Lounging on a beach can be fun, but it doesn’t do much to improve your waistline. If you’re looking to get fit and travel, here are 6 ideas to get you motivated.
1) The Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru
Not only is the Inca Trail a grueling four day trek, making for an excellent opportunity to improve your fitness, it has one of the world’s most astounding sites at the end of it.
With two days in Cuzco to aid acclimatization, days three to six of this week long vacation are spent trekking the trail of the ancient Incas to the abandoned site of Machu Picchu. The hike covers 51 miles over four days through the peaks of the Andes hitting altitude over 12,000 feet at Dead Woman’s Pass.
Beware – there is a risk of altitude sickness that can strike regardless of age or fitness. Also, don’t plan to visit in February when the trail is closed. There are many tour operators to choose from, but G Adventures works hard towards sustainable tourism in the region.
Price: from $1089 including accommodation for seven nights including trail permit, guide, porter and meals during the trek.
Conquer Dead Woman’s Pass on the famous Inca Trail. Photo by kaiban.
2) Military Boot Camp, Scotland
The Camp is considered to be one of the most successful week-long fitness vacations, and is one of the longest established military boot camps around.
Weight and inch loss as well as long-term results are achieved via a military system that is coupled with encouragement, nurturing and confidence building. The course has ex-UK Special Forces Military Instructors who take camp attendees through a series of low-intensity physical training routines including mountain biking and orienteering.
The Scottish camp is based in the wilderness of southwest Galloway and includes accommodation in a period mansion on a private estate.
Price: from £950 to £1650 for seven nights including accommodation and meals.
Get fit boot camp style. Photo by portofsandiego.
3) Tango Dance Course, Argentina
Hiking and running isn’t for everyone, and if you want to get fit with Latin flair, there is arguably no better way than to take a Tango Course in Argentina’s cultural capital, Buenos Aires.
Travelers Worldwide arranges cultural courses lasting from two weeks to one year. The course will get you kicking your heels up Tango style three times a week with each session lasting one and a half hours.
There will be the chance to attend a Milonga, a social event where dancers of all levels come together to practice, with many partner changes throughout the night. Choose between hostel accommodation or stay with a host family. For greater immersion in Argentinean life, add Spanish lessons to your trip.
Price: from £1,095 for two weeks including transfers to and from the airport, accommodation, course fees and some meals. Spanish lessons priced separately.
Add Latin flair to your fitness. Photo by ana_cotta.
4) Yoga Retreat, Bangalore, India
Shreyas is amongst the finest yoga retreats in the world and presents the opportunity to practice this ancient tradition in its homeland, India.
With a focus on ashram living the retreat in Bangalore includes daily yoga, meditation, chanting, organic vegetarian food and community activities including farming. Practice a range of yoga styles for strength, balance, flexibility and, if it is of interest, spirituality through meditation.
The accommodation is luxurious and there is the chance to contribute to the local community helping prepare meals and serving them to school children in the village.
Price: from $2,760 for a seven-night course (based on single occupation) including all activities, accommodation, meals and three rejuvenation massages.
Retreat to the home of yoga, India. Photo by tzofia.
5) Kung Fu School, Henan Province, China
The Shaolin Temple shot to fame in 1982 as the location behind Jet Li’s impressive kung fu movie of the same name. Situated in the serene Song Shan mountain range of China’s Henan Province, this 5th century temple operates as a monastery where Buddhist monks are schooled in this special branch of Chinese martial arts.
Today, classes are open to all and range from one week to over two years. In the short term, learn basic kicking, punching, flexibility, meditation, kickboxing and the use of one or two basic weapons including the whip and sword. At night, watch a kung fu performance to see how it should be done.
Price: $990 for room, board and lessons. This is the minimum fee and applies for all lessons up to one month in duration. No refund is available for shorter periods.
Learn kung fu moves at Shaolin Temple. Photo by slaqua.
6) Surf School, Sydney, Australia
‘The Search Surf Adventure’ will take you all the way from the basics through to surfing the waves of Australia’s famous beaches. The first five days are spend at Surf Camp, Sydney, learning the basics of paddling, standing, dropping into the waves and riding across them, all in preparation for taking on the waves at Seven Mile Beach, Byron Bay.
Accommodation is in beach-side cabins so you can make the most of the surf and includes classic Aussie BBQ dinners. After long days surfing, kick back with your new surf mates in some of Australia’s best bars.
Price: from $745 for seven nights including accommodation, use of boards and suits, transport from Sydney to Byron Bay, lessons and meals at surf camp.
Ride the waves at Sydney’s best beaches. Photo by monkeyc.
Have you been on a fitness vacation? Let me know in the comments below.
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Main photo: Improve your waist line and travel with these vacations designed to get you fit. Photo by leoprieto.