ADVENTURE SPAAING DESTINATIONS

by Chris McBeath

Adventure spas are hot, and as the menu of activities expand beyond golf, tennis and traditional fitness programs, they are quickly dispelling any myth that spa adventure sports are sanitized versions of the real McCoy. Men and women are discovering that adventure spas are not only the ideal place to de-stress, they are also a fun place to experience bona find outdoor adventures, play a myriad of sports, enjoy gourmet cuisine and relax with recuperative treatments. 

Here are some of my favorite suggestions.

Hike
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, British Columbia
Set in one of the most spectacular areas of North America, the West Kootenay Mountains in eastern British Columbia, Mountain Trek takes full advantage of “Mother Nature’s Ultimate Fitness Studio”. Hike and bike along rigorous trails up to 6,600 feet high, and drink in scenery that’ll knock your boots off.

Rock Climb
Red Mountain Spa, Utah
Whether you’re an adventure newbie or a seasoned enthusiast, the 400-foot red cliffs at the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park, are hard to resist. A staff of over 40 specialized guides will take you on mountain hikes, biking and rock climbs. Bing your camera – the landscape is breathtaking in more ways than one.

Jungle Jogs
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Belize
The emphasis is on getting back to nature which, in Belize, translates to jogs in the jungle, running up the steps of ancient Mayan ruins (better than any StairMaster workout), and taking to the water: scuba diving or snorkeling along the reef, deep-sea fishing or canoeing down a river to the Caribbean Sea.

Fitness & Tennis
Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
The range of fitness classes is intoxicating. Starting on-the-hour, every hour, you can go from Pilates to Yoga to Sculpt and Strengthen to African Dance Workouts.  The tennis clinics (for all levels), pools, and healthy living educational lectures are also pretty worthy distractions.

Wellness Programs
The Hills Health Ranch, British Columbia
When cardiologists and surgeons recommend guests take time out here for pre and post operative care, you know it’s got to be the real thing.  Whether it’s help to quit smoking, lose weight, or get in touch with a healthier lifestyle, the on-site experts really know their stuff. The spa is part of the care aspect and although facilities aren’t as posh as you would find in Las Vegas, the professional staff doesn’t get any better.  Be sure to try the rose-hip oils, hand-crafted from organically raised roses.

Miraval, Life in Balance, Arizona;  and Golden Door, California

If variety is the spice of life, these two spa destinations are among the best. Activities at Miraval are an invigorating blend of simple pleasures and extraordinary experiences: fitness activities, horseback riding, rock climbing, tennis, golf, even stress-busting meditation & yoga. At Golden Door, fitness classes include cardio boxing, Pilates, strength training and more. Its boot camp-style Outdoor Challenge is a terrific way to dive into pursuits such as mountain biking, kayaking and a par course.

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