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The perfect trip for those wishing to experience a short trek through the magnificent Annapurna mountain range in Nepal while staying in relative luxury. Ker and Downey's famously comfortable and characterful lodges enjoy spectacular mountain vistas and offer comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms with hot running water. Enjoy complimentary drinks during the nightly happy hour and share your day's adventures around the lodge's cosy fireplace.
Explore Tour Leader
5 nights comfortable hotel
4 nights comfortable lodge
2 nights premium lodge
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
The trip starts today in Kathmandu, the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal.
Your Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception for a welcome meeting at 5 pm. For those that wish, there is the chance to go out together as a group for dinner afterwards. There are no other activities planned for today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will leave any essential information and details of the best time to catch up with them, at the hotel reception.
If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central Kathmandu as traffic congestion in city can be bad.
Depending on the arrival time of your flight, should you wish to explore, our hotel is located a short walk from the lively Thamel area. Home to a multitude of outdoor gear, souvenir shops, great bookshops and a huge variety of restaurants, it's a fun place to wander.
Hotel Shanker (or similar)
After breakfast we set out with a local guide on a walking tour visiting the bazaar and temples of Old Kathmandu. Much of the day to day life of the city takes place in the local bazaar, a fascinating mix of people selling spices, rickshaw drivers honking their horns and the ever-present sacred cow wandering amongst it all. In the afternoon we plan to visit the temple of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River, the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal, and also to visit Buddhanath, the largest stupa in the country and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over Nepal.
After breakfast, we leave the Kathmandu Valley behind and drive to Pokhara, a journey of around 6 hours. We'll stop for lunch at a typical Nepali roadside cafe along the way. Pokhara is smaller and more relaxed than Kathmandu and is beautifully situated on the banks of Lake Phewa from where, on a clear day, there are superb views of the snowcapped Annapurna range, including Machhapuchhre - the famous 'Fishtail' mountain. In the afternoon there will be a briefing by your tour leader to give you an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis while on trek and to make sure that everyone is properly equipped.
The Lake Side Retreat (or similar)
This morning we depart Pokhara by road, it's about an hour drive to the point where the trek starts. Our walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurna with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. We plan to enjoy a picnic lunch with a view along the way. The route then drops to follow the Modi River Valley where the first of our comfortable Ker and Downey lodges, Sanctuary Lodge, is located. The lodge was constructed in the traditional mountain style by local artisans and has a beautiful garden where you can enjoy magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed peak Machhapuchhre, or Fishtail Mountain as it's more commonly known because of its shape like a fish's tail.
Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take around three-and-a-half hours with a total descent of 460 metres.
Sanctuary Lodge (or similar)
After breakfast, we leave the lodge walking out through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon we begin to climb out of the valley and up towards the mountains. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail and a hot lunch is served on arrival at the lodge in the early afternoon. Himalaya Lodge affords magnificent close-up views of the surrounding Annapurna mountain range. It also overlooks the settlement of Ghandruk with its whitewashed, stone tiled houses clustered closely together on the valley side. Populated by the Gurung ethnic group, Ghandruk is a popular recruitment location for the Gurkha soldier regiment of the British Army.
Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with a total ascent of 850 metres.
Himalaya Lodge (or similar)
We wake up this morning tea and enjoy coffee served in the garden and watch the sunrise over some of the highest peaks on the planet - Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and the Fishtail. After a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, we start our trek to Landruk. After leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply to the banks of the Modi River. We reach the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal climb up on ropes to collect the honey from bees' nests on the cliff side. We then cross a strong suspension bridge to the opposite banks of the Modi. From here is it about an hour trek up switchbacks and steps to reach the Gurung village of Landruk which enjoys glorious views of the Annapurna range.
La Bee Lodge is small and intimate, with only 12 en-suite rooms and is exquisitely perched on a cliff edge with awesome views stretching far into the distance. After lunch on arrival, we will set out in the afternoon to explore the village and surrounding area on a guided walk.
Today's six kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 315 metres and descent of 750 metres.
La Bee Lodge (or similar)
After breakfast, we leave the Bee Lodge and trek to our final Ker and Downey lodge of the holiday, Gurung Lodge situated close by the village of Majgaun. Today's trek contours the hillside, with small ups and downs, passing through villages and farmland. We reach the Lodge in time for lunch with the option to join an afternoon hike through the surrounding villages.
Gurung Lodge has been built in the style of a typical timber and stone tribal house, set in lovely gardens with 11 en-suite rooms, a beautiful lounge and dining area with exposed wooden roof beams.
Today's six kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 135 metres and descent of 300 metres.
Gurung Lodge (or similar)
After breakfast, we set off along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor where we meet the road and our bus that will take us back to Pokhara. On arrival in Pokhara the afternoon is free to relax. You can hire a boat and spend time on the lake or explore the lakeside area where many of the souvenir and clothing shops are located. Pokhara also has a great choice of cafes and restaurants serving hungry trekkers all types of cuisine from around the world!
Today's two kilometre walk is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours with a total ascent of 210 metres.
Today we drive to the flat lands of Nepal's Terai region where we stay just outside of Chitwan National Park. Once a private hunting ground, Chitwan is now a National Park with thick tree cover and tall elephant grass sheltering a wealth of animals. We'll be briefed today on the variety of activities that we can enjoy in the Park and orientate ourselves on a short walk around the village. All Park activities will be accompanied by a trained naturalist guide who will help us get the best enjoyment from these excursions.
Kasara Resort Chitwan (or similar)
Throughout your stay you will be kept busy except for a couple of hours around lunch time when you can read or relax in the shade. Activities in the park include a jeep safari searching out Chitwan's famous rare one-horned rhino, bird watching, jungle walks and a dugout canoe trip along the Rapti River. Canoeing will be dependent on the water level, floating silently down the river in a traditional dugout canoe gives us the opportunity to spot many varieties of water birds. On a nature walk in the company of trained native naturalists we walk along trails in the less densely forested parts of the park. An early morning bird watching walk near the river will reveal many of the 450 bird species that can be found in the park, especially kingfisher.
Today we drive back to Kathmandu. Due to ongoing roadworks this journey is taking longer than usual, possibly up to eight hours.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu.
There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).
Total distance : 31 kilometres
Temperatures in the lower altitude regions are extremely pleasant. At Pokhara variations in temperature are very limited: from the coldest recorded of 8°C (46°F) to the highest of 31°C (88°F). The mountains are best admired, with greater air clarity, from October to January, while from February to May the skies may be hazy. Monsoon rains are strongest in June, July and August. The coldest months are December and January.
2 Pin Round
While you are trekking, daytime temperatures will generally be warm. On this trek you do not go above 2500m, so although you will need a sweater or fleece for the evenings, weather will generally be mild. However it can be chilly in the evenings, particularly between November and February. Note that down jackets, fleece hats and gloves are provided at the trekking lodges for your comfort. Long trousers - For everyday walking, light cotton or technical fabic trousers are the most suitable. Knee length shorts are also acceptable Waterproofs - Breathable waterproofs not only protect against rain and wind but also stop you from overheating. They breathe and avoid condensation which you will experience from nylon waterproofs. Rain during the trekking season is fairly rare but can be heavy if it does happen. Gloves and warm hat - Useful in the morning and in the evening in the winter months. Sunhat Socks - It is best to wear a pair of reasonably thick loop stitch socks. These help to protect your feet against blisters. Avoid nylon socks, they are abrasive, don't breathe well and can cause blisters. Fleece pullover/jacket - You will need a fleece pullover/jacket for the evenings. Make sure that your waterproof jacket is loose enough to wear over your pullover or fleece. Thin Shirts/T-Shirts
We strongly recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Trainers and tennis shoes do not give the ankle support afforded by a decent pair of walking boots. Ideally, visit a specialist outdoor pursuits shop who will offer advice. Trainers or sandals are fine for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Your luggage should consist of three main pieces:
Main Baggage: The item of luggage used to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane and used to store all of the items you don't need on trek. This can be left behind at the group hotel used prior to the trek.
Trek Kitbag: Customers on all of our treks in Nepal receive a free Explore kitbag on the tour prior to the start of the trek. Approximately 80 litres in size it's ideal for all items you need to take on trek and the luggage preferred by our porters. The weight limit for this is 10kg but you will probably find that you do not need this much.
Daysac/Rucksack: 30-35 litres recommended. During the course of a trekking day, you do not have access to the luggage which is being carried for you by the porters. In any mountain region the weather can change rapidly and you must be equipped for this eventuality. Your daysac should therefore be large enough to carry waterproofs, fleece jacketweater, long trousers (if walking in shorts), sun hat, sun cream, water bottle (minimum 1 litre) and your camera. Most people normally find that this adds up to about 2 to 3kg. We advise you to take a waterproof rucksack cover or alternatively line the sack with a large plastic bag to keep the contents dry.
Advice on how and what to pack for the trek will be given at the tour briefing.
Water Bottle - Large water bottle (preferably 2 litre). For environmental reasons, we do not encourage the purchase of bottled mineral water. The lodges provide filtered and boiled water and we recommened taking a bottle with in-built filter such as the Water-to-Go system. Explore have partnered with Water-To-Go who supply 75cl personal water bottles with an in-built filter that eliminates 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. https://watertogo.eu/partnerships/explore. You can drink direct from the bottle which has a drinking spout and fill these either from the tap or with the boiled water provided on trek. Your Water-To-Go bottle can then be topped up during the day from your standard water bottle. Torch/Batteries/Bulb - A small torch is essential. Head torches are particularly useful. Only a limited selection of batteries may be available locally so bring spare batteries and bulb. Toiletries - Try to keep heavy cosmetics etc to a minimum. Towels, shampoo and soap are provided in the lodges. Binoculars - Useful for game viewing in Chitwan. Sunglasses - A good pair of sunglasses is essential for protection against UV rays and glare. Sun Hat, Sun Cream/Block and Lip Salve - Choose a high factor suncream (Factor 15 or more) to protect your skin against the sun at higher altitudes. A combination sunblock/ lipsalve is ideal for facial protection. Personal First Aid Kit - Each trek carries an extensive first aid kit but no prescription medicines. You should have your own supply of plasters, aspirin, diarrhoea tablets and also a comprehensive blister kit, plus any other items you or your doctor feels advisable. (Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the trek leader.) Trekking poles - Trekking poles with rubber points are recommended. Swimsuit Spare Laces Chlorine Dioxide for water purification Anti-bacterial handwash Ear Plugs- some may find it more comfortable to bring ear plugs with them so that while in hotels and lodges they are not disturbed at night. Insect repellent Almost every item required for a trek can be purchased or hired in Kathmandu and your Tour Leader can advise on the best shops to visit at your tour briefing.
On the trek you will be staying in Ker and Downey lodges which have all been purpose-built to allow guests to experience some of the most spectactular mountain vistas in the world in comfort. You will be staying in ensuite rooms with comfortable beds with sheets, blankets and down pillows. Towels, shampoo and soap are included and hot water bottles are also provided each night. Down jackets, fleeces, hats and gloves are available at each lodge for your convenience. There is a happy hour every night between 6 and 7pm where local alcoholic beverages including beer and spirits together with snacks are served free of charge around our central fireplaces which burn recycled briquettes. For more information and images see https://keranddowneynepal.com/lodges. The Kasara Jungle Resort is located on the fringes of bio-diversity-rich Chitwan National Park. The essence of Kasara's design is a blend of simple luxury in a lush and natural jungle environment. Guests are accommodated in spacious air-conditioned rooms, each with a private water-garden courtyard and indoor-outdoor bathroom space. There's a large garden area and outdoor swimming pool. See www.kasararesort.com/ Surrounded by lush gardens, the Shangri-La hotel Kathmandu is an oasis of green in the heart of the city. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, spa and well-equipped fitness centre. The comfortable well-appointed spacious rooms are furnished in a contemporary style. See www.hotelshangrila.com/
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Nepal: An entry visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens and can be obtained on arrival at Kathmandu Airport and various international border crossings between Nepal and its neighbouring countries. This currently costs $30 USD for a 15 day visa, $50 USD for a 30 day visa and $125 USD for a 90 day visa. All visas are issued as multiple entry visas and are valid from the date they are issued. There have been reports of lengthy delays when completing the form to obtain the visa at the airport, especially during peak times. We therefore recommend that you fill in the visa information prior to arrival using the following link: http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/. This will produce a receipt with a barcode, which you will need to print off and produce on arrival to obtain the visa. Please note if you are filling in the form before you arrive, please do so only within 15 days of arrival as application forms are only stored for a maximum of 15 days. Whether you are filling in the form on arrival or before, a passport-sized photograph for immigration is required along with the exact cash. Payment must be made in cash, UK sterling and US dollars are both accepted. If you are ineligible for the visa on arrival or wish to obtain a visa before you travel, please refer to your nearest Nepal embassy. Trekking Permits: A Trekkers Information Management Sytem (TIMS) card and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit will be applied for on your behalf by our local agents in Kathmandu. In order to facilitate this please bring a copy of your passport and two additional passport-sized photos. Your tour leader will collect these at the start of the trip.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, infectious hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Although not compulsory, travellers may wish to take immunisation against meningococcal meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.