After over a decade of traveling around the world and going trekking on six continents, what are some of our favorite treks and hikes? This Offbeat Trekking Guide includes 15 of our recommended unknown or lesser-known treks — some multi-day, others day treks — that you might not be considering, but should. These treks and hikes are worth a look if you are interested in unusual and immersive experiences, both in nature and local culture.
Doing the Huayhuash Trek in the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru had been a dream of ours for over a decade. Although our expectations were high, the reality of our experience far exceeded them: eight high mountain pass crossings, surrounding peaks of 6,000+ meters (20,000+ feet), turquoise alpine lakes, stunning glacier-covered mountains, and a diversity of landscapes.
Having fielded numerous questions about trekking in Ladakh — which trek to choose, how to find a trekking agency, when to go, how to get there, what to pack, and more — we’ve created this Ladakh Trekking Beginner’s Guide. We hope it encourages you to make the long journey to Ladakh and explore its stunning mountain landscapes and fascinating Ladahki and Tibetan Buddhist culture and people. You won't be sorry.
We were out of breath, having just climbed 1,200 stone steps when Celso, our indigenous guide, called for us to join him around a group of stones arranged in a circle in a clearing. In the middle of the circle stood another square stone on top of which lay a pile of coca leaves placed as an offering. Celso explained with trademark calm in a slow, deliberate voice, “This is a place where we should let go of our impurities, our negative thoughts and emotions.”
How should I pack for a hike? What should I pack for a multi-day trek? What is too much? And what is too little? How am I going to carry it all? Which hiking gear and essentials should I buy in advance and which can I buy on the ground? That's where this Ultimate Hiking Packing List comes in to answer all of those questions — and much more — to prepare you for your next adventure.
Striding toward the Pamir Mountain range-line on the horizon, I chased the waning light across a broad meadow dotted with horses in the distance. We'd descended from a mountain pass surrounded by turquoise alpine lakes and defined by glacier ridge lines. Yak herders we met earlier invited us into their yurt for tea and local specialties, a gesture typical of Kyrgyz nomadic culture and hospitality.
This is trekking in the Alay Mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan.
How do you effectively pack for the Camino de Santiago — light and prepared? This is the place to find out. But first, some quick background.
With over 90% of its territory covered in mountains, Kyrgyzstan has no shortage of treks filled with stunning landscapes, alpine lakes, shepherds, yurts and a feeling of being very far out, immersed in nature. It's why we often recommend Kyrgyzstan to travelers interested in trekking with a taste of the offbeat. Our recent trek of the newly developed Boz-Uchuk Lakes Trek in the Tian Shan mountains above Jyrgalan village reminded us again why we make such recommendations.
Each year we like to go on a long trek, one that takes us to a new region somewhere in the mountains. It’s an exercise for the body and also for the mind. To disconnect with our day-to-day and also to reconnect with a region once unknown to us and learn about it through its nature and people.
This year’s trek of 200 km / 125 miles through the mountains of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo along a newly established circuit called Peaks of the Balkans was one we’ll never forget.
The Accursed Mountains, sworn virgins, blood feuds and 15th century codes of honor called kanun. It sounds like an experiential blend to inform the writing of a Game of Thrones season. Instead, it’s the cultural and historical backdrop of a 200-kilometer trekking experience we recently took through the hills of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo called Peaks of the Balkans.