Annapurna Homestay Trek

Trip Code: HNAA

Why we love it

The hills can be steep and the going tough, but the rewards at your destination are well worth the aching legs. Sit back with a cup of tea after a long day and watch the kids play, the sun set and the locals go about their lives., Pokhara must be the most relaxed place in Nepal. Spend a few extra days soaking it up., Gain a fascinating insight into 'real' life in the Gurung villages, where you're unlikely to see other tourists., Watch a magnificent sunrise over the Himalayan massif from Sarangkot., Prepare for some stunning views of the surrounding snowy mountains. Better yet, enjoy these with a local leader and porters who will quickly become firm friends., Stay in local tea houses for a more authentic experience., By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Sagarmatha Next. Donations help them remove waste responsibly and turn rubbish into art in the Everest region.

Is this trip right for me?

On Short Breaks, you maintain a good level of independence and freedom, with the added bonus of having the details sorted out for you. You’ll have lots of free time and you won’t be accompanied by a Trip Leader. This means that all included activities and tours will be run by different local Intrepid partners, and these may operate independently from each other. The included activities and transfers will operate on a join-in basis, which means that you could have your Adventure all to yourself, or others may join you along the way. If you would prefer to travel in a group with a dedicated Trip Leader, just get in touch with your booking agent and they will take you through some alternatives.

While no where near as challenging as a multi-day trek at altitude such as Everest Base Camp, you will still need excellent fitness for this trek as you will be trekking on average 5–7 hours a day, with some travellers reporting the final trekking day as the longest and toughest.

This trek consists mainly of climbing and descending ancient stone steps. We recommend the use of hiking poles which can be purchased for very little in Pokhara and Kathmandu or alternatively, you can bring your own from home.

Take note of the time of year you are trekking to know what to expect weather wise. While June–August is monsoon, weather conditions can be unpredictable at any time of the year including rain and fog which can make views cloudy and the ground muddy.

A duffel bag is provided on this trip, along with a porter. Your porter can carry up to 8 kg per traveller. Other luggage can be left in Pokhara.

Important information

1. This trip starts in Pokhara Day 1 at 9 am and finishes in Pokhara on Day 5 at approx 1 pm.
To enable the trip to depart at 9 am, please meet your group leader or local representative at Dahlia Boutique Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information the day prior to departure at 5 pm for a pre-departure meeting.
2. Tourist buses all leave Pokhara by 1 pm, so if you wish to depart on Day 5 for Kathmandu you will need to arrange a flight to Kathmandu on that day.
3. Between June and August, it is monsoon season in Nepal. If you do choose to travel during this time, please note that you will encounter wet conditions, obscured views, and an extra leech or two. During the monsoon, there is a chance that your itinerary may be adjusted pending water levels in rivers. Don't forget to pack rain proof jackets and trousers. Please see alternative monsoon season itinerary in the weather section of these notes.
4. This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities.
5. The single supplement price does not guarantee you will have a single room on our short break trekking trips in Nepal. While we try our best to secure a single room, due to the nature of trekking during peak seasons, teahouses will not guarantee them.
6. You may be asked to provide TWO passport size photographs for your trekking permit.
7. Please be aware that in the event of an emergency evacuation, Intrepid does not have control over which helicopter service may be used. Some helicopters are not in regular use with Intrepid and have not passed our internal safety auditing.

What to bring/pack

TREKKING EQUIPMENT
Trekking boots (broken in)
Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu)
Good quality socks
Thermal underwear/layers
Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu)
Trousers - lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers.
Shorts or skirt for summer
Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb)
Warm hat and sun hat
Sunglasses with UV protection
Head torch (spare batteries)
Sunscreen and lip balm
Light weight towel
Sarong
Personal first aid kit
Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper
Hand sanitizer gel
Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars
Hot water bottle (winter months)

Daypack - Must have the capacity for the items you may be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, trousers, warm clothing, water bottle, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity.

OTHER PACKING GUIDES:
For other guides to packing for treks: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/
If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

4

A good level of fitness is required for this trip. The more preparation you have done for it the more you will get out of it. You will be walking at altitudes of up to around 2800m above sea level. Whilst this trip isn't as demanding as longer and higher treks into the Annapurna or Everest regions, you will be walking with your day pack, with the possibility of variations in temperature. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long stair cases with a pack is good preparation (try putting a few bricks in your pack for real training!). Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.

Joining your group

Dahlia Boutique Hotel, Lakeside Rd,, Pokhara, 33700, NEPAL, Phone: +97 761456505

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Meeting needs to be conducted in the hotel lobby.

Finishing your trip

Dahlia Boutique Hotel, Lakeside Rd,, Pokhara, 33700, NEPAL, Phone: +97 761456505

Alternate Finish Point


You will be dropped at Dahlia Boutique Hotel. Taxis can easily be hired from the street in front of the hotel.
We can offer a pre-arranged private transfer service and post tour. Inform your agent at the time of booking if you are interested.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

FOOD IN NEPAL:
We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can mean trekker's appetites differ quite widely. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Vegetarians are well catered for in Nepal. How much you need to spend per day will vary, but it could be anything up to US$60 per day for meals, snacks and drinks. Prices tend to get higher the higher you go on trek in response to the difficulty of getting supplies to the teahouses.

In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/guide-to-nepali-cuisine/

ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE:
Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.

Climate & seasonal information

ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY
During the monsoon season in the Annapurna region (June-Sep) we may trek an alternative route. This itinerary keeps the group away from areas that are prone to flooding and landslides. Safety is the number one priority when trekking in Nepal and any changes will be discussed by your group leader or local representative. Please see as below for a brief overview of a possible alternative itinerary:

DAY 1: Pokhara-Naya Pul (45 kms/1.5 hrs drive), Naya Pul-Ulleri (5 hrs)
Drive to Naya Pul. Meet the trailhead and proceed downhill to Birethanti (1025m). Walk gently uphill for a couple of hours to Hille (1475m). Overnight stop at Ulleri (1960m).
DAY 2: Ulleri-Ghorepani (5 hrs)
Uphill walk to Ghorepani (2750m). continue climbing and descending to Banthanti (2300m),  more stairs before we emerge at Nangathanti (2520m). From here on, another hour of climb will get you to Ghorepani (2750m).
DAY 3: Ghorepani-Tadapani (5 hrs)
Pre-dawn hike up to Poon Hill at 3190m (45mins). marvel at the view of the Dhaulagiri & Annapurna Range. Return back to your teahouse to collect your baggage and hit the trail to Tadapani (2590m). The trail continues along the ridge line with magnificent views of the Annapurnas stretching out from east to west. Descend before climbing through dense forest to Tadapani (2700m).
DAY 4: Tadapani-Ghandruk (3 hrs)
It’s a relatively short day’s trek, starting on a trail that contours the forested hillside descending steadily with some steep downhill sections. Reaching a small settlement of Bhaisi Kharka where the two routes to Ghandruk converges; continue to descend until you meet the path following the Kyunri Khola.
Crossing the stream, a brief walk leads to Ghandruk through the northern edge of the village. Ghandruk (1940m) is a delightful, ornate 'Gurung' village which has grown large and prosperous on the pensions of re-tired Gurkha soldiers.From Ghandruk, dramatic views of the peaks of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli and the all-so-famous Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) opens up.
DAY 5: Ghandruk-Nayapul (4 hrs)-Pokhara (1.5 hrs drive)
Leaving Ghandruk, a steep descent to the trail junction.  We make a short descent to the village of Chane. Another long stretch of downhill pathways, arrive in Syauli Bazaar before continuing to Birethanti. Not long after we join our vehicles to return to Pokhara. 

SEASONAL INFORMATION:
Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season:

JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud, and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/nepal-during-monsoon-season/

MAR-APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.

OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.

DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog which can lead to decreased scenic visibility.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our office responsible for trips in this region, which is located in Kathmandu:

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +977 980 112 3617

Accommodations

TEAHOUSES:
Accommodation at local lodges - better known as teahouses - are simple but comfortable. Toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse, travellers are provided with small twin share rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in high seasons, and in places where there are limited number of teahouses, travellers may have to make do with dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity, depending on solar powered lighting instead. In more remote regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the ground. Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but occasionally a hot shower means a bucket of hot water, enough to wash your body. Electricity to charge devices as well as WiFi is usually for an additional fee when available.

Transportation

LUGGAGE LIMITS:
Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense.

TRAVEL BETWEEN KATHMANDU & POKHARA:
On itineraries that include road travel between these destinations, past travellers have often decided to fly this route independently to avoid the long overland journey (200km, approx 6+ hours). The flight takes around 35mins. Should you decide to fly, this will be at your own expense with no refunds for road travel available.

ROAD TRAVEL:
Roadworks and infrastructure projects can cause significant delays on major roads within cities and highways between destinations. Road travel can also be disrupted due to demonstrations and bandhs (strikes) without warning. Major roadworks are currently ongoing in and around Kathmandu and the roads to Chitwan National Park. Delays, heavy traffic, poor road conditions and dust are a reality of road travel in Nepal.

MONSOON:
The monsoon season is from June to September and weather conditions can disrupt travel during this time due to flooding and landslides. Disruption of air travel and airport closures are also possible. Be prepared that the itinerary may need to change at short notice.