Many people like the idea of going on a camping trip. The desire to hie off and sleep outdoors starts when you’re still a kid poking around in the backyard after dinner, armed with a flashlight and a pack of snacks.
Camping’s appeal and the prospect of combining adventure and romance doesn’t really leave us as we get older through the years. We want to be able to pack our backpacks in a moment’s notice and escape into the wilderness. We want to sleep under a blanket of twinkling stars with an occasional comet perhaps, or a satellite; we want to go back to our roots and be one with Mother Earth, feel nature’s pulse and hear her speak through the flowing waters and whistling winds; we want to toast marshmallows over a warm campfire, and hear the flames crackle as we trade scary stories with one another or sing songs while another person strums a guitar. All of this sounds truly inviting indeed, however, the truth is camping does have some minor setbacks, especially if you’re a city mouse used to hot showers and bubbling jacuzzis.
The reality is that many people hold off when it comes to actually going on a camping trip for a number of reasons: there is no indoor plumbing in the outdoors where you can connect a shower, there are no electrical outlets where you can plug your fridge to keep your beverages nice and cool, naturally since there is no indoor plumbing for your shower, there won’t be a flushing toilet either.
The good news for you guys, then, is this: man has found a way to make camping not only bearable, but also enjoyable. Glamping, which is short for glamorous camping, is slowly gaining popularity in various countries all over the world. Nowadays, camping isn’t just glamorous; it’s luxurious, too. Happy campers’ dispositions are guaranteed not to turn sour due to amazing deals that provide comfort and also pampering while you’re in the great outdoors.
Who says rustic surroundings can’t be considered luxurious? Leave the baked beans in the cupboard and settle down to a gourmet dinner of filet mignon. Stop rolling up that old sleeping back and get ready to rest your spine on comfy mattresses covered in fine linens. These days, it really does seem like anything is possible.
Here are ten camping trips that will let you live out your childhood dream.
CHILE – Eco Camp
If your idea of a nice vacation is to lose yourself in the wilderness and eventually come back to comfy quarters, then the Eco Camp in Chile is perfect for you. This place is just an arm’s length from the virgin jungle, brilliant blue glaciers, wild flowers and of course the dramatic mountain peaks.
You can join the safari to get yourself even closer to the wilderness. You can follow the trails and hike your way to the Grey Glacier or the Grey Lake Beach. Of you can wander through the Lenga forest and observe the different types of plants and animals that call this place home. There are also kayaks you can rent and horses for riding.
The round tents are designed to resemble igloos, which are similar to the local houses of the native Kaweskar, and are quite sturdy structures. Inside every dome are comfortable beds (you can choose between twin beds or double beds) and its own private bathroom. To encourage others to be more earth-friendly, there is also a composting device for every dome that will process your waste. The domes are also wired with electricity from solar panels and a hydro turbine. At night, there is central heating thanks to the wood stove. Now, you can go camping and know that you’ll be warm and toasty when you settle in for the night.
SWITZERLAND – Whitepod Resort
For a unique and interesting camping trip, brave the cold winter weather of Switzerland for some camping in Whitepod. This is one resort that sits high up on the Swiss Alps, at almost 6,000 feet off the ground.
While you’re here, you can have fun in the snow through a number of activities. You can go fishing, or manage a pack of huskies and go dog sledding. This is also a good place if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding. You can also go up the mountain for a short hike and to get a good view of the resort from a higher location.
The pods look like modern igloos built on wooden platforms set across the mountainside. It may be chilly outside but once you step inside the pods, it’s quite warm and toasty thanks to the wood burning stove. There is also a working bathroom built inside your pod, and the bedding is made of natural, organic material.
During meals, guests have a chance to meet each other as they dine inside the wooden chalet. There is a central fireplace where visitors can gather round and exchange stories, share a laugh and toast a drink.
Of course, we understand that your muscles might be sore after snowboarding or skiing the whole day, so we recommend you visit the spa afterwards to unwind and relax.
So, there you go. Ten places from different parts of the globe where you can spend a clean and comfortable camping trip that you’ve been dreaming of all your life.
CANADA – Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts & Spa
If you want to experience the wild safari but at the same time, be pampered like never before, book yourselves at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort for an exciting and relaxing vacation. The resort is situated near the entrance to the Bedwell River, inside Clayoquot Sound Biosphere. To get here, you have to ride a floatplane from Vancouver; the trip usually takes an hour.
This is the perfect place for you to bond with the environment and savor the scenes and experiences that nature has to offer. If you don’t feel like staying in your room all day, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy here.
You can rent a kayak and explore the Bedwell River. Along the way, spot different animals as they go about their usual day. Look out for the spawning salmon or foraging bears. Venture to Warren Bay to see the whales and porpoises. Follow the trek that goes for two kilometers and come upon seven natural pools and take a dip in the hot spring water.
Learn how to survive in the wild by taking an archery course with an expert archer. Practice your aim and your bow just might hit that target center. Learn to navigate nature’s rough terrain by conquering the climbing wall of the rock climbing program; and when you reach the top, savor the breathtaking view of the Bedwell River.
The resort has 20 personal tents that each provide a cozy, intimate living space for their guests. Live it up like the Swiss Family Robinson in these deluxe tents with wooden floors, antique dressers, oil lamps, Adirondack style beds, rugs and even heirloom china. There is also a special bathhouse with running, heated water for your shower, toilet and of course, the sink. Despite the oil lamp, tents are provided with electricity so guests can turn on the light at nighttime, use a hair dryer, and plug in their laptops to access the wireless internet, something that we’re sure the Swiss Family Robinson didn’t have.
JORDAN – Abercrombie & Kent
If you’re quite the busy traveler, you’ve probably gone on one too many vacations where your home base in a new, foreign city is a hotel, and all you ever did was go shopping at the mall. Opt for something a bit different this time, by going on a historical journey to Jordan, where you will have the chance too see in person some of the places mentioned in the bible like Edom, Gilead and Moab.
While you’re there, you can also visit the ancient city of Petra, which also made the list of the New 7 Wonders of the World. See the massive, red stone up close where Petra is carved, which incidentally is also the reason why it is also called The Rose Red City. Some experts and historians believe that as early as 1,200 B.C., people used to inhabit the city.
You can also explore the country by venturing into the Wadi Rum desert. If you sign up with Abercrombie & Kent, you’ll embark on one of the most comfortable trips that will take you to some of the most famous attractions in the world. As you go on your way, you can visit tranquil monasteries and also historic fortresses. Jump right into the Dead Sea and join your companions in floating around without exerting the slightest effort. Part of the trip will also take you to local villages where you can interact with the residents and even enjoy a nice, home-cooked meal.
Your journey in Jordan will surely be memorable as you travel by camel in a traditional caravan. During the night, you’ll stop, set up camp and sleep inside Bedouin tents all made by hand. You won’t need to worry about food, because meals are prepared especially for the guests. There are also private toilets set up so you won’t have to answer to nature’s call behind a tree or bush. You can lounge around on beautiful Arabian rugs with colorful, intricate designs, and rest your head on soft pillows. Candles add a rustic and romantic touch that can surely change your mind about camping as ‘roughing it’. The food here is great, as well. Eco Camp serves natural, healthy food that guests can fill up on. For breakfast you can have granola, toast, jam, cheese, ham, eggs, cereal and yoghurt with tea, milk or coffee. For lunch, you get to make your own sandwich from the bountiful buffet; choose from whole grain or white bread, chicken, beef, tuna, turkey, vegetables, salami and eggs. There are also fresh fruits and chocolate for dessert. The dinner will be vegetables and potatoes with a bit of meat and a bottle of Chilean wine.
MALDIVES – Banyan Tree Madivaru
There are many resorts that you can find in the Maldives, but none of them can give you the modern, high-class camping experience that the Banyan Tree Madivaru offers.
This resort is situated right by the North Ari Atoll’s edge. To get here, you have to board a seaplane. The resort actually sits on a small island, and no more than 18 guests are allowed to check in at a given time. This means that you can somehow pretend to be Robinson Crusoe and have the beach all to yourself, only Robinson Crusoe didn’t have a tent equipped with modern amenities.
There is privacy here that you can’t get in other, more popular resorts in the area. Around you thrives the lush jungle that skirts a lovely blue lagoon. For a bit of adventure, you can book a cruise and go dolphin-watching; or set out after dark on night-fishing trips. The clear waters are ideal for others who want to go snorkeling, too.
Guests who wish to stay here will have their own villa which houses three different tents and a private swimming pool. Each tent is designed to cater to your different needs while you’re on holiday. One tent is designed to be the sleeping quarters, where you can rest your head at night and have a deep, long slumber. Another tent is specially designed to be your living quarters, while the third tent is the special bathing area.
These tents are worlds apart from the ones you used during cub scouts. There is timber flooring and wood furnishings; and not one but two outdoor showers. Meals are also served to staying guests and room service (to your tent!) is available 24 hours a day.
CALIFORNIA – El Capitan Canyon
Another beautiful place where weary travelers can spend some nice, quiet time around nature’s scenery is the El Capitan Canyon, which is quite near Santa Barbara, California (just about 20 miles to the north). The sprawling coastline property occupies more than 300 acres and offers its guests a simple place to stay that is surrounded by nature’s beauty.
For activities, you can explore and take a hike around the canyon, or grab a bike and follow the trails that lead to the beach, where you can have a quick swim in the relaxing waters. Reach into the inquisitive kid inside you and go crazy on the rope courses. You can join the yoga sessions for some zen, or untie your knotted muscles by getting a massage. If you’re an animal-lover, you can go horseback-riding or whale watching; and if you simply like being in the water, how about surfing or going on a kayak trip?
At the El Capitan Canyon, you can choose between two types of accommodation: the cedar cabins or the more traditional safari tents. The cabins are actually quite spacious, complete with a front porch and all 108 of them fully furnished. There are king sized beds and kitchenettes with a fridge, bar and microwave; and best of all, wireless internet.
The Safari Tents, however, are simply a delight to stay in. They are set on wooden decks and have screened windows to protect you from the bugs outside. Couples can sleep on a queen size bed, and friends on double beds. There are fresh towels and linens for your bed; an electric lamp keeps the tent illuminated at night, and a small heater keeps out the cold. Outside, there is a picnic table where you can enjoy your meals cooked on the grill and roasted in the fire pit. There is a bathroom with a working shower, and the staff always makes sure that it is clean.
AUSTRALIA – Voyages Longitude 131
If you want to experience the Australian outback in style, visit the Voyages Longitude 131. Here, guests have a spectacular view of the wild surroundings of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Start your day early by watching the sunrise over Uluru. Then roam around the area and explore the local landscape, join the guides on treks and learn about the different flora and fauna in the area.
In 2003, a brushfire tragically caused the destruction of the entire place. Fortunately for us, there are now 15 tents that can accommodate guests during their stay. It’s a nice, intimate place where you can bond with nature. There are never more than 30 guests that stay here at any given time. The tents each have a private deck which gives you a picturesque view of the biggest monolith in the whole world, the Uluru (which is also called the Ayers Rock).
These tents, although smack in the middle of nowhere, are a safe and comfy haven for travelers. Inside the rooms, there is air conditioning, a mini bar and for indoor entertainment, CD players. Electric blinds cover the windows, and as a safety feature, the management has installed a brand new sprinkler system. Everything from the tours, meals and beverages are already included in their rates, and that includes transportation to and from the airport.
TANZANIA – Greystoke Mahale
The Greystoke Mahale is a small sanctuary located right by the edge of the Lake Tangankiya and near the Mahale Mountains. Camping here is like stepping into a completely different world, where you see many animals in their natural habitat, and nature is untouched and unspoiled.
This is home to the biggest chimpanzee population in the whole world. Just a short hike from the camp and you can watch them play with each other, wrestle, search for food and groom one another. Aside from the chimps, you can also see different birds and butterflies flying about; or the wild bushpig and leopard. You can go fishing in the lake or rent a boat and go kayaking, too. This is the second deepest lake in the world with over 250 species of tropical fish.
Overlooking the beach are the wooden bandas that will serve as your rooms. The rooms are wildly decorated with colorful cloth; sheets and pillows are covered in intricate prints. At the back of the rooms, you will find the bathroom with a giant showerhead and most importantly, a flushing toilet. The rooms are constructed right at the edge of the forest, so your temporary home is always bordered by lush, green foliage. If you don’t feel like doing anything, these rooms are perfect for sleeping or simply whiling away the time.
ARIZONA – Global Expeditions, Inc.
Similar to Abercrombie & Kent which we mentioned earlier, Global Expeditions takes travelers on luxury camping trips in the United States, specifically the western region. Sign up with them on a trip and experience the comforts you get at home, outdoors.
Stay inside specially made tents set in rustic, natural scenery. Except for the canvas material, the tent, which is fully furnished inside, actually feels like a hotel room. There is a queen size bed with a wool blanket and a comforter, fresh towels are provided every day, carpets are laid out on the floor and bed lamps are placed on night stands made of pine.
Upon your request, there is maid service available in the mornings, and turn down service every night. Your meals will be prepared by a personal chef who can cook up multiple courses. There is also a premium bar that serves different types of wine and champagne.
Have a bit of fun on the zip line, or go rock climbing for some exercise. You can also go biking in the mountain or get behind the wheel of a Jeep and see the spectacular landscape around you. Join the cowboys on horseback as they take you to the countryside through some dusty trail. If you want a bird’s eye view of the canyon, hop on the helicopter for a scenic flight.
MONTANA – The Resort at Paws Up
The Resort at Paws Up is a family-friendly place where visitors can go escape into Montana’s countryside. Visit the ranch for some fun, traditional activities that your family can enjoy. You can join cattle drives or go trail riding. Dads can take their sons to Blackfoot River, where they can spend the day fly fishing. Others who may be up for a bit of a thrill can go rappelling down the side of a cliff. You can also go horse-back riding, which is something that both grown ups and kids will enjoy. To relax and unwind, sign up for a spa treatment or get a massage.
Guests here at The Resort at Paws Up can choose among different styles of accommodation, from lodges to houses, and of course, campsites. At Tent City, six spacious tents are set up next to towering pine trees and natural boulders. Inside the tent is no roll up mat, but a real, wooden bed with night tables on the sides. On one side of the tent, there is a full-length mirror; a small chair, table and lamp, which is a perfect spot to enjoy get lost in a good book. There is electricity here, so you don’t need to worry about feeling your way about at night. Local ingredients are used to make delicious meals brought to you through the butler service.