It’s All About Adventure Travel: American & Overseas Safaris For Your List

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Get outside for a change of scenery and redefine what it means to be active with 2014’s top Fitness-Food Fusion Safaris. The following fusion safaris will get your heart pumping and palms sweating by allowing you to explore and view wildlife in natural settings by biking, hiking, surfing and more.

Push your limits, broaden your horizons and release endorphins with these trips that fuse fitness, food and adventure. Choose from a variety of domestic and international locations, from day trips to multi-month excursions and from challenges appropriate to all levels of athleticism.

Domestic:

1. Horseback Riding And Whiskey: Wanship, Utah

Exchange home sweet home for home-on-the-range at Blue Sky Ranch’s 3,300 acres (1,335 hectares) of mountain peaks, rolling hills and deep canyons near Park City, Utah. Try their new “Cowboy For A Day” experience to learn horseback riding, cattle herding and roping then test your skills on a cattle drive across the property. Blue Sky Ranch recently partnered up with High West Distillery so you can spend sunset reflecting on your Wild West adventure with fellow cowboys over a shot of whiskey. Extend your visit with other mountain adventures, such as yurt excursions, alpine touring, fly-fishing, kayaking, hiking and more. Prices for the Cowboy experience start at $375 per person for a full day and $250 per person for a half day.

Be a Cowboy For a Day at Blue Sky Ranch, Utah

Be a Cowboy For a Day at Blue Sky Ranch, Utah. Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Adventures.

2. Gourmet Dog-Sledding: Ely, Minnesota

Visit one of America’s most historic, hospitable small towns a gourmet getaway in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. Learn to mush your own dog team with White Wilderness’ two-day adventure.  Lead fast, friendly dog teams through evergreen forests, glide across frozen lakes and stay overnight in a heated yurt. When not on the trail, refuel with home-cooked meals made with local ingredients, such as butternut squash ravioli in a maple cream sauce and salmon in a spicy tomato cream sauce. After your dog-sledding escapade, extend your stay to check out the nearby International Wolf Center and the International Bear Center, two world-renowned wildlife research facilities as well as one of the last place to see moose in America. The dog-sledding excursion costs $750 per person, assuming shared sleds.

Gourmet Dog-sledding Getaway in Minnesota's Boundary Waters

Gourmet Dog-sledding Getaway in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. Photo courtesy of White Wilderness.

3. Running And Wine: Napa And Sonoma, California

Explore the best of California wine country on foot with the Trip Tribe’s six-day “run-cation” . Trot through San Francisco’s best neighborhoods, run across the Golden Gate Bridge and stretch in the shadows of millennium-old Redwood Trees. Journey north to the Pacific Coast for several days of running, punctuated with winery tours and tastings. Jog down quiet country roads and through lush vineyards, past orchards and along cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Spend sunset sipping from Sonoma and Napa Valley’s best bottles along famous Highway 29. The trip costs $2,400 per person, based on double occupancy.

During your RunCation, unwind with wine tours and tastings

During your RunCation, unwind with wine tours and tastings in California wine country. Photo courtesy of the Trip Tribe.

4. Boot Camp Exercising And Exploring Hawaiian National Parks: Maui, Hawaii

Practice healthy habits through food and fitness at Ladimax’s week-long Hawaiian fitness retreat. Wake up to water games followed by boot camps, trail runs, downhill biking and hikes in Haleakala National Park. Within the park, encounter exotic wildlife such as Haleakalā silversword and the nēnē in the mountains and some of the world’s rarest birds, plants, and invertebrates in the valley. Outside the park, power-walk through Maui caves at The Hana Lava Tube and hike five miles (eight kilometers) to waterfalls in the East Maui rainforest. This all-inclusive retreat (except for airfare) costs $2899.

Maui Waterfall, Hawaii.  Photo courtesy of Ladimax Fitness.

Maui Waterfall, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Ladimax Fitness.

International

5. Trekking And Traditional Food: Inca Trail, Peru

Many people dream of hiking from the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco to the famous lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Allow RealWorld to spice this legendary trek with authentic regional dishes along the way. A chef joins the four-day journey through the cloud forest so you can re-fuel with a gourmet Peruvian dinner each evening. Immerse yourself in traditional cuisine featuring ingredients like alpaca, quinoa and rocoto peppers. The trek starts at $995 plus $190 for the traveling chef.

Gourmet Inca Trek in Peru

Hike the legendary path from Cusco to the Lost City, learning traditional Peruvian cooking along the way with the Gourmet Inca Trek. Photo courtesy of RealWorld.

6. Biking Scenic Winelands And Kayaking the Coast: South Africa

Explore South Africa by foot, kayak, bike, plane and vehicle on this 10-day excursion brought to you by South Africa Active Adventure.  Kayak along the rugged coastline and hike Table Mountain, where you can see fynbos, baboons, Cape mountain zebra and over 250 bird species. Bike through scenic Winelands, meet sommeliers and sample the country’s best wines. On a big game safari, seek the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino on a big game safari. Along the way, guides will share “bush culture’’, identifying local flora and fauna, the medicinal uses of plants, local folk lore and basic tracking & survival skills. To end your trip, sea-kayak to visit penguins then snorkel and swim on a semi-private beach. Prices start at $3,914 per person.

Kayak to see sea penguins in South Africa.  Photo courtesy of African Adventures.

Kayak to see sea penguins in South Africa. Photo courtesy of African Adventures.

7. Surfing And Pintxos: Basque Country, Spain

Surf, eat and enjoy the simple pleasures in life a six day surf safari in Northern Spain’s Basque Country with Global VIP Safari. Novice and professional surfers alike will voyage through seaside towns and local hangouts to find great waves, miles of rugged coastline and clean beaches. Visit Mundaka for Europe’s best left-breaking wave. Take a stand-up paddleboard to Urdaibai — a UNESCO biosphere — to view migratory birds and fish. Take a break from the sun with meals in Michelin-starred restaurants, wine tastings and a pintxo (small snacks) tour to try regional tapa-like snacks. The trip costs around $2,900 per person.

Refuel after a long day of surfing the Basque Country of Northern Spain at Pintxo Bar

Refuel after a long day of surfing the Basque Country of Northern Spain with tapas at Pintxo Bar. Photo courtesy of Global VIP Safari.

8. Ice-trekking And Fly-fishing In Patagonia: Chile/Argentina

Join Paragon Expeditions for 10 days of cultural experiences, intimate lodgings and privileged access to Chile and Argentina’s national parks. Ice-trek on one South America’s largest glaciers, fly-fish in a stream teeming with Chinook salmon and horseback ride through the wilderness on their Estancias of Patagonia Expedition. In addition, visitors gain a first-hand appreciation of the traditional gaucho way of life when they visit a working sheep and cattle farm to watch a live sheep-shearing demonstration. Taste traditional asado a la parilla and learn the secrets of Gaucho barbecuing as local meats and veggies sizzle on the grill and you sip vino tinto by the fire. This trip will benefit conservation efforts of Patagonia’s pristine wilderness and promote eco-friendly development in impoverished rural communities. Rates start at $6,548.

Trekking Perito Mereno Glacier, Argentina

Trekking Perito Mereno Glacier, Argentina. Photo courtesy of Paragon Expeditions.

9. Teaching Fitness and Snorkeling Near Shipwrecks: Maldives

Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands home to incredible biodiversity, including whales, mantas and dolphins and occasionally stray seals. Help a remote Maldivian community by volunteering your time to inspire local women to work out with Much Better Adventures. If you are an experienced fitness instructor, improve the health of these women and empower the community by teaching exercise classes here. Island excursions will reward volunteers with reef snorkeling amongst 15 shipwrecks, beach barbecues and neighborhood events. Eat local cuisine such as masuni (tuna with coconut, sliced onions and light spices), roshi (thin tissue-like bread) and regional curries. Invigorate the local community for approximately $1000 for three weeks.

Teach aerobics in Maldives

Teach aerobics in Maldives. Photo courtesy of Much Better Adventures.

10. Hiking “Sky-island” With Indigenous Warriors: Samburu, Kenya

Accompany indigenous Samburu warriors to walk through the “ski island” Mathews Mountain range of Kenya, courtesy of Kitich Camp. Encounter elephants, leopards, bushbucks, buffalos, ancient cycads, beautiful butterflies, Turacos and wild orchids. Immerse yourself in local culture by eating bush breakfasts and visiting the local market to see people buy and trade vegetables, beads and other items. Get outside with morning hikes and afternoon dips in natural rock pools of crystal mountain streams. Proceeds from your stay will benefit the Tusk Trust (which protects African wildlife), a rainwater harvesting project, the construction/furnishing of Ngilai Primary School and more. Nightly rates start at $420 per person sharing.

Explore Kenya's "sky island" guided by warriors. Photo courtesy of Kitich Camp

Explore Kenya’s “sky island” guided by warriors. Photo courtesy of Kitich Camp.

11. Biking The Appian Way To Experience Authentic Italy: Terlizzi, Italy

Experience “La Dolca Vida” through a week of biking the Appian Way, a path traversed by centuries of pilgrims, soldiers and other visitors. Two Italians will guide you down back roads to local fishing villages, Castel del Monte (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and ancient Roman bridges. After enjoying beauty few tourists see, return to cocktails and authentic Italian food in a restored 14th century Villa Cappelli . Dine on local delicacies prepared with gourmet-grade olive oil with wine, both produced at the villa. Rates start at around $1,900 per person.

Pasta for Dinner at Villa Cappelli in Puglia, Italy

Real Italian food. Real Italian sights. Real Italian people with Villa Cappelli in Puglia, Italy. Photo courtesy of Villa Cappelli.

12. Traditional Dancing And Music For Indonesian Immersion- Bali, Indonesia

This 11-day Bare Feet Tour will immerse and integrate you in Balinese culture through local music and dance. From the spa-equipped Floating Leaf Eco-Retreat in Bali you will journey to Keliki Village, the royal Water Palace to everywhere in between. You will watch and learn traditional dances of Bali, practice yoga, learn to cook local dishes, spend time on the beach, learn to surf and more.

Special Offer: Book soon — there’s limited space left on this intimate twelve person tour! Double occupancy start at $4,000 but readers can earn a 10% discount with promo code EPICURE2014.

Gendang Beleq Traditional Dance, Bali Indonesia

Gendang Beleq Traditional Dance, Bali Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Bare Foot Tours.

13. Cross-country Skiing the 7th Continent: Ushuaia, Antarctica

Take a ten to twelve day cruise to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions, where just landing on the continent is an unforgettable experience. Explore one of the world’s most unforgettable natural environments, where you can find seven species of penguins, humpback whales, elephant and Weddell seals, dolphins, albatross and more. Get intimately acquainted with the 7th continent by mountaineering, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and of course hiking, for any fitness level with their Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent trip. Prices start at $5,595.

Cross-Country Ski in Antarctica on an Ocean Diamond cruise.

Cross-Country Ski in Antarctica on an Ocean Diamond cruise. Photo courtesy of Quark Expeditions.

14. Cycling The Silk Road: China to Turkey

What better way to meet locals than getting lost or having a bike breakdown as you cycle the legendary silk trade route across Asia?  Tour D’Afrique will guide you through the longest, hardest, highest, hottest, coldest bicycle expedition on the planet, from Shanghai from to Istanbul. Don’t worry- you can chose portions of the journey if you’re not up for the whole 12,100 kilometers (7,519 miles). All riders will gain intricate knowledge of ancient lands crossed, stay in timeless caravanserais and shop in bazaars that have thrived for thousands of years. With the whole 18-week trek, you will camp below sea level in the deserts of China’s Xinjiang province and climb to the top of the world through the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan. The 10-day “magic carpet ride” section from Ashgabat to Tehran starts at $2,000.

Feel like a champion cycling the Silk Route with Tour D'Afrique

Feel like a champion cycling the Silk Route. Photo courtesy of Tour D’Afrique.