My 3 Favorite Hikes I've Done Around The World
On my site, I write a lot about finding gyms to workout at or giving you workouts that you can do anywhere, but I find that hiking is one of the best ways to get exercise while exploring the culture and learning more about the particular destination that you are in. It’s also a great way to meet people if you are solo traveling since you can invite people from your hostel or other people along the path that you encounter to join you. It can be a great bonding experience that you can remember over dinner that night. While I have done a lot of different types of hikes from mountains to hills to prairies in all sorts of different climates, these are the 3 hikes that stand out for me during my travels: 1.Villarrica Volcano- Pucon, Chile
Located 750 kilometers (466 miles) south of the capital Santiago, Pucon is where city dwellers go to escape the daily grind and hustle to find tranquility and peace. It has a full array of outdoor activities that you can partake in from jet skiing to camping, but you will immediately notice the 2,847 meter (9,340 foot) Villarrica Volcano hovering over the town. It is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes and is one of the only volcanoes in the world known to have a lava lake insideof it. Its last eruption was this past March 2017. That adds to the fun. It is a beautiful five hour hike that is mostly the hike up. The descent is mostly sledding down (SUPER FUN!) and takes about 30 minutes. If you do go, don’t make the same mistake I made and bring more food than you think you will need. Same goes water. You will also be extremely sore the next day since the ascent is very steep, but make sure to reward yourself with a big dinner that night :)
2. Monserrate- Bogotá, Colombia One thing that I love about South America is that no trip to any city is complete without climbing up a mountain or hill to some sort of religious monument. You will see everyone doing it from young to old no matter the time of the day. My favorite one in South America is Monserrate located in the heart of Bogota. Monserrate, standing at 3,152 meters (10,341 feet), is a great workout to climb. The hike takes about an hour to an hour and a half depending on your speed and pace. The trail is generally open from 7 AM to 3 PM, but hours are longer on holidays. I would recommend getting up early to hike it and hike it and get a workout in at the top (There is a full workout park on top of Monserrate, Colombia knows what’s up!). I took the gondola down which costs about 14,000 Pesos (4.59 USD). The view can be so so from the top since there is a lot of smog pollution or heavy fog can roll in at anytime, but you can take in the beauty of the church built in 1640 for Monserrate’s Virgin Morena.
3. Stawamus Chief- Vancouver, Canada
Of all the places I’ve been in the world, the beauty of the Sea To Sky Highway still stands out in my mind. The freshness of the air, the pine trees, the water..everything about Vancouver nature is incredible. Luckily for me, a few friends I had met traveling in Portugal offered to host me and took to hike the 702 meter (2,303 foot) Stawamus Chief Mountain, known to locals simply as, “The Chief”. It was a rainy, foggy day in October when we went and I can’t imagine how beautiful it must be on a clear day. The path was harder than I had anticipated given that it was wet and at certain points the only way that you could pass was by holding on to the rope attached to the side of the mountain. The whole experience was exhilarating and the views from the top were breathtaking as you overlook the small town of Squamish. Be sure to head to the second peak for a higher hike and you will be rewarded with better views!
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