Top 10

Best Places to Hike: The Top 10 Around the World

One of the best ways to see the world is by looking down from above, and these high-altitude destinations give access to some of the most jaw-dropping vantage points on Earth. In addition to breathtaking natural vistas and challenging terrain, all of these routes offer stylish lodges that provide a pampering home base and fascinating cultural excursions that can be combined with outdoor activities to create a robust itinerary. For adventurous and in-the-know travelers looking for walks filled with wonder, these are Indagare's top recommendations for the best places to hike.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a hiking trip to one of these destinations. Our travel specialists can match you with the right experience, based on your interests and ability.

Italian Dolomites

In the Dolomites, an abundance of hiking, rock climbing and via ferrata routes all reveal sweeping views of the mountains and surrounding valleys. For prime access to the Alta Badia region, which is best during the summer months, Indagare recommends staying at Rosa Alpina, where your days can be spent exploring with the guidance of the property's local mountaineers and indulging in one of the hotel's four restaurants, including the two-Michelin-starred St. Hubertus.

In Indagare's Words: "There is a reason that many of the best free climbers in the world are based in Italy's Dolomites: the rose-colored, jagged mountains are surrounded by crystal lakes, and you can hike to log cabins for incredible meals prepared from local ingredients by families who have lived in the region for generations." ~ Indagare's Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley

Related: Insider Journey: Hiking in the Dolomites

American West

In the warmer months, ski destinations like Aspen and Telluride offer picture-perfect hiking trails through dramatic wilderness. Active travelers can also experience the region to its fullest with a road trip between multiple national parks. Here, Indagare can arrange a variety of special experiences to enhance your hiking excursions, including a two-night stay in a house boat on Lake Powell, hot air ballooning and sunset picnics complete with Champagne at a secret lookout point.

In Indagare's Words: "Hiking in the West reminds you how truly beautiful America is. Up in the mountains, everything is so peaceful and quiet. All you can hear is the rush of a nearby creek and the birds moving through the pine trees. The air is crisp and clean, and it really brings you back to your center." ~ Indagare's Elizabeth Harvey

In Indagare's Words: "The American West is so easy to overlook, since it’s in our own backyard. But the landscapes there are just as challenging and just as beautiful as any other natural destination, and there’s simply no better way to see those alien features than by hiking through them." ~ Indagare's Colin Heinrich

Many of Bhutan’s key sites are only accessible after a rewarding hike, including the two-hour trek to the iconic Tiger’s Nest temple built into the edge of a mountain, as well as the hike up to the 16th-century monastery Gangtey Goemba and the trails through beautiful terraced farmland in the Punakha Valley. After a morning of exercise, Indagare can arrange special cultural experiences, such as a guided visit to the workshops of sacred incense makers—or return to one of our favorite lodges for an outdoor hot stone bath and massage.

In Indagare's Words: "Bhutan truly feels like a magical kingdom, and there is no better way to explore its beauty than on foot, hiking through rice fields to monasteries, by fields of wildflowers or up to Tiger's Nest, the cliff-clinging temple. The range of landscapes and the deeply spiritual people who inhabit them deserve to be met at a slow and steady pace." ~ Indagare's Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley

Related: Finding Serenity in Bhutan


The Engadin Valley is home to countless picturesque hikes, including the 8,000-foot-tall Muottas Muragl, which offers blanket-covered benches and inspirational quotes on plaques along the way. Zermatt and its neighboring villages also feature more than 200 miles of scenic trails. In addition to guided and solo hiking excursions, Indagare can arrange paragliding, biking and summer skiing on the Klein Matterhorn, which is open year-round—then, head to Zurich or Geneva for a few days of cultural touring.  

In Indagare's Words: "Switzerland's landscapes often feel otherworldly, given the combination of green grass, alpine lakes and magnificent vistas. I especially loved trekking from Interlaken to Harderkulm and soaking in the views from Two Lakes Bridge. A steep hike, with a well-deserved payoff." ~ Indagare's Avery Carmichael

Related: What's New: Stylish Ski Escapes


Summiting the planet’s highest mountain surely sits atop the bucket lists of the world’s most avid climbers, but the six-day trek on the Everest Base Camp Trail offers a more manageable (though still undeniably challenging) climb. Nepal is home to eight of the world's ten largest peaks, and Indagare can arrange private helicopter transfers throughout the country to make an epic journey feel seamless.

In Indagare's Words: "The landscape, the people, the culture—not to mention sheer exhaustion from strenuous treks at ungodly altitudes—were enough to knock me breathless several times each hour." ~ Indagare's Amelia Osborne Scott

Related: The Route to Everest

Indian Himalayas

The Indian Himalayan region, spanning the northernmost states of India, is home to spectacular stretches of the snowcapped Himalayan mountain range and unspoiled areas of the Indian subcontinent. The Shakti experience takes travelers into the foothills of the Himalayas as they hike through rural Hindu and Buddhist communities and lay their heads at refurbished traditional village houses. Challenging hikes at high altitudes allow travelers to disconnect from the outside world and witness the local way of life amid remote villages.
In Indagare's Words: "We woke at Shakti Leti 360 to songs of native birds as the rising sun dyed the Himalayan valley shades of purple and pink. The space where I would typically reach for my phone was replaced by freshly made ginger tea, and I sat up to meditate, stretching my legs that were sore from yesterday’s eight-hour hike through local villages. We hadn’t had WiFi or seen another Westerner for six days, and I felt present, refreshed and grateful for the villagers who were willing to share their stories and homes with us."

~ Indagare's Elise Bronzo


The Sacred Valley in Peru offers lush landscapes, cloud forests and hiking trails past Incan ruins and rare flora. The legendary Inca Trail comprises numerous routes of varying difficulty that wind up into the Andes and can culminate in a sunrise arrival at Machu Picchu. When you want to give your feet a rest, Indagare can also arrange exploration through the stunning Peruvian landscape on horseback or a glamorous 1920s-style train.

In Indagare's Words: "My sunrise hike up Apu Machu Picchu, the mountain that overlooks the Machu Picchu ruins, was the perfect way to round out my Machu Picchu experience. After having spent the previous afternoon touring the ruins, I loved hiking up into the clouds to get a different perspective on this magical place." ~ Indagare's Rose Allen

In Indagare's Words: "The rustling quinoa and corn fields served as the perfect soundtrack while trekking through the Andean landscape. Red clay in my shoes, crisp, cool air in my lungs, I hummed the prayer to Patchamama that I had learned from a local shaman the day before. There is a reason these traditions have lived on: the spiritual significance of this place is undeniable. The valley is truly sacred." ~ Indagare's Elise Bronzo

The tallest peak on the African continent offers an incredible diversity of landscapes—from tropical to alpine to Arctic—in just one week’s trek. Afterwards, return to the ground and head to the Serengeti for an unforgettable safari at one of Indagare's favorite luxury lodges.

In Indagare's Words: "My first of the Seven Summits opened my eyes to a new way of travel, something I did not think was still possible after journeying to more than fifty countries. Instead of just crossing a sight off my bucket list, I discovered more about myself than my surroundings. I had time to listen and be fully present. I focused on achieving a single goal with a community that taught me oneness and perseverance." ~ Indagare's Diana Li

Related: 7 To Know: Mount Kilimanjaro


The Base las Torres hike, an 11-mile extravaganza rising more than 2,500 feet to the base of stunning granite towers overlooking a glacial pool, allows climbers to immerse themselves in the energy and power of Patagonia’s surreal landscapes. While based at a dreamy lodge like Awasi Patagonia, travelers can also venture out on horseback or in 4x4 vehicles with a private guide for totally customized adventures.

In Indagare's Words: "Patagonia is at once empty and fulfilling—a unique, extraordinary wilderness. It is the kind of destination that reminds you that time is a construct, and so it expands and contracts according to your engagement with the land." ~ Indagare's Janine Yu

In Indagare's Words: "During my trip to Chile, I was blown away by Patagonia's bright blue lakes, pristine valleys and dramatic craggy mountains... but what stayed with me after the fact was not the picturesque topography but the vast, weird and wonderful emptiness of the landscape." ~ Indagare's Marley Lynch

An outdoor enthusiast’s dream, New Zealand has an abundance of treks throughout its unbelievably scenic landscape. Particularly mind-blowing paths include the Queenstown trails surrounded by lakes and framed by the Southern Alps and the challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing through volcanic landscapes in North Island, where you can also enjoy scenic helicopter tours, fly-fishing lessons and tastings at local vineyards.

In Indagare's Words: "Framed by the famous Southern Alps, facing massive Lake Wakitipu and surrounded by other lakes, stunning rivers and the saw-toothed Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown occupies what is arguably New Zealand’s most scenic setting." ~ Indagare's Simone Girner

Related: Top 10: Road Trips

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a hiking trip to one of these destinations. Our travel specialists can match you with the right experience, based on your interests and ability.

Published onAugust 20, 2018

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