Annapurna and the Thorung La

A classic Nepal trek and one of the finest in the world

15

days

Trek

From $2,180 Land only

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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Views of Manaslu, the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri
  • Acclimatise with the walk to Tilicho Lodge
  • Challenging crossing of the Thorung La (5416m)
  • While in Kathmandu, stay at the prestigious Yak & Yeti Hotel
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers and all meals included

The Annapurna circuit trek includes the chance to experience the best of Nepal's landscapes, from the hot and humid farmland around Pokhara, to the high alpine environment and spectacular mountain scenery of the valley above Manang. Access to each of the major valleys that cut through the Himalayas to the east and west of the Annapurna Massif improves each year, as successive sections of jeep road are completed. Making every effort to take account of this (and to avoid hiking on the road as much as we can) we adjust our itineraries on a regular basis. From the effective roadhead beside the Marsyangdi River at Dharapani, we trek easily into the impressive valley on the north side of the Annapurnas. Here, we can marvel at the spectacular mountain scenery as we hike up to the villages of Ghyaru and Ngawal on the northern slopes of the valley. We are also able to savour the special appeal of this remote Buddhist enclave, with its perched villages and striking monasteries, such as the one at Braga. The culmination of the trek is the tough ascent to the Thorung La (5416m), where the views extend to Dhaulagiri and the red ridges of Mustang. Descending into the Kali Gandaki via the amazing Hindu temples at Muktinath, we have a day to enjoy the pretty 'Tibetan' village of Marpha, before flying back to Kathmandu from Jomsom.

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Is this holiday for you?

This Annapurna and the Thorung La lodge trek is quite sustained but offers relatively straightforward trekking conditions throughout, following excellent trails which are well-served with tea-houses and lodges.  The trek has a number of quite long days and the crossing of the Thorung La will present a significant challenge to the regular hill-walker. It should be noted that trekking at altitudes above 3000 metres makes greater demands on the body than walking at low elevations, and is of itself challenging even for fit hikers. Our itinerary is well staged to allow the best possible acclimatisation but you will need to ensure you are physically prepared for the trek. You should be comfortable with walking for 5 to 7 hours each day and for several days continuously.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • Drive towards Pokhara, before turning into the Marsyangdi Valley. Overnight at Jagat (1314m).
  • Start trekking. Via Chamje and Tal to Dharapani (1945m).
  • Trek through a number of villages to Chame (2713m) with good views of Manaslu.
  • Trek to the more open valley at Lower Pisang (3150m).
  • Two options: Low or High level via Braga to the regional centre of Manang (3540m).
  • Trek beside the Kangsar Khola to Kangsar (3700m)
  • Trek via Thare Gompa to Tilicho Lodge (4000m)
  • Descend via Kangsar to the Annapurna Circuit and continue to Letdar (4250m).
  • Trek beside the Jarsang Khola to Thorung High Camp (4750m).
  • Trek across the Thorung La (5416m) and long descent to Muktinath (3800m).
  • Descend through Lupra to Jomsom (2700m)
  • Fly to to Pokhara. Afternoon free to stroll around the market streets of 'Lakeside'.
  • Fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.
2016
Sun 02 Oct - Sun 16 Oct Code ACL /05/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Oct and departs on Sun 16 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 16 Oct - Sun 30 Oct Code ACL /06/16/ Adult$2,180 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /06/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 16 Oct and departs on Sun 30 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 30 Oct - Sun 13 Nov Code ACL /07/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /07/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 30 Oct and departs on Sun 13 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 13 Nov - Sun 27 Nov Code ACL /08/16/ Adult$2,180 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /08/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 13 Nov and departs on Sun 27 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 27 Nov - Sun 11 Dec Code ACL /09/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /09/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 27 Nov and departs on Sun 11 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 18 Dec - Sun 01 Jan Code ACL /10/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /10/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 18 Dec and departs on Sun 01 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
2017
Sun 12 Mar - Sun 26 Mar Code ACL /01/17/ Adult$2,340 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Mar and departs on Sun 26 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 26 Mar - Sun 09 Apr Code ACL /02/17/ Adult$2,340 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 26 Mar and departs on Sun 09 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 02 Apr - Sun 16 Apr Code ACL /03/17/ Adult$2,340 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Apr and departs on Sun 16 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
Sun 16 Apr - Sun 30 Apr Code ACL /04/17/ Adult$2,340 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Annapurna and the Thorung La
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACL /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 16 Apr and departs on Sun 30 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes group nights in Kathmandu & Pokhara only (not available in lodges)
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kathmandu. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek
  • internal flight

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

  • Drive towards Pokhara, before turning into the Marsyangdi Valley. Overnight at Jagat (1314m).

    We set off after an early breakfast for the drive westwards to the start of the trek, accompanied by our trek crew. After 3 hours or so, we arrive at the town of Mugling and stop for an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. Soon after leaving Mugling, we reach the small town of Dumre, beside the Marsyangdi River. Here, we turn north on a smaller road which follows the river. We cross the river on a long suspension bridge at Syange before climbing to our overnight accommodation at Jagat (1314m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Start trekking. Via Chamje and Tal to Dharapani (1945m).

    Today we begin our trek around the Annapurna massif. Although the road continues up valley, its condition is very rough and it is much more pleasurable to walk from here. Where we can, we take the old trekking trail away from the road. From Jagat we start with a steady climb to Chamje, before descending to cross the river on a suspension bridge. Climbing once more, we enter the Buddhist region of Manang at the village of Tal (which means lake in Nepali). Here the terrain levels for a short section and the raging river slows to a lake-like appearance. Beyond Tal, the trail crosses the river again and continues for 4 km to Dharapani (1943m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 830m

    • Distance 12km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 200m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek through a number of villages to Chame (2713m) with good views of Manaslu.

    The valley now turns towards the west, as we pass through the interesting Buddhist village of Bagar Chap. Manaslu is visible behind us and Annapurna 2 comes occasionally into view to the south. Even during today's walk we will be obliged to follow sections of the new road, as we pass through forested areas and stop off to check out several small settlements en route to our overnight stopping place at Chame (2713m). This is the administrative centre of this region, with shops, a bank and a school, as well as views of the Annapurnas.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1300m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 6 - 7 hours trekking

  • Trek to the more open valley at Lower Pisang (3150m).

    We cross the Marsyangdi several times today, in a steep gorge section of the river. The path is sometimes built into the cliffside on wooden piers. Climbing through a forested ridge beyond Buradhan, we reach a more open valley and enter the fields of Lower Pisang (3150m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 950m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 350m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Two options: Low or High level via Braga to the regional centre of Manang (3540m).

    There are two options today. The main Annapurna Circuit trail follows the river on its western and southern bank and passes through the village of Hongde where there is a STOL airstrip. Beyond Hongde we cross the river before reaching Braga, where there is an interesting monastery which sits atop high cliffs overlooking the village. From Braga it is a reasonably easy 4km to Manang. A high level option climbs above the river on its east and north side and traverses via the villages of Ghyaru (3720m) and Ngawal (3680m) before descending to the river again and joining the main trail at Braga. This route which offers splendid views across to the Annapurnas is well worth taking but is more challenging than the main trail and it will take approximately 7 - 8 hours to reach Manang by this route.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 440m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 50m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking.

  • Trek beside the Kangsar Khola to Kangsar (3700m)

    Leaving the Annapurna Circuit trail we start a short (2 day) acclimatisation trek prior to our crossing of the Thorung La. On this first day we descend to the Marsyangdi and cross the river before making a gradual ascent of the Kangsar Khola to the pretty village of Kangsar consisting of a collection of flat-roofed stone house seemingly one on top of another, surrounded by snowy peaks.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 210m

    • Distance 6km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 50m

    • Time 3 - 4 hours

  • Trek via Thare Gompa to Tilicho Lodge (4000m)

    Leaving Kangsar the trail first climbs to Thare Gompa before reaching Yak pastures. From here you cross scree slopes on a good trail to reach a Tilicho Lodge. The lodge has a stunning location in a basin below a wall of rock and ice - Hezog's 'Grand Barrier'. If we have made good time today, there is the option to continue climbing to a viewpoint for Tilicho Lake before returning to the lodge. This is a much more rewarding way to acclimatise for the Thorung La rather than the otherwise obligatory rest day in Manang and spending a night at 4000 metres will also better prepare us for the high altitude crossing.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 460m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 160m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Descend via Kangsar to the Annapurna Circuit and continue to Letdar (4250m).

    We descend to Kangsar and then take an alternative route which drops to a bridge across the Jarsang Kola above Manang. Climbing up above the river we regain the Annapurna Circuit trail at Yak Kharka (4035m) and from here, we continue for a further hour to the lodges of Letdar (4250m). There are great views of Manaslu, the Annapurnas and Tilicho Peak today as we head through a landsvcape of scrubby juniper and across alpine meadows.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 800m

    • Distance 18km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 550m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek beside the Jarsang Khola to Thorung High Camp (4750m).

    We continue on the east bank of the Jarsang stream to a covered bridge, beyond which a steep trail climbs across scree to reach the tea-houses at Thorung Phedi (4450m) (a name which means 'base of the Thorong La'). To make the crossing of the pass easier tomorrow, we will hike up for a further hour and a half to the single lodge at Thorung High Camp (4750m). Arriving at around midday, we will have lunch and then take it easy and make sure we are well fed and well acclimatised ahead of the pass crossing tomorrow.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 420m

    • Time 3 hours trekking

  • Trek across the Thorung La (5416m) and long descent to Muktinath (3800m).

    No need for too early a start from High Camp. After breakfast at around 6 am, we set off on the steep ascent to the Thorung La. The trail is well defined, though potentially icy in place. After the steep start, it eases off, passing a number of glacial lakes on the slow climb to the cairns and prayer flags at the pass (5416m). At this altitude, this is a tough 2 to 3-hour climb. There are tremendous views in both directions. In addition to the mountains that have been with us for the last few days, we can see the brown and red hills of Mustang to the north-west and the valley of the Kali Gandaki below us. Descending from the pass is quite straightforward, but hard on the knees. It is three hours (and 1500 metres) down to the sacred village of Muktinath, with excellent views of Dhaulagiri 1, Tukuche Peak and Nilgiri.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 600m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1800m

    • Time 6 hours trekking

  • Descend through Lupra to Jomsom (2700m)

    Keeping away from the road as much as possible, on its south side, our trek today loops around via Lupra, before descending to the valley floor. It is relatively gentle and very scenic 3-hour descent, with great views of the peaks on the west side of the Kali Gandaki, including Dhaulagiri. Arriving on the stony bed of the Kali Gandaki, we will stop for a cold drink at one of the many tea-houses, before continuing our walk for a further 2 hours to the busy airstrip town of Jomsom. Plenty of time to look around this thriving settlement after checking in at our lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 460m

    • Distance 20km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1390m

    • Time 6 hours trekking

  • Fly to to Pokhara. Afternoon free to stroll around the market streets of 'Lakeside'.

    We take the short and exciting internal flight to Pokhara, where we check in at our comfortable hotel close to Phewa Tal in time for lunch. The afternoon is free to wander by the lake, to browse the bazaar, or to simply sit in the garden of one of the excellent lakeside restaurants and admire the view of the Annapurnas and the spectacular 'Fishtail'

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing.

    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.

    • 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

  • An experienced English speaking local leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara and lodge accommodation on trek
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • All meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Once on trek the group will be assisted by porters and a local guide
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Typical meals provided in the lodges will include Nepali dishes but also international cuisine from pizza and chips to apple pie. To ensure that the group can eat together, we order meals in advance and your trip leader will arrange a set menu for the group, which will alternate daily between local and international dishes. Breakfast will usually be porridge, eggs, bread and a hot drink, lunch will be a simple meal with a hot drink, and dinner will be 3 courses consisting of soup, main meal and a simple pudding. If you wish to order additional dishes and/or snacks, you should budget accordingly. Boiled drinking water will be provided at breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the lodges and tea-houses sell snacks, chocolate bars, soft drinks and beer. In Kathmandu we take our meals in the hotel and local restaurants.

All meals are included in the trip price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 15.
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.
While in Kathmandu the group will stay at the prestigious Yak & Yeti Hotel, situated in the heart of the city close to the former Royal Palace. Kathmandu's oldest and most famous hotel provides a touch of history combined with luxury and is an excellent place to relax pre and post trek. The group will also spend a night in Pokhara at a tourist-class hotel near the lake. Whilst on trek there are 11 nights in lodges/tea houses. The Nepalese trekking lodges also known as 'tea-houses' are simple, friendly and atmospheric. As they are mostly far from the nearest road is it not surprising that they are simple establishments and everything must be carried up by porters or animals. Mostly these lodges have heated dining areas which are often attractively decorated. Accommodation is basic in unheated rooms 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. All accommodation is on a twin-sharing basis (note that in some lodges only dormitory beds may be available). If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For the hotel nights only, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

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

Shortly after first light you should wake and start packing your kitbag and making preparations for the day. Coming down to the lodge dining room we will be served breakfast from the lodge kitchen before setting off on the day’s trek. We will generally reach our lunch stop before mid-day after around 3 or 4 hours walking. Lunch break usually takes an hour or even two and these will be taken at tea houses along the route. This is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the Sun. Porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and then are well on their way to the evening’s stop which we hope to reach by 3 or 4 p.m. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. After checking in to your room you may wish to relax with a beer on the terrace of your lodge before taking dinner. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. By 9.00pm most trekkers will have retired to bed and by 10.pm the whole lodge will be asleep.

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the European Commission’s list of airlines that are banned from flying into EU member states. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security. KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we were stakeholders in an independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators during 2015. KE uses only three airlines in Nepal which were approved by this audit as safe carriers. These airlines are: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Buddha Air and and Simrik Airlines. In addition to this both Tara Air and Yeti Airlines have fulfilled the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) - a new global safety standard for commercial airlines operating smaller aircraft www.iata.org/whatwedo/safety/audit/issa/Pages/index.aspx. We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk.

Please note that poor weather can cause delays on internal flights. If at the start of your holiday internal flights are cancelled for the day, you will spend an extra night near the airport and this may be at a hotel other than the group hotel. On the majority of trips there is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to make up 1 or possibly 2 lost days, but alternative arrangements must be made if internal flights are cancelled for a subsequent day. For trips that end with an internal flight out of the mountains with no alternative road access, we have included 2 nights in Kathmandu as a contingency against delay. Helicopters can sometimes fly when the scheduled fixed wing aircraft cannot. If your group is offered the opportunity to use a chartered helicopter, either flying up from or back to Kathmandu, the cost will be shared between those choosing to take this option. In the extremely unlikely event that flight cancellations cause you to miss your homeward international flight, KE will render all assistance, but cannot be held liable for any extra costs incurred. We advise you to take out suitable insurance and to keep your receipts, as you may subsequently be able to make a claim.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced, professional English-speaking local leader, and on trek will have the services of porters and local trekking guide

Approximately £250 - £300 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including those itemised below. You should allow approximately £50 - £60 (in equivalent Nepali rupees) for porter and trek crew tips. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu using your debit or credit card. During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up by porters or animals, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around the equivalent of £50-60 in rupees to these tips. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters. Technical clothing and equipment such as head-torches and trekking poles are highly prized by the Sherpa crews. If you think you would like to donate equipment at the end of your trip, your local leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution among the crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg (33 pounds). For the flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. This weight allowance is normally strictly enforced and excess baggage will be charged. Please be aware that you will have to pay for this at check-in. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

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.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

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. For all flights to STOL airstrips in Nepal, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15 kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. Paying for transportation of excess baggage is not normally an option on these flights. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (down)*

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves or mittens

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -10°C)*

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Travel towel

  • Toilet paper (you can also buy this in the lodges if necessary)

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles

  • Trainers or similar

  • Gaiters

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

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.

Transit via India

If you are travelling via India (Delhi or Calcutta) to your destination you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey, you will not need an India Visa. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India.

Visa Nepal

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted. You will require 2 passport photos.

For all the regions of Nepal that we visit an additional permit is required. This is included in the holiday price and KE will apply for it, with your full passport details and 1 passport photo (sent by post or emailed). You must supply this to us at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

For the following holidays, in addition to the above, we will also require you to supply a copy of the information page of your passport (sent by post or emailed).

These trips are: Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.

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

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

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina.

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.

October to November and March to May are the best times for trekking in Nepal. These months either side of the summer monsoon season are neither too hot in the foothills nor too cold in the higher elevations. Pre-monsoon is the time to see the colourful blooms of the rhododendron at lower elevations. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. You will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your holiday. In October/November and April/May this will range from approximately 25C in Kathmandu to approximately 14C at 3000 metres, and approximately 3C at 5000 metres. From December to early April, temperatures will average around 5C lower than this but at any time of the year the real feel temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4000 metre. (above 3000 metres from mid December) and at our highest overnight stops, outside temperatures may drop as low as minus 15C. Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short-lived storms can and do occur.

  • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti. New Holland

  • Annapurna, a trekkers guide – Kev Reynolds, Cicerone

  • Trekking in Nepal. Stephen Bezruchka

  • Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya. Stan Armington

  • Trekking in Nepal, West Tibet and Bhutan. Hugh Swift

  • Kathmandu and the Kingdom of Nepal. Prakash Raj

  • Insight Guide to Nepal

  • Adventure Treks Nepal. Bill O’Connor

Annapurna Adventure Trekking Map - 1:125,000. National Geographic & Nepa

Nowadays the best maps of Nepal tend to be produced in Nepal. This map is a collaboration between the Nepal publishers ‘Nepa’ and National Geographic. It covers the whole of the Annapurna Circuit plus Pokhara. This is an excellent map for the circuiteer, though the scale at 1:125,000 does not provide quite enough detail. 

Extend Your Holiday

Chitwan Jungle Extension

The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep, boat, on foot and by elephant back.



Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge Chitwan

From $1000 per person

More info

Tiger Mountain Resort Pokhara

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge sets the standard for comfortable and luxurious mountain lodge accommodation with its relaxed atmosphere, tranquil setting, eco-tourism and conservation ethos. Located on a spectacular hilltop ridge, it has panoramic views of ‘Fishtail Mountain and Himalayan giants, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. It has won several prestigious awards including the PATA Heritage and Culture Gold Award and the Conde Nast Traveler magazine Ecotourism Award.

Tiger Mountain, exit Pokhara

From $680 per person

More info

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of this tour includes a very early drive up to Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise. This is followed by a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur, renowned for its temples and traditional buildings. 

 

Nagarkot and Bhaktaphur Tour

From $135 per person

More info

Malla Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Gokarna Forest Resort Kathmandu

From $138 per room per night

Shanker Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Situated next to the grounds of the former Royal Palace and only a 10-minute walk from the popular Thamel district, this former Rana residence was converted into a hotel in 1964. The original architecture was based on a French palace and the hotel has a grand appearance. Set in a large and beautifully tended garden, it provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and is an ideal base from which to explore Kathmandu. All its rooms which are en-suite have been recently refurbished and the hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a swimming pool where you can also order drinks.

Shangri La

From $119 per room per night Another of Kathmandu’s original ‘luxury’ hotels. While the sophistication of its amenities may be upstaged by Kathmandu’s more modern concrete and glass hotels, the Shangri La maintains an old world charm that cannot be beaten. Located in the diplomatic enclave of Lazimpat, away from the hustle and bustle yet just 10 minutes walk from tourist centre of Thamel, the hotel is set in a pleasant garden and facilities include a pool, tennis court and massage therapist. The hotel has a speciality Indian restaurant and a garden café serving international cuisine as well as a bar.

Dwarikas Hotel

From $279 per room per night Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel modelled on the grandeur of the palaces of the Newar Kings. Consisting of several buildings arranged around a quiet courtyard, the hotel incorporates many original 15th – 17th century features in its architecture from the lifetime collection of its founder. The rooms are in the same Newari style and lavishly luxurious in their appointments. Its location close to Pashupathinath and Bouddhanath is perfect for exploring this side of Kathmandu. There are 3 restaurants serving Nepali, Japanese and international cuisine, a bar, spa and fitness centre, and a swimming pool.

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