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Ghandruk Circuit Family Lodge Trek (Horse Riding), 8 Days

This low altitude trek in the Annapurna a foothill is specifically devised for families. We include time in the traditional Hindu villages where children regard the Himalaya as their playground. Each campsite we join our crew and the villagers in dancing, singing and games of volleyball and cricket. There is also time to visit the local schools and markets where cultural horizons are so different from our own. During the trek we appreciate the magnificent oak and rhododendron forests as we ascend to alpine meadows that afford spectacular views of the Annapurna Range. Ghandruk Circuit trek is a colorful short foray into the Annapurna region. The trail winds through patchwork valleys, dense mossy forests and past icy waterfalls where you can stop to cool your face. Around every corner is a tantalizing glimpse of the high mountains, whole horizons of which will be revealed to you as you reach the high points of your trek. Trekking in the Ghandruk Circuit follows well-trodden foot trails that have been in use for hundreds of years, connecting mountain villages and hamlets.  Offering close views of the Annapurnas, the mountain trails pass through the mountain villages of Birenthanti, Syauli Bazar, Kimche, Ghandruk, Landruk, Tolka, Deurali, Pothana and Dhampus.   This is one of the most scenic and popular 3-day treks that can be done from Pokhara. The trails are relatively easy, with interesting countryside scenes, landscapes and magnificent mountain views, especially during sunrise and sunsets. The trek starts from Birenthanti and ascends through the Valley of Modi Khola River, passing through farm terraces, forests, lovely mustard flower fields, hill villages of Syauli Bazar and Kimche, before reaching the ethnic Gurung village of Ghandruk at the end of the day. There are always many small stores selling chilled drinks, so one does not really have to carry lots of water on this trek. One of the pleasures staying in the Ghandruk village is to wake up to wonderful sunrise views of the Annapurnas. The tenth highest mountain in the world and which in 1950 became the first 8,000 meter mountain to be successfully climbed.  The ethnic Gurung village of Gandruk village is also called Konda Village in the local language, which literally means 'Stone Village‘. It is the second largest Gurung village in Nepal. The village still preserves the traditional houses with stone roofs, besides offering wonderful close up views of both the sacred mountain Macchapuchre (Fishtail) and Annapurna South. Religion plays an important role in the lives of most Gurung people. Their belief system comprises a mixture of Buddhism, Hinduism and Shamanism. At the Buddhist monastery in the village, Buddhist Gurungs have their own Lamas to perform religious ceremonies and rituals. The Gurung people are the indigenous people of Nepal's mountain valleys that migrated from Tibet in the 6th century to the central region of Nepal. Although their ancestors practiced Shamanism, today, many are Lamaism Buddhists in religion, while others have adopted Hinduism. They make their living in agriculture and livestock rising. Teahouses are easily available in the villages in the Ghandruk Circuit without having to make prior bookings; providing cheap and ready accommodation and food to trekkers. Always try to stay in the ones located at the higher points of each village, or those with good view points. The trek from the scenic village of Landruk (1565m) to the next village, Tolka (1700m) takes us through mountain trails with spectacular views of the valleys and terraced landscapes. Trekking through the Annapurna Conservation Area, one gets to enjoy a different perspective of the Annapurnas each day. Due to its southern position in the range, the Machapuchare commands tremendous vertical relief in a short horizontal distance. This, combined with its steep, pointed profile, makes it a particularly striking peak. Its double summit resembles the tail of a fish, hence it is also known as 'Fish Tail' in English.

Fact of the Trek;

Highest Elevation: 4130m
Best Season: Autumn (Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April) 
Mode of Trek: Lodge to Lodge
Trek Start/End: Kande/Nayapul
Grade: Moderate
Culture: Majority of Gurung
Himalayan Sights: Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail), Annapurna III, Gangapurna and other snowy peaks.
High Lights of the Trek: Stunning view of high Himalayan Range, unobstructed Sunrise & Sunset view, typical lifestyle and culture of Gurung, scenic and picturesque villages, ancient Monastery, wildlife, beautiful terraced fields, dense rhododendron forest, and several waterfalls.

 Itinerary in details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu 1340m,
You'll be met at the airport by our representative from the company, so look out for a office sign/logo with your name when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Hotel. Welcome drinks will provide by Hotel and short briefing about your treks and refreshment. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley,

A free day to explore in the Kathmandu Valley. Our tour guide introduces as following Options: Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (1420m), its whitewashed Stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional Gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (Koras) of the Stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating - when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, drive to Kande and trek to Australia camp 1990m

This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest town (820 m). On arrival you are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. The drive to the road head at Kande takes around one hour. Our trail then winds uphill through terraced fields and mixed oak and rhododendron forest. There is no need to rush. This is a short day with plenty of time to reach camp. Australia Camp is located on a grassy ridge that affords inspiring views of the huge snowy face of Annapurna South and the sacred peak of Machapuchare. At dusk we can appreciate the lights of Pokhara. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 4: Trek from Australian Camp to Landruk 1640m
This is an interesting day as the trail gently glides through forest, and in and out of small gullies, all the time bringing us closer to the mountains. In the rhododendron forests the lush canopy affords protection for the smaller delicate flora, such as primula and daphne. It also provides a haven for birdlife and we can hear their varied calls as we move through. The trail soon opens onto fields as we approach the village of Landruk with its excellent views of Annapurna South at the head of the valley. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 5: Trek from Landruk to Ghandruk 1740m
Our destination today is easily seen across the valley; the attractive Gurung village of Gandrung. Unfortunately we must descend to the valley floor to reach it! Slowly descending through rice terraces, we cross the steel cable suspension bridge that spans the glacial river of the Modi Khola and commence our ascent. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them and feeding the rivers below. It is a magnificent location and a photographer's delight. Our leisurely approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatization and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savor this magnificent scenery. Ghandruk is the centre for the Annapurna Conservation Area and after lunch we will visit the headquarters. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 6: Trek from Ghandruk to Birethanti and return back to Pokhara
The morning views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare are stunning, and will remain with us as we walk for around 4 hours on a broad trail that traverses and descends to our lunch stop at Shaule Bazaar, on the banks of the Modi Khola. After lunch we walk gradually downhill through neat villages and along well-worn trails busy with local people. We pass through Birethanti, an interesting village with traditional architecture, before continuing to the road head at the busy market of Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara, transfer to Hotel.

Day 7: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our fight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel.  Afternoon, leisure time at Hotel.

Day 8: Final departure to international airport as per your flight schedule.
Children Discount;
6 months to 2 years old child; free of Cost
3 years old to 5 years old child; 50% discount on adult cost
6 years old to 10 years old child; 35% discount on adult cost
11 years old to 14 years old child; 25% discount on adult cost
Additional horse renting cost in Annapurna Region; USD 95 per day per horse including horse man, his food, accommodation, salary and insurance.

Our Package Inclusive
# Int’l/Dom Airport/Hotel/Airport picks up and transfers by private car/van on arrival and departure.
# 4 nights accommodations in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at Standard Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
# Sightseeing Tour as per above mentioned itinerary and all kind of entry fees.
# Round Trip domestic flight tickets cost and airport tax.
# Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with tea or coffee are included during the lodge/tea-house trek.
# Lodge-lodge accommodation during the lodge trek.
# 1 Experienced, helpful, friendly and well trained English speaking guide and porters (1 porter for 2 peoples) during the trek and their food, accommodation, equipments, salary and insurance.
# All ground transportation by private vehicle.
# Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
# All necessary permits.
# Tourist Service Charge.
# Office Service Charge.
# All government tax.
# First Aid Medical Kit box.

Our Package Exclusive
# Any meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
# International Airfare to and from Nepal.
# Travel Insurance.
# Nepal Tourist Visa Fees.
# Items and expenses of personal nature.
# All kind of alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, whisky), cold drink (mineral water, coke, fanta, sprite, juice), laundry service, postage, phone calls, internet, donations, museum entry fees etc during the trip.
# Personal Trekking Equipments such as sleeping bags, walking poles, down jackets, walking boots. (It can be hired/bought in Kathmandu and Pokhara).
# Emergency Evacuation (Medical Insurance and Helicopter Rescue in case of accident and can be paid either insurance company or clients themselves).
# Any cost arises due to a change of the program/itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, strike and some accidental problems.
# Horse/Pony renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
# Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusive.
# Tipping Tips for guide, porters, drivers and horse man.

Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory and can be treated end of the trip if satisfied.

N. B. This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailor-made”. The package itinerary can be redesigned or changed due to trekker’s fitness and time frame of holiday. Similarly hotel can be upgraded or downgraded depend on your budget. Please email to us at mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com for more details and discussions for suitably programs.
P.S. In case of Emergency Evacuation during the trip, Helicopter Rescue will be arranged by Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking & Expedition (P) Ltd within 1-2 hours in first call. The cost of the rescue must be paid by the clients themselves or insurance company.

There will be a cancellation fee of 30% for any cancellation unforeseen problems shown one month prior to Trekking/Tour departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% two weeks prior to Trekking/Tour departure date and no refund thereafter. No refund for no shows & delay arrivals whatsoever reason.
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Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking and Expedition Pvt. Ltd.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel : +977-9849193453
Email : mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com