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7 Incredible Hikes (Slideshow)

By Katie Waldeck
5/30/2013 1:08:00 AM

What separates the good hikes from the incredible hikes? Is it the most breathtaking views? The most difficult terrain? The most unique wildlife on display? The most insight into a region's history and culture? Though it may be difficult to pinpoint what, exactly, makes for an outstanding hiking experience, one thing's for sure - the trails on the list are some of the most beloved on the planet.

1. Torres Del Paine, Chile

Explore the wonders of South America's Patagonia region on this stellar hike, which winds through glaciers, vibrantly colored mountain lakes, waterfalls, caves and massive granite walls on this trail. Be on the lookout for guanacos, a relative of the llama, as well as several rare species of birds.

2. Kerry Way, Ireland

Next stop, the beauty of the Emerald Isle! This famous 133 mile trail takes most hikers about 9 days, and ends up exactly where you started. Check out some incredible views of the coast and MacGillycuddy's Reeks, the highest peaks in Ireland, secluded lakes and valleys, and wild moorlands. There are several villages along the route, so stop off at a quaint inn, grab a pint, and rest those legs.

3. Inca Trail, Peru

The Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world - and for good reason! At the end of your 4 or so day hike, you'll be rewarded with a visit to Macchu Picchu. Be sure to book your trip months in advance, because, in order to maintain this important trail, the government has strict limitations on the number of visitors allowed each day. You'll pass small villages, other Inca ruins, a lake, and, of course, breathtaking views of the Andes before you reach your final destination.