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From time to time, do you experience a hunger for venturing to a place you’ve never explored before?
When hiking in the UK feels a little too… ‘familiar’ to satisfy your craving for the unknown, our selection of exotic sites from around the World, famed for their challenging routes and majestic views. should be just what you’re looking for.
We have dug for treasures around the globe fitting this description: exotic, cool, challenging and captivating hiking destinations.
Rising at a little less than 4,000 metres above sea level, Guatemala’s Acatenango is the definite sovereign in the region.
Having two equally impressive peaks, Acatenango offers the best night-time hiking in the world – of course, with the proper equipment.
As soon as you make it to the top, just rest, dress warmly and watch the sun rising slowly and illuminating a panorama of majestic natural gorgeousness, dyed in a blend of rosy orange hue.
Volcan de Fuego, the adjacent volcano and the most regularly erupting one in the world may do you a favour and honour you with a fiery display of lava explosions!
Probably the most well-known south American hiking track, the Inca Trail encapsulates the beauty of Peru in a 30-kilometre route.
The trail snakes through foothills, towering mountains, misty jungles and eventually up to one of the World’s most awe-inspiring monuments, Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century citadel built by the Incas.
It dominates the almost 2,500-metre mountain ridge and stands as the emblem of the once mighty civilisation that ruled the area before the European conquest.
It ranks among the New Seven Wonders of the World, with hiking being the best way to appreciate the monumental effort in building in this location.
The Kalalau Trail leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach along the Nāpali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
Stretching for more than 10 miles, the trail slithers by the coastline before morphing into the lavish forests of the Kalalau Valley.
At almost every step you will experience stunning 360o views of the cobalt waters circling the island, and the imposing rocky mountain slopes lining its core.
Aside from the track and warm weather, it is the landscapes that will steal your heart and haunt your mind for the rest of your life.
So, to wrap it up – electrifying ridges, unadulterated natural beauty and an irresistible exotic charm put the Kalalau Trail among the top picks on our list.
New Zealand’s Abel Tasman coast is a picture of golden sand beaches and tropical plantation, located around emerald waters.
The Coast Track extends from Marahau in the south to Wainui in the north, with many side tracks. Experienced hikers conclude it in two days, while novices need around five.
The best way to explore this wondrous place is to hike the homonymous Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The route itself is quite long but relatively easy, but no less rewarding than any of the rest in our list.
The route takes you through verdant ferns, manuka groves and remote golden-sand shores, teaming with marine life and surfers.
Crossing the tidal inlets entails timing carefully your passage with low-tide.
Over 6 days, the beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s Lake St Clair National Park is unravelled.
The 65 kilometres route begins at Ronny Creek in Cradle Valley and winds some through some of Tasmania’s most pristine and rugged landscapes, experiencing stunning rugged mountain peaks, alpine moorelands, lakes and tarns along the way.
Hiding deep in the realm of the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain, the Overland trail unfolds for more than 55 kilometres.
You will see Crater Falls, Crater Lake, and up to Marion’s Lookout for some incredible views.
A good portion of the walk is on boardwalks and all routes are clearly marked.
The diverse Australian landscape will reward your courage and effort.
‘Avatar’ Mountains, Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie has been a source of inspiration for painters, poets, filmmakers and musicians from every corner of the planet.
These famous mountains in China were the inspiration for the fictional world of Pandora from the blockbuster film ‘Avatar’, and can be found in the Zhangjiajie National Park.
The park is China’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting an unmatched physical beauty with a majestic woodland filling the gaps.
Awe-inspiring rock formations rise as high as 200 metres, with wildlife nestling in caves, rivers, waterfalls and thick plantation.
Crossing the legendary Jordanian desert is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Still, the finishing point makes this trail so popular.
After trekking through the desert following one of the numerous routes used by the ancient Nabataean caravans, the trail will take you to the fabled Petra, the ancient trade-hub of the area.
With its magnificent façade carved out of the sandstone, Perta is a marvel.
There are a wide variety of possible trails the hiker can follow, of varying length, difficulty and natural attractions, including bold canyons, imposing gorges and valleys.
Hiking the Hardangervidda Plateau is a challenge few hikers can concour.
Encompassing nearly 10,000 square kilometers of varied Arctic wilderness, the challenging terrain requires excellent physical condition and lots of hiking experience.
The trail usually requires 7 to 12 days to reach the finish, depending on the route you will choose to make the crossing.
If you love arctic landscapes, then this virgin wasteland is the perfect adventure.
Moving to Africa, we simply can’t resist the call of the Pays Dogon track, in modern-day Mali.
Breathing a truly magnificent beauty, the whole area surrounding the trail is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Having gain fame for the picturesque settlements scattered all around the region, tourists and nature lovers quickly discovered this amazing trail, crawling through (and over) imposing cliffs rising around 500 metres, deep canyons, and lands sown with green onion.
The trek can last anywhere between two and 10 days, and takes in the soaring cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment, inlaid with old abandoned cliff dwellings.
The Dogon are known for their masked stilt dancers and intricately carved doors. Dogon villages dot the cliffs and are an extraordinary highlight of the journey.
The Danakil Depression is described as one of the most unwelcoming corners of the earth.
Well, if it is so, then hostility rarely raises to such charm.
This remote region is not easy to find, so do ask the help of a local guide.
The destination is the impressive Erta Ale Volcano, whose caldera is notorious for its active lava lakes.
If you dare to hike the trail after the nightfall, you will have the chance to see the lava bursting against the staccato glow of the Ethiopian night.