Day 1 (Sunday) Arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan airport and say Namaste to Nepal. After clearing customs and immigration, you’ll be met by our local team and taken straight to your accommodation, a journey of under 30 minutes depending on traffic. Arrive any time (6am to midnight) and our staff will be there to meet you with a warm welcome.
Day 2-6 Activities and Sightseeing Week (Monday-Friday) Week 1 is a wonderful introduction to a wonderful country. Your week is packed full of adventures, cultural excursions and workshops. We take you for a tour to get your bearings in the exciting city of Kathmandu. Your week includes yoga and meditation, cooking and language classes, visits to markets and temples, a trek in the Himalayan foothills and much more. Expect most or all of the following activities this week:
The weekend is free to spend as you please. There’s so much to discover in Kathmandu itself, including famous Durbar Square and the hilltop Monkey Temple at Swayambhunath, whose giant Buddha eyes gazing out over the city are one of the iconic images of Nepal. The ancient Kathmandu Valley cities of Patan and Bhaktapur are easily accessible as a daytrip as are the Himalayan viewpoints at Dhulikel and Nagarkot.
Day 9-13 Adventure Week (Monday-Friday) Week 2 is an action-packed week of hiking, whitewater rafting and jungle safari.
First an exhilarating 1-day village trek in the Himalayan foothills where we meet the locals and see village life, rice paddies and of course the mountains !
Next to the beautiful Trisuli River. Nepal is one of the world’s best white water rafting destinations, and we’ll get out there to experience some of the excitement. We’ll be with professional guides to keep us safe, and the adrenalin rush of the rapids sections is mixed with plenty of calmer waters to get your breath back. We’ll spend the night camped on one of the many river beaches, and you’re sure to sleep well under a blanket of stars after the day’s thrills.
Then we head to the lowland jungle of Chitwan National Park. Chitwan is home to heaps of wildlife, including rhinos, leopards, bears and tigers and if you’re lucky you may get to see some if not all of these animals in the wild ! Wake early for a safari in the misty forest, the best time of day for animal spotting. There may be opportunity for canoeing on the river or to venture deep into the jungle on foot!
We spend the weekend in the charming town of Pokhara, Nepal’s chilled, lakeside second city – you’re sure to love it here.in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Here you’ll grab your first glimpse of the snow-capped Annapurna range and the excitement builds, as that’s where we’re headed on Monday! You’ll want to be well rested in preparation for trekking, so kick back and take it easy today – hire a row boat if you like or just enjoy wandering and taking in the Pokhara scene.
Day 16-20 Trekking Week (Monday-Friday)
It’s time to head for the mountains for a 5 day trek in the spectacular Annapurna region, with incredible views of the Himalayas. The highlight of the trek is the famous sunrise viewpoint of Poon Hill at 3,210m where the mountain panorama bathed in the orange glow of the morning sun really has to be seen to be believed ! The view includes close-ups of two of the world’s highest peaks, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri both over 8,000 metres.
Along the way we’ll pass through ancient village communities, eating and sleeping in comfortable but basic trekking lodges (teahouses). Our ascent will be gradual and the stunning mountain panoramas will help take our minds off the exertion. There is no risk of altitude sickness as we sleep always below 3,000m.
On Monday we start with a drive of an hour or so to Nayapul, then commence the trek with a gentle 20 minutes to Birethanti, a prosperous village beside the Modi River at about 1,100 metres. Now we are into the flow, so head gently onwards to Tirkhedungha. Today’s trek is around 3-4hrs and we gain almost 500m in altitude.
Next morning we cross the Bhurung Khola suspension bridge before we tackle the infamous staircase to heaven, 3,300 steps straight up to the large Magar village of Ulleri. The legs will be jelly but we have done half of the day’s climbing already, and above the village the trail climbs gently through pastures and cultivated fields, through rhododendron and oak forests to Nangethanti. After lunch we head onwards through the forest, arriving in Ghorepani mid afternoon having trekked about 5-6 hrs. An early night is called for here at our highest overnight stop at 2,855m.
Poon Hill is directly uphill from Ghorepani, and the sunrise views here are so incredible that you’ll prise yourself out of your warm bed at 4am for an hour’s hike by torchlight to the 3,210m summit. Breathtaking……literally !! Back down to Ghorepani for breakfast then it is a fairly long but steady day of trekking through high pine and rhododendron forests, along ridge lines, up and over passes to finish in Tadapani, at 2,630m our base for the night. We’ll have earned a big dinner tonight after a long but highly satisfying day on the trail.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s pretty much all downhill as we descend 700 vertical metres over 4-5 hours on the trail to Ghandruk, perhaps the most interesting tribal Gurung village in Nepal, then on to Pothana. We’ll take it easy this afternoon, resting our aching legs and enjoying the incredible close-up views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre (The Fish Tail) and Hiunchuli.
Friday is the last leg of our Himalayan adventure – a trek of about 3-4hrs to the road-head, and a bus back to Pokhara. Congratulations….you did it !!
On Saturday we take an early bus from Pokhara for the journey back to the capital, arriving early afternoon. On arrival there is plenty of opportunity for shopping in the Thamel district.
Day 23-27 Volunteering Week (Monday-Friday)
This week is your chance to give back by helping out in one of our community projects in Kathmandu. You can choose to help kids in a local school, join a charity building and renovation program or help with the rescue and rehab of street dogs; all extremely valuable community initiatives.
Your last day (Saturday) Your adventure comes to a close after breakfast on Saturday. The team will be happy to help with a taxi to the airport or city hotel, just save some rupees for the fare - budget $10-15 for the airport, $5-8 for the city.
About the Project
A variety of accommodation types including guesthouse, trekking lodge, camping and jungle lodge. Expect bunk-style rooms sharing with three to five others, and shared bathrooms. Hot water is often available, but in Nepal it certainly cannot be guaranteed.
Three meals a day are provided on weekdays and two meals on weekends. Expect a mix of Western and Nepalese food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables with a chicken dish about once per week.
Kathmandu sits at an altitude of 1,400 metres, lowland Chitwan National Park is at 100 metres and we trek as high as 3,195 metres – therefore temperatures vary widely even without the seasonality factor. Generally speaking in Nepal the days are warm and the nights cool. Monsoon rains come in the hottest part of the year, the northern summer, with July and August being the wettest months. The clearest skies and coldest nights are in winter, with overnight temps during December to February often getting down close to zero.
There are laundry facilities everywhere so you’ll be able to clean your clothes cheaply and easily – besides, you’ll want to leave space in your luggage for the many tempting clothes, souvenirs and goodies to be found in markets and the shops of Thamel. Don’t worry about under-packing for Nepal – you could quite safely come with no clothes at all and be kitted out cheaply in a matter of hours !