Machi Picchu in Peru

Travel as a vehicle for spiritual transformation is hardly a new notion – seekers have practiced the act of pilgrimage for as long as they've looked up to the skies and attempted communion with a higher power. Even in today’s short-attention-span society, setting out to honor the divine or ponder the mysterious is a time-honored tradition that refuses to wane with the changing tides of our technologically driven lives. This list of 10 sacred places (and the accompanying slideshow) showcases points of perceived power and peace around the globe, where the physical appears to meld seamlessly with the metaphysical whether due to awe-inspiring natural settings, reported ties to great gods or holy humans, or long-standing consecration as sites of worship and ritual.

Our list isn't meant to be comprehensive. Sacred places mean many things to different people - zipping along an open highway, sailing a calm sea, or even hibernating inside on a cold winter's morning can all bring about their own sort of peace. Where do you go to retreat from the world?

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