Best places to do a charity trek

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to complete one of the world’s most famous walks, whilst raising money for a good cause. Whilst you can do a charity walk anywhere, charity treks often go to famous places with notorious challenges, making them more likely to draw sponsorship. Classic routes include summitting Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, or walking Peru’s Salkantay Trail. Growing in popularity are the high mountains of the Balkans, and Colombia’s Lost City trek. For a huge challenge, trek to Everest Base Camp, or K2 base camp – reaching extraordinary altitudes well over 5,000m above sea level.
Accursed Mountains, Balkans

1. Accursed Mountains, Balkans

Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro share a portion of the Accursed Mountains, the highest part of the Dinaric Alps. These high peaks have swathes of forest and meadow on their lower slopes. But this is no time to sit wildflower-admiring. Follow the steep trails across multiple countries between locally run huts, and reach the top of Mount Gjeravica (2,656m) at the high point of the hike.
Everest Basecamp, Nepal

2. Everest Basecamp, Nepal

Whilst the summit of Everest is out of reach for all but experienced mountaineers, Everest Base Camp (5,656m) can be reached by trekkers, though its altitude is no joke. The trek takes 15 days, which includes getting into the mountains, and spending time to acclimatise. There are eight days of walking on this well-trodden trail to reach the Base Camp itself, and then you’re in for a quicker descent.
Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan

3. Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan

There are no tea houses lining the trail to the basecamp of K2, Pakistan. Instead, your path into the high Karakorum Range follows a glacier and is a trail of unrelenting ice and rock, until you reach Concordia, a place where glaciers meet, and you can see four mountains over 8,000m tall, and ten of the world’s thirty highest peaks. Reaching basecamp (5,400m) takes eight epic days.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

4. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Imagine being able to point to the summit of the world’s highest freestanding mountain (5,985 m), and say that you’ve been right to the top. As the trees fall away, you won’t face the rocky slopes alone. The mountain has been a charity trekking destination for decades: there are no technical mountaineering skills required, but the high altitude and strenuous walking make it a worthy challenge.
Lost City Trek, Colombia

5. Lost City Trek, Colombia

The Lost City is still – unlike Petra or Machu Picchu – a little bit lost. After three days of stream-fording, mosquito-slapping, jungle-trekking, you reach the ruins. What’s most impressive is their mountainous jungle setting, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There’s no altitude to deal with here, just humid conditions and slippery paths, making this trek ‘challenging’ rather than ‘extreme’.
Salkantay Trail, Peru

6. Salkantay Trail, Peru

The Salkantay trek is a five-day hike that provides an attractive alternative to the very busy Inca Trail. Whilst the trail doesn’t lead to Machu Picchu itself, you get even better scenery, and you can visit the site afterwards, of course. The trek is named after the Salkantay Pass (4,600m) which you cross on the second day. Two days later, you get a glimpse of distant Machu Picchu.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Charity trekking or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Responsible travel recommends

Rob Stables, chief operating officer at our charity trekking partner Choose a Challenge, has this advice:


“The partners we work with have dedicated and committed and passionate staff to help fundraising. You aren’t off on your own. The charities will give all the support in the world, they’ll give you ideas – they’ll put you in touch with other fundraisers – there’s support throughout that journey.” “The fundraising element isn’t mandated. You can self-fund your trip and then do fundraising on the side – we really support and encourage that.”


“A lot of our travellers are extremely well prepared because the fundraising journey is such a long one – they book trips a lot earlier than you might on a whim… it means there’s a lot of time to give info on how to prepare mentally, physically and how to experience a culture. It gives you a firm footing for actually taking on the challenge.”
Written by Eloise Barker
Photo credits: [Page banner: Kyle Taylor] [Accursed Mountains, Balkans: young shanahan] [Everest Basecamp, Nepal: Sebastian Pena Lambarri] [Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan: Umar Farooq] [Mount Kilimanjaro, east Africa: Unsplash+] [Lost City Trek, Colombia: Datingscout] [Salkantay Trail, Peru: Tilo Mitra] [Responsible Travel recommends: Choose a Challenge]