While the word glamping only appeared for the first time in the United Kingdom about a decade ago, the concept that it implies, that of luxurious tent-living, is decidedly not new.
In the 16th Century, the Scottish Duke of Atholl prepared an extraordinary glamping experience in the Highlands for King James V and his mother with lavish tents filled with all the provisions of his own palace.
About the same time, the Ottoman sultans had ostentatious, palatial tents erected and then transported from one military mission to the next. Armies of artisans traveled with the military to set up and maintain these imperial tents.
The idea surfaced in Africa in the 1920s, when safaris became the realm of wealthy travelers seeking ultra comfort and luxury while in search of adventure. And, they were provided with every domestic comfort from folding baths to buckets of champagne.
Fast forward to 2017, and the concept is still being reinvented for the next generation with style but away from the all-luxe-all-the-time themes of the past.
Today, glamping in locales from a Guatemalan pyramid to a Chilean glacier is more about the luxury of experience.
In Guatemala, for example, Uaxactun was a sacred place of the Maya civilization, with the earliest known public structures dating back to 600 BCE. Yet archaeological research suggests that the site may have been occupied 400 years earlier, making this one of the longest-occupied Maya settlements. Uaxactun was defeated in a lengthy war with Tikal, which ended in 378 CE.
On our Colombia & Guatemala journey, you stroll crossing the same stones that ancient Mayans walked on, and that the U.S. archeologist Sylvanus Morley rediscovered in 1916. Watch the sun set in the company of an astronomy specialist. Then, stay overnight in the ruins of this amazing site. What a unique way to experience this ancient mystical Maya site in the comfort of your own private camp.
In Chile, during our President’s Pick: Chile’s Patagonia & Mapuche Culture, glamping redefines the luxury of place, as you go glamping on a glacier. Yes, you overnight on Exploradores Glacier after a day spent trekking across a glacial moraine and ice climbing. On the ice, everything becomes magical: the landscape, the colors, the sculpted glacial forms, and even the sounds of the ice cracking and your crampons breaking the ice. After a long day, you camp out in this amazing, pristine environment of ice, sea and air.
So… if you sneeze and no one is around do you still hear it?