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While being couch potato is fine for a time, lounging around (even on vacation) can get old fast. Instead of throwing in the proverbial beach towel, take an active detour -- one that promises a heart-thumping adrenaline rush and a good, old-fashioned workout. If nothing else, it'll make that late-night hot tub soak feel hard earned.

Climbing Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, AZ
Camelback Mountain, named for its resemblance to a Bactrian hump, beckons locals and tourists to tread along its rustic sandstone footpaths. The mountain, which soars 2,704 feet above sea level, is home to all manner of fauna, including antelope, lizards, rabbits, and snakes. There's plenty of flora, too, like prickly pear cactus, palo verde, saguaro, and jumping cholla. The creosote-scented trails, which are particularly fragrant post-rain, are best accessed via the Echo Canyon Recreational Area. From the simple Ramada Loop, which affords an easy walk around a ramada and butte, to the steep, expert-level Summit and Cholla climbs up sandstone formations, there's a route for all activity levels. More Information: http://phoenix.gov/PARKS/hikecmlb.html

Zip-lining in Barbados
Think you're terrified of heights, yet intrigued at the same time? Realize pent-up Swiss Family Robinson fantasies by zip-lining through tangled, jungle-like Jack-in-the-Box Gully in Barbados' St. Thomas parish. Offered by Aerial Trek Zipline Adventures, the treehouse-esque course consists of eight platforms, which hover as high as 100 feet above collapsed limestone caves. Participants saddle up in a harness and zoom along cables from one to the next, all the while checking out the island from a dizzying vantage point. Fortunately, the humorous guides -- two to a group -- keep the mood lighthearted. More Information: www.aerialtrek.com

Biking through Blue Mountains, Jamaica
Grab some wheels, and burn (at least some) vacation poundage in a pleasing way. Bike tours of Jamaica's mist-cloaked Blue Mountains are offered whether it rains or shines. The day-long affair kicks off with views of a breezy, bustling open-air market and a banana plantation. After a Jamaican-style brunch, participants get geared up at Hardware Gap, located 5,600 miles up the mountain and start the descent. Along the way, breathtaking, photo-stop-requisite scenery and heady, tropic scents give way to the tour's pièce de résistance: a refreshing waterfall-backdropped swim. More Information: www.bmtoursja.com

Hiking at Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
More often than not, free entry to trails along the Table Mountain chain can be found. The range spans from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, offering jaw-dropping, wind-swept views of the sea, rugged cliffs and wave-lapped coastline. Do make a point to ride the funicular up to blustery, beautiful Cape Point at Cape of Good Hope, where the frigid Atlantic and warm Indian Oceans collide. Populations of birds, mongoose, antelope, Cape Mountain zebra and Chacma baboons are further reason to explore the fynbos and protea-heavy landscape. More Information: www.sanparks.org and www.capepoint.co.za

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