One of the biggest fallacies of outdoor travel is that in order to experience the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer, you have to be willing to suffer. But with the emergence of luxury camping (or glamping) and upscale outdoor resorts, you no longer have to spend your nights eating ramen noodles and sleeping on the hard ground in order to spend your days in an amazing natural setting. We’ve gathered some of the best in outdoor luxury travel that prove you don’t have to give up being pampering to experience nature.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Canada
Beautiful and secluded Vancouver Island (not to be confused with the bustling city of Vancouver) has one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems — rainforests, mountains and beaches — making it an ideal destination for an outdoor getaway. It is also home to the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, and its not-to-miss eco-resort experience. After a day experiencing the beauty of the island, whether it be whale watching, hiking, white-water rafting, horseback riding or fishing, you will love coming back to Clayoquot. The accommodations include 20 luxurious canvas-tented suites with heated floors and indoor showers. Amenities include a riverfront spa with wood-fired hot tubs and meals by celebrated Chef Timothy May.
Tip: The weather on the island is variable, and the chance for outdoor adventure abounds, so while you can leave your old sleeping bag at home for this trip, be sure to pack the right clothing, including plenty of warm, comfortable layers and waterproof gear.
Patagonia Camp, Chile
With the granite peaks of the Andes Mountains, blue glaciers and largely untouched jungle, Patagonia is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. At Patagonia Camp, you won’t even need to leave the grounds to experience the serenity of the region. Guests can enjoy views of Toro Lake and the Cordillera del Paine mountain range from the private terrace of their luxury Yurt. If you want to leave — and you should — the resort offers treks of for all skill levels, as well as glacier kayaking, horseback riding and glacier navigation.
Tip: If you travel between December and February, you’ll have up to 18 hours of sunlight a day.
Longitude 131, Australia
Longitude 131 is located in the Australian outback, on the border of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, home to the world’s largest geological monolith. The all-inclusive camp can hold up to 30 guests in 15 elevated tents, each with a private deck and view of Uluru. The resort can arrange activities including biking, hiking and other guided tours of the unique outback landscape.
Tip: Take the morning camel tour to watch the sunrise over Uluru.
Sequoia High Sierra Camp, California
Located near California’s Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia High Sierra Camp features 30 deluxe, tented cabins with artisan furniture and plush beds. Three meals featuring sustainable, local ingredients are provided in the al-fresco dining pavilion. At night, enjoy the chef-prepared five-course meal, and during the day, take your packed lunch and explore the many trails among the high peaks of the Sierras.
Tip: The camp is only accessed via a one-mile hike from the parking area, so pack accordingly.