Annapurna & Kali-Gandaki Trek

Trip Highlights

  1. Some of the best walking trail in Nepal including the Apple capital of Nepal.
  2. Traditional Tibetan village’s enroute,
  3. Transition from green rhododendrons-oaks-pines forest into the cold desert,
  4. Walking through the  world’s deepest gorge,
Annapurna & Kali-Gandaki Trek
Photo Mouthwatering view of Dhaulagiri-I, III from Poon Hill
Trip Duration: 11 days(s) / Trek Duration: 16 days(s)
Max Altitude: 3,800 m. (Muktinath)
Trip Grade: 2
Lodging: Tea-House-Lodge
Transportation: Private vehicle & flight
Communication: Yes
Group Size: Any

Trip Overview

This is one of the most popular trekking in Nepal. This trip takes you to some of the greenest landscapes and the Tibet like cold desert area in a short span of time. The difference and diversity of the cultures enroute is also very significant. Besides the great experience of walking through these diverse trails, this trekking in Nepal also provides the excellent view of some of the highest mountains in the world including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Mt. Manaslu. Besides these majestic peaks above 8000 these peaks you can see some smaller yet beautiful peaks such as Nilgiri, Gangapurna, Himalchuli and many more.

The trek starts from the scenic Pokhara city and after trekking through some of the famous villages in the Tibetan landscapes and goes past the Hindu Pilgrimage site of Muktinath, a temple of lord Bishnu.  Following the same way back along the Kali Gandaki River we trek back to Jomsom and fly to Pokhara ending our trek. Some of the major highlights of this trip include walking through the world’s deepest pass Kali Gandaki, the small settlements of Thakali people in Jomsom and Marpha-Tukuche. An opportunity of experiencing the hot water springs in Tatopani. Get ready for the adventure of life time with the best trekking company in Nepal.

Outline

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley and preparation of trek.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara
Day 04: Drive to Nayapul
Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani
Day 06: Morning hike to Pun Hill trek to Sikha
Day 07: Trek to Tatopani (Hot Spring)
Day 08: Trek to Ghasa
Day 09: Trek to Marpha via Tukuche
Day 10: Trek to Jomsom
Day 11: Trek to Kagbeni
Day 12: Trek to Muktinath
Day 13: Trek back to Jomsom
Day 14: Fly to Pokhara and then to Kathmandu.
Day 15: In Kathmandu for individual activities.
Day 16: Final Departure.

Note:

This Itinerary is only a guideline and you can customize the trip as per your budget and time availability. While you are in Nepal we recommend you to try some extra activities such as Paragliding in Pokhara, Jungle Safari in Chitwan or Bardia, Bungee Jump in the Nepal-Tibet border at the last resort etc. You can also try rafting in some of the best white water rivers. A day trip or trips with multiple nights rafting can be arranged as per your requirement. The early morning mountain flight to Mount Everest is also a worthy activity you can do. It needs just couple of hours yet provides you a life time experience.

Service includes

  • Arrival and Departure transfers as per the Itinerary.
  • Standard Accommodation in the cities and tea houses in the trek.
  • Full day guided tour of Kathmandu.
  •  3 meals a day during the trek.
  • Guide, porters and other support staff as per your requirement and out agreed price.
  • ACAP fees.
  • Trekker’s information management system (TIMS) card fee.
  • Necessary equipments during the trek.
  • All taxes and fees required for the program.

Service does not include

  • Meals in the cities.
  • Personal expenses (Laundry, bar bills, water etc)
  • Travel Insurance (Essential).
  • Personal trekking gears not mentioned in the contract.
  • Tips for staffs.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Representative of Adventure Mission Nepal will receive you in the Tribhuvan International Airport. They will be in possession of your name plate or the companies name as per your correspondence with us. You will be transfer to the hotel and the trek guide will meet you in the evening for a dinner. During the meal you can discuss your queries (if any). He/she will brief you about some cultural issues and some necessary things to keep in consideration during the trek.

Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu and half day free for final preparation of the trek.
Early in the morning the staff from AMN will meet you to collect your passport copy and photographs (if not sent via email) for the preparation of Trekking permit and TIMS card. After breakfast you will be taken for a half day sightseeing of the Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath temple, also refer as the Monkey temple. Both are UNESCO world heritage sites. In the afternoon you can have some free time with the guide around Thamel to do some last minute shopping of things you might need for the trek.

Day 03:  Drive to Pokhara 950m 5-6 hours journey 220 k.m.
After breakfast the trekking guide will meet you in the Hotel lobby. As per your contract with us we will arrange for a private drive or a schedule bus drive to Pokhara. It usually takes 6 hours for the drive. It is a scenic drive along the Prithvi Highway ( you might not call it a highway but as per Nepalese standards it is a high way even though it is not very wide, the work on expansion of the road is going on!). In the evening take a walk around the Phewa Lake, you might try boating and a short hike to the world peace pagoda if you want to stretch your legs before the trek.

Day 04: Drive to Nayapul 1,100m and trek to Tikhedhunga 1450m.
We start the day after breakfast. A short 1.5 hours drive to Nayapul takes us to the Trek starting point.  A short briefing of the trekking will be followed by start of the trek. After walking along a easy trail for almost 4 hours we reach Tikhedhunga. The trail goes past some small settlements and tea houses. You will meet fellow trekkers who have started or ended their trek around the Annapurna region.

Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani 2,874m 5-6 hrs walk.
This is one of the most exciting and little difficult day of walking during this Annapurna and Kaligandaki valley trek. The walk starts after a warm breakfast served at the tea house. We have the climb of Ulleri ahead of us, famous for the 3500 steps. It takes us couple of hours to reach the top where lies the village of Ulleri. We will make a much deserved rest for a while after walking through the climb. The trail then goes gradually up, not as difficult like the climbing of the steps. After walking another 3 hours from Ulleri we will rich Ghorepani or Ghorepani.  This is a village of the Poon Magar Community where most of the houses have blue roofs. The Poon Magars are also famous for the bravery they showed during 1st and 2nd world wars while fighting for the British army. Explore the village in the evening.

Day 06:  Trek to Sikha 2,260m 4-5 hrs.
We wake up early in the morning and walk up to the Sunrise view point of Poonhill situated at 3210 m. The 45 minutes’ walk leads us to this place above the cloud from where you can see some of the very famous mountains of Nepal including the  mountains Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Mt.Manaslu which are the 7th, 10th and the 8th highest mountains in the world. After spending some time at Poonhill we come down to Ghorepani for breakfast and continue to Sikha. The walk goes gradually down and takes us about 4 hours in a steady pace. The trail goes past few settlements and big forest of rhododendrons. The village of Sikha is a village of Magar Community.

Day 07: Trek to Tatopani 1,190m. 5 hrs.
The trek today is fairly easy as we go down in a well defined trail. You can walk along the motor able trail but it won’t be very interesting so the small trail will lead us to Ghar Khola and then we cross the mighty Kali Gandaki to reach the small town of Tatopani along the Beni-Jomsom Highway. After a brief rest we head to the Hot spring where you can take a dip. It costs you only 1 Dollar for the time you spent there. The beer might cost you more but the hot water dip with a chilled beer is always fun!

Day 08: Trek to Ghasa 2,010m. 5-6 hrs.
Today you experience the walk of your life. From greenery you will be heading towards the dry cold desert through the Kali Gandaki Valley.  You can observe the change in topography and culture as you start walking to Ghasa. The wind also gets stronger and the vegetation gets significantly thinner. Overnight stay at Ghasa.

Day 09: Trek to Marpha 2,670m via Tukuche 2,590m. 5-6 hrs.
After breakfast we will walk down to the Kali Gandaki valley. We will walk past the settlement of Lete and Kalalpani. This walk is in the dry cold desert area , into the world’s deepest gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. We will stay in camp at the settlement of Marpha with nice Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Marpha is the apple capital of Nepal. Don’t forget to take some apple brandy for your friend’s home or to drink after finishing the trek.

Day 10: Trek to Jomsom 2,710m.  2 hrs.
We head towards Jomsom after breakfast. We will explore the old monasteries and the settlement of Marpha before heading towards Jomsom, Headquarter of the Mustang district. The settlement of Jomsom is on the left side of a small airstrip. Take a walk around the area in the evening. You can enjoy the magnificent view of the Nilgiri Peak in front of you from Jomsom.

Day 11: Trek to Kagbeni 2,800m.   4 hrs.

After walking for couple of hours we reach the settlement of Ekle Bhatti, meaning sole Pub in the local language. We further continue along the bank of the Kaligandaki River and reach Kagbeni, a fortified town in the bank of Kaligandaki river.  It is a famous place with old monasteries, Tibetan culture and is also famous as the gate way to Upper Mustang.

Day 12: Trek to Muktinath. 3,800m. 5-6 hrs.
This is the day you were looking forward since the beginning of your holiday. We will walk up to the temple of Muktinath at 3,800 meter. It is a fairly moderate climb. We will walk past the village of Jharkot and visit the old monastery in the village if we have enough time. Muktinath temple is situated at the base of the  Thorang la and is a important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhist. The temple of eternal flame is 5 minutes walk from the temple of Muktinath.

Day 13: Trek to Jomsom 4 hrs.
We will follow the same trail via Kagbeni to trek back to Jomsom. If you are exhausted after the trek you can take a drive (optional) to Jomsom.

Day 14: Fly to Pokhara.
The flight from Jomsom to Pokhara is early in the morning as the flights are disturbed by the strong wind that blows in the pass during the afternoon. We will pack our breakfast and walk to the airport as the airport is just crossing the road and there it is. A 20 minutes flight takes us to Pokhara city. Afternoon free time. You can drive back to Kathmandu as well but a rest in Pokhara is more nice and interesting than driving straight to Kathmandu.

Day 15: Drive back to Kathmandu.
7 hours drive along the Prithvi Highway takes us to Kathmandu.

Day 16: Transfer to Airport for International departure.
The trek has come to an end and we hope you enjoyed it. You can extend your trip to some destinations within Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan. Transfer to the airport on time. See you again in Nepal!

Note- the Tatopani – Marpha part of the trek is not very interesting nowadays because of the motor able road. We can skip it by driving on this trail to Marpha and continue walking from next day.

Trip FAQs

How fit do I have to be?
The round Annapurna region with Kaligandaki valley trek is a slightly challenging trekking with. Some part of the trek is difficult with steep inclines. Even though you don’t need any special skills for the trek we recommend you to do this if you are active in your daily life. You should be in proper health conditions so a check up with your doctor is advised before starting the trek. We advise you to do some light exercise for some time before undertaking this trip. You should be fit enough to walk 4-7 hours a day. But there will be plenty of rest and we can customize the trip as per your speed and requirement so that you can enjoy it much more.

How are the hotels in the cities and during the trek in Nepal?
In the cities especially in Pokhara and Kathmandu there are hotels of all kinds ranging from Back packer’s accommodation with basic facilities to luxury five star accommodations. You can choose from the various types available. Even the budget hotels have Wi-Fi, neat and clean rooms and attached bathrooms. The hotels that are star categorized have special amenities but the standard of hotels in western world can’t be compared with Nepalese standards. We would say a 5 star in Nepal would have the same kind of services like a 3 star or a 4 star hotel in North America/Europe.
The accommodations during the trek are basic and may not have attached bathrooms most of the time. You must share the toilets and bathrooms with fellow trekkers. Even though hot showers are not available you can get buckets of hot water for 1-2 USD depending upon how high you are in the mountains. The tea houses have restaurants with limited options but the foods they prepare are really delicious. The tea houses are often managed by individual families and are very welcoming and friendly. They are neat and clean and not bad for a single night. 

Is enough drinking water available? How many liters of water shall we carry in our day pack?
We advise our guests to bring water bottles with them so that they can refill the bottles at the tea house rather than buying everyday as water prices go proportionately higher with the altitude in the Himalayan region. Carrying purification tablets is also recommended. We advise you to drink atleast 4-5 liters of water every day during the trek to avoid dehydration. Trekking in Nepal is fun but only if you are careful about your health.

Where can I keep my extra luggage during trekking in Nepal?
While you are in the trek you can store the extra luggage at our office or at the hotel without paying anything extra either in Pokhara or Kathmandu.

Do I need to take walking sticks?
It depends on you but it is advised to carry them as they help you to balance in the small trails while walking in the mountains. They observe the pressure on your legs (quad muscles) while going up and down. Since they are not heavy you can easily tie them in your day pack and walk while you don’t use them.

Can I buy/rent any equipment in Kathmandu before the start of the trip?
Kathmandu, especially Thamel has lots of places to buy and rent equipments for trekking.  If you want to buy things at home it might be expensive compared to home. The things you buy or rent here will be cheaper but the quality is not the same. Things such as trekking shoes, jackets etc you can buy from home but petty things such as sun glasses, walking sticks, sleeping bags can be bought here.

Is there electricity to charge iPod, batteries, cameras etc… while on the mountain?
Yes you can charge the electronic stuffs at the tea houses during the trek but some tea houses charge you for that. The cost would be around 1 USD for a single device. You can charge them in your rooms in the cities.

Can we take showers during the trek?
It depends a lot I where you are. Usually below 3000m there are common bathrooms in the tea houses where you can take a shower and after you go high you might not want to shower often because of the cold weather. Some tea houses charge you for the hot water they provide in the buckets for Shower.

How much money per day do you think I will need? What currency should I take?
Local currency in Nepal is rupees. We recommend you bring US dollars with you to Nepal and exchange them here as this is easily done and is a widely accepted currency. Although you may get a lesser rate on traveler’s cheques, we suggest you carry a mixture of both depending on your needs. The amount of money you will need on a daily basis depends on your spending habits. A guide would be $10 per day for extra drinks and bar bill during your trek and $20 per day to cover lunch/dinner whilst in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

What do I have to carry with me on trek?
Try not to make the day pack very heavy but don’t miss essential things such as personal items, water, camera, snacks, sunscreen, hat, a fleece jacket and gloves for higher altitudes. You will have a porter helping you will most of the things besides the day pack when you are trekking in Nepal. The porters carry maximum 15 Kgs (can be little more or less depending upon the nature of trekking).

What if I get sick while on trek?
It depends on the seriousness of the health issue. If you have problem with altitude or cramp or something small we will take time and provide basic first aid in the place in case of emergency we will arrange for a helicopter or a horse to bring you to the nearest possible hospital.

Do I need to buy compulsory travel insurance for trekking in Nepal? Where do I buy?
Insurance is a must while going for a trek in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. You can get an insurance that covers health issue, rescue and evacuation and cancellations due to bad weather. We advise you to buy insurance at your home country before coming for trekking in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan as buying insurance here will be twice as expensive.

Is there any compulsory tipping for Guide/Porters/Drivers etc?
Tipping is completely your personal choice. In Nepal there is no any hard and fast rule for tipping but usually the staff working in tourism gets tips from the guest. You can consult with us regarding the tipping. If you are happy with the services you are most welcome for the tipping.

Are there any communication facilities during this trip?
Most of Nepal is nowadays well connected with cell phone networks. There are cyber café or Wi-Fi in all cities and during the trek even the tea houses have internet services below 3000m but places like Manang, Jomsom, Muktinath etc are exceptions with internet facilities.

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Annapurna Kali Gandaki Trek, 2013-10-23 10:10:15 111 LUMBINI aasdf asdfasdfasdfasdfasd asdfasdfasdf sadfaaasdfasdf asdf

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