1. Eye catching view of the Mardi, Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna and Annapurna mountains.
2. Trekking in a peaceful route not infiltrated by modernities.
3. Experiencing life and culture of Gurung, Ghale, Damai, Sarki, Kshatriya, Newar and Brahmin people; all of whom offer unique cultural experience.
4. Walking through dense mountain forest abundant in rare flora and fauna.
The tragedy with most of trekking routes in the Annapurna Conservation Area is that they are being increasingly encroached upon by motorable roads. This might have eased the physical burden off of people seeking cheap and easy thrills but these gross and unimaginative developments have definitely come at a cost for true trekking enthusiasts who seek an escape from the noise and pollution of everyday life. If you are one among the true trekkers looking out for a peaceful getaway to the mountains of Annapurna Sanctuary, the Machhapuchhre Model Trek is made for you.
This route was developed by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research - North South (NCCR - NS) in consultation with local stakeholders, community members and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN). The trek takes you to the base of the Machhapuchhre and Mardi Himal while offering a 360 degree view of many other famous peaks in the Dhaulagiri-Annapurna range. Vegetation and climate changes abruptly in this route. You will walk through dense rhododendron, oak and maple woods which are crisscrossed by small creeks, streams and waterfalls. You will also meet rare mountain wildlife on the road. Settlements are far flung and separated by dense forests. The villages offer you a good night’s rest, letting you enjoy the warm hospitality and the culture of the local people.
Trip Route: Kathmandu- Pokhara - Bhalbot- Pipar- Khayar Lake - Mardi Bridge - Pokhara - Kathmandu
Best Month: September to December and March to May
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300 m), transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (823 m/2,700 ft), 6-7 hours.
Day 04: Drive to Bhalabot (1,116 m) and Trek to Hile.
Day 05: Trek to Kumai (3,245 m).
Day 06: Trek to Kharka via Korchung (3,699 m).
Day 07: Trek to Pipar (3,150 m).
Day 08: Rest in Pipar.
Day 09: Trek to Karuwa (1,520 m).
Day 10: Trek to Ghachok (1,291 m).
Day 11: Trek to Mardi Bridge (1,000 m), drive to Pokhara.
Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 13: Departure or extend your trip.
Important Notes and Safety Concerns
We prioritize your safety all the time while traveling with Ambition Himalaya Treks & Expeditions. We want our valuable guests and staffs to be safe thus we have given full authority to your tour leaders to modify, cancel or update any part of the itinerary if it is considered necessary due to safety concerns. Ambition Himalaya promises that we will do our best to stick with planned itinerary. However, natural disasters, weather disturbances, health conditions or any other mishap may force us to change the planned itinerary and we hope you understand these concerns. Our leaders will give you necessary information and discuss with you before changing the itinerary.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Altitude: 1,300 m
You will land in Kathmandu (1,300 m) at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Team Ambition Himalaya will be there to pick you up. We will take you to your hotel in a private vehicle. You will rest and freshen up in your hotel room. You can walk around the Thamel market in the evening if you feel like doing so. You can also enjoy musical shows before we welcome you with typical Nepali dinner.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
We will shop for things necessary for trekking in the morning and go sightseeing to some major historical locations in the Kathmandu Valley during the day time. Highlights of the day’s travel include the visit to the Durbar Square of Kathmandu, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and the Pashupatinath Temple. After our sightseeing is done, we will brief you about the upcoming tour with necessary information.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara
Altitude: 820 m/ 2,690 ft
Time: 6-7 hours
We will drive to Pokhara today. The Prithvi Highway, which will lead us to beautiful Pokhara - another Valley like Kathmandu; snakes along the bank of Trishuli river for most part. Trishuli is one of the deepest rivers in Nepal and rages below our wheels, often throwing boat peddlers and rafters high into the air. We will leave the rafting company after Muglin, a major thoroughfare in the highway. From here we travel along Marsyangdi and Seti river, staring at the Ganesh and Manaslu mountains in the north. We reach Pokhara in 6-7 hours and rest after a short walk in the Phewa Lakeside.
Day 04: Drive to Bhalabot and Trek to Hile
We will wake up early, have breakfast and drive to Bhalabot (1,116 m). We start our trek from here, heading up to Hile, where we will rest for the night. Hile is also known as Hile Kharka or the Hile Grazing pasture. It is a popular place for grazing cattle during summer months. We can get a wonderful view of Annapurna, Machhapuchre and Lamjung peak from Hile Kharka.
Day 05: Trek to Kumai
Altitude: 3,240 m/10,634 ft
We will leave Hile behind and trek to Kumai (3,245 m) today. Known to locals as Kumai Danda, this is a beautiful hilltop that provides majestic views of the Annapurna, Machhapuchhre and other mountains. We will walk along beautiful forests, often meeting high waterfalls and mountain creeks on our way. The home stay of the locals are exotic and we also have the option of camping in the wild.
Day 06: Trek to Kharka
Altitude: 3,699 m/12,135 ft
Kharka (3,699 m) is the highest point in our trek. We will leave early today as we will climb two hilltops in a single day’s trek. Before reaching Kharka we will climb Khorchung hill which is famous for its mountain view. We will get stunning view of Annapurna, Mardi and Fish Tail mountain from Khorchung. Then we will head for Kharka (meaning grazing pasture in Nepali). We will camp in our tents at this highland pasture tonight.
Day 07: Trek to Pipar
Altitude: 3,150 m
We will trek to Pipar today. We will enjoy sight of variety of flora/fauna species, scenes of the snow clad mountains and beautiful green forests on our way to Pipar. Pipar is a small summer grazing field. It is unknown to most trekkers in the Annapurna Circuit. Pipar provides wonderful view of the majestic peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range. We will camp in Pipar tonight and enjoy self cooked meal.
Day 08: Rest in Pipar
We will rest in Pipar today. We will go to the hilltops in Pipar for wonderful view of the mountains. Encounter with rare animals including the half feral buffaloes is a possibility. Pipar is a great place for bird watching. This place was identified as a bird watching destination by Col. Roberts and Jhalak Thapa. We again camp in the wild while our guides and porters prepare a wonderful meal.
Day 09: Trek to Karuwa
Altitude: 1,520 m/ 4,986 ft
We will leave Pipar behind and head for Karuwa today. Karuwa is located at the height of 1,520 m. Today will be an easy day's trek because we will mostly be walking downhill. We will, therefore, walk slowly enjoying the beauty of the green forests and the sight of the mountains. Today is the last day of camping in the wild. You will enjoy the beautiful Karuwa sunset while the team readies the tents. We share self-cooked meal and slide into our tents.
Day 10: Trek to Ghachok
Altitude: 1,291 m/4,235 ft
We trek to Ghachok today. Ghachok (1,291 m) is a well facilitated village and brings us closer to the vehicle trails. Most of the trek to Ghachok from Kauwa takes place along the banks of Seti river. There is natural hot water spring at a place called Kharpani, which lies on the way to Ghachok. We can enjoy bath at the hot spring. Ghachok has many lodges and tea houses for the night's stay.
Day 11: Trek to Mardi bridge
Altitude: 1,000 m/3,280 ft
We will wake up early because the view of the surrounding mountains from Ghachok is wonderful. We will start a trek for Mardi Bridge (1,000 m) after breakfast. We will meet vehicle road at Mardi bridge. From here we board on a vehicle waiting for us and drive to Pokhara. We will relax in the Phewa lakeside in the evening. We will enjoy traditional Thakali cuisine for evening dinner.
Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu
We leave Pokhara today and head for Kathmandu. We travel by bus and it takes 6-7 hours for the journey. We will travel along the Prithvi Highway. The highway serpents along the banks of the Trishuli river. We will also enjoy the view of Seti and Marsyangdi river and the wonderful mountains. We can arrange flight or private car but the facility comes at extra pay.
Day 13: Departure
You will head back to your destination tonight. Team Ambition Himalaya will drop you off to the airport after a small traditional ceremony marking your departure. You also have the option of extending your trip by taking part in other treks.
- Airport pickup and drop services by private vehicle.
- Kathmandu Sightseeing with guide and car and driver.
- Standard accommodation in Kathmandu as per the itinerary / with breakfast.
- Kathmandu - Pokhara Transportation by deluxe tourist bus.
- Pokhara - Kathmandu transportation by deluxe tourist bus.
- Accommodation in Pokhara as per the itinerary / with breakfast.
- Private transportation to Trekking start point and From ending point.
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project [ACAP] Permits.
- Trekkers Information Management System [TIMS] Permits.
- Meals on full board during the trek [Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with 3 cup of hot drinks in a day]
- Seasonal fruits in the evening after dinner.
- Accommodation in tea houses during the trek.
- Trekking Guide [English speaking, eco-friendly, Government licensed, Ministry of Tourism Trained, First Aid Trained] with salary, foods, accommodation, transportation and insurances.
- Assistant trekking guide for groups over 6 people with meals, accommodation, salary and insurance.
- Strong porters [1 porter shared between 2 paying people] with porter salary, foods, accommodation, transportation and insurances.
- Down jacket, sleeping bag, trekking map, Ambition Himalaya T-shirt and Duffel Bag [Down jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag have to be returned after completing the trek].
- First aid medications / medicines with the guide.
- Necessary paper works, government and local taxes, company service charges.
- Complementary welcome dinner in Kathmandu at a typical Nepali restaurant.
- Certificate of Achievement signed by director of the company and your guide.
- Sightseeing entrance fees in city tour.
- International Airfares, Visa Fees,($ 25 for 15 days, $ 40 for 30 days and $ 100 for 90 days) Travel and Rescue Insurance, Emergency Evacuation.
- Bars and Beverage bills, cold drinks, mineral water, telephone bills, laundry and battery charge.
- Extra activities than mentioned in the itinerary, extra porter charges.
- Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara [Meals not included also in the cases of early returns from the trips]
- Extra accommodation caused due to early arrival, flight delays, natural disasters etc.
- Tips( as appreciation/gratitude) for Guides and Porters.
- Any services not mentioned in Service Includes Section unless specified on booking of the trekking.
Equipment you need to bring
- Pair of trek boot, sleeping bag, down jacket, pullovers, neck scarf for evening/night/morning.
- Sun hat and casual warm clothes for day.
- Some pairs of good quality socks, slippers, suntan lotions, personal medications etc.
List of recommended gears for trekking in Nepal. These gear list can be different depending on route, season etc. Some items are only recommended for high altitude treks.
Sun hat, scarf, light balaclava or warm fleece hat. Sunglasses (real ones, with true UV protection).
Undergarments, comfortable hiking shorts, lightweight cotton long pants, light and expedition weight thermal bottoms, fleece or wool pants (seasonal), Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants.
Thin and lightweight inner socks, thick and warm wool hiking socks, hiking boots with spare laces, sandals (flip-flops for use after trekking and to go to the bathroom & washroom), gaiters (For high altitude trekking and crossing passes).
T-shirts, light and expedition weight thermal tops, fleece jacket or pullover, gloves, fleece wind-stopper jacket (optional), waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket, down vest and/or jacket.
One microfiber towel (most guesthouses on the trek do not give towels; quick-dry), sleeping bag rated to zero degree centigrade, DSLR / digital camera with spare batteries, Headlamp [e.g. Petzl Zoom] with spare bulbs and batteries, trekking bag with rain cover / duffel bag, comfortable day pack, trekking poles, water bottle, ear plug (rooms are divided by thin woods so better to avoid noise from other rooms).
Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable), deodorants, nail clippers, sun block / face and body moisturizer, Tooth brush / toothpaste (preferably biodegradable), feminine hygiene products, small mirror.
Wet wipes (baby wipes), tissue / toilet rolls, anti-bacterial hands wash, water purifier (Better than using mineral water to keep the mountains clean).
Extras / Luxuries:
Adapters (Nepal - two prong, 220 volt plug; or an international, universal adapter), multi tool (Swiss Army Knife, Leatherman tool), personal snacks (candy bars & cookies can also be bought in Kathmandu, Pokhara or at every guesthouse), sewing kit (sometime it’s very useful), superglue, books for reading on free time, cell / mobile phone, trail map / guide book, Ipod / walkman / Mp3 player / Mp4 player, pens / pencils and small notebooks, games i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards etc.