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Annapurna downhill Trek - Kaligandaki trail

Day To Day Itinerary

DAY 01: Arrive at hotel (overnight in hotel).

You may have free time during the day depending on what time you arrive. A briefing will be given by our trekking leader in the late afternoon. He will discuss our trekking program in detail. The evening is free, but usually our tour leader will ask if the travellers want to have a group dinner (optional and at the traveller's own expense) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants.

DAY 02: Transfer to Pokhara (827 m/2,713 ft). Evening stroll around Lake Side, Pokhara. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 03: Fly to Jomsom (2720m/8924ft). Transfer to hotel and explore the locality.

Jomsom looks barren and desolate on the first sight. We continue into the town through barbed wire and crumbling walls. Jomsom, also known as Dzongsam or New Fort, extends over both banks of the Kali Gandaki River. The soaring peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form a backdrop here. As the district headquarter, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the ethnic residents of the region, known as Thakalis. A company of the Nepalese Army is stationed here. Nearby is Jomsom Airport from where there are regular flights. Jomsom is the gateway of the Nepal's hidden treasure ‘Mustang’. You can appreciate the barren, rocky landscape of mustang from here.

DAY 04: Trek from Jomsom (2720m/8924ft) to Kagbeni (2800m/9186ft). Total Walking Time 3-4 hrs; Total Ascent 100m.

We begin our trek from Jomsom following the bank of Kali Gandaki river passing through arid part of the river to reach Kagbeni. Kagbeni, a Thakali village, used to be the main business centre for ancient trade between Tibet and South India. It is a real Mustang town on Kali Gandaki river confluence. It’s a sacred site for Hindus. The town is dominated by its castle, from where a king used to reign. The village is a strange complex of tunnels and intermingling houses. The Kali Gandaki is a broad valley with a river bed far larger than the river itself. Every afternoon a strong gusty wind blows down this valley making walking in the afternoon unpleasant.

DAY 05: Trek from Kagbeni (2800m/9186ft) to Muktinath (3760m/12336ft). Total Walking Time 6-7 hrs; Total Ascent 1000m.

Today, we ascend to Muktinath through Khingar (3400m) and then onto Jharkot (3500m), which is an impressive fortress like village. Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus, is situated in a tranquil grove of trees, and contains a wall of 108 waterspouts in the shape of cows heads spouting sacred water. Another attraction, the Jwala Mai temple with a perpetual spouting flame and the pagoda-styled Vishnu Mandir, all of which make up the auspicious combination of earth, fire and water.

DAY 06: Trek from Muktinath (3760m/12336ft) to Marpha (2670m/8760ft). Total Walking Time 6 hrs; Total Descent 1100m.

Today’s destintion is asmall charming town of Marfa which contains stone houses built on the mountain above the Kali-Gandaki river, with narrow streets paved with flat stones. There is a small post-office and some good shops in this village.

DAY 07: Trek from Marpha (2670m/8760ft) to Kalopani (2530m/8300ft).Total Walking Time 5 hrs; Total Descent 120m.

Today, the trail stretches at almost flat level through forests to Kalopani, a Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. The first part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests and birches are seen. We pass by Larjung, a village situated near Dhaulagiri Glacier. At Kalopani, we get amazing panoramic view of Annapurna I (8091m), Dhaulagiri I (8167m) and Tukuche peak (6920m).

DAY 08: Trek from Kalopani (2530m/8300ft) to Tatopani (1190m/3904ft). Total Walking Time 6-7 hrs; Total Descent 1340m.

The trail descends steeply upto Rukse Chhahara, a waterfall, which is amazing to look at. We pass through deepest gorge of the world between two mountains Annapurna I (8091m.) and Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) facing each other. The trail again descends slightly to Tatopani through different human settlements. We can enjoy natural hot spring at Tatopani at the bank of the Kali Gandaki river.

DAY 09: Trek from Tatopani (1190m/3904ft) to Sikha (1935m/6348ft). Total Walking Time 3-4 hrs; Total Ascent 800m; Total Descent 300m.

As we start climbing to Shika, we leave the Kali-Gandaki river behind, and go up to the mountains. Shika is another charming village with green fields and terraces.The view of the high mountains around is amazing, and it is really worth getting up in the morning in Shika to see the majestic look of the Dhaulagiri in the horizon.

DAY 10: Trek from Sikha (1935m/6348ft) to Ghorepani (2860m/9383ft). Total Walking Time 5 hrs; Total Ascent 900m.

Today’s tough ascend to Ghorepani presents us with a spetacular view of Dhaulagiri from behind as we're surrounded by neatly terraced farmlands all the way up the hill. This is a neat and busy Gurung village with shops and bakery.

DAY 11: Trek from Ghorepani (2860m/9383ft) to Poon hill (3193m/10476ft), then to Tadapani (2630m/8629ft). Total Walking Time 4-5 hrs; Total Ascent 300m; Total Descent 350m.

We wake up early morning to hike up to the famed vantage point of Poon Hill.  It takes about 45 minutes to reach the ridge of Poon Hill (3,195 m). As the sun rises, the view becomes breathtaking: a wide Himalayan panorama stretching from Dhaulagiri (8,167m)-the world's seventh highest peak to Manaslu 8,156m, the world's eighth highest peak in the east, with the mighty Annapurna range in between them. The range includes Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri (6940m), Baraha Shikhar (7847m), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna III (7855m), Machhapuchhare (6993m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m), Lamjung Himal (6931m)


We climb down from the hill and have breakfast before continuing on to the next destination. The first part is climbing along the ridges of the hills in pine and rhododendron forest to a top 3,030 meters then descend to at a second pass called Deurali. The trail goes steeply down through deep forests all the way to Banthati. It takes one hour from here to reach Tadapanil. En route, we frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals and local birds. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which offers magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, Annapurna II and so on.

DAY 12: Trek from Tadapani (2630m/8629ft) to Ghandrung (1940m/6365ft). Total Walking Time 3 hrs; Total Descent 690m.

Its an easy day today with gentle descend all the way through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests. You could hear different kinds of birds chirping on the way. This is one of the popular destinations for the birds' lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village, probably the most beautiful of Gurung villages of Annapurna region. There is a handicraft centre and Gurung museum. The village offers excellent close-up views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m), Annapurna III (7755m) and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).

DAY 13: Trek from Ghandrung (1940m/6365ft) to Nayapool (1070m/3510ft) and drive to Pokhara. Total Driving Time 1.5 hrs; Total Walking Time 5-6 hrs; Total Descent 900m.

From Ghandrung, we descend to Modi khola and walk alongside to reach Birenthati. We continue walking to Nayapul and finally catch awaiting transport to Pokhara.

DAY 14: Transfer to Kathmandu

DAY 15: Fly back to Kathmandu. Afternoon free for shopping and sightseeing.

DAY 16: Final Departure