Into the Annapurna Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code :GICL
  • Trip length : 11
  • Trip starts in : Kathmandu
  • Trip ends in : Kathmandu
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Ages : 18 - 39
  • Accommodation : 6 Nights Lodge, 4 Nights Hotels/Guesthouses
  • Transport : Auto-Rickshaw, Local Bus

highlights1

  • Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
  • Pokhara's lake and panoramic views
  • Kathmandu’s hidden old town
  • The cultural and physical diversity of Nepal's Annapurna region
  • Having a (eye)ball in Nepal

Leave Kathmandu and head for Pokhara before hitting the road for our five-day Community Lodge trek. You’ll get to see loads of amazeballs stuff… views of the Annapurna range, rad wildlife, forests. You’ll probably never want to leave. But you have to, so head back to Pokhara and Kathmandu before home time. Like to toot your own horn? Well, this is the trek for you. Help support local schools and projects by staying in lodges run by the community. Geckos actually helped build these lodges so we're pretty proud of them too *pats own back*. Oh, and the views aren't half bad. 

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Kathmandu (1360M)

Accommodation: Hotel Shakti or similar, Kathmandu

If Kathmandu was a person, they'd have dreadlocks and smell like patchouli. It's the perfect place to sip on masala tea and load up on momos (dumplings) before the trek.

  • If arriving early, why not explore Durbar Square
  • Pre-departure meeting and an optional group dinner in the evening
Day
2

Pokhara (850M)

Accommodation: Local Guesthouse or similar, Pokhara

It's a long bus trip to pokhara, but the arvo is free to explore. Take a boat onto Nepal's second biggest lake and walk around the village. You'll have giggling, smiling, singing kids hanging off every limb. Be prepared, they love having their photo taken.

  • Drive over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley to Pokhara
  • See the Ganesh, Lantang ranges on a clear morning
  • Free afternoon to explore Pokhara
Day
3-8

Accommodation: Community Lodge or similar, Ghandruk

Each day we'll try and do about 4-6 hours of walking. We avoid all the usual trails which means you won't see many other trekkers. Stay in community lodges (which Geckos helped build) at Swanta, Chistibung, Bayeli and Kopra (our pick for best sunrise).

Day 3

  • Commence the trek from Naya Phul
  • Stay overnight in Ulleri (2070m)

(Walking time: approx 5 hours)

Day 4

  • Trek through new trails that see very few travellers
  • Stay in a lodges run by the local community in Swanta (2200m)

(Walking time: approx 6 hours)

Day 5

  • Journey through thick oak and rhododendron forest
  • Pass buffalo grazing pastures
  • Stay in a temporary herders' settlement in Upper Chistibung (3000m)

(Walking time: approx 5 hours)

Day 6

  • Ascend above the tree line
  • Keep eyes peeled for Himalayan tahr and Danfe pheasant
  • Gain awesome panoramas of Annapurna South,  Fang and Nilgiri to the north and  Dhaulagiri Himal in the west
  • Spend the night in the Kopra community lodge (3660m)

(Walking time: approx 6 hours)

Day 7

  • Enjoy views of the Annapurna range
  • Take lunch by a small stream
  • Ascend through open countryside
  • Soak in views of Dhaulagiri Himal from the lodge in Bayeli Kharka (2900m)

(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

Day 8

  • Descend through an oak and rhododendron forest
  • Arrive in Ghandruk, a place known for it's menfolk who have served in the British Gurkha regiments
  • Enjoy mountain views from the lodge (1950m)

(Walking time: approx 5 hours)

Day
9

Pokhara (850m)

Accommodation: Local Guesthouse or similar, Pokhara

We don't want to play favourites, but there's something special about Pokhara. It's a combination of the lake, the fresh baked pastries, the friendly locals and the coffee shops.

  • Complete the last few hours of the trek
  • Unwind back in Pokhara during free time

(Walking time: approx 3.5 hours)

Day
10-11

Kathmandu (1360m)

Accommodation: Hotel Shakti or similar, Kathmandu

You can't leave without seeing the Bodhnath Stupa. A stupa is a round structure filled with Buddhist relics and this is the largest one in Nepal. You should probably also get a hot shave so you don't go home looking like a yeti.

Day 10

  • Relax or explore during free time in Kathmandu
  • Enjoy a final optional group dinner

Day 11

  • The trip ends this morning after breakfast, but there's plenty more to see and do for those who wish to stay on

At the end of your tour please consider donating to the KEEP Porters Clothing Bank. As you will have come to realise on your tour, porters play a vital role in the tourism industry enabling tourists to visit Nepal’s most picturesque and difficult terrain. The majority are subsistence farmers who travel from lower areas of Nepal to the higher elevated trekking routes to find employment. Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result. The Clothing Bank was set up in 2009 to provide ill-prepared porters with better clothing suitable for trekking in a mountain environment and reduce the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year.
Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from Westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller. However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome. Your leader can ensure that your donation is passed on.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to KEEP please do so through the Intrepid Foundation and we will match your donation dollar for dollar.

included1

All tours are led by an experienced regional Gecko's leader. The trek in the Annapurnas is inclusive of trekking staff and porters. All transportation, accommodation and meals as indicated in the detailed Trip Notes.

not-included1

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

tripgrade1

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information. 

medical-preparation1

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

Itinerary Variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

Single room supplement

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

Other Information

A good level of fitness is required. you will trek on hilly terrain, generally on well-defined paths, walking between 4-5 hours per day. Altitude may exceed 3000 metres - check the trip notes for details.

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