This 12-day adventure immerses you into the beautiful Himalayan mountains. Day 1 begins with an exciting morning rafting experience from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom on Day 2 at 2713m and on Day 3 hike to Muktinath [3795m] via Kagbeni [2895m]. Day 4 free day at Muktinath or opt to trek to the Thorong-La Pass [5416m], then descend to Marpha [2667m] on Day 5. Continue your descent on Day 6 reaching Ghasa [2013m] and Tatopani [1189m] on Day 7. Continue hiking towards Ghorepani [2853m] on Day 8 and reach the famous Poon Hill [3232m] on Day 9. Take an easy hike towards Ghandruk [1950m] on Day 10 before reaching Nayapul and Pokhara on Day 11. You will return to Kathmandu on Day 12 by bus arriving in the afternoon.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Rafting Adventure Kathmandu to Pokhara (L)
Today, after being picked-up from your Kathmandu accommodation, you will be transferred to the Trishuli River, located on the Kathmandu Pokhara Highway. On arrival, you will receive an insight on the rafting techniques and security measures, before embarking your raft and begin this exciting rafting experience. Get a rush from this grade-3 river and awe at the amazing lush green scenery around you. After 4 hours of exhilarating rafting you will jump on a bus to the laid-back town of Pokhara. On arrival, make your way to your new accommodation and for check-in and overnight.
Day 2: Flight Pokhara to Jomsom (2713m), Trek Jomsom to Kagbeni (2895m) approx. 3 hours
Take an early morning transfer to the Pokhara airport and enjoy one of the world’s most exciting flights through the Himalayan mountains with views of Annapurna I (8091m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Fishtail (6997m) and other numerous peaks to reach Jomsom. Begin your trek to Kagbeni following along the banks of Kali Gandaki River.
Day 3: Kagbeni to Muktinath (3795m) approx. 4 hours
Enjoy beautiful deserted landscapes and high-altitude trekking as the trail steeply ascends from Kagbeni through old Tibetan-style villages and apple gardens dotted with herds of yaks and sheep. Look down at the Thorong La valley and continue straight up to the Muktinath. Visit the 15th century monastery in Jharkot and stop for a fulfilling lunch (not included) before heading up to Muktinath along a steep path for half and hour. Stay overnight at Muktinath village where you can take your time to visit Muktinath Temple, with its holy bath of 108 taps. The people of Kagbeni, Jharkot and Muktinath respect the lifestyle, culture, religion and ideas of Tibetan people.
Day 4: Muktinath Free Day and optional hike to Thorong La Pass (5416m)
Enjoy a free day in the beautiful and ancient mountain village of Muktinath where you can walk around to take pictures of the surrounding mountain views and ancient homes. If you are feeling up to it, make an attempt to hike up to the snowy Thorong La Pass at a dizzying 5416 meters, one of the most beautiful and challenging parts of Annapurna Circuit. Stay overnight in Muktinath.
Day 5: Muktinath to Marpha (2667m) approx. 6 hours
You now begin your descent down through the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom which is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River. From here there are fine views of the Nilgiri peaks. Continue down to Marpha, a delightful Thakali village, complete with a drainage system beneath the flagstone streets. Its narrow alleys and passageways provide welcome shelter from the strong winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge and Marpha is particularly well known for its apples, apple cider and apple, apricot and peach rakshi.
Day 6: Marpha to Ghasa (2013m) approx. 6 hours
Your trail descends steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southernmost limit of Tibetan Buddhism influence in the Himalayas. The beginning of the trail is almost flat all the way to Kalopani where it then begins to descend steeply to Ghasa. The first part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests and birches. The surrounding area of Ghasa is famous for bird watching and wild Marijuana. Here you are quite amazed at the panoramic views of the Himalayan Peaks; Mount Nilgiri North (7061m), Nilgiri Central (6940m), Nilgiri South (6839m), Annapurna I (8091m), Dhaulagiri I (8167m) and Tukuche (6920m)
Day 7: Ghasa to Tatopani (1189m) approx 5 hours
The trail descends steeply up to the beautiful Rukse Chahara (Rukse Waterfall) where you can stop to for incredible views and admire the world’s deepest gorge situated between the Annapurna I (8091m) and Dhaulagiri I (8167m) peaks which sit facing each other near Rukse Waterfalls. Now the trail ascends slightly to Tatopani through different local villages. You can enjoy the natural hot springs at Tatopani situated at the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. It is a popular belief that these waters have therapeutic and healing properties.
Day 8: Tatopani to Ghorepani (2853m) approx. 7 hours
Depart Tatopani along a winding path that brings you through agricultural villages inhabited by people of varying castes where the majority of the people serve for the Gorkha and Indian Regiments. While trekking you cross through the Kali Gandaki River with panoramic views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. The trail ascends gently all the way to Ghorepani passing through small villages like Phthalate and Chitre. Pass through rhododendron forests and come across the wildlife such as monkeys and birds of various species. You are accompanied by more panoramic views of different mountains. We will overnight in Ghorepani so we don’t miss the exciting opportunity to make the morning trek to Poon Hill (3100m) with its outstanding panorama of Dhaulagiri I, II, III, IV, Tukuche peak, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri ranges, Annapurna I, Bahra Sikhar (Twelve peaks known as French Fang), Annapurna South, Himchuli, Fishtail and Mardi Himal. The view you can see from here is quite possibly the best view in the world.
Day 9: Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3100m) to Tadapani (2675m) approx. 5.5 hours
Our early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m) will reward us with spectacular views over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri (6940m), Varaha Shikhar (7847m), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna III (7855m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m), Lamjung Himal (6931m) and other numerous snowcapped mountain peaks at sunrise. Return to Ghorepani for a hearty breakfast (not included) and continue your trek to Tadapani (2650m) through the deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. En route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green landscapes. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, and Annapurna II.
Day 10: Tadapani to Ghandruk (1950m) approx. 3 hours
Enjoy your easy trek today by descending gently through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests to the Gurung village of Ghandruk, a popular tourist stop along the trekking route. Make a visit to the handicraft center and Gurung Museum. Listen for birds singing and watch out for as many different species of birds as you can find. From this village you could see good views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m), Annapurna III (7755m) and Fishtail.
Day 11: Ghandruk to Birethanti - Nayapul - Pokhara.
Today we begin our journey from Ghandrung offering easy walking all downhill to Nayapul where we will then drive to Pokhara returning to the scenic and cozy lakeside town by evening. On arrival check-in your accommodation and overnight.
Day 12: Bus Pokhara to Kathmandu
It is time to say goodbye to this beautiful and laidback himalayan town as you will catch a bus to return to the Nepalese capital today. On arrival at Kathmandu bus terminal, this amazing adventure will come to an end. We wish you a safe outbound journey.
Suggested Packing List: Backpack (10 - 15 liters), sleeping bag (if desired-- sheets & blankets are provided), hiking poles, rain pants, plastic rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals/flip flops, thermals (socks, t-shirts, sweater), windbreaker, hiking trousers, shorts, wool hat/beanie, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sunglasses, flashlight/torch, camera (with extra batteries & memory card), personal medications, reusable water bottle, water purification tablets, toiletries (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toilet paper, towel)
Food Budget: Please expect to spend at least 20 USD per day on food and beverages. Please note that food costs will vary depending on the number of portions consumed, location and availability.