Many of us, who is busy working and doing the career, realize that the office becomes our almost first home and sitting our permanent state of body. That is why hiking might be one of the best escapes from the office sitting routine and a key to revitalizing the energy, starting feeling freedom, movement and flexibility. Why not to take it to the next level and allow your body and mind go on a wild adventure. Here are five amazing hiking places around the world, that will not only give you a physical challenge, but also impress your with the blow-minding landscapes and experiences.
1) Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4 km/7 hours day hike on the North island of New Zealand that will provide you with unforgettable memories of being in the “other planet-like” surroundings. The crossing takes you through terrain of multi-cratered active volcano Mount Ngauruhoe, starting on the west side of the Mount Tongariro and finished on its north side. It is a combination of a couple of steep ascents with a few flat landscape segments and a long smooth descent at the end. The highlights are the volcanic lava formations with crazy red-green-yellow mix of colours, Emerald and Blue lakes, springs with boiling water and steaming areas and of course a wild moonscape.
2) Gorilla trekking is a must to do activity when visiting Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa. It is conducted in the Bwindi National Park. There are several Gorilla families that can be visited. Each of them can be visited by a group of maximum of 8 people per day, which spends observing the animals for not longer than one hour. The escalated thrill comes also from the fact, that no one knows how long it would take each guided group to hike for until a family will have been found. A few professionals go ahead to look for a family and inform the group through the radio giving instructions to follow when a family has been located. It might take a group to hike from one to seven hours. Gorilla families, that are visited by tourists, have gone through the process of habitation, when local experts after having found a new family, spend time with the family each day for about 3 years until the family feels that human beings are a part of their natural habitat. This way the Gorillas are not worried about the presence of humans and continue living their normal lives as long as the observation time is limited. The experience of being so close to these impressive mammals that share about 99% of human’s DNA. Gorilla trekking permit is 350 (low season) -600 USD per person. Bwindi forest can be accessed from Queen Elizabeth National Park, 2-3 hours’ drive from Kampala.
3) Inca trail is a 43 km route in Peru that offers a fabulous combination of mountain scenery, passes through lush cloud forest and subtropical jungle walking on Inca paving stones. It is 4 days’ trek that starts at km 82 along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, passing the Inca ruins and arriving to Machu Picchu. The experience provides an opportunity to see rural life, interact with local people and cuddle typical animals like lamas, sleep in tents with mountains views, waking up with a sunrise and feel alive than ever. A tip: do not miss a climb to the Huayana Pichhu (Wayna Pikchu), that rises over Machu Picchu. The chances are you would have to run from the last camp site to the Machu Picchu to get one of the view visiting permits that are sold out quite soon after the opening of the park on the daily bases.
4) Los Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) is a protected mountainous area, 20 km inland from the northern coast, across three provinces of the Northern Spain: Cantabria; Asturias and Leon. The impressive range is all limestone, carved by the glacial action that created the alpine landscape. The network of passes includes 27 short routes and 2 longer ones in the forestry area and 4 mountain ones. The gorges, the valleys, the snowy pics make you feel so small, but so much in peace with yourself and united with the world. The best way to get there is by bus or car from Oviedo or Santander to the town of Potes, Make your way to the cable car of Fuente Fe and take a ride to the top, which will be your starting point for the hike. In spite of their elevation of 2 650 meters, the peaks are not so difficult to climb and you can be on top of one of the peaks after a couple of hours of trekking. The chances are that the views astound you.
5) Hiking in Patagonia and Tierra del fuego is at least once in a life experience. Finding yourself surrounded by the wild nature, drinking water from the rivers, walking through the forests and mountains, what can be a better way to spend your vacation if you are Torres del Paine, Chile’s most popular National park? It is famous for its three 200 meters granite towers, offering two classic treks, a W-shape one (4 days) and a Circuit (7 days). Reaching the towers you will probably not be able to refuse jumping next to a green lake for a memorable shot. If you are short of time, then go to El Chalten in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. It offers many one day trek options, one of which is a hike to the Laguna de los Tres, 4 hours, with a great view on Fitz Roy Mountain. The other good choice is taken one of the adventure tours in El Calafate, for example a hike over the Perito Moreno, where you will be wearing a crampon, special metal spikes worn on the boots for fraction, and explore the white and deep blue landscape of the glacier.
There are plenty of other hikes that are worth doing while traveling, follow our blog and find out about other impressive places to put to your list.