An enlightening trek along the Kali Gandaki to Muktinath on the border of Mustang
The trek takes you along the Kali Gandaki to Muktinath on the border of Mustang, which is popularly known as the Himalayan Shangri-la. As you hike through the Kali Gandaki Valley, passing through the deepest gorge in the world; the trek finally emerges into the wide valley of Jomsom, a Himalayan Shangri-la. Beginning the trek from Nayapul after a short drive of about 45 minutes from Pokhara, the trail passes over the Ghorepani pass and descends down to Kali Gandaki valley. The views from the first rays of the sun at the break of dawn grace the pinnacles of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from Ghorepani, creating a landscape that is absolutely magnificent to behold. Fascinating traditional villages of Gurung, Magar & Thakali will keep you enthralled day after day as you hike along the way. Once you reach Jomsom, you can either trek to the famous Muktinath temple at 3710 meters or explore the fascinating villages around Jomsom.
Pokhara, Jomsom & Muktinath Trek is an easy trek that can be done any time of the year except during the monsoons (July & August).
You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities. Overnight at Hotel. .
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, we will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. Overnight at Hotel. .
It takes around 25 minutes to fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu. While flying to Pokhara, you can enjoy the fantastic views of shimmering mountain ranges and spectacular landscapes below you. You will be met at Pokhara airport by your trekking crew. A short drive of about an hour brings you to a trailhead at Birethanti, a busy village of lodges, shops and houses. You commence your trek with a gradual ascent along the left bank of the Bhurungdi Khola. You then leave the river and follow a trail along the upper edge of terraced fields through Hille to Tikedungha. Thereafter, you cross a stream beyond the village and then drop down to the suspension bridge over the Bhurungdi Khola. Then you climb a long, steep and seemingly endless stone staircase, which eventually leads you to the village of Ulleri. From this village, there are fine views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.. .
As you ascend along the path that leads to a forest, you will find Annapurna South, hidden by a ridge. Beyond Banthanti, there are magnificent forests of oak and rhododendron. After crossing several crystal-clear mountain streams, you arrive at the village of Nangathanti. Another few hours of trekking through the forest, you reach Ghorepani. Ghorepani literally means "horse water" and is a popular watering spot for mules, which ply this route from Pokhara to Jomsom and beyond. A ten minutes’ walk takes you to a small pass and further to the village of Deorali. For proper acclimatization, you rest at Ghorepani. .
You can catch an amazing view of the sunrise from an ideal vantage point of Poon Hill. After breakfast, you descend to Tatopani through the rhododendron forest amidst the magnificent natural vistas. As you near Chitre, you get an awe-inspiring view of Dhaulagiri range. The path then leads through terraced fields to Sikha, a Magar village clustered on a ridge. You continue descending, gradually at first and then more steeply to cross the Ghar Khola. After a short climb, you cross the Kali Gandaki on a large suspension bridge and from thereon, it is only a short distance upstream to Tatopani. Tatopani takes its name after the hot springs near the river below the village. .
You have to follow the trail that ascends gently up the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, towards the village of Dana, which is surrounded by orange groves. En route, you come across local people selling baskets of oranges. Just beyond the small hamlet of Rupse, a thundering waterfall cascades down beside the trail. Thereafter, the trail enters the steepest and narrowest section of the gorge. You will find the layered stone path well-constructed and wide. As the rock cliff ends, you head towards Ghasa, a quaint Thakali village. You can see several flat-roofed Tibetan style houses in Ghasa. .
After breakfast you trek from Ghasa towards Larjung. Few hours of descents soon follow other rock-strewn ascents through forests of fir, cypress and juniper along the riverbank of Kali Gandaki. As soon as you reach Larjung, you cannot help but marvel at the architectural grandeur of this small town; tunnels, narrow alleyways and houses built in traditional style presents an interesting sight. .
You begin to trek along the trail that follows the wide valley of the Kali Gandaki, passing through Khobang and Tukuche. Yet again, you get to see narrow alleyways and houses built around enclosed courtyards as a protection against the unpredictable wind of the Kali Gandaki gorge. The trail further meanders through stonewalled orchards. Soon you come across a stone gate that marks the entrance to Marpha. You can spot several white-walled houses. Marpha has well-maintained drainage system and is most popular for its local apple brandy. After lunch in Marpha, you continue trekking towards Jomsom. As you approach your destination Jomsom, the landscape becomes increasingly arid and impressive with its mixture of brown, yellow and grey contrasting with the white snowcapped peaks of Tilicho and Nilgiri. .
After breakfast you resume your trekking along the path up to the vast gravel riverbed of the Kali Gandaki. You come across a stream and verdant vegetation. On crossing a small ridge to Chhancha Lhumba at 2730 meters, you continue heading towards Muktinath. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri dominate the view as you ascend to Khingar (3200m). More meadows, streams and lush vegetation can be seen along the trail as it paves to Jharkot (3500m). You encounter the ruins of the Dzong and pristine villages of Purang and Changur. As you trek past mule stables and steep barren hillside, you enter Ranipauwa. Ranipauwa for years has remained an ideal resting point for pilgrims and travelers. On trekking further, you enter Muktinath. Temples and religious shrines are the major attractions of this holy place. Pilgrims flock to the Buddhist gompa and pagoda-style temple of Lord Vishnu. Muktinath is an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. .
Heading away from Muktinath, you retrace your steps to Jomsom taking on the magnificent view of Nilgiri. You stay overnight in Jomsom. In the evening you celebrate the completion of your trek with the crew, whom you have come to know so well over the last 9 days. .
You board an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. From Pokhara you can either fly or drive to Kathmandu. The flight takes around 30 minutes and the drive takes around 6-7 hours. .
You can indulge in souvenir shopping, sightseeing or other personal activities until your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. .
The treks on this grade last for about a week to 10 days. It generally doesn't go above 4000 meter and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 – 5 hours. It is a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. The activity level is fairly easy but don't expect it to be all easy going, there will still be some big hills to climb as well as the well-known 'Nepali flat' – a little bit up and a little bit down.
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters
This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
2) Camping trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one Sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
3) Lodge or tea house trek
Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups.
Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
Trekking in Annapurna region doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly Lodges along the trail.
You stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. All lodges have spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).
Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in Lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents.
On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
Meals are included in our price and are taken in Lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the many Lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy bottled water in tea houses.
We recommend you to bring water purification pills.
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu. Weight allowance at Nepal’s domestic airlines is 15 Kgs, excess weight is chargeable about USD 1.5 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2018 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want.
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies: minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2, the maximum is 12 people.
Personal expenses depend largely on the type of trek, duration and the trekking region.
If you are on Camping or Tea house trek all meals will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. NPR 2000-2500 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (tea house) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staff assigned by us.
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate 5 - 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
You can choose any mode of transport to commute from Kathmandu to Pokhara/Bijayapur. From Kathmandu, you can take a 30 minutes’ scenic flight to Pokhara and drive to Bijaypur or we drive for 6/7 hours from Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway to Bijaypur, the starting point of the trek. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Begnas. You can choose between flying or driving back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We will also arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).
There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Annapurna region. Cell phones work fine throughout the trek in the region. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a sim card or rental satellite phones if necessary.
Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag, waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip or check CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST LINK.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day's adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
The best seasons to trek in the Annapurna region are Autumn (from mid-September till November end) and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -20 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 30C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited. Trekking in the winter is possible; however, it is much colder than Autumn and Spring.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below (visa form) and get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January - December).
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio. The problem of altitude sickness will not occur in this trek.
FIRST AID KIT
We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
For more details on our responsible initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/
1) It is fundamental you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of USD 300 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 300)
29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at email@example.com or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418100.
The meeting and handling was excellent. The support team showed great flexibility while improvising the itinerary. Hotel Dwarikas was excellent (service, food and accommodation) while Shangri-La was good (the food was not as varied as Dwarikas).
We find it very important that our travelling contributes to the preservation of Nepal’s fragile and beautiful nature. We encourage Kipling Travels and Explore Himalaya to start working with different tea-houses / lodges and hotels on sustainability initiatives- like waste recycling, solar heating etc. Many tourists would be willing to pay more to be sure that accommodation and transport do not harm the environment or add to global warming.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.