Whilst the world is full of amazing hikes, there are some that really offer the wow factor. The type that takes your breath away and stay in your memories forever.
Great hikes are not simply about walking a trail, they’re also about stepping into a countries’ culture and history.
From the peaks of Africa to the teeming rainforests of Peru, we have put together a list of what we think are 7 awesome hikes for adventurous souls. Many of the treks mentioned are not easy and will physically and mentally challenge you, leaving you with an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Standing at just under 6,000 meters, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and offers hikers a truly challenging experience. The volcanic mountain is a formidable trek that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The pay-off is a trek with numerous climatic zones that begins in lush rainforest before ascending up into the high glacial fields near the summit. There are a number of routes to climb Kilimanjaro, but the important thing to note is the length. The longer routes will give you the best chance of acclimatizing as you ascends, giving you a better chance of summiting.
Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Probably the most famous trek on earth, the Everest Base Camp Trek gets over 30,000 hikers every year and for good reason. Standing next to the largest mountain on earth is an incredible feeling that no one ever gets used to.
Not only this, you’ll also hike through the Khumbu Valley and take in several traditional Nepalese villages as you make your way towards Everest Base Camp. If you want to avoid the crowds, we suggest taking the longer circular route via the Gokyo Lakes. This is a superb option that gets you off the beaten path and avoids backtracking on yourself.
The Snowman Trek, Bhutan
Covering only 18,000 square miles, Bhutan is a tiny mountain kingdom nestled within the Himalayas that offers some of the best hiking in the world. The most famous of these is the Snowman Trek, a grueling 24-day hike that ventures deep into the Lunana district.
Often described as the most difficult trek on earth, the Snowman Trek is truly unforgettable; taking hikers high up into the mountains and crossing over 11 passes (all above 5,000 meters). You’ll need some excellent experience to attempt this trek.
Classic Inca Trail, Peru
For hundreds of years, Machu Picchu has captured the imaginations of everyone who has stood within her walls. Travellers and tourists alike now see the trail almost as a rite-of-passage. Whilst there are numerous trails to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is by far the best option if you want to experience the traditional route that pilgrims would have taken centuries past.
Be warned though, tickets need to be booked at least months in advance for peak times and you should expect crowds.
Full Circuit Torres Del Paine, Patagonia
Often described as the end of the world, Patagonia is fast becoming one of the most popular hiking destinations in south America. Although there are numerous awesome hikes, the one that really stands out is the Full Circuit Torres Del Paine. Hikers will enjoy a 7 day trek that winds between the Magellanic sub-polar forests and the Patagonian steppe.
Circuit Torres Del Paine
Whist not an easy trek, the rewards are epic views, towering rock formations and sweeping glaciers that stretch out before you. It’s best to start at Refugio Las Torres an trek anti-clockwise. Be careful on the high passes as the wind is notoriously strong in this region.
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
It’s no surprise that two treks in Nepal have made it onto our list. Eight of the fourteen tallest mountains on earth are all located in Nepal, making it a trekkers dream. Like the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Annapurna Circuit is a long, tough trek that takes hikers deep into the Himalayas through a myriad of different environments.
Although new roads have recently impacted the famous circuit, the trail is still one of the most beautiful in Nepal and often far less crowded than the more popular Everest options.
Markha Valley Trek, India
The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most impressive and famous treks in the Ladakh Region of India. With stunning high valley views and superb panoramas across the mountain region, this is truly one of the best hikes to experience the unique culture of the High Himalaya region.
The trek generally takes just under two weeks to complete and follows the beautiful Markha River downstream. Make sure to visit the monasteries along the route for a very traditional welcome.