Top 5 Exotic Destination Hikes

If you have been bitten by the travel bug, beware: this list of amazing destination hikes may worsen the symptoms!

We have fallen in love with the definition of the word ‘exotic,’ sourced from “strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance; of a uniquely new or experimental nature“. Let’s face it, there is nothing more exhilarating than exploring an exotic place and no better way to really immerse yourself than going on a hiking adventure. Whether you are new to hiking or a veteran of the mountains, there is something for everyone in this list of exotic destination hikes.

At this point we feel obliged to add a disclaimer: our top 5 is by no means a comprehensive list. Anyone who has ever traveled will know that it is impossible to choose only five destination hikes in the whole world to write about! What we will highlight however, is that this list has been compiled to showcase particular places that have something unique and special to offer. Set in incredible destinations, these hand-picked adventures provide an additional point of difference to make them a top 5 choice.

Without further ado, we present you the top 5 exotic destination hikes:

5.) Mount Batur, Indonesia

Destination hikes Mount Batur, Indonesia

Level: Intermediate (Loose rocks and slippery sections. Adequate footwear must be worn.)

Cost: $$ (Driver/guide fees)

What to expect: Mount Batur is nestled in the less touristy northern part of Bali. The summit is 1717 meters above sea level and offers a uniqueness.

In order to participate in the hike, you will need to book a designated tour. We suggest contacting Ubud Destination. Usually hotel pick up is as early as 1:30am so be prepared for a long day! As you arrive at the base, most tours provide locally sourced Balinese coffee and a banana snack to energize hikers. At first, you will be blown away by the number of hikers and guides; it may seem that the path will be too crowded. However the whole adventure is surprisingly well organized, with experienced guides set at a ratio of one per a maximum of five participants. This ensures safety and personalized service.

This pick of destination hikes starts off very easy, leading you to think a guide is unnecessary. Soon enough, you’ll realize that you would not find your way alone in the pitch dark. Additionally, these guides have done the climb multiple times (sometimes three times per day!) and know exactly where to step in the slippery and rocky sections. It is advisable to follow their lead.

On the way to the summit, you will be accompanied by a starry sky while you see several coffee c plantations. There is a praying point before the hike becomes steep, which is a beautiful insight into the spiritual Bali culture. As you reach higher view points, look down to see the trail of hikers marked by their lit torches. It is actually a very striking sight.

The last section is the hardest, so you will be eager to reach the summit. The temperature drops quite a bit as you arrive and stop moving, so don’t forget to pack warm clothes in your backpack. There are locals at the top selling hot drinks at ridiculous prices but at this point you are unlikely to care and just splurge … because enjoying a hot beveragewhile waiting for the sun to rise over the misty volcano is actually priceless. Don’t expect too much from the steam cooked breakfast though — it’s a pretty simple white bread and banana sandwich with a boiled egg. However the views into the crater and the clear waters of Lake Batur make everything seem more tasty. Make sure you eat it swiftly before the mischievous monkeys steal it from you!

What makes it exotic: Bali is known for its spirituality and rugged beauty. This hike is no different, as you will be climbing what is a sacred site to the Balinese while experiencing views over the Batur caldera — one of the largest and most impressive in the world. In the first section of the hike you will be completely in the dark and virtually unaware of how high up you’ve walked or how much further to go. It is a humbling experience just existing in the right here and now, feeling only the weight of your backpack and judging your steps carefully.

Pro tip: This destination hike experience will be more enjoyable if you manage to join other hikers at the same level. This will ensure you don’t have to wait for slower hikers or rush with faster hikers.

How to get there: Book a guided tour from a local operator where you can negotiate lower prices than ones set by big internet companies. Tour operators will pick up from all main areas of the island and lead you through the entire hike. You will also be supporting local Balinese people/villagers who make their main income through the tourism industry.