8 of the World’s Hardest (But Breathtakingly Beautiful) Hikes

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Some of the world’s most treasured, remote landscapes can’t be seen by helicopters, cars or even mountain bikes. These sacred places, like Ciudad Perdida, Everest’s Base Camp and the top of Huayna Picchu, can only be reached on two feet. Although these climbs are open to the public, they’re definitely not a walk in a park. Described as gut-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping and severely-challenging even for the fittest, most experienced hikers, every winded breath makes the view from the top and every near-teary eyed step fighting the incline worth it.

1. Ciudad Perdida, Colombia

One of the world’s most challenging hikes, the trek up to Colombia’s Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) is not for the faint of heart. The hike, which can take anywhere from five to seven days, takes hikers up a staggering 3,937 feet in sticky, humid and often unpredictable South American weather. The trail weaves through narrow forest passageways, up steep and uneven paths and will even have you traversing rivers. In the dry season, the river crosses are just knee-deep, however, if you’re visiting during wet season (October/November), you may be wading through rushing rapids up to your chest. Try to spend as much time as possible at the top of the ruins, known as Teyuna, to absorb the panoramic views of the lush mountain countryside.

Go with: G Adventures. This small-group, adventure-based company takes you deep into the jungle and up to Ciudad Perdida with a local Colombian guide. You’ll enjoy tales of the lost city and all meals, accommodations and snacks are included in the price. * Continue reading on the next page.

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