Annapurna Explorer Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia

Annapurna Explorer

Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia

Hiking
16 days
2020

Sun, Jan 12

Sun, Jan 26

€1,220

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Overview

Trek through the incredible Annapurna region and be awed by the Nepalese Himalayas. These snow-capped peaks, mist-shrouded valleys, isolated communities and remote monasteries will inspire those with a bold spirit and a yearning for a definitive nature experience. Reach altitudes of more than 5000 m, discover the ancestral traditions of the local people and immerse yourself completely in the spectacular mountain wilderness of the Annapurna Circuit.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Kathmandu
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. Please arrive by 2pm on Day 1 as we will have an important group briefing. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. Kathmandu, the colourful capital of Nepal, is a fascinating blend of traditional architecture and symbols of the 20th Century. Its rich artistic and cultural heritage is evident where ornately carved balconies mingle with beautiful shrines and temples. If you arrive early we recommend you check out Durbar Square with it's temples, markets and busy atmosphere. It is also worth the climb to visit the Swayambhunath - the 'monkey temple'. Explore the network of street markets and alley bazaars and Pashupatinath. For those with a few extra days in Kathmandu, the neighbouring towns of Patan and Bhaktapur are well worth a visit.
Day 2Ngadi
This morning, drive to Besisahar (approximately 5.5 hours) to immediately immerse yourself in the spectacular mountain wilderness that encompasses the Annapurna Range. At 8,091 m, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing, creating magnificent panoramas from any viewpoint. After lunch you’ll begin your trek straight away, heading to Ngadi. Throughout this trip’s trekking you’ll come across isolated mountain communities, each with different ancestral customs and traditions, meaning a visually and culturally memorable expedition. You’ll meet warm and welcoming locals herding yaks and goats on the grassy pastures and visit their monasteries and temples, pass waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers, walk along broad plains and hike up high mountain passes. When you arrive in Besisahar, hit the trail that takes you through Besisahar bazaar leading downstream, followed by the climb up the rocky steps. There are several ups and downs as the trail makes its way through sub-tropical forests and rice paddies of Sera. Further along, traverse a suspension bridge across Khudi Khola and arrive at Bhulbule. Resume on the trail that traverses the Marshyangdi River on a long suspension bridge as Bhulbule is left behind. Once the Ngadi River is crossed, the trail gently leads upwards through scrub forests and across landslides for a short distance, which then leads to few teashops and cold-drink stalls located opposite the rice paddies of Lampata, eventually leading to Bahundanda (hill of the Brahmins), an attractive village in the saddle of a long ridge.
Day 3Chamje (1430m / 4691ft)
Dazzling cascades en route as the trail makes a way through a deep wooded canyon with few stretches steep climb.
Day 4Dharapani (2100m / 6889ft)
Trek continues through the deep wooded canyon embellished by stunning waterfalls as you venture into the Manang district. Much of the trail ascends throughout the day.
Day 5Chame (2710m / 8891ft)
Marking the end of the great Marsyangdi gorge, make a steep climb to Timang, then the trail settles into gentler slopes as the vegetation transforms from dense pine forests to drier slopes. The district headquarters of Manang, Chame, is the largest settlement after Besisahar.
Day 6Pisang (3300m / 10826ft)
A slew of breathtaking scenery this day as the trail goes through a deep gorge, then past the great sweeping slope of Paungi Danda. Mostly easy walk with few ascending stretches of trail.
Day 7Manang (3540m / 11614ft)
Trek the northern trail via upper Pisang and Ghyaru, an area renowned for its spectacular views. It is now drier and you are sure to come across local farmers herding yaks. (Tip: Tibetan yaks take a special interest in people wearing red!).
Day 8Manang (3540m / 11614ft)
Spend a day here to acclimatise to the altitude by doing some high climbing then return to the lower altitude of Manang to sleep. Manang, a village of about 500 flat-roofed houses offers excellent views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna and Chulu East.
Day 9Yak Kharka (4018m / 13182ft)
Covering approximately 7 kilometres, steadily climb into the alpine region, taking around five hours.
Day 10Phedi (4450m / 14599ft)
Due to the altitude, take the next section of the climb at a leisurely pace, which means we'll have time to admire the magnificent views from this part of the route. Once at Phedi, there will be plenty of time to rest and acclimatise to the higher elevations ready for the next part of the climb where we will encounter the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on this Annapurna Explorer.
Day 11Muktinath (3800m / 12467ft)
Setting off very early to cross the Thorung La Pass (5,416 m), the trail is steep but easy to follow. After between four to six hours climbing, reach the Pass's peak, adorned with prayer flags, a traditional stupa (chorten) and stone cairns built by travellers. Stop to admire the stunning views and marvel at how far you've climbed. Further along, the trail descends steeply proceeding towards Chabarbu. From here on, the trail crosses meadows, drops into a deep ravine, climbs out and follows a wide trail into Muktinath, a pilgrimage site held in great reverence by both Hindus and Buddhists.
Day 12Jomsom (2800m / 9186ft)
Veer off the main trekking trail to make a side trip to an ancient village of Purang. Further up from the village, continue to take the less frequented route going past another village with a medieval feel to it, Jhong. From Jhong, descend to the Jhing Khola (river) following the course which you emerge on to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni, there is the option to rejoin the Annapurna circuit route to make a gradual descent to Jomsom or take an optional public bus. Total walking time today approximately 7 hours.
Day 13Pokhara
Early morning flight to Pokhara (approximately 20 minutes). Toast your achievement over a celebratory dinner in the character-filled Nepalese town of Pokhara (827 m). Pokhara is a peaceful lakeside location which rests beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna Range. Sip on a cold brew and gaze up at the dramatic pass that you have just conquered. There are plenty of lakeside cafes where you can enjoy international cuisine, while the main street is full of shops and stalls selling a wide range of Nepali and Tibetan souvenirs. Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship. Take time to wander around the town and get to know its friendly residents. Your simple hotel in Pokhara is set 100 m back from Fewa Lake and with a back-drop of Machhapuchhare (Fishtail mountain) rising beyond. It has twin-bedded rooms with attached bath and a hot shower facility.
Day 14Pokhara
Enjoy a free day in Pokhara to unwind, relax, and give those muscles a rest after all that trekking. Your leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities. It is worth taking a boat for a row out on the lake, especially if the weather's fine. The lakeside area has great shopping opportunities and internet cafes. Pokhara has an interesting old area as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery. Perhaps visit the Peace Pagoda, where spectacular views of the mountains await. You can see the Annapurnas from here, and the famous fishtail peak, Machhapuchhare, and back across to Pokhara. You will also visit the fascinating International Mountain Museum to learn some amazing tales of past climbing expeditions.
Day 15Kathmandu
Return to Kathmandu by private vehicle (approx. 7 hours including stops) for further sightseeing or for some last minute shopping for friends and family at home. The options are plentiful – Kathmandu has many markets where Nepali specialties include clothes, embroidery, carpets and ceramics. On arrival in Kathmandu, check back into your hotel.
Day 16Kathmandu
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Check out the range of Urban Adventures in Kathmandu if you've got some more time here.

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Trip title

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Trip code

HNXR
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Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Trek through the incredible Annapurna region and be awed by the Nepalese Himalayas. These snow-capped peaks, mist-shrouded valleys, isolated communities and remote monasteries will inspire those with a bold spirit and a yearning for a definitive nature experience. Reach altitudes of more than 5000 m, discover the ancestral traditions of the local people and immerse yourself completely in the spectacular mountain wilderness of the Annapurna Circuit.

Style

Original

Themes

Walking & Trekking

Transport

Private vehicle,Plane

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

TREKKING AT HIGH ALTITUDES (over 3500m) This trip includes strenuous trekking at altitudes of over 3500m. We take this activity very seriously, which is why we have one of the best safety records for tour operators in this region in our over 30 years of operating treks in the region. You will need to be in great health and have excellent fitness to attempt this trip, as well as be committed to train to ensure you are suitably physically prepared for the challenge. Please have a read of this training manual to help you prepare for your trek. http://www.intrepidtravel.be/sites/intrepid/files/teal/Intrepid_Trekking-Training-Manual.pdf

Joining point

Hotel Marshyangdi

Joining point description

Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com

Joining point instructions

There are two pre-paid taxi booths inside the terminal, one on each side as you exit the baggage claim area. They have fixed rates of NPR800 to anywhere in the Thamel area from 6am-8pm and NPR1000 from 8pm-6am. Otherwise you will need to bargain hard from the taxi rank outside of the airport - aim for NPR600. The drive into Thamel takes 30 to 40mins dependent on the traffic. Please be aware that there may be porters outside the terminal offering their services for a fee. If you do not wish to use their services, be ready to kindly but firmly let them know. Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs outside. Look for our representative holding a sign with your name on it. If you have any trouble locating your transfer rep, or if your flight is going to be delayed, please call: +977 980 112 3617 The hotel is approximately 200 metres north from the Kathmandu Guest House and about 40 metres north-west from the Rum Doodle restaurant Normal check in time at the hotel is after 12:00.

Finish point

Hotel Marshyangdi

Finish point description

Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com

Finish point instructions

A taxi to the airport will cost about NPR400 from 06.00-20.00 and NRP500 from 20.00-06.00. Hotel reception or your leader can help you organise a taxi. Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later in the day or evening, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip and is valid for nights 1 & 15 in Kathmandu and night 13 & 14 in Pokhara only. The nature of tea houses means there is not enough rooms for single supplements whilst on trek. 2. Please bring 2 passport size photographs for your trekking permit to the group meeting. 3. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip. Please also see here for information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness 4. There is a dirt road that stretches from Muktinath to Jomsom and Tatpaoni. When weather conditions allow, we use an alternate track for this portion of the trek to avoid the road as much as possible. 5. This trip was previously called Annapurna Explorer.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Communications

WIFI: Hotels in Kathmandu generally have excellent WiFi connections. Most hotels offer free WiFi in public areas, with some also offering in room WIFI, sometimes for an additional fee. While trekking WiFi may be available in tea houses and lodges for a small cost. The higher you go the more the use of WiFi and internet will cost, and likely the slower the speed. Your tour leader will be able to offer some advice on communications in remote areas of the country. Please note that most teahouses do not have electrical outlets in rooms to charge devices but are shared in the main dining area, for an additional fee. Past travellers have found portable solar chargers to be very useful.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. NEPAL: All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, land borders (including borders with India & Tibet) and on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. Getting a visa at the airport or land borders can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when travellers are asked to show proof of exit from the country, ie flight tickets. You may also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars (subject to change, cash only). Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. The following costs were correct at time of writing: - Multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25 - Multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40 - Multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$100 Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit, a transit visa can be issued on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and one photo is required. Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website www.timeanddate.com to be very useful.

Why we love it

Test your body and mind, then take a few days to unwind and reminisce among the temples and pagodas of Pokhara and Kathmandu

Is this trip right for you

This trip involves an 11 day trek at high altitude (up to and above 5,000 metres) – precautions and acclimatisation are undertaken, but be aware of the effects altitude can have. See here for more info: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness See our guide to trekking in the region here to help decide if this trip is what you are looking for in a holiday: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/annapurna-circuit-hiking-guide/ An excellent level of fitness is required on this trip, with treks of up to 9 hours a day at high altitude. Accommodation on this route is simple teahouses, which also allows you to experience the friendly spirit of the local Nepalese. Thorong La pass is occasionally closed in winter months due to heavy snowfall. Please read our packing list for required equipment carefully, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to bring it all with you – you can hire/ buy some of it in Kathmandu. Some travellers enjoy Pokhara so much that they decide they want to stay extra days rather than continuing with the group to Kathmandu. Others decide that they would prefer to fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu to conclude the trip instead of travelling overland. You are welcome to sign off the trip to do either of these, however we aren't able to reimburse any unused services or cover the cost of alternate onward travel arrangements.  Trying to decide between trekking in the Annapurna or Everest regions? This might help you decide: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/annapurna-vs-everest/

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. AIR POLLUTION: Air quality in Nepal can be poor, especially in winter. Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution. Seek medical advice if you're concerned about the effects of air pollution. ALTITUDE SICKNESS: Travellers to altitudes higher than 2,500m are at risk of altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). This can be life threatening and affect anyone, even people who are very physically fit. There is a higher risk for those who have had altitude sickness before, who exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the altitude, or who have health problems that affect breathing. If your tour travels to high altitude, see your doctor for advice specific to you and your situation before you depart. It is important to be aware of the normal altitude symptoms that you may encounter BUT NOT worry about: - Periods of sleeplessness - Occasional loss of appetite - Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude - Unexpected momentary shortness of breath, day and night - Periodic breathing that wakes you occasionally - Blocked nose - Dry cough - Mild headache If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy or experience other symptoms, please be sure to let your group leader know immediately so that we can monitor your condition. Please be aware that should your group leader deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, they will arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness On some days this trip may ascend faster than commonly published recommended ascent rates at altitude. However, based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors, and in conjunction with our own risk assessments we consider that the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. If you have concerns about this, please speak to your booking representative. All our leaders in the Himalayas are trained in the use of a PAC bag (Portable Altitude Chamber) and this is carried on all trips which go above 4,200m. The PAC bag is used in an emergency only to treat altitude sickness in the mountains. A First Aid kit is carried with the group and all our leaders are First Aid trained. Please ensure that your travel insurance policy does cover you up to the maximum altitude on this trip, and includes helicopter evacuation. Please take proof of this with you on the trip, as you will need to show it to the leader. MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES: Malaria is a risk in some areas of Nepal including Chitwan National Park. Dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis also occur, including on occasion in Kathmandu. Protect yourself against insect bites by wearing adequate protection, including repellent. MEDICAL FACILITIES AND TREATMENT: Medical facilities in Nepal are very limited, particularly outside Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, treatment at international-standard clinics is expensive and up-front payment for services is generally required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment, including evacuation by helicopter.

Food and dietary requirements

FOOD IN NEPAL: We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can meal trekker's appetites differ quite widely. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Vegetarians are well catered for in Nepal. How much you need to spend per day will vary, but it could be anything up to US$60 per day for meals, snacks and drinks. Prices tend to get higher the higher you go on trek in response to the difficulty of getting supplies to the teahouses. In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/guide-to-nepali-cuisine/ ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE: Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.

Money matters

NEPAL: The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali rupee (NPR). Its symbol is often displayed as Rs. USD are also widely accepted in Nepal. ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur. Make sure you carry sufficient cash to cover your needs when travelling outside of these cities. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Namche, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the park) and Bhaktapur. Credit cards are not widely accepted. The Government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes in Nepal. You should ensure you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may be fined. Please note that most establishments in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded and they can be very difficult to exchange or extra fees added when exchanging at banks. Please ensure that you have new, clean notes. Before departing on a trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks, in the smaller denominations where possible, as there are no ATMs and larger notes (such as 1000R) can be difficult to change. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. Suggested budget for meals not included: USD500 NEPAL: If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Your Group Leader: You should consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Other trekking crew ( Assistant Guides and Porters): Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter carrying your luggage and assistant guide/s in addition to your leader. We suggest US$4 each traveller per day which will be distributed among all porters and assistant guides. The Group leader is not responsible for distributing the tipping to the trekking crew but will assist you and make appropriate recommendations after the trek. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per person, per day for local guides. (Including city tour guides, jungle guides, rafting guides, assistant trek guides) Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$2-3 per person, per day is generally appropriate. Local transport: For a city tour we suggest US$2 per person, per day. Hotel porters: NPR50-100 is adequate for porters that assist you with bags to your room. Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise 5-10% of the total bill amount is appropriate. NOTE: Please don't tip with coins or notes of or less than NPR50, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip. Intrepid provide an individual duffel bag to carry your trekking gear. The weight limit per person is 10kg each. Porters carry two bags each as well as a their own backpack. Porters weight limit is 25kg each. Please keep the weight and bulk of your trek bag to a minimum by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will be all you need. However, as the weather conditions in the Himalayas are often unpredictable, be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect it from the weather - dry clothes are essential for your comfort. Your trek leader will assist you in packing your kitbag and can advise what to bring and what can be left behind in Kathmandu. Day pack - Your day pack must have the capacity for the items you will be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, spare trousers, warm clothing, water bottles, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity. You only need to carry your day pack when trekking each day.  ESSENTIAL TREKKING EQUIPMENT Trekking boots (broken in) Gaiters (for winter departures Dec-Feb only - can be hired in Kathmandu if required) Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required) Camp footwear (ie sneakers, thongs or booties) Several pairs of high quality hiking socks T-Shirts - highly recommended are synthetic t-shirt styles that wick away moisture Thermal underwear/layers Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required) Warm mid layers (fleece/micro fibre) Trousers - lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers (can be purchased in Kathmandu) Shorts or skirt for summer Tracksuit or fleece pants for even Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb) Warm hat & sun hat  Scarf/neck warmer Gloves and mitts - waterproof and warm. Sunglasses with UV protection Head torch (w spare batteries) Sunscreen and lip balm Light weight towel or sarong Personal first aid kit Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper Hand sanitizer gel Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars (bring zip lock bags from home) OPTIONAL GEAR Pocket knife Insect repellent Ear plugs Walking poles Extra zip lock bags Hot water bottle (winter months) SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET A good quality, warm sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided at tea houses. Please note that sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your joining meeting. If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet, which adds another layer of warmth. In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet is warmer. If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. We recommend a four season bag with a rating to around -10c. In Winter (Dec-Feb) a five seasons bag is recommended. WATER BOTTLES It is essential to bring 2 x 1lt water bottles to refill along the way.  While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include: - purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur. - 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather. CASH: Before departing on your trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks during the trek - in the smaller denominations where possible, there are no ATM's and it can be harder to change a NPR1000 note. OTHER GUIDES & FURTHER TRAVEL: For other guides to packing for treks: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/ If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Climate and seasonal

SEASONAL INFORMATION: Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season: JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/nepal-during-monsoon-season/ MAR - APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek. OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season. DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local office in Kathmandu: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Intrepid Emergency contact: +977 980 112 3617

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING: While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for protection of Animals) advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/elephants-welfare PORTERS: Our porters are valued members of our trekking teams. We operate our treks according to standards that provide respectful, safe and fair working conditions not only in Nepal, but on all our trips globally. For more information on porter welfare, see https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/porter-policy NEPAL Dress codes are quite relaxed in tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara, but much more conservative in other parts of the country. Remove shoes before entering certain temples and holy places and be aware that non-Hindus may not be permitted at some religious sites. Dress modestly, take care not to offend and ask your leader if you are unsure if something is appropriate.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Nepal include: *Forget Me Not Forget Me Not rescue and reintegrate ‘paper orphans’ to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. In Nepal, there are currently 16,886 children in orphanages and up to 80% could be raised by at least one of their parents if given support. Many of the children have been taken from their families, trafficked into orphanages and used to generate funds. Last year Forget Me Not received 27% of all children rescued from orphanages in Nepal. Rescued children are given complete medical care including psychological, physical and overall wellbeing assessments. Individual case plans are developed and missions determined to trace each child’s family and work towards reunification and reintegration. https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/forget-me-not/ *Seven Women works to economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation. www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/seven-women/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/meet-kathmandus-hidden-artisans-the-extraordinary-seven-women/ For more information on our projects in Nepal, or to make a donation, visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=nepal

Accommodation notes

TEAHOUSES: Accommodation at local lodges - better known as teahouses - are simple but comfortable. Toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse, travellers are provided with small twin share rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in high seasons, and in places where there are limited number of teahouses, travellers may have to make do with dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity, depending on solar powered lighting instead. In more remote regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the ground. Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but occasionally a hot shower means a bucket of hot water, enough to wash your body. Electricity to charge devices as well as WiFi is usually for an additional fee when available.

Transport notes

KATHMANDU AIRPORT CLOSURES: Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), Nepal's only international airport, will partially close beginning in April 2019 for repairs to its sole runway. The 3050 m (10,007 ft) runway will be repaved beginning the first week of April and construction is expected to be completed before June 2019. KTM will close daily from 22:00 (local time) to 08:00. Following the runway re-construction, work will begin on the taxiway. Flight disruptions are possible during the construction period. Trips that included flights to/from Lukla will be affected, as flights can't operate in the morning hours. From 1st April - 1st June 2019 we will arrive/depart from Ramechhap (also known as Manthali) Airport instead of Kathmandu. The airport is located 130km (approx. 4-5 hours drive) from Kathmandu. For customers traveling to or from Nepal during the anticipated construction time we advise to confirm the status of their flight and anticipate possible flight delays and disruptions. AIR TRAVEL: Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are often delayed due to poor weather and there have been occasions when groups have had to have their treks rescheduled. Your local leader will give you the most up to date information regarding delays to flights. Nepal's only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, has a single runway that services both domestic and international flights. Cancellations and delays are frequent, especially during peak tourist seasons or in poor weather. Travellers have on occasion missed international connections as a result of this, particularly if flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are delayed. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and contact numbers for your airlines before departure. LUGGAGE LIMITS: Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense. TRAVEL BETWEEN KATHMANDU & POKHARA: On itineraries that include road travel between these destinations, past travellers have often decided to fly this route independently to avoid the long overland journey (200km, approx 6+ hours). The flight takes around 35mins. Should you decide to fly, this will be at your own expense with no refunds for road travel available. ROAD TRAVEL: Roadworks and infrastructure projects can cause significant delays on major roads within cities and highways between destinations. Road travel can also be disrupted due to demonstrations and bandhs (strikes) without warning. Major roadworks are currently ongoing in and around Kathmandu and the roads to Chitwan National Park. Delays, heavy traffic, poor road conditions and dust are a reality of road travel in Nepal. MONSOON: The monsoon season is from June to September and weather conditions can disrupt travel during this time due to flooding and landslides. Disruption of air travel and airport closures are also possible. Be prepared that the itinerary may need to change at short notice.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (3 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Teahouse (10 nights)

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Kathmandu
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. Please arrive by 2pm on Day 1 as we will have an important group briefing. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. Kathmandu, the colourful capital of Nepal, is a fascinating blend of traditional architecture and symbols of the 20th Century. Its rich artistic and cultural heritage is evident where ornately carved balconies mingle with beautiful shrines and temples. If you arrive early we recommend you check out Durbar Square with it's temples, markets and busy atmosphere. It is also worth the climb to visit the Swayambhunath - the 'monkey temple'. Explore the network of street markets and alley bazaars and Pashupatinath. For those with a few extra days in Kathmandu, the neighbouring towns of Patan and Bhaktapur are well worth a visit.
Day 2Ngadi
This morning, drive to Besisahar (approximately 5.5 hours) to immediately immerse yourself in the spectacular mountain wilderness that encompasses the Annapurna Range. At 8,091 m, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing, creating magnificent panoramas from any viewpoint. After lunch you’ll begin your trek straight away, heading to Ngadi. Throughout this trip’s trekking you’ll come across isolated mountain communities, each with different ancestral customs and traditions, meaning a visually and culturally memorable expedition. You’ll meet warm and welcoming locals herding yaks and goats on the grassy pastures and visit their monasteries and temples, pass waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers, walk along broad plains and hike up high mountain passes. When you arrive in Besisahar, hit the trail that takes you through Besisahar bazaar leading downstream, followed by the climb up the rocky steps. There are several ups and downs as the trail makes its way through sub-tropical forests and rice paddies of Sera. Further along, traverse a suspension bridge across Khudi Khola and arrive at Bhulbule. Resume on the trail that traverses the Marshyangdi River on a long suspension bridge as Bhulbule is left behind. Once the Ngadi River is crossed, the trail gently leads upwards through scrub forests and across landslides for a short distance, which then leads to few teashops and cold-drink stalls located opposite the rice paddies of Lampata, eventually leading to Bahundanda (hill of the Brahmins), an attractive village in the saddle of a long ridge.
Day 3Chamje (1430m / 4691ft)
Dazzling cascades en route as the trail makes a way through a deep wooded canyon with few stretches steep climb.
Day 4Dharapani (2100m / 6889ft)
Trek continues through the deep wooded canyon embellished by stunning waterfalls as you venture into the Manang district. Much of the trail ascends throughout the day.
Day 5Chame (2710m / 8891ft)
Marking the end of the great Marsyangdi gorge, make a steep climb to Timang, then the trail settles into gentler slopes as the vegetation transforms from dense pine forests to drier slopes. The district headquarters of Manang, Chame, is the largest settlement after Besisahar.
Day 6Pisang (3300m / 10826ft)
A slew of breathtaking scenery this day as the trail goes through a deep gorge, then past the great sweeping slope of Paungi Danda. Mostly easy walk with few ascending stretches of trail.
Day 7Manang (3540m / 11614ft)
Trek the northern trail via upper Pisang and Ghyaru, an area renowned for its spectacular views. It is now drier and you are sure to come across local farmers herding yaks. (Tip: Tibetan yaks take a special interest in people wearing red!).
Day 8Manang (3540m / 11614ft)
Spend a day here to acclimatise to the altitude by doing some high climbing then return to the lower altitude of Manang to sleep. Manang, a village of about 500 flat-roofed houses offers excellent views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna and Chulu East.
Day 9Yak Kharka (4018m / 13182ft)
Covering approximately 7 kilometres, steadily climb into the alpine region, taking around five hours.
Day 10Phedi (4450m / 14599ft)
Due to the altitude, take the next section of the climb at a leisurely pace, which means we'll have time to admire the magnificent views from this part of the route. Once at Phedi, there will be plenty of time to rest and acclimatise to the higher elevations ready for the next part of the climb where we will encounter the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on this Annapurna Explorer.
Day 11Muktinath (3800m / 12467ft)
Setting off very early to cross the Thorung La Pass (5,416 m), the trail is steep but easy to follow. After between four to six hours climbing, reach the Pass's peak, adorned with prayer flags, a traditional stupa (chorten) and stone cairns built by travellers. Stop to admire the stunning views and marvel at how far you've climbed. Further along, the trail descends steeply proceeding towards Chabarbu. From here on, the trail crosses meadows, drops into a deep ravine, climbs out and follows a wide trail into Muktinath, a pilgrimage site held in great reverence by both Hindus and Buddhists.
Day 12Jomsom (2800m / 9186ft)
Veer off the main trekking trail to make a side trip to an ancient village of Purang. Further up from the village, continue to take the less frequented route going past another village with a medieval feel to it, Jhong. From Jhong, descend to the Jhing Khola (river) following the course which you emerge on to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni, there is the option to rejoin the Annapurna circuit route to make a gradual descent to Jomsom or take an optional public bus. Total walking time today approximately 7 hours.
Day 13Pokhara
Early morning flight to Pokhara (approximately 20 minutes). Toast your achievement over a celebratory dinner in the character-filled Nepalese town of Pokhara (827 m). Pokhara is a peaceful lakeside location which rests beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna Range. Sip on a cold brew and gaze up at the dramatic pass that you have just conquered. There are plenty of lakeside cafes where you can enjoy international cuisine, while the main street is full of shops and stalls selling a wide range of Nepali and Tibetan souvenirs. Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship. Take time to wander around the town and get to know its friendly residents. Your simple hotel in Pokhara is set 100 m back from Fewa Lake and with a back-drop of Machhapuchhare (Fishtail mountain) rising beyond. It has twin-bedded rooms with attached bath and a hot shower facility.
Day 14Pokhara
Enjoy a free day in Pokhara to unwind, relax, and give those muscles a rest after all that trekking. Your leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities. It is worth taking a boat for a row out on the lake, especially if the weather's fine. The lakeside area has great shopping opportunities and internet cafes. Pokhara has an interesting old area as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery. Perhaps visit the Peace Pagoda, where spectacular views of the mountains await. You can see the Annapurnas from here, and the famous fishtail peak, Machhapuchhare, and back across to Pokhara. You will also visit the fascinating International Mountain Museum to learn some amazing tales of past climbing expeditions.
Day 15Kathmandu
Return to Kathmandu by private vehicle (approx. 7 hours including stops) for further sightseeing or for some last minute shopping for friends and family at home. The options are plentiful – Kathmandu has many markets where Nepali specialties include clothes, embroidery, carpets and ceramics. On arrival in Kathmandu, check back into your hotel.
Day 16Kathmandu
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Check out the range of Urban Adventures in Kathmandu if you've got some more time here.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip title

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Trip code

HNXR

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Trek through the incredible Annapurna region and be awed by the Nepalese Himalayas. These snow-capped peaks, mist-shrouded valleys, isolated communities and remote monasteries will inspire those with a bold spirit and a yearning for a definitive nature experience. Reach altitudes of more than 5000 m, discover the ancestral traditions of the local people and immerse yourself completely in the spectacular mountain wilderness of the Annapurna Circuit.

Style

Original

Themes

Walking & Trekking

Transport

Private vehicle,Plane

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

TREKKING AT HIGH ALTITUDES (over 3500m) This trip includes strenuous trekking at altitudes of over 3500m. We take this activity very seriously, which is why we have one of the best safety records for tour operators in this region in our over 30 years of operating treks in the region. You will need to be in great health and have excellent fitness to attempt this trip, as well as be committed to train to ensure you are suitably physically prepared for the challenge. Please have a read of this training manual to help you prepare for your trek. http://www.intrepidtravel.be/sites/intrepid/files/teal/Intrepid_Trekking-Training-Manual.pdf

Joining point

Hotel Marshyangdi

Joining point description

Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com

Joining point instructions

There are two pre-paid taxi booths inside the terminal, one on each side as you exit the baggage claim area. They have fixed rates of NPR800 to anywhere in the Thamel area from 6am-8pm and NPR1000 from 8pm-6am. Otherwise you will need to bargain hard from the taxi rank outside of the airport - aim for NPR600. The drive into Thamel takes 30 to 40mins dependent on the traffic. Please be aware that there may be porters outside the terminal offering their services for a fee. If you do not wish to use their services, be ready to kindly but firmly let them know. Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs outside. Look for our representative holding a sign with your name on it. If you have any trouble locating your transfer rep, or if your flight is going to be delayed, please call: +977 980 112 3617 The hotel is approximately 200 metres north from the Kathmandu Guest House and about 40 metres north-west from the Rum Doodle restaurant Normal check in time at the hotel is after 12:00.

Finish point

Hotel Marshyangdi

Finish point description

Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com

Finish point instructions

A taxi to the airport will cost about NPR400 from 06.00-20.00 and NRP500 from 20.00-06.00. Hotel reception or your leader can help you organise a taxi. Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later in the day or evening, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip and is valid for nights 1 & 15 in Kathmandu and night 13 & 14 in Pokhara only. The nature of tea houses means there is not enough rooms for single supplements whilst on trek. 2. Please bring 2 passport size photographs for your trekking permit to the group meeting. 3. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip. Please also see here for information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness 4. There is a dirt road that stretches from Muktinath to Jomsom and Tatpaoni. When weather conditions allow, we use an alternate track for this portion of the trek to avoid the road as much as possible. 5. This trip was previously called Annapurna Explorer.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Communications

WIFI: Hotels in Kathmandu generally have excellent WiFi connections. Most hotels offer free WiFi in public areas, with some also offering in room WIFI, sometimes for an additional fee. While trekking WiFi may be available in tea houses and lodges for a small cost. The higher you go the more the use of WiFi and internet will cost, and likely the slower the speed. Your tour leader will be able to offer some advice on communications in remote areas of the country. Please note that most teahouses do not have electrical outlets in rooms to charge devices but are shared in the main dining area, for an additional fee. Past travellers have found portable solar chargers to be very useful.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. NEPAL: All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, land borders (including borders with India & Tibet) and on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. Getting a visa at the airport or land borders can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when travellers are asked to show proof of exit from the country, ie flight tickets. You may also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars (subject to change, cash only). Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. The following costs were correct at time of writing: - Multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25 - Multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40 - Multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$100 Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit, a transit visa can be issued on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and one photo is required. Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website www.timeanddate.com to be very useful.

Why we love it

Test your body and mind, then take a few days to unwind and reminisce among the temples and pagodas of Pokhara and Kathmandu

Is this trip right for you

This trip involves an 11 day trek at high altitude (up to and above 5,000 metres) – precautions and acclimatisation are undertaken, but be aware of the effects altitude can have. See here for more info: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness See our guide to trekking in the region here to help decide if this trip is what you are looking for in a holiday: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/annapurna-circuit-hiking-guide/ An excellent level of fitness is required on this trip, with treks of up to 9 hours a day at high altitude. Accommodation on this route is simple teahouses, which also allows you to experience the friendly spirit of the local Nepalese. Thorong La pass is occasionally closed in winter months due to heavy snowfall. Please read our packing list for required equipment carefully, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to bring it all with you – you can hire/ buy some of it in Kathmandu. Some travellers enjoy Pokhara so much that they decide they want to stay extra days rather than continuing with the group to Kathmandu. Others decide that they would prefer to fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu to conclude the trip instead of travelling overland. You are welcome to sign off the trip to do either of these, however we aren't able to reimburse any unused services or cover the cost of alternate onward travel arrangements.  Trying to decide between trekking in the Annapurna or Everest regions? This might help you decide: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/annapurna-vs-everest/

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. AIR POLLUTION: Air quality in Nepal can be poor, especially in winter. Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution. Seek medical advice if you're concerned about the effects of air pollution. ALTITUDE SICKNESS: Travellers to altitudes higher than 2,500m are at risk of altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). This can be life threatening and affect anyone, even people who are very physically fit. There is a higher risk for those who have had altitude sickness before, who exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the altitude, or who have health problems that affect breathing. If your tour travels to high altitude, see your doctor for advice specific to you and your situation before you depart. It is important to be aware of the normal altitude symptoms that you may encounter BUT NOT worry about: - Periods of sleeplessness - Occasional loss of appetite - Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude - Unexpected momentary shortness of breath, day and night - Periodic breathing that wakes you occasionally - Blocked nose - Dry cough - Mild headache If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy or experience other symptoms, please be sure to let your group leader know immediately so that we can monitor your condition. Please be aware that should your group leader deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, they will arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness On some days this trip may ascend faster than commonly published recommended ascent rates at altitude. However, based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors, and in conjunction with our own risk assessments we consider that the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. If you have concerns about this, please speak to your booking representative. All our leaders in the Himalayas are trained in the use of a PAC bag (Portable Altitude Chamber) and this is carried on all trips which go above 4,200m. The PAC bag is used in an emergency only to treat altitude sickness in the mountains. A First Aid kit is carried with the group and all our leaders are First Aid trained. Please ensure that your travel insurance policy does cover you up to the maximum altitude on this trip, and includes helicopter evacuation. Please take proof of this with you on the trip, as you will need to show it to the leader. MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES: Malaria is a risk in some areas of Nepal including Chitwan National Park. Dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis also occur, including on occasion in Kathmandu. Protect yourself against insect bites by wearing adequate protection, including repellent. MEDICAL FACILITIES AND TREATMENT: Medical facilities in Nepal are very limited, particularly outside Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, treatment at international-standard clinics is expensive and up-front payment for services is generally required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment, including evacuation by helicopter.

Food and dietary requirements

FOOD IN NEPAL: We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can meal trekker's appetites differ quite widely. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Vegetarians are well catered for in Nepal. How much you need to spend per day will vary, but it could be anything up to US$60 per day for meals, snacks and drinks. Prices tend to get higher the higher you go on trek in response to the difficulty of getting supplies to the teahouses. In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/guide-to-nepali-cuisine/ ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE: Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.

Money matters

NEPAL: The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali rupee (NPR). Its symbol is often displayed as Rs. USD are also widely accepted in Nepal. ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur. Make sure you carry sufficient cash to cover your needs when travelling outside of these cities. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Namche, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the park) and Bhaktapur. Credit cards are not widely accepted. The Government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes in Nepal. You should ensure you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may be fined. Please note that most establishments in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded and they can be very difficult to exchange or extra fees added when exchanging at banks. Please ensure that you have new, clean notes. Before departing on a trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks, in the smaller denominations where possible, as there are no ATMs and larger notes (such as 1000R) can be difficult to change. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. Suggested budget for meals not included: USD500 NEPAL: If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Your Group Leader: You should consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Other trekking crew ( Assistant Guides and Porters): Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter carrying your luggage and assistant guide/s in addition to your leader. We suggest US$4 each traveller per day which will be distributed among all porters and assistant guides. The Group leader is not responsible for distributing the tipping to the trekking crew but will assist you and make appropriate recommendations after the trek. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per person, per day for local guides. (Including city tour guides, jungle guides, rafting guides, assistant trek guides) Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$2-3 per person, per day is generally appropriate. Local transport: For a city tour we suggest US$2 per person, per day. Hotel porters: NPR50-100 is adequate for porters that assist you with bags to your room. Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise 5-10% of the total bill amount is appropriate. NOTE: Please don't tip with coins or notes of or less than NPR50, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip. Intrepid provide an individual duffel bag to carry your trekking gear. The weight limit per person is 10kg each. Porters carry two bags each as well as a their own backpack. Porters weight limit is 25kg each. Please keep the weight and bulk of your trek bag to a minimum by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will be all you need. However, as the weather conditions in the Himalayas are often unpredictable, be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect it from the weather - dry clothes are essential for your comfort. Your trek leader will assist you in packing your kitbag and can advise what to bring and what can be left behind in Kathmandu. Day pack - Your day pack must have the capacity for the items you will be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, spare trousers, warm clothing, water bottles, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity. You only need to carry your day pack when trekking each day.  ESSENTIAL TREKKING EQUIPMENT Trekking boots (broken in) Gaiters (for winter departures Dec-Feb only - can be hired in Kathmandu if required) Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required) Camp footwear (ie sneakers, thongs or booties) Several pairs of high quality hiking socks T-Shirts - highly recommended are synthetic t-shirt styles that wick away moisture Thermal underwear/layers Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required) Warm mid layers (fleece/micro fibre) Trousers - lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers (can be purchased in Kathmandu) Shorts or skirt for summer Tracksuit or fleece pants for even Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb) Warm hat & sun hat  Scarf/neck warmer Gloves and mitts - waterproof and warm. Sunglasses with UV protection Head torch (w spare batteries) Sunscreen and lip balm Light weight towel or sarong Personal first aid kit Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper Hand sanitizer gel Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars (bring zip lock bags from home) OPTIONAL GEAR Pocket knife Insect repellent Ear plugs Walking poles Extra zip lock bags Hot water bottle (winter months) SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET A good quality, warm sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided at tea houses. Please note that sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your joining meeting. If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet, which adds another layer of warmth. In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet is warmer. If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. We recommend a four season bag with a rating to around -10c. In Winter (Dec-Feb) a five seasons bag is recommended. WATER BOTTLES It is essential to bring 2 x 1lt water bottles to refill along the way.  While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include: - purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur. - 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather. CASH: Before departing on your trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks during the trek - in the smaller denominations where possible, there are no ATM's and it can be harder to change a NPR1000 note. OTHER GUIDES & FURTHER TRAVEL: For other guides to packing for treks: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/ If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Climate and seasonal

SEASONAL INFORMATION: Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season: JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/nepal-during-monsoon-season/ MAR - APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek. OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season. DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local office in Kathmandu: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Intrepid Emergency contact: +977 980 112 3617

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING: While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for protection of Animals) advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/elephants-welfare PORTERS: Our porters are valued members of our trekking teams. We operate our treks according to standards that provide respectful, safe and fair working conditions not only in Nepal, but on all our trips globally. For more information on porter welfare, see https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/porter-policy NEPAL Dress codes are quite relaxed in tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara, but much more conservative in other parts of the country. Remove shoes before entering certain temples and holy places and be aware that non-Hindus may not be permitted at some religious sites. Dress modestly, take care not to offend and ask your leader if you are unsure if something is appropriate.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Nepal include: *Forget Me Not Forget Me Not rescue and reintegrate ‘paper orphans’ to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. In Nepal, there are currently 16,886 children in orphanages and up to 80% could be raised by at least one of their parents if given support. Many of the children have been taken from their families, trafficked into orphanages and used to generate funds. Last year Forget Me Not received 27% of all children rescued from orphanages in Nepal. Rescued children are given complete medical care including psychological, physical and overall wellbeing assessments. Individual case plans are developed and missions determined to trace each child’s family and work towards reunification and reintegration. https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/forget-me-not/ *Seven Women works to economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation. www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/seven-women/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/meet-kathmandus-hidden-artisans-the-extraordinary-seven-women/ For more information on our projects in Nepal, or to make a donation, visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=nepal

Accommodation notes

TEAHOUSES: Accommodation at local lodges - better known as teahouses - are simple but comfortable. Toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse, travellers are provided with small twin share rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in high seasons, and in places where there are limited number of teahouses, travellers may have to make do with dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity, depending on solar powered lighting instead. In more remote regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the ground. Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but occasionally a hot shower means a bucket of hot water, enough to wash your body. Electricity to charge devices as well as WiFi is usually for an additional fee when available.

Transport notes

KATHMANDU AIRPORT CLOSURES: Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), Nepal's only international airport, will partially close beginning in April 2019 for repairs to its sole runway. The 3050 m (10,007 ft) runway will be repaved beginning the first week of April and construction is expected to be completed before June 2019. KTM will close daily from 22:00 (local time) to 08:00. Following the runway re-construction, work will begin on the taxiway. Flight disruptions are possible during the construction period. Trips that included flights to/from Lukla will be affected, as flights can't operate in the morning hours. From 1st April - 1st June 2019 we will arrive/depart from Ramechhap (also known as Manthali) Airport instead of Kathmandu. The airport is located 130km (approx. 4-5 hours drive) from Kathmandu. For customers traveling to or from Nepal during the anticipated construction time we advise to confirm the status of their flight and anticipate possible flight delays and disruptions. AIR TRAVEL: Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are often delayed due to poor weather and there have been occasions when groups have had to have their treks rescheduled. Your local leader will give you the most up to date information regarding delays to flights. Nepal's only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, has a single runway that services both domestic and international flights. Cancellations and delays are frequent, especially during peak tourist seasons or in poor weather. Travellers have on occasion missed international connections as a result of this, particularly if flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are delayed. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and contact numbers for your airlines before departure. LUGGAGE LIMITS: Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense. TRAVEL BETWEEN KATHMANDU & POKHARA: On itineraries that include road travel between these destinations, past travellers have often decided to fly this route independently to avoid the long overland journey (200km, approx 6+ hours). The flight takes around 35mins. Should you decide to fly, this will be at your own expense with no refunds for road travel available. ROAD TRAVEL: Roadworks and infrastructure projects can cause significant delays on major roads within cities and highways between destinations. Road travel can also be disrupted due to demonstrations and bandhs (strikes) without warning. Major roadworks are currently ongoing in and around Kathmandu and the roads to Chitwan National Park. Delays, heavy traffic, poor road conditions and dust are a reality of road travel in Nepal. MONSOON: The monsoon season is from June to September and weather conditions can disrupt travel during this time due to flooding and landslides. Disruption of air travel and airport closures are also possible. Be prepared that the itinerary may need to change at short notice.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (3 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Teahouse (10 nights)
Time until next start
58
days
12
hours
:
11
min
:
42
sec

Price

€903

Duration

16 days
2020

Sun, Jan 12

Sun, Jan 26

€1,220

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Overview
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Introduction
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Transport
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Joining point
Joining point description
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Important information
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Why we love it
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Health
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What to take
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A couple of rules
Feedback
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Responsible travel
The Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation notes
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Your fellow travellers
Itinerary disclaimer
Accommodation
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