15 Fit Trips You Should Take This New Year

15 Fit Trips You Should Take This New Year

Use of vacation days is at the lowest point in four decades. More than 222 million such days remained unredeemed in 2015, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Doing your best to reverse the trend should be your primary resolution for 2017. The adventure of seeing a new place, meeting new people, and trying new food are always alluring ideas. Getting fit at the same time is a dream come true.

Ride an Ironman bike course

With tour operators Ride & Seek and Big Island Bike Tours, ride the roads of Hawaii's grueling and windy Ironman bike course, through coffee plantations and up the world's largest active volcano, the 13,677-foot Mauna Loa. You'll also get to soak away any muscle soreness in the heated tide pools of Kapoho.

Explore the Amazon Jungle

Home to one of the largest and most complex ecosystems in the world, the Amazon Rainforest is a marvel that has captivated travelers for decades. The forest, still full of mystery and stunning scenery, is far from easy to navigate. Outfitters offer a variety of trip options. Most tours include hikes, wildlife viewing, and camping. Take jungle walks, explore the river's edge at night with spotlights, and navigate in canoes through Anavilhanas National Park.

Snorkel and kayak in Thailand

On an Adventure Life trip, snorkel the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, home to abundant coral and marine life, and spend a day exploring the uninhabited islands of Angthong Marine Park by kayak. There's also plenty of time to relax on the idyllic beaches of Koh Samui.

Bike down the “Death Road”

This will be one of the craziest adventures in your life. Widely called the most dangerous road in the world, and informally named "El Camino de la Muerte" by locals, Bolivia's North Yungus Road has been attracting fearless mountain bikers for years. The 40-mile stretch descends more than 11,000 feet over unpaved, tight roads, which overlook sheer drops, often without guardrails.

Fly fish in Bolivia

Where the Amazon jungle meets the Andes, wade a freestone stream and walk its banks on a Frontiers tour of Bolivia. You'll be casting for golden dorado, as well as pirapitinga, yatorana and surubi, in a remote national park and indigenous territory.

Climb the world’s highest volcano

Nevado Ojos del Salado at 22,615 feet is in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border. The hike to the top can be strenuous at certain parts, and you may need a rope, but the views will be worth it. You'll see a crater lake that is one of the highest on the planet. Ojos del Salado is still active which makes the hiking experience even more exhilarating, and has fumarolic activity, but there are no confirmed historical eruptions.

Do yoga at a ranch retreat

At Red Reflet Ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, take a yoga class with serene views of green pastures, ponds and red rock formations. There's also a climbing wall, hiking, mountain biking and, of course, horseback and cattle activities.

Cycle an alpine road in Romania

On Ciclismo Classico's Grand Tour of Transylvania, climb 15 miles up the winding Transfagarasan alpine road – the second-highest paved road in Romania – to Balea Lake at 6,562 feet in elevation. You'll also pass through medieval cities, stay in a restored castle, and visit a fortified church.

Surf at Surf Simply in Nosara, Costa Rica

Nosara is one of the coolest surf cities in the world and Surf Simply is one of the best surf schools. Try its one and two week, all-inclusive courses. Instructors like to say that they teach you how to teach yourself how to surf. You will work specific skills behind the sport and then break down the mechanisms. Standing up on the board is almost like science.

Ski steep and deep in Montana

Rent a cabin in the Moonlight Basin community and ski the steep, open terrain of Montana's Big Sky resort. You'll have access to 5,800 acres and 4,350 feet of vertical, and with a private guide from Moonlight you can ski the famed North Summit Snowfield and areas normally closed to the public. Other activities include guided Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on winter trails.

Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail in Peru is by far one of most famous hikes in the world. Adventurers, who don't mind crowds, hike 26 miles in about 4-5 days, conquering taxing ascends and descends. The rewards come in the form of getting close to ancient ruins, exploring the jungle, being inspired by  gorgeous mountain scenery, and seeing the iconic Machu Picchu.

Hike and photograph Northwest Argentina

With Travel Vision Journeys, hike and photograph a variety of landscapes in Northwest Argentina, including the Gorge of Arrows, Seven Colors Mountain, the Enchanted Valley in Los Cardones National Park and the Salinas Grandes salt flat. Along the way, you'll also sample some of the country's finest wines from high-altitude vineyards.

Fat biking in Wyoming

The fat bike phenomenon has taken hold in the past few years, prompting seasonal cyclists to make the switch and ride year-round. The Wyoming wilderness offers some of the best opportunities for the adventurous sport. Roll the big wheels on the trails around Turpin Meadow Ranch in Moran and on the snow-covered roads of Grand Teton National Park.

Try waterfall kayaking

Kayaking over waterfalls is considered the Holy Grail of the sport. The biggest challenge is staying in the boat after the fall. This is hard to do when you are plunging at 60-90 miles per hour, hitting a huge volume of water. But you can try smaller waterfalls for the sake of the experience.

Trek with gorillas in Rwanda

Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda, home to hundreds of species of birds and numerous waterfalls. You'll also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and watch for elephants and buffalo.