7 Treks That Made Us Gasp

Hikers Going to Base Camp - Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Hiking to Base Camp – Annapurna Circuit, Nepal.

At the time this is published, we should be crossing Apacheta Pass (4,650 meters/15,255 feet) and one day away from Peru’s Machu Picchu. That is, if the scheduled publishing works as it should and we don’t need an emergency mule ride or airlift from the top of the mountain.

In preparing for this, the Salkantay Trek, we reflected on other memorable multi-day treks we’ve completed during our journey around the world.

7 Favorite Treks from Around the World

1. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Fifteen days, 200 kilometers, 5,400 meter summit. An incredible trek through the Himalayas and a brush with fame. Read about this trek here and view photos here.

2. Svaneti, Georgia

A forty kilometer trek from Mestia to Ushguli, in the Republic of Georgia became as much a psychological challenge as a physical one as we learned about the region’s history from our Svan hosts. Read about this trek here and view photos here.

3. Altyn Arashan, Kyrgyzstan

Although Ala-Kol Lake evaded us by way of a whiteout, we remember the reward that met us at the end of a long hike past shepherds and yurts: piping, natural hot springs. Read about this trek here and see photos here.

4. Tian Shan Mountains, Kazakhstan

The one that almost killed us, not because the mountains were unconquerable, but because we decided to conquer them without a map. Read about the trek here and view photos here.

5. Kalaw to Inle Lake, Burma (Myanmar)

Three days through the villages and hills of Shan State, watching village children ride water buffalo and listening to young novice monks chant at dawn. View photos from this trek here.

6. Cerro Negro and El Hoyo Volcanoes, Nicaragua

Hiking two volcanoes in one day is enough to wipe out the fittest of travelers. Our reward: a perfect sunrise complete with a rainbow over the valley. Read about this trek here and view photos here.

7. Xela to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Three days of sheer uphill or straight downhill hiking left us sore and limping at the shores of Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan. But it was worth it. View photos from this trek here.

So how will the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu rate? We’ll be sure to let you know on the other side.

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  1. says

    Fantastic! you have certainly had an adventure! I can’t wait to go to Nepal and now we will keep an eye out for some treks in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia. Enjoy your time at Machu Picchu it is beautiful!

  2. says

    Don’t think I would get Sue (my wife) on these. She enjoys a multiday hike but NOT with dropoffs or difficult climbs with the potential to fall!

    Great blog, have subscribed.


  3. says

    These are pretty thrilling treks, you guys! My wife and I are going on a year long RTW in June and I think you’ve inspired our intinerary to include more trek type adventures.

    I do have a question about your preparation before hand- Were you two avid outdoors people prior? Linds and I excercise some (2-3 3-mile runs a week and we walk a lot) but we’re not really experienced hikers in the sense of treking.

    Any advice?

  4. says

    @Akila: We just posted our trekking experience to Machu Picchu. Also inside are photo set links to the hike and some 360-degree panoramas at Machu Picchu and atop Wayna Picchu:

    @Dave and Deb: Thanks. Enjoy your time there. The Nepal treks are terrific (Annapurna we know first-hand and we’ve also heard good things about the Everest Base Camp trek.) One of the great things about the Caucasus and Central Asia: how relatively untraveled they are. Happy travels.

    @Frank: Great to have you here. Although we sometimes go all in, I can appreciate the desire to stay away from drop-offs and steep climbs.

    @Blake: Thrilling indeed. Glad we could be of inspiration. There’s something about long journeys that enriches and clears the mind. Regarding our preparation, we have always enjoyed hikes and being active to some degree. I used to run long-distances (marathon, half, 10k races). As I write this, Audrey openly admits to not enjoying regular exercise of the strenuous variety. Regardless, once you are on the road, you’ll probably find your endurance building. What you are doing now in the way of running helps, too. Also keep in mind that trekking is one part fitness to many parts determination.

  5. says

    I don’t know which way you’re headed after Machu Picchu, but if you’re going north, I can heartily recommend the 8-12 day Huayhuash circuit, near Huaraz. It’s easily the most impressive trek I’ve ever done, hard work, but the mountains are absolutely stunning, it blew me away, and much more impressive than the already stunning mountains around Machu Picchu. You can see more about what I thought of it here: http://itinerantlondoner.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/huayhuash-1/

  6. says

    @Geoff: Thanks for sharing your photos and experience from the Huayhuash circuit – the alpine lakes look amazing. We really wanted to do this trek, but faced time constraints with our other projects and could only fit in one trek. We decided on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. This trek is definitely on our list “next time”…whenever we return to Peru.


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