“Hi! We are 2 friends looking to do a challenging remote trek. We have limited time, and would therefore be interested in looking to make the most of our time. Is it possible to get a helicopter rather than jeep to cut down some of the the approach? Friends of ours trekked the Everest BC trek but said it was a bit too crowded. How is Annapurna? Please feel free to suggest more interesting treks if you have ideas. Thanks!”
Amanda Delecca, a local specialist from Nepal, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Manaslu Circuit Trek - The Ultimate off-the-beaten-path Trek in Nepal - 13 to 19 days.
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17-day trip to Nepal
Summary of the trip planning conversation
You're quite right that Everest BC does get quite busy, I would also categorise Annapurna Circuit in the 'too busy' basket as well.
In the time you've got and wanting to avoid the 'trekking highway', I recommend the Manaslu Circuit. You can use a helicopter to shorten the approach. It's a beautiful trek with a high pass (5200m) and some stunning (!) scenery along the way. I think now is also the right time to do Manaslu, before it gets too busy, but there are enough trekkers and interest in the area that there are tea house facilities the whole way.
I'll post some information on it below, it is possible to do it in 10 days with heli, Would you prefer an extra day in Kathmandu after your trek or would you like to use it on your trek and depart the day after you get back from your trek?
Kathmandu is an incredible city and I'm proudly biased as it's also where I call home :) I definitely think it's worth having a look around here, Nepal is a very diverse country and the rural areas compared to the city give you a little insight into the diversity.
Generally the shorter the trek the more busy it is, as its more accessible to more people. So for something that's off the beaten path, I recommend Nar Phu Valley which you can do in 10 days. It's quite a change of pace from Manaslu as you get into long days and altitude quite quickly. There are limited tea houses along the way, so it's necessary to make it to the scheduled village each night. Like Manaslu, there's one high pass. The scenery is quite different as it takes you north from the Annapurna Circuit into the rain shadow and arid terrain of the Tibetan Plateau.
I'll pop some info on it below. Let me know what you think!