“Just being in Puerto Rico is a wellness experience in and of itself. It’s just so beautiful, and you can easily connect with the serene ambience,” says Dr. Veroshk Williams, clinical psychologist, astrologer, and founder and director of Infinite Healing Puerto Rico. The doctor has made it her mission to “bring light and more wellness and mental health to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” and to share the Island’s rich offerings that nurture visitors from head to toe, inside and out.
What makes Puerto Rico an ideal destination for travelers who prioritize wellness? For starters, there’s “the perfect weather all year round—you can wear one layer of clothing the entire year—and the pace of life here, even in San Juan, is slower than in most places in the world.” Add to that a wide range of nature to enjoy, from desert climates to rainforests to beaches, “all within a two-hour range of time. That’s unique.”
Of course, a key component of wellness is what we eat, and Puerto Rico has you covered there as well: “There are a lot of healthy food options, from juice bars to a wave of vegan restaurants and vegan dining experiences that are happening all across the Island,” says Dr. Williams. And there’s great hospitality no matter how you like to travel. “You can go from luxury to a more raw experience, sometimes in the same 20-minute radius,” she notes.
No matter where you end up going on the Island, Dr. Williams advises visitors to slow their pace and take time to be present and enjoy each moment. “Many people think, ‘I must do or see everything!’ You don’t. Plan your vacation in a way where you have time for yourself, finding times of the day for you to be still or at peace.” Even just drinking more water, spending more time in bed, and making sure you sleep well can boost your happiness, she notes.
“Take the time to find a property that gives you more of what you like”—whether that’s a refreshing sleep experience, time in nature, or fabulous spa amenities. “Whatever makes you feel well, find ways to incorporate that.” Below, Dr. Williams shares some of the best spots to help find complete and total wellness on a rejuvenating trip to Puerto Rico.
Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa
Located in Guánica, in the southern part of Puerto Rico, Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa is situated by a natural reserve, Bosque Seco, a dry forest. “The property is so beautiful, set along a pristine waterfront,” says Dr. Williams. “The hotel is really open—it has a sort of inside-outside feel to your stay. And the rooms or villas are well ventilated.”
It’s a great option for either a romantic getaway or a family vacation, with on-site farm-to-table restaurants and all sorts of wellness activities available. “By being so close to the forest you get to do so many things from hiking in the dry forest to water activities, like kayaking in the river that ironically comes from the dry forest.”
And check out the little islands that are close by, such as Isla Ballena, whale island. “You can rent a little boat that takes you there. Spend the whole day in a small, deserted island, which in itself is a wellness experience—there’s no signal! And the water there is calmer than elsewhere on the mainland. It feels like a pool, but it’s the ocean.”
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
“My favorite luxury experience in Puerto Rico, and probably the world so far—this one is the top,” says Dr. Williams of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the former site of a Rockefeller plantation in the north of the Island. The wellness experience begins the moment you step foot in the lobby, “where they welcome you with homemade tea, cultivated with herbs grown by their own hands.” Those same herbs are used in the lotions and aromatherapy you’ll enjoy if you opt for spa treatments.
The wellness amenities on premises are a thing to behold, from the food to exercise options, including two 18-hole golf courses and the historic Rockefeller Nature Trail, an open-air sanctuary from land to sea. On top of all that, you’ll find a world-class spa. “The spa has a huge infinity pool that opens up into the tropical wilderness. There’s no way to not feel de-stressed,” notes Dr. Williams. “They’ll do garden baths for you, with a mix of flowers and oils. And here, the massages are actually therapeutical—they pay attention to the needs of your body.”
Villa Montaña Beach Resort
The full-service resort with villas situated on 35 lush acres “is very popular, even for locals, because of the secluded feel to it,” says Dr. Williams. Guests can unwind and recharge surrounded by nature, with green areas that overflow with blossoming tropical plants, all along three miles of secluded beaches in Isabela, Puerto Rico. The boutique resort achieves a perfect balance between elegant luxury and a friendly, informal setting. Enjoy farm-to-table fare and fresh fish caught straight off the coast at their onsite restaurant, Eclipse.
Another option along Puerto Rico’s spectacular northwest coast is Royal Isabela. “It’s my favorite property if you’re looking for silence. You have your own villa, and your own pool and terrace. If you’re looking for a place to disconnect, you will only see your room service personnel if you wanted.”
You don’t even have to leave the premises, says Dr. Williams. “The property was constructed with nature in mind. They left the trees where they were and made it work around them. Take mindful walks and sun baths and connect with yourself.” For the more active, there are golf courses and paddleboarding along the Guajataca River.
Rainforest Inn Bed and Breakfast
A stay at Rainforest Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in El Yunque National Forest, will give you “the greenest experience in Puerto Rico,” says Dr. Williams. “El Yunque is one of the most magical places on the Island: You feel ancient energy. I’m not a geologist, but it’s basically the remnants of a volcano.” The inn offers a healthy, vegetarian breakfast every morning, crafted with fresh local produce. You’ll also be near numerous hiking trails and waterfalls, and the area is so vast that you’ll find sweet solitude. “You can be hiking and spend an hour just by yourself without seeing anyone else,” says Dr. Williams.
“Benefit from connecting to nature by doing a lot of ground work or ‘earthing’ and being present and staying silent. By connecting with that root energy, you’ll be getting an excellent reset and feel refreshed. It’s like when you do a restart of the computer, that’s what you get in El Yunque.” As you hike, you can let everything go without any worry. “We don’t have any lethal animals, so you can really relax. Even if you feel like you’re in the jungle, there’s nothing out there that can really harm you. There are no anacondas or anything like that.”
O:live Boutique Hotel
Located in San Juan, O:live Boutique Hotel “is a gorgeous property with one of the best views of the Condado Lagoon,” says Dr. Williams. Here, you’ll find numerous wellness-related activities like sunrise paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga, and full moon kayaking. “Otherwise, the property is pretty nightlife-focused, so it’s a great place to go when you want a balance of lively nightlife and wellness.”
For a more down-to-earth luxury experience, check in to The Dreamcatcher, a nine-room vegetarian hotel. “You get the bed and breakfast feel, because it’s a house in a San Juan surfer community, but once you are inside of it, the architecture is simply amazing!” says Dr. Williams. Expect rooms with foyers or balconies, rainforest themes and hammocks to chill out in. Best of all for wellness warriors, no matter what day of the week you go, there’s wellness programming that you can experience during your stay.
“Every morning there’s yoga on the wood deck in the center courtyard. They bring different healers to do experiences.” Check out their sister property in Vieques as well, Finca Victoria, which has the only Ayurvedic wellness center in Puerto Rico. “It’s very sustainable; the entire property is tree houses. They have morning yoga, and a full Ayurvedic program, complete with a physical analysis and a full program of meals, meditations, and steam baths.”
Find ways to incorporate wellness into your trip, wherever you end up going.
“To me wellness is a lifestyle, not a thing you do, but a thing you live,” concludes Dr. Williams. “Sometimes we’re so busy in our day-to-day life it can be hard to include time for wellness. An easier way to connect to wellness is through wellness tourism or incorporating wellness into a vacation. It’ll help you recharge or refresh. One of the main issues in modern society is we’re all burned out. Imagine if we can live a wellness lifestyle where we never experience burnout? You’ll have more mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing.” A trip to the restorative natural environment of Puerto Rico is just what the doctor ordered to help you on your wellness journey.