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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek – Nepal – Itinerary – UPDATED 28-07-2012

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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

March 2013

9th till 25th

Outline Itinerary

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 Day 1. Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to hotel in the Thamel district, where there are plenty of restaurants, coffee-bars, shops etc. first night meal at a top city restaurant.

Day 2. Site-seeing tour of Kathmandu, including Boudhanath Buddhist stupa and the city of Bhaktapur..

Day 3. Drive to Pokhara (204km in 6 hours)

Day 4. Drive to Nayapul and trek to Ulleri in approx.  5 hours.

Day 5. Trek to Ghorepani  in approx. 5 hours.

Day 6. Trek to Tadopani in approx.6 hours.

Day 7. Trek to Chhomrong in approx. 6 hours.

Day 8. Trek to Doban in approx. 5 hours.

Day 9. Trek to Machhapuchhare base camp approx.5 hours.

Day 10. Trek to Annapurna base camp and return to Deurali in approx.6 hours.

Day 11. Trek to Sinuwa in approx. 5 hours

Day 12. Trek to Ghandrung in approx. 5 hours.

Day 13. Trek to Nayapul in approx. 4 hours and drive to Pokhara in approx. 1.5 hours.

Day 14. Fly to Kathmandu in approx. 20 minutes.

Day 15. Depart Kathmandu

(One day to travel to Kathmandu and another day return)

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In-depth itinerary: Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Between the giant snow peaks of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna is the Modi Khola river valley.  At its head, hidden from the world, lies an amphitheatre of tremendous mountain wilderness; a special and sacred place, known as the Annapurna Sanctuary. This astonishing area was first discovered by Gurkha officer, Captain Jimmy Roberts in 1956, during a reconnaisance trip for the British Machhapuchhare expedition of 1957. On route we visit Pun Hill – one of the best viewpoints in Nepal, with tremendous views of the mighty south face of the 8000m giant, Dhaulagiri. This trek is one of the most spectacular and rewarding short treks in the Nepal Himalaya and a good chance to visit one of Nepal’s lower altitude base camps.

Day by Day

Day 1.  Arrive in Kathmandu. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time for some local site-seeing.

Day 2. Site-seeing tour to Boudhanath and the ancient city of Bhaktapur, the valley’s second largest city. You will be collected from the hotel by private vehicle and driven first to Boudhnath Buddhist Stupa; the world’s largest and most important pilgrimage point for Tibetans, outside of Tibet. The stupa is a 3-dimensional mandala and its enormous Buddha eyes may be seen from all directions. Tibetan exiles have settled in this area and several Buddhist monasteries are situated close by. Here you can join with pilgrims, as they arrive to circumambulate the stupa, turning the 108 prayer wheels as they go and chanting the mantra (prayer). “Om Mani Padme Hum” (the jewel is in the lotus).

We then drive 18 kms. to the medieval city of Bhaktapur. This red-brick township is dedicated to the god Vishnu and was built originally in the shape of a conch shell. Its name means “The City of Devotees”.  It houses some of Nepal’s finest works of art, including the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 Windows and the huge Nyatapola Pagoda, said to be the most perfectly constructed pagoda in Asia. The Potter’s square gives us the opportunity to see craftsmen at work and in the Datta-treya Square you can see one of the oldest Buddhist Viharas in the valley and the work of the Newari wood-carvers. You will have ample time to explore the medieval streets, squares and temples, which include masterpieces in wood and stone built by the Malla kings of the 17th century. Bhaktapur is one of the valley’s 7 world heritage sites and is largely closed to traffic.

Day 3.  We drive north-westwards to the beautiful sub-tropical Pokhara valley (5-6 hours).  Pokhara is situated at just under 1000m.and is renowned for its Phewa Lake and its abundance of flowers and birds. It also offers spectacular views of the nearby Annapurna mountains. Dominating the valley is Machhapuchhare – the Fishtail mountain, which is held sacred and therefore has never been climbed. The Pokhara valley offers the opportunity for walking, boating, cycling, paragliding and site seeing, as well as shopping and relaxation in one of the many lakeside restaurants. We stay at a comfortable guest house near the lake.

Day 4.  Leaving Pokhara after an early breakfast we drive 40km northeast to Nayapul, where we begin our trek. The views of Annapurna and Machhapuchhare are outstanding along the way. After a short walk, and the crossing of two good suspension bridges, we arrive at Birethanti (3600ft/1097m) at the confluence of the Burungdi and Modi rivers, where we can stop for a break. Then, we head north along the banks of the Burungdi to the small village of Tikedhunga, where we take lunch. We then climb the steep steps to the Magar village of Ulleri (6800ft/2070m). Here we stay in basic but comfortable lodge accommodation with excellent views of Annapurna South up the canyon opposite. .

Walking time: approx.5 hours

Day 5. After breakfast, climb gradually through beautiful rhododendron forest to the village of Ghorepani (Horse-water) at 9250ft/2834m. From the pass, Annapurna South peak and the huge Dhaulagiri are both visible. If the afternoon weather is clear, we can ascend Pun Hill for tremendous sunset views.

Walking time: approx. 5 hours

Day 6. Above the lodge is Pun Hill (10,148ft/3200m) and the view from here is one of the most impressive in Nepal. Those who feel energetic can get up and leave the lodge at 5.30 a.m. and walk up to the top of the hill to watch the sunrise over Annapurna. From here too, you see the summit of Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest mountain, light up in the splendour of the dawn – one of the great Himalayan spectacles. After sunrise, we head back down to the lodge for breakfast.  Then, we continue our journey up through beautiful rhododendron and oak forest to reach the top of a ridge before descending a steep canyon to the small hamlet of Banthanti, where we take tea. From here, we walk up a steep trail to arrive at the village of Tadapani (8800ft/2540m), situated on a hillock, with breath-taking views of Machhapuchhare and the Annapurnas.

Walking time: approx. 6 hours

Day 7. From here, descend through beautiful mixed forest, before emerging into terraced fields, high above the Modi Khola river. Skirt the hillside and make a steep ascent above an old landslide to arrive at the large and active Gurung village of Chomrong (6725ft/2050m).

Walking time: approx. 6 hours

Day 8. We descend northwards to cross a small suspension bridge across a tributary, before ascending steeply to Kilche, where you enter the Modi Khola valley. Stop for a break at the tea shops at Sinuwa and Khuldighar and then enter thick forest. The views of the fishtail aspect of Machhapuchhare are now superb. The next clearing and collection of lodges in the wood is called Bamboo (7700ft/2347m) but we continue higher up the valley to reach the settlement of Doban where we spend the night

Walking time: approx. 5 hours

Day 9. We trek northwards, contouring the Modi Khola, through Doban to Himalaya (9425ft/2873m) in about  3 hours where we take lunch. This section is through beautiful rhododendron, oak and bamboo forest and over 100 different species of orchid are found in this region. Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare tower above. We continue to trek towards the gateway of the sanctuary, reaching Deurali (10,600ft/3231m). The cliff sides are immense and the entrance to the Sanctuary is now visible to the north. At last we enter the sanctuary itself, and the area known as Machhapuchhare base camp (12150ft/3703m) where Col. Jimmy Roberts and the British expedition of 1957 camped before attempting to climb the Fishtail mountain.

Walking time: approx.. 5 hours

Day 10. Trek to Annapurna South base camp (13550ft/4130m) in approx. 3 hours. From within the sanctuary the mountain views are truly magnificent. The stunning panorama of peaks include Annapurna 1 (8091m), Annapurna 3 (7555m), Singu Chuli (6501m), Tharpu Chuli (5500m), and Machhapuchhare (6997m). After a few hours exploring the area we head back down the valley to reach Deurali in another 3 hours.

Walking time: approx.. 6 hours

Day 11.  We descend to Sinuwa, back down the valley.

Walking time: approx. 5 hours.

Day 12. We now pass through Chhomrong and take a different trail, through the settlement of Komrong to the large Gurung village of Ghandrung (6600ft/2012m), perched on a shelf overlooking the Modi River. From here you can see the entrance to the Annapurna Sanctuary to the north and look south towards the plains of India. Ghandrung is the centre of the Annapurna Conservation Project and is a very interesting village, with a school, cultural museum and traditional houses and farming practices.  .

Walking time: approx . 5 hours

Day 13.  Leave after breakfast and make a gradual descent on a stepped trail, through pretty hamlets to the Modi River and follow its banks back into Birethanti, where your trek began. After lunch by the river, stroll across the bridge, where transport is waiting to take you back to Pokhara (1.5 hours). Evening at leisure.

Walking time: approx. 5 hours

Day 14. Morning transfer to Pokhara airport for the 25 minute flight to Kathmandu. The view of the mountains is incredible, if the day is clear. Transfer to your hotel. Your afternoon is free for shopping, site-seeing or relaxing. Final night meal at a top restaurant in the city.

Day 15. Transfer from your guest house to Tribhuvan International Airport for your departure.

(One day to travel to Kathmandu and another day return)

 

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Details

Price:  2350 Euro per person.

 

Trip Price Includes:

  • International return flights and taxes
  • All airport transfers including for domestic flights
  • 3 nights comfortable hotel twin-share accommodation in Kathmandu (B&B)
  • 2 nights comfortable hotel twin-share accommodation in Pokhara (B&B)
  • 9 nights (10 days) trekking
  • Private transport from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Domestic flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Private transport to and from trek
  • Experienced govt. registered guide for trek
  • Porter to carry main rucksack (max. 15 kg.)
  • Accommodation on trek in simple lodges (twin-share rooms)
  • Food on trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
  • Annapurna Conservation Area permit
  • TIMS (trekkers’ Information management) permit
  • Insurance for guide and porters
  • Medical kit
  • Map of trekking route
  • First and last night meal
  • Full day tour of Kathmandu (including entry fees as per itinerary)

Trip Price Does Not include:

  • Visa for Nepal – This is purchased on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport at a cost of $40
  • Travel insurance
  • Extra meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Bar bills, mineral water and other refreshments between meals on trek
  • Shower charges on trek
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Other personal  expenses.

Group size:  minimum 8 max 20 pax

Trek description: this trek is graded ‘B’ moderate. This trek is suited to fit and active walkers with the stamina for 10 days on the trail. The trail is well marked and leads through a variety of countryside, from terraced fields to rhododendron forests and glacial moraine. Care needs to be taken in the bamboo forests after rain or snow, as the trail becomes slippery. The trail passes beneath some avalanche shoots, which are more active in springtime, after a night’s snowfall. There are tremendous mountain views throughout, especially of Machhapuchhare and its stunning west face, not visible from Pokhara. Max altitude: 13550ft/4130m.

Best season: March – May

The weather can be unpredictable at any time of year in the mountains, and it is usually very cold at night, so warm clothes (a down jacket is a good idea) and a good sleeping bag are essential.

* Price is person and includes return flights and accommodation, all taxes and charges. Price may vary with notice in advance.

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