20336
Nepal
Trekking in Nepal: The Height of Adventure in the Himalayas
On a trek through the Himalayan foothills alongside naturalists, discover unique wildlife, pristine reserves, ornate temples, flower-filled forests and fascinating local culture.
Program No. 20336RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
3,369
Flights start at
1,100
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15 days
14 nights
35 meals
12 B 11 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Depart from home
In Flight
DAY
2
Evening Arrivals in Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu
Gokarna Forest Resort

Activity note: Please note that there is no official programming on this day. Hotel check in available from 2:00 p.m. on.

Dinner: Due to the late arrival, dinner on your own. The hotel has a selection of restaurants, bars and room service.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Program Orientation, Kathmandu, Dubar Square, Patan City
Kathmandu
B,L,D
Gokarna Forest Resort

Activity note: The group leader will distribute the duffle bags and day packs for your trek portion of the trip today or tomorrow. Participants should pack only what they need for the trek and their trip to Chitwan National Park and leave their original suitcase at the program hotel in Kathmandu, which is the same hotel before and after the trek. The first day of the trek, the group leader will give everyone a water bottle, walking stick, poncho and scarf to borrow.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet including water, coffee/tea.

Morning: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will transfer by motoroach to Durbar Square, which serves as an Introduction of Kathmandu. The city was the seat of royalty till the last century. Durbar Square is a wondrous cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. Visit 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 the 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 cluster together in the area. Continue to Swayambhunath stupa, a golden spire crowning a conical wooded hill, is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant with bottled water, coffee/tea included; additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we 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.

Dinner: 'Welcome Dinner' at a traditional Nepalese Restaurant serving Daal Bhat (Rice, lentils and curry). Following the meal enjoy a cultural dance performance at the restaurant.

DAY
4
Day hike in Kathmandu Valley visiting Nagarkot and Sankhu
Kathmandu
B,L,D
Gokarna Forest Resort

Activity note: Depart by motor coach for 1 hour to Nargarkot to begin our hike. Today is a full day hike at an elevation around 7200 ft. The hike is fairly easily with no major ascents or descents and takes approximately 5 hours total with a stop mid-day for a picnic lunch.

Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel including water, coffee/tea.

Morning: After breakfast, we board a private motor coach and drive to Nagarkot to begin our full day hike in the Kathmandu Valley. Our hike begins at a small temple in the forest, next walking through villages of mixed ethnic groups such as Gurung, Newar and Tamangs.

Lunch: We will stop at a beautiful location to have our packed lunch. On a fine day one can enjoy scenic beauty and the mountain ranges from this hiking trail.

Afternoon: We continue our hike to the Newar village of Sankhu, an ancient village and important stop on the trade route to Tibet. Upon reaching Sankhu, we will proceed to the Vajra Yogini temple, an important Newar Buddhist temple. After our visit, we will drive by motor coach back to Kathmandu.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Prepare and pack for our trekking portion and Chitwan excursion. Check with the Group Leader about leaving luggage at the hotel. Pack what you need for the trekking portion in your duffel bag, provided by the Group Leader. This pack will be carried by a porter to all the lodges during your trek.

DAY
5
Student Visit, Fly to Pokhara, Begin Trek in Lumle
Birethanti
B,L,D
Sanctuary Lodge

Activity note: Once landed in Pokhara, the drive to Lumle is around 45 minutes. We will obtain our trekking pass in Lumle and begin our trek to Sanctuary Lodge in Birethanti. The trek to the first lodge is approximately 3 hours with a few small rises and declines in elevation.

Breakfast: Early morning at the hotel including coffee/tea.

Morning: In the morning, we check out of the hotel with our loaned duffel bags/day packs for the trek. Check with the group leader regarding storing suitcases with additional belongings at the hotel. We will return to this hotel at the end of the program. Next participate in a presentation on the political economy of Nepal and meet with students from the local university and learn about their goals and aspirations. Afterwards, we will be transfer to the airport for our flight to Pokhara.

Lunch: Packed picnic lunch.

Afternoon: Arriving in Pokhara, we will transfer by motor coach to the a village of Lumle and obtain our Annapurna trekking passes. Trekking Pass Information: **You will need to present your passport and one passport photo for the pass. The pass is valid for the duration of the trekking trip. The trekking pass is paid for by Road Scholar.** Next, the group leader will loan everyone a water bottle, walking stick, poncho and scarf for the trekking portion. Our trek begins in Lumle, on a flat trail following the ridge lines of the lower foothills of Annapurna Range. After about 45 minutes of easy trekking, we come to a small town called Chandrakot, which has a spectacular view of the Himalaya Mountains, rice terraces and scattered Nepalese settlements. After this, descend to the Modi River valley where our lodge is located in Birethanti. The walk from Chandrakot is mainly through forest, farmland and villages. The trail is mostly century old stone steps all the way to Modi Khola (river), where you cross a suspension bridge. From here, it is another 15 minute walk to our lodge, which has magnificent views of Machhapuchhre, also known as Fishtail Mountain.

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge with bottled water, coffee/tea included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Trek from Sanctuary Lodge to Himalaya Lodge in Ghandruk
Ghandruk
B,L,D
Himalaya Lodge

Activity note: Ghandruk elevation is 6600ft. The trek is 7 miles, with an elevation gain around 3000ft from Birethanti. Total time 5-6 hours. The trek starts, 1 hr flat and then 4-5 hours uphill (around 1 hour of the ascent is stone steps). The 1 hr flat is on a road with the occasional vehicle passing. You then get off the main route and pass through villages and fields. The Group Leader will provide snacks but it will also be a good idea to bring some of your own along with you if you need extra energy.

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 and 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. (Trek time is 5-6 hours)

Lunch: Arriving at the lodge in the early afternoon, enjoy a hot lunch and the magnificent close up views of the surrounding mountains.

Afternoon: Take time this afternoon to rest and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Ghandruk exploration
Ghandruk
B,L,D
Himalaya Lodge

Activity note: This is an easy hiking day, but a full day out of the lodge, approximately 6-8 hours. Hike to the local school is approximately 2½ hours away from the lodge. Ghandruk town itself is near the lodge.

Breakfast: At the lodge enjoy breakfast basking in the glorious mountain views.

Morning: After breakfast, we will take a peaceful and easy trek to the village of Ghandruk, exploring the mountainside village and the surrounding countryside. Ghandruk is famous for its culture, geographical diversity, stone built villages and spectacular mountain views. Ghandruk village is also called Konda Village in the local language and it means Stone Village. 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: In Ghandruk

Afternoon: In the afternoon, we will visit some of the major attractions in Ghandruk: Old Gurung Museum, Buddhist Monastery and the Deurali pass, a ridgeline (2100m) along the Ghandruk Trek. Next, we will visit a local school and interact with the students and teacher. Later return to the lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Trek to Mala Lodge, Majguan
Majgaon
B,L,D
Mala Lodge

Activity note: Mala Lodge is at 4620 ft. 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, the trek is all uphill to Majguan. ½ hour along the Modi River , crossing a suspension bridge; 1.5 hours uphill hike towards Majgaun; ½ hour will be switch back and 45 mins 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: 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 we may have to make way for the donkey and mule trains that convey goods to and from the Gurkha settlements. Continue descending for about 2-3 hours until we reach Shauli Bazaar. From here, we follow along the Modi River until reaching Sanctuary Lodge for lunch.

Lunch: At Sanctuary Lodge

Afternoon: Continue your trek towards Majgaun partly on well-paved steps and partly on switch-backs. You reach Mala Lodge after about 2 hours. There are stone steps along this hiking trail. Arrive at Mala Lodge and check in. Later enjoy a local dance performance by a local mother's group.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Trek from Mala Lodge, Majgaun to Basanta Lodge, Dhampus
Dhampus
B,L,D
Basanta Lodge

Activity note: Dhampus elevation is 5000 ft. Trek time is about 3.5 - 4 hours. Trek starts 15 minutes on dirt path; ½ 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 6200 ft. From Pothana, about 1.5hrs gradual downhill on dirt path, which then turns into a gravel path. Basanta Lodge is at 5570 ft. Change in elevation from Pothana to Basanta Lodge is 630 ft.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: This morning we begin our trek passing through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. The trek takes us through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, we stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. After about 3 ½ - 4 hours we arrive at Basanta Lodge. From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range.

Lunch: At Basanta Lodge.

Afternoon: This afternoon 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 1750 m above sea level, in the western Nepal. The village is very famous among visitors because it provides 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: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Trek from Basanta Lodge and Transfer to Pokhara
Pokhara
B,L,D
Temple Tree Resort and Spa

Activity note: Pokhara elevation is 2700 ft. Hiking is approximately 3 hours going down steps to reach the vehicle point to transfer to the hotel in Pokhara.

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 our program hotel in Pokhara. (Hiking is approximately 3 hours).

Lunch: Hotel buffet including water, coffee/tea; additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Check in to the hotel. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore Pokhara. For those interested, take a boat ride on Fewa Lake. (cost included)

Dinner: Hotel buffet including coffee/tea.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Pokhara, Peace Pagoda, Mountain Museum, Free afternoon
Pokhara
B,D
Temple Tree Resort and Spa

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We depart the hotel by motor coach to the Peace Pagoda in Pokhara. It was designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most (though not all) peace pagodas were built since World War II. Continue to the International Mountain Museum, a museum that records, documents and chronicles the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world. More specifically, the museum preserves the saga of the momentous feats in the history of mountaineering in the Himalayan peaks.

Lunch: On our own. This meal is not included in the program. The group leader will be happy to provide suggestions.

Afternoon: Free afternoon on our own to explore Pokhara or relax.

Dinner: Hotel buffet including coffee/tea.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Pokhara, Drive to Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park
B,L,D
Kasara Jungle Resort

Activity note: The drive from Pokhara to Chitwan is 7 hours with rest stops and a lunch stop along the way.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet including coffee/tea.

Morning: We depart by motor coach towards Chitwan National Park. Enjoy a leisurely drive, 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: Stop at a scenic location on the way to enjoy a packed lunch.

Afternoon: We continue on our drive that brings us 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. We 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: Buffet dinner in the lodge dining hall with water, coffee/tea included; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Participate in a presentation on the flora and fauna of Chitwan National Park carried out by senior naturalists. (time subject to change)

DAY
13
Chitwan, Jungle activity
Chitwan National Park
B,L,D
Kasara Jungle Resort

Breakfast: Lodge buffet with bottled water, coffee/tea.

Morning: After breakfast we will take a Jeep excursion through the park in search of game. The excursion ends at the river bank where we continue by canoe back to the lodge. The canoe ride provides an opportunity for viewing Gharial and Mugger crocodiles, and a variety of water birds.

Lunch: At the lodge. Enjoy a traditional Nepali lunch.

Afternoon: In the afternoon participate in a presentation by the naturalist at the lodge on the Asian elephant, outlining the difference between the Asian and African elephant and the behavior. Here you may have an elephant experience walking, bathing and feeding them. (subject to park schedule)

Dinner: 'Farewell Dinner' at the hotel lodge.

Evening: At the hotel, enjoy a cultural performance of a Tharu Dance. The Tharu are an ethic group from the southern foothills of the Himalayas.

DAY
14
Fly to Kathmandu, Free Time, Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B,L,D

Activity note: Morning flight from Chitwan to Kathmandu is approximately 45 minutes. Once arrived, transfer to program hotel. Afternoon is free time or rest up for evening departure flights home. Late night departures home. The hotel is booked for the entire night for those leaving tomorrow.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: Check out of the lodge and transfer to the airport for our flight to Kathmandu. Once arrived in Kathmandu, we will transfer to the program hotel to rest up for the late night departure or departures the next day.

Lunch: At the hotel with water, coffee/tea included; additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Check in to the Gokarna Forest Resort hotel. Meet with the Group Leader to discuss airport transfers to the airport. Free afternoon for you to explore Kathmandu on your own or rest up for the evening flight home. The hotel is booked for the entire night, for those who are leaving the next day.

Dinner: At the hotel. If you have an evening flight today, you will be offered snacks or any meal of your choice from the restaurant menu at the hotel before leaving.

DAY
15
Arrive home.
In Flight

Activity note: For those leaving today, hotel check out is 12:00 p.m






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