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The Best Treks in The World: Our Bucket List Picks

Traveller sat at Park Guell, Barcelona

By Sarah Hemsley

Last updated: 21st June 2024

Nothing beats taking on a mighty trek. That feeling of relief, freedom and accomplishment, when you reach the final destination, is what makes trekking adventures so special! Others simply hike for the jaw-dropping scenery, the adventurous challenge, and all the history and culture they learn along the way. The Earth is gifted with incredible natural wonders, historic landmarks and unbelievable mountains, creating some of the best treks in the world. They’re just waiting for you to take the first step. So, lace up your boots and take on our bucket list picks below.

1. Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru

Traveller at Machu Picchu in Peru

Best trek for: Incan Ruins

Distance: 20 miles (33km)

Duration: 4-5 days

Difficulty: Moderate

There’s no doubt Machu Picchu is top of your bucket list - it is ours! This famous landmark in Peru is well-known for its incredible Incan ruins, which were built around 1450 AD. The iconic Inca trail is the most popular route up to this New Wonder of the World. The long and rugged trek offers breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains, well-preserved Incan ruins dripping in history, and many adorable llamas you’ll have the joy of meeting. Join a group tour and Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with a group of like-minded determined backpackers. You’ll climb to 2,430m and marvel at the city ruins that so many trekkers are dreaming of. 

2. Lemosho Route, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Zebras and buffalos in front of Kilimanjaro

Best trek for: Incredible Views of Tanzania

Distance: 35 miles (66km)

Duration: 7-9 days

Difficulty: Moderate - challenging

One of the world's Seven Summits and a dormant volcano: no wonder hiking Kilimanjaro is considered one of the best treks in the world! You can take multiple routes, but the Lemosho Route is the most beautiful taking you up the western side. What makes this trek challenging is the hilly terrain and high altitude. Step by step you’ll say goodbye to the zebras, giraffes and lions, and hello to snow-capped peaks, unbelievable views and the freshest air you’ve ever breathed. Every push is worth it to stand at 5895m and say: “I did it!” It’s thought to be one of life’s most rewarding accomplishments! So, are you ready to take on Africa’s biggest peak? Climb Mt Kilimanjaro in 10 days!

3. Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Prayer flags at Mount Everest Base Camp

Best trek for: Scenic Mountains

Distance: From Lukla, 80 miles (130 km)

Duration: 14 days

Difficulty: Moderate - challenging. It is slightly easier than climbing Kilimanjaro due to the terrain.

Speaking of the Seven Summits, we couldn’t not mention the world’s highest mountain - Mount Everest. Although few trekkers take on the almost impossible climb to the summit (8848 m), many take on Mount Everest Base Camp (5364 m). It’s the ultimate trek for mountaineers! The trek is considered challenging, but the zigzagged paths up the mountain make it easier to climb with plenty of opportunities to stop and rest. As with most treks, with the right preparation and training, Mount Everest Base Camp is doable for most with a good fitness level. Journey through the Himalayas on a 15-day guided Everest Base Camp Adventure; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experience.

4. Lost City Trek, Colombia

Lost City view in Colombia

Best trek for: Uncovering Colombian History

Distance: 28 miles (46km)

Duration: 4-5 days

Difficulty: Challenging

The trek to The Lost City (known as ‘Ciudad Perdida’) takes you off the beaten track, through the cloud forests and friendly villages towards this ancient civilisation. With hot and humid temperatures reaching 30°, you’ll need plenty of water for this trek! Join our 7-day Colombia Lost City Trek where you’ll sleep in hammocks, cool off in rivers, and follow an expert tour guide along the route. Plus, take on the 1,200 steps built by the ancient Tayrona people! The ascent is fairly steep so a good level of fitness is recommended for taking on this challenging hike through the Colombian jungle. 

5. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

Fjord view on Routeburn Track in New Zealand

Best trek for: Scenic Landscapes

Distance: 20 miles (32km) 

Duration: 3 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Ask anyone outdoorsy where the best treks in the world are and they’ll likely say New Zealand. It's a trekking paradise, and the Routeburn Track is no expectation. Nestled between Milford Sound and Queenstown, this stunning trek takes you through two of New Zealand's best national parks - Fiordland and Mt Aspiring. It’s named one of New Zealand's 10 Great Walks due to its scenic alpine and fiord landscapes. We’re talking snow-capped mountains, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls. These landscapes will make your jaw drop. Extend your stay on one of our New Zealand Trips to tick this hilly trek off your bucket list. 

6. Gorilla Trek, Uganda

Gorilla in forest in Uganda

Best trek for: Spotting Mountain Gorillas

Distance: Depends on your group and how soon you will find the gorillas

Duration: 4 hours +

Difficulty: Moderate

You will never stop talking about the time you trekked deep into the Ugandan jungle to spot a family of mountain gorillas living in the wild. If you love wildlife (especially mountain gorillas) you’ll enjoy this Uganda gorilla trek through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. On our Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Trek, wake up at dawn, jump in a jeep and then hike through incredible lush green forests searching for families of apes. After a couple of hours of trekking through hilly terrains, you’ll surely come close to them - only a couple of meters away! The unbelievable encounter is worth it.

Our Top Trekking Tips

Train & Prepare

Some treks may require higher fitness levels than others but this doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it! You just need the right training and preparation to help you reach the summit. It’s a good idea to research how much training you should do beforehand. 

Warm-up

A 5-10 minute warm-up to move your muscles before you set off can help to prevent strains, sprains and cramps.

Gear-up

Some terrain can be cobbly or uneven, especially on mountains and exploring ancient ruins. A quality pair of hiking boots with good grip and ankle support is recommended. Plus, get yourself some sweat-wicking socks to help avoid blisters.

Travel light

Only bring practical lightweight clothing you can layer up if need be. Every gram will weigh you down so only pack the essentials. The lighter the better! Remember you may need to wear longer layers on some treks to help prevent insect bites.

Drink plenty of water

Don’t get dehydrated. Ensure you’re regularly sipping on water as you hike - you’ll need it. Some hikes have water stations along the way, so bring a lightweight refillable water bottle with you. For other treks, you may need to bring water purification tablets. 

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness

Trekkers start to feel the effects of altitude from 2000m above sea level. Here are a few tips to prepare for altitude:

  • Go steady and allow your body to acclimatise.
  • Drink only water, sorry no alcohol. You’ll thank us later.
  • Take deep breaths to increase blood oxygen levels.
  • Check with your doctor or travel clinic before travelling if you are going to an area at risk of altitude sickness, and speak to them about altitude sickness tablets
  • Check the NHS website for more details on preventing and treating altitude sickness and the TravelHealthPro website on Altitude Illness

For further tips, consult with a doctor or medical professional, especially if you have medical conditions or are considering a strenuous trek.

 

Now, you’re ready to take on these best treks in the world! Pack your bags, head into the great outdoors and go climb that mountain you’re dreaming of. Check out our trekking adventures to get going 👈

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