Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Annapurna Sanctuary tour
Bhaktapur Kathmandu Annapurna Sanctuary Trip

Annapurna Sanctuary

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
96%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
15 days
From: $ 1,580 $ 105 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Annapurna Sanctuary trek - Trek through stunning mountain scenery to reach the Sanctuary's natural amphitheatre
  • Pokhara - Relax after the trek by the lakeside or visit the nearby Tibetan village and Buddhist Monastery
  • Kathmandu - Spend time wandering through Durbar Square and exploring the capitals temples and stupas

Short Description

Discover a world of breathtaking mountain peaks on this exciting expedition to the vast natural amphitheatre of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Leaving the foothills behind we pass under the great bulk of Machhapuchhre and spend two nights at Base Camp. After the trek, take time to explore the lakeside town of Pokhara and busy streets of Kathmandu.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Kathmandu

Travel Theme

Trekking & Expeditions

Destinations

Nepal

Cities & Attractions

Bhaktapur Kathmandu Pokhara

Activities

N/A

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join trip Kathmandu

Description

Our trip begins today in Kathmandu. After time to freshen up there will be a quick briefing with your Tour Leader and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or take a first wander in the bustling streets of Kathmandu.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - In Kathmandu; sightseeing including Pashupatinath

Description

After breakfast there will be a trek briefing by your tour leader to let you know the programme for the next few days, to make sure everyone is properly equipped for the trek and to give you an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis. We have then arranged a walking tour, visiting the bazaar and the Durbar Square area, the centre of old Kathmandu. Much of the day to day life of Kathmandu takes place in the bazaar: a fascinating mixture of people selling fruit, vegetables and spices; potters spinning their wheels to produce small household bowls and containers for temple offerings; devotees visiting their favourite gods at temples and small shrines dotted along the sides of alleyways; rickshaw wallahs honking their horns and the ever present sacred cow wandering amongst it all. In the afternoon we visit the Temple of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River, the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal, as well as Bodnath, the largest stupa in the country and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over Nepal.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 - Drive to Pokhara

Description

Leaving the capital today we drive to Pokhara. The drive will take us much of the day but there is plenty to see as the landscape changes and the Annapurna range comes in to view.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Drive to Kimche; trek on stone steps to Ghandruk

Description

Today we leave Pokhara and drive via Nayapul to Kimche Village where we begin our trek. Todays walk follows a stone pathway, and for the most time we are climbing roughly hewn steps - it can be tough on the knees so bring walking poles. Our base for tonight is the small settlement of Ghandruk.

Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with a total ascent of 320 metres and a descent of 20 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Trek via Taulung to Chhomrong

Description

Today we start with an ascent before dropping down to cross the Kimrong Khola by bridge, before making a short ascent to Taulung. We then begin the long steep ascent to join the main trail to Chhomrong. The high point above the main valley is a favourite place for soaring vultures, griffons and lammergeiers, providing us with some awesome vistas as we begin the descent to Chommrong (2060m), the last major settlement before the Sanctuary and an attractive place for us to end the day amidst its alpine lodges and scenic views.
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Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 810 metres and a descent of 670 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Trek through rhododendron forest to Dovan

Description

Descending to cross the Chhomrong Khola River by suspension bridge, we enjoy some excellent views of Machhapuchhre today (now exhibiting its distinctive 'fishtail' profile) and Annapurna South. We continue to climb steeply, negotiating a trail that leads us through oak and rhododendron forests until we reach a welcome teahouse on top of the ridge at Sinuwa (2350m). The ascent to Kuldigarth (2470m) is then more gradual, continuing through more lush forest to our lunch stop at the Bamboo Hotel (2340m). This afternoon we continue our ascent towards Dovan, beyond which lies the unofficial gateway into the Sanctuary, walking through wet bamboo forest to reach our accommodation later this afternoon.

Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around seven hours with a total ascent of 1060 metres and a descent of 620 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Trek past waterfalls and bamboo forest to Deurali

Description

This morning the track continues up past the so-called 'weeping wall' and the shrine of the 'God of the Jungle', to the Himalaya Hotel (2840m). Passing several spectacular waterfalls which cascade down the opposite side of the Modi Khola, we climb through bamboo forest to reach Hinku Cave at 3100m. We ascend further until we reach the small settlement of Deurali where we will spend the night.

Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around three and a half hours with a total ascent of 760 metres and a descent of 80 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Trek to Machhapucchre Base Camp (3720m)

Description

Today we climb further to pass between Machhapuchhre and Huinchuli - the 'Gates' into the Sanctuary. Climbing over rocky moraine we arrive at Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3720m). Overshadowed by Annapurna South and the beautiful shape of Machhapuchhre (machha, fish' and puchhre, 'tail'), one of Nepal's holy mountains, this is a quite awe-inspiring setting in which to end our day's trekking, the mountain landscapes providing us with a sight to raise the spirits of even the most tired amongst us.

Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around three and a half hours with a total ascent of 540 metres and a descent of 40 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m); descend to Machhapucchre Base Camp

Description

We spend the day enjoying the views within the very heart of the sanctuary. Having made a 'crack of dawn' start to get the best of the day, we follow part of the route taken by British mountaineer Chris Bonnington on the 1970 Annapurna south face expedition. Following west along a moraine to the north of Hiunchuli, we reach several stone buildings at 4130m and then ascend to a spectacular viewpoint. Here we 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 time to enjoy this special mountain panorama, to sit amongst the edelweiss and watch the ice carving its way from the glacier, before descending back to Machhapuchhre Base Camp.

Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around three and a half hours with a total ascent of 430 metres and a descent of 430 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - Descend to Bamboo

Description

We begin our descent today as we head for Bamboo (2340m), passing through the bamboo forest and crossing a number of rocky avalanche chutes. Approximately 6 hours walking.

Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 140 metres and a descent of 1550 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - Trek to Jhinnu Danda via Chhomrong

Description

Descending through rhododendron forest full of noisy birds - mostly black-capped Sibia, we then cross the Chommrong Khola and climb up to Chhomrong village (2060m) where we take a rest break. We then climb for a short while before descending to Jhinnu Danda, our home for the night.

Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 690 metres and a descent of 1230 metres.
There is an optional walk to Hot spring which will approximately take 45 minutes.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 - Trek to Kimche, drive to Pokhara

Description

Our final day of trekking sees us first descending to the Kimrong Khola which we cross and then tackle a short ascent. Descending further we follow the Modi River until we reach Simai where we meet our bus and make the short drive back to Pokhara where a hot shower and one of the towns many bakeries await us.

Today's eight kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with a total ascent of 380 metres and a descent of 680 metres.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13 - Free day in Pokhara to relax

Description

Pokhara is smaller and more relaxed than Kathmandu and is beautifully situated on the banks of Phewa Tal (lake). Only foothills separate the town from the high mountains and there are superb views of the snowcapped Annapurna range, including Machhapuchhre - the famous 'Fishtail' mountain. Our day here is free to relax after the trek. There is the option to take a small boat across the lake and walk to the Japanese Peace Pagoda or simply relax in one of the lakeside cafe gardens after exploring the many souvenir shops.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 14 - Drive to Kathmandu

Description

Today we drive back to Kathmandu. The drive takes around 6 hours, however along the way we are rewarded with views of the Himalaya.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 15 - Trip ends in Kathmandu

Description

Our trip ends after breakfast this morning in Kathmandu.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 1,580
Price Per Day: $ 105 per day
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Stride Featured in

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74 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

96%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 55
Great 12
Average 3
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.5
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

Annapurna Sanctuary

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5.0
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Guide5.0
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Transportation5.0
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I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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Excellent

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Mohammed was excellent!

Enjoy the trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.
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Pleasant surprise experience

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
It is hard to say because each outing was a pleasant surprise. The best experience was a workshop on feltmaking in Kazbegi town Georgia) where, as a group, we made the felt from scratch and created our own design. A great opportunity to discover a local craft. It is also an excellent example how this diverse group got along like a house on fire. In Armenia my fqvourite outing was the walk along the Garni river gorge with a local guide. The scenery was breathtaking.
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Details

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

A Tea House in Nepal is a local family house where the family have opened their doors to visitors. Over time their homes have developed into a homestay-hotel hybrid and the concept of the Tea House established. You will have a twin room with a bed, mattress and pillow but you need to bring your own sleeping bag. Tea Houses are likened to 'indoor camping' - there is no central heating. The toilet facilities will be basic (they may have a squat toilet) most Tea Houses have shower facilities, but not always hot water. Bathroom facilities are sometimes shared. Meals are taken at the Tea House and there will be a range of Nepali, Chinese and Western dishes. Vegetarians are well catered for. A comprehensive range of hot and cold drinks will be available. The Tea Houses are a great way of meeting the kind-natured men, women and children of Nepal.

Guides

The Leader is an integral part of any Explore trip and your trek will be led by one of our experienced Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Leaders are the key to the success of our trips; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Porter(s), Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Porter(s)

Additional Information:

Additional JIs for FI - Start Tour

We have received reports about over enthusiastic porters at Kathmandu airport. We recommend that you retrieve your own baggage from the baggage carousel and then transfer yourself to the Explore vehicle which will be taking you to your hotel in Kathmandu

Additional JIs for LO - Start Tour

We have received reports about over enthusiastic porters at Kathmandu airport. We recommend that you retrieve your own baggage from the baggage carousel and handle your own baggage until you put it into a local taxi or prepaid transfer vehicle.

Trip ID#:

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