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Annapurna Sanctuary – Trekking (Trip Code: AS)

Trip Level
Trip Length 12 Days
From $3375

12 DAYS in Nepal

  • 9 days strenuous hiking on uneven terrain at medium to high elevations (maximum 4,130m/13,546ft)

  • 3 nights hotel

  • 8 nights camping

The Annapurna Sanctuary is a glistening glacier basin encircled by mountains in the heart of the Annapurna Range. This vast amphitheater, is surrounded by famous Himalayan peaks such as Hiun Chuli (6,434m/21,104ft), Annapurna South (7,219m/23,678ft), Bharha Chuli (7,647m/25,082ft), Annapurna I (8,091m/26,538ft), Ganggapurna (7,454m/24,449ft), Annapurna III (7,555m/24,780ft) and the ‘fishtail’ spire of Machhapuchhre (6,997m/22,950ft). This nine days trek follows the Modi Khola valley (‘khola’ means river in Nepali) passing a variety of environments, from lowland villages of the Gurung ethnic community, through forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak, up and down the steeply terraced hills, and finally arrives at the glaciers and high mountains. This is one of the most picturesque short treks in Nepal offering not only exceptional mountain views but also extremely diverse cultural and geographical experiences. The scenery ranges from subtropical farmland to snow covered glaciers.

PHYSICAL FITNESS: GRADE C (Strenuous) :
This trek is for the more serious hill hiker. It involves hiking at medium to high elevations so a higher level of physical fitness and stamina is required.

EVEREST MOUNTAIN FLIGHT  (optional) ~ Click title for more information

Itinerary

Upon arrival in Kathmandu one of our staffs will meet you outside the immigration and customs area at the airport. He or she will transfer you to the hotel and will brief you on the immediate arrangements. In the afternoon a trip briefing will be given at your hotel by your trip leader on what to expect on your trip. In the evening we will go for a welcome dinner.

Dinner /Hotel Yak and Yeti (5 star deluxe hotel) – Kathmandu

In the morning we take a 30 minutes flight to Pokhara about 200 kilometers/124 miles west of Kathmandu. As we fly out of the Kathmandu valley we get panoramic views of the Langtang, Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna mountain ranges. From Pokhara, we drive about an hour with views of the Annapurna range to our trek start point at Kande where our trek crew will meet us. We will have lunch here before climbing the ridge to a rest stop (‘chautara’ in Nepali) with a pipal tree, planted to provide shade for travelers and continue up to our first camp on the top of the ridge. There are fantastic views over Phewa Lake to the south and north to the Annapurna range especially at sunrise and sunset. (1½ to 2 hours hiking).

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Australian Camp

We descend through forests to Pothana (1,950m/6,396ft) which has excellent view of Machhapuchhre, the fish tail mountain (machha ‘fish’ and puchhre ‘tail’). There is a check post here where our trekking permit will be checked. From here we ascend on a stone paved trail through forests to Deurali (2,100m/6,888ft), atop a hill with views of Annapurna South, Hiun Chuli and just the very top of Dhaulagiri (8,172m/26,804ft). We also see Ghandruk village (1,940m/6,363ft) on the opposite side of the Modi Khola valley. Descend steeply through forests alive with birds, ferns and orchids to Bhedi Kharka. Continue descending to the head of the canyon to cross a stream and gently ascend on flagstone steps to Tolka (1,700m/5,576ft) for lunch. Descend pass Tolka village on a long stone staircase to a suspension bridge across the Tigu Khola and climb through forests to a ridge. Then making a long traverse to cross Ghora Khola on another suspension bridge we arrive at Landruk (1,565m/5,133ft), another Gurung village. Just after Landruk the trail splits. The downhill trail leads to the river and climbs to Ghandruk. Our trail to the Sanctuary turns north up the Modi Khola valley passing alongside rice terraces, then through forests to Himalpani. (6 – 7 hours hiking).

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Himalpani

After a short walk we cross the Modi Khola to New Bridge and ascend steeply to Samrung (1,430m/4,690ft). The trail then crosses a cement bridge across a stream, which is the lower part of the Kimrong Khola. A stiff climb leads us to the upper part of Chhomrong via Jhinudanda (1,780m/5,838ft), which is also a favorite place for soaring vultures, griffons and lammergeiers (bearded vultures). We will be camping in the middle part of the village so we have to descend on stone steps for few minutes from where we will have tremendous view of Annapurna South and Hiun Chuli towering above us. We will also have good views of Machhapuchhre across the valley. It is from this point onwards that the reason for the name of this peak becomes apparent. Though Chhomrong is the highest permanent settlement in the Modi Khola valley, herders take sheep and goats to upper pastures in the Sanctuary during summer. (4 – 5 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Chhomrong

Descend on a stone staircase to cross the Chhomrong Khola on a swaying suspension bridge and climb through forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak, then on a rocky trail until we reach the welcoming teahouses at Sinuwa (2,360m/7,741ft) on top of a ridge. The views of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna III are spectacular from here. We continue climbing in a forest of rhododendron festooned with orchids and ferns to a stone paved trail that passes Kuldhigar (2,540m/8,331ft) and descend on a long, steep, stone staircase into deep bamboo forests to a place called Bamboo (2,310m/7,577ft). The bamboos are often used by the local people to make floor mats and roofs, and for dokos, the woven baskets carried by porters. After lunch we again ascend through stands of bamboo, then through rhododendron forest up the side of the canyon occasionally dropping down to cross tributary streams to reach Dobhan. (6 – 7 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Dobhan

The trail crosses a stream and traverses high above the river through thick stands of bamboo past the so called ‘weeping wall’ and the small shrine dedicated to the local deity called Baraha Temple (God of the Jungle) to Himalaya (2,920m/9,578ft). Passing several spectacular waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the Modi Khola we climb on a rocky trail through forest to Hinku Cave (3,170m/10,398ft). Crossing a ravine and climbing through large boulders to Deurali (3,200m/10,496ft) we climb further to pass between Machhapuchhre and Hiun Chuli – The Gates to the Sanctuary. Climbing through sparse birch forest and over rocky moraine we arrive at Machhapuchhre Base Camp overshadowed by Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre, one of Nepal’s holy mountains, its’ shape is beautiful from any angle. The awesome panoramic mountain views from here include Hiun Chuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Ganggapurna, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhre. (7 – 8 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Today we will spend the day enjoying the views within the very heart of the Sanctuary. Having made a very early morning start to get the best of the day, we follow part of the route taken by British mountaineer Chris Bonington on the 1970 Annapurna South Face Expedition. Following a stream we ascend west along a moraine to the north of Hiun Chuli to reach the few stone teahouses of Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,546ft) and then a short walk to a spectacular view point. From here we will have amazing views of the peaks encircling us including close up views of the south face of Annapurna I which towers over the Sanctuary and also of Annapurna South glacier. We will have plenty of time to enjoy this special mountain panorama and watch the ice carving its way from the glacier. Later we return to Machhapuchhre Base Camp for lunch and to over night. (4 – 5 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Descending from the Sanctuary we are initially above the tree line and must cross several rocky avalanche chutes. After Hinku Cave we return to the bamboo forest and descend a sometimes wet and slippery trail past Himalaya to Dobhan. The forest floor is often covered with yellow and purple primulas. Continuing through bamboo forest we cross a small river on stepping-stones and reach our camp at Bamboo. (5 – 6 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Bamboo

First we ascend on stone steps and leave the bamboo forest and then descend through rhododendron forest full of noisy birds, mostly Black-capped Sibia. We cross the Chhomrong Khola and make a short steep ascent to Chhomrong village, where we stop for lunch. Climbing out of Chhomrong we gently descend above potato and wheat fields to climb again avoiding a huge landslide to a single teashop at 2,180 meters/7,150 feet. From here we descend to where the Tadapani (2,630m/8,626ft) – Chomrong trail joins and continue descending steeply on switchbacks to the village of Kimrong where we camp just above the Kimrong Khola. (6 – 7 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Camp – Kimrong

We cross the Kimrong Khola and steeply climb through a forest with lots of switchbacks to Kimrong Danda (2,250m/7,380ft) on a pass. From here we descend to a bridge over the Kyunri Khola and gently climb mostly on stone steps to Ghandruk (1,940m/6,363ft), second largest Gurung settlement in Nepal after Siklis. Ghandruk is a cluster of closely spaced slate roofed houses with neatly terraced fields both above and below the village. The mountain views from here are outstanding. Leaving Ghandruk after lunch we descend at first on a staircase and traverse high above the Modi Khola on a wide stone paved trail to the road head at Kimche (1,640m/5,379ft) where our vehicle will be waiting to drive us to Pokhara. We drive downhill past pleasant pastoral landscape to arrive alongside the Modi Khola passing through a birch forest and extensive rice terraces to Birethanti (1,025m/3,362ft), a small and prosperous town. Here our trekking permits are checked again. We continue to drive to Naya Pul and to Pokhara, a lively town beside Phewa Lake situated at the foot of the Annapurna range. The drive will take about three hours. (3 – 4 hours hiking)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Shangri La Village Resort (5 star luxurious resort) – Pokhara

We take the morning flight back to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel. After that you are free to explore Kathmandu on your own. There are many touring possibilities like visiting Pashupatinath temple with its ghats (crematory platforms) on the Bagmati River (the holiest Hindu shrine of Nepal) and Boudhanath (the largest stupa in the country and center of Buddhist culture in Kathmandu), Kathmandu Durbar Square, stroll Asan bazaar, Patan or go shopping. Or simply relax by the hotel’s pool. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a restaurant.

Breakfast, Dinner / Hotel Yak and Yeti (5 star deluxe hotel) – Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport for your homeward bound flight.

Breakfast

 

 

If you have more time you can extend your trip with RAFTING & CHITWAN EXTENSION (5 DAYS)

please read more »

LAND COST INCLUDES

  • Expert Leader
  • All airport transfers in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • All hotel accommodations on Half Board basis (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast): 2 nights
    Heritage Room at Hotel Yak and Yeti (5 Star Deluxe Hotel) in Kathmandu and 1 night Deluxe
    Room at Shangri La Village Resort (5 Star Luxurious Resort) in Pokhara
  • Transfers from Pokhara to Kande (trek start point) and from Ghandruk (trek end point) to Pokhara
  • 9 days trek with all meals, camping equipment, Sherpa/Cook staffs and porters
  • Travel cost of Sherpa/Cook staffs and porters, transfer of equipment
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Fee
  • Trekkers’ Information Management System Fee

LAND COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Nepal visa fee
  • Medical immunizations
  • International airfares (hotel accommodation en route if any)
  • International airport taxes (if any)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Internal airfare (Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu – please see cost)
  • Lunches in Kathmandu
  • Trip members’ insurance of any kind
  • Emergency evacuation by helicopter or other means in case of illness, accident,
    etc…which trip members’ insurance should cover
  • Personal expenses, such as sodas/soft drinks/bottled water, alcoholic beverages,
    laundry, communication charges, etc…
  • Tips to Leader and all Support Staffs

Best time to go:

Spring: April

Fall: October, November and December

 

 

Land & Internal Air Cost
(Based on Twin/Double Sharing Accommodations throughout the trip)

Land Cost
US $ 3,375.00 per person (8 to 12 members)
US $ 3,665.00 per person (6 to 7 members)
US $ 4,365.00 per person (4 to 5 members)
US $ 6,290.00 per person (2 to 3 members)

Airfare
US $ 285.00 per person (Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu)
(Airfare subject to change)

Single Supplement
US $ 490 per person

EQUIPMENT PROVIDED

  • Spacious 2 person tents
  • Dinning tent
  • Toilet tent
  • Shower tent
  • Insulated foam mats
  • Tables and chairs
  • All cooking and kitchen gear

WHAT TO PACK
Being properly equipped is one of the keys to a successful trip. Please read carefully our
information below on recommended luggage, clothing, footwear and travel accessories. Make
allowance for warmer clothing accordingly as medium to high altitude temperatures in Nepal can drop below freezing. Good rain gear is also essential as weather can change rapidly in the
mountains.

Luggage
Your luggage should consist of the following three main pieces:

Main Baggage: This piece of luggage is to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane,
normally a suitcase with a lock. This is stored at the hotel in Kathmandu with anything you will
not need (example your city clothes) for the actual trek. Please check with your airlines for an
update on normal airlines weight allowances.

Trek Duffel Bag: We will provide one for each member in Kathmandu. This duffel bag will be
large enough to hold your sleeping bag, trekking clothes and gear, which will be carried by
porters. It is sturdy, water resistant and lockable. We also advise that you line this duffle bag
with a large plastic bag, which we will provide to keep the contents dry. Trek weight allowance
is 15kg/33lb.

Day Sac: As you won’t have access to your duffel bag during the day you will need to carry a
day sac for all personal items required throughout the day’s hike. It should be large enough to
carry waterproofs, spare clothes, hat and gloves, sunscreen, water bottle, camera, spare
films/memory cards etc. This normally adds up to about 2kg/4.4lb to 3kg/6.6lb depending on
the weight of your camera. Aim for a 30 – 35 liter capacity pack with a cover and a good padded
waist belt. We again advise you to line your day sac with a plastic bag to keep the contents dry.
Your day sac can also be used as hand luggage on flights.

CLOTHING
Please bring comfortable clothing that will protect you from cold and possibly wet weather. We
recommend that you layer with synthetic clothing, which are the most effective barriers against the cold. They provide the best insulation, are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and dry quickly if wet. Wool and wool/synthetic are also suitable. When layering, the innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic or wool shirt and pants. The outermost layer should be a synthetic or down jacket, and/or a Gore Tex jacket and over pants. The use of cotton garments in cold or wet mountain conditions is not a good choice.

Cultural note: The clothing you wear in Nepal should be modest. We suggest women visitors to trek in comfortable, loose fitting pants or below the knee skirts, as it would be culturally insensitive for women to wear tiny shorts and ‘sports bra’ tops. Likewise, men should avoid going bare chest and wear either long baggy shorts or loose pants.

Underwear
– Thermal underwear (light weight and medium weight) tops and bottoms

Shirt
– Short sleeved T-shirts (synthetic is best)
– Long sleeved synthetic shirts

Jacket
– Fleece jacket
– Down or fiber pile jacket (10 – 12 oz. of down or 15 – 20 oz. of fiberfill)

Trousers
– Fleece pants suitable for camp time
– Comfortable synthetic pants for hiking

Headwear
– Sun hat with a wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off
– Balaclava (wool or synthetic cap with face mask) for warmth at night
– Bandana or Buff to protect your neck from sunburn and also from dust

Foul Weather Gear
– Gore Tex jacket (must fit over your fleece jacket)
– Gore Tex pants (must fit over your other pants)

Hands wear
– Glove liners
– Gloves or mittens (wool or synthetic)

Socks
– Athletic socks
– Liner socks (synthetic) that can be washed and dried quickly
– Heavy duty hiking socks

Footwear
– Medium weight comfortable hiking boots. Your boots should be waterproof and suitable for
prolonged hiking on snow and/or rocks. If you are buying new boots, please break them in by
wearing them as often as possible before the trip. We recommend you carry your boots in your
hand luggage or wear them on international flights. Should your luggage be delayed, your wellbroken in boots are the one thing, which will be irreplaceable
– Down booties to wear in camp (optional)
– Teva type sandals to wear around camp at lower altitudes
– Trainers to wear in camp and while traveling
– Gaiters to keep pebbles and scree, and sometimes snow out of your boots (optional)
– Comfortable shoes for Kathmandu and Pokhara

Sleeping Bag
– We will provide each member in Kathmandu a down four-season sleeping bag with a long side
zip as this trip passes through a variety of climatic conditions. Plus a cotton/fleece liner to help
keep the bag clean.

Other Items
– Hiking sticks (optional but highly recommended)
– Swimsuit for the pool at the hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara
– One set of casual city clothes that can be stored at the hotel in Kathmandu while you are on
trek

Travel Accessories
– Water bottle (minimum 1 liter capacity) and make sure they are leak proof
– Toiletries: Toothbrush and paste, biodegradable soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
Women should also bring any feminine products that they need because they are not readily
available locally. Please keep heavy cosmetics to a minimum
– Toilet paper (bring one roll per camping week)
– Personal medical kit: Though all our trips carry an extensive first aid kit, you should have your
own supply of plasters and antiseptic cream, aspirin/paracetamol, diarrhea tablets and rehydration solution, and a comprehensive blister kit. You should also bring ample supply of any medicine you use regularly as well as other prescription medications
– Throat lozenges (good for soothing sore or dry throats at altitude)
– Ace bandage or brace if you are prone to sore knees or ankles
– Body lotion for dry skin
– Money belt or neck pouch to store cash
– Sunglasses: It is good to have glasses with a special dark lens and side shields that block
reflected UV rays and glare at high altitude
– Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses. (If you wear
contact lens: please plan to wear glasses some of the time as trekking conditions can get very
dusty)
– Sun screen and lip salve of factor 25 or higher (glacier sun screen if you want serious UV
protection at high altitude)
– Small flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries and bulb. A lightweight headlamp is
particularly useful
– Small padlocks or combination locks for your duffel bag and suitcase
– Hand sanitizer or wet wipes for quick hand washing and hygiene
– Plastic bags of various sizes for keeping things sorted out in your duffel bag. Zip-lock bags are
very useful (they are also great for camera gear)
– Heavy duty bin liner/garbage bag to use as waterproofing inside your day sac
– Nylon stuff sacks to stash your down jacket and other gear
– Small towel and a small washcloth or sponge
– Swiss Army-type pocket knife

Optional Travel Accessories
– Camera (enough films/memory cards/batteries for the entire trip)
– Binocular and personal stereo
– Reading and writing material
– Repair kit with needle, thread and safety pins
– Powered fruit juice to flavor the iodine sterilized water in your water bottle
– Your favorite trail snack
– Playing cards and miniature games

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