This classic Nepal trek has 3 nights in Kathmandu and a 14 day trek around Annapurna, circling north of the Annapurna massif via the 5 416 m high Thorong La pass including the lost valley of Nar Phu villages and Khangla Pass (5322 m). After 9 hours of drive we reach to Koto 2610 m where we start our trek. The trek begins in the lush valley of the Narphu Khola (River) that cuts steeply between the Pisang peak to the west and the Himlung, Manaslu/Himalchuli peaks to the east. Turning off from Nepal’s legendary Annapurna Circuit, the wild, rarely-visited, valleys of Nar and Phu a longitudinal gorge that makes a deep furrow behind Annapurnas, you will find yourself in an increasingly Buddhist culture offering a window onto one of Nepal’s most untouched, Tibetan-influenced quarters. The Manang Valley is inhabited by gypsy traders of Tibetan origin whose villages resemble clusters of medieval stone dwellings. The major villages of the trek are Nar Phu village, Ngwal village, Manang (Braga monastery), Muktinath, Kagbeni and Jomsom.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300 m)
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Drive to Koto (2,610 m): 8 hours
Day 04: Koto to Meta (3,560 m): 7-8 hours
Day 05: Meta to Phu Gaon (4,250 m): 7-8 hours
Day 06: Acclimatization at Phu Gaon
Day 07: Phu Gaon to Nar (4,110 m): 6-7 hours
Day 08: Acclimatization and preparation at Nar
Day 09: Nar to Kang La Pass (5,322 m) to Ngwal (3,660 m): 7-8 hours
Day 10: Ngwal to Manang (3,540 m): 4-5 hours
Day 11: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110 m): 3-4 hours
Day 12: Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,150 m): 3-4 hours
Day 13: Thorong High Camp to Muktinath (3,800m) VIA Thorong La Pass (5416 m): 7-8 hours
Day 14: Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715 m):5-6 hours
Day 15: Jomsom to Pokhara Flight (827 m): 30 min flight
Day 16: Pokhara to Kathmandu Flight (1,300m): 30 min flight (Farewell dinner)
Day 17: Final departure from Nepal
Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1 350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th century. We bring you to our office and Thamel – the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner, check formalities and equipment and discuss your itinerary.
Today we discover the highlights of Katmandu and the valley. We adapt the programm to your interests and desires or what you have seen on a previous visit to Nepal. Usually, we go to Pasupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Bouddhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture.
Early morning jeep drive to Koto (2610 meter) Chame, the headquarters of Lamjung district and the starting point for Nar Phu valley. We stay here for the night and finished special permit checking.
After early breakfast we start our trek to Meta 3560 m through beautiful lush green valley and follow the sotikhola river bank. In Dharmasala we will have lunch and climb steep steps to beautiful Meta where we can observe the Annapurnna II and Lamjung Himal. Overnight at teahouse.
We start our day traversing up and down and crossing suspension bridges over different steam which take you at Kyang village where we will have lunch break. In the meantime, we observe the ruined forts of Khampa settlement (here all the Khampa refugees from Tibet once captured and lived!). After lunch we will start the trek for 3 hours more to Phu village through Phu khola on a rocky trail.
We highly recommend to explore the historic Tashi Lakhang monastery with surroundings area (the oldest and the most last monastery built by Karmapa which is the listed 108 world’s great Buddhist monasteries in the world!). The Phu village was lost or hidden valley after the 1959 Tibetan uprising and this place is rich in Buddhist culture, natural diversity.
After breakfast we start to descend to Mahendra Bridge in 4 hours for lunch and climb to Nar village for the camp. The trekking trail is amazing today through beautiful Gorge of Lapche River and beautiful Buddhist monasteries during the lunch and climbing with tremendous vista of Pisang peak, yak kharka, Himlung Himal and beautiful Buddhist chortens on the way to Nar village. Overnight there.
We will have the second acclimatization day in Nar village. Exploring Nar village (Buddhist monasteries and public school etc!). We will have proper rest day and prepare for the first high pass with a long trekking trail.
Our staffs will packing our lunch by 4 am and knock the door by 4:30 to everyone for hot and quick breakfast. By 5 am we already start to walk toward Khangla Pass 5322 m and climb down to Ngwal village. The view today will be best one. The whole mountain ranges of eastern part and massif Annapurna and Manang valley. Overnight at Ngwal village.
After late breakfast we start to walk to Manang through Mungli village to main trail. The max walking hours will be 4 hours with some tea break at Braga village. We stay in Manang. The smooth and beautiful Annapurna valley.
Today we hike in 4 hours to Yak Kharka (4 020 m). It’s not a long day today, but we gain some altitude, so you should take it slowly. On the way we will meet local traders riding horses, going from Manang to Muktinath in one single day. We climb to the chorten and look back towards Manang and continue our way past Tengi and Gunsang to Yak Kharka (4 230 m). Traveltimes Treks prefers to stay here as the lodges are much better than in Letdar, one hour further away.
An easy two or three hour walk up to at Thorung Phedi (4 540 m), a desolate rock-strewn meadow surrounded by vertical cliffs. We have lunch and spend the afternoon drinking tea in Thorung Phedi Basecamp Hotel. Tonight we sleep at the “Phedi”, which literally means “foot of the hill”.
We start early for the three to four hour walk to the top of Thorung La at 5 400m, from where you can see the Kali Gandaki Valley, Mustang and the surrounding peaks. The descent from the pass is gradual at first but then becomes steeper: you’ll drop 1 550 m the same day to reach Muktinath at 3 760 m for the evening’s camp. In total we walk 7 hours today. We enter lower Mustang, which we have actually reached just after the pass, and the serene temple complex of Muktinath. Muktinath is one of the holiest and most famous pilgrimage destinations for both Hindus and Buddhists. In the temple complex there is a pagoda-style temple containing an image of Vishnu and nearby a sacred stream feeds 108 water sprouts carved in the shape of cows. In the temple of Jwala Mai both a small spring burning jet of natural gas flowing from an opening in a rock. This is a demonstration of divine omnipotence where the fire burns on water, earth and stone. The panoramic views of both the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri are unexcelled from here.
From Muktinath we descend through more Mustangi medieval villages to Kagbeni, the last town before entering the Mustang area to the north. On the way you still have superlative views of the mountains. After a steep descent, we reach the windy Kali Gandaki river. We climb to the rooftop gompa of Kagbeni from where we have a marvelous view over the river junctions. After crossing the awesome Kali Gandaki canyon you reach Jomson at 2 710 m. We celebrate here our last moment with our trekking crew.
The trip concludes with a flight back from to Jomson to Pokhara, where you can enjoy a relaxing day at Phewa Tal (shopping, cycling & paragliding).
Fly Back to Kathmandu (30 min). On this last free day you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy more sights in Kathmandu: you can make a daytrip to the splendid five storied Nyatapola Temple and exquisite woodcarvings like the Peacock window in medieval Bhaktapur, climb the long stairs to the stupa of Swayambhunath (Monkeytemple) or visit the sleeping Vishnu at Budhanilkantha. You can also shop, relax and drink coffee in the bakeries of Thamel or the Garden of Dreams. Traveltimes Treks recommends you plan one extra day at the end of your trekking in case in case of delayed schedules during your travel. We will invite you for Farewell Dinner at Third Eye Restaruant in Thamel.
Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport – We hope you enjoyed your stay!
If you like to stay longer in Nepal: Traveltimes Treks can offer you plenty of suggestions, we can arrange rafting and safari trips, helicopter flights, mountainbiking, multi day tours to old historical city of Bhaktapur, the mountain stations Nagarkot & Dhulikhel or retreats in the serene monasteries of Namobuddha and Kopan.
You should be in good physical shape for this trip and feel comfortable hiking 12 km to 20 km per day on a trail while carrying a day pack of about 5 kg. While the trip has been designed to gradually acclimatize you to altitude, four or five camps will be above 3 500 m and our highest camp will be at 4 600 m. On some days altitude gains and losses of up to 900 m can be expected and on the day you descend from Thorung La a descent of slightly more then 1 500 m is called for. Strengthen your knee muscles and prepare and prepare for the strong descent.
A program of cardiovascular conditioning such as running, swimming, biking or aerobics is essential, but try to supplement your exercise with hiking on steep hills or running up and down steps. The more you can condition by closely simulating the activities of trekking, the better off you will be.
Remember that, the latitude of Nepal is between 26 ? and 30 ? N so it will warm at the lower elevations (short and T-shirt) while nights will be cool to cold depending on the elevation. Daytime temperatures will be between 10 ? C and 20 ? C at the lower elevation (0 ? C on spring trip) and 5 ? C except for our highest two nights just before going over the Thorung La pass where temperatures around – 10 ? C may occur at night fall trips. It might even get as low as -12 ? C as the coldest part of the night on fall trips The weather this time of the year is generally sunny, although an occasional storm could occur. Spring sees more clouds in the afternoon and the possibility of occasional thunder storms.
The pace on this trek is fairly fast. You are encouraged to walk by yourself or in small groups. Take a time to visit the local monasteries or temples, share a cup of Rakshi with our porters and the locals in the many chiyaa houses. Pursue interest in photography, bird watching and botany, and sample the culture of the area you are travelling through.
Personal gear will be carried by porters. Porters can carry two members’ duffel bags. Since their load is 25 kg, this means that your duffel cannot exceed twelve kilos. The group will stay in locally owned guest lodges and will receive an insight into family living that isn’t possible for those staying in tents. Additionally, you will enjoy comforts such as Western or Nepali food and beds with foam mattresses. All the guest houses have toilets and cold showers. Some of the guest houses have hot showers available, and few have electric lighting. The main common room o each lodge has charcoal of kerosene heaters-especially nice on cold nights. You will be expected to share a room with one or more persons depending on the number of beds in the room.