Not entirely a hiking or mountaineering enthusiast here by any means but I do enjoy a good scenic hike that is averagely challenging and enjoyable for its sights and sounds with a group of similarly inclined folk. I have never planned a travel itinerary based on a hike but some of these suggestions here are definitely worth the consideration. I have visited Italy and climbed up to the top of the dome in Florence for hawk-eye views of the city’s red brick rooftops, and seen the top of Kilimanjaro from an airplane but nothing can compare to some of these options below!
Trek above and beyond the Inca Trail with Naya Traveler in Peru
This epic 7-day lodge to lodge trekking experience takes you on a historic section of Inca trail through 15 different eco-systems while traversing a mountain pass over 15,000 feet, exploring villages where locals still maintain age-old traditions and re-discovering the mystical beauty of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire. This is so totally on my list! Each day’s trek ends with a hot shower in a beautiful lodge, complemented by a massage or a dip in an outdoor jacuzzi, followed by a gourmet meal. This is an opportunity to experience ancient history in the Land of the Incas as well as the most interesting and exotic variety of flora and fauna. You can be part of a traditional offering to “Pachamama” (Mother Earth), indulge in a traditional Peruvian meal cooked in the earth by hot stones, visit an organic coffee plantation, one of many in that area that produces some of the best organic coffee in the world, and the list goes on.
Walk the mighty Dolomites with On Foot Holidays in Italy
From the dreaming meadows of the south Tyrol to the towering spires of Tre Cime, this self-guided walk in the Dolomites of northern Italy sounds like a dream to me. From the German-speaking enclave of Italy's South Tyrol, the route meanders south via a remote refuge and the Tre Cime mountain at 2250m, into the Italian Dolomites. The final breathtaking stretch reaches the smart resort of Cortina. Reminders of World War I are still very much evident in this part of Europe I hear, particularly in the high country. Also includes a circular walk from Cortina, where you can see reminders of battles between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies in this unforgiving terrain. Climb via a pretty path up from the Falzarego Pass, through the dramatic Col de Bos, and up to the Lagazuoi refuge. The open-air museum at Lagazuoi is well worth the climb they say, with huts, tunnels and trenches to explore. The views across the valley to 5 Torri are tremendous, too.
Climb Africa’s highest peak in Kilimanjaro with Duma Explorer
Preparing for the climb of your life? At 19,341 feet above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s largest freestanding mountain and Africa’s highest peak. A climb to Kilimanjaro’s summit involves a multi-day adventure through the mountain’s five climate zones and is not for the faint of heart. Though not a technical climb, most trekkers experience varying levels of altitude sickness and the summit success rate is approximately 70 percent. I am probably one of the 30 percent that makes up the other part – not that I have tried but this sounds challenging! The recommendation usually is for a 7, 8- or 9-day climb to increase chances of summit success. The most popular climbs are the 7-day Machame, 8-day Lemosho and 9-day Northern Circuit routes. Camping equipment, meals and support staff are provided but you need to bring your own personal gear for the trek. All guides are Wilderness First Responder certified, and the company is committedto social, economic and environmental sustainability. Other climbing adventures in Tanzania include Mount Meru, Oldonyo Lengai, and Ngorongoro Highlands trekking. I’ve only seen Mount Meru from a distance and have done a safari at the Ngorongoro Creater so I imagine these would be an even better experience.
Hike through rainforests to the top of Mount Gimie in Saint Lucia
For fitness enthusiasts looking for a truly unique island experience, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, a boutique 26-room resort and spa, arranges private climbs of Mount Gimie, Saint Lucia’s highest peak. Itreaches 950 meters (3117 feet), is of volcanic origin and is covered by lush tropical rainforest. With a few days advance notice, you can have a private guide, lunch and the transfer to the foot of the mountain and back organized with the resort. The tour takes all day with approximately 5-6 hours of hiking in steep terrain. This is not a run of the mill activity. I’ve heard some take nine hours for the hike, trekking through two valleys, along a small creek and up and down on a barely visible trail. In some places the guide has to clear the path from overhanging vegetation. People do it only seldom and it is not unusual for hikers to turn around half way. After the day’s strenuous climb, return to Calabash Cove and rejuvenate those tired limbs and muscles at Ti Spa, the resort’s on-site spa with one of their luxurious massages or treatments with indigenous ingredients.
Which of these sounds inviting to you? Let me know in the comments, and if you’ve experienced any of these then your insights would be appreciated.
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