Combine adventure with comfort in this well-rounded Himalayan experience. Start your trip in Kathmandu and fly to Pokhara where you will have an extra night to explore the lakeside region before making your way to Astam. Spend three days hiking moderate to steep ascents, sharing routes with shepherds, donkey trains, and farmers. Marvel at the incredible Annapurna mountain range and enjoy relaxing evenings in luxury lodgings.

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, Explore Lakeside Pokhara
Day 3 Drive from Pokhara to Astam, Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m) Dhampus
Day 4 Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m) Majgaon
Day 5 Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 6 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, Explore Lakeside

View of Machapuchare from Pokhara
View of Machapuchare from Pokhara

After breakfast, you'll be picked up and driven by private transfer to the domestic airport for your flight (30 minutes) to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city. This is a stunning half-hour flight along the Himalayan range where four of the world’s 14 giant mountains over 8,000 m can be seen: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu, and Shishapangma. 

Upon landing, a driver will be waiting to bring you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore or just to relax by the lake. Pokhara has plenty of great cafés, restaurants, funky shops, and yoga studios that cater to expats and adventure travelers.

Day 3: Drive from Pokhara to Astam, Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m)

Share the route with donkeys and locals
Share the route with donkeys and locals

Today you will be driven out of town, taking a scenic route to the village of Astam. Along the way, you can see magnificent views of the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhere, commonly known as Fishtail.

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

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

Day 4: Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m)

A group of Gurung women in traditional costumes going to work in Nepal
A group of 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 5: Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara

The Annapurna mountain range reflects in Lake Phewa, Pokhara
The Annapurna mountain range reflects in Lake Phewa, 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 6: 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.)