Annapurna Base Camp is often referred to as the Annapurna Sanctuary, and it’s for a good reason. It’s hard not to feel the remoteness and solitude as you get deeper into these mountains. Hot springs, Rhododendron forests, and an amazing local culture. In 1950 Annapurna was the first 8,000m peak in the world to be climbed, and now regarded as one of, if not the, most dangerous mountain in the world. We’ll stay safely down in the valley below, but the power of the Annapurna range is undeniable.
Day 1-2 Kathmandu
Flying into Kathmandu, you’ll get an unforgettable view of the Himalaya. As you descend down, the mountains almost blend with the clouds, leaving you with the feeling of landing in a kingdom in the sky. We’ll pick you up at the airport, and take you directly to the Shangri-La Hotel, where a welcome package will be waiting in your room. Relax and enjoy the bustling market of Thamel- in the evening we’ll all get together for a traditional Nepali meal of dal bhat. Explore the hidden gems of Kathmandu, mingle with other travelers, and get excited for the trip ahead. We’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Bhaktipur, which was the old city center of Nepal, and famous for it’s metal, stone, and wood artwork. An optional trip to the Pashuputinath temple, which sits on the banks of the Bagmati river and is one of the most important Hindu Temples in the world dating back to 400 B.C. Pashuputinath is often compared with the holy Indian Ghats in Varanasi for there similarities of both being cremation sites.
Day 3-10 Annapurna Base Camp
Now that we’ve explored Kathmandu, we’ll jump in a couple jeeps for the drive to the end of the road, where our trip really begins. After a quick lunch in Nyapull, we ditch the jeeps. The tight gorge that we’ll be hiking up for the next several days is carved by the rushing Modi Khola, where villages dot the steep hillsides. Hot springs, Rhododendron forests, and friendly locals are just some of the highlights. Annapurna Base Camp is in one of the most scenic places in the world, a cirque of mountains that culminates in the 8,050m Annapurna. A mountain steeped in local history, as well as mountaineering history. Annapurna in Sanskrit translates to the “Goddess of the Harvests”, and is associated with bountiful food. Maurice Herzog, the famous French mountaineer who first climbed Annapurna in 1950, said “This diaphanous landscape, this quintessence of purity--these were not the mountains I knew: they were the mountains of my dreams.” After a night in the Sanctuary, we start descending down to the lakeside city of Pokhara for some much needed R&R.
Day 11-12 Pokhara
Once we’ve arrived in Pokhara, a city known for it’s lakeside views of the Himalya, we can reveal in the fact of the world class trek we just went on. For our time in Pokhara we’ll be staying on top of the mountain Sarankot, just outside of the city. Sarangkot is known for it’s amazing sunsets and sunrises, and we’ll be staying at the newly built Bhanjyang Lodge at the very top. In the morning we’ll have a private yoga teacher join us for a sunrise class with views of the entire Annapurna range. After breakfast, you will have the option to go paragliding, with the launch site being a short walk down the road from our hotel. Pokhara is one of the most popular places in South Asia to paraglide because the thermals rising off of Pewa lake allow for longer flights than normal. The amazing views of the Annapurna range don’t hurt either. In the afternoon we will reconvene at the lake to spend our last afternoon relaxing on a boat, paddling around, and enjoying the views of the Himalaya. Shop for any last minute souvenirs in the vibrant lakeside markets and cafes of Pokhara, and the next day we will arrange transportation to Kathmandu for you to catch your flight. Or, if you have more time and choose to stay longer, we will be more than happy to help point you in the right direction for the rest of your time in Nepal.