- March 15-24
- October 18-27
- November 1-10
- Private tours available at any time.
View the panorama of very high Himalayan peaks of the Annapurna Range without going to very high elevations. Trek ridgetops and hillsides through friendly Buddhist and Hindu villages. October trekkers may catch the great fall eagle migration and March trekkers experience the full blooming of the rhododendrons. Combine visits to attractive Gurung villages with stunning views of some of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalayas. This trek can be taken at any time of year and the itinerary can be modified for your particular interests or preferred length of travel.
You will spend your nights in small lodges specifically designed to host Western travelers who desire the amenities of modern plumbing, electricity and private quarters, but who also wish to gain an insiders view of Nepalese culture and village life. Your days are spent hiking mountain trails with ever changing views and perspectives. This is a great trip for birders, photographers or anyone who appreciates the profound rewards of getting away from roads, cities and the concentrations of mass tourism sites.
Day 1: Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport by your guide and transfered to your centrally located hotel. On the ride from the airport to your hotel you will dodge water buffalo, bicycles and cattle. Golden-roofed temples glisten in the distance and neatly-terraced rice fields sculpt the hillsides. The rules and conventions of Western life have been exchanged for the customs of ancient Asia. You will have an orientation to Nepal by our staff. Overnight: Marshyangdi Hotel or similar.
Day 2: Kathmandu. Your city guide will take you to Swayambhunath where Tibetan chants, Hindu religious rituals, and processions of pilgrims establish a rich spiritual setting for your visit. Afterwards, our staff will assist you with buying or renting gear you may need for this trip such as coats or sleeping bags. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with the Nepal staff. Overnight: Marshyangdi or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Kathmandu - Pokhara. In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Pokhara where you meet your guide and transfer to your hotel, a beautiful resort complete with a swimming pool. From here you will have views of the Annapurna Range including the sacred mountain Machhapuchhare "Fishtail". Overnight: Shangri-La Village Resort or best available. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Pokhara - Dhampus. Today you will be driven to Phedi to begin your hike up to Dhampus from where you will have your first views of rural Nepal life. You climb the ridge above the Yangri Khola Valley, which takes about two hours. Your lodge has eight double rooms with hot running water 24 hours a day in an attached bath with flush toilet. The dining hall has wide view of the Annapurna range and the beautiful hotel gardens. This is the only hotel in Dhampus with views of Mt. Dhaulagiri. Ovenright: Dhaulagiri View Hotel or best available. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total hiking time: 3h.
Day 5: Dhampus - Ghandruk. Today you hike over a small pass and then descend to the Gurung village of Landrung, above the Modi Khola River. After crossing the river, a set of stone steps lead you into the maze of alleyways and terraces of one of the most beautiful communities in this area. From here you have excellent views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare. Your lodge stands within its own garden and apple orchard on the higher terraces of the village. From the garden, some of the highest peaks in the world can be seen in all their snow-capped glory. The lodge is centered upon a 150 year-old traditional Gurung village house, which now serves as the dining room and main reception area. New bedrooms with a covered verandah, solar heated showers, and western style toilet facilities have recently been added. Overnight: Himalaya Lodge or best available. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total hiking time: 7h.
Day 6: Ghandruk. You have a free day to explore this mountain village, which is not only a major recruitment center for the famous Gurkha soldiers, but also the hub of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which promotes many varied ecological projects. The women of Ghandruk maintain a local industry of weaving traditional Nepalese rugs. You will enjoy walking through the network of alleyways through town. Overnight: Himalaya Lodge or best available. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Ghandruk - Birethanti. After breakfast, return to Birethanti via a spectacular ridge and forest route, stopping to explore the rarely visited village of Moharia. After lunch at the lodge, you may either take a short walk with your guide to photograph the flora and fauna of the valley or simply relax by the river or in the landscaped gardens from which there are direct views of the magnificent 23,000' Machapuchare. Your lodging has twin bedrooms, solar heated showers and proper toilet facilities. There is also a central reception and dining area with fireplace, comfortable chairs, books and magazines. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total hiking time: 7h.
Day 8: Birethanti - Pokhara. In the morning, you make the one and a half hour drive back to Pokhara where the rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the views, hike to some nearby villages, or take a boat ride on the lake. Some activities available are: a boat ride on the enchanting Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal is a great way to take in the surrounding beauty.
The Barahi Temple, the most important religious monument in Pokhara, can be found almost in the middle of Phewa Lake. This two storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the female deity representing Shakti. Devotees can be seen here, especially on Saturdays, carrying animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed.
The World Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa situated on top of a hill on the southern shores of Phewa Lake. From here, there are spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara. You get here by crossing the lake and hiking up the hill. Overnight: Shangri-La Village Resort or best available. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Pokhara - Kathmandu. After breakfast, a flight takes you back to Kathmandu where the rest of the day is free to do some last minute shopping and exploring. Our staff will be on hand to assist with further explorations and sightseeing (not included in land cost). Overnight: Marshyangdi Hotel or similar. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Kathmandu - Onward. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Includes: (B).
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