25 days exploring Nepal, its villages and the Himalayan Mountains:
3 days exploring the ancient Kingdom of Kathmandu
5 days immersing in an authentic Himalayan village and assisting in a community empowerment project
13 day circuit hike around the 8th highest mountain in the world: Manaslu, topping out at an epic 16,500 ft pass.
From day one you’ll be completely immersed in true Nepali culture, starting off in the narrow winding streets of Kathmandu, visiting famed temples and delving into local cuisine before being catapulted into the Himalayas. A wild 4x4 journey will take you deep into one of the most remote areas of Nepal, past sleepy villages, wild rivers and never ending rice terraces. A small trek up and you’ll find yourself into the remote mountain village of Pokhari-Nebot, sitting at the base of the Himalayas. Our team has been working here since 2015, assisting in earthquake rebuilding projects, including a four room Earthbag school and several other projects. You’ll meet our new English-Nepali teachers while learning traditional cultural customs of the local Gurung people and assist in longterm projects we have unfolding in the village.
Next, we take off on a true journey deeper into the steep and mysterious valleys of the Himalaya with an epic 13 day hike up and over Larke La pass on the Manaslu Circuit. You’ll visit a Nyingma Buddhist Monastery on the border of Tibet where we’ve been aiding earthquake rebuilding of their dorms since 2016, before venturing to Larke La, peaking out at an exhilarating 16,500 ft before finally dropping down to the sleepy lake town of Pokhara.
THE MANASLU EXPERIENCE
25 DAY ITINERARY
Day 1: Flying into Kathmandu, you’ll be greeted by our Dharma Trip representatives and taken to the Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of the city. Meet with fellow Dharma Trippers for an orientation and get-to-know you dinner where we’ll answer any last minute questions before the jet-lag rolls in.
Days 2-3: Explore the ancient royal Kingdom of Kathmandu with the Himalayas as your backdrop. Home to a whopping seven World Heritage sites, you’ll visit some of the largest Buddhist stupas—Boudhanath and Swayambhunath, the famed Monkey Temple. Feast on Tibetan momos before shopping any last minute trekking supplies.
Day 4: Embark on a scenic 4x4 journey on possibly the most windy and exhilarating mountain road you’ll ever experience. Lunch in a tranquil village, ride past wild rivers and never ending rice terraces before overnighting in the valley of Arughat Bazar.
Day 5: Squeezing ourselves onto a local bus for a short ride, we arrive in Arkhet Bazaar in the late morning, our last stop before trekking. A short yet steep hike up stone stairs (3-4 hours) ends in the small villages of Pokhari-Nebot, your home for the next four days. A welcome ceremony and traditional dinner at the village leader’s home awaits.
Days 6-9: Cultural Village Life Immersion Program
The days spent in the village are a magical time where locals of all ages share their unique Gurung culture with you. You’ll immerse yourself in the daily life of a working Himalayan village, learning the simple yet oh-so-intricate dealings of villagers while assisting in an earthquake rebuilding or community betterment project. Help plow the fields with oxen, thrash freshly harvested millet or read English to the local school children while taking freshly made chai breaks from ama (your host “mother”). Learn the secrets behind the traditional lentil and rice dish of Dal Bhat, rhaski (local millet wine) while listening to traditional folk songs around a campfire. Or simply relax and unwind in a rice terrace, taking solace Ganesh Himal, home to some of the tallest peaks in the world.
Day 10-23 Trekking the Manaslu Circuit
Say so long to village life and the friends you’ve made there as you embark on a hiking journey like you’ve never encountered. Continuing to hike up valley, we will be following the Buddhi Gandaki river to it’s headwaters. Along the way we’ll stay in small village teahouses, visit a hot spring, and see incredible mountain landscapes. All while recreating the old trading routes between Nepal and the Kingdom of Tibet.
The higher we go, the more peaks we’ll see. Once in the village of Sama, we’ll take a rest day to acclimatize to the higher elevation. We’ll visit a Nyingma Buddhist Monastery on the border of Tibet where we’ve been aiding earthquake rebuilding since 2016. As we continue up the valley, we will now be closer to the high mountain passes that lead to Tibet rather than to the roads leading back to Kathmandu. As the Buddhi Gandaki slowly shrinks to a trickle, we turn west to head over Larke La—16,500 ft mountain pass and the highest point of our trip.
From the top of the pass, we will see three 8,000m peaks (Manaslu, Annapurna and Dahlugiri). This pass is nothing more than a hike, yet with the high elevation we will account for plenty of time to ensure we all make it over safely. From here we start descending, now following the Duhd Kohla, known as the milk river. Once we make it to the well traveled Annapurna Circuit trail, we will have jeeps waiting to take us to Pokhara for some much needed rest.
Our hiking days and elevation gained will vary from day to day. Expect to hike between 4-6 hours each day, with moderate to strenuous activity levels.
Days 24: The second biggest city in Nepal and a travel hub for trekkers coming in and out of various routes, Pokhara is a great place to indulge in everything you have wanted while up in the mountains. With yoga classes, massages, paragliding and as much food as you can eat, this will be an excellent place to end your trip. We’ll celebrate our Manaslu adventure with a final dinner at one of our favorite eateries.
Day 25: We arrange for transportation back to Kathmandu, and stay our final night at the Shangri-La hotel. Say so long, not goodbye, as you fly out the next day or embark on whatever journey you have next.