Favourite Hikes

South America
Hiking is one of my favourite pastimes when travelling. This page has links to trip reports and photos from all my favourite hikes around the world.

Peru

The Inca Trail
Probably the world’s most famous trek, and for good reason. Not only do you get to see the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu at the end of a tough four day hike, you also get smaller but still very impressive ruins every day (that only the 200 people a day doing the trail ever get to see), and stunning mountain scenery.

The Huayhuash Circuit Part One & Part Two
Many people reckon this is the best trek in the world – and it’s certainly the best I’ve ever done. The circuit is an 8-12 day loop around the breathtaking Cordillera Huayhuash. It’s tough – over 4,000m the whole time, with high passes over 5,000m – but totally worth it. Best of all is that it’s quite remote and much quieter than many more famous trails. Huaraz, trekking capital of the Peruvian Andes, is the place to go to sort out the trip, and it’s easily arranged locally far cheaper than you can do from abroad.

The Santa Cruz Trek
Also best reached from Huaraz is this beautiful four-day journey through high valleys of the Cordillera Blanca, the tropics’ highest mountain range, passing by Alpamayo (called the most beautiful mountain in the world by some) along the way.

Laguna Churup
Anyone planning the Santa Cruz or Huayhuash treks will need to do some day hikes first to acclimatise. This is one of the perfect ones to do, taking you up over 4,000 metres to a sheltered lake ringed by snow-capped mountains.

The Colca Canyon
Near to Arequipa, Peru’s second city, are the two deepest canyons in the world. The deepest is relatively inaccessible, but this, the second, is reachable in a day from the city. I did a two-day hike with one night at the bottom, followed by an incredible steep and tiring ascent in the morning. On the way there is one of the best spots in the world for viewing Andean condors.

Colombia

Volcan Nevado del Ruiz
I visited on a day trip from Manizales to this snow-capped volcano. It’s the highest point I’ve ever been to (5,125m), and unfortunately it was so cloudy on the day I visited I could barely see a thing!

Valle de Cocora
This hike from Salento, in the central coffee-growing region, is a fantastic, and relatively easy, day hike through a valley filled with the world’s tallest palm trees, making it look like something out of Jurassic Park.

The Lost City
This five-day hike is gruelling for very different reasons to the high altitude hikes I did in Peru – even though it’s at low altitude, it’s location near the Caribbean coast makes it incredibly humid. But it’s also unique, with the trail crossing a waist-deep river over a dozen times along its way, and ending up at beautiful, remote pre-colombian ruins.

Chile

Easter Island
The most famous sites at Easter Island can get busy with tour groups – but try the 34km coastal path from one end of the island to the other, passing extinct volcanoes and various remote archaeological sites along the way, and you’ll probably have the place to yourself. Stunning.

Bolivia

Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca
A simple, but lovely day hike across this island in massive Lake Titicaca, one of the world’s highest, with views across to the snow-capped Andes in the distance, and passing Inca ruins along the way.

Central America
Guatemala

Volcan Santa Maria
A relatively tough (and frequently muddy) day hike from the town of Quetzaltenango. Best bit of this one is getting to sit at the top and watch huge clouds of ash and steam pour out of the continuously erupting Santiaguito on the flank of its big sister.

Volcan Pacaya
Another constantly erupting volcano is Volcan Pacaya – this one is another day hike, reached from Antigua. This is one of the few places in the world where you can get right up close (less than a metre away) from constantly flowing lava.

Nicaragua
Volcan Telica
A tough, hot, and humid two-day hike up one of the highest volcanoes in Nicaragua, near the city of Leon. Best bit about this one is camping in an extinct crater, giving you the opportunity to see lava in the active crater next door by night.

Cerro Negro
A much easier hike this one, also near Leon, also takes you to an active crater. Best of all is that you can slide all the way back down on a board.

Volcan Masaya & Volcan Mombacho
Two of the easiest Volcano hikes in Central America – you can get driven to nearly the top on both. Masaya lets you see two active craters and hike through long, dark lava tubes. Mombacho lets you hike round a lush green extinct crater, giving sweeping views over Lake Nicaragua from the top.

Oceania
New Zealand

The Tongariro Crossing
One of the world’s greatest day hikes, this takes you past snow-capped volcanoes and deep turquoise lakes, with views over Lake Taupo.

Asia
Indonesia

Kelimutu, Flores Island
Not many volcano hikes are all downhill – but this one normally is, as it’s best to head up by moped in the dark so you can be there to see the sun rise over the three extraordinary coloured crater lakes (they were blue, green, and black while I was there, but they change frequently). After that you can hike down the lush green slopes through tiny villages back to Moni.

Mount Bromo
Another great sunrise hike, starting with a view across the enormous, 10km wide old crater, before climbing up to the smaller, younger, active volcano in its centre.

The Philippines

Rice Terraces of Batad
An easy day hike from the town of Banaue takes you to the world heritage-listed rice terraces of Batad.

Sagada
Quite a varied hike this one – start off by heading out to see the eery hanging coffins of Echo Valley, before heading underground through a massive cave system, emerging from a different cave entrance to the one you started in, before heading back to the village of Sagada.

Burma / Myanmar

Kalaw to Inle Lake
Two days trekking through gentle hills of Shan state, passing Pa-Oh villages, staying in a Buddhist monastery, and ending up at Inle Lake, a place where land, water and sky all merge into one.

Europe
England

The Yorkshire Three Peaks
This fantastic, but long, day hike takes you over the three highest peaks of the Yorkshire Dales national park, each with quite a different character, over 26 miles. It also takes you past the Ribble Head viaduct, one of the great feats of Victorian railway engineering along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s