Springs‘ story started centuries ago when indigenous peoples native to Arizona traveled to the springs for medicinal purposes. Now people from all over the world come to experience the remedial hot springs and the resort’s serene environment. Enjoy the unparalleled tranquility of soaking in hot springs, staying within luxurious bungalows with private outdoor baths and enjoying massages along with water treatments at the resort’s spa. Feel inspired by the resort’s dedication to sustainability when savoring the farm-to-table cuisine offered at the resort’s restaurant where the ingredients are grown at the onsite 3-acre farm. Castle Hot Springs has earned recognition in Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Best Hotels in the World in 2023 and was named in Travel + Leisure reader’s top 10 favorite resorts in Arizona for the third consecutive year.


Canyon Ranch in Tucson
Those in desperate need of focusing and restoring their energy should stay at the transformative Canyon Ranch in Tucson. Staying at Canyon Ranch will help guests address and restore their mental, physical and spiritual well-being through the support of expert guides. This trailblazing wellness resort crafts personalized journeys known as Pathways to help guests achieve their wellness intentions, which range from self-discovery to healthy eating habits, through daily programs led by physicians, therapists, nutritionists and exercise experts. While at the resort, join the Equus Coaching program to spend time with horses to learn to be present and manage your internal dialogue before heading to the spa for a massage or creating a healthy meal during one of the hands-on cooking classes.


Outdoor Adventure


Rafting through the Grand Canyon 
Known to be a life-changing experience, rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is a bucket list trip that challenges rafters with massive Class VI rapids while offering an unmatched way to explore this natural wonder. Experiencing the rush of rafting the rapids and the tranquility of soaking in the scenic beauty of the canyon will inspire rafters to reconnect with nature, remind them of their inner strength, and further ignite their passion for adventure. A rafting expedition can last from four days up to two weeks, ensuring rafters enjoy riding over a hundred miles of the Colorado River taking in endless views of the canyon. Throughout the trip, learn about the canyon’s geology, wildlife and folklore from guides while forming friendships with fellow rafters. After spending the day on the river, explore the canyon floor to soak in breathtaking views of the canyon walls and wildlife before setting up camp to gaze at the star-speckled sky above Arizona’s largest Dark Sky Park.


A rafting trip with Hualapai River Runners ensures that guests witness stunning views of the Canyon’s West Rim, hike the Travertine Cavern Falls and learn about the Hualapai tribe’s history with the canyon, further expanding guests’ appreciation for the area. Hualapai River Runners offers one-day and two-day rafting trips.


Sunrise or Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience a signature colorful Arizona sunrise or sunset from the sky on a hot air balloon ride in Phoenix or Scottsdale.  Up to a mile into the air, riders will be overwhelmed with incomparable views of the vast alluring desert landscape and towering mountains when seeing the world from a rare viewpoint that awakens their inner spirit of adventure and helps put their life in perspective. Soaring above a sea of giant saguaros with the lushness of the desert below is a feeling that is truly hard to describe! While on the sunset ride, enjoy sipping celebratory champagne while taking plenty of photos as you attempt to capture the adrenaline rush and euphoric emotions this unreplicable journey brings.


Kartchner Caverns State Park
Observing the icicle-like formations within the Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson evokes a sense of wonder as visitors are amazed at the variety of sizes, colors and types of formations within the caverns which are all created by water. These caverns showcase to guests the simple, yet powerful beauty of nature and help them understand the importance of preserving nature since these art-like structures take centuries to develop. While three different tours are available at the park, the Helmet & Headlamp tour is a fan favorite since guests can explore the caverns in the same fashion as the cavers who first discovered them. Guests also learn about the extensive efforts the park has established to preserve and protect the caverns to ensure it is enjoyed by future generations.


Kayaking down the Lower Salt River
Paddle along the winding Lower Salt River in Mesa while you are surrounded by the alluring desert landscape and majestic Salt River Wild Mustangs wading in the water. These free-spirited horses are commonly seen near Saguaro Lake at sunrise so adventurers should rent kayaks from the nearby rustic Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch early in the morning if they want to catch a glimpse of the wild mustangs. Kayaking down the river’s popular 18-mile stretch is therapeutic as much as it is exciting. Soaking in the sun and seeing river otters swim by while paddling under towering cliffs is its own form of meditation. The steady flow rates of the river make for an easy journey for kayakers of all levels.

Learn more about Visit Arizona

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