9 Best Luxury Adventure Trips for the R5TH Traveler
For all R5TH Travelers with a little adrenaline junkie in them, these luxe yet mind-blowing adventures are the stories you’ll be telling your children about one day—or at the very least, getting a cacophony of “likes” on Instagram.
1 – Moonlit Horseback Ride in Los Angeles
The only stars we really want to see in La-La-Land are the ones you can spy after the sun goes down, on horseback. Los Angeles Horseback Riding offers 90-minute Moonlight Rides during the full moon along Santa Monica Mountains Backbone Trail, which has gorgeous alpine and ocean overlooks. Keep your eyes out for resident wildlife like coyotes, Cooper’s hawks, and the occasional celeb.
2 – Heliski in Switzerland
Lindsey Vonn–types know that slaloming is oh-so-much sexier in the Swiss Alps, thanks to its storybook villages and lengthy ski descents. Elemental Adventure’s private helicopter charters will let you pick your ideal slopes to ski/snowboard in dreamy European destinations like Zermatt, Verbier, and Chamonix, among others. Just be ready for the altitude—the highest landing is at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level; you’ll ski down an average run of nearly 7,000 feet (reportedly double the normal heli-ski run length in Canada).
3 – Snowmobile to spot Polar Bears in Norway
Rosy-cheeked adventures are everywhere in Norway thanks to the country’s snowcapped landscapes and icy fjords. On Better Moments’ 10-hour King of the Arctic snowfari, you’ll drive snowmobiles across Svalbard’s glaciers. The chill is worth it for the chance to see any of 3,000 polar bears that live there in winter, not to mention the icebergs rising from the Barents Sea. Snowmobile suits and gear provided.
4 – Horseback ride in Torres del Paine, Chile
The craggy, snow-dusted granite peaks of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park are unlike anything you’ve ever seen—and they’re perhaps best taken in on horseback. Fantastico Sur’s 8-hour Base Torres Horse Ride includes views almost too beautiful to be believed and pulse-quickening activities like fording rushing mountain streams and hopping off your steed to scramble (by foot) to an overlook of the granite Paine Towers.
5 – Go on a Reindeer Safari in Finland
Trotting across snow with Caribou during Christmas season is much, much more magical in reality. In the Levi resort of Lapland, Finland, you can book a four-hour Reindeer and Ice Fishing tour that will take you zipping through snow-dusted forests on a three-mile ride, stopping in a Lappish teepee for ice fishing and an only-in-Lapland meal of salmon soup. The fact that you take home a reindeer driving license is just a bonus.
6 – Fly Fish in Telluride, Colorado
To experience the real A River Runs Through It, consider a fly fishing course with Orvis-endorsed Telluride Fly Fishers. No, it’s not in Montana (where the movie is set), but Telluride’s San Juan Mountains are just as jaw-dropping with rainbow, cutbow, and cutthroat trout teeming in the San Miguel and Dolores rivers. Gear is available to rent for half or full day private classes.
7 – Take a Day Trip to Antarctica (Yes, it’s possible)
If you happen to be in Chile, go just a bit farther with Swoop Antarctica’s two-hour flight and you’ll have landed on the continent of more than 5 million square miles—with a mere 5,000 summertime residents (mostly scientists). Your specialized guides will show you the insider tour of both the man-made (an Orthodox Russian Church) and extremely wild (penguin colonies like the ones that inspired March of the Penguins, which was filmed here).
8 – Spot Snow Monkeys in Japan
If karma is real, we want to come back to life as a Japanese snow monkey—the adorable animals who spend frigid winters dipping in and out of Nagano’s onsen hot springs. With Snow Monkey Resorts’ one-day tour in Nagano, you’ll follow a local guide through a leafy forest to spot the macaques in their blissed-out state, visit the beautiful 7th-century Zenkō-ji Temple, and end the day tipping back sake at Nagano’s brewery.
9 – Go Deep into an Ice Cave in Iceland
If Ice Ice Baby was your 90s-era theme song, plunder its depths in real life. With Iceland’s day-long private Superjeep Borgafjord & Icecave tour, you’ll explore the man-carved ice caves under Langjökull glacier (the second largest in Iceland), which is only accessible by specially modified vehicles. You’ll also see the turquoise Hraunfoss waterfall and the Deildartunguhver thermal springs.
by Kathryn O’Shea-Evans