Top 10 Best Treks in the World
Are you a trekking fanatic? Do you swoon at the sight of snowcapped peaks, windswept valleys, and wide open trails?
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re considering your first trip abroad, it’s important to choose the right trek for you.
What type of scenery calls to you–mountains, lakes, prairies, or the desert? How physically fit are you? How well do you handle extremes in temperature or elevation?
These are all factors to consider when planning your next (or first) major trek.
If you’re still deciding where to go, read on. In this post, we’ll reveal the ten best treks in the world and what you should know about each one.
10 of the Best Treks in the World
Everest Base Camp (Nepal)
It’s no surprise that the planet’s tallest mountain is at the top of our list for the best treks in the world.
Reaching the 29,029 ft. (8,848m) summit is best left to experienced mountain climbers. The good news is that the 13-15 day trek to base camp is doable for novice trekkers, as long as they’re in good health.
Base camp sits at a lofty 17,598 ft. (5,364m), so there is a slight risk for altitude sickness. Don’t let that stop you, though. There’s only one place on earth where you can experience authentic Sherpa villages and stand on the “rooftop of the world.”
Inca Trail (Peru)
If Mt. Everest sound a little too intense, hop on a plane to Peru to experience the fabled Inca Trail.
This trek takes 4-5 days and passes through some truly awe-inspiring scenery. You’ll ascend several passes high in the Andes, passing through thick jungle and ancient Tambo ruins.
The highlight? Stepping through the Sun Gate and catching your first glimpse of Macchu Picchu. It’s the main reason the Inca Trail is at the top of many a trekker’s bucket list.
Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Africa may not be the first place that comes to mind for the best treks in the world. But for a truly unique trekking experience, Tanzania should be foremost on your list.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak, at 19,340 ft. (5,895m). It offers trekkers many different options for reaching the summit, which you can choose based on your abilities.
What makes this trek so special is your chance to pass through nearly every type of ecosystem on the planet. As you climb, you’ll pass through savannah, jungle, high desert, glaciers, and snowfields.
Torres del Paine Circuit (Chile)
If you want to see mountains that will take your breath away, head to Patagonia.
Located in Chile, at the southernmost tip of South America, Torres del Paine National Park offers 5-10 days treks. Your camera will get quite a workout here between the stunning volcanoes, electric-blue glaciers, and sprawling grassy plains.
Despite its impressive scenery, the majority of the trekking routes sit below 3000 ft. (900m). This makes it a terrific choice for anyone who’s concerned about elevation since there’s no chance of developing altitude sickness.
Milford Trek (New Zealand)
Hailed by some as “the finest walk in the world,” New Zealand’s Milford Trek earns a rightful place on our list of the best treks in the world.
Located at the same latitude as Chile’s Patagonia, the landscape is also very similar. On this 4-day hut-to-hut trek, you’ll marvel at ancient rain-forests, plunging waterfalls, and glacier-carved valleys.
The route ends at the spectacular Milford Sound, which makes the destination as rewarding as the journey itself.
Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
As the world’s most vertical country, Nepal earns its seconds trekking nomination with the beautiful Annapurna Circuit.
With options as short as 4 days or as long as 25, this trek offers something to suit all abilities. You’ll pass terraced rice fields, winding streams, and near-vertical cliffs along the way.
Sunrise from the top of Poon Hill, surrounded on all sides by peaks as high as 26,500 ft. (8,000m), is a sight you’ll never forget. Best of all, there are plenty of villages with guesthouses along the way, which means you don’t have to carry any camping equipment.
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Tour du Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland)
How does an 8-day trek through 3 countries in the European Alps sound? That’s exactly what you’ll get on the classic Tour du Mont Blanc trek.
Ascend to the alpine heart of Europe and enjoy spectacular scenery along the way. Glaciers, snowy passes, and flower-filled meadows more than make the challenging hike well worth it.
At night, you’ll enjoy delicious cuisine in simple but comfortable auberges or mountain huts.
Camino de Santiago (Spain)
Taking a slight detour from glaciers and snow, the Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Trail) offers a very different trekking experience.
This ancient walkway dates back to the Middle Ages. Devout pilgrims would travel to the city of Santiago de Compostela, the supposed resting place of St. James’ remains.
Even now, over 200,000 people make the historic journey each year. You can walk the full trail over 30 days, enjoying lush green valleys and sleepy Spanish towns along the way.
Grand Canyon National Park (USA)
Looking for an incredible trek a little closer to home? Look no further than Arizona’s Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Just how big is it? The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446km) long, 18 miles (29km) wide, and as deep as 6,093 feet (1,857m).
You can choose from basic one-day treks from the North or South Rim or a multi-day exploration of the canyon’s interior.
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Snowman Trek (Bhutan)
If you’re looking for the ultimate challenge, Bhutan’s Snowman Trek is it.
This 24-day trek high in the Himalayas hugs the border of Tibet and Bhutan. With 9 passes over 15,800 feet (4,500m), it’s considered the most difficult trek on the planet.
If you can handle the altitude, you’ll set foot in places where few humans have stood. You’ll also pass secluded Buddhist monasteries that cling to the sides of cliffs. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity doesn’t come cheap, though. Bhutan imposes a minimum tourist tariff of $200/day, so be prepared to fork over some serious cash for the Snowman Trek.
Experience the Best Treks in the World
We could list hundreds of beautiful places to trek, but this list includes what many consider to be the best treks in the world.
Whichever trek you choose, you’re sure to be astounded by Mother Nature’s unspoiled beauty.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our latest world travel posts for more ideas and helpful tips.