Annapurna Sanctuary Trip Notes
Trip code: GIAS
Trip valid from: 01/10/2011
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 14 days
Trip starts in: Kathmandu
Trip ends in: Kathmandu
Maximum group size: 12
- The Cultural And Physical Diversity Of Nepal's Annapurna Region
- Ride A Rickshaw, Kathmandu
- Pokhara's Lake And Panoramic Views
- Kathmandu’s Hidden Old Town
- Bodhnath Stupa Of Kathmandu - One Of The Biggest Buddhist Shrines In The World
For many years now the Annapurna Sanctuary route has been one of the most popular two-week treks in Nepal. It is described as a 'classic' trek and features some of the finest mountain scenery anywhere on earth. The sanctuary is a great natural amphitheatre ringed by a number of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the world. Michael Palin followed this route as part of his ‘Himalaya’ television series.
KathmanduToday is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. If you are arriving early in Kathmandu you may wish to wander down to Durbar Square, which is the spiritual heart of the city located only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Please ask at the hotel reception for suggestions of things to see and do in Kathmandu. A pre-departure meeting for the first (Nepal) part of your tour takes place this evening at the hotel. Please also check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour guide. Please also bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.
Pothana(Walking time: approx 3 hours) We drive by coach to Pokhara - a six hour journey. We then begin our trek by ascending through terraced hillsides to Pothana. From here we can experience a great panorama of the Annapurna mountain range that include stunning views of the 'fishtail' peak of Machhapuchhare, Annapurna South, Annapurna II and Lamjung.
Modi Khola(Walking time: approx 5 hours) In the morning we walk contouring though a forest of oak and rhododendron, with views of Machhapuchhare and the Annapurna mountains to the north, to reach Bichok Deurali Pass, where we take our first tea stop. We then descend into the Modi Khola Valley to the village of Landruk, where we stop to get some lunch. In the afternoon we continue our descent to the river and the imaginatively-named small settlement of New Bridge.
Sinuwa(Walking time: approx 5 hours) The trail ascends to the village of Chomrong, the last major settlement before entering the Annapurna Sanctuary. From this village the trail follows the Modi Khola high above the valley floor. After an initial steep descent on a stone staircase to Chomro Khola, we cross the river on a small suspension bridge and climb to the few houses and hotels at Sinuwa (2350m), where we spend the night. From here we enjoy superb views of the 'fishtail' mountain, Machhapuchhare.
Himalaya Lodge(Walking time: approx 6 hours) From here we enter rhododendron and oak forest and continue to ascend gradually to the clearing known as Bamboo Lodge, where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we pass the small lodge at Doban and then a small shrine decorated with flowers and strips of red and white cloth, which are offerings to the gods for a safe passage through the Annapurna Sanctuary. The trail continues through the thick forest high above the river to a spot known as Himalaya Lodge, where we stay overnight.
Machhapuchhare Base Camp(Walking time: approx 6 hours) After two days walking through the forest we head above the tree line into a wild and glaciated valley. The trail emerges out of the forest just before Hinko Cave (3100m), a huge overhanging boulder where views of the peaks are restricted by the towering valley walls. Beyond the cave we descend to cross avalanche debris from a huge waterfall that cascades from a hanging valley above our trail before entering a maze of large boulders and our first tea stop of the day at Deorali (3250m). The trail now becomes less steep and after crossing further old avalanche debris we reach an open meadow that leads to the gateway of the Annapurna Sanctuary. In less than an hour we reach the lodges at Machhapuchhare Base Camp, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is free to enjoy the truly spectacular scenery of the surrounding peaks. To fully appreciate this magical location and aid acclimatization we spend an extra day at this base camp and explore around its surrounding area.
Annapurna Base Camp(Walking time: approx 2 hours) We head into the heart of the mountains and follow the trail ascending to Annapurna Base Camp (4095m), a walk which should take us a little less than two hours. The scenery is continuously amazing. After settling into the lodge we have the chance to take lunch and the afternoon is free to enjoy the sensational views of the surrounding peaks - some of the best mountain views of the Annapurna region, if not the world. The towering south face of Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhare and Annapurna South seem almost within touching distance and are particularly impressive during sunset and sunrise.
Himalaya Lodge(Walking time: approx 5 hours) It is hard to leave such an impressive and extraordinary location, but we must now turn our heads for home. As we retrace our steps and the air gradually becomes thicker and we find we will cover plenty of ground today. The going is all downhill and we are sure to make good progress on our return journey to Himalaya Lodge.
Chomrong(Walking time: approx 6 hours) Again we continue down through the forest before arriving at Chomrong in the afternoon and a chance to enjoy some of the great food available in our lodge.
Ghandruk(Walking time: approx 5 hours) In the morning we climb out of the valley that houses the village of Chomrong and then contour around the hillsides before descending to the village of Kymrong, where we may take lunch. In the afternoon we ascend steeply before following a well-defined path of stone flags that contours through fields of wheat and millet to the largest village of the region, Ghandruk. This Gurung village is well known for the significant number of its menfolk who have served in the British Gurkha regiments. Our lodge is located in the heart of the village where we enjoy fine mountain views, in particular of Annapurna South, beautiful Machhapuchhare and Gangapurna (7455m).
Pokhara(Walking time: approx 3 hours) We leave the pretty village of Ghandruk and descend to the road head at Naya Phul, where we meet our bus for the short drive to Pokhara. The lakeside area has good shopping opportunities, internet cafés and many fine restaurants. Alternatively there is the option of a boat ride out on to the lake.
KathmanduIn the morning we board our coach for the journey back to Kathmandu. On arrival there’s plenty of time to wander through the streets and go shopping or simply relax in a café, absorbing the ambience of the Nepalese capital.
KathmanduOur exciting trekking adventure ends in the morning. Additional accommodation in Kathmandu is available on request.
Itinerary VariationWhile 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.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Think about the feeling you get after completing one of the world’s great treks: seeing Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate after gruelling days on the Inca Trail; looking down on Africa from its summit, Kilimanjaro; relaxing by Pokhara’s perfect lake after tackling Annapurna’s rugged tracks. The legs might ache but the feeling of pride in your achievements is overwhelming. More than that though, trekking gets you up close and personal with the world’s finest landscapes and many interesting cultures. Walk through remote jungle to visit the tribes of northern Thailand and Vietnam, or explore China’s iconic Tiger Leaping Gorge by foot, and you’ll find the country opens up in a whole new way, the slow pace all the better for appreciating the surroundings. It’s definitely better to travel than to arrive – particularly when the travel’s all on your own steam.
Whether you’re taking in man’s greatest works at places like Petra or Angkor Wat, experiencing grand set-pieces like the Trans-Mongolian Railway or trying your hand at regional specialities like tango in Buenos Aires, getting to grips with local cultures is what travel’s all about. A few tips from a guide and a sense of adventure are pretty much all you need. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the lowdown on high Tibet among Lhasa’s magisterial temples; follow up Delhi’s eye-popping bustle with a fix of its fiery food; and mix manic markets and Incan masterpieces in Peru.
A reasonable level of fitness is required for this trekking holiday and you should be in good health. You can expect to trek for up to six hours per day whilst on trek, sometimes on tracks which are fairly steep. Physical preparation, particularly walking on hills and stairs, before your trek will be a definite advantage.
• Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide and guides.
• 11 day trek in the Annapurna Sanctuary including to Machhapuchhare Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp.
• Twin-share lodge accommodation, generally in rooms with sleeping mattresses.
• Porterage on trek.
• Time to unwind in Pokhara.
• Gecko’s Trek Pack and first aid kit.
• Annapurna Conservation Area Project entry fee.
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, fully comprehensive travel insurance (obligatory on all trips and must include helicopter evacuation and repatriation), tips, items of a personal nature, laundry, cost of showers on trek (if available) and flights unless specified.
10 nights Trekking lodge,3 nights Hotels/guesthouses
Single room supplementMost 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.
portable altitude chamber
*prices below are guide onlyKathmandu - Bhaktapur entrance
- - US$15
- - US$40 approx
- - approx US$175
- - US$5
- - $8 per person
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but 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.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.comThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 06/03/2012