In This Article
- 1. Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
- 2. The Inca Trail, Peru
- 3. GR20, Corsica, France
- 4. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal
- 5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA
- 6. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
- 7. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- 8. El Chaltén, Argentina
- 9. Routeburn Track, New Zealand
- 10. Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia
Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a casual hiker, there’s nothing quite like trekking through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. From the snow-capped peaks of Nepal to the verdant rainforests of Costa Rica, there are endless possibilities for adventure. Here are ten of the best trekking trails in the world.
1. Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Every trekker must take the opportunity to experience the Everest Base Camp Trek at least once in their lifetime. This iconic journey takes you through four distinct regions and some of the highest mountains in the world, with worthwhile sights and challenges along the way. You’ll be rewarded with majestic views of Mt. Everest and other snow-capped giants such as Mt. Nuptse, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu as your team makes its way through traditional Sherpa villages, raw landscapes, and alpine forests.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can even take the trek further and push to climb Everest. Although only for some, summiting the world’s highest mountain in the world can be found on countless bucket lists. Just don’t be surprised when you find out how much it costs to climb Mount Everest!
2. The Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail in Peru is one of the best treks in the world. A multifaceted, 26-mile trek that takes you through various terrains and stunning landscapes, it provides travelers with breathtaking views of glaciers, ruins, and mountain peaks. Not to mention, you’ll follow the ancient Incas’ footsteps as you make your way from Cusco to Machu Picchu. For those who love an incredible challenge and dream of exploring a once-in-a-lifetime destination, the Inca Trail is an absolute must.
3. GR20, Corsica, France
This humbling journey through Corsica is renowned for its variety of scenery and the level of grit it demands of hikers who dare to take on its difficult terrain. Forests, granite moonscapes, windswept craters, glacial lakes, torrents, peat bogs, maquis, snow-capped peaks, plains, and névés (stretches of ice formed from snow) are among the challenging terrain features.
The 1972-built GR20 connects Conca, north of Porto Vecchio, with the Balagne hamlet of Calenzana, but the pleasures are costly. The route is rugged, uneven, and frequently steep, with exposed scrambles up slick rock faces and over loose, swaying scree; all of this adds to the thrill!
4. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal
Trekking enthusiasts from all over the world make their way to Nepal each year for a chance to experience one of the best treks in the country – The Annapurna Circuit Trek. Nestled in the spectacular Annapurna range, it offers breathtaking views that will take your breath away. The trek is perfect for beginners and experienced trekkers alike, as it offers various routes with different difficulty levels; some even taking you to the Annapurna Base Camp! A great way to explore the mountains and nature of Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is definitely on every adventurer’s must-visit list.
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the USA is a must-visit if you’re looking for an amazing trekking experience. It is one of the best treks in the world, and with its beautiful, wild landscapes, it makes a great choice for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. The 850 miles of trails offer different difficulty levels, terrain types, sights, and sounds. Trekkers will be able to explore lush forests, cascading waterfalls, scenic views, and mysterious misty Appalachian Mountains. It’s no wonder that this spot has made it on the list of the 10 best trekking trails in the world.
6. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park, located in Chile, is renowned as one of the best treks in the world. With its breathtaking glaciers and iconic granite spires captivating hikers from around the globe, this sublime trekking trail has become a sought-after destination. Giving visitors a taste of rugged wilderness and incredible vistas, Torres del Paine makes for one unforgettable trek. From icy glacial lakes to ancient forests, you’ll explore diverse landscapes that will leave lasting memories. Torres del Paine National Park is an absolute must for nature lovers looking for an amazing trek like no other!
7. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Even today, the epic endeavor of climbing Africa’s highest mountain takes a week. You’ll know Kilimanjaro must be climbed the moment you first notice its hazy grandeur rising above the dry lowlands. At its foot, lions and elephants may frolic, but the peak is snow-capped and barren, rising to a height of 19,340 feet, which poses a risk of altitude sickness (5,895m).
There are seven established routes to the summit, and hikers can reach the peak in 5 to 9 days, while lengthier excursions are advised to lower the risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS). The last stage typically begins before dawn and reaches its peak as the first rays of light break through a broad expanse of the African savanna.
8. El Chaltén, Argentina
For the best trek in the world, look no further than El Chaltén in Argentina. Nestled deep within Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia, this breathtaking trail is filled with pristine lakes, lush greenery, and towering mountain peaks, making it a paradise for adventurous hikers. Along the 11-day route, you will find many challenging and exciting treks, including the iconic Fitz Roy summit hike renowned for its spectacular views of glaciers and granite ridges. Other attractions include gleaming glaciers, pristine lagoon waters, and Andean condors soaring majestically above the horizon. With its incomparable landscapes and unique terrain, it’s no wonder that El Chaltén is one of the best trekking trails in the world.
9. Routeburn Track, New Zealand
The 3-day Routeburn Track is one of the greatest routes to travel through this pristine natural beauty, which is as alpine as you can get outside the Alps in New Zealand’s South Island. This trek traverses the craggy terrain of two breathtaking national parks, Fiordland and Mt. Aspiring, through glacier-carved fjords, shortened valleys, and jagged mountains.
The best route connects Milford Road to the Routeburn Shelter (north of Queenstown), stopping at campgrounds with breathtaking scenery for the night. Highlights include the panoramas from Conical Hill and Harris Saddle and frigid dips in spring-fed alpine tarns.
10. Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia
The walk up Gunung Rinjani in Indonesia should definitely be included on the list of Southeast Asian volcanoes to visit. At the peak of this massive lake-capped volcano, which still occasionally rumbles into life, most recently in 2016, the island of Lombok soars to a breathtaking height of 12,224 feet (3,726m) while its lovely beaches simmer at sea level. As dawn pushes back the darkness, revealing the crater lake and its ominous cinder cones like a lost valley of dinosaurs, the final ascent begins in the dark to reach the top in time to take in the vistas.
So there you have it—10 of the best trekking trails in the world offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These treks will surely leave you feeling fulfilled, amazed, and inspired. And if you’re seeking extra motivation, remember that trekking is also great for your health! Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner just starting, these trails should be on your bucket list.