Active Travel Adventure Travel Health & Wellness

10 Fitness Retreats That Will Transform Your Life

Break out of your unhealthy routine and change your life—that’s the concept behind these 10 fitness retreats that promise to transform you.

The Ranch, Malibu, California



The ranch, malibu

The Ranch is one of the most famous fitness retreats in the world—it’s known as being the place where wealthy A-listers go to get in shape. Choose from the Ranch (a seven-day stay), the Ranch 4.0 (a four-day weekend), or the Ranch 10.0 (an intense 10-day program). Unlike other fitness retreats, The Ranch bills itself as being “decision free,” which means instead of choosing from a wide variety of activities, you have a fixed schedule throughout your stay. A typical day includes long hikes, strength training, and yoga, accompanied by a 1,400 calorie-a-day organic plant-based meal program.

Fitness Adventure Travel, Various Locations

Hiking outdoors

Fitness Adventure Travel trips are like vacations where you just happen to get fit. The tours are focused on exciting adventures in exotic destinations, and fitness and travel professionals are your guides. On a trip to Marrakech, for example, you can go quad biking in the sand dunes, take optional “explosive power workouts,” and embark on a cross-country biking tour.

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Run Wild Retreats and Wellness, Various Locations

Run wild retreats

If your daily jogs have become a slog, it’s time for a fitness makeover with Run Wild Retreats and Wellness. These retreats are designed to help women create a sustainable running practice that supports not only physical health but also mental wellbeing.  The trips take place all over the world, in beautiful spots like the Italian Dolomites and Utah’s Moab, and are focused on using mindful running to improve lives. Participants should be able to run at least four to five miles at a time (for Level I Retreats) or up to 11 miles (for Level III retreats).

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Pritikin Longevity Center, Miami, Florida

Pritikin longevity center, miami

Pritikin Longevity Center is like an adult fitness camp, except it’s a luxury resort located on 650 acres of lush tropical beauty in Miami. This all-inclusive resort aims to give clients tools to live a healthy lifestyle after they leave. You’ll get consultations with physicians, a custom exercise program to follow when you get home, and an education in smart eating.

New Life Hiking Spa & Wellness Retreats, Vermont

New life hiking spa

Use the great outdoors instead of a gym to get healthy—that’s the premise behind New Life Hiking Spa, an all-inclusive fitness retreat located in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The affordable rates include accommodations, three healthy meals a day, guided hikes, all fitness and yoga classes, wellness lectures, and one massage (per three-night stay). There are hikes for every level, including ones along the Appalachian Trail, and each hike has a 6:1 guide-to-hiker ratio to keep everyone on track.

Fitpacking, Various Locations


Take one or two weeks off to jumpstart your fitness with a Fitpacking vacation. These weight-loss backpacking trips take participants on one- or two-week backpacking trips, in which participants burn calories through vigorous hiking and carrying all their own food and equipment. It’s tough to cheat on your diet when you’re on top of a mountain. The program is also a digital detox, as most destinations don’t have cell signals or Wi-Fi.

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Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts

Canyon ranch lenox

Canyon Ranch encourages guests to set an intention for each stay, so that guests can tailor the visit to achieve their goals, whether it’s to revamp their fitness program or have a nutrition makeover. There are over 40 classes and activities to choose from, including everything from forest bathing to snowshoe yoga. After classes, guests can enjoy Canyon Ranch’s 100,000 square foot spa and fitness facility, which has indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, an indoor running track, cycling studio, and more.

Extreme Fitness Camps, Dominican Republic

CABARETE, dominican republic

If you’re going to spend a week getting kicked into shape, you might as well do it in nice surroundings, like at Extreme Fitness Camps. Held at the Extreme Hotel in the Dominican Republic, these fitness retreats are an intense week of personal training, twice-daily small group workouts, and yoga. You’ll subsist off a daily protein smoothie, organic breakfast, and dinner at the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant. An onsite nutritionist will help you figure out how to continue your healthy eating once you’re at home.

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ARO HA, Queenstown, New Zealand

ARO ha, queenstown

Aro Ha’s tagline is “adventures in wellbeing,” and each retreat aims to achieve that by focusing on the BREATH acronym: Being, Relating, Eating, Activity, Toxicity, and Healing. The all-inclusive program serves up vegetarian, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free cuisine to help reset your eating habits; and fitness classes, spa therapy, and mindfulness practices take care of the rest of the body and mind.

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Caroline Morse Teel wants to book all of these fitness retreats for the new year. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for fitness and travel photos from around the world.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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