14-Mar-2021 for 12 Nights

Annapurna Panorama

From: Kathmandu To: Kathmandu

Visiting: Chitwan, Nepal, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Pokhara, Chitwan National Park

Discovery Active Small Group Cultural Scenic Walking Wildlife Trekking Adventure Safaris

Tour Operator: Explore!

Physical rating: Moderate

Group size: 0 - 16

Age range: Adult

Prices From:

Tour Overview

Enjoy a gentle four-day trek in the quieter foothills of the Himalaya with spectacular views of the Annapurna range. Walking among traditional villages and beautifully terraced fields, with the iconic silhouette of Machhapuchhre's 'fishtail' often in sight, we stay in teahouses (mountain lodges) and meet the friendly locals. We also explore the bazaars of Kathmandu and search for rare one-horned rhino on a jeep safari through Chitwan National Park.

Highlights

Panoramic trek - Take to the trails and complete a four-day trek through the Annapurna foothills
Kathmandu - Explore the temples and Bazaars of Nepal's capital including a visit to Bodnath Stupa
Chitwan National Park - Spot a wide variety of animal species and the rare one-horned rhino.
Pokhara - Relax on the banks of Lake Phewa
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Itinerary

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Day 1: Join trip in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel

The trip starts today in Kathmandu, the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal. Your Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception for a welcome meeting at 5 pm. For those that wish, there is the chance to go out together as a group for dinner afterwards. There are no other activities planned for today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will leave any essential information and details of the best time to catch up with them, at the hotel reception. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central Kathmandu as traffic congestion in city can be bad. Depending on the arrival time of your flight, should you wish to explore, our hotel is located a short walk from the lively Thamel area. Home to a multitude of outdoor gear, souvenir shops, great bookshops and a huge variety of restaurants, it's a fun place to wander.

Day 2: Walking tour of old city

Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast there will be a longer briefing to give you an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis while on trek and to make sure that everyone is properly equipped. For those wishing to hire equipment in Kathmandu for the trek, your leader will be able to assist you on a visit to an equipment hire shop. Afterwards we head out on a walking tour visiting the bazaar and temples of old Kathmandu. Much of the day to day life of Kathmandu takes place in the local bazaar: a fascinating mixture of people selling spices; potters spinning their wheels; rickshaw wallahs honking their horns and the ever present sacred cow wandering amongst it all.

Day 3: Drive to Kurintar; optional whitewater rafting along the Trisuli River

Accommodation: Hotel

We make a morning departure to drive out of the high Kathmandu valley and descend to the foothills where we overnight at a riverside hotel in Kurintar at the much lower altitude of about 262m. As we leave the valley, on clear days we will have views of the Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges of the Himalaya. En route you have the option of partaking in an exciting half-day's whitewater rafting trip on the Trisuli River (Grade III-III+). No previous experience is required (although we do recommend that you are confident swimming for at least 25 metres unaided) and the price includes all permits, equipment, the services of experienced river guides and lunch. The rafting trip finishes at the beach just below our hotel. Those who do not wish to raft will continue to the hotel with the bus after dropping off the rafters and can spend a leisurely afternoon relaxing by the hotel pool.

Day 4: Drive to Kande via Pokhara; trek to Badauri (1661m)

Accommodation: Teahouse

This morning we head first to Pokhara (840m). Pokhara is smaller and more relaxed than Kathmandu and is beautifully situated on the banks of Lake Phewa. There are superb views from here of the snowcapped Annapurna range,including Machhapuchhre - the famous Fishtail Mountain. We'll call in at our hotel to deposit the luggage not needed for the trek and then continue our drive north west to the trek start point at Kande (1700m). From here we walk for around two hours passing cultivated fields and scattered small settlements to the Gurung village of Badauri (1661m) where several trails cross. Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with a total ascent of 305 metres and a descent of 405 metres.

Day 5: Hike with panoramic mountain views to Panchase Bhanjyang (2100m)

Accommodation: Teahouse

After breakfast our walk takes us mostly through mixed oak and rhododendron forest to the high point of the trek - Panchase Danda 2500m. The summit has panoramic views of all the Annapurna peaks as well as 8000m Dhaulagiri to the west and 8000m Manaslu to the east. This area is also part of a pilgrimage route and we may visit the nearby shrine to the Hindu god Shiva. We descend to Panchase Bhanjyang - a bhanjyang being the local name for a pass (2100m). There are several local houses at the pass and we have wonderful views of the mountains as well as of Pokhara and Phewa Tal. Today's nine kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 940 metres and a descent of 440 metres.

Day 6: Trek through forest and meadow to Bumdi (1500m)

Accommodation: Teahouse

Our walk today is through a largely uninhabited area on a less major trail. We will spend some time in forest but will also pass several open meadows specifically cleared to graze water buffalo. In the spring you can look out for rhododendrons and white orchids in bloom in the forest. There are several welcome stone built resting places along the route which climbs to the top of a ridge and then crosses three small passes on the descent to our overnight stop at Bumdi (1500m). Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 470 metres and a descent of 1020 metres.

Day 7: Trek back to Pokhara (850m) via Peace Pagoda

Accommodation: Hotel

We're now coming back into a much more inhabited area and pass many cultivated fields and several settlements. There are lots of cherry trees in blossom here in November. We pass the chhettri village of Pumdi with its distinctive houses to reach the white dome of the Japanese Peace Pagoda all the while with good views of the mountains to the north. From here we descend through Rani Ban (the Queen's Forest) to the end of the trek near the dam at the south eastern end of Phewa Tal. From here we drive a very short distance to our hotel. Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 60 metres and a descent of 791 metres.

Day 8: A free day in Pokhara to relax and explore

Accommodation: Hotel

The day is free to explore the interesting town of Pokhara. You could visit Tashiling, a thriving village of Tibetan refugees with its own schools and monastery, where you can watch Tibetan carpets being made. Alternatively hire a boat to visit a small temple on an island in Phewa Tal. There will also be time for some souvenir shopping.

Day 9: Drive to lodge near Chitwan National Park; briefing and village walk

Accommodation: Lodge

Today we drive to the flat lands of Nepal's Terai region where we stay just outside of Chitwan National Park. Once a private hunting ground, Chitwan is now a National Park with thick tree cover and tall elephant grass sheltering a wealth of animals. We'll be briefed today on the variety of activities that we can enjoy in the Park and orientate ourselves on a short walk around the village. All Park activities will be accompanied by a trained naturalist guide who will help us get the best enjoyment from these excursions.

Day 10: Full day of activities in Chitwan National Park

Accommodation: Lodge

Throughout your stay you will be kept busy except for a couple of hours around lunch time when you can read or relax in the shade. Activities in the park include a jeep safari searching out Chitwan's famous rare one-horned rhino, bird watching, jungle walks and a dugout canoe trip along the Rapti River. Canoeing will be dependent on the water level, floating silently down the river in a traditional dugout canoe gives us the opportunity to spot many varieties of water birds. On a nature walk in the company of trained native naturalists we walk along trails in the less densely forested parts of the park. An early morning bird watching walk near the river will reveal many of the 450 bird species that can be found in the park, especially kingfisher.

Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel

Today we drive back to Kathmandu. In 2019 due to ongoing roadworks this journey is taking longer than usual, possibly up to eight hours.

Day 12: A free day in Kathmandu with various optional trips available

Accommodation: Hotel

Today has been left free with the opportunity to make various optional excursions which your Leader can help arrange. One option is to visit the Newari town of Bhaktapur in the eastern corner of the Kathmandu Valley. Also know as Bhadgaun or the City of the Devotees, Bhaktapur evokes the feel of a medieval village, a snapshot of a time when the city lay along the prosperous trade routes between Tibet, China and India. The ancient centre of the town is a dazzling collection of temples, palaces and monasteries that has earned it a place on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Other places to visit include the Swayambunath stupa, perched on a hilltop and also known as the 'monkey temple' because of its resident group of very inquisitive primates and nearby Patan, whose Durbar Square has the finest collection of temples and palaces in the entire country.

Day 13: Trip ends in Kathmandu

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu. There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Standard

  • Meals

    Breakfast: 12 Lunch: 7 Dinner: 5

Why Book this Tour

10 Reasons to trek Nepal with Explore

- Local knowledge: Over 30 years of experience in organising treks in Nepal and long established network of local partners throughout the country
- Our trek leaders in Nepal are consistently voted among the best Explore leaders anywhere in the world
- Our trekking ascent rates are carefully planned to be safe and fall within Wilderness Medicine Society (WMS) guidelines
- All our trek leaders are qualified in first aid and specially trained to recognise and deal with Altitude Sickness
- We carry a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) on treks above 3000 metres
- On treks into extremely remote areas we carry a satellite phone for emergency use
- We support our trek crew by following the guidelines of the International Porter Protection Group (www.ippg.net)
- All our trekking staff, from trek leaders to guides, porters and cooks, are Nepali - revenues from our treks benefit the local people
- All meals are included on camping and teahouse based treks making them excellent value for money
- FREE Explore kitbag. If you trek with us in Nepal you will receive a free Explore kitbag when you arrive in Kathmandu

Questions & Answers

Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

Can I join the tour once it has departed?

Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

How long has the tour company been trading?

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

Should I get travel insurance?

Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

What documents will I receive before I travel?

Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

What is the accommodation like?

We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

What policies are in place for Covid-19?

Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Prices & Availability

Select departure month
Date
Nights
Available
Single Supplement
Price

Sunday Mar 14, 2021

12

14

Sunday Oct 10, 2021

12

16

Sunday Nov 07, 2021

12

16

Sunday Nov 21, 2021

12

16

DateSunday, Mar 14, 2021

Nights12

Available14

Single Supplement

Price

DateSunday, Oct 10, 2021

Nights12

Available16

Single Supplement

Price

DateSunday, Nov 07, 2021

Nights12

Available16

Single Supplement

Price

DateSunday, Nov 21, 2021

Nights12

Available16

Single Supplement

Price

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