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Your journey will begin in Kathmandu, the ancient capital city of Nepal. You’ll spend a day exploring the historic temples and landmarks that encompass the bustling city. Take a scenic flight to Pokhara with spectacular views of the Himalayas before starting the trek the same day. The short Annapurna trek passes through several bucolic Gurung villages. The Gurung people are one of sixty ethnic groups in Nepal and the predominant race recruited in the famous Gurkha regiment of the British and Indian army. You will be staying at the comfortable Ker and Downey lodges on the trek with ensuite rooms. The trek ends in Pokhara. After a couple days in Pokhara, you head to Chitwan to explore the National park which is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros. A short flight brings you back to Kathmandu where the trip concludes.
This trek will also include a post-trek massage, Nepali cooking class and more special touches.
Every day on this incredible adventure there will be opportunities to commune with your body & spirit through yoga and meditation. In Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan, the yoga will be in places suited for a comfortable yoga class. And while on the trek, you will be treated to some of the best and most unconventional settings for yoga classes ever. Each lodge will have a different arrangement, but often those classes – weather permitting – will be outside with the spectacular Himalayas standing guard over your practice.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 2||Exploring Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 3||Fly to Pokhara. Drive to Kimche. Trek to Ghandrung||Ghandrung||1,940m/6,400ft|
|Day 4||Trek to Landrung||Landrung||1,565m/5,140ft|
|Day 5||Trek to Majhgaon||Majhgaon||1,410m/4,620ft|
|Day 6||Trek to Phedi. Drive to Pokhara||Pokhara||827m/2,700ft|
|Day 7||Explore Pokhara||Pokhara||827m/2,700ft|
|Day 8||Drive to Chitwan||Chitwan||415m/1,370ft|
|Day 9||Explore Chitwan||Chitwan||415m/1,370ft|
|Day 10||Fly to Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 11||Sightseeing in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 12||Final departure|
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during group dinner. Overnight Hotel Shambaling or similar. (Dinner)
Visit Bodhnath – the Stupa of a million dew drops. Bodhnath is a sacred destination for Buddhists. Here, you will find devotees, many from Tibet, circumambulating the monument at any time of the day.
Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the God of Destruction. Non- Hindu visitors cannot enter the main temple sanctum and must view it from across the sacred Bagmati River. Here, you are likely to witness a Hindu cremation.
After lunch, visit the well- maintained Patan Museum which houses ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar (Palace) Square. Patan is also known as Lalitpur, the City of Arts.
Overnight Hotel Shambaling or simlar. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Transfer to the domestic terminal at the Kathmandu airport for your flight to Pokhara. You must arrive at the airport one hour before your scheduled departure time. Be ready for a wait at the airport if your flight is delayed due to weather or other reasons.
The flight to Pokhara (800m/2,640ft) is approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the weather, you will be able to view the Himalayan range including Manaslu and Annapurna IV from your airplane window. Note: sit on the right hand side of the plane if possible.
After arriving in Pokhara, transfer by private vehicle to the starting point of your trek at Kimche. The first day’s walk is mostly ascent through terraced paddy fields and staircases to Ghandruk.
Overnight Ker and Downey Lodge. (All meals)
Descend steeply through terraced rice fields to the Modi Khola. Then make a steep ascent to Landruk.
Overnight Ker and Downey Lodge. (All meals)
Overnight Ker and Downey Lodge. (All meals)
From Majhgaon, walk 1.5 hours to Lumle where the trek ends. A 4 x 4 will drive you back to Pokhara.
Overnight Temple Tree resort or similar (Breakfast and Lunch)
Short boat ride on the Phewa lake. 30 minute uphill hike to Peace Stupa.
Visit the International Mountaineering Museum which has an excellent display of exhibits of the world’s mountains. Lunch at the museum café.
Evening, enjoy a trekkers massage at the hotel.
Temple Tree Resort or similar. (B, L)
Drive to Chitwan. The drive should take around 5-6 hours. In October, a direct flight from Pokhara to Chitwan is available.
Overnight Barahi Jungle Resort (All meals)
Early morning yoga in the resort compound followed by a full day of Jungle activities which will include elephant back ride through the community forest in Meghauli. If you do not wish to ride an elephant, you have the option of a jungle drive.
In the evening, a cultural showcasing the traditional stick and other dances of the ethnic Tharu people will be presented. The Tharu are the indigenous people of the Terai of Nepal and one of 60 or so ethnic groups of Nepal.
Overnight Barahi Jungle Resort. (All meals)
Optional yoga in the morning in the hotel premises. Afternoon flight back to Kathmandu. Day is free for shopping or just relaxing.
Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar (B)
In the morning, after yoga, drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Continue to Budanilkanta to see the sleeping Vishnu revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. In the afternoon, a Nepali cooking class followed by dinner at a Nepali home.
Overnight: Hotel Tibet or similar. (All meals)
Transfer to airport for final departure. (B)
Per person price (valid until December 31, 2020)
2 participants: US$ 4,200 per person
4 participants: US$ 3,780 per person
5 or more participants: US$ 3,360 per person
Single Supplement: US$ 950
US$ 150 per person discount on January, February and December departures
This trip is fully customizable for a party of two or more. Please contact us for details.
On a yoga trek, besides trekking, you would practice yoga every morning (prior to breakfast) or in the evening. The yoga sessions will be led by a certified yoga instructor. There will also be time for instructor led meditation. Besides your trekking gear, all you need to bring is comfortable yoga attire. We will provide yoga mats.
There are two preferred seasons for this yoga trip: Spring (March through May) and Fall (October through December). Day time temperatures range in the 60’s and upper 70’s (20 to 30 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s (5 to 10 Centigrade). Expect night time temperatures of near Freezing in the Winter. Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is the season for rhododendrons and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains.
We highly encourage you to trek in the winter months of December, January and February when days can be quite sunny and warm (50F – 10 Centigrade) although you should expect temperatures near or just below freezing in the night.But the trails and lodges aren’t as crowded. We offer a $150 per person discount for treks in the Winter.
Anyone who is reasonably fit and can hike 8 miles a day can participate in this trip. Most of the trek involves ascents and descents. That said, the better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy the trek.
It is advised that anyone with a pre-existing condition consult their doctor before signing up for a trek.
We rate this trip a 2 (moderate) on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).
In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (any style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables etc for lunch and dinner. And expect Nepali dal-bhat (rice-lentils with vegetables and/or meat) at all the lodges.
Ours is an OPEN menu. Meaning we allow our clients to order anything from the lodge menu besides bottled beverages, specialty coffee and packaged snacks. We also don’t limit the number of items per meal as long as you aren’t wasteful. When choosing your trekking company, ask if meals are fixed or if you are only allowed to order one item from the menu.
Layering is key. And it’s always recommended to trek with good branded gear. A good pair of hiking boots that’s been broken in is very important. Good top and bottom base layers, a mid layer (fleece or capilene), and an outer layer (Gore-tex or other material). If you tend to get cold quickly, bring a down parka especially for the evening at the lodge. On most days, you’d be hiking in a convertible hiking pant that can be converted into shorts and one or two top layers.
if you’re trekking with Crystal Mountain Treks, we provide a sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F or -17 degree C), duffel bags, down jacket and Steripen for water purification to our clients for no charge.
It is possible to buy cheap and relatively functional gear in Kathmandu – convertible pants, down jackets, fleece, Gore-tex jackets. But remember, you get what you pay for. Wool gloves, hats, socks are available too.
There are quite a few branded stores too. North Face, Moutain Hardwear, Marmot and Sherpa. If you’re coming from Australia or Europe, items in these shops are probably cheaper than back home. But if you’re coming from the US, it’s better to buy branded gear at home.
Nepali tap water is NOT safe to drink. Even if you see the locals drinking water straight from the tap, never drink water before boiling or sterilizing. Bring water purifying tablets or other water purifiers. At higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to buy boiled water from teahouses. If you plan to use a STERIPEN, bring wide mouth water bottles. You would need at least 2 one-liter water bottles for the trek. Even if you plan to bring a hydration pack, bring 1 one-liter water to sterilize the water before pouring into your hydration pack.
Crystal Mountain Treks will provide you with a Steripen to use on the trek for no charge.
Most of the places on the main Annapurna trail now have cell coverage. But once you get off the main trail, coverage may not be available. Lodges will offer wi-fi for between $1 to $10 per hour. You can also buy a Sim card with 5GB or 10GB data for under $25: do this in Kathmandu.
The more physically fit you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. There are three aspects to training for any trek. 1) Cardiovascular Training will make your body more efficient in using oxygen. Running, walking, swimming or biking, or any combination of these are great for cardiovascular conditioning. 2) Strength Training by either using free weights or machines at the gym will build hiking strength. Walking stairs, especially with a pack will simulate the hiking environment. We also recommend practicing squats. Trekkers will encounter low hanging obstacles to duck under, and many toilets are at ground level, which requires a low squat.
3) Endurance Training is where you build endurance in the months leading up to your trek, slowly increase your length of training sessions. By the time you are 2 weeks from the scheduled trek date you should be able to ascend 3,000 ft. in a 3-4 hour period.
In the end, the more your training simulates a trek, the better off you will be. So hiking 4-5 hours outdoors, uphill and downhill, about once or twice a week in addition to other cardio vascular training at the gym or at home will greatly benefit and prepare you for the trek.
The Ker and Downey lodges have en suite rooms with Western style toilets. It is possible to shower in all the lodges.
Activity: Lodge Trek
The Gokyo Lakes trek is a great alternative for those who wish to avoid the popular (and busy) trail to Everest Base Camp. Moreover, the views from Gokyo Ri (5,357m/17,575ft.) and Renjo La pass (5,465m /17,930ft) are arguably better than those from Kalapathar. A little above Namche, the trail to Gokyo splits from the trail to the Everest Base Camp. Head North, following the Dudh Koshi river to its source near the Ngozumpa glacier. Trekking to the Gokyo Lakes allows you to enjoy views of giants such as Everest, Cho-Oyu, Makalu, Pumori, Amadablam, Thamserku, Tarboche, Cholatse etc.
From Namche, head north west following the Dudh Koshi river to its source near the Gokyo Lakes. The Gokyo Lakes trek culminates at Gokyo on the banks of the third lake. Here, we will spend three nights exploring the area. On our second day at Gokyo, hike to either Gokyo Ri or Renjo La pass for views of the lakes and the mountains (see photo above). On the third day, hike to the 5th lakes for up-close views of Cho Oyu and other mountains.
It is possible to combine trekking to the Gokyo Lake with the Everest Base Camp trek. Check out our 19-day Everest Base Camp Trek or the 15-day Everest Base Camp – fast paced trek. Also, if you have more time and wish to be more adventurous, check out the Ultimate Everest Trek. This involves crossing two passes: the Cho La pass (Everest Base Camp to Gokyo lake) and the Renjo La pass (from Gokyo lake to Thame). Furthermore, an even more physically challenging trek is the Everest Three Passes Trek. No climbing skills are required for these treks. We are also happy to customize any of these treks for you. Click on the options tab to check out more options.
The Gokyo Lakes Trek is a lodge trek. This means you will sleep and eat meals in local lodges along the trail. The quality of the lodges on this trek are quite comparable to those on the Everest Base Camp Trek. And quite a few of them have en suite rooms with hot showers. Meals are also quite varied with many options including rice with veggies, noodles, local breads etc. Read our article about food options on Everest treks.
Like most treks in Nepal, the best seasons for the trekking to the Gokyo Lakes are Spring (March-May) and Autumn (October-November). It is also possible to do this trek in Winter months of December, January and February if you do not intend to cross the passes. While it will obviously be very cold (upto -20 C/, -4 F), it will be less crowded and there aren’t as many trekkers in the area.
The Gokyo Lakes trek is rated “STRENUOUS”. It is rated 4 on a rating scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging). While the highest altitude reached is at Gokyo Ri (5,357 meters), the highest overnight elevation is at Gokyo Lakes (4,750m/15,500 feet) which is much lower than on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Average daily hiking times is 5 to 6 hours with one long day of around 7 hours on the day hike to the 5th lakes. It is important to prepare for any trek in Nepal. Read our advice on training for treks.
All our Gokyo Lakes Treks are private treks for a minimum of two participants for a date of your choosing. We do NOT nickel-and-dime on services – all inclusions and exclusions are clearly listed in cost details. Some companies will advertise trips for very low prices but they have a lot of exclusions that is usually not clear. Most of our trekkers are either repeat clients or referrals. We have been in business for over 30 years and we employ only the most professional and friendly staff.
We are also proud to give back to our community through 3 Summits For Nepal managed by Crystal Mountain Treks staff. Contact us to learn more…
On the Makalu Base Camp trek, participants get up-close with the fifth highest mountain in the world – Mt. Makalu (8,485m). Eric Shipton was the first outsider to have trekked in the region in the 1950’s. Consequently, the Shipton Pass on this trek was named after him. The first climb on Makalu was made by an American team led by Riley Keegan and Sierra Club members including Bill Long and Allen Steck. They attempted via the southeast ridge but they turned back at 23,300 ft. due to bad weather. The first ascent of Makalu was by a French expedition team on May 15, 1955.
The Makalu Base Camp Trek starts at a relatively lower elevation which is home to Rai’s, Gurung’s and Tamang people. The last permanent settlement is Tashigaon which is the home of the Sherpa people. Ascending slowly, the trek follows a trail through the beautiful Makalu Barun National Park which is home to diverse flora and fauna. Continue to trek past the Barun river along spectacular granite rocks, pastures and waterfalls.
The Makalu Base Camp trek is quickly emerging as a popular trekking destination especially among trekkers who prefer solitude. Trekking to Makalu is a great alternative to the more busier treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. And with daily flights available to Tumlingtar, the Makalu Base Camp Trek is also quite easily accessible. It has all the makings of an epic Himalayan trek including stunning snow-clad mountain scenery, high passes, intriguing mix of Nepal’s culture and soaring Himalayan peaks.
The journey begins with a 35-minute flight to Tumlingtar from where we drive to the road-head on a chartered vehicle. The lower parts of the Makalu region are quite hot and humid with lush rhododendron and oak forests, cardamom plantations. Ascend slowly over several passes and follow the Barun river valley to the Makalu Base Camp. Return to Tumlingtar is along the same trail but vistas are quite spectacular in both directions. For more information, do check out Jwalant’s blog: My Makalu Base Camp Trek
The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a combo Lodge Trek/Camping Trek. This means you will sleep and eat meals in local lodges along the trail and also in tents where necessary. The lodges on this trek are quite basic. Meals are not as varied as on the Everest or the Annapurna treks but options do include rice with veggies, noodles, local breads etc. On this trek, we will carry some food to supplement what’s available at the local lodges and a certified trekking cook will accompany the group to prepare more varied meals. Furthermore, we will also carry tents so you may opt to sleep in tents in some of the more basic places.
Like most treks in Nepal, the best seasons for the Makalu Base Camp trek are Spring (April-May) and Autumn (October-November).
The Makalu Base Camp trek is rated “CHALLENGING”. It is rated 5 on a rating scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging). While it does NOT involve crossing 5,000 meter mountain passes, it is probably the MOST CHALLENGING trek in Nepal in terms of daily elevation gain/loss. No technical climbing experience is required but some sections of the trail (all stair-cases) are almost 50 degrees steep. The highest overnight altitude reached is at Makalu Base Camp (4,800 m/15,750ft) and the highest elevation reached is at the view point above base camp (5,300m/17,400 feet). There are two acclimatization days to allow for proper acclimatization.
Trekking to Makalu involves average daily hiking or around 6 hours with a few longer days of around 7-8 hours. Also, this is a relatively long trek in a remote area. Regardless of the rating, it is important to prepare for any trek in Nepal. Read our advice on training for treks.
The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a private trek for a minimum of two participants. We do NOT nickel-and-dime on services – inclusions and exclusions are clearly listed in cost details. Some companies will advertise trips for very low prices but they have a lot of exclusions that is usually not clear. With over 30 years of experience, most of our trekkers are either repeat clients or referrals. We employ the most professional and friendly staff. We are also proud to give back to our community through our giving arm – 3 Summits For Nepal – managed by Crystal Mountain Treks staff. Contact us to learn more…