Sober Adventures: How are they different from sober retreats?

Confused by the different options for sober travel? You’re not alone. As the travel industry begins to welcome sober travelers by offering varying alcohol-free options, it’s hard to tell which type of trip is right for you.

Most commonly confused are sober retreats and sober adventures. While both types of travel prioritize sobriety and a healthy lifestyle, sober retreats are structured more to provide a therapeutic environment for recovery, usually in a single location. On the other hand, sober adventures, like those offered by Choose Life Sober Adventures (CLSA), focus on creating community for like-minded individuals through exhilarating travel experiences, often journeying from point to point in cultural and natural immersion. Sober adventures allow travelers to go forth and explore without the need for substances.

Costa Rica Sober Vacation

What Are Sober Adventures?

The most obvious way that sober adventures are different is that they are, well, adventures. Rather than being based in a recovery center or spa or any other single destination, sober adventures venture out to explore, offering participants an opportunity to partake in immersive travel and exciting activities while maintaining sobriety and embracing a healthy lifestyle. As much as anything else, sober adventures are designed to create community—a chance for like-minded individuals who have shared a similar path to discover the wider world—and themselves. Adventures can encompass a wide range of activities, from cultural exploration to outdoor pursuits like hiking, camping, rock climbing and cycling, all while moving point-to-point, just like any other tour, but substance-free.

Although sober adventures are not structured like retreats, adventure companies that promote sober travel include in their itineraries daily mindfulness, yoga, and evening reflection meetings, all designed to allow travelers to continue their recovery practices “on-the-road”. This combination of sharing exploration with a community of other sober travelers and the ability to maintain recovery practices while traveling, is what draws people to sober adventures.

The primary objective of a sober adventure is to allow individuals in recovery to discover and enjoy the excitement, accomplishment, and fulfillment that life has to offer, free from the influence of substances. By engaging in these experiences, participants can build self-confidence, embrace personal growth, and find alternative outlets for joy and exhilaration in their sober journey.

Sober Vacation Machu Picchu

What Are Sober Retreats?

A sober retreat is a specialized program or getaway designed to support individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse or addiction. It offers a safe and nurturing environment free from alcohol or drugs, allowing participants to focus on their sobriety and personal well-being.

These retreats often take place in serene and peaceful settings such as nature retreat centers or wellness facilities. Throughout the retreat, participants engage in a variety of activities and therapies tailored to their needs, including group therapy sessions, meditation and mindfulness practices, educational workshops, physical activities, and healthy meals.

The primary goal of a sober retreat is to provide individuals with an opportunity to recharge, gain new insights, and reinforce their commitment to sobriety in a supportive community of others who have traveled a similar journey towards recovery. By immersing themselves in a sober retreat, individuals can enhance their recovery journey, develop coping skills, and foster personal growth in a nurturing and therapeutic environment.

Kenya Sober Vacation

Sober Adventures or Sober Retreats – Which Is Right For You?

Sober Adventures
Sober adventures are well-suited for sober individuals who seek engaging and exhilarating experiences in a substance-free environment. They are ideal for those who are seeking to explore new activities and new places, while maintaining their sobriety. As much as anything else, sober adventures appeal to individuals who value community—a group of like-minded travelers all stepping into new experiences together. These adventures can be particularly beneficial for individuals who love to travel but have found that doing so alongside others who drink can be, at best unenjoyable, and at the worst risky to their recovery.

Sober Retreats
Sober retreats are a suitable option for individuals in recovery who seek a structured, supportive, and therapeutic environment to focus on their sobriety, personal growth, and overall well-being. They are particularly beneficial for those who desire a break from the stresses of daily life and seek a nurturing space to reflect, learn, and be introspective. Sober retreats cater to individuals who value therapy, mindfulness practices, educational workshops, and peer support as essential components of their recovery process.

These retreats offer a comprehensive program that addresses various aspects of recovery, providing opportunities for self-reflection, developing coping skills, and strengthening one’s commitment to sobriety. Sober retreats are ideal for individuals who seek personal development and are open to engaging in therapeutic and educational activities to support their recovery journey.

Kenya Sober Vacation

What Sober Adventures Do You Offer?

Among Choose Life Sober Adventures’ offerings, are two Latin American adventures: The Spirit of Machu Picchu and Costa Rica Exploration & Discovery . These adventures provide unique experiences while embracing a sober lifestyle.

The Spirit of Machu Picchu adventure explores the enchanting highlands of the Peruvian Andes, where the mystical Machu Picchu resides. This ancient citadel, hidden for centuries, offers a spiritual encounter unlike any other. Beginning with exploration of the historic colonial city of Cusco, the itinerary winds its way through the Sacred Valley, traversing traditional trails through the awe-inspiring mountain slopes. Travelers may engage in morning yoga and mindfulness practices before exploring the famed trail system and the colorful local markets and ancient stone villages. Evening meetings provide a supportive recovery, rounding out a transformative journey.

In the Costa Rica Exploration & Discovery adventure, group exploration and personal discovery occurs amidst the natural wonders of the lush and friendly Central American jewel. From lowland rainforests teeming with wildlife to pristine coastlines with expansive white beaches, Costa Rica offers a peaceful sanctuary, particularly for those in recovery. The specialized itinerary ventures off the beaten path, providing immersion into inland rainforests and dry forests at the foothills of towering volcanoes and remote beaches and protected islands. Shared activities such as sea kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and even surfing, if desired, help to foster a sense of community. Evening meetings, yoga and a mindful approach to the days enable travelers to discover both the wonders of Costa Rica and the explorative spirit within us.

Both adventures provide the opportunity to embark on exhilarating experiences while embracing sobriety. Through engaging in these transformative journeys, participants can deepen their connection with nature, engage in mindful practices, and build a supportive community. Choose Life Sober Adventures ensures that individuals in recovery can embark on these remarkable journeys while maintaining their commitment to a sober and fulfilling life.


Both sober adventures and sober retreats offer unique and valuable experiences for individuals in recovery from substance abuse or addiction. Sober adventures provide the thrill of engaging in exhilarating activities and exploring new horizons while remaining sober, fostering personal growth, and creating positive memories. On the other hand, sober retreats offer a structured and supportive environment, incorporating therapy, mindfulness practices, educational workshops, and peer support to deepen one’s commitment to sobriety and overall well-being. Whether seeking adventure or a nurturing retreat, through travel individuals can find opportunities to reinforce their recovery path, discover new passions, and build connections within a supportive community. Ultimately, the choice between a sober adventure or a sober retreat depends on individual preferences and needs, but both paths can lead to a fulfilling and sober life. The important aspect is finding an approach that aligns with one’s personal journey of recovery and supports the ongoing commitment to sobriety.