Nepal, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary

Overview

Length: 17 Days

Group Dates:   Size: 4 – 10
Nov 26 – Dec 12, 2015  Founder’s Trip*
Mar 01 – Mar 17, 2016 Founder’s Trip*

*Arrange Your Own
Private Departures Anytime!
(for 2 or more persons)

Level: Vigorous. Trekking

Price: From $2,595

Days 1-2– Kathmandu, Nepal
Days 3-4– Pokhara
Day 4– Empowering Women of Nepal
Days 5-14– Trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Stay in teahouses and lodges
Day 15– Pokhara
Day 16– Kathmandu
Day 17– Return


Summary

Join us on a most meaningful journey as we trek in Nepal ‘s Himalaya and raise money to support EWN Empowering Women of Nepal initiative. Start in exotic Kathmandu where golden temples, fluttering prayer flags and chants of Buddhist monks will delight all your senses.  Pokhara welcomes you with its clean air and location on Phewa Lake.  Spend quality time getting to know about EWN and their Children’s school.  Our 10-day trek is the perfect for experienced hikers who always dreamed of exploring Nepal’s Himalaya. Trek past terraced fields and giant rhododendrons. Stay overnight at guest lodges in ethnic villages.  Stand in awe as the peaks of the Annapurna Range are displayed before you. And, as good as all that sounds, it might just pale in comparison to the warmth and friendliness of the Nepalese people.

Responsible travel – Make it Meaningful

Your visit supports Empowering Women of Nepal, EWN. EWN along with our trekking partner trains disadvantaged rural women of Nepal to be female trekking guides – the first of their kind! Your trek directly supports EWN and their children’s school.

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Itinerary

Note: Trip begins in Kathmandu, Nepal on Day 1. Plan for 1 – 2 days of flight time prior to Day 1. Flights from the US cross the International Date Line and some travelers may require an overnight in Delhi or Bangkok prior to arriving into Kathmandu.

Note:  Nov 26, 2015 and March 01. 2016 (Founder’s Trip).
Join world-explorer, do-gooder and Meaningful Trips founder, Joe Staiano

Note: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1 – Kathmandu

Arrival to Kathmandu, pick up and transfer to hotel. Free to explore the day. Overnight stay in Kathmandu hotel.
D

Elevation: 4,600 feet / 1,400 meters

Day 2 – Kathmandu

Kathmandu valley sightseeing including Baudhanath, Sywambhunath (Monkey Temple) and Durbar square.  After visiting Durbar square, we walk back to the hotel via old Asan Bazaar.  Overnight in Kathmandu hotel.
B, L, D

Day 3 – Fly to Pokhara

After breakfast, take a 1-hour flight to Pokhara – with the entire Himalaya range spread out before you, this could (weather cooperating) be one of your most scenic flights ever.  Meet our Pokhara team and extended family – The 3 Sisters. And now, you too, become part of our family.

Welcome! Smile during lunch as a parade of school children customarily pop-in to pay respects to the elders. In the afternoon, we will be rowed across Phewa Lake and take a short hike to visit the International Peace Pagoda. Dinner at the Guest House.
B, L, D

Elevation: 2,900’ / 884m

Day 4 – Empowering Women of Nepal

Visit Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN) center for an exchange program. After lunch, we will visit the Women’s Skill Development Project. At 5pm we will have trek orientation, introduction with staff, and 3 Sisters/EWN presentations at EWN office building followed by dinner at the Chhetri Sisters Guest house.
B, D

Day 5 10-day Trek Begins: Pokhara – Hille

A 1-hour drive takes us to Nayapul (3,500 feet / 1,070 meters) – the starting point of our trek. We follow the river and then slowly ascend through terraced rice fields to Hille (4,850’ / 1,478 m) and stop for the night. All meals included while trekking.

Distance: 3 miles,  Time: 4.5 hours, Elevation Gain: 1,350’. High point: 4,850’

Day 6  Hille – Ghorepani

We start our day with a steep ascent to Ulleri (6,800’) where we get our first view of the Himalayas. We then continue through forests of rhododendron until we reach our destination – Ghorepani (9,150 feet / 2,800 m). Engage the local shopkeepers in friendly conversation.

Distance: 4 .5 miles, Time: 7 hours, Elevation gain: 4,300’, High point: 9,400’

Day 7  Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Tadapani

An early climb to the summit of Poon Hill (9,950 feet / 3,030 m) to watch the sun rise across a magnificent Himalayan panorama. After breakfast we follow a long ridge through rhododendron forests. We then hike through impressive river gorges and spectacular waterfalls. Keep an eye out for Langur monkeys in the trees. Our destination is Tadapani (8,500’ / 2600 m).

Distance: 7 miles, Time: 5 hours, Gain: 550’ / Loss: 1,100’, High point: 9,950’

Day 8  Tadapani – Chomrong

Descend steeply through a shaded forest trail, passing through the banks of the Modi Khola (‘Khola’ means river).  Ascend steeply past terraced fields of maize and potatoes to Chomrong (7,100’ / 2,150 m), the last permanent settlement in the valley. From here we have fantastic views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare (the ‘Fishtail’).

Distance: 5 miles, Time: 6 hours, Loss: 1,400’, Start point: 8,500’ End point: 7,100’

Day 9  Chomrong – Bamboo

Trek 5 hours through beautiful bamboo and rhododendron forests to Bamboo (7,600’ / 2310 m).  This makes for a great acclimatization day.

Distance: 5 miles, Time: 5 hours, Gain: 500’, High point: 7,600’

Day 10  Bamboo – Deurali

Short distance today, but we will take our time trekking to Deurali (10,500’ / 3,230 m). As we hike up the valley, we could see tops of the mountains on the horizon. Some have described it as like being inside a huge cathedral with the valley walls surrounding you, rising high above, the grassy meadows before you, and a large river running straight through the middle.

Distance: 3 miles, Time: 5 hours, Gain: 2,900’, High point: 10,500’

Day 11  Deurali to ABC, Annapurna Base Camp

Up, up, up.. Reach MBC, Machhapuchre Base Camp and take a long rest break. Then, as we finally near Annapurna Base Camp, the trail widens, sparkling snow-melt streams line our route. If you must, go ahead and photograph the near-vertical south face of Annapurna towering above the sanctuary.  Soon, you reach Annapurna Base Camp – congratulations!

Your breath is gone. Is it the altitude? Or, the 360 degree views of Annapurna range — Machhapuchre, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Hiuchuli and more.

Distance: 4 miles, Time: 5 hours up, Gain: 3,050’, High point: 13,550’

Day 12  ABC – Bamboo

Sunrise at ABC… we won’t even TRY to describe it here in words!  Your trekking poles will definitely come in handy for our 6-7 hour long descent to Bamboo. (7,600 feet / 2,310 m). What’s that sound?  That’s the sound of you breathing much more easily!

Distance: 7 miles,  Time: 6 hours,  Loss: 5,950’,  Ending point: 7,600’

Day 13  Bamboo – Jhunidanda

Re-trace our steps until Chomrong where we take a steep trail of a thousand stone steps down crossing the Modi Khola river and ending at Jhunidanda village  (5,840’ / 1,780 m).  Enjoy a well-deserved soak in the hot springs.

Distance: 6.5 miles,  Time: 5 hours,  Loss: 1,750’,  Ending point: 5,840’

Day 14  Jhundidanda –  Pokhara

Today we leave the mountains behind us. A 5 hour hike and a 45-minute drive take us back to a hot shower, clean clothes, and the relaxing lakeside of Pokhara.  At the Chhetri Sisters guesthouse we will share an evening of food, fun & laughter with the entire trekking crew.

Day 15

Today we will visit the Single Women Project (WHR) and spend more time with the children at EWN Children’s Home.  Dinner on your own in Pokhara.

Day 16

Fly back to Kathmandu in the morning, transfer to hotel. Free to explore the rest of the day.
B

Day 17

Transfers to the airport for flights back home
B

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Trip Details

Group Departures:

Nov 26 – Dec 12, 2015,  founder’s trip
Mar 01 – Mar 17, 2016. founder’s trip>

Private Dates – choose your own date, with 2 or more persons

Group Size: 4 – 10 persons

Minimum Age: 16 (see below)

Trip Cost:
4 – 12 persons: $2,595

Airfare not included
Per Person, Double occupancy

Own Room: $300 (see below)
For those specifically requesting their own room – Only for hotels in Kathmandu & Pokhara (6 nights); No single rooms on the trek)

What’s Included

  • Airport transfers on first and last day
  • Expert leadership
  • Accommodations, meals, sights, entrance fees as noted in itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Internal flights: Kathmandu to Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • In-country support team
  • Contribution to one or more global NGO, nonprofit or organization we partner with.
  • Contribution to Global Giving. (Meaningful Trip is proud to partner with nonprofit, Global Giving, specifically to support hunger and poverty needs in the USA.)

What’s Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Any hotel costs while en route prior to Day 1
  • Meals not noted on itinerary
  • Insurance
  • Tip for your city-guide (optional)
  • Tip for your trekking staff (optional)
  • Excess baggage charges; airport taxes
  • Cost of medical immunizations
  • Cost of obtaining a passport
  • Cost of tourist visa on arrival at airport ($40)
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

Visa Information

US Citizens can obtain a Nepal visa upon arrival at the Nepal airport (bring 2 passport-sized photos).  You must have a passport.  Passport must be valid for 90 days after trip conclusion.  Stay up to date by checking US Department of State website:  www.travel.state.gov

Air Travel

International airfare is not included.  Please always check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to verify your arrival and departure schedule and to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. Contact your local travel agent, airline, or preferred on-line booking service for airfare needs.

Tier Pricing

Meaningful travel works best with a small group of people and some trips have tier pricing.  Our minimum is set at four persons.  It may be possible to operate the tour with less than four persons by charging a small group surcharge.  Note: trips are priced according to the number of full-price passengers on the trip. (Meaningful Trip staff, travel writers and other discounted travelers are excluded from the count for this purpose.)

Single Travelers

If you specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted above.  If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a same-gender roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, you will be asked to pay a reduced single fee which is half of the full single supplement. There are only a limited number of single rooms available on most departures.

Note: Single supplement is ONLY for hotel nights in Kathmandu and Pokhara (6 nights total). There are no requested single accommodations while trekking.

Choose your own Departure

Small groups of four or more can pick their own desired departure dates.  So grab your family, your neighbors, or your best friends and call us.

Customized Private Groups

Family reunions, corporate groups, wedding parties, student groups, church groups,  and any groups interested in a customized departure are welcome to contact us.

Go to Nepal for FREE!

For private groups with nine full-paying passengers, the 10th person goes FREE! *   (well, almost free… international airfare not included and there is a $400 cost which is needed to cover Pokhara flights, and contribution to EWN).

Payment & Cancellation Policy

Payment

Deposit of $500 due at time of reservation.
Final balance due 90 days prior to trip departure.

Cancellation

If you cancel prior to departure (we need written notice), cancellation fees are:

91 or more days… $0
61 to 90 days… $500
31 to 60 days… 50% of Trip Cost
0 to 30 days… 100% of Trip Cost

Insurance

Meaningful Trip strongly recommends travel insurance. Our preferred travel insurance provider is World Nomads.  Their ‘Standard’ policy starts at $69 and covers Medical, Trip Cancellation, Baggage, and Emergency Evacuation.   Links can be found on our Deposit, Sign-up, and ‘Travel Resources’ pages.

Trip Level and Qualifications

Note to NON-TREKKERS

Non-trekkers are most welcome to join this trip. For the 9-days that the rest of the group goes trekking in the mountains, we will arrange lower walks and cultural visits as well as more time at the EWN (Empowering Women of Nepal) center, the children’s school and more. (Additional hotel fees will apply).

Vigorous
Recommended for fit travelers. Moderate hiking experience and conditioning required.  Activity: 5 – 8 hours trekking daily at high elevation, while carrying your own small daypack (water, essentials and warm layers).  Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails.  Elevations: will range from 6,000 – 14,000 feet.  It is important that you read our information about Altitude Mountain Sickness.  A doctor’s release is required for persons age 60 or older.  It’s arduous travel just getting to Nepal and in Kathmandu, expect to encounter pollution and traffic noise.

Minimum Age: 16

As most all of our travelers are adults, our minimum age on all trips is 16 years old (unless on a specifically-designated ‘Family Trip’ or ‘Private Trip’). Ages 16 – 20, must be accompanied by an adult.

Weather

The spring and fall are the two trekking seasons for Nepal.  In the spring (March, April), the lowland trails are lined with blooming rhododendron; daytime temperatures are mild (mid-70s) and evenings (40’s – and even colder at the highest elevations).  In the fall (October, November, beginning December), days are typically sunny and clear with moderate temperatures (60’s) and the evenings are usually quite cold!  (30’s – 40’s).

Lodging

Hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara were carefully selected for their comfort, service, staff friendliness and commitment to sustainability.   Rooms will have single or double beds with heat, full toilet bathrooms and other amenities.  While trekking, the teahouses or guesthouses are simple and basic, but you will be well taken care of.

There are typically 2 – 3 small beds per room. Some guesthouses have inside toilets, whereas others might have an outhouse located outside. See lodging for photos of typical accomodations.

Food

Nepal has great food. Dal (lentils), bhat (rice), aloo (potatoes), tarkari (curried vegetable) are common. Kathmandu and Pokhara offer a wide range of cuisine including favorite western dishes.  While trekking: breakfast might be Tibetan bread – pan fried bread served with mountain honey and butter, or muesli, or an occasional omelet.

At lunch, porters typically run ahead and place orders in time for our arrival. Usual hits are: chowmein (fried noodles with vegetables), momos (steamed dumplings), or aloo (boiled potatoes with sauce). Dinners might be fried noodles, vegetable curry, dal (lentils), momos and who knows… maybe even the occasional mountain pizza.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the Meaningful Trip Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully. Additional pre-departure information including a Packing List, Medical Form and Liability Release Form is emailed upon sign-up.

Signing up is Easy!

A no risk $500 deposit reserves your spot and is 100% fully refundable if you change your mind for any reason at all, more than 90-days out! Call or click today. Reserve your spot. Then leave the rest to us.

Your meaningful trip awaits. Space is limited. Reserve today.

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What We Believe

At our core, we believe that meaningful and responsible tourism is a conduit for peace and global understanding. Way beyond tourism… we gain insight, discover new perspectives, develop lifelong memories, we become change agents for creating a better world.

Making Your Trip to Annapurna Meaningful

Empowering Women of Nepal, along with 3 Sisters Trekking, trains disadvantaged rural women of Nepal to be female trekking guides – the first of their kind!

Nepal is 70% rural. In rural western Nepal the literacy rate for women is 7%. By offering education and skilled training in guiding adventure trekking, a male-dominated field in Nepal, EWN wants to encourage the development of self-supporting, independent and decisive women.

Female trainees go through an intensive four-week program with a curriculum that includes conversational English; first aid; the history, geography and culture of Nepal; leadership skills; women’s rights; trekking instruction; health and hygiene; and waste management.

This is followed by a five-month paid apprenticeship program. Further, EWN focuses on mobile training and rural community development in West Nepal through eco-tourism. A mobile team from EWN travels to remote areas of Nepal to provide intensive training in health, leadership, hygiene and sanitation, food hygiene and women’s health issues.

EWN has also established a home for girls who’ve been rescued from child labor and exploitation. The girls are provided with food, shelter, education and support from all over Nepal.

Our Pledge

All our tours support environmental, economic and social endeavors in the areas we visit. We hire locally. We choose hotels based on their efforts toward sustainability. We promote women’s employment, education and empowerment with all our partners. We support local livelihoods on every element of our tours.

MeaningfulTrip’s Triple Give

In addition to all of the above, we:

  • Make contributions to selected global projects, NGO’s, or causes in countries we visit.
  • Make a contribution to Global Giving, a non-profit that connects donors with grassroots projects around the world. MeaningfulTrips is proud to partner with Global Giving and we will specifically target projects that support hunger and poverty needs in the USA.
  • Pledge 1% of our end-of-year net profits to a MeaningfulTrip Trust.

Lodging & Amenities

Annapurna Sanctuary LodgingAnnapurna Sanctuary Lodging


Embassies

US embassies abroad
Foreign embassies located in USA

Passports

US State Department (passports) – Everything you need to know about passports.

Visas Link

US State Department (visas) – Visa and entry & exit requirements

Visa Services

Zierer Visa Services – ZVS has offices in San Francisco, New York, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, and Florida

Destination Information

Geographia – This site contains concise profiles of major countries in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America. Provides information on: geography, climate, culture, people, history.

World Time

TheTimeNow.com – Find out what time it is, anywhere in the world.

Money Matters

Currency Converter

Health Information

Information on vaccines and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

Center for Disease Control – Travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Includes reference material and recommendations by geographic region.

High Altitude Issues

ISMM, International Society for Mountain Medicine – Comprehensive information on Acclimatization and Acute Mountain Sickness, including prevention, recognition, and treatment of altitude illness.

Weather

Intellicast Weather Site – This site gives current weather all over the world, as well as historic average temperatures and rainfall, and sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, and the phases of the moon.

Clothing & Gear

Meaningful Trip’s recommended outdoor retailers specializing in adventure and responsible travel.

Altrec – The number one source for all your favorite outdoor adventure brands including Mountain Hardwear, Arc’Teryx, Mountainsmith, Oakley, Marmot and many more! A true leader in online shopping.

Columbia Sportswear – “Trying stuff takes us to places we never imagined”

Dana Design – At Dana Design, we seek comfort for those who travel far. It’s why serious trekkers aren’t just partial to Dana Design. They’re devoted.

EagleCreek – Eagle Creek offers the most comprehensive selection of packs, wheeled luggage, duffels, packing, and travel accessories.

ExOfficio – Ex Officio’s adventure travel and urban travel clothing collections are designed to play an active role in your comfort when traveling. The perfect blend of function, low maintenance and multi-climate comfort for everything from hiking, rafting, safaris and cultural tours.

Kelty – Manufacturer of quality outdoor apparel, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, travel gear and child carriers.

The NorthFace – The North Face provides an extensive line of performance clothing, equipment and footwear.

Patagonia – Patagonia is world famous for its quality clothing and gear. MeaningfulTrip loves Patagonia for their environmentalism and their 1% for the planet program.

Salomon – Find out why their boots are the best in the business.

Teva Footwear – Teva Footwear. Buy your Tevas direct from Teva.com. Select from over 100 models.

Books & Maps

Lonely Planet – With content sections labeled The Thorn Tree, World Guide, On the Road, and The Scoop, you know Lonely Planet’s site is much more than just their terrific guidebooks.

Maps – An online World Atlas which covers 7 continents, 12 regions, 190 countries, and 50 US States.
Activity Levels and Qualifications

Activity Levels

Easy
All welcome. Travel at a relaxed pace. May include driving of 3 – 4 hours on some days. Activity: easy walking and light hiking, 1 – 3 hours, at low elevation. May include less demanding, half-day trips that may include: bicycling, sea kayaking, or rafting (Class I-II rapids), and these activities are optional. Minimum Age: 16* (see note below).

Moderate
Recommended for fit travelers with a spirit of adventure. Travel at a moderate pace. Activity: moderate walking and hiking, 3 – 4 hours daily, at elevations which may range from 5,000 – 10,000 feet. May include less demanding half-day or day-trips that may include: bicycling, sea kayaking, or rafting (Class I-II rapids), and these activities are optional. May include driving of 3 – 4 hours on some days.

Minimum Age: 16* (see below).

Vigorous
Recommended for fit travelers. Moderate hiking experience and conditioning are required. Activity: 5 – 8 hours trekking daily at high elevation, while carrying your own small daypack (water, essentials and warm layers). Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails. Elevations: will range from 6,000 – 14,000 feet. It is important that you read our information about Altitude Mountain Sickness. A doctor’s release is required for persons age 60 or older. Minimum Age: 16 (see below).

Strenuous
Designed for very fit travelers. Typically, for extended high-altitude trekking or mountaineering. Activity: 8+ hours/day. Distances: Trek 10 – 12 miles most days. Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day. Altitude: may exceed 15,000 ft. Surfaces: remote, mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features. Experience and conditioning required. A doctor’s release is required for all participants. Minimum age: 18.

Minimum Age

As most of our travelers are adults, our minimum age on all trips is 16 years old (unless on a specifically-designated ‘Private Group Departure’ or ‘Family Departure’). Ages 16 – 20, must be accompanied by an adult.