There are amazing hikes all over the world and most likely in your vicinity. From small hikes to through hikes and everything in between, hiking is an incredible way to experience nature and adventure at the same time. These hikes are not your typical hike. They feature unparalleled views, unique flora and fauna, and strong sense of history, local pride, and a connection with nature. If that’s something you’re looking for in your next hike, this list is for you.
Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Length: 22 miles round trip
300-foot waterfalls, sandy beaches, and a rigorous trek characterize this hike. While this trip is an out and back trip, it’s worth every step of the way just for the views. Due to conservation efforts, the trail is limited to 900 visitors a day and you will need a permit if you plan on hiking more than 2 miles.
Camino Primitivo, Camino de Santiago
Location: Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Length: 230 miles one way
Yes, this is a long trail, but it is filled with history, culture, and mind-blowing views. You can opt for the route 9th century pilgrims traditionally took on their way to the Shrine of Saint James, but there are many paths to choose from. The hike typically takes 15 days and features views of the peaks of Picos de Europa and the World Heritage site of Lugo, the only city in the world that is fully surrounded by an intact Roman wall.
South Maroon Peak
Location: Maroon Bells, Colorado
Length: 12 miles round trip
Colorado has no shortage of hiking trails. With 59 fourteeners in the state, there are so many to choose from it can be overwhelming. You’ll be treated to views of the gorgeous valley below and the surrounding Elk Range. You can choose the challenging trail to the top where you’ll scramble up the side or you can opt for the less arduous trail by taking the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.
Location: Lares, Peru
Length: 22 miles one way
It’s sibling trail, the Inca Trail, is way more well-known and crowded, making this a hidden gem in South American hiking. The 2-3 day trek is high-altitude so be sure to make preparations before starting. Experience the Andean culture first-hand and enjoy the history and views of the area up close. You won’t need a permit for the trail but a local guide is recommended.
Chogoria Route to Point Lenana Peak
Location: Mount Kenya, Kenya
Length: 32 miles one way
As the second highest peak in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. This dormant volcano offers more wildlife, like elephants and Cape buffalo, as well as varied terrain that ranges from bamboo rainforests to moors. You can take the gorge route which features waterfalls and cliffs, but don’t forget to watch the sunrise from near the top. It’s an absolute must-see.
Sports are beloved by billions of people around the world because they provide a level of excitement and intensity that can’t be found anywhere else. Everyone is familiar with traditional sports like basketball and soccer, but there are also a lot of entertaining sports that do not get much publicity. Despite their relative obscurity, these sports are just as exciting as the major sports. Here are four interesting sports you have probably never heard of.
Chess boxing is a unique sport that combines two popular pastimes into one event. A chess boxing match consists of six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing. Just like traditional boxing, all of the rounds last for exactly three minutes. Scoring a checkmate or knockout will automatically win the match. If no one is victorious after all 11 rounds, then the winner is decided based on points won during the boxing rounds.
Floorball combines elements of hockey and lacrosse into one action-packed sport. The game is played entirely on a hardwood surface. Players use a curved stick to pick up, pass and shoot the ball. After three 20-minute periods, the team with the most goals wins the game. Floorball is becoming so popular around the world that it is in contention to be added to the Olympic Games.
Sepak Takraw is basically a sport that combines volleyball and soccer. The game is played with the same basic rules as volleyball, but the players are only allowed to hit the ball with their feet, chest or head. This leads to some very interesting acrobatic kicks that are rarely seen on the soccer field. Sepak Takraw is primarily played with a ball made using rattan, but synthetic rubber balls can also be used.
While hockey is traditionally played on a sheet of ice or an open field, it can also be played underwater. Players are equipped with a miniature stick, helmet, fins, and snorkel as a puck is dropped to the bottom of a deep pool. Two teams of six players attempt to push the puck across the surface of the pool into their opponents goal. Unlike ice hockey, underwater hockey allows very little physical contact to help reduce injuries.
Just because there’s a chill creeping in the air, doesn’t mean beach season is over. Take advantage of the approaching beautiful fall weather, and plan a trip to one of these famous American coastal cities.
Sea Ranch, CA: Located in beautiful Sonoma County, the location is idyllic. Here, the wine flows, and the views of the Pacific seem to never end.
Sullivan’s Island, SC: Tourists come to play in the sand, and stay for seafood. Sullivan’s Island is 3.3 miles long, but home to vast beaches and thrilling water sports.
Carmel, CA: Carmel has charm; art galleries, and world-class restaurants line the streets. Don’t forget the beach, too!
Kennebunkport, ME: Historic charm with modern amenities is all found here. Locals and tourists alike revel in its beauty. People come for the lobsters, but find so much more.
Gulf Shores, AL: Visitors delight in the warm waters and the Flora-Bama Lounge. For those looking for more thrill than chill, there’s a sky diving drop zone right over the lounge!
Traverse City, MI: Atop the dunes, visitors flock to the area to wash their worries away. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore offers an escape on or off the water. The town of Traverse City offers wineries, and small town charm.
Nantucket, MA: Wampanoag for “The Faraway Land”, Nantucket is a sleepy island consisting of mostly conservatory lands. Hop a ferry, or go by plane, but don’t miss out on this island’s charm.
Cannon Beach, OR: This beach town is one of National Geographic’s top 100 most beautiful places. Towering rocks lead to sweeping vistas of the Pacific.
Clearwater, FL: Named for the clear springs along the coast, Clearwater offers classic beach activities in the heart of Florida.
Montauk, NY: Montauk is a great place to bundle up in the fall air, and see what you can reel in.
Newport, RI: Comprised of 9 towns, Newport has historic architecture and that colonial vibe that the American revolutionists left behind. Seafood, fishing, water sports, and a lot of history are what await visitors.
Jekyll Island, GA: Sitting in the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island invites visitors to slow down and let the turtles cross the street. Tourists can explore marine forests, or the island ruins.
About Brent Beckley
Brent Beckley’s love for travel began right after graduating from the University of Montana. He moved to Costa Rica and started traveling extensively as the director of client services & risk management for Absolute Entertainment, S.A. He was fortunate enough to see places like Vancouver, Seoul, Toronto and Malta. Prior to this experience, he didn’t even have a passport and never knew anyone who traveled outside of the US. He now sees travel as an integral part of life. Brent’s love for Costa Rica has never faded, and he relocated there in 2016 with his wife and two children, where they now reside.
In addition to his devotion to work and family, Brent is an avid baseball fan and golfer. He loves teaching his sons about the history of baseball and how it’s developed and matured along with the history of theUnited States. Having two sons helps keep him active, and he enjoys spending as much family time as possible. The two teams the family roots for are the Atlanta braves and the Dallas Cowboys, and he makes sure to instill in his children the observation that the players who play best are the ones who have a true passion and love for what they do.
Growing up with a single mother until he was six, Brent learned early on how to take care of himself, including cooking his own meals. He never took it for granted when his family got financial assistance to put food on the table, and he has always paid it forward. As an adult, he frequently contributes both his money and his time to charities such as the Salvation Army food drives and various food projects in Costa Rica.
Whenever he arrives in a new country, he has a routine he likes to follow to immerse himself in the culture. He goes for a long walk and tries to get himself lost in whatever location he’s in. His motto is: “Go wherever you’re going, and if you want to learn more about it, get lost in it and wander around in it.” He loves how much variety there is in the world and how just changing one’s perspective and location gives us so much more to see. It’s important to take in and really experience how other people live and how different their lives are from your own. He’s glad that his children are old enough to understand travel and develop their own perspective on the world.