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This trek is taking you close to Mounts Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche, Machapuchare and Annapurna South. You will trek well off the beaten path on a community-managed trail. With the support of international and Nepali organisations, community lodges have been built and local villagers trained to help you enjoy this special route, in a little-visited area. The proceeds are invested in increasing local access to education and health.
Where will you go?
What will you do?
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Your adventure begins here in Kathmandu where you will be welcomed by your local guide. You will then transfer to your hotel in the city centre for a nice welcome dinner.
Day 2: Pokhara
After breakfast you'll take a private bus to drive to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. It’s a long drive but very scenic. You'll pass through small villages, rural landscape, alongside rivers and if the sky is clear you'll be able to see the Himalayan range. On arrival in Pokhara, check in your hotel and go explore the city known as the City of Paradise.
Day 3: Ghandruk (1,950m) – 4 hours
After breakfast you'll have a scenic drive to the start of the trail. You'll start with a steep climb (the first of the many, many climbs and steps on this trek!) up to Kimchee and then a gentler ascent up to Ghandruk, where you'll spend the night. From here you'll already be able to enjoy great views of the Machapuchare and Hiunchuli mountains. You'll spend the night in a charming little family owned lodge and enjoy your first dinner in the mountains.
Day 4: Tadapani (2,650m) – 5 hours
This morning you'll wind your way up through the beautiful old houses of Ghandruk and climb through a forest with incredible purple rhododendron trees and amazing views on the Annapurnas. Then the real climbing starts with a very steep section up to a tiny village (look out for the Langur monkeys playing in the trees!). After lunch you'll continue trekking into a dense forest with gigantic old growth trees keeping out the light, until you'll reach Tadapani, where you'll stay for the night.
Day 5: Dobato (3,420m) – 7 hours
After breakfast, you'll leave Tadapani and enter into an incredible rhododendron forest. You'll gain altitude steadily today but every step higher will reward you with an even better view of the Himalayas. Take a path that goes through a fascinating Gurung temple to arrive at your final destination for the day: Dobato.
Day 6: Secret viewpoint (3,637m) and Khopra Danda (3,660m) – 8 hours
Before sunrise you'll have an optional excursion to a secret viewpoint. It is not compulsory but the hike is well worth the effort! You'll then start trekking through the forest before crossing to the western side of the ridgeline. You'll have great views towards Ghorepani, Poon Hill and Swanta, far down in the valley (stay away from the yaks!). When you'll finally arrive at Khopra Community Lodge, Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Fang and Annapurna South can all be seen, feeling incredibly close and overwhelmingly huge. Have an early night, tomorrow will be a tough day!
Day 7: Khayer Lake excursion (4,620m) – 10 hours
Today is the toughest day of the trek as you'll climb up to 4,620m. Altitude sickness can now become a risk so you'll have to follow the advice of your guide and take it slow and rest often. After a fabulous sunrise across the mountains you'll start climbing up towards the sacred Khayer Lake. You'll stop for a pic nic lunch at the top and finally retrace your steps and descend back to your lodge.
Day 8: Chitre (2,390m) – 6 hours
This morning you'll bid farewell to the incredibly close up views of the Himalayas. From here it is all down, down, down so it’s tough on the knees. As you'll approach Swanta you'll see Mount Dhaulagiri re-emerge and it provides a lovely backdrop to the terraced fields and traditional houses of the village. You'll then continue up to Chitre where you'll stay for the night.
Day 9: Tikhedhunga (1,540m) – 7 hours
From Chitre you'll descend through terraced fields and cross rivers before reaching colourful villages where a steep section of seemingly never-ending stairs is waiting for you. You'll cross a suspension bridge and finally arrive in Tikhedhunga where you'll enjoy a final sunset in the mountains.
Day 10: Pokhara (800m) – 4 hours
The valley opens up more and more and your weary legs will enjoy the gentler grade and the complete lack of steps. You'll meet the river and if it’s warm you can jump in and cool off in one of the beautiful pools. You'll then continue along the road taking a short detour through beautiful and tiny villages where you'll stop for lunch. You'll then drive back to Pokhara. Tonight, celebrate your achievements all together over a nice dinner!
Day 11: Fly to Kathmandu
After breakfast you'll take a short but spectacular flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. You'll have the rest of the day free to explore Kathmandu.
Day 12: Return flight back home
It's time to take your transfer to Kathmandu airport for your return flight back home.
What do you want to know?
Is Nepal the right destination for me?
Nepal is one of the best trekking destinations in the world. You will be rewarded with amazing views wherever you go! You should however keep in mind that you quickly reach high altitudes when in Nepal. We therefore recommend this destination to travellers who have previous experience in trekking. Daily hikes from Kathmandu are possible but if you want to do a longer trek, you will have to go to remote places, where facilities are basic (shared rooms, long-drop toilet but amazing views!).
How can I get a VISA?
We will send you all the information you need to get your VISA once you book your adventure. Visas are available online and also on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport but be prepared for long queues! Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Nepal. Without this minimum validity entry to the country will be denied.
Do I need to buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. You have to be covered for trekking at high altitude as well as medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. A copy will need to be sent to us before departure. If you haven't got a travel insurance, please visit our page "Before you travel" to get a quote and book your travel insurance.
What vaccinations/medications do I need?
It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor. Please make sure you take enough of your personal medications for the entire duration of the trip. It is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of the age, gender and fitness. Please discuss your condition and medications available with your doctor.
What food will be served?
The food in Kathmandu and Pokhara is varied. During the treks the food is mainly porridge, omelettes, soups, potatoes, pasta, rice, bread with vegetables. Meat and fish are rare and not recommended as electricity is temperamental. You can always buy extra snacks in the big cities or in the tea houses along the way.
What if I have dietary requirements?
We can cater for pretty much all diets (vegetarians, vegans, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc) but it may not be very varied especially in more rural areas. We will however always make sure you have enough to eat. It’s a good idea to bring some of your favourite snacks with you. Please let us know your dietary requirements at least 4 months before your trip starts.
What will be the weather like?
The best season to trek in Nepal is beg-March to end-April and mid-September to mid-December. The temperature during the day can be quite warm (20-25°C) and the sun quite strong. As soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops dramatically and is negative at night. Be prepared for both and remember mountain weather conditions are extremely unpredictable.
Who will be walking with us?
You will be accompanied by your local guide and his support team (assistant, porters). Your guide will set the pace and you should never overtake him. This is not a race! Back up support can be called in should there be an emergency.
What is the currency in Nepal?
The currency is the Nepali Rupee (NPR). For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com. US dollars are accepted in some big restaurants and shops but we recommend getting some Nepali Rupees too, especially for extra drinks and snacks during the trek. If paying in USD the exchange rate will be set by the vendor, which may differ from the official exchange rate.
Do they accept Credit Cards?
Visa and Mastercard are becoming more widely accepted in big shops and restaurants, but will not be accepted in the rural areas. We advise you to bring lower denominations. Check with your bank regarding any charges applicable. For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com.
Are there any ATM’s available during the trek?
ATMs are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara only so please make sure you have enough cash with you for your trek.
Do I need to bring money?
All accommodation and most of the meals are included within the price of our trips. You will only need money in case of emergency and for tips, hiring specialist equipment, additional food & drink, gifts & souvenirs etc.
What is the recommendation for tipping?
All our staff is paid a fair wage. However, local staff will generally receive a tip at the end of a job well done. We recommend approx. NPR1000-NPR1500 (US$10-US$15) per group per day for the guide and the same amount for a driver, NPR500-NPR1000 (US$5-US$10) per group per day for each porter and support staff. This should be given at the end of the challenge. Please don't tip with coins or notes of or less than NPR1, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
What type of accommodation are you using?
We always try to book nice and comfortable 3* hotels near the city centre with en-suite bathrooms. However in some rural areas the accommodation can be more basic.
In big cities you will stay in a hotel located near the city centre.
During the trek you will stay in shared rooms in lodges. Mattresses, pillows and blankets are provided, but you should take a good quality four-season sleeping bag and a liner if possible to add extra warmth. Please note that lodges are basic but clean and they do not often have attached bathrooms or hot showers. You might have to pay to use hot water or for battery charging (usually NPR 100-300).
Do I need to carry my own bag?
During the day you will only have to carry your day bag with your essentials (extra layers, water, snacks, sun cream, medications, waterproofs etc). Your main bag (strictly limited to 15kg!) will be carried by porters each day to the next accommodation so you will have it with you every evening. If you need help to carry your day bag please get in touch as you might be able to hire a porter to help you.
What is the weight limit for the hand luggage and checked luggage for domestic flights?
In the plane from Pokhara to Kathmandu you will be able to bring 20kg in your checked luggage and 5kg in your hand luggage. However porters are limited to 15kg and we recommend not taking too much in your day bag so it’s best to limit your main bag to 15kg and your day bag to 5kg. Extra items can be left in the hotel in Kathmandu.
Do I need any specific documents with me?
Please always carry with you your passport (leave a copy in your main bag) and your insurance details.
What should I pack?
Once your trip is booked we will send you a gear list. The essential packing list is:
- Travel documents: passport with visa (if required), travel insurance, flights tickets and photocopies of these documents
- Money: cash/credit card kept in a money belt
- Personal medication
- Daypack (30L to 50L) and duffle bag (80L to 100L)
- Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes (already broken in) with good walking socks
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Electrical adapter plug (for more information please check www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/)
- Toiletries and travel towel
- Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses
- Refillable water bottle (no disposable plastic bottles) and Platypus/camelbak
- Wind and waterproof rain jacket and trousers
- Down jacket
- Camera with spare batteries
Can you teach me a few words in the local language?
Hello/Goodbye – Namaste
Thank you – Dhanyabad
Good night - Subha ratri
How are you? - Tapaaii lai kasto cha?
Good, thank you – Malai Thik Cha