This short 5-day itinerary combines adventure with comfort for a well-rounded Himalayan experience. Start your trip in Kathmandu and make your way to Astam where you will begin three days of trekking. Hike mild to steep ascents to bring you to incredible vistas, as you share the route with shepherds and donkey trains and pass through rhododendron forests. At night, you'll stay in luxury lodges for a nice contrast to the day's challenge.

Highlights

  • Experience traditional life in the villages of Dhampus, Patlekhet, and Majgaon
  • Enjoy classic views of the Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri
  • Learn about Gurung culture, the largest ethnic group in the Nepalese Himalaya
  • Stay in the famous Ker & Downey lodges for a taste of luxury each night

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek from Astam to Dhampus (1,700 m) Dhampus
Day 3 Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m) Majgaon
Day 4 Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 5 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the city, the Himalaya, and of the terraced fields below. After going through customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you and guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to get you settled into your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek from Astam to Dhampus (1,700 m)

Nepalese woman in front of her home in Dhampus, Nepal
Nepalese woman in front of her home in Dhampus

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Pokhara. This is a stunning half-hour flight along the Himalayan Range, seeing four of the world’s 14 giant mountains over 8,000 m: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu, and Shishapangma, before landing in Pokhara.

Upon arrival in Pokhara, you will be picked up and driven out of town taking a scenic drive to the village of Astam, entering a completely different world from that of Kathmandu. Along the way, you can see magnificent views of the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhere.

From Astam, you will begin your trek following the ridgeline to Dhampus—a stunning village with one of the best Himalayan views in Nepal.

Driving time: 1-2 hours
Trekking time: 3-4 hours

Day 3: Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m)

Gurung women, nepal
Gurung women in traditional costume going to work in the mountains

After breakfast, trek from Dhampus to Deurali. From there, you will gently ascend through rhododendron and oak forests until you reach Pothana. Along the way, there will be excellent vantage points to view Machhapuchhre and other Himalaya giants.

Continue trekking through sub-tropical forests of tree orchids, rhododendrons, and magnolias to the untouched Gurung village of Patlekhet. The Gurung people who live in this part of the Himalaya, are a famous ethnic group in Nepal, well known for their role in the Gorkha regiments of the Nepalese, Indian, and British armies.

Trekking time: 4-5 hours

Day 4: Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara

Drive to Pokhara
Drive to Pokhara

After breakfast, leave beautiful Majgaon behind and hike along a rugged Jeep trail to Kande. Here you will say goodbye to your trekking crew before transferring back to Pokhara.

Trekking time: 1-3 hours

Day 5: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!

Sunset in Patan Durbar Square
Sunset in Patan Durbar Square

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Pokhara's domestic airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. If you're flying back home from Kathmandu today, you need to ensure your flight departs no earlier than 11 am to ensure you'll have enough time to catch it. (The earliest you can arrive back in Kathmandu will be around 9:15 am.)