Trekking in the Himalayas no longer requires tented accommodations, sleeping bags, and communal bathrooms. Luxury tea houses offer travelers a more exclusive high-altitude stay with down bedding, en-suite facilities, and happy hour in the manicured gardens.
Hike the lower foothills of the Annapurna Range, passing through mountainside villages where hunters climb on ropes to collect the wild bee honey. Rest in style and comfort surrounded by panoramic Himalayan vistas.
Welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley, consisting of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur, may have been inhabited as early as 900 BC. The city houses various Hindu and Buddhist temples as well as the King's Palace. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your morning starts with an optional flight to view majestic Mt. Everest.
After breakfast, visit the highlights of Kathmandu: Kumari Bahal, the Temple of the Living Goddess; Kasthamandap, the wooden house that gave Kathmandu its name; Durbar Square, the central area housing an array of temples; the Royal Palace, overlooked by the ancient Hanuman Dhoka; and Swayambhunath, the 2000-year-old Buddhist stupa.
In the afternoon visit Pasupatinath, the famous Lord Shiva Temple and Hindu cremation ground, and Boudhnath, the 2500-year-old Buddhist stupa. During the visit to Boudhnath Stupa, visit Thangka Art Gallery. Learn about the ancient Tibetan art of Thangka and meet with the painters, both monks and learners. Overnight in Kathmandu.
A heritage hotel, Dwarika's is a beacon of conservation in Nepal. The property is still managed by the same family who purchased the home in 1952 and retains woodwork and craftsmanship by local artisans.
After breakfast, drive to Lamatar for a gentle hike in the valley. Located to the southeast corner of Kathmandu Valley, Lakuri Bhanjyang is a treat for a day hiking. Lakuri is known for being a vantage point overlooking three districts at a same time - Kathmandu, Laltipur, and Bhaktapur. There are cascading hills, beautiful terraces, and majestic views of Himalayan ranges. On weekends you will observe locals enjoying their time with friends and family at certain picnic spots and the craze for paragliding from this spot is gathering admiration.
After hiking for approximately 3 hours through lush green forests, you will stop for a packed lunch. Continuing up the trail you will reach Pilot Baba Ashram, a pilot who renounced his professional life to take on the spiritual journey. From here, hike down to Suryabinayak temple. A vehicle will be waiting to take you back to hotel. Evening at leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to Pokhara.
Pokhara is a lakeside town often labeled the Switzerland of the East. The beautiful valley is situated at a height of 2950 ft. and has snow clad peaks, crystal-clear lakes, gorges and picturesque villages. In the afternoon, visit Old town. Pokhara’s traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. In its temple and monuments can be seen ties to the Newar architecture of the Kathmandu Valley.
Later, visit a Tibetan refugee settlement. The settlers have established a handicraft center that provides employment and sources of income to the Tibetan community. Evening at leisure and overnight.
In the morning, transfer by road with your guides and porters to the trek start point, Your walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. This route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's Sanctuary Lodge is located. The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machapuchhra as it is locally known. Lunch is at the lodge followed by an optional walk to the village of Birethanti. You may also elect to spend the afternoon exploring the surrounding river valley. At leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, leave the lodge walking out through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields, and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail. Hot lunch is served on arrival at the Himalaya lodge in the early afternoon. At leisure and overnight.
After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, start your trek to Landruk. After leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply to the banks of the Modi River. Here, you’ll be at the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal climb on ropes to collect the honey.
Cross a strong suspension bridge to the opposite banks of the Modi and trek up switch backs and steps to reach the village of Landruk. Landruk affords more glorious views of the Annapurna range. Your guide will take you on an exploration hike of the mountain village after lunch. At leisure and overnight.
Start your trekking through the village of Tolka (approx. 1hr) at 1700 m. Your walk takes you through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons, and magnolias. Along the way, stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs.
After approximately 2 hours from Pothana, arrive at the Basanta Lodge. From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus. At leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, depart along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor. Your vehicle will be waiting to transport you to Pokhara for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Overnight.
After breakfast, fly to Kathmandu. Continue to Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees. The best preserved of the three main medieval cities of the valley, Bhaktapur houses some of the most breathtaking religious architecture in the entire country. It has three major squares: Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, and Dattatreya Square; studded with pagoda and shikhara-style temples.
Devoid of traffic and pollution, Bhaktapur is often considered the cleanest city in the valley. Narrow stone paved streets snake through red brick houses, leading you to hidden temples, water sprouts, and courtyards. The city proudly displays its cultural life; artisans have been continuing traditional work like weaving and pottery for generations. Return to Kathmandu and overnight.
Today, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Bon Voyage!