Annapurna trekking vacation, Rhododendron trek

Trek a 330km stretch of the Annapurna trail from Phedi to Nayapul staying in tea houses and lodges whilst accompanied by a local porter and knowledgeable guide.
Kathmandu Pokhara Phedi Potana Landruk Ghandruk Tadhapani Ghorepani Poon Hill Hile and Nayapul communities
Price
US $695ToUS $755 excluding flights
Duration
12 Days
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
Includes domestic flights only, as per itinerary.
Single Supplement Cost US$ 105 - US$ 165.
Make enquiry

Description of Annapurna trekking vacation, Rhododendron trek

Price information

US $695ToUS $755 excluding flights
Includes domestic flights only, as per itinerary.
Single Supplement Cost US$ 105 - US$ 165.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Nepal trekking
Many places lay claim to the best treks in the world – Peru’s Inca Trail, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro to name but two – but none are as spectacular a...
High altitude trekking
Some of the world’s most unusual landscapes, most celebrated sites and most spectacular views can only be enjoyed by placing one foot in front of the ...

Reviews

2 Reviews of Annapurna trekking vacation, Rhododendron trek

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Reviewed on 14 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole vacation - with a week of trekking and some days for sightseeing in Pokora and in and around Kathmandu was perfect. Love the combination of active and cultural; trekking through the beautifully lush lower ranges and visiting smaller settlements were our favourite.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Come well prepared with gear to suit the conditions and a well stocked medical kit. Everything went perfectly for us but of course anything can happen. There were opportunities during the trek to donate to schools needing to rebuild (all accepted with a neat receipt) and I wished I had taken more cash with me for this purpose - no ATMs along the way of course.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Nepal is highly dependent on tourism and it is clear they are very aware of this. The country is still rebuilding after the earthquake. Income from selling rooms and food to travelers is very important to the country. The Nepalese are naturally generous and gracious and it's important to reciprocate in kind. Rubbish in rural areas is burnt or buried so where possible reduce or carry out non biodegradable waste.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant. On all fronts - the country, the trek and the local tour operator. My daughter is planning to come back at the end of school to volunteer and to trek and the company has offered to assist set this up. I look forward to visiting the region again myself and will not hesitate to use our tour operator again. I also look forward to relying on Responsible Travel for access to vacations in the future. Many thanks to all.

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


This trip was truly a trip-of-a-lifetime and we took home many fond memories.
We loved seeing the clouds part and being amazed at the huge mountains, which are always taller than expected! Every single day involved a different terrain and view.
On the way towards Poon Hill, we walked through rice fields, terraced farming on the hill sides, and rural villages. As we climbed higher, we hiked through beautiful rhododendron forests, which were in full bloom (March/April). Most importantly, our guides, Krishna and Pujan, really made all the difference. Krishna has been doing this for over 15 years, and so he has formed relationships and contacts in even the smallest villages. He would always go above and beyond to make sure we had what we needed and the best facilities possible. We even got to join in on some local dancing on our last night, something which the larger tour groups don't get chance to do. He was always very friendly and also excellent at giving us a flavour of true Nepali
life, especially the cuisine and drink.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be sure to ask questions about what you're seeing - the guides are always willing to share true Nepali life and have many funny anecdotes. You'll get way more out of it that way.
Weather:We experienced every single temperature and weather whilst trekking, so do prepare for this. Light-weight t-shirts and shorts were worn during the day, with a heavier fleece top for the evenings. At higher altitudes (even just 2500ish), we used merino wool thermals, a couple of thick jumpers, hats, gloves, scarves etc. A down jacket is perfect if you feel the cold easily (I found it essential, but my husband didn't have one). It rained most days, but always after we finished our trek for the day, so it didn't bother us. We had cheap ponchos to keep us and our bags dry in sudden down pours.
Bring a sleeping bag - there are often blankets at the teahouses, but it's good to
have the guarantee of the warmth. Water purification tablets are great - it's a waste (of money and plastic) buying bottled water.
We had (mostly) warm showers available each night, but don't always expect luxury - the teahouses vary greatly. They ranged from concrete buildings with flushing toilets to rickety wooden huts with paper-thin walls (which have a charm of their own).
The food, especially Dahl Bhat is tasty and flavourful - much to the contrary of what I had expected from previous reviews.

Packing: We needed less than we took. We carried a 30l back pack each, with daily essentials (including fleece as it started out cold). Everything else was carried by our "assistant" guide, Pujan. He was not a porter, like in other companies who carry 2 large bags from a strap on their head and trek ahead of you. He walked with us and carried just one bag (so we needed to pack both of our stuff into one duffel bag). In hindsight, we would have taken a 60l hiking backpack for him to use, as then he would have had more comfortable straps.
Money: we took 1200 american dollars as spending money between two people. This bought meals, beers, souvenirs for the whole 12 days. You're often advised to barter, but keep in mind it's difficult to get ripped off, when you're probably only bartering over a few dollars. The tourist industry is incredibly important to Nepal's economy, so it is worth supporting.
Driving: while a lot of other tourist companies hire out large minibuses, which travel incredibly dangerously along the mountain roads, Manakamana Treks employed private drivers that were safe and pleasant. They didn't take the same risks that other drivers do, which we truly appreciated.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It's easy to see the tangible effects of benefiting the local people. Many of the
teahouses exist only because of the people coming through on treks. This is
particularly important now after the devastation of the earthquake.
The company is native to Kathmandu, where both our guides were from. Our assistant guide was doing an internship for his business degree. In all of places, including Kathmandu and Pokhara, we were shown local places to eat, rather than the more touristy destinations.
Part of the cost of the package (which is incredible value for money) goes towards your permit into the nature reserves.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was an exceptional trip, of course due to the stunning mountains, but mostly because of the fantastic work of Achut and his team. They made us feel welcome, safe and entertained. We would love to see them thrive, especially after the recent earthquake.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet and people

Our trekking company is wholly committed to responsible tourism. On our treks & tours, tourism helps improve the standard of living for the local people by generating income for the local community through purchasing of local products such as fresh fruits, handloom products, meat, drinks, and fresh vegetables and providing job opportunities.

We employ well-trained & experienced local guides and hire local porters whose load limit is 20-25kg. Our guides will give a briefing about responsible tourism e.g. rubbish disposal, giving food scraps to domestic animals, paying the porters to carry out trash, using a fire pit when camping, not picking flowers, using kerosene instead of firewood, avoiding bathing/washing clothes in streams, using local tea houses or camping sites. In addition the small group size of 4-10 people help to minimise the impact on the environment.

On this trek, we stay at local lodges/tea-houses operated by local people such as Annapurna lodge, Snow-land lodge, Panorama view lodge and Himalayan lodge. These lodges manage garbage properly, use gas for cooking (not firewood) and most have and solar energy facilities.

Our trekking company provides financial donations for the local school (US $2 per visitor) & health post (US $3 per visitor). We provide educational materials for students such as copies, pencils, ball pens and sports equipment (foot balls, basket balls), and provide equipment & medicines for the health post such as tablets, eye drops, high-altitude tablets, plasters and bandages. We also support the Kvresthali Women society with financial donations (US $5 per visitor) which provides education for impoverished adult women and provides funds for goat and vegetables farming and road repair.

On this trip, our guests will have the opportunity to give donations to these causes, and visit the Annapurna conservation project which plays a vital role in environmental protection and community development in the region. The project is involved in forest & wildlife conservation (e.g. advice not not light campfires, cook with kerosene, don’t touch/remove flora or fauna, don’t buy items made from animals), fixes the prices for lodges in the region, provides community training (in conservation, culture, lodge management) and builds/repairs trekking steps. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe & learn about the project and make financial contributions. In addition, travelers can visit Ghandruk School to see the activities of Gurung students and offer support by contributing educational materials such as art books, pencils, sports equipment etc.

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