Top 10 Treks in the World

By Samantha Scott
March 20, 2017

Trekking is one of the most ancient and authentic ways to travel. Striking out on a challenging multi-day walk, heading through jungle, over barren cracked desert, or up the steep slopes of a mountain, is one of the more visceral travel experiences available.


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Embarking on a trek can be extremely challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Using nothing but your willpower to reach your ultimate destination is a true test of determination.

But trekking these days can be comfortable as well, with porters helping carry the load in places like Peru and Nepal and comfortable lodging along the way.  

Here are 10 of the Top Treks in the world:

1. New Zealand 

Milford Track, New Zealand

New Zealand is home to multiple long treks, each exploring the small islands uniquely beautiful and uniquely varied landscape. The Routeburn track on the South Island is one of the best known and most popular treks in New Zealand (20 miles).

Typically hiked over 3 days, with camping along the way, this beautiful trek showcases an array of local wildlife, and some of New Zealand’s famous landscapes as you pass into Fiordland National Park.

Another popular trek in New Zealand is the Milford Track (33 miles). A very challenging but rewarding venture, you’ll hike through some of New Zealand’s most well known wilderness for its spectacular beauty.

Those who don’t attempt the trek often still visit via day cruise through Milford Sound, surrounded by waterfalls and mountains. | Inspired? Search over 300 trips to New Zealand

New Zealand Trips to Consider:

Trekking in New Zealand, 23 Days - from $7,595 per person

Ultimate South Island Adventure, 15 Days - from $4,999 per person

2. Patagonia

W Circuit, Patagonia

Patagonia has soared into the front page of popularity for travelers looking to explore a bit more off the beaten path. The national parks here are stunning, with bright blue ice formations juxtaposed against the brown of the mountains, icy blue lakes, and jagged snowy cliffs.

The W Circuit through Torres del Paine national park (so named because its route forms a “w” shape when hiked in full) is among the most popular routes to see the classic sights of this rugged landscape.

Many tours to Patagonia also offer shorter versions along this route, which still gives you a detailed, wonderful taste of what Patagonia has to offer. | Inspired? Search over 150 trips to Patagonia

Patagonia Trips to Consider:

Fitzroy & Torres del Paine Circuit, 15 Days - from $5,199 per person

Argentine & Chilean Patagonia, 18 Days - from $3,949 per person

3. Rwanda & Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Africa

A gorilla trek in Africa has to be one of the most unique travel experiences one can have. Even more so than a safari, you are entering (on foot!) the home of one of nature’s most powerful and most intelligent animals on earth.

Gorilla trekking is most prevalent in Rwanda and Uganda, where the jungles provide the ideal habitat for gorilla families. Allow a few days devoted to this activity to increase your chances of spending time with the animals, as well as to learn about their habits, patterns, and social structure.

And though you will be hiking through a lot of mud, damp and dense jungle, do not leave your camera at home! | Inspired? Search over 60 trips to Rwanda or over 100 Uganda trips

Gorilla Trekking Trips to Consider:

Remarkable Rwanda Gorilla Trek, 10 Days - from $5,275 per person

The Gorilla Stop, 5 Days - from $1,157 per person

Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discover, 9 Days - from $6,849 per person

4. Switzerland

Hiker on the way to Mont Blanc, Switzerland

Switzerland may seem quaint kind of place to visit; charming villages, chocolate, and a clean classic European vibe, but it has an adventurous side as well. The Tour du Mont Blanc is well known among hikers, and is the perfect blend of challenge, beauty, and comfort.

This Switzerland trek crosses three international borders, over a distance of 110 miles. You’ll typically stay in huts along the way, which makes this a popular endeavor for older hikers as well as those with less experience.

Not much beats the Alpine mountain experience with it’s stunning green meadow expanses, snow-capped mountains, ravines, and picturesque wildlife. | Inspired? Search over 700 trips to Switzerland

Switzerland Hiking Trips to Consider:

Mont Blanc Ascent, 8 Days - from $3,795 per person

Highlights of Mont Blanc, 8 Days - from $1,650 per person

5. Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro Trek, Tanzania

For serious trekkers, or hobbyists looking for a real challenge, nothing could top Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro is another challenging endeavor that is nevertheless accessible for most able bodied and relatively physically fit travelers.

There are multiple routes you can take to get to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit - dependent on which one you take, hikes can be anywhere from five to nine days.

Camping on mountainsides, learning about Tanzanian native cultures, and feeling the thrill of ascending toward the famous sign at 19000 ft, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. | Inspired? Search over 80 Mount Kilimanjaro trips

Mount Kilimanjaro Treks to Consider:

Summit Kilimanjaro, 10 Days - from $5,295 per person

Kilimanjaro Climb - Marangu Route, 5 Days - from $1,580 per person

6. Nepal

Mount Everest trek, Nepal

The next step up from Kilimanjaro, is definitely Everest. While some may attempt to reach the top - an equally impressive and much more feasible trek is to Everest Base Camp, which sits somewhere between 20 and 60 miles from the summit, depending on the route you take.

This trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal and after you complete it, you will be inducted into a storied club. Everest is enigmatic, mysterious, and legendary.

Passing sherpa villages, and tracing the footsteps of many daring explorers who came before, you are in unbelievable company as you make your way through the clouds and thin air.

While you should do some light training for most of the hikes on this list, Everest requires a bit more effort. Be sure you’re well prepared for the cold and altitude.

Practice hiking with your gear and hiking boots to break everything in thoroughly and prevent any surprises along the way. | Inspired? Search over 200 trips to Nepal

Everest Base Camp Treks to Consider:

Everest Base Camp, 15 Days - from $1,240 per person

Everest Base Camp Trek, 17 Days - from $2,445 per person

7. Iceland

Laugavegur Trek, Iceland

Iceland is on track to becoming another major adventure capital of the world, with its many incredible outdoor activities and fantastical landscapes to discover, both above ground and below. Hiking in Iceland offers a completely immersive experience through an unbelievable, fantasy-like world.

The Laugavegur Trek is roughly 35 miles, along Iceland’s southern coast. You’ll experience natural hot springs, expansive lava fields, and many more of Iceland’s classic sights. This trek is not for the faint of heart, and the weather is often unpredictable. But for extreme travelers looking for a unique way to visit Iceland, it’s perfect.

Iceland is very protective of its natural resources, landscapes, and wide variety of ecosystems. For this reason, multi day trekking should be respectful, ideally done with a guide who can help provide key information about the wildlife and plant life you’ll encounter, as well as Iceland's extensive and fascinating geological history. | Inspired? Search over 200 tours to Iceland

Iceland Trekking Trips to Consider:

Trekking in Iceland - the Laugavegur Trail, 7 Days - from $2,174 per person

Laugavegur Trail Guided Walk, 5 Days - from $2,560 per person

8. Peru

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

The journey to see the famed Lost City of the Inca’s can be achieved many different ways, but by far the most popular and most classic is to walk the Inca Trail. This hike is attractive for several reasons.

The Inca Trail is challenging but very doable, historic, and relatively short. Typically hikes along the Inca Trail take 4 days. There is a communal feel at campsites as you meet other groups on their way to achieving this bucket list item. Tours to do the Inca Trail are often bookended with a few days exploring other sites in Peru.

Be sure to plan well in advance for traveling on the Inca Trail. Permits sell out regularly, and to protect the fragile ecosystem and ancient ruins along the path, only 500 people per day are allowed on the trail.

As with many of the hikes on this list, you may experience extreme altitudes that you’re not used to. For hiking to Machu Picchu, most tours recommend arriving a few days early, to stay in Cusco and acclimate. This will make your journey along the historic Inca Trail far more enjoyable! | Inspired? Search over 100 Inca Trail tours

Inca Trail Treks to Consider:

Inca Trail Trek, 9 Days - from $1,368 per person

Inca Empire, 15 Days - from $2,159 per person

9. California

John Muir Trail, California

California is more than just surf and sand. Some of the more rugged, challenging, and famous treks in the world are here, including the coveted John Muir Trail. The full trail is 214 miles, beginning in Yosemite National Park and ending at the peak of Mount Whitney.

The hike can be done in sections, and this is a popular option for many visiting Yosemite and the surrounding area. John Muir was a pioneer in spirit and contributed much to the awareness of conservation for national parks. His legacy lives and breathes through every trail.   

If you’re a more serious hiker for whom the full through-hike is a magnum opus, the general timing to allow is three weeks, which evens out to an average of 10 miles a day.

This is a wonderful option, but requires some major preparation and should only be taken by experiences hikers or with a guide. | Inspired? Search over 700 trips to California

California Trips to Consider:

Yosemite Backpacking, 4 Days - from $899 per person

Camping America's West, 21 Days - from $2,437 per person

10. Spain

Camino de Santiago hike

This ancient medieval pilgrimage route dates back to the early 9th century, when travelers sought the shrine of the apostle St. James. Rather than one straight path, the Camino de Santiago is actually a network of pilgrimage routes, most of which are open for travelers to take today.

However the most popular follows a path from Biarritz on the west coast of France to Santiago, Spain - a distance of 500 miles.

Marked along the way by a scallop shell symbol, which has traditionally been a metaphor for the multiple routes themselves, meeting at a single point. This symbol is also used by pilgrims themselves, who wear it to indicate their participation.

Typically to finish the walk in 30-35 days, you’ll be hiking between 14 and 16 miles a day. This trek is very flat, and accommodations are generally easy to find along the way (though if traveling in the summer, be aware that it will be crowded).

Even though the way is flat, you will definitely want to make sure you have very well broken in hiking boots, a hiking stick, and pack very light. | Inspired? Search over 700 trips to Spain 

Camino de Santiago Trips to Consider:

Camino de Santiago, 9 Days - from $1,655 per person

Explore the Camino Way, 10 Days - from $2,112 per person


Ready to go trekking? Start your search: browse over 500 Trekking Tours on Stride. 

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4906 Views    1 Comments
Comments
By Dambar Khadka
April 26, 2019 at 4:54 AM
Beautiful Mount Everest trekking in Nepal. Some people can complete within 10 days and some took 14 days.
Reply

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