Healthy Living
Active Living

Ann Shepphird

Don't just see the world. Trek, climb and explore it. The latest trend in vacationing is adventure travel. And guess who's doing it? A recent survey by the Travel Industry Association shows that 75 percent of these dauntless globetrotters are not men, but women! Check out our action-packed girl getaways for vacation inspirations in every budget. The world is yours -- choose your own adventure

Cowgirl Boot Camp

Release your inner vaquera at the Alisal Ranch in Central California's scenic Santa Ynez Valley. At the resort's all-inclusive Cowgirl Boot Camp, you can immerse yourself in all things rawhide, including roping, barrel racing and a mini cattle roundup -- under the supervision of real women wranglers. Because this is Sideways country, the end of the day features a private winemaker's dinner led by a female wine expert instead of beans by the campfire (thank goodness!). Cowgirl Boot Camps are offered in the spring and fall, and include two mother-daughter versions.

Queen of the Mountain

Want to feel on top of the world? There are few things more exciting than hiking through the Himalayas in Nepal, and these girls are going to do it in style. You don't have to live out of your backpack to prove yourself an intrepid traveler. After each day's adventure, you'll have a comfortable lodge room with solar-heated showers and good food waiting for you. Adventure Women offers a lower-altitude (8,000 feet vs. 14,000 feet) trek designed for active women over 30 through Nepal's spectacular Annapurna region. Also included is a rafting adventure down the Seti River and a safari by elephant to view Bengal tigers in Royal Chitwan National Park.

Swimming with Sharks

Adventurous travelers can find much to do in South Australia -- from surfing , kayaking and skydiving to outback Jeep trips and cycling the Riesling Trail. But for the ultimate adventure, nothing comes close to swimming with the sharks. Rodney Fox started Great White Shark Diving Expeditions after surviving a shark attack in 1963. His expeditions depart from Adelaide and Port Lincoln, and head out to the Neptune Islands -- the great white's natural feeding ground -- where scuba divers are sent down in special cages.

Habitat for Humanity

The native forests and valleys of Rotorua, New Zealand, are home to the Treetops Lodge and Estate. Rotorua is known as a geothermal wonderland, and its streams, rivers and lakes are considered the best in the world for trout fishing. Not so keen on reenacting A River Runs through It ? Geothermal also means you can soak yourself into a prune-like state in naturally heated therapeutic pools. Ah, bliss. Assuming you'll be doing more than lounging about in your bathing suit, other activities include off-road adventures, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, photographic safaris and waterfall walks on this 2,500 acre reserve. Exhausted already? Get pampered in their luxe beauty spa. Guests can retreat back to Treetops to dine on cuisine featuring local game and produce coupled with fine New Zealand wines. Sound like heaven? To owner John Sax, it is. Sax purchased this land in order to reclaim it as a habitat for animals and wildlife, and the result is luxurious and eco-friendly

Sex and the Lost City

If you're in the mood for love, don't settle for one of those cheesy meat-market cruises. Do some soul (mate) searching while hiking the Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Meet Market Adventures offers active singles the opportunity to travel with groups of kindred spirits. The seven-day Machu Picchu trip includes mountain biking from the 10,000-foot summit of Huambutio into the village of Pisac, whitewater rafting the class II-III rapids of the Urubamba River and hiking to the Fortress of Ollantaytambo

Have Insulin, Will Travel

The savvy travel specialists at Trek Travel have partnered with Diabetes Adventure Tours to offer a weeklong cycling trip through Spain's most popular training region. Days are spent biking through the Pyrenees, along the shore of Costa Brava and through quaint Spanish towns. Also included are hikes through the foothills of the Pyrenees and time to enjoy the Mediterranean's white sandy beaches -- and perhaps a glass of Rioja. Specifically designed for diabetics, and monitored by a physician and coach, the trip raises money for diabetes research and includes discussions on exercise and nutrition. Trek Travel also hosts adventures for the nondiabetic traveler.

Pamper Me to Health

Located in a secluded valley north of San Diego, the Cal-a-Vie Health Resort and Spa offers a truly civilized way to kick-start a healthy new lifestyle. A typical day starts with a brisk hike followed by four hours of varied workouts in kickboxing, spinning, tennis, yoga, Pilates or water aerobics. Afternoons are for rejuvenating or relaxing spa treatments, with evenings spent listening to lectures on wellness topics or enjoying the privacy of one of the 24 Mediterranean-style villas. With a staff/guest ratio of 4/1, Cal-a-Vie offers guests personal attention in achieving their goals.