I have been a hiking lover since I was a child. During the last 10 years of my life I have been searching for the next epic trekking route to complete from around the world. The fact that I was fortunate enough to live in New Zealand for 4 years gave me the opportunity to experience amazing walking trails like George Sound Track and the Hollyford – Pyke River Loop, some of my all time favourite routes.

I also got the chance to explore other parts of the world like hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, walked to the top of the Mauna Kea Volcano in Hawaii and reached the Everest Base Camp in Tibet. They were all memorable routes. However, I am ever hungrier than before in my personal quest of finding the best trekking routes around the planet.

Everyone has a bucket list and this is mine. The best hiking routes from around the world I wish I could complete some day. Enjoy!

 

 

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TORRES DEL PAINE CIRCUIT TREK – CHILE

Torres del Paine Circuit Trek

Photo by Claudio Sepulveda Geoffroy, licensed under CC BY

The Circuit Trek in the Torres del Paine National Park located in southern Chilean Patagonia is considered one of the best treks in the world. Aside from the impressive views of the pink granite spires of the Torres del Paine, the trail takes you past beautiful lakes, lush forests, roaring rivers and glaciers. There are also good chances of spotting wildlife such as condors, guanacos, foxes and nandus. The trek is 100km (62mi) and takes about 9 days, 8 nights to complete.

 

 

CORDILLERA BLANCA – PERU

Cutting Through Peru's Cordillera Blanca: Hiking The Santa Cruz

The Cordillera Blanca is a snowcapped mountain range in the Ancash region of Peru. This mountain range is part of the Huascarán National Park which is named after the highest mountain in Peru, Huáscarán (6,768m). The Cordillera Blanca is also home to Alpamayo, considered to be the most beautiful mountain in the world. There are an estimated 260 glaciers within the Cordillera Blanca. These glaciers feed the clear glacial lakes and create thermal hot springs. This region offers some excellent opportunities for hiking such as the Santa Cruz, Alpamayo circuit, and Rurec Shaqsha treks.

 

 

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OVERLAND TRACK – AUSTRALIA

Overland Track Tasmania

Photo by Ben Ashmole, licensed under CC BY

The Overland Track located in Cradle Mountain National Park is Australia’s premier alpine walk. It’s a 65km trail that runs from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair. The track takes you through a variety of terrain, ranging from sheer mountains, rushing rivers, temperate forest and alpine planes. The spectacular scenery is created by glaciers which form the waterfalls and lakes that you will see along the trail. The track takes 5 to 6 days to complete.

 

 

DUSKY SOUND TRACK – NEW ZEALAND

Dusky Sound Track

Photo by Russell Parkinson, licensed under CC BY

I have done many hikes around Fiordland National Park but this is one I am still missing. The Dusky Sound track is one of the country’s longest and most isolated tracks. This 84km track traverses three major valleys and crosses two mountain ranges, connecting Lake Manapouri and Lake Hauroko. Along the way you will hear and see a wide variety of forest birds, including yellowheads (mohua), yellow-crowned parakeets (kakariki), weka and kea. It is a challenging trek, where you must cross 21, 3 wire bridges and can expect to encounter tree falls, knee deep mud, tree roots and river crossings.

 

 

GR20 ROUTE – CORSICA

G20 Route - Corsica

Photo by Jean-Baptiste Bellet, licensed under CC BY

This 180km trail traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. Out of all the long distance paths in Europe, the GR20 is considered the toughest. It’s beautiful scenery, colors and free roaming wildlife make it one of the regions finest treks. You will walk through towering pinnacles, deep forests, windswept craters, glacial lakes and snow-capped peaks. At some points it is even possible to catch a glimpse of the dramatic coastline.  It takes most walkers about 15 days to complete.

 

 

INCA TRAIL – PERU

Inca Trail - Peru

Photo by tom_allan, licensed under CC BY

The Inca Trail located in the Andes mountain range consists of three overlapping trails, Mollepata, Classic and One Day. Mollepata is the longest and the Classic is the most popular. On these trails you pass through a variety of Andean environments such as cloud forest and alpine tundra. Once you reach the eastern slope of the mountain named Machu Picchu you take steep stairs leading to Inti Punku (the sun gate). Making it to the crest of this ridge reveals the grandeur of the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, which lie below.

 

 

 

 

RORAIMA TREK – VENEZUELA

Roraima Trek - Venezuela

Photo by Paulo Fassina, licensed under CC BY

Mount Roraima is the highest mountain in the Pakaraima chain of tepui platues in South America. On this trek you will go through savannah, thick cloud forest, and rivers. Bizarre stone formations and unique plants shape the landscape of this region. The trail takes 6 days to complete.

 

 

KAIETEUR FALLS TREK – GUAYANE

Kaitereur Falls Trek - Guayanne

Photo by Tim Snell, licensed under CC BY

An overland adventure of the combination of 4×4, canoe, and trekking brings you to Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world. Aside from the impressive beauty of the falls, the highlight of this trail is being deep in the Amazon rainforest and encountering it’s diverse wildlife.

 

 

JOHN MUIR TRAIL – CALIFORNIA (USA)

John Muir Trail - USA

Photo by Peretz Partensky, licensed under CC BY

This long distance trail located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California passes through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Here you are surrounded by alpine and high mountain scenery, lakes, canyons and granite cliffs. The majority of this 338km (210mi) trail is in the High Sierra backcountry and wilderness. At the end of the trail you come to Mount Witney, at 4,418m (14,496 ft) it is the highest peak in the continental US.

 

 

MOUNT KENYA – KENYA

Mount Kenya - Kenya

Photo by chris.murphy, licensed under CC BY

At 5199m (17058 ft), Mount Kenya is the highest peak in Kenya and the second highest in Africa after Kilimanjaro. In 1997 UNESCO declared Mount Kenya a World Heritage Site describing it as “one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes.” There are three principle routes, Naro Moru,  Sirimoni, and  Chogoria. Sirimoni is the most popular as the altitude gain is nice and steady and it offers one of the most beautiful approaches to the peaks.

 

 

ZION NATIONAL PARK – UTAH (USA)

Zion National Park - Utah (USA)

Photo by Jeff Krause, licensed under CC BY

Utah’s oldest and most popular park is known for it’s incredible canyons and views. Some of the most popular hikes are The Narrows, Subway, and Angels Landing. The park is located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions which attributes to the regions unique geography and variety of life zones which allows for unusual biodiversity.

 

26 Responses

  1. Marjo

    The images look so lovely. They all look so beautiful and definitely worthy of being on that bucket list. The Kaieteur Falls Trek with the waterfalls is the one I really want to do before I’m done in this world.

    • Antonio Cala

      Hey Marjo,

      We were planning to do the Kaieteur Falls this year, but we ended up changing our plans and heading to the Andes. But we will definitely have to go to Guyane at some point

  2. reuven genn

    The sites look amazing – each and every one!
    I think you should add: Wadi Rum in Jordan and the section of the Israel National Trail with The Karbolet (The Rooster Comb) overlooking the Giant Crater
    Reuven

    • Antonio Cala

      Thanks for your input Reuven. I’ve been to both places myself (hiking, not cycling) and I have to say I agree with you. They are both very special places 🙂

  3. Sandra

    Nice list there and some great hikes I’m not familiar with. I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to link to your post from my blog. I did an alternative Inca trail trek in Peru in 2012. It was brilliant. I’ve been to Cradle Mountain and hiked around there, too, but I haven’t done the full Overland Track yet. It’s on my bucket list. I hope you get to do some, if not all, of these amazing hikes.

  4. Mimi

    Such a great list, I’ll be adding a few of these to my own hiking bucket list! I especially would love to hike the Inca Trail, the Overland Track, and Zion National Park. I’ll look forward to your write-up about these adventures when you get to them!

    • Antonio Cala

      We’ve been exploring the Cordillera Blanca in Peru for the last 2 months and have lots of content coming up on those hikes 🙂

  5. Rasius

    Thanks for the list and amazing pics.
    The trek from Mollepata called Sankantay (or Alternative Salkantay), not Inca.
    Insted of overcrowded Santa Cruz I would recommend Quilcayhuanca – Cojup trek in Cordillera Blanca.
    Why you didn’t add Huayhuash Circuit you did? Also missed anything deep: Cotahuasi or Grand canyon treks.
    Have a memorable adventures!

    • Antonio Cala

      Hey Rasius,
      These post reads as bucket list, not as our favourite ones.
      After being hiking in Cordillera Blanca, Huayhuash and Cusco area for 3 months, I would agree with some of your recommendations.
      Definitely Huayhuash Circuit is the best hike in my opinion. Quilcahuanca-Cojup, I agree it’s better than Santa Cruz. But the other one I would add is Ausangate Trek, highly recommended.

    • Neil Fahey

      So true… I could easily pick a hundred just in Australia! Good to see that most of them aren’t your typical ‘bucket list’ hikes though.

      Cheers
      Neil

  6. Neil Fahey

    Solid list, guys! Like Sandra, I’ve hiked around Cradle Mountain but not the full Overland Track (yet). Might be heading down there next year on a photography tour. The rest of your suggestions are on my list now, too! 🙂

    Cheers
    Neil

    • Antonio Cala

      So what are your recommendations for hiking in Australia?

      I’ve done quite a bit in the Kimberley (which I really liked), but I still have to get down to Tassie & Southern Australia. It’s a big country!

      • Neil Fahey

        Hi Antonio,

        I’m so sorry about the massively delayed response. I mustn’t have been subscribed to comments, so I’m only here because I stumbled across this post again.

        I’d kill to hike in the Kimberley! You’re very lucky. Well Tassie is obviously very well known as a world class hiking destination, so there’s heaps down there that are worth doing. A favourite of locals is the Walls of Jerusalem hike.

        I’d also check out the Blue Mountains in NSW and Kangaroo Island in SA. That’s just the beginning, though. There are too many to mention!

        Cheers
        Neil

  7. Cynthia Brown

    These look amazing!! I’ve spent time walking in the Zion National Park, Zion – indeed worthy of your list, and time at Cradle Mountain although not yet the trail to Lake St Clair – living in Australia it’s on our list. The next one coming up for us is the Larapinta Trail, another of Australia’s most spectacular walking experiences, 230km, designed as a 21 day hike, through the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. Check it out!

  8. Spryte

    Zion National Park is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, I’ve not been there since I was (perhaps) 10 years old … more than two decades ago!

    The John Muir Trail has been on my radar as a goal for several years now… but I have no set time-frame for the attempt yet. (Must settle some other affairs in my life before I can go haring off on happy adventures.)

    Thank you for sharing these ideas!

  9. Campbell

    Some nice hikes, would like to do the John Muir trail. We enjoyed Roraima and Torres del Paine. I did not do the Inca Trail but spent some time hiking around Cusco and think there are much nicer hikes to Machu Picchu. You can look at our favorite 5 hikes http://stingynomads.com/top-5-hikes/ safe travels

  10. Michael

    Great article with suggested treks to certainly consider. Apart trekking in Victoria my home state, I have completed Nepal Everest Base Camp & Tour De Mont Blanc, both amazing walks. We were to do the Hadrians Wall & Western Highland Walk this month, but this has had to be postponed. Later this year I will doing a trek from Mt Kosciusko to Marlo in Victoria. But in my bucket list are:-
    – Torres Del Pane – O circuit
    – Tibet Everest Base Camp & Mt Kailash
    – Snowmans trek in Bhutan
    – Cinque Terre walk in Italy
    – The Harz witches trail in Germany

    But this list could go on & on….. so much to do so much to see

  11. MARIUS BOMPA

    Great list.
    We did the first 2 and the Inca Trail.
    All are amaizing and looking forward going back to Torres del Paine and Husacaran.

  12. Mark

    Great list, I will have to check a few of these out. Right now I’m trying to decide on my next trip, I have it narrowed down to two. 1 hike to Havasu fAlls in Arizona, or 2 hike one of the canyon trips you suggested in Nicaragua. Love reading about all your adventures.

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