Annapurna Sanctuary, Annapurna Base Camp (A.B.C.) Machhapuchhere Base Camp (M.B.C.)
The Annapurna region is that north of Pokhara in Central Nepal, and includes some of the world's highest and most beautiful mountains. These include the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre - the famous fish-tail mountain that dominates the skyline above Pokhara. In addition this area boasts the Kali Gandaki, the world's deepest gorge.
This classic trek circles the entire Annapurna massif and in so doing offers a spectacular variety of people and landscapes, from lowland farming country to alpine meadows to the Tibet-like country on the northern slopes of the Himalaya.We start in the foothills at Besi Sahar and rise after 6 days to the settlement of Manang at 3,500m where we acclimatise and enjoy the mountain views. We continue to ascend and on day 10 of the trek we cross the famous Thorung La, at 5,416m, to Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists.
From here we descend into the Kali Gandaki, with Annapurna and Dhaulagiri towering on either side. En route back to Pokhara we pass through the many beautiful hill villages that populate this ancient trading route between Tibet and India. We also visit the hot springs at Tatopani, and climb up Poon Hill, above Ghorapani, to enjoy magnificent mountain views. This trek is a fully equipped camping trek with accommodation in two person tents and food being cooked by our kitchen staff. Transport to Besi Sahar is by private coach and the return to Kathmandu from Pokhara is by air.
Arrival and transfer to hotel/welcome dinner (D)
Day at leisure for sightseeing /Hotel (B. D)
Day 03: Besi Sahar (820m) to Bahundanda (1310m)(B.L.D)
We start our trek at Besi Sahar (820m) and continue on to the Gurung village of Khudi at 790m where we cross the Khudi Khola. From here we follow the trail northwards up the Marsyangdi valley to Bhulbule where we stop for lunch. The trail then crosses the Marsyangdi on a long suspension bridge and continues up the east bank of the river. From here there are good views of Manaslu (8156m) to the northeast. The trail then leads up through the villages of Ngadi and Lampata before reaching Bahundanda (1310m) where we spend the night.
Day 04: Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m)(B.L.D)
From Bahundanda the trail drops to eventually cross a stream and then climbs to the settlement of Lili Bir. The trail continues high above the river eventually dropping to cross to the western side of the Marsyangdi at Syange (1190m). Beyond Syange the trail becomes steep in parts, reaching the ancient village of Jagat at 1250m. From Jagat the trail descends to the Marsyangdi, and follows the riverbank before climbing up through forests to Chamje at 1430m.
Day 05: Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m)(B.L.D)
Today the trail continues northwards before eventually turning to the north west as it follows the Marsyangdi to Bagarchhap. The trail initially crosses the river to the east bank and climbs up to the large settlement of Tal at 1675m, where there are many shops and lodges. From Tal the trail crosses and then re-crosses the river as it makes it's way to Karte, and finally crosses again to the west bank before continuing through the village of Dharapani at 1920m, and on to Bagarchhap at 2160m. This was the scene of a landslide in November 1995 that destroyed much of the village, however it is steadily being rebuilt.
Day 06: Bagarchhap to Chame (2630m)(B.L.D)
From Bagarchhap the trail continues in a general westwards direction up the Manang valley, following the Marsyangdi river. Throughout today we obtain views of Annapurna II (7937m) and Annapurna IV to the west. Initially the trail climbs through forests to Dhanakyu at 2290m, and continues steadily to the settlement of Lattemarang at 2360m. The track then climbs over several forested ridges to reach the village of Kotho at 2590m, and from here it is an easy half-hour walk to Chame at 2630m, the administrative headquarters for the Manang district.
Day 07: Chame to Pisang (3190m)(B.L.D)
From Chame we cross to the northern side of the river and trek west on an easy trail to the village of Bhratang at 2840m. From here the valley is steep and narrow and leads through dense forests. The trail eventually crosses back to the south side of the river on a suspension bridge at 3040m and then continues on to our destination for the evening, the large village of Pisang at 3190m, where there are many lodges.
Day 08: Pisang to Manang (3540m)(B.L.D)
The trail continues on the south side of the river and makes a long climb over a ridge to reach approx. 3400m. It then descends to the valley floor and continues on to Hongde at 3325m where there is an airstrip, several lodges and a police checkpost. The feature of the village is a long mani wall. The trail crosses to the north bank of the river near Mungli and continues on to the stunning Tibetan-style village of Bryaga at 3475m, where there is an ancient gompa. From here it is only a short walk to Manang at 3500m. Manang is a very large and important village with numerous shops and lodges.
Day 09: Acclimatisation day at Manang (3540m)(B.L.D)
This is an acclimatisation day which will allow us to become adjusted to the thinning air and lessening pressure as we continue upwards towards the Thorung La. It is often useful to make use of this day by taking a gentle excursion to a number of the interesting areas near to Manang. However it is also useful to rest up and relax before we trek higher.
Day 10: Manang to Yak Kharka (3990m)(B.L.D)
Whilst it is possible to reach Thorung Phedi in one day from Manang we split the journey in two in order to aid acclimatization. From Manang we trek slowly up to Tengi at 3620m and continue steadily upwards to Gunsang at 3930m. The trail is now distinctly alpine in appearance, the vegetation consisting of scrub juniper and alpine grasses. The views en route across to the immense peaks of Gangapurna (7454m) and Annapurna III (7555m) are fantastic, as we continue up to Yak Kharka at 4090m. There are several lodges here and although it makes for a short day, it is a convenient place to stop before trekking higher.
Day 11: Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4500m)(B.L.D)
From here we continue very slowly upwards reaching the small settlement of Letdar, at 4250m, after about one hour. The trail then continues to climb along the east bank of the Jarsang Khola, making it's way steadily up to Thorung Phedi, a small collection of lodges, at 4420m. This is our last stop before crossing the Thorung La - 'phedi' means 'foot of the hill', and indeed this is the starting point for the long trek up to the pass at 5416m. This is another short day, and allows us to rest and relax before ascending to the pass tomorrow. Lodges here are usually very crowded and there is an air of excitement and a lot of activity as most trekkers arrive here by lunchtime.
Day 12: Trek to Muktinath (3802m), crossing Thorung La (5416m)(B.L.D)
We set off early, at about 6am, and begin the long climb up to the Thorung La ('la' means 'pass') 1000m above us. We trek slowly and steadily and aim to reach the pass in 4 hours from Phedi, although it can take less or more depending upon fitness and acclimatization. The trail has been used for centuries by local people and is well defined in the trekking seasons. Upon reaching the pass we see the traditional chorten, prayer flags, and cairn, and other trekkers resting before the descent to Muktinath 1600m below. The views from the pass can only be described as breathtaking, and take in a panorama of Himalayan giants, as well as providing our first view of the immense Kali Gandaki valley to the west. The reduction in altitude becomes obvious as soon as we leave the Thorung La and it is amazing how much difference this makes in only a few hundred meters.
As we descend, we obtain great views of Dhaulagiri to the southwest, and TukuchePeak at 6920m. The descent is long and tiring but not difficult and we soon find ourselves down in Muktinath and Ranipauwa, although this does take about 3 hours. There are many lodges here and we spend the rest of the day relaxing and looking back with satisfaction on a great achievement - crossing the Thorung La.
Day 13: TREKS TO MARPHA [2665m](B.L.D)
We now begin the descent down the Kali Gandaki Gorge. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. As the trail continues towards Jomsom, the landscape becomes increasingly arid and impressive with its mixture of browns, yellows and greys, contrasting with the white snowcaps of Tilicho and Nilgiri. By afternoon, the stiff winds begin to blow, hastening our way to Jomsom. The wind generally picks up after about midday, but will at least be blowing at our backs as we head up to Jomsom. After passing through stone-walled orchards, a stone gate marks the entrance to Marpha. White walled houses line both sides of the narrow paved street, under which flows a cleverly made drainage system. Marpha makes a good lunch stop and the courtyards of the many lodges make ideal resting and refreshment places. The local apple brandy is well-known! Over night stay at Lodge.
Day 14: TREKS TO LETE [2470m](B.L.D)
Today we continue up the vast gravel riverbed of the Kali Gandaki, passing mule trains travelling down from Tibet to Tukuche, a delightful village with a large gompa. Beyond Tukuche we walk along the west bank of the Kali Gandaki towards Larjung. Here, as in many of the villages in this area, narrow alleyways and tunnels connect houses with enclosed courtyards, providing protection against the winds blowing up the valley. We make our way through pine, juniper and cypress forests to Kalopani, enjoying fine views of Annapurna I and Fang. We reach to Lete that lies just twenty minutes beyond Kalopani. Overmight stay at Lete.
Day 15: TREKS TO TATOPANI [1160m](B.L.D)
Descending steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. We enter the steepest and narrowest part of the gorge shortly after Ghasa and at the hamlet of Rupse a magnificent waterfall tumbles down beside the trail. Continuing on we come to Dana, a Magar village from where the large peak of Annapurna South can be seen across the valley. The trail then descends to Tatopani. Tatopani means 'hot water' and to plunge into the Geothermal water in the well-maintained pool near the river is worth after the days walk. Lodge at either the village or at the North end. Over night stay at Lodge.
Day 16: Acclimatisation day at Tatopani Hot spring (1160m)(B.L.D)
It is also useful to rest up and relax at Hot spring.
Day 17: TREK TO GHOREPANI [2775m](B.L.D)
A short distance downstream from Tatopani, we cross the river on a large suspension bridge and leave the Kali Gandaki behind. After passing through the villages of Sikha and Chitre, we begin to climb through the forest to Deorali, a 2834m pass from which there are excellent views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli. Just 10 minutes beyond the pass is the village of Ghorepani. Ghorepani literally means "horse water" and is a welcome watering spot for the teams of mules, which ply the route between Pokhara and Jomsom. [walk approx 4 hours]
Day 18: TREK TO BIRETHANTI [1050m] & DRIVE TO POKHARA(B.L.D)
Overlooking Ghorepani is Poon Hill [3193m], and an hour long pre-dawn ascent gives us the opportunity to see the classic view of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri at sunrise. After breakfast we begin the long descent to Birethanti through magnificent oak and rhododendron forests. From the village of Ulleri, a long steep stone staircase seems to go on forever before eventually reaching Hille. A more gradual descent then brings us to Birethanti, from where it is a short distance to the road and our transport are waiting for us for the short drive back to Pokhara. [walk approx 6 hours] Dinner and overnight stay in Pokhara.
Pokhara to Kathmandu 7 hrs drive by bus or 30 minutes by flight(B.L)
Final departure to your country(B)
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