When you think of vacation, is exercise the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, the answer would be no. But going on holiday and staying fit don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, together, they can be pretty darn fun—and even educational—if you do things right. From surfing lessons in Hawaii to yoga in Arizona to jungle treks in Vietnam, here are 7 of our favorite ways to get in a workout while seeing the world.
Honolulu, Hawaii: Beginner Surfing Lesson in Waikiki
Take to the waves with an exciting and informative surfing lesson designed for beginners. In Honolulu’s famous Waikiki neighborhood, join an expert instructor who will help you tackle this difficult sport while keeping things entertaining and safe. Choose between a small group or a private lesson and begin with a 20-minute course on land that introduces you to the proper techniques of paddling, standing, and eventually surfing on your board. When you feel ready, your instructor leads you to a secluded spot where you can maneuver the waves without dealing with the crowds. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you cruise over the crystal-blue water while taking in views of Oahu’s stunning tropical coastline.
Las Vegas, Nevada: Valley of Fire Hiking Adventure
Travel out of Las Vegas to experience the beauty and history of the Nevada desert. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, explore the fascinating prehistoric landscape of the Valley of Fire State Park. Traverse trails through petrified dunes and red rock formations, listening as your guide explains the geology and ecology of the region. With your choice of 3 different levels of difficulty, you can enjoy an easy-going, family-friendly hike through the desert, ascend peaks and rocky plateaus on a challenging intermediate trek, or put your skills to the test as you venture up steep formations to reach breathtaking viewpoints. No matter which type of hike you choose, keep your eyes peeled for sights of ancient petroglyphs and wild animals like furry jackrabbits and adorable kit foxes.
New York, New York: Central Park Running Tour
Stretch your legs, burn off that late-night pizza, and breathe in some fresh air on a guided morning run through the tree-lined trails of Central Park. Meeting in the southeast corner of the park, your guide starts the day with an overview of the park’s design and history, which stretches back to the mid-19th century. With your running shoes laced up, set off down a network of trails to uncover the peace that can be found in the center of New York City. On this 4-mile (6.4-km) run, loop around the lush expanse of Sheep Meadow, take a journey through tranquil Strawberry Fields, and enjoy the serenity of the heavily wooded Ramble. As you wind your way through the park, visit famous landmarks like the beautiful Bethesda Fountain, the Gothic Belvedere Castle, and sculptures of beloved characters including Alice in Wonderland and Balto.
Cancun, Mexico: Flowrider Bodyboard Experience
Get wet and wild with a thrilling ride on the state-of-the-art Flowrider wave generator in the heart of Cancun. At the Aquaworld amusement park, a friendly instructor helps you learn how to channel your balance to coast over the whitewater waves. When you’re ready to handle it on your own, hop on your board and use the skills you’ve learned to tackle the oncoming tide. Lying on your stomach, you can ride the crest and curl of the waves—or, if you feel confident, pop onto your feet to surf the swells like a pro. With a surge that just keeps coming, the Flowrider is guaranteed to delight and excite both beginners and advanced enthusiasts alike.
Sedona, Arizona: Red Rock Yoga Trail Tour
Combine your love of yoga with a jaw-dropping journey deep through the heart of Sedona’s red-rock scenery. Upon meeting your guide, set off on an easy hike—yoga mat in tow—among the basalt boulders and copper formations of Red Rock State Park. As you trek through the striking desert, admire views of the shrubs, cacti, and agave that dot the fiery-hued rocks. After a leisurely hike, you arrive at a peaceful clearing where you roll out your yoga mat for a session amid the natural surroundings of Sedona. Follow along as your guide leads you through an energizing vinyasa flow, with popular poses like the chaturanga and downward-facing dog. Bask in the gorgeous landscape as you finish your session and make the return hike feeling rejuvenated and restored.
Da Lat, Vietnam: 2-Day Jungle Trek
Immerse yourself in the magnificent scenery of Vietnam on a 2-day trek through the jungle of the Central Highlands. Starting in Da Lat, this adventure takes you off the beaten track from the bustling city into the pine-crested hilltops. See for yourself how the landscape differs from the tropical regions of the south as you embark on a leg-pumping hike through an ancient forest marked by misty mountains, scenic lakes, and thundering waterfalls. After a day of exploration, rest up with a night of rustic camping accommodations before setting off on day 2. Enjoy a new route that takes you through orchid-flecked thickets and leafy canopies that are home to chattering gibbons. End your excursion at a tucked-away village, where a shuttle waits to take you back to Da Lat.
Orlando, Florida: Wekiva River Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour
Get a feel for the real Central Florida—the one that was hunted and fished by the Timucua people—as you cruise your way down the Wekiva River on a paddleboard. Just 30 minutes north of Orlando, these waters offer visitors the chance to get some exercise while soaking up sights of towering palms and trees covered in vines. At Wekiva Island, a guide gives you an overview on the basics of paddleboarding and then leads you on a calm 2.5-mile (4-km) ride down the verdantly lined river. The adventure culminates at Wekiva Springs, one of the largest springs in the entire state. If you choose, take time to swim in the emerald-green water before paddling your way back to the starting point.