FROM THE SHADE of a palm, I watch the crashing rollers of the jade-colored Caribbean and rest my thrashed body. No, I wasn't washed up here like a castaway. Rather, I just had my butt kicked by the sweat-inducing Beach Boot Camp at three-and-a-half- year-old Amansala, an eco-resort in Tulum, Mexico, on the Yucatán Peninsula. After yoga, a 12-mile round-trip mountain-bike ride to the Tulum ruins, and an aerobic belly-dancing class, I've earned my chaise lounge and glass of icy limeade.
ROOM & BOARD: Clustered a hundred yards off the beach in the jungle of sea grape trees, the 14 Gilligan's Islandstyle palapas come with private mosaic-tiled bathtubs, mosquito-net-draped beds, and ocean-breeze A/C. Jasmine candles and incense give a bohemian flair, and embroidered orange sarongs await on driftwood hangers. In the beachfront dining cabana, recharge over communal-style meals, such as lemon-herb grilled shrimp or grouper, curried couscous, sautéed kale, and fresh-squeezed cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon juices.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Be it Beach Boot Camp, Warrior Weeka testosterone version with spearfishing, rock climbing, and cliff jumpingor simply an off-season, instruction-free stay, Amansala offers plenty of ways to play. Kayak or boogie-board the three-foot waves lapping up to the resort, then rinse off the salt water at a nearby cenotea spring-fed swimming hole sacred to the Maya. At sunset, book a deep-tissue massage with therapist Steve Swartout and (if you're feeling hedonistic) follow it with a honey-and-brown-sugar facial.
DETAILS: Seven-day, six-night camp, $1,850 per person, meals included; doubles (minus camp) from $146; www.amansala.com