Hiking is one of the best ways of enjoying a more stripped-back and down-to-Earth adventure. You get a different view of the world when you’re treading the dirt and camping under the stars.
There are so many excellent places in the world to visit, but if you are looking for the ideal hiking experience, some places are a cut above the rest. Here are seven of the world’s top destinations for hiking.
1. New Zealand — Te Araroa Trail
A stupendous and stunningly diverse walk across close to 2,000 miles of New Zealand’s cosmopolitan landscape. You can enjoy a smorgasbord of golden coastline, lush jungle, jagged alpine ridges, endless farmland, and winding volcano paths.
Of course, the entire trail would take 5 months to complete fully, but with 160 tracks to choose from you can cherry pick your favourites. Highlights include Whanganui National Park located in North Island and Tongariro Volcano. The best time to go would be between October and April.
2. Peru — Machu Picchu
Peru remains one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world, mainly due to the stunning Machu Picchu. One of the most iconic and influential remnants of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is hugely popular. Voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the 15th Century citadel attracts around 1.5 million tourists per year.
This is a wonderful place to visit, and the famous 26-mile Inca Trail has made many a bucket list. Machu Picchu is open all year round, but for the best experience, you should visit during the dry season (April to October).
3. United States — Appalachian Trail
There are actually several excellent trails in the United States, but few can match the breathtaking grandeur of the Appalachian Trail, which runs 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine. Passing through 14 states, this is a hike that takes plenty of planning. Again, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to do the whole trail unless you have a spare six months to kill! But there are plenty of legs of the trail you can hike that will give you the eye-opening adventure you crave.
4. Nepal — Everest Base Camp
You would probably have little reason to visit Nepal unless you were going to check out Everest Base Camp. This is one of the most intense and difficult challenges nature can present, with 40 miles of intense cold and terrain.
If you’re not an expert enough climber to take on the full might of Everest, the base camp is enough of an achievement. You can stay in the village of Namche Bazaar, and get to know the local Sherpas. This is a once-in-a-lifetime hiking adventure and one you definitely need to check out.
5. Colombia — Lost City
Colombia is a country with a rich and varied history, and one of the main reasons for tourists to visit has got to be a visit to the Lost City. Up in the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, you can find the hidden ruins of the famed Ciudad Perdida, to give it its Spanish name.
Believed to have been founded some 650 years before Machu Picchu, and only rediscovered as recently as the 1970s, according to 1Cover, this is a relatively quiet place in terms of tourism. Get there with a stunning hike up into the mountains; it’s going to change your life.
6. Australia — Overland Track
With some of the most gorgeous natural scenery in the world, it should come as no surprise to see Australia on this list. Tourists should check out the 40-50 miles long Overland Track in Tasmania. Some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery on Earth, this hiking trail will let you experience the majestic Mount Ossa, and Lake St. Clair, officially the deepest lake in Australia (reaching a maximum depth of 160m).
7. Tanzania — Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania is an excellent country for safari excursions, but it also boasts Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Kili is on many people’s bucket lists, and it is a much more achievable feat than Everest.
At a little over 19,000 feet, and spanning roughly 35 miles, Kili is one of the most fascinating hiking trails in the world. You will need to prepare and condition yourself for this stunning route, and a guided tour of Kilimanjaro might be just the ticket for the curious hiker in you.
As you can see, these are seven hugely diverse choices that allow you to experience some of the world’s finest destinations up close and personal. Having a closer experience with nature can be a real eye-opener, and will change your experience of travel for good.