If you love trekking, then chances are you’re going to want to plan your next holiday around your love for this sport. There’s something so satisfying about setting out on a multi-day adventure, reaching the summit and looking out over the incredible view. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just starting out, there are so many great holidays around the world that will allow you to fall even more in love with this sport. If you buy anything for your next trekking adventure, I suggest a Camelpak to keep you hydrated on the go! Here are my top suggestions for best climbing destinations around the world.
1. Climb Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Located in Tanzania, this dormant volcano is one of the most famous climbs to go on. The summit was first reached in 1889, and ever since then climbers around the world have set their sights on this volcano for a real adventure. Choosing who you will climb Kilimanjaro with is an important decision – after all you want a tour that provides ample time up the mountain as well as a high success rate. Because this is a changing climb, you’re also going to want to make sure that there is a good ratio of experienced staff to climbers, in order to ensure adequate support. From the summit you’ll be rewarded with incredible views, including some of the best sunsets you’ve seen in your life. Due to Mt Kilimanjaro’s location, you’ll also be able to see ample wildlife before and after your climb, making for an adventure packed holiday. Due to the altitude of this climb, you may also want to consider opting for some pre-trip acclimatisation ascents, in order to adjust better to the altitude. To climb Kilimanjaro would be a huge achievement and no doubt on any trekking enthusiasts bucket list, If it’s on yours then what better time than now to tick it off?
2. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand
Some of the scenery in the Tongariro track was made famous by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, used as the setting of Mordor, making this day hike a must-do for any fans. The good thing about this hike is that it is manageable within a day, making for an easy add on to a trip around New Zealand. If you’re lucky with the weather and it’s clear, you’ll be able to see Mt. Ngauruhoe – better known as Mt Doom. You’ll also see some neon turquoise natural geothermal pools that make for incredible photos. This hike is a great introduction hike, due to the fact that it is possible to do within a day. There’s also another hike in New Zealand that’s worth mentioning: Milford Track, Fiordland National Park, South Island. This is a four day hike, but you will be retracing the steps of the native Maori’s – this route was used to collect natural greenstone. This is a one way route and you’ll start by taking a boat ride to Lake Te Anau and finish with a boat ride from Milford Sound’s Sandfly Point. In between you’ll find yourself on a hiker’s dream: you’ll hike along, waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, rivers, wetlands and you will hike the Mackinnon Pass, offering incredible alpine vistas. This is a more challenging hike, but if that’s what you’re looking for it’s worth considering.
3. Acatenango, Guatemala
Located an hour outside of Antigua, Guatemala, Acatenango is a great overnight hike that is as rewarding as it is challenging. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see lava flowing from the nearby volcano named ‘fuego’ meaning fire. From the summit you’ll have panoramic views of the entire region. The summit is also an incredible place to watch the sun rise in the morning before making the trek down. Most tour companies will offer an optional climb to the summit in the mornings which is an additional 45 mins of climbing but well worth the effort. The 5,000 ft / 1,525 m journey is a challenging hike, but it will take you up through the cloud forest, so you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Coming back down takes around 3 hours, and most groups will be back in Antigua by around 1pm, meaning that you still have the afternoon to explore and enjoy all that Antigua has to offer. Because this is an overnight hike, it means that it can fit in easily with other activities you want to do in Guatemala and Central America.
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand
If you love fresh green nature and wildlife, then perhaps a hike through the highlands of Chiang Mai will appeal to you. You can easily book different length tour hikes while in Chiang Mai, starting from a day in length. This is a great way to detox from technology, have a real break from the day to day hustle and bustle, and to experience the natural beauty surrounding this region. Many trekking companies in Thailand will offer elephant rides, but if you can avoid it, please do. Often the elephants are treated cruelly, with many of them being hit or hacked into if they do not walk at the pace their owners want them to. Many of the treks can be customized to include cultural activities such as visiting a market, staying overnight in a local community and getting immersed in the local nature.
5. Inca Trail, Peru
This is probably one of the most famous treks you can do around the world, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to trek up to a once secret, forgotten city? This is a 43km trail that is visited by thousands of tourists each year. The trail begins in the Sacred Valley and leads all the way to Machu Picchu, twisting around the mountains. There’s a restriction on how many permits are offered each day – only a grand total of 500, or which 200 are allowed to be allocated to hikers, so needless to say you’re going to want to book in advance, at least 6 months in advance if you’re hoping to go in peak season which is May to November. If you’re of average fitness or above, you should be able to hike the Inca Trail, just be prepared to pace yourself. Get in shape before your trip by doing local trails near where you live. Check out this helpful packing list for the Inca trail.
Hiking is a great way to explore a new country because you’re in a more intimate settings with your surroundings. Whether you fancy a journey to Africa, climbing one of the world’s most striking volcanoes, or you would prefer to explore some ancient ruins along one of the world’s most famous trekking trails, there are so many options for you. My advice is just to be realistic about your fitness level and ability. You’ll also want to bring along a decent camera with you so that you can capture pictures of all your incredible adventures!
What’s your favourite hike that you’ve ever done? Let me know in the comments below!