After many months cooped up indoors, we’re all dreaming of travelling somewhere exciting and stretching our legs.
From iconic trails across South America to challenging treks in East Africa, there are endless options for adrenaline-inducing vacations among TourRadar’s selection of multi-day tours.
But — after digging into their user data and analysing stats around the top hiking destinations customers are booking this year — a major trend emerged: 2021 is the year travellers finally tick those epic, once-in-a-lifetime hikes off their bucket list.
If you’re in need of inspiration for an active getaway — or you’re just curious to know where your fellow adventurers are heading next — these are the top destinations for hiking holidays in 2021, as chosen by you.
The most popular hiking destinations for 2021
With its dramatic peaks, lush Amazonian rainforests and white sand coastline, Peru is a dream for nature lovers. One of the most popular trails in the world can be found in Peru — that is, of course, the Inca Trail to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.
Follow in the footsteps of an ancient pilgrimage to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, passing through sub-tropical jungle terrain, and scaling the trail’s highest pass — Dead Woman’s Pass — which sits at 4,215 metres above sea level, before reaching the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Another popular trek is to Salkantay, the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range, which is part of the Peruvian Andes. It’s the twelfth-highest mountain in Peru, with a total elevation gain of 6,271 metres — making it perfect for avid hikers who are seeking an adrenaline rush.
Salkantay can be done as a stand-alone trip, or as part of a longer trek that finishes at the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
Nepal is at the top of the list for every avid hiker, many of whom see a trip to Everest Base Camp as the holiday of a lifetime.
A multi-day trek, the hike to Base Camp starts in the town of Lukla and usually takes 11 days to tackle the 130 kilometre round trip to Base Camp, which sits 5,380 metres above sea level in the shadow of magnificent Mount Everest.
Another trip that’s proving to be very popular with travellers booking their 2021 adventures is the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. This trip gives you the opportunity to take in the incredible sights of the Himalayas and experience the best of Nepalese mountain culture.
You’ll get amazing views from the mountains, as well as spectacular vistas of some of the most breathtaking peaks in the range including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Machhapuchhare.
Tanzania is a beautiful country, but it has one big draw for adventure seekers — Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing proud at 5,895 metres, it’s the highest freestanding mountain in Africa, and one of the top destinations for trekking enthusiasts from around the world.
There are a number of different routes you can take to trek to the top, and your choice will depend on your level of hiking experience, the amount of time you have for your holiday, and how important incredible scenery is to you.
Whatever hike you opt for, one thing’s for sure — the sense of achievement you’ll feel when you reach the summit will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
A country as big as Canada has endless opportunities for adventure, and there are numerous destinations proving to be popular with TourRadar customers this year.
The Canadian Rockies are a great choice for any outdoor enthusiast, with jaw-dropping scenery, mountain culture, and natural history to explore. You could spend a lifetime trekking the mountain trails of Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Canmore, but a tour will ensure you see the very best of what this part of the world has to offer.
Over on the East Coast, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland both have unbelievable hiking trails for adventure lovers, including the 540km East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, which takes you along the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean and through small coastal towns.
Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia also has breathtaking trails like the Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National park, with everything from quiet beaches to challenging climbs.
The final destination that’s hot for active adventurers in 2021 is Argentina. It’s famed for the beautiful and sparsely populated region of Patagonia at the southern tip of South America, which is governed by both Argentina and Chile.
El Chaltén offers some of the best hiking in the area, and is often thought of as the trekking capital of Argentina. As well as the town’s cool, laid-back vibes, there are a range of hiking trails for all abilities to give you a taste of everything Patagonia has to offer.
Further north, Aconcagua is another dream destination for hikers. It’s the second-highest peak in the world after Mount Everest, standing at 6,961 metres.
For keen hikers who want to take on a real challenge, this is the summit for you. Beautiful scenery and well-maintained tracks make for a trip of a lifetime up this mountain which was sacred to the Incas.