Our Monday Motivation series aims to remedy your standard “case of the Mondays” with solutions to your wanderlust. Prescribed to combat the humdrum effects of the indoors, today’s recommendations are of the hiking variety. Step up to these inspiring hikes abroad, and we guarantee they’ll motivate you to keep moving forward.
If You’re Motivated By…
…Snow-covered Seclusion (Kedarkantha Trek in the Himalayas)
Length: 20 km (12 miles) | Duration: day-multi-day | Difficulty: easy-moderate
Located in the Uttarakhand region of India, the Kedarkantha Trek is an immediate recommendation when it comes to hiking the Himalayas. Its transition from thick pine forest to undisturbed views of its neighboring mountain peaks earns it praise as a hike featuring all the elements of a perfect trek. While getting to the trailhead in Sankri requires transportation from Dehradun, reaching the summit doesn’t require technical hiking skills.
Going between December and April will treat you to blankets of fresh, sparkling snow and the best photos your desktop background has ever seen. Still, the best views won’t be seen through a lens; so for maximum enjoyment, stash the camera and fully absorb this moment for yourself.
Also, you won’t see Mt. Everest from here. If that’s your goal, try trekking Kala Patthar or Gokyo Ri.
…Awesome Autumn Hues (Mudeungsan Mountain, South Korea)
Length: varies based on trail | Duration: day hike | Difficulty: easy-moderate
This isn’t a hike that escapes society in the fashion other hikes do, but you do escape the ordinary. Mudeungsan Mountain National Park is closest to the South Korean city of Gwangju. A public city bus can bring you directly to the trailheads of this magnificent area that merges serene Korean temple views with stunning natural rock columns jetting from the mountainside. The park is at its most beautiful between October and November, when vibrant autumn hues saturate the forest and leaves cover the pathways with a spectrum of red and orange.
If you love interacting with locals of a different culture, this is a hike that delivers. Previous hikers have stories about meeting the monks who dwell in the temples and sharing food with Korean hikers they meet at Seoseokdae rock, the highest point accessible to the public (3,609 ft).
…Seeing Christ (Hike to Cristo Redentor, Brazil)
Distance: 3.5 km (1.8 miles) | Duration: 2 hours | Difficulty: challenging
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) is a 125-foot soapstone statue that towers above Rio de Janeiro from the top of Mt. Corcovado (2,329 ft). It sees about 2 million visitors annually, but the majority of those visitors reach the top via crowded train. The more adventurous option is to hike the short, but respectably challenging trail, to the summit. Imagine how much more meaningful your approach toward a massive, open-armed Christ statue will be when proceeded by a semi-strenuous, hike through the forest.
A city bus ride to Parque Lage brings you to the Corcovado mountaintop trailhead where a park ranger registers your name, date, and the time. Although taking the trail is free, keep R$13-R$26 (Brazilian reals- $3.50-$7 USD) on you in order to pay the park entry fee. The trail is very well marked and modestly populated as the only trail to the top, but robberies have occurred. Proceed with standard hiking safety measures and don’t hike with valuables.
…Cool Photo Ops (Kjeragbolten Hike, Norway)
Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles) | Duration: day hike | Difficulty: challenging
This beautiful, dynamic hike roams the green and rocky Kjerag mountain range. Its challenging difficulty level comes from three steep peaks you climb before reaching the summit. While the trek is breathtaking and delivers unbeatable views, the phenomenon at the top is what drives tourist to tackle this hike and capture a photo they will proudly show off for the rest of their lives.
Suspended 3,228 feet between two walls of Mt. Kjerag is the Kjeragbolten (Kjerag Boulder). Having been fixed in the crevasse since 50,000 BC, BASE jumpers and hikers have confidently used it as a parachuting platform or a stage to get the most thrilling photo to ever grace their camera reel. The boulder was left behind by the same glacier that carved the crevasse.
Although it hasn’t budged for centuries, you can’t help but feel it’s seconds away from slipping through the mountain’s grip. Because that thought doesn’t stop people from striking a pose atop the boulder, don’t get irritated if you have to wait for your turn.
…Those That Came Before Us (Hike to the Lost City of Columbia)
Distance: 42 km (26 miles) | Duration: 4-6 days | Difficulty: moderate-difficult
The hike to Ciudad Perdida (Lost City of Colombia) pierces the dense jungles of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The city’s mysterious remnants, estimated to be active around 800 AD, were discovered in 1972 when explorers (searching for tombs to rob) stumbled upon on a series of stone stairs on the mountainside.
The hike involves trekking though the wilderness, traversing rivers, and ascending around 1,200 steps. If you want to set foot in the Lost City, there’s no way around the challenge. However, you can make the path easier by planning your trip between December and March, when the ground isn’t soaked from Latin America’s rainy season.
This hike is only accessible by booking through one of the few tour companies permitted to run in the area. If you were hoping for an unchaperoned hike, don’t write this one off. Tour companies equip their groups with an immersive experience that one couldn’t achieve alone. Participants have said this hike is the most challenging and personally rewarding experience of their lifetime.
…Travel (Call Jaya Travel & Tours)
Regardless of the trek you take, the next step is getting there and that’s where Jaya Travel comes in. Call an agent and get the lowest fares to your next adventure today!