- Get to know the cultural and culinary highlights of Kathmandu
- Hike to Gurung villages through forests of rhododendron, sandalwood, and pine
- Spend the night in comfortable teahouses along the trekking route
- Enjoy views of alpine lakes, fields, and mountains—including Annapurna South
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu!||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Free day in Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek to Pothana||Pothana|
|Day 4||Trek Pothana to Landruk||Landruk|
|Day 5||Trek Landruk to Ghandruk||Ghandruk|
|Day 6||Trek Ghandruk to Nayapul, Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 7||Depart Kathmandu|
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
It's a beautiful flight into the Kathmandu Valley with views of the Himalaya and terraced valley floor. Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, one of our representatives will greet you and transport you to your hotel.
Depending on your arrival time, you'll have time to explore the city. Some popular sights include Kathmandu’s Durbar Square and its narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. There's also Swayambhunath temple, where you can watch the sunset over the valley and the Himalaya to your north.
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. Then, if it's not too late, head to the busiest bazaar in the city, Asan Tole, which offers an authentic display of spice, fish, and vegetable stands that make for great photo ops. Practice some basic Nepali phrases and chat with friendly locals!
Day 2: Free day in Kathmandu
Kathmandu has a special atmosphere during the early morning hours when the city is slowly coming to life yet not too chaotic. It's a great time to walk and explore the streets or have a chai overlooking one of the local courtyards or durbar squares. Read on about Kathmandu's cultural highlights here.
After breakfast, there are then a number of ways you can spend your day given the numerous famous sights around the Kathmandu Valley. You can use this as a free day or we can provide a local English-speaking guide who knows the city well and can explain the history and significance of the sights (along with a private jeep to take you around). For more on what to do with one day in Kathmandu, check out this article.
However you choose to spend your day, you’ll return to your hotel in Kathmandu in the early evening and meet your specialist (or one of their staff members) who will go over details of your trip, including what to expect and transport logistics.
Later in the evening, head out for dinner at one of the city's great eateries, or your specialist can arrange a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek to Pothana (6,102 feet / 1,860 m)
After an early breakfast, you'll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport to catch your flight to Pokhara. This is a city located west of Kathmandu. Your specialist can help you try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the plane for views of the Himalaya en-route.
Upon arrival, a jeep will be waiting to drive you to Phedi where the trek begins towards Pothana. The trail ascends through forests of rhododendron, magnolia, oak, sandalwood, and pine until you reach the village called Dhampus. This is an authentic Gurung village, which gives you an opportunity to look at the magnificent views of the Annapurna ranges, as well as notable peaks like Lamjung Himal.
From Dhampus, the trail continues to ascend along a stone-paved path through more forests and mossy trees (keep an eye out for orchids). Once you get to the small village of Pothana, you’ll find a range of trekker facilities including shops, teahouses, and eateries. Relax and enjoy the magnificent mountain views.
Trekking time: 4-5 hours (3.5 miles / 5.6 km)
Day 4: Trek from Pothana to Landruk
After breakfast in Pothana, you'll continue on a trail towards Landruk via the ridge to Deurali. You'll pass through rhododendron forests teeming with exotic birds, as well as friendly Gurung villages like Chandrakot, Tolka, and Bheri Kharka. Keep an eye out for a small lake and panoramic mountain views, especially of the Annapurna South, as you get higher.
The trail then descends through more scattered forests and villages with traditional houses until you reach Landruk where you'll spend the rest of the day.
Trekking time: 2-3 hours
Trekking distance: 4.5 miles (7 km)
Overnight: Landruk (5,135 feet / 1,565 m)
Day 5: Trek from Landruk to Ghandruk (6,365 feet / 1,940 m)
Enjoy the last moments of your higher elevation views with breakfast in Landruk. Then, the trail begins with a steep descent towards the Modi Khola (river) for about an hour, followed by a steep ascent of 2-3 hours through scattered villages to Ghandruk, with great views of the Himalaya en route.
Eventually, you'll reach the village of Ghandruk, one of the largest Gurung settlements in western Nepal. Once here, you will have time to enjoy the landscapes and snow-capped peaks like Gangapura, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail), and Mount Annapurna.
If time permits, visit the Annapurna Mountain Conservation Area Project (ACAP) headquarters. The ACAP is the first conservation area and the largest protected area in Nepal. Rich in biodiversity, the area offers over 1,000 species of flowering plants, mammals, amphibians, and birds. You can learn about tourism management (and its effect on the environment) and activities that benefit local communities.
Trekking time: 4-5 hours (2.5 miles / 4 km)
Day 6: Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul, Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Start today with an early morning breakfast in Ghandruk and then trek past small villages and picturesque rice fields to reach Nayapul. Once you arrive, you'll meet your private jeep transfer waiting to take you back to Pokhara where you'll catch a flight back to Kathmandu.
The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy at leisure. You can shop for souvenirs or explore the capital's streets on foot, bicycle, or rickshaw, seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip. And for a celebratory meal, here are some ideas for how to spend your last dinner in Nepal, including French, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern options.
Driving time: 1.5 hours
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Trekking distance: 5.3 miles (8.6 km)
Day 7: Depart Kathmandu
It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home. It's good to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure.