Itinerary & Map
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Following your flight, you transfer to your first night’s accommodation and check in. You have time to freshen up before your Group Leader meets the group to run through the days ahead. Please meet your Group Leader in the hotel reception at 20.00 for the tour briefing.
Hotel Manaslu (AAAA) - 1 night (Swimming Pool)
Kathmandu/ Drive to Nuwakot
After breakfast you’ll see the spectacular sights of Kathmandu during a half-day guided city tour. You’ll visit Swayambunath, a 2000-year-old stupa (shrine) set on a hill. The eyes on the stupa follow you as you walk around it, turning the prayer wheels as you go. You’ll also visit Durbar Square, ‘the original Kathmandu’ opposite the old royal palace that is filled with temples. There’s plenty of time to do your own thing too, or to buy any last-minute items for the trek. Kathmandu itself is a labyrinth of streets and markets, crowded with exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people. You’re likely to see Gurkhas from the area east of Pokhara, proud Tibetan women in their striped aprons, traders from India and sadhus - Hindu holy men - who are, perhaps, on a pilgrimage to one of the countless ‘power places’ (shrines or temples) of the valley.
Later, you’ll drive to the secluded rural village of Nuwakot (approx. 3 hrs) for a delightful stay in a converted farm-house. There you’ll spend a few hours in the late afternoon exploring the village and the surrounding area on foot.
The Famous Farm Guesthouse (AA) - 1 night (BD)
Bandipur Village Stay
This morning you set off west on your four-hour journey to the small village of Bandipur, breaking the journey en route at the Trisuli Centre - the riverside community village. Here, you may meet members of the Trisuli Young Leaders Club - a youth group of children between 5-18 who may end up being the next generation of trip leaders. The foothills of the Himalayas are in themselves impressive enough, but as you get closer to Bandipur you get now familiar views of the high peaks. After you arrive in the thriving community of Dumre you turn south, off the main highway, and continue to a ridge set at an altitude of 1050m; here lies the delightful village of Bandipur. Winding its way up and down hills, Bandipur’s main street has many three or four storey brick buildings with carved wooden windows. The small temples in the town add to the atmosphere in what is a traditional Nepali hill village, still relatively untouched by modern tourism; few foreigners find their way up here. You can sit and relax or stretch your legs with a walk through the village and out into the surrounding countryside for superb views up the Marsyangdi river valley, to the Himalaya beyond. Many of the range’s giants can be seen: Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and the distant Annapurnas amongst them.
The Old Inn Guesthouse (AA) - 1 night (B,D)
Please note that single rooms may be unavailable here during the peak season due to the limited number of rooms.
After spending a morning walking around Bandipur, you’ll pause for lunch before heading west to Begnas Lake driving through terraced hillsides and to the south of the great Himalayas themselves. Bordered by precisely maintained rice terraces on either side, Begnas Lake is a great place to relax before your trek. Take a pleasant stroll or simply sit and watch the tranquil waters of the lake itself. This evening, your Group Leader will brief you about arrangements for your Himalayan trek.
Begnas Lake Resort (AAAA) - 1 night (Swimming Pool) (BLD)
Trekking in Nepal is one of the most rewarding parts of a visit to this mountainous kingdom. However some visitors are put off by the thought that all trekking requires the skills of a mountaineer, and specialist equipment to match. This is not true for the majority of routes, including the one you walk! Most people – even children – will find the pace, distance and duration of each day’s walk within their capability as long as they are realistic about their fitness and abilities. (rough distances and duration of walks are indicated below).
One should, however, remember that all trekking is more difficult than just a ramble - there is little if any flat ground in Nepal’s hills but you don’t reach very high altitudes. You’ll be walking on well-graded paths that link small farming communities. Steep stone staircases and occasional suspension bridges dot your route. Few nationalities provide a camping experience as well as the Nepalese; their hospitality and organisational skills are legendary, as will become clear on your trek! Tents and mattresses are provided, camp staff cook your meals, providing tasty and nutritious food, whilst porters carry your main bags, leaving you with only your daypacks to carry!
A short boat ride across Begnas Lake signals the start of the trek. The first day’s walk will take you to the village of Chisapani, (‘cold water’ in Nepali). Walking at a leisurely pace you first pass through rice fields indicating that you are still at a relatively low altitude. From here the trail now climbs through villages offering superb panoramic views along the way of Annapurna 2, Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and Himalchuli. You’ll head into the renowned Annapurna Region and after approximately six hours’ trekking you arrive at the small village of Chisapani, your night stop and camp, at an altitude of around 1260m.
Camp (CS) – 1 night (Bx1, Lx1, Dx1)
End of trek
Today, continue to walk for approximately 3.5hrs/7km. En route you can pause to admire the views, take photos or have a drink in one of the many wayside village teahouses. All around these villages the terraced fields are a testament to the ingenuity of the Nepalese people who have turned the steep hills into productive fields, growing rice, wheat and maize. People you pass are incredibly friendly and kids will often walk alongside, practicing their English skills. In the village centres, old men sit beneath banyan trees on stone benches smoking and gossiping. Women and children come up from the fields carrying huge loads effortlessly, and giggle as you greet them with a namaste, the Nepali word for ‘hello’.
When you arrive, your vehicle will be waiting to drive you back to Pokhara. This evening, you'll visit the Pokhara Base Camp which will be set up for an end of trek party with trekkers and staff alike.
Hotel Barahi (AAA) - 2 nights (swimming pool) (B,D)
Pokhara, standing at 884m above sea level, is warmer and more humid than Kathmandu. The vegetation is lush, reflecting the sub-tropical climate. Sited on Phewa Lake, beneath the great Annapurna massif and dominated by the ‘Fish-tail’ mountain, Machhapuchhare, Pokhara is surrounded by verdant green hills. Today is free for you to explore or relax as you please, Pokhara has a wide variety of activities that you can enjoy around the town.
You may visit the World Peace Pagoda (built in 1994 and sitting on a ridge overlooking Phewa Lake), Devi’s Falls and Mahendra Cave - a good torch is useful here! Or perhaps make time for a visit to one of the Tibetan villages that dot the area, where superb carpets and other handicrafts can be haggled over. (B)
Chitwan National Park
This morning, you'll retrace part of the route that brought you to Bandipur, only this time bearing south at Mugling. This long road journey brings you into the low lying terai jungle region, and the world-famous Chitwan Reserve, which covers 932 square kilometres of floodplain. The park is home to varied wildlife and birdlife, including the famed symbol of Chitwan, the one-horned rhino, and the elusive royal Bengal tiger, of which there are believed to be around 80 roaming in the park. An experienced jungle guide will accompany you on your excursions, perhaps the most exciting of which is your safari on elephant-back, penetrating deep into the jungle. Rhino, bison, wild boar, monkeys, and a wide array of birds (over 400 species on record) are a common sight, and with luck on your side even the royal Bengal tiger, bear and leopard are a possibility, albeit a slim one.
Another highlight of the trip is the canoe ride on Rapti River, which drapes the national park, the banks of which are home to sun-bathing 'mugger' crocodiles and the unique long-nosed 'gharial' crocodiles. Afterwards you walk to the elephant breeding centre. Elephants at the breeding centre are well attended to and are taken out by their mahouts (elephant drivers, whose commands they’re used to and follow) on a daily basis between the hours of 10:30am and 3pm, where they go into jungle for collecting fodder, safaris and bathing. However, please remember that elephants are naturally wild animals and their behaviour can at times be erratic and highly unpredictable, especially in the absence of their trainer and controller. Therefore in the interests of visitor safety, please be advised that elephants are chained during the centre’s opening hours. Please also keep your distance from elephants while embarking and disembarking on safari.
Keeping you engrossed and buoyed over the span of your stay will be a ride on an age-old mode of transportation (an ox cart to a ‘Tharu’ village), bird-watching walk on the periphery of the national park, dancing to the tunes and moves of the ‘Tharu’ artistes and an informative slide show on the rich flora and fauna of the jungles of Chitwan.
Royal Park Hotel or Narayani Safari Lodge (AAA) - 2 nights (Bx2, Lx2, Dx2)
A short transfer is followed by a flight to Kathmandu. Aiming to arrive by lunchtime the afternoon is free for you to wander the little streets around Durbar Square and of course to do some shopping; there are plenty of bargains, but friendly haggling is essential. The following day, you’ll be taken sightseeing to the medieval town of Bhaktapur and the temple complex of Pashupatinath – regarded as the holiest place in Nepal and the site of the Pashupatinath Temple, which is the most important Hindu shrine in Nepal. Switching religions, the tour will also take you visit the Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath.
Hotel Manaslu (AAAA) - 2 nights (Swimming Pool) (Bx2, L)
Trip ends Kathmandu
The trip ends at your hotel in Kathmandu. (B)