By definition Trek means “to go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot”. Arduous as it is, trekking is not just about putting one foot in front of the other – it is about breathing your way into the destination’s history and culture. If you want a trek to be a walk in the park, then it is better to go to a park. But if you crave the grueling physical challenge and mental engagement trekking involves, read on to know about the 5 best trekking destinations of the world:
1. The Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
The Annapurna base camp trek is a hiker’s dream destination. If you want to witness green pastures, breath in the freshness of pine forests, feast your eyes on spectacular landscapes – Annapurna mountain range is your best bet. The whole trek can be completed in 21 days but you can tailor your trek according to your needs as there are certain sections which can be completed in 3 days. Every bend in the trail provides another photo opportunity.
Best time to Trek: October/ November/ Early December
Level of Difficulty: Ice picks or ropes are not required as there is no vertical climbing involved. However you will not find paved trails. The terrain is rocky and rough with gravels.
Accommodation & Food: Basic dorms to good hotels. You can have typical Nepalese trekking food ranging from pasta, pancakes, steaks etc.
Fun Fact: The yaks that you will find on the trails and not true yaks. They are a hybrid between yaks and cattle called “dzo”. Also if a guest house is serving yak burgers, be sure you are most likely eating a water buffalo. Yaks are too valuable to be slaughtered for meat.
2. Inca Trail, Peru:
Trekking the Inca trail lets you step into the footprints of Inca to the peak of Andes and cleansing your soul by lungful of Peru’s pure mountain air. Nothing can beat the experience of catching your first sight of the forgotten city of Machu Pichhu. It is not an achievement it is a transformation.
Best time to go: May to September
Level of Difficulty: The path is pretty well marked but depending on the trail you may have to deal with wet stones and mud. The uphill is really difficult and the downhills are worse especially after the first and second passes.
Accommodation & Food: You can find luxury mountain lodges along the Inca Trail which offer exotic dinners, cotton sheets and hot tub baths.
Fun Fact : there is a belief amongst porters that if they sleep with a mirror beneath, it will protect them from spirits which are coming up through the earth.
3. Lost City (Columbia)
This trek involves a round trip through hills, the jungles and valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northern Colombia. If you want a rare opportunity to explore the ruins of the lost city of Teyuna and wonder at what existed once – get to it first and have it all to you. You will get to sleep in Hammocks and soak in the unique culture of the local villages. Trekking amidst the plush jungles and across refreshing streams would lead you to the lost city.
Best time to Trek: December to March
Level of Difficulty: No special equipment requires like climbing ropes or other fittings. It is a well-maintained trail and is mostly easy to follow. However a guide comes in handy to navigate the rivers and certain turns.
Accommodation & Food: You will find a lot of campsites along the way. There are fruit stops along the trail which are a great source of refreshment.
Fun Fact: Ciudad Perdida was housing 10000 people at its peak time that was 650 years before Machu Pichhu.
4. Mont Blanc (“Tour de Mont Blanc”, France)
Mont Blanc is the most popular Alpine walk in Europe and is designates as one of the greatest walks in the world. It covers almost 100 miles and you get to trek through three countries – Italy, France and Switzerland. In return of the hardships you face during this trek, you are rewarded with enthralling views of glaciers, sharp and steep valleys and The Mont Blanc itself.
Best time to Trek: June to September.
Level of Difficulty: Windswept and steep trails.
Fun Fact: Mr. Pierre-Andre Gobet, the Swiss climber in the year 1990 climbed Mont Blanc and back in mere 5 Hours and 10 Minutes.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
If standing on top floor of a skyscraper building does not make you feel tall, then Mt Kilimanjaro’s view will make you feel sky high. Mt. Kilimanjaro stands at 5,895 m high making it the highest peak of Africa. You would be stepping in the shoes of some of the most famous mountaineer’s and explorers while passing through the humid rainforests and the alpine desert. You will be trekking across glaciers in the day and sleeping under a blanket of stars at night. It is not the easiest trek to complete but offers multiple routes to the top.
Best time to go. September to March
Level of Difficulty: The main reason of difficulty is the Altitude. Mt. Kilimanjaro is a high mountain and getting altitude sickness is quite common.
Accommodation & Food: You can find campsites, huts and hotels for stayovers. These hotels offer 3 course meals as well.
Fun Fact: You can witness almost every ecosystem existing on the face of earth at Kilimanjaro ranging from snowfields, deserts, glaciers, alpine moorland & tropical jungle.