12 High-Altitude Destinations For Breathtaking Views

telluride, colorado, city

1. Tusheti, Georgia

a mountain with trees on it

Tusheti is a remote region in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, offering stunning high-altitude views of lush valleys, alpine meadows, and medieval villages. The rugged terrain and traditional lifestyle of the locals make it a truly unique destination for nature enthusiasts and cultural explorers.

Visitors to Tusheti can immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of the landscape, dotted with ancient stone towers and grazing sheep. The region’s isolation has preserved its traditional way of life, providing a glimpse into a bygone era. Hiking trails lead to high mountain passes, offering breathtaking panoramas of the rugged peaks and deep valleys below.

2. Machu Picchu, Peru

aerial view of green mountains during daytime

Machu Picchu, situated at over 7,000 feet above sea level, is one of the most iconic high-altitude destinations in the world. The ancient Incan citadel offers panoramic views of the surrounding Andes Mountains and the Urubamba River, making it a must-visit for history buffs and adventure seekers.

Exploring Machu Picchu allows visitors to marvel at the architectural ingenuity of the ancient Incas and ponder the mysteries surrounding this ancient city. Trekking the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu adds an element of adventure to the experience, with breathtaking views along the way. The sunrise over the ruins is a magical sight that shouldn’t be missed.

3. Leh, India

green trees near brown mountain under white clouds during daytime

Leh, the capital of the Ladakh region in India, sits at an altitude of over 11,000 feet and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and arid landscapes. The stark beauty of the Himalayas and the Buddhist monasteries dotting the landscape make Leh a spiritual and picturesque destination.

Visitors to Leh can explore ancient monasteries such as Thiksey and Hemis, each offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage. The rugged terrain surrounding Leh provides opportunities for trekking, mountain biking, and rafting, allowing adventurers to immerse themselves in the raw beauty of the Himalayas. The traditional Ladakhi architecture and warm hospitality of the locals add to the charm of this high-altitude destination.

4. Banff National Park, Canada

trees near a mountain beside body of water during golden hour

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, is a high-altitude paradise known for its turquoise lakes, rugged mountains, and diverse wildlife. The towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies and the pristine wilderness of the park offer breathtaking views for hikers, photographers, and nature lovers.

Exploring Banff National Park allows visitors to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of iconic landmarks such as Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the Banff Hot Springs. The park’s extensive network of hiking trails caters to all skill levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging mountain ascents. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot elk, bears, and bighorn sheep in their natural habitat, adding an element of excitement to the outdoor experience.

5. Lhasa, Tibet

brown and white concrete building under white clouds during daytime

Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is located at an altitude of over 11,000 feet and is a sacred destination for Buddhists around the world. The majestic Potala Palace, ancient monasteries, and the stunning Himalayan backdrop make Lhasa a spiritual and awe-inspiring city.

Visiting Lhasa immerses travelers in the rich Tibetan Buddhist culture, with opportunities to explore iconic sites such as the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street. The spiritual ambiance of Lhasa is palpable, with monks chanting in ancient monasteries and prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze. The high-altitude setting adds a sense of tranquility and introspection to the journey, making Lhasa a unique destination for spiritual seekers.

6. Denali National Park, Alaska

green pine trees near snow covered mountain during daytime

Denali National Park in Alaska is home to North America’s highest peak, Mount McKinley, towering at over 20,000 feet. The vast wilderness of the park, with its glaciers, tundra, and abundant wildlife, offers unparalleled views for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Exploring Denali National Park provides an opportunity to witness the raw beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, with chances to spot grizzly bears, caribou, and Dall sheep. Hiking trails in the park lead to breathtaking overlooks of the mountainous landscape, with opportunities for backcountry camping and wildlife photography. The sense of solitude and grandeur in Denali National Park is unparalleled, making it a bucket-list destination for nature lovers.

7. La Paz, Bolivia

white and brown mountain under blue sky during daytime

La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, is the world’s highest capital city, situated at over 11,000 feet above sea level. The city’s unique location in a deep valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks provides visitors with breathtaking vistas and a vibrant cultural experience.

Exploring La Paz allows travelers to immerse themselves in the bustling markets, colonial architecture, and indigenous culture of Bolivia. The Witches’ Market, offering traditional remedies and mystical trinkets, provides a glimpse into Bolivia’s spiritual beliefs and traditions. The cable car system in La Paz offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings, making it a unique way to experience the high-altitude landscape.

8. Zermatt, Switzerland

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Zermatt, a picturesque mountain village in Switzerland, is nestled at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn peak at an altitude of over 5,000 feet. The pristine alpine scenery, charming chalets, and world-class skiing opportunities make Zermatt a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts and luxury travelers alike.

Visiting Zermatt allows travelers to experience the charm of a traditional Swiss village against the backdrop of majestic alpine peaks. The Gornergrat Railway offers panoramic views of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains, providing a bird’s-eye perspective of the stunning landscape. Outdoor activities in Zermatt range from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, ensuring year-round adventure for visitors.

9. Mount Fuji, Japan

mountain near city

Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak at over 12,000 feet, offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and Lake Kawaguchi. The symmetrical volcano is a symbol of Japan and a popular pilgrimage site for hikers and nature lovers seeking panoramic vistas and spiritual solace.

Climbing Mount Fuji allows visitors to witness the iconic sunrise from the summit, a spiritual experience known as “Goraiko.” The hiking trails of Mount Fuji cater to all skill levels, with rest stops offering panoramic views of Fuji Five Lakes and the surrounding landscape. The cultural significance of Mount Fuji as a symbol of resilience and beauty adds to the allure of this high-altitude destination.

10. Cusco, Peru

people walking on street during daytime

Cusco, a historic city in Peru located at an altitude of over 11,000 feet, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. The city’s blend of Incan and colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and proximity to archaeological sites like Sacsayhuaman and the Sacred Valley make it a cultural and scenic gem in the Andes.

Exploring Cusco allows travelers to delve into the rich history and culture of the Inca civilization, with highlights such as the Qorikancha Temple and the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. The city’s lively markets offer a chance to sample traditional Peruvian cuisine and artisanal crafts. Day trips from Cusco to Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain provide additional opportunities for adventure and exploration in the high-altitude region.

11. Jebel Shams, Oman

brown rock formation under blue sky during daytime

Jebel Shams, the highest mountain in Oman, offers spectacular views of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains and the deep Wadi Ghul canyon. The remote location and challenging hiking trails make Jebel Shams a hidden gem for adventure seekers and nature lovers looking for a unique high-altitude experience.

Exploring Jebel Shams allows visitors to witness the stark beauty of Oman’s mountainous terrain, with opportunities for trekking along the rim of the canyon and camping under the starlit sky. The Jebel Shams Grand Canyon offers a breathtaking perspective of the natural wonders sculpted by time and geological forces. The rugged beauty and isolation of Jebel Shams provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

12. Telluride, Colorado

field of green trees

Telluride, a charming mountain town in Colorado, is nestled in a box canyon surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains. The town’s historic charm, world-class skiing, and summer outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking make it a premier high-altitude destination for outdoor enthusiasts and relaxation seekers.

Visiting Telluride allows travelers to experience the laid-back atmosphere of a mountain town with a rich mining history and vibrant arts scene. The Telluride Ski Resort offers diverse terrain for skiers and snowboarders, while the annual Telluride Film Festival showcases the town’s cultural richness. Summer activities in Telluride range from music festivals to scenic hikes, providing opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies in a relaxed setting.

Hugues Louissaint

Hugues Louissaint is an entrepreneur and writer, living in the US for over a decade. He has launched successful products such the Marabou Coffee brand, which has been highly successful in Florida. He has also been a writer for more than 5 years focusing on science, technology, and health. He writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and provides valuable input on a wide range of subjects.