Peru’s Inca Trail, from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, is on every hiking enthusiast’s to do lists, and rightfully so. Rich in history, stunning views, and a sense of mysticism, there is truth behind the hype. The 45 km trail is most often covered in four days, and due to its popularity, is limited to 500 trekkers a day. Many alternative trails are available, from the Choquequirao Trek, which takes between 7-10 days, to a one-day trek for those with less time or experience. If trekking among the clouds in ancient Incan city isn’t enough, Intihuatana stone will surely stir you. When touched, the stone is said to awaken your senses and reverberate a mysterious energy full of positivity and spiritual awareness.
Spiritual tip: At the Machu Picchu site, acquire the ticket to Huayna Picchu as well, and make your way to the Temple of the Moon. It will take you about two hours to get there from the entrance to Huayna Picchu, and it is mostly downhill. Just remember, you will have to climb back up to exit. The Temple of the Moon is the least visited are of Machu Picchu, and you will likely have its carved caves all to yourself. Bring several bottles of water.
2.Bhutan – Tiger’s Nest
For a less mainstream trail, hikers may prefer a trip to one of the world’s most remote kingdoms: Bhutan. The mountain kingdom boasts a range of treks from day-hikes to 31-day Himalayan adventures. Pristine lakes and scenic mountains are among trek highlights. In addition to the natural beauty, a hike to Tiger’s Nest is sure to feed your soul. Built in 1692 as a meditation spot, the stunning monastery clings to a cliff 10,240 ft over the Paro Valley. Bhutan offers a remote, but unparalleled hiking experience for those eager to explore one of the old world’s last few strongholds, as yet unspoiled by civilization.
Spiritual tip: There is a small bench in front of the monastery, overlooking the Himalayas. Sit there in peace, and gaze at the Buddhist prayer flags hanging on long strings between the mountains, carrying their prayers on gentle breezes.
3.South Africa – Table Mountain