COMO’s top five hikes, from Bhutan to Fiji
Walking is one of the simplest and most versatile ways to ground yourself. You can walk to find connection with another person, or to sink deeper into your own rhythms. Or you can walk to escape into your surroundings, whether a dense jungle in Bali or among the peaks of Western Australia. Here, we recommend our top five hikes at COMO destinations around the world, with expert guides on hand to take care of all the details.
COMO Uma Ubud: While a hike up Ubud’s Mount Batur is a close contender, the Tjampuhan Ridge and Temple Walk is our top pick for a Bali hike. The route begins a short distance from COMO Uma Ubud, tracing the ancient Tjampuhan Ridge. Along the way, you can stop at Tjampuhan Temple to see where the Balinese offer prayers to the gods. You cross the Tjampuhan Bridge, which marks a sacred junction in the River Oos. The route also passes several of the art galleries that Ubud is so famous for. The natural beauty of this hike is unsurpassed, passing through coconut, palm and rustling alang-alang, with tranquil views over Ubud’s verdant rice terraces. The route can be driven part-way, making this a suitable hike for a wide variety of abilities, and takes between one-and-a-half to three hours depending on vehicle use.
COMO The Treasury: Nambung National Park is a two-and-a-half-hour drive or a short helicopter flight from COMO The Treasury, in Perth. It is home to the Pinnacles, a series of extraordinary limestone pillars formed approximately 30,000 years ago by receding sea, coastal wind and shifting sand. The Pinnacles only became famous in the late 1960s, when the area was gazetted as a reserve: when you walk among them, you still feel as though you’re on the brink of a new discovery with every step. The winding walking trail in this vast desertscape is best experienced August to October when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
COMO Castello del Nero: Sometimes, a hike doesn’t need a fixed destination. The whole of COMO Castello del Nero’s 740-acre estate is free to roam for guests with the help of a map. Our concierges can pack a picnic — stocked with the estate’s own wine, cured meats and crusty bread — as you explore the unspoilt Tuscan landscape, including the leafy forests, olive groves and vineyards. While there are four routes marked for easy hiking, our favourite thing to do is to get off-track and into the rolling hills, spotting wild hares and deer along the way. This is old-fashioned Europe at its finest.
COMO Laucala Island: The Summit Hike on Fiji’s COMO Laucala Island is like stepping back into a lost world, with the trail looping steeply up to the island’s highest point. The deeper you get into the interior, the louder the birdsong — a chorus of collared lorys, orange doves, red shining parrots and Kadavu fantails. As you walk, you’ll spot wild orchids draped across the branches of the oldest trees, with bright yellow blooms. They are a 120 million-year-old throwback to our planet’s first plant species. Keep your eyes peeled for the emerald glimmer of the friendly ground dove or the iridescent feathers of the purple swamphen. The hike takes around two hours and is best suited to intermediate-level hikers due to the steep pitch.
COMO Uma Paro: No recommendation would be complete without the hike to Bhutan’s iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The hike begins a short drive from COMO Uma Paro, and is a seven-kilometre round trip. The trail zig-zags up an ascent of 1,700 feet, with startling views over pine forests festooned with prayer flags. The ultimate goal is one of Bhutan’s most significant religious sites: a monastery complex perched precariously on the cliffside. The monastery was built in 1692. Our hiking guides’ reverence and passion are infectious as they lead you through a maze of hand-hewn steps. There are plenty of spaces to stop for a picnic along the route. This is a half-day excursion recommended for moderate to advanced hikers.