If you think you've ticked off the must-trek destinations, think again – Tim Shepley reveals five alternative highs that offer new thrills for experienced walkers.
"The peaks of Torres del Paine are unlike any other summits I’ve seen. What’s more, they’re not even like each other. The twisted Cuernos (‘Horns’) del Paine appear to have been ripped, gouged and torn from the granite by giant talons; the vertiginous walls of the Valle Francés were seemingly scooped out of the very rock; while the three Torres (‘Towers’) themselves rise like broken teeth from the jaw of the massif. Each is gobsmacking; each quite different.
Like so many avid walkers, I’ve long had a bucket list of treks to complete – Everest Base Camp, for example, and Kilimanjaro. But gawping up at those otherworldly towers in Chilean Patagonia, I understood clearly that there’s more to a hiking life than the headline acts. Sure, there’s nothing quite like catching your first dawn glimpse of Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate – but Latin America’s other great treks offer moments of wonder every bit as epic, if less well known. Maybe you’ve accomplished your first set of ambitions; perhaps you just can’t seem to make the timing work for that dream trek. Either way, Walks Worldwide has a panoply of alternative trips in Asia, Africa and Latin America to get your heart racing and your feet itching."
Walks Worldwide Manager
Now try this...
Forbidden Land of Mustang
barely two decades since the fabled ‘Kingdom of Lo’ cautiously opened its
borders to foreigners; even today, the trails through this region north of the
Annapurnas are accessible only to guided trekking groups. This is a world
apart, a land almost more Tibetan than Tibet, high, arid and mystical. Our 19-day
tour affords stunning views of 8,000+m peaks as we pass picturesque
white-painted villages, Tibetan monasteries, stupas and prayer walls to reach
the fabled walled city of Lo Manthang.
neck-craning peaks are your cup of tea, try the region of West Bengal near the
old British hills station of Darjeeling – the classic Singalila Ridge Trek
skirts the Nepalese border in the shadow of the world’s third-highest mountain,
8,586m Kangchenjunga. In clear weather, an array of 8,000+m peaks (including
Everest) can be admired from the path.
Trekked The Inca Trail?
Now try this...
jagged peaks of Torres del Paine are just one of a series of natural wonders on
this epic exploration to the end of the earth. Gawp at the spectacular crags of
Mount Fitz Roy, watch vast icebergs calve from Perito Merino Glacier, taste the
legendary W trek in Torres del Paine National Park, and explore the world’s
southernmost city, Ushaia, on the ‘Land of Fire’ -– Tierra del Fuego.
Now try this...
Kili stands alone in Africa – literally and figuratively – but for varied trekking, the High Atlas are hard to beat. Our 8-day itinerary isn’t a straight up-and-back slog, but rather a rewarding approach via the less-trodden trails to the peak’s north, adding cultural context to those 360-degree panoramas from the roof of North Africa, 4,167m Jebel Toubkal.
Wild, remote, dotted with fearsome-looking gelada baboons and long-horned walia ibex, the Simien Mountains offer trekking unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Visit the castles of the ‘Camelot of Africa’, Gondar, before traversing to 4430m. Bwhait Peak, the third highest mountain in Ethiopia.