Famous athlete, mountain climber and explorer Edmund Hillary once said, “It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves.”
There are a great number of mountains around the world that people seek to climb and conquer. While not everyone is as experienced as Edmund Hillary, there are certain awe inspiring mountains that you should definitely conquer before you die.
They may not be Mount Everest but they can be your own Everest where you will emerge as a whole different person after. Here are 4 mountains you should check off your bucket list.
1. Andes, Peru
One of the most famous historical villages on almost every bucket list is the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu stands at almost 8,000 feet above sea level on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peru.
This breathtaking architectural and artistic legacy of the Inca Empire can be reached by the popular Inca Trail. The whole Inca Trail is commonly hiked for 4 days passing through three overlapping trails – Mollepata, Classic and One Day.
Classic it the most popular among visitors to the ancient Inca ruins. The mixed World Heritage is composed of 35,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys. Machu Picchu was built back in the 15th century but was not discovered until 1911. Before reaching the ruins, hikers experience a variety of Andean environments including cloud forest and alpine tundra.
Book with a quality tour agency as hiking the Inca Trail requires specific trek permits. Check the trail before booking to make sure you get the best of the mountain top from Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. But do book that trip as this is the most famous South American hike you can do in your life.
2. Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Romania is a place unknown to many, but it is a land of natural beauty. The Carpathian Mountains are home to one of the largest undisturbed forests across Europe. It even has around 60% of the European brown bear population.
The most popular mountains are the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains where you can find beautiful traditional villages at the foothills. Hikers can choose from a variety of tours ranging from a relaxing day-hike to an eight-day adventure.
Explore the diverse flora and fauna. Be amazed with the spectacular landscapes throughout the hike. You can also take a trip to the Bran castle built back in the 14th century. It was built to protect Transylvania from the Ottoman invasions but gained its popularity as the castle of fictional character Count Dracula.
3. Trolltunga, Norway
Trolltunga translates to the troll’s tongue in English. It got its name from a piece of rock protruding horizontally 2,300 feet above the Ringedalsvatnet lake in Fjords, Norway. Not only can you take an awesome selfie on top, you also get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the luscious green valleys of Hardanger.
The spot was formed during the ice age 10,000 years ago. Sitting at the tip of the Troll’s Tongue will give you a whole new perspective of the world. The hike is only available between mid June to the end of September. It will take hikers around 8 to 10 hours in total or around 13.6 miles. Every hour is worth it as you enjoy different rock formations and mountain vegetation.
4. Mount Meru, Tanzania
Mount Meru may not be as popular as its sister peak Mount Kilimanjaro, but it still offers a lot to hikers. It is the second highest peak in Tanzania and the 5th highest mountain in Africa. On a clear day climbers can see Mt. Kilimanjaro from this active stratovolcano.
The mountain is the topographic centerpiece of the Arusha National Park where diverse wildlife is hosted including monkeys, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, and leopards. Enjoy a walking safari as you trek up to the horseshoe-shaped volcano.
Climbing the summit means getting amazing views of the depths of the crater and ash cone and hiking along the crest of the crater rim. Hiking the mountain requires a park ranger as your guide.