Active + Adventure

Vacation Boot Camp

by Sarah Tuff

Rappelling in Brazil

Calories burned: About 1,000 per day

Call to action: "Poor Niagara!" That's what Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed when she first laid eyes on Iguazú Falls, on the border of Brazil and Argentina. This series of 275 waterfalls stretches nearly two miles—twice as wide as its North American counterpart, and taller, too. Now imagine hanging by a rope with only rainbows separating you from the foamy white spray. Hello, jealousy back home! Guests at the Hotel das Cataratas, the only place to stay inside Brazil's Iguazú National Park, can rappel 180 feet over the falls from a platform and also raft the river below, climb the jungle's tangled trees, and trek along the Brazilian and Argentinean sides of the park. Add in a tennis match on the hotel's clay courts, a few laps in the ice-blue pool, and a round of golf at a nearby course, and you might have trouble staying awake long enough to notice your room's Portuguese Colonial furniture and treetop views.

The warm-up: No special training is needed for the adventures around Iguazú National Park—unless you're afraid of heights (in that case, try hypnotherapy).

When to go: The rainy season between December and February is soggy yet best for the falls. March, August, and September usually bring blue skies and still-impressive water volume.

Doubles from $375; rappelling is $36 per person, rafting is $53 per person (trekking and tree-climbing excursions are included in the room rate)

Next: Take the path less traveled in Japan >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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