The Adventurer’s Packing Guide

At this time of year, certain parts of the globe are at their most beautiful, and as winter flees, it’s pretty compelling to dust off the hiking boots and get outside: Surfing- and hiking-centric trips, in particular, seem to really hit the spot. We’ve corralled a few destination inspirations for each, and rounded them out with packing guides to accommodate the activities you’re likely to encounter.


  • Amanwella


    Boddhi Mawatha, Wella Wathuara, Godellawela, Tangalle, Sri Lanka | +

    Starkly furnished and dipped in earth tones, Amanwella was designed to enhance its beachside surroundings rather than disturb them. The 30 spacious suites are shaded by the many palm trees dotting the property and offer calming views of coconut groves and slivers of the ocean. Mild temps allow adventurous guests of all skill levels to surf and take part in an assortment of other water-based activities all year (and a lengthy spa menu is there as an antidote to paddle arms). As expected, the resort’s eateries (Asian and Mediterranean cuisine at the Restaurant, salads, and coconut charcoal-barbecued snacks at the Beach Club) provide an impressive seafood assortment. Feel free to bring the kids, complimentary babysitting services are available.

  • Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

    Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

    3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Maui, HI | 808.874.8000

    Along with the expected Four Seasons fare (beachside cabanas, sunglasses cleaning, poolside Evian spritzing), an abundance of only-in-Hawaii extras make the Maui at Wailea outpost a playground for kids and adults alike. For one thing, Kids For All Seasons—a daily camp for littles ages 5 to 12—allows mom and dad to explore the spa, spend the day surfing (board rentals are readily available and surfing legend Dave Kalama hosts surf camp and lessons here), or lay out at the adults-only serenity pool while the kiddos build sand castles, craft leis, and take hula lessons, all under the watchful eye of trained staff. Thoughtful touches from complimentary swim diapers by the pool to a lengthy roster of family activities (snorkeling, boogie boarding, putting greens) make vacationing en masse a total joy. At night, take your pick of three on-site restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning standby, Spago.

  • Atlantic Byron Bay

    Atlantic Byron Bay

    13 Marvell St., Byron Bay, Australia | +61.2.6685.5118

    Conveniently set up just steps from Main Beach and its many breaks, this is a very nice riff on a traditional beach compound—despite its enduring low-key vibe. The 15 guest rooms, cottages, and one very cool airstream are the perfect home base from which to plan daily surfing excursions—plus, the Tropical and Albatross cottages come complete with private entrances, outdoor decks, and extra indoor space. Luxury may not be the first priority here, but the property is beautifully turned out nonetheless, with lush greenery, a sprawling communal kitchen, lap pool, and nautical flourishes throughout.

  • Florblanca


    Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | +50.6.2640.0226

    The beach lifestyle is weaved into just about everything at this Pacific coast retreat: For one, there’s a pristine beach, which functions as the resort’s backyard; the just-caught seafood at the on-site restaurant is pretty sublime; and then there is an endless list of water-centric activities along with a great spa (they even do an “after-sun facial” that employs aloe grown on site). Perennially warm waters, multiple breaks for every taste and skill level, access to talented surfing instructors, and complementary board rentals mean this is where you want to be if your ideal day includes surfing and little else. If ever you do tire of hitting the beach, the rustic guestrooms and indoor-outdoor communal areas are perfect hangout spots.

Packing List


  • Paws Up

    Paws Up

    40060 Paws Up Rd., Greenough, MT | 877.588.6764

    Just 40 minutes east of Missoula, we came to affectionately call this 37,000-acre spread Montanaland: Paws Up is a bit like a theme park set against some truly majestic country. There’s ATV-ing, go-carts, a gun range, archery, paintball, a kids camp, horses galore, incredible hiking, plus ample opportunity to river raft, fly fish, and work a cattle drive. The on-site spa is excellent, the food is good, and the accommodations—which range from log cabin homes to tented yurts perched on a cliff above the Blackfoot river—will leave little doubt in your mind that this is the West.

  • Inkatera


    Plaza Las Nazarenas 113, Cusco, Peru | +51.1.610.0400

    If you’re looking for a serene spot to gather your thoughts before climbing Machu Picchu, hiking Sacred Valley, or exploring historic Cusco, look no further than Inkaterra La Casona (it’s built on ancient Inca training grounds, after all). It’s a Relais & Châteaux hotel, the first in Peru, so even though it’s housed in a 16th-century mansion, the five-star amenities—heated floors, an eco-conscious Yaku spa—are plentiful. The 11 guest rooms are strategically placed overlooking a private courtyard and done up in traditional Peruvian style (Colonial furnishings, handwoven tapestries). The house restaurant serves up traditional Peruvian delicacies and epic bread. For breakfast, the eggs Benedict are made to order and the staff will gladly pack a to-go picnic if a day of sightseeing or hiking is on the agenda.

  • Matakauri Lodge

    Matakauri Lodge

    569 Glenorchy Rd., Queenstown, New Zealand | +64.3.441.1008

    Sitting in what is known as the Southern Alps, this New Zealand resort truly makes you feel like you’ve reached the edge of the earth. While you could sit and stare at the view all day, Queenstown adventures beckon, making this a really good choice if you have teens. You can take heli tours of the glaciers, bungee jump, mountain bike, or hike—and then round out your busy days with delicious meals by the fire.

  • Tierra Hotels

    Tierra Hotels


    Other than the breathtaking setup in the middle of a national park and its sort of alien architectural attributes (the beech-wood and glass structure looks like something out of a sci-fi movie), Tierra in Chilean Patagonia is best known for two things: the world-class, indoor-outdoor Uma spa and proximity to some of the best exploring in the world—and if you think about it, the two go really well together. While you might not want to leave the comfort of the property and your plush room, the guided hikes and excursions to Torres del Paine National Park and beyond are well worth the effort. Treks are broken up into levels—easy, medium, hard—and have both half- and full-day options, or you can take it easy for an afternoon and stroll down to nearby Lake Sarmiento instead.

Packing List