This trip is a must for those who want to get close and personal to the highest peaks on the planet and experience the amazing beauty of Nepal’s wildlife. However, this is not a classic tour: yes, it will take you to visit one of the most beautiful countries in Asia, but it will also have a big impact on the lives of many Nepalese rural families. Indeed, this is a solidarity trip, so all proceeds from this trip will be donated to the AWASUKA program, which installs improved cooking stoves for the poorest communities in rural Nepal. Through this trip, you will not only experience Nepal and its natural beauty, but you will be able to support a humanitarian project.
Most importantly, you will be able to visit the Program office in Bhimphedi, speak with the beneficiaries, and get a guided tour by the Program Director to see with your own eyes how the funds are being used and what their impact is. Additionally, you’ll also get a chance to know the history of Bhimphedi, a little village in the Mahabarat range which was the gateway to Kathmandu Valley until the 50s, once the first plane landed in Nepal.
This trip will be a 14-days itinerary which will give you a general overview on the natural marvels Nepal has to offer. After arriving in Kathmandu, you will visit the main attractions. From Kathmandu you will visit the Hindu temple in Manakamana through an exciting cable ride and then go Pokhara. Our experienced guides will then guide you on the Annapurna-Poon Hill trek, a relatively easy walk meandering through villages and rhododendron forests. This invigorating trek showcases some of the best views of Annapurna and neighboring Himalayas especially from the Poon Hill. The added presence of rice terraces completes the picture making Poon Hill a photographer’s paradise. You will then trek to the beautiful Gurung village of
Ghandruk and enjoy the ethnic hospitality along with the cultural magnificence of Gurung Museum. Trekking through rhododendron forests that bloom with red flowers in springtime, descending to Birethanti, and passing by waterfalls and a few small villages and settlements will be a thrilling experience. You will then reach Naya Pul, the end of this marvelous trek, and then drive to Pokhara. The 5-day Trek itinerary is designed for the trekkers who want a less demanding but nonetheless beautiful trek, especially with their family and kids. You will then be taken to Bandipur and later to Chitwan National Park, to enjoy its incredible flora and fauna and its cultural activities. You will finally be taken to the AWASUKA Program project area in Bhimphedi, where you will be able to visit our beneficiaries and talk to them, as well as to discover the historical heritage of this village.
On your arrival at Kathmandu, Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be met by are presentative of Sacred Himalaya and taken to your hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Swayambhunath Temple – Kathmandu Durbar Square
This will be the first of your sightseeing days in Kathmandu. In the morning we will head for Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple. Swayambhunath is a UNESCO, World Heritage and one of the must see sights of the Valley. We will walk the 365 steps up to the Stupa. There is much to see, not least the three large Buddha statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche, in the park to the rear. In the afternoon we visit the Durbar square in Kathmandu.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu to Manakamana
After breakfast we leave Kathmandu for our next destination: Manakamana Temple. Manakamana Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati and it is situated in the village of Manakamana. Overnight at Manakamana.
Manakamana to Pokhara
After breakfast we drive towards the beautiful lake city Pokhara. We will be in Pokhara at lunch time. After lunch you will have the opportunity to explore one of the many local attractions:
– The Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal, adds to the enthralling beauty of Pokhara. The changing light of the sun on the Phewa Lake provides aesthetic calmness to the lovers of nature. On the eastern side of the lake, visitors can find a cluster of restaurants and pubs. Along with these attractions, boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, bird watching, fishing and angling are some of the activities which you can participate in at Phewa Lake. In the midst of the lake stands the Varahi Temple, where animal and bird sacrifices are offered to the goddess Varahi by Hindu worshippers every Saturday.
– Davi’s Fall is a charming little waterfall located about 2 km southwest of the Pokhara Airport on the Siddhartha Highway. Also located very close to Davi’s Fall is Gupteswar Gupha, a mysteriously sacred cave that holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is perfectly preserved here in the condition it was discovered in. Locally, it is also named as Gupteswar Mahadev.
– World Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa, is an impressive site in Pokhara situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa Lake. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the Buddhist shrine is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range
and Pokhara City.
Pokhara – Ulleri (2050m/6725 ft)
After Breakfast it’s an hour drive to Nayapul (50km). We pass through sub-tropical valley forests, sometimes on the carved trail on the side of the cliff. After lunch, we cross the Bhurungdi Khola river via a bridge to the village of Thike Dhunga. The Ulleri Hill with thousands of steps and boulders that continually go upward will really prove a test of our stamina. We reach Ulleri by late afternoon. Overnight in Ulleri.
Ulleri to Ghorepani (2,750m/9,020 ft): 4 – 5 hours trek
After breakfast, we ascend to the Ghorepani village. The name Ghorepani in Nepali means ‘horse-water’ due to it being an important campsite for traders before it became a trekker’s stop. Ghorepani is an interesting place with small shops and stalls for selling local products and crafts. The town has two parts: one in a saddle and the other a few hundred feet lower. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. Since Ghorepani lies quite higher than our previous stop, we begin to feel the chilly weather especially in the evenings. Overnight in Ghorepani.
Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,700m/8,860ft) with a visit to Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft): 6 – 7 hours
We get up early in the morning to reach Poon Hill just in time to see the sunrise over the Himalayas. Poon Hill is the most popular destination to enjoy close up views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and enjoy the sunrise from these majestic mountains. From Poon Hill, we also get incredible views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains. After enjoying a cup of coffee, we trek back to Ghorepani. We have breakfast here then walk towards the east and climb a ridge. Our trail descends through rhododendron forests and waterfalls before we reach Tadapani. Overnight in Tadapani.
Tadapani to Ghandruk and Drive back to Pokhara
From Tadapani, we make a steep descent through the dense and dark forest. This part of the trek will be through a thick forest of old rhododendron trees. When the rhododendron trees are in bloom, these forests actually turn into amazing gardens. By afternoon, depending upon the season of travel, we also get to enjoy cherry blossoms in bloom on the slopes on the other side of the ravine. After trekking some more minutes, we enter the village of Ghandruk, a slope settlement with stone houses mostly inhabited by the Gurung people. Along with enjoying the stunningly close-up towering views of Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains, we also acquaint ourselves with the simple but rich cultural traditions of the Gurung people at the Gurung Museum in Ghandruk. After lunch in Ghandruk we will visit around the Gurung Museum and we will descend to Chuile and drive back to Pokhara by Jeep.
Overnight at Pokhara
Pokhara to Bandipur
After breakfast we will drive from Pokhara to Bandipur. It will take around 3-4 hours up to Bandipur., where we will visit this well-preserved old town.
Overnight at Bandipur.
Bandipur to Chitwan
Early in the morning we have breakfast and drive from the beautiful old town of Bandipur to Chitwan. After checking in to the hotel, there will be a briefing on the activities we will be engaging in during our stay here. We will then walk on the banks of the Rapti River to enjoy the sunset in the sub-ropical jungles of Chitwan and the bird-watching, as Chitwan National Park is also home to a large variety of resident and migratory birds. An evening dinner with a brief cultural program showcasing the tribal dances -unique to this region of Nepal- will end our day.
Overnight at Chitwan.
Chitwan Jungle Safari Activities
Early in the morning, we will be mounted on elephants for a jungle safari through dense grasslands to witness wildlife in its natural habitat. After breakfast, we visit the elephant stables and even enjoy bathing the elephants. During the afternoon we can drive through the jungles followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti River. While canoeing, we may get a close look at the Gharial and Mugger crocodiles along with fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. We may even go bird watching or go on a nature walk and see rhinos, sloth bears, tigers or pythons. There is a beautiful variety of wild flora and fauna found in the park.
Overnight in Chitwan.
Chitwan – Bhimphedi Our Project site
Early in the morning we will take a 3-4 hour drive to Bhimphedi, the rural village where the AWASUKA Program, which installs improved cooking stoves for rural communities, is based. This is a special occasion, as both of Awasuka trips will coincide in Bhimphedi, in order to end the trip together. The whole day will be spent in this village, talking to the Program Director – who will explain the project and will give you a cultural tour of Bhimphedi – and the beneficiaries in the area. Overnight night at Bhimphedi on Camping.
Bhimphedi to Kathmandu
After breakfast we leave Bhimphedi towards Kathmandu. We will arrive in Kathmandu in the afternoon, at around 1pm. We enjoy the day leisurely or catch up on some last minute shopping or explore any landmarks we missed during our first day in Kathmandu. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening, with the possibility of a concert by the Awasuka program director, featuring some Awasuka songs and some Nepali traditional music you need to know.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! Depending on the time of your flight departure, you may have time for a little more sightseeing or shopping in Kathmandu. We will then take you to Tribhuvan airport 3 hours before the departure time of your flight home and see you to your
departure terminal where we will say goodbye and hope very much that you will have enjoyed your time with Sacred Himalaya. On your way home, you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
- Airport pickups and drops to and from hotels
- Kathmandu Sightseeing with tour guide
- Heritage site entry fee
- Accommodation; 3 Night Kathmandu Hotel Accommodation at (Hotel Moonlight) twin share basis with B.B
- 1 Night Hotel Accommodation at Manakamana with Manakamana Cable Car both way ticket.
- 2 Night Pokhara Hotel Accommodation at (Hotel Mount View) twin share basis with B.B
- 1 Night Hotel Accommodation at Bandipur.
- 2 Night Chitwan Hotel Accommodation at (Jungle World Resort) twin share basis
- All the Chitwan Jungle Activities.
- Annapurna Conservation trekking permit.
- All the meal Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner during the Nepal trip.
- An experienced English-speaking trekking guide and Porter including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and lodging with all the transportation.
- All transport in Nepal
- All government and local taxes
- Bhimphedi: All the ground Transportation by private vehicle
- Nepalese visa fee
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu. (*)
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, Mineral Water, Cold drinks, Wifi
- Tips for guide, Porter and Driver
- Awasuka Concert ticket
(*) Please note that, depending on your country of origin, the arrival date to Nepal may not coincide
with the flight date you have to purchase. Usually flying from Europe or the States may require to
leave a day earlier.
Important documents and items:
- Valid passport (minimum 6 months remaining at the end of your adventure), 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
- Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance.
- Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts. NOTE: It is recommended you do not exchange currency for Nepalese rupees at the airport, rather wait until you meet your arrival staff who will be able to arrange a better exchange rate at an exchange bureau close to your hotel in Thamel – Kathmandu.
- Credit or debit cards for use at Bank/ATM/Cash machines for withdrawing additional funds if required from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards etc).
What to put in your bag:
- Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Wicking (polypropylene) shirts (1 short sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Lightweight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Windproof & waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) jacket with hood
- Down jacket
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of hiking shorts
- 1 pair of hiking trousers
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen (thermal) leggings
- 1 pair of windproof & waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) trousers
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of hiking boots (sturdy soles, water resistant, good ankle & arch support, “broken in”) with spare laces
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals/sliders
- Cotton socks (optional)
- 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)
- Fleece or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carry-on)
- 1 large duffel bag
- A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
- Small padlocks for duffle-kit bags
- 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
- Small, personal first-aid kit (simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape and plasters (Band-Aids)
- 1 skin-blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills (Paracetamol / Ibuprofen)
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills (where available): Diamox or Acetylzolamide
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxaccin, etc. (can be bought very cheaply and easily in Kathmandu).
- 1 set of earplugs
- Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
- If desired: Multi Vitamin tablets.
- If you prefer: Water purification tablets or Steripen. (*)
- Do not bring: Sleeping Pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
- 1 metal water bottle (1 liter each) (*)
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
- 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
- 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
- large Ziplocs
- 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks
Toiletries & Personal Hygiene
- Sun lotion
- Nail clippers
- 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable) (**)
- Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable) (**)
- Face and body moisturizer
- Female hygiene products as appropriate (***)
- Small mirror
- Reusable Wet wipes (baby wipes) (****)
- Tissue /toilet roll (preferably biodegradable) (**)
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Reading book
- Trail Map/guide book
- Journal/notebook and pen
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
- Plug adapter (UK to 2 round pegs) & Extra pre-charged battery packs to recharge phones / cameras, multi-plug extension cord
- IPod or similar
ECOFRIENDLY IMPORTANT NOTES
Being this a charity trip for Awasuka Program, we kindly suggest the use of biodegradable products for obvious ecological reasons, but especially because Nepal has no waste-management policy. Hence, all the non-recyclable / non-biodegradable waste you produce will end up in different parts of Nepal’s beautiful landscape (rivers, valleys, etc…) or burned in the households, producing highly toxic fumes. It’s our responsibility to avoid this, as we are supporting the smokeless kitchens program.
(*) DRINKING WATER. We suggest a metal water bottle for your own personal use to avoid the purchase of many plastic bottles. For drinking water you can use different purification methods (solid tablets, liquid chlorine, etc…) or refill your bottle from the jars provided by our agency. Drinkable water is one of Awasuka’s main works, as shown in the Water Paani song video in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7oxYNGsKQo
(**) HYGIENE PRODUCTS. We suggest the use of biodegradable hygiene products for the aforementioned reasons. You may find many of them in the market, usually liquid multipurpose soaps, but we strongly recommend solid soaps, which do not come in a plastic bottle.
(***) FEMALE HYGIENE. Many Awasuka Program’s female volunteers decide to make a change in their lives before traveling to Nepal: they switch from single-use-pads to menstrual cup. This makes them feel more comfortable, self-reliant and environmentally conscious. There’s an equally environment friendly option: reusable washable pads; but of course, not as practical as the first option.
(****) WET WIPES. We suggest using reusable wipes for aforementioned reasons; in the internet there are many types of reusable wipes that you can purchase to support the environment.