9 active holidays fit for your workout
A few years back I met two German women sitting on the back of a battered and rickety Ute traveling along a bumpy road in the south of Mexico somewhere near the Guatemalan border. Sparking up some friendly banter en route to see the centuries old Mayan ruins near the old town of Palenque, and upon noting how ridiculously fit they both looked, I politely enquired if their intimidating frames were due to the fact they were some kind of elite athletes.
Not at all, they laughed, and went on to explain how they had both worked typical office jobs back home (in Frankfurt I think it was) up until 11 months earlier. It was then they packed up what they knew and landed somewhere around Ushuaia, known as the ‘End of the World’ as it’s the southernmost town in Argentina – and South America. They came with a small stash of belongings, only what would comfortably fit on two mountain bikes. And with enough room to spare for one hefty bike repair kit (South America’s roads are not renowned for smoothness, after all).
What followed was a soon to be invigorated level of fitness, stamina and lust for life. These amazing women were riding rain, hail and shine from one tip of the Americas to the other. It was just shy of their halfway point when I stumbled upon them, their killer calves and extraordinarily raw, real and sometimes trying travel tales.
You might not have two years to spare on cycling the length of a continent, or can afford a year off to dive around the equator like a Canadian guy I once met diving in Fiji, but if you plan your next holiday to one of these active locations we’re sure your abs will get a great workout no matter how many local delicacies you devour.
Get ready for endorphin overload on active holidays fit for your workout – in remarkable destinations sure to inspire your inner athlete.
Cycle the Death Road, Bolivia
Yes, last sentence – inspire – and this one you’re hit with ‘Death Road’. Bolivia’s North Yungus Road is for extreme (um, maybe just crazy) adventurers only and comes with a big DANGER sign. Dubbed one of the most dangerous roads in the world and up high at around 15,400 feet you will be riding amongst the clouds and in waterfalls for kilometers.
Climb glaciers, Iceland
Put the ice in your Iceland adventure climbing one of the country’s many glaciers and exploring the remarkable formations and icy tongues (yes, big glaciers have tongues). Take it easy on a glacier walk or push your muscles to the limit on a vertical ice climb to the top. Guides will have you trained up and well worn out in a weekend.
Run a marathon, Uganda
Run a 42-kilometre marathon through some of Africa’s best scenery – all the while raising money for local charities. The Uganda International Marathon makes a week of the race where you will visit local projects and have plenty of opportunity for extras like white water rafting down the Nile and jungle trekking see gorillas.
Take a Yoga Cleanse, Himalayas
Combine your yoga and meditation with cleanses, reflexology, PT – oh and white water rafting and nature treks around the foothills of THE Himalayas. Zen enough for your holiday? Add some luxury with a stay at Ananda in the Himalayas – a fancy destination spa that offers all this and more.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Climb the tallest freestanding mountain on earth – Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Guessing you will need some pre-mind and body training, but it will have been all worth it as you trek in jungle forests with elephants and leopards and watch the landscape gradually transform to the ice and snow-capped peaks above. The workout – trek up to 21 kilometres a day, between four and fourteen hours a day, over a week along one of four routes.
Surf and explore, Costa Rica
The coastline of eco-adventure wonderland Costa Rica fails to disappoint surfers of all levels – nor do the easy-going boho vibe of surf towns like Montezuma and Puerto Viejo. Costa Rica is green tourism central oozing beautiful beaches, reefs and forests from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Swim, dive, surf, hike and enjoy year-round. From Pacuare to Saverge rivers, this country also has loads of waterways ready for kayaking and whitewater rafting.
Try sand boarding, Oman
You could take a camel or a quad bike to see the sand dunes of Oman, but surely you’d get a better kick and workout in the deserts of the Middle East sand boarding? Fasten your sand-boards and get reading for some wobbly, dune bashing fun as you navigate wadi, trees and infinite sands on a day trip just outside port and capital, Muscat.
Kick it Muay Thai-style, Thailand
Train, fight and shed kilos with some of the world’s best Muay Thai fighters on holiday in Thailand. From full on camps to attending daily classes, you will be running along Thailand’s famous beaches like in Phuket to warm up for 2.5 hour sessions of kicking, knees, elbows, Thai boxing skills, combinations, ring fitness, conditioning and even learning the famous Muay Thai clinch. Classes and camps available for all levels.
Raft the Zambezi rapids, Zimbabwe
Don’t you just love the fearsome names given to rapids? The Zambezi River’s rapids live up to its intense names like Terminator, Gnashing Jaws of Death, Ghost Rider and, um, you tell us about the Creamy White Buttocks. White water rafting the powerful waters of the Zambezi is sure to give you a thrill – and a workout from paddling to pulling yourself back into the raft. You can even book weeklong trips that will land you close to hippopotamus, camping on the river and gazing up at Victoria Falls.
More like this
More like this
How does travel affect perception and identity - as told by professional travellers
When I started doing research for this story, I began by looking through different online journal articles and psychology studies, of which there are many, because I wanted to get to the core of what exactly it is about travel that affects our perceptions.
10 of the best day activities to do while sailing the Greek Islands
Experience the famous Greek Islands parties by night and spend your days exploring and sailing between all of the islands - Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Crete, Nafplio, Spetses, Poros, Aegina and Santorini - here we come!
9 Adventures to have if you're a girl who'd rather catch flights than feelings
Here are a few of the incredible adventures you should have if you’re a girl who needs to run free and wild in search of new experiences without having to worry about anyone but yourself.