Lace up Your Hiking Boots and Set Out on 15 of the Best Hiking Trails in the World
Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand
The Tongariro Crossing has been dubbed the best day hike in the world, and with good reason. The eight-hour hike traverses the moon-like landscape around Mount Tongariro. The trail winds its way through volcanic craters, past bright turquoise pools that seem surreal, as well as occasional ancient lava flows and steaming vents hissing in the ground.
There is an optional detour up Mount Ngauruhoe — better known as Mount Doom to “Lord of the Rings” lovers.
This day hike is long and challenging but extremely rewarding. Unless you are experienced at hiking in snowy conditions, it is best attempted during the summer season. It is an immensely popular hike, so you can expect to see a lot of other hikers on the trail. The glorious beauty of the region make it worthwhile, though — this is a must-do for all keen hikers!
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Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Climbing to the summit of Mount Everest is reserved for all but the most enthusiastic and wealthy climbers. A much more manageable option is to hike to Everest Base Camp. You’ll still climb to a very respectable 18,193 feet.
As well as setting foot on the highest mountain on the planet, you’ll get to absorb the fascinating culture of Nepal. The Himalayan mountains and valleys are home to the Sherpa, who have managed to preserve their culture and traditions. This makes Everest Base Camp one of the most culturally insightful hikes in the world and one of the best treks in Nepal.
To get the most out of the Everest Base Camp Trek, you typically need to allow at least 20 days. You don’t want to rush to reach Base Camp due to the altitude. Taking longer routes gives you time to adjust, as well as more opportunities to explore the valleys and communities on the way.
Also be aware that Nepal’s Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport is considered by many to be one of the worst airports in the world, so approach flying in and out of here with caution.
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Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is the stuff of dreams. The tallest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding peak in the world, reaching Kili’s snowy cap is a huge lure for hiking enthusiasts. This is probably the best hiking vacation in Africa.
Climbing the 19,340 feet to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit takes seven to nine days, depending on which route you take. There are several options to choose from, with the longer paths recommended for anyone who hasn’t experienced altitude before — it will give you more time to adjust.
You’ll need to tackle Kilimanjaro with the help of a trekking company. Porters usually carry everything you could need and more, so you will enjoy the luxury of having someone else put up your tent and cook all your meals.
Before attempting this hike, know that you only have 15 minutes right on top of the mountain. If the weather is not in your favor, you’ll miss seeing the panoramic views the mountain is famous for.