Keeping Fit in the Caribbean
If you like to keep fit what better place to do it than on a beautiful beach against a back drop of gorgeously green hills where you can cool off in crystal blue seas or sparkling pools with magnificent views? Do you want a vacation where you actually return home fitter rather than those where you have to spend extra hours at the gym to work off the lazy days, good food and cocktails? Operators to the Caribbean will advertise fitness vacations but this can have varying meanings so check the offering before booking. Some will define fitness as being physical activities and energetic exercise whereas others will be offering Spa holidays where the fitness aspect usually refers to external fitness and a healthy state of mind and the only exercise is pilates, yoga and swimming.
You should also note that keeping fit and doing sport has different strokes for different folks; you’ll find diving and snorkelling on most of the islands in the Caribbean, a great many resorts and hotels will have tennis courts and there are a multitude of golf courses for all standard of player.
Here’s a pick of some of the best specific fitness and sport vacations in the Caribbean
This super eco-friendly island is mostly covered in tropical rain forest s home to the world’s second largest hot spring, Boiling Lake and is the perfect location for Jungle Bay Resort and Spa who present the Adventure Package. You receive a daily half-hour spa treatment to recover from the day’s excursions which might involve hikes through the rainforest to tropical waterfalls, reef snorkelling, kayaking or swimming in the natural thermal pools. There’s a morning yoga class and all meals are gourmet standard. The Adventure Package also includes activities to introduce elements of Dominican culture such as cooking classes and learning how to play the traditional drum and jing ping songs.
The week long bikini bootcamp at the Amansala Resort in Tulum is designed to invigorate and energise body and soul with a health and wellness program that includes bike and kayak excursions, body sculpting and power-ab classes and sessions. After an energetic work out, you are looked after with beachside massages and specialized spa treatments. Your inner well-being is taken care of with tasty, nutritious, low fat meals many of which use the fresh local seafood. Between sessions you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches and the attractions of Tulum which includes some amazing Mayan ruins.
If you really want to go flat out there’s the Cabarate Fitness Bootcamp based on Kite Beach on the north coast of the island. Cabarate is a well established sports playground particularly for kite boarding as you might guess from the name but the bootcamp choices are mixed martial arts, general fitness, bikini bootcamp or a beach spa retreat. As well as being a sports paradise there’s a diversity of activities and fantastic nightlife. A number of hotels and fitness centres in Cabarate run bootcamps or fitness themed breaks, including those dedicated to one particular water sport activity.
It’s impossible to pin down an island for this one because Sandals has resorts throughout the Caribbean. For each Sandals resort that offers a Land Sports vacation you’ll find a multi-million dollar fitness center with state of the art Cybex equipment supervised by certified instructors. There’s the full scope of gym based exercise including aerobics and aqua-fit classes and outside activities range from rock wall climbing to shuffleboard, depending on location. There will also be water sports and excursions, again dependent on the island where the vacation is based. As the fitness themed breaks all take place in Sandals resorts built for the traditional tropical island getaway you’ll find the full range of facilities of any luxury Caribbean resort in stunning locations.
Rose Hall, Jamaica
One of the older more established resorts, Half Moon is a huge 400 acre complex designed to experience everything the Caribbean offers. It’s a huge resort with 6 restaurants and 8 bars, an 18 hole golf course, 54 swimming pools as well as a fitness center, equestrian center and 68,000 square foot spa. As you can imagine, this is no quiet fitness getaway but the facilities and range of activities are superb and in an exceptional beach location. There’s even a dolphin lagoon where you can swim with these wonderful creatures. Here’s the current menu of activities:-
Water Sports: Waterskiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boat, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, banana boat rides, parasailing, glass-bottom boat, lilos, aqua view board, deep-sea fishing.
Land Sports: Tennis (13 lit tennis courts), squash (4squash courts), croquet, bocci ball, giant chess, table tennis, cycling, golf, golf academy, 18-hole putting green, volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard.