9. From Kathmandu: Ghorepani Poon Hill 5-Day Trek
The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek offers spectacular mountain scenery along with charming villages inhabited particularly by the Gurungs and Magars, dense rhododendron forests full of birds, and deep sub-tropical valleys, all set below the Annapurnas with the picturesque peak of Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Peak) dominating the skyline. One of the important highlights of this Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is to make a climb on Poon Hill. When the sun rises, it touches the snow-capped summits of the Himalayan giants, Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Annapurna (8,091m) along with a maze of other peaks, there gradually appear, just like magic that your eye could not believe. Day 1: Kathmandu arrival (4,265 feet) Day 2: Fly to Pokhara (2,900 feet); drive to Nayapul (3,510 feet); trek to Tikhedhunga (5,053 feet) After breakfast in the hotel, the tour starts with a 25-minute flight from Kathmandu Airport to Pokhara. In Pokhara, visit the deep, narrow gorge of roaring Seti River and then drive to Davi’s Falls and further to Gupteswar Cave and the Bat Cave. Laze by the Phewa Lake and take a leisurely row on its sparkling waters. Drive 25 miles to Nayapul for the start of the trek. A steep trail from Nayapul directs trekkers down to a bridge over a small stream to get to Birethanti, a large and prosperous village. From Birethanti, take the left branch of the trail on the west side of the bridge at the ACAB post, where you'll need to show your ACAP permit and TIMS Card. Following the trail through main streets of Birethanti, winding through bamboo forests and past a large waterfall and swimming hole, reach Sudami beyond a pasture used by caravans. Climb steadily up the side of the valley to reach Hille, and about 15 minutes above Hille is the Tikhedhunga. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Day 3 Trek to Ghorepani (9,023 feet) Day 4: Trek to Poon Hill (10,532 feet); trek to Nayapul, 3-4 hours, 3,280 foot descent; drive to Pokhara After about an hour climb in the morning, reach Poon Hill, which is a viewpoint for the spectacular Himalayan panorama extending from Dhaulagiri to Annapurna to Machhapuchhre, stretching from Dhaulagiri I and Tukuche to Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli, and Tarke Kang. Take the main trail that leads south dropping at first on a staircase, and then traversing high above the river on a stone paved trail. Cross a stream at Chane (5,540 feet) and continue to Kimche (5,380 feet) and follow the ridge downhill to join the Modi Khola at Syauli bazaar (3,740 feet). From there on, the walking is flat. Follow the river valley through a lovely birch forest and rice terraces before reaching Birethanti. Walk 30 minutes on a rough and rocky road to get to Nayapul, from where you'll drive back to Pokhara. Meals: breakfast, lunch, farewell dinner. Day 5 : Fly back to Kathmandu Take a last memorable look at the Annapurna ranges and take a flight back to Kathmandu. Meals: breakfast.