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Trekking in Nepal: The Height of Adventure in the Himalayas

Program Number: 20336RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/28/2014 - 12/14/2014; 1/31/2015 - 2/16/2015; 2/28/2015 - 3/16/2015; 4/4/2015 - 4/20/2015; 4/11/2015 - 4/27/2015; 4/18/2015 - 5/4/2015; 9/12/2015 - 9/28/2015; 10/3/2015 - 10/19/2015; 10/17/2015 - 11/2/2015; 11/7/2015 - 11/23/2015; 11/28/2015 - 12/14/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Nepal
Price starting at: $3,586.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 38; 14 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Trek on ancient trails to see the awesome Himalayas up close, visit remote temples and monasteries and meet the villagers who live in this challenging environment. Plus take an elephant-back safari in a spectacular national park and explore the sacred treasures of Kathmandu Valley.




Highlights

• Hike the foothills of the awesome Annapurna massif, a section of the Himalayas that boasts three of the world’s ten highest peaks.
• Naturalists lead your discovery of Chitwan National Park, home to the Bengal tiger and Indian Rhinoceros.
• Explore Kathmandu’s ornate temples and meet with students from the local university.



Activity Particulars

Hiking 3-5 hours per day on mountain trails with some steep ascents and many stone steps. Elevations of 6,500 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Kathmandu, 3 nights; coach to Pokhara 1 night; hike to Birethanti, 1 night; hike to Ghandruk, 2 nights; hike to Majgaon, 1 night; hike to Dhampus, 1 night; coach to Pokhara, 1 night; coach to Chitwan National Park, 2 nights; coach to Kathmandu, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
2 nights
Arrival Kathmandu
3 nights

Begin your experience of Nepal in Kathmandu, the capital and seat of royalty until the last century. Discover Kathmandu’s two sister cities: Bhaktapur, home of traditional art and architecture, and Patan with its old royal palace. Enjoy your first hike in the foothills of the Kathmandu Valley.



Coach to Pokhara
1 night
Hike to Birethanti
1 night
Hike to Ghandruk
2 nights
Hike to Majgaon
1 night
Hike to Dhampus
1 night

Venture into the Annapurna range of the Himalayas to the valley of Pokhara. Your trek to the bazaar town of Birethanti follows a ridgeline in the foothills and gives you a look at Machapuchare, the sacred “fish tail” mountain. Hike through small hamlets and terraced rice fields on the way to Ghandruk, where you visit a Buddhist monastery. Continue to the traditional village of Majgaon and nearby Tanchok, where you step inside a typical Nepalese home. Trek to Dhampus through tropical, flower-filled forests that open up to panoramic views of the Himalayas.



Coach to Pokhara
1 night
Coach to Chitwan National Park
2 nights
Coach to Kathmandu
1 night
Overnight flight to the U.S.A.
1 night

Journey to Chitwan National Park, the first national park in Nepal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Chitwan Read, an NGO that works to educate Nepal’s rural population. An elephant-back safari in Chitwan allows you to venture into the park’s dense grasslands, the habitat of rhinos and other wildlife. Take a canoe excursion to encounter mugger crocodiles and many water birds.




Nepal

Nestled in the Himalayan mountain range, Nepal is home to eight of the world’s highest peaks — including the majestic Mount Everest. Unpredictable weather patterns make climbing Everest a difficult feat for even the most seasoned mountaineers, but an average of 2,000 climbers reach its summit annually.



Accommodations
Kathmandu: Boutique hotel with beautiful gardens. Pokhara: Hotel with private balconies and spectacular mountain views. Birethanti: Lodge overlooking river. Ghandruk: Lodge with views of massive Himalayan peaks. Majgaon: Lodge with views of the Annapurna Range. Dhampus: Lodge with sweeping valley views. Chitwan National Park: Lodge located in the heart of the park.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn, Aerocity
  Delhi, India 1 night
   Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
  Kathmandu, Nepal 3 nights
   Temple Tree Resort and Spa
  Pokhara, Nepal 1 night
   Sanctuary Lodge
  Birethanti, Nepal 1 night
   Himalaya Lodge
  Ghandruk, Nepal 2 nights
   Gurung Lodge
  Majguan, Nepal 1 night
   Basanta Lodge
  Dhampus, Nepal 1 night
   Temple Tree Resort and Spa
  Pokhara, Nepal 1 night
   Kasara Jungle Resort
  Chitwan National Park, Nepal 2 nights
   Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
  Kathmandu, Nepal 1 night
 Holiday Inn, Aerocity
Type: Hotel
  Description: You'll receive a warm welcome as you step into the cool Lobby of Holiday Inn, Aerocity. The hotel is 10 minutes drive from the international airport
  Contact info: Asset Area 12 Hospitality District Aero City
New Delhi,  110037 India
phone: +91 11 42222000
web: www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/new-delhi/delap/hoteldetail
  Room amenities: Bathrobe, Hairdryer, Mini Bar, Coffee Maker, Standard Internet service is free for all guests
  Facility amenities: Safety Deposit Box available at the front desk. Dry cleaning and Pickup/Laundry. Outdoor Pool. Paid wireless data connection. Health/Fitness Center. Business Center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Contact info: PO Box 97 Tahachal
Kathmandu,   Nepal
phone: +977-1-4273999
web: www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/KTMNP/welcome?start=1
  Room amenities: Cable / Satellite TV, Coffee/Tea Maker, Mini Bar, High-speed Internet Access, Wireless Data Connection, Electrical Adapters Available,Phone, Bathtub, Hairdryer, Private Bathroom, In Room Safe, Individually Controlled Air Conditioning
  Facility amenities: Health & Fitness Center (On-Site), Housekeeping & Laundry Services, Travel Services, Foreign Currency Exchange, Entertainment & Recreation, Sauna and Steam bath, Barbeque Grills, Outdoor Pool, Casino, Hotel Shops, Business Center
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: yes Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more information.

 Temple Tree Resort and Spa
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Temple Tree Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel combining western standards with the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal’s Western Himalayas. Named after the fragrant temple tree plant frangipani found here, we offer a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, privacy when preferred and attentive service. Nestling close by Fewa Lake in the Pokhara Valley, Temple Tree is framed by the foothills and majestic peaks of the Annapurna Mountain Range. The air here is pure and clean, and the sub-tropical climate warm and pleasant. Temple Tree comprises two storey individual cottages, finished in hand-cut stone and featuring beautifully-decorated timber struts and pillars. Each room has a private balcony with pergola looking on to a lush garden centred on an ancient tree formed from three interlocking trunks. This tree is believed to be inhabited by local deities and continues to be ritually offered flowers and perfumes to this day.
  Contact info: Gaurighat, Lakeside 6
Phewa Lake
Pokhara,   Nepal
phone: +x
web: www.templetreenepal.com/
  Room amenities: Internet access-wireless (complimentary)
  Facility amenities: Bar/pub; Restaurant; Wi-Fi in public areas; Business center; Safety deposit boxes; Laundry service/dry services; Outdoor pool; Spa; Garden
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Sanctuary Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Sanctuary Lodge lies surrounded by a colourful, blooming garden and spacious lawns, over looking the river. 10 simple rooms have warm comfortable beds and down jackets for your use, there is also a fantastic bar area complete with central fire place.
  Contact info: TBA
Birethanti,   Nepal
phone: +TBA
  Facility amenities: Basic facilities
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Himalaya Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: With a view of the massive peaks of Annapurna South (7,219m) and its neighbour Hiunchuili (6,441m) towering over the valley, this lodge is a great location. The sunrise views from here (enhanced by a steaming cup of tea, brought to your door) must be some of the most spectacular in Nepal. The 11 rooms are simple but very comfortable, and the fantastic staff ensures that you are fed (delicious home-made food), watered and very well looked after.
  Contact info: Gandruk
Gandruk,   Nepal
phone: +TBA
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Gurung Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Five small cottages, each containing 2 separate bedrooms, are spread throughout the terraced lawns. The rooms have lovely high ceilings and simple but very stylish slate bathrooms, as well as fantastic views across the valley and up to the Annapurna Range.
  Contact info: TBA
Tanchock,   Nepal
phone: +TBA
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Basanta Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Set on the outskirts of Dhampus, one of the first villages on the Annapurna Circuit treks, this lodge has a large terrace which overlooks the valley back towards Pokhara. Machhapuchhare, or Fishtail Mountain (6,993m), Annapurna II (7,937m) and Annapurna IV (7,525m), form part of a magnificent panorama clearly visible from here (weather permitting, of course!).
  Contact info: Dhampus
Dhampus,   Nepal
phone: +TBA
  Smoking allowed: No

 Kasara Jungle Resort
Type: Lodge
  Description: Local right outside Chitwan National Park in the town of Kasara near the Raptir River. There are 35 bungalows all with twin beds and two other cottages each having two twin rooms. All the wwin beds will be adjustable to make it one bed for those who require Double (king) bed.
  Contact info: Kasara, Jagatpur
Chitwan National Park,   Nepal
phone: +xxx
  Room amenities: Luggage rack, Dresser, Desk, Phone, AC/Heat, Walk in Shower, Hair Dryer in room, Toiletries, Safe in room, coffee maker, hairdryer in room,
  Facility amenities: Lobby, swimming pool, restaurant, wi-fi Internet in Room, Restaurant and other areas within the Hotel Compound, laundry service, currency exchange.
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins on Day 3 in Kathmandu at the program hotel in the late morning. You will be staying at Holiday Inn, Aerocity that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends on Day 16 after breakfast at the program hotel in Kathmandu. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On January 15th, 2010 India changed its laws regarding re-entry to India with a tourist visa. Currently tourists re-entering India within 2 months are required to get a re-entry visa. Due to the complexity of these laws, there is still some ambiguity on what documentation is required for tourists traveling with a group. We ask that you please carry a copy of your full flight itinerary with you when you enter India for the first time, and show this to the customs officials. ANNAPURNA TREKKERS PASS: You need a passport photo to obtain this pass. Please bring an additional passport photo.
  Parking availability:
driving is not recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Delhi
  Transportation to site: If independent flights do not coincide with the designated group transfer, it will be the responsibility of the participant/s to make arrangements to get to the program site. If you are flying into New Delhi as a part of your transit to Kathmandu, then you may get a taxi at the airport in the following way: Airports Authority of India in coordination with Delhi Traffic Police is now providing 'Prepaid Taxi Service' for arriving passengers at Domestic and International Terminals to ensure safe travel up to their destination. Approved rate of fare for various locations in the city are displayed inside the counter. Prepaid taxi counters are located outside customs hall in concessionaire area and outside Arrival Visitors Lounge (West Wing). Payment is made in advance at counters and coupons are issued. Pickup points are located just outside the terminals. No reliable public bus or subway transport available. Please note that the transfer from the airport takes about 40 to 50 minutes. If you are flying straight into Kathmandu's Thrivuvan International Airport, then you could see if a pre-paid stand is open. Please note that the pre-paid taxi stand in Kathmandu airport is haphazardly manned. Private arrival and departure transfers -at an additional cost- may be arranged in advance by the calling Road Scholar Travel Services.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Kathmandu
  Nearest airport:  Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport
  Transportation from site: Taxi's are readily available from the program hotel in Kathmandu to the airport. The cost is approximately $15, (subject to change). You may also want to inquire with the concierge at the program hotel in Kathmandu about alternative transportation services from the hotel to the airport. Private arrival and departure transfers -at an additional cost- may be arranged in advance by the calling Road Scholar Travel Services.
Elevation Note: Hiking will be in the elevation of 3000-7200 ft.

Equipment Requirements: Hiking sticks are really helpful. Comfortable, broken-in light hiking boots. Be prepared with warm layers for nighttime temperatures that may feel colder than expected at high elevations.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart from home
(Saturday, April 18)
   
 Depart From: Depart from home for Nepal.

Day 2: Forced Overnight in Delhi
(Sunday, April 19)

Note: This is provided for all participants who purchase their international flight from the US with RS on the program dates.



   
 Arrive To: Arrival to Delhi. Please note that this is a forced overnight for all participants who purchased their international flight from the US with RS because you are unable to make your connecting flight to Kathmandu on the same day.
 Dinner: Dinner is not included.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn, Aerocity

Day 3: Fly to Kathmandu / City Orientation / Program Orientation
(Monday, April 20)

Note: Kathmandu elevation is approximately 5000ft.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu.
 Lunch: Lunch at the program hotel upon arrival. Participate in a program orientation.
 Afternoon: Get an orientation of Kathmandu city. Kathmandu was the seat of royalty till the last century. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a wondrous cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. Kumari, the living Goddess, the stone carved statue of ferocious Kal Bhairav, erotic carvings glorifying the art works in the temples, the giant temple of the Goddess Taleju and image of Shiva and Parvati peering outside through the window are just a few of the most noteworthy attractions in the area. One can't help but admire the exceptionally attractive woodcarvings, statues and buildings that is cluster in the area. Continue to Swoyambhunath stupa, a golden spire crowning a conical wooded hill, is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Katmandu valley. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spires are visible from many miles and from all sides of the valley. Historical records found on a stone inscription give evidence that the stupa was already an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination by the 5th century AD.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the program hotel.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kathmandu / Bhaktapur City / Patan
(Tuesday, April 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Continue to learn about Bhaktapur and Patan both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Explore Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa is an ancient Newar town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone and situated about 14 Kms to the east of Kathmandu. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century. Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork. It is the home of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and weaving industries, excellent temples, rich local customs, culture, religion, festivals, musical mystic and so on.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, explore Patan city, full of marvelous monuments within a limited space like in the Patan Durbar Square. Besides the old royal palace, which dominates all others in grace and grandeur, here is the 17th-century Krishna Mandir. Entirely made of stone, this shikhara-style structure with 21 pinnacles is dedicated to Lord Krishna, a saviour deity in Hindu pantheon, and is equally noted for rare stone carvings on its walls, which depict various episodes of the epic wars of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Other landmarks within the Square are Tusha-hity (water spout), Sundari Chowk, Taleju Temple and the Keshav Narayan Chowk. The Hiranyavarna Mahavihar (Golden temple), Rudravarna Mahavihar and the terra-cotta temple of Mahabouddha are other highlights in the vicinity. Participate in a presentation by a local NGO to learn about their projects in Nepal.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Kathmandu / Nagarkot / Sankhu / Kathmandu
(Wednesday, April 22)

Note: Nagarkot elevation is 7200 ft. Hike is approximately 5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today is a hike in the Kathmandu Valley. Soon after having breakfast, drive to Nagarkot to the beginning of your hike for the day. The hike is about 5 hours up Nagarakot, walking through the villages of mixed ethnic groups such as Gurung, Newar, Tamangs.
 Lunch: Stop at a beautiful location to have your packed lunch. On a fine day one can enjoy scenic beauty and the mountain ranges from this hiking trail.
 Afternoon: Continue your hike to Sankhu. Upon reaching Sankhu, proceed to the Vajra Yogini temple situated in Sankhu. Later, drive back to Kathmandu which is about 30 Kms.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel. Reminder to pack for tomorrow's trip.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kathmandu / Fly to Pokhara
(Thursday, April 23)

Note: Pokhara elevation is 2700ft.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, participate in a presentation on Nepal History and Culture. Then meet with students from the local university and learn about their goals and aspirations.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival in Pokharar, check-in to your program hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Participate in a presentation on trekking in Nepal.
   
Accommodations: Temple Tree Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Pokhara / Trek to Sanctuary Lodge, Birethanti
(Friday, April 24)

Note: Birethanti elevation is 3750ft. Moderately challenging. Mostly downhill 3 ˝ hr duration average. 50% dirt tracks with vehicles only running on the first 10 minutes. 50% on stone steps, downhill, average size trail, about 4 ft across.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After having breakfast, drive to the trek starting point. Your hike follows a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. This route then drops to the Modi River Valley where your lodge will be located. Get a magnificent view of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre, as it is locally known.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: After lunch join a walk to the town of Birethanti. Birethanti, both a town and a bazaar in Nepal, lies across the bridge at a foothill. This bazaar is an important point along the trekking route that runs from Pokhara towards the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre base camps and further towards the town of Jomsom. Birethanti is a very picturesque village situated on the edge of the river with great views of Machapuchhre - Fish Tail Mountain. The best mountain views are always in the early morning and evening before clouds obstruct the views. Some Annapurna Sanctuary treks do an identical out-and-back. Birethanti is very low in altitude, 1,000m/3,200'. A good beginning with little worries about altitude sickness. Interact with the villagers to understand their normal everyday life including their culture/customs and see the bazaar.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Sanctuary Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Trek Sanctuary Lodge, Birethanti to Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk
(Saturday, April 25)

Note: Ghandruk elevation is 6,600ft. Trek time is 5-6 hours, with an elevation gain of about 3000ft and mostly stone steps. Your GL will provides snacks but it will also be a good idea to bring some of your own along with you. The trek to Ghandruk is about 1 hr flat (first hr) 4-5 hours uphill. The 1 hr flat is on the track with the occasional vehicle passing. You then get off the main route and pass through villages and fields. It is about a 7 mile hike.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast, depart the lodge and walk out through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon begin to climb out of the valley & up towards the mountains. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge upon arrival in the early afternoon. (Trek time is 5-6 hours)
 Afternoon: Rest of the afternoon to relax. Enjoy the magnificent close up views of the surrounding mountains at the lodge.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Himalaya Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Ghandruk exploration
(Sunday, April 26)

Note: It is an easy hiking day, but a full day out of the lodge, approximately 6-8 hours. Hike to the local school is approximately 2.5 hours away from the lodge. Ghandruk town itself is near the lodge.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: This morning after enjoying a relaxing breakfast with the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, descend to Ghandruk village to explore this mountainside area. Explore this mountain village and the surrounding countryside. Ghandruk is a rather easy and peaceful trek. It is famous for its culture, geographical diversity and spectacular views of mountains and stone built villages. Basically Ghandruk village is also called Konda Village in the local language and it means Stone Village. Trails are on clean stone steps both uphill and downhill, with close views of mountains and Rhododendron flowers in the spring season. This trek offers you to have an unforgettable time in the Nepal Himalayas. Ghandruk was once a major recruitment centre for the famous Gurkha soldiers. The women of Ghandruk maintain a local industry of weaving traditional Nepalese rugs.
 Lunch: Lunch in town.
 Afternoon: This afternoon visit some of the major attractions in Ghandruk, Old Gurung Museum, Buddhist Monastery and Small Deurali pass around 2100 meters. Continue to visit a local school and interact with the students and teacher there. Return to your lodge.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Himalaya Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trek Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk to Gurung Lodge, Majguan
(Monday, April 27)

Note: Gurung Lodge is at 4620ft. Trek time is approximately 5-6 hours. Morning trek is easy through farmlands. Towards the end of trek before lunch, there are many stone steps. After lunch, trek is all uphill to Majguan. ˝ hour along the Modi River , crossing a suspension bridge; 1.5 hours uphill hike towards Majgaun; ˝ hour will be switch back and 45mins is going up stairs until you reach Gurung village; gradual incline for 15 minutes until you get to the lodge, with additional 70 steps down.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast, depart the Himalaya Lodge walking out through the village of Ghandruk. Buffaloes and goats graze in the surrounding fields and you may have to make way for the donkey and mule trains that convey goods to and from the Gurkha settlements. Continue descending for about 2 or 3 hours until we reach Shauli Bazaar. From here, follow along the Modi River until reaching the Sanctuary Lodge.
 Lunch: Lunch at the converted house near the Sanctuary Lodge
 Afternoon: Continue your trek towards Majgaun partly on well-paved steps and partly on switch-backs. You reach the Gurung Lodge after about 2 hours.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Gurung Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Trek from Gurung Lodge, Majgaun to Basanta Lodge, Dhampus
(Tuesday, April 28)

Note: Dhampus elevation is 5000ft. Trek time is about 3.5 - 4 hours. Trek starts 15 minutes on dirt path; ˝ hour on switchback path up hill; 1.5 hours on stone steps uphill. At the hop of the hill is a lake. From the lake it is 15 minutes flat terrain with broken steps towards Pothana. Pothana is 6200ft. From Pothana, about 1.5hrs gradual downhill on dirt path, which then turns into a gravel path. Basanta Lodge is at 5570ft. Change in elevation from Pothana to Basanta Lodge is 630ft.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: This morning begin your trek through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. Your walk takes you through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. After about 3 ˝ - 4 hours, arrive at the Basanta Lodge. From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus to explore this town. Dhampus, a name of a fabulous village which is situated at an altitude of 1750m above sea level, in the western Nepal. The village is very famous among visitors because it provides them with breathtaking panoramic views of Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna, Mt Fishtail, Mt Himchuli, Lamjung Himal and many other mountains. It is just 18 km away from the beautiful city of Pokhara, in the north west. Dhampus is a large village spread out along a hill top only a short walk from the main road to Pokhara. It is inhabited by a mix of people: Gurung, Brahman, Magar, low-caste, etc.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Basanta Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Trek from Basanta Lodge and Transfer to Pokhara
(Wednesday, April 29)

Note: Pokhara elevation is 2700 ft. Hiking is approximately 3 hours going down steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast, depart along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor. Then transfer by vehicle to your program hotel in Pokhara. (Hiking is appoximately 3 hours).
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Early afternoon at leisure for you to explore Pokhara.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Participate in a presentation on what is being done to preserve the Annapurna Mountains.
   
Accommodations: Temple Tree Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Pokhara / Drive to Chitwan
(Thursday, April 30)

Note: The drive is about 7 hours with a lunch stop along the way.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Chitwan National Park. This is a five to six hours leisurely drive on the highway passing small villages and terraced rice fields along the Marshyangdi river that takes you through the Tharu Villages of Chitwan with their ochre colored mud houses with thatched roofs. The ethnic tribe of the Tharu’s are the local inhabitants of Chitwan and are agriculturists by profession.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Continue on your drive that brings you to the bank of the Rapti River near Chitwan National Park. The Lodge is located outside of Nepal 's premier Chitwan National Park. Accommodation is rustic and but comfortable. While you will visit and experience many unique attractions - such as viewing wildlife, and exploring the natural faunas and floras- please note that accommodations are sensible but not luxurious.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
 Evening: Participate in a slide show presentation on Chitwan National Park.
   
Accommodations: Kasara Jungle Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Chitwan / Jungle activity
(Friday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: Early morning before breakfast, take an elephant back jungle safari for 2-3 hours penetrating through dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. This grass commonly known as elephant grass is dense and grows to a height of 18-20 ft. It is the favorite habitat for rhinoceros and other mammals. Return to the lodge for breakfast.
 Morning: After breakfast take jeep safari through jungle thickest in search of game. The safari ends at the river bank where you continue on canoe back to the lodge. The canoe ride provides an opportunity for viewing Gharial crocodiles as well as the mugger crocodiles, and varieties of water birds.
 Lunch: Lunch at the dining hall.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon participate in a presentation by the naturalist at the lodge on the Asian elephant, outlining the difference between the Asian & African elephant and the behavior. Here one may witness a rare scene of the elephant bath.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
 Evening: Participate in a presentation on the flora and fauna of Chitwan National Park carried out by senior naturalists.
   
Accommodations: Kasara Jungle Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Chitwan / Drive to Kathmandu
(Saturday, May 2)

Note: The drive is about 5-6 hours with rest stops.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer back to Kathmandu. From the lodge, either elephants or Land Rovers and boats will transfer you to the waiting vehicle at the drop out point from where you board your bus for your drive to Kathmandu.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Kathmandu.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in Kathmandu, check into your hotel and prepare for your farewell dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at restaurant in town.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu Soaltee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Departure for home
(Sunday, May 3)

Note: Please note that a day room is provided for all participants who have bought air from Road Scholar and are flying on Air India from Kathmandu to Delhi on flights that arrive in India in the morning. All meals are on your own, however.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 17: Arrive home
(Monday, May 4)
   
 Arrive To: Arrival home.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Altitude Illness: Prevention and Treatment, How to Stay Healthy at Altitude


Author: Stephen Bezruchka


Description: Bezruchka, a mountaineer and M.D., includes case studies, frequently asked questions and simple methods of diagnosis and treatment in this indispensable pocket guide.



Annapurna, The Epic Account of a Himalayan Conquest and its Harrowing Aftermath


Author: Maurice Herzog


Description: Conrad Anker provides a new foreword for this 60th-anniversary edition of Maurice Herzog's classic, dictated from his hospital bed in Paris. French minister of youth and sport in the 1960s and former mayor of Chamonix, Herzog recovered nicely (he's 103 in 2012).



Buddha's Orphans


Author: Samrat Upadhyay


Description: This novel by Samrat Upadhyay (Arresting God in Kathmandu) sets Nepal’s political upheaval as a backdrop to the love story of Raja, an orphan boy, and Nilu, a daughter of privilege. Their story transports readers across generations and explores family connections.



Escape from Kathmandu


Author: Kim Stanley Robinson


Description: The four interconnected stories in this laugh-out-loud novel include the (mis)adventures of two young Americans with a Yeti, international espionage, mountain climbing of the highest sort and a quest for Shangri-La.



Everest Base Camp, Nepal Map


Author: National Geographic


Description: A durable, folded map for treks from Lukla through Sagarmatha National Park to Everest Base Camp, at a scale of 1:50,000.



Into the Silence


Author: Wade Davis


Description: In this thrilling portrait of George Mallory and fellow climbers, Davis vividly recreates Britain’s heroic attempts to scale Everest in the 1920s.



My Journey to Lhasa


Author: Alexandra David-Neel


Description: Dressed as a humble pilgrim and traveling under the cover of night, the indomitable 55-year-old David-Neel and her young companion climbed mountains and tricked soldiers to ultimately reach Tibet's forbidden capital. Originally published in 1923, her account stands as a riveting portrait of early 20th-century Tibet.



Nepal Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A double-sided map at a scale of 1:500,000, with insets of Kathmandu City and Kathmandu Valley.



Snake Lake


Author: Jeff Greenwald


Description: Greenwald (Shopping for Buddhas) returns to his old haunts in Kathmandu during the Maoist uprising in this personal account, including his thoughts about his brother, falling into depression, back home in the United States.



The Snow Leopard


Author: Peter Matthiessen


Description: The most perceptive, acutely observed and personal of all his books, Matthiessen's account of a five-week journey through Nepal with naturalist George Schaller combines their quest for the elusive cat with a moving introduction to Buddhism and the people and culture of the Himalayas.



The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes


Author: Barbara J. Scot


Description: A heartfelt portrait of the Nepalese people and culture, resulting from the author's year teaching in Nepal. An excellent memoirist, Scot combines personal observation, thoughtful commentary and warmth.



Trekking Nepal, A Traveler's Guide


Author: Stephen Bezruchka


Description: A respected guide covering route planning, national parks, health, where to go and what to do in Nepal. With an overview of the geography, history, religion and culture of the region.



Wild India, The Wildlife of India and Nepal


Author: Guy Mountefort, Gerald Cubitt (Photographer)


Description: An informative introduction to the natural history of the region in a handsome oversize volume. With hundreds of extraordinary photographs of the wildlife and landscapes of the Himalayas, the Indo-Ganges Plain and the Deccan.





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