Trekking, unlike backpacking, usually involves porters and ponies, yaks or other pack animals that carry gear. It involves rough and demanding terrain, including climbing in some instances, and longer cross country travel. Essentially, trekking blurs the boundary between backpacking and climbing. Here are some of the top five trekking destinations in the world. Remember that though trekking is acceptable for most ages and physical conditions, ideally you should be able to walk and even hike for extended periods of time. Usually there are shorter, easy routes and longer, intense routes. Know what you can do and plan your trip accordingly.
Peru's Inca Trail
Located in the Andean highlands, the Inca Trail is one of the most well-known and traveled in the world. You’ll climb through rugged terrain, steep hills, ancient ruins and much beauty before you reach the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is good for trekkers of all levels, but be forwarned that the thin air and steep hills can be challenging. Luckily, pack horses are available if you wish to use that option.
Gunung Tahan, Malaysia
This excursion takes place over a period of ten days and involves seven river crossings and some rope climbs along a rocky ridge crest. A guide takes you through one of the world’s oldest and most undisturbed ecosystems in the world, filled with numerous flora and fauna, breathtaking vistas, and wet, demanding terrain. Gunung Tahan is one of Malaysia’s highest mountain ranges, and peaks at 7,175 feet, and trekking it is an incredible experience that is both challenging and ultimately rewarding.
Himalaya Mountains, Nepal
Some of the most well known places for trekking are located in this beautiful mountainous region of the world. There are a number of possible trekking experiences available for travelers of all ages and physical conditions. They range form easier, like The Annapurnas Circuit, to more remote and difficult routes, like the Manaslu Circuit and the Dolpo and Mustang regions. No matter where you visit, Nepal is filled with myriad natural and cultural wonders, from stark, looming peaks that drop to ageless gorges, to mellow valleys and rugged paths beset by friendly faces and eager smiles.
India’s Himalaya Mountains, Ladakh Range
The Ladakh Range in India is one of the most remote regions of the Indian Himalayas and is mostly high, dry desert. It is starkly beautiful with much to offer trekkers. Lake Morari, a lush oasis, and Stok Kangri, one of Ladakh’s highest peaks, are two amazing destinations that are well worth the rugged terrain.
South America's Patagonia
Patagonia is the extreme trekker’s ultimate mecca. It is a land of wilderness untouched by human presence, whose majestic landscape is at once beautiful and challenging. Some areas of Patagonia, Like the Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego are for more experienced adventurers, but keep in mind that Patagonia spans a third of the land in the borders of Chile and Argentina, and there are many places for trekkers of all levels to enjoy.