School Trek - Annapurna Sanctuary

A a great first visit to the Nepalese Himalaya

14

days

Schools

Trek

From $2,580 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Learn about the Buddhist religion and way of life
  • Trek into the spectacular heart of the Annapurnas
  • Includes trekking to Ghorepani and Poon Hill
  • Annapurna Basecamp

This trek into the hidden mountain stronghold of the Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the most popular mountain walks in Nepal and is a fantastic challenge for a school group. Surrounded by a ring of impressive mountains, including the 8000 metre peak, Annapurna 1, the high and glaciated wilderness of the Sanctuary is simply awe-inspiring. From the terraced farmland above Pokhara, we trek on good trails through scattered settlements and abundant forest, climbing gradually into a world of ice and snow. The combination of pretty villages and farmland, set against the panorama of high peaks beyond, makes this one of the most picturesque of treks. After exploring the inner sanctuary, we walk out via an alternative route, following high ridges to Ghorepani. Here, a pre-dawn start for the walk up to Poon Hill is rewarded by inspirational views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas. Presenting a magical mix of excellent trekking, friendly villagers and outstanding mountain views, this is Nepal mountain holiday at its best.

Is this holiday for you?

This is a short and relatively straightforward trek and is a great challenge for a school group. The pace is steady and the altitude is moderate, making this a great first-time visit to the Nepalese Himalaya.  We allow six days for our approach trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary from Pokhara, and this pace is governed by our need to acclimatise properly, rather than by the actual distance which we are prepared to walk each day. The altitude at Annapurna South Basecamp is a little over 4000 metres, and our six day walk-in to this altitude should ensure that nobody has a problem with their acclimatisation. The distances covered each day are short, averaging about 5 or 6 miles. But, the hiking trails are always either steeply up or down, and in the lush forest of the approach to the Annapurna Sanctuary the underfoot conditions can be slippery. We will generally be walking for between 4 and 6 hours each day. As this is a very popular trekking route, the paths are good, and there are numerous lodges and tea-houses to show you that you are on the right track. The same conditions apply to our walk-out trek via Ghorepani.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Pokhara, drive to the roadhead at Phedi and trek to Dhampus (1650m) with views of the Annapurnas.
  • Cross the pass at Deorali (2100m) into the valley of the Modi Khola. Overnight at Landruk (1620m).
  • Trek up to the Jhinu Danda, then along the ridge to the colourful village of Chhomrong (2210m).
  • Follow the Modi Khola upstream on an often stepped pathway to the place known as Bamboo (2310m).
  • Trek via Dobhan with views of the 'Fish Tail' peak of Machhapuchhre. Overnight at Deorali (3170m).
  • Ascend through a narrowing valley to Machhapuchhre Basecamp (3700m).
  • A short trek with increasingly impressive views to Annapurna Basecamp (4130m). Afternoon free.
  • Early start for the sunrise views. Then, after breakfast at the lodge, descend to Dobhan (2540m).
  • Trek down through bamboo forest to the Chhomrong River. Then steeply up to Chhomrong.
  • Diverting away from the route of ascent, trek to Gandruk (1940m) on the west side of the Modi Khola.
  • Trek down to Birethanti. Drive to the hotel in Pokhara. Afternoon free to explore Lakeside.
  • Fly to Kathmandu. Afternoon free to relax by the pool or to do some independent sightseeing.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.

Land Only

The price of our trips does not include international air travel to the start location in the destination city and country. The start location for joining the trip is identified for each trip. It's usually a centrally located hotel. KE can easily arrange all airport transfers for you.

International Air Travel

Please contact us at KE for air travel advice. We will be happy to discuss the flight arrangement which best suits your group.

2 teachers FREE

The Guide Price assumes that 2 teachers will accompany the group. Their Land Only costs are covered by the group's payment.

Guide Price $2,580*
Park Fees/permits N/A
Other Charges N/A
Enquire

* We give a price estimate for all of our school trips. This is based on 12-16 pupils and includes two free teacher places. If you are interested in a specific trip, we will send you a quote letter. You may wish to take extra teachers or add on additional days and this can all be included into your quote, on request.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • airport
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Pokhara, drive to the roadhead at Phedi and trek to Dhampus (1650m) with views of the Annapurnas.

    After breakfast in the hotel we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 30 minute flight to Pokhara. It is a most interesting flight, with the peaks of the Greater Himalaya clearly visible through the right-hand window as we travel westwards. Particularly prominent are Manaslu and the Annapurna group as we approach the airport at Pokhara. Getting off the plane into the heat of Pokhara is impressive, as is the sight of the snow peaks of the Annapurna Himal which form the skyline to the north. We set off immediately by bus for the roadhead at Phedi (which means bottom of the hill). Today's walk involves climbing a long flight of stone steps which is typical of the trails in these middle hills, to reach the straggling village of Dhampus (1650 metres) where we overnight at our first lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 3km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 70m

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Cross the pass at Deorali (2100m) into the valley of the Modi Khola. Overnight at Landruk (1620m).

    Beyond Dhampus, we get our first clear views of the mountains ahead, as we ascend through forest on a trail which is often made up of stone steps on the steeper sections. Passing through Pothana, we reach a clearing on a pass, at a place called Deorali (2100m). This should take us between 2.5 and 3 hours and at this point we are high up on the east side of the Modi Khola, the river which flows out of the Annapurna Sanctuary. From Deorali, we descend steeply down through forest to the village of Tolka (1700m) where we take lunch. This afternoon's walk is much easier than the morning's, as we contour around the folds of the Modi Khola Valley, passing through villages and terraced fields. Less than 2 hours beyond our lunch stop we reach our lodge for the night in the picturesque Gurung settlement of Landruk (1620m), which affords spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1070m

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek up to the Jhinu Danda, then along the ridge to the colourful village of Chhomrong (2210m).

    We descend all the way down to the river, to cross at New Bridge. Our route then climbs quite steeply, high above the river, through bamboo forest and isolated farmsteads. Lunch is at the tea-houses at Jhinu Danda which we should reach after approximately 3 to 4 hours of trekking. Those who are energetic can go down to bathe in the hot springs here while awaiting lunch. From Jhinu Danda we have a hot climb to reach the ridge crest where we contour around and then make a final descent into the charming village of Chhomrong and our lodge stop for the night. There are many chalet-style, wooden lodges at Chomrong (2210m) which look out towards the prominent Machhapuchhre (Fish-Tail Peak). A fantastic place to end the day!

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1420m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 870m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Follow the Modi Khola upstream on an often stepped pathway to the place known as Bamboo (2310m).

    We start the day heading downhill, mostly negotiating stone steps as we descend to the Chomrong Khola. What goes down must go up again, however and, having crossed this side stream, we continue our steady ascent of the Modi Khola Valley. In less than 2 hours of trekking we reach the village of Sinuwa where we take a welcome break. From here, the trail continues to climb through terraced fields and then through forest of bamboo and rhododendron to the ridge crest at 'Sinuwa Hill Top' which we should reach after a further hour or so. There are terrific views here of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhre and this makes the perfect spot for lunch. After lunch we continue through the forest (with chance of spotting the troop of langur monkeys that live here) mostly following the contour and then making a final descent to the collection of lodges known as Bamboo (2310m) where we overnight.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 850m

    • Distance 8km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 780m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek via Dobhan with views of the 'Fish Tail' peak of Machhapuchhre. Overnight at Deorali (3170m).

    From Bamboo we continue upwards through yet more attractive forest, reaching the lodges of Dovan after just over an hour of trekking. We continue for another one and a half hours to the place known as Himalaya, where we take lunch. The next section of the trail is subject to avalanche during the winter and usually has to be rebuilt each year so it is not possible to describe exactly. Some years this may involve a long climb to by-pass unstable ground in the steep-sided valley but mostly the trail-makers do a good job of finding a route which makes a steady ascent including the construction of some ingenious bridges. Along the way we pass the fire-blackened overhang of Hinko Cave, used by porters as shelter and we should reach our lodge in Deorali (3170m) after an afternoon session of around 2 to 3 hours.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1140m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 320m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Ascend through a narrowing valley to Machhapuchhre Basecamp (3700m).

    Leaving Deorali, the valley narrows even more as we head towards the 'gateway' to the Annapurna Sanctuary. Depending on the trail conditions, we may opt to cross the young Modi Khola to the east side for a while before returning to the west to climb up to the area which is called Machhapuchhre Basecamp (MBC), a level and grassy moraine platform at 3700 metres elevation, with several lodges, one of which we stay in tonight. At this point we have passed through the narrow 'entrance' to the Sanctuary and find ourselves in more open country which is dominated by giant snow covered peaks. It will take around 3 hours of trekking to reach MBC where we will have our lunch. In the afternoon we can relax and enjoy the fantastic location or those who wish can go up to the ridge behind our lodge to look down onto the glacier and the view of Annapurnas 1 and 2, as well as Gangapurna and the nearby ‘Fishtail Peak'.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 610m

    • Distance 4km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 40m

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • A short trek with increasingly impressive views to Annapurna Basecamp (4130m). Afternoon free.

    Another short but spectacular day of trekking today. It is a relatively gentle walk from our lodge to Annapurna South Basecamp (4130m) and a distance of only about 4 kilometres. Increasingly impressive views and jaw-dropping mountain moments reward us for our efforts, as we climb the last steep section before reaching the basecamp area, where the entire south face of Annapurna is revealed. A cirque of stupendous peaks surround us and the feeling of being inside a hidden valley - a sanctuary in fact - is overwhelming. After we check in at our lodge, the afternoon is free to relax and admire one of the most stunning mountain amphitheatres in the Himalaya. Optionally, if conditions and route permit, there's a chance to walk out on the glacier towards Annapurna 1 Basecamp.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 530m

    • Distance 3km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 110m

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Early start for the sunrise views. Then, after breakfast at the lodge, descend to Dobhan (2540m).

    For those who wish, a pre-dawn wake-up is worth the extra discomfort to catch the sunrise on this unique mountain scene. After breakfast, we leave all this behind and retrace our steps first to MBC then on to Deorali where we take lunch after around 3hours of trekking. In the afternoon, we continue our descent of the Modi Khola to reach the relatively warm climes of Dobhan (2540m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 360m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1980m

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek down through bamboo forest to the Chhomrong River. Then steeply up to Chhomrong.

    Back into the forests again, as we pass through Bamboo and the ridge top Sinuwa where we take lunch. After lunch we swap the forest for terraced fields, as we descend to the Chhomrong Khola and begin a final climb of one and a half hours up the stone staircase leading to Chhomrong.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 430m

    • Distance 4km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 700m

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Diverting away from the route of ascent, trek to Gandruk (1940m) on the west side of the Modi Khola.

    Today is a relatively easy hike, starting on a fairly level trail for the first 2 hours, passing through small Gurung villages and rhododendron forests. After crossing a small wooden bridge over the Kimrong Khola we part company from the trail on which we walked in. Instead of crossing 'New Bridge' to Landruk our trail now follows the west bank of the Modi Khola and ascends steeply to the village of Gandruk. At an elevation of 1940 metres, Gandruk is an exceptional village and has been given the status of 'model village' by the Annapurna Conservation Area Authority.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 830m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1030m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek down to Birethanti. Drive to the hotel in Pokhara. Afternoon free to explore Lakeside.

    The trail follows the fall of the Modi Khola and in around 3 to 4 hours we reach the bustling road-head town of Birenthanti. At the road beyond the town, we meet up with our transport for the one hour ride back to Pokhara where we check in to our comfortable hotel close to Phewa Tal. After a shower and clean-up, we will have some free time to wander by the lake - or sit in the garden of one of the excellent lakeside restaurants and admire the view of the Annapurnas. Compared to Kathmandu, Pokhara is a very laid-back town and is the perfect place to relax at the end of our trek. Pokhara also has a reputation for great restaurants and this evening we will go out for a celebratory meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 370m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1320m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Fly to Kathmandu. Afternoon free to relax by the pool or to do some independent sightseeing.

    We take the morning flight to Kathmandu. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines. This evening we will have a dinner in one of Thamel’s excellent restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in Nepal. Why not pre-book a simple day-tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to one of the important wildlife reserves at Chitwan or Bardia. Extension packages are also available to include a visit to neighbouring Tibet or Bhutan. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A KE Schools Leader
  • An experienced English-speaking local leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • Full trekking service including all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 14.
All clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if Kathmandu Airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this holiday the group will spend 2 nights in Kathmandu and 1 in Pokhara at centrally-located tourist-class hotels. Whilst on trek there are 10 nights spent in lodges/tea houses. The Nepalese trekking lodges also known as 'tea-houses' are simple, friendly and atmospheric. As they are far from the nearest road is it not surprising that they are simple establishments as everything must be carried up by porters or animals. Mostly these lodges have heated dining areas which are often attractively decorated. Bedrooms tend to be quite basic and are unheated with wooden beds and foam mattress. You will need a sleeping bag. The lodges have shared washing and toilet facilities. Some lodges have solar powered showers (charged at $2 - $3 per shower) and battery charging facilities (also charged at a rate per hour). Staying at the lodges is a great way to meet fellow hikers and the locals. Whilst most of the accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis, the lodges above Chhomrong have only dormitory style rooms with several beds. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with other group members of the same gender.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking KE leader throughout the trip. Whilst on trek there will also be a full trek crew, including several Sherpas, a cook team and porters.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

  • The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs./33 lbs.
  • You must bring the following items:

    • Hiking boots
    • Socks
    • Trekking trousers / pants
    • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
    • Underwear
    • Thermal baselayer shirts
    • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat
    • Eyewear - Sunglasses
    • Thermal gloves
    • Warm and waterproof over-gloves or mittens
    • Daypack around 30 litres capacity.
    • Headtorch/Headlamp with spare batteries
    • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Water bottles 1 Litre (1 Quart) x2
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • Antibacterial handwash
    • Small towel
    • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
    • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
    • 4 or 5 season sleeping bag*
    • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
    • Warm jacket (down)*
    • Basic First Aid Kit including A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

    The following items are optional:

    • Training shoes /Sneakers or similar
    • Gaiters
    • Spare laces
    • Long johns (thermal underwear)
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Nailbrush
    • Wet wipes
    • Swimwear
    • Travel clothes
    • Trekking poles (recommended)
    • Gaffer tape
    • Camera etc.

    Notes

    • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel
    • Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.

      The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore to avoid embarrassment on both sides we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.

    For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

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