Our favorite Nepal trip, a true immersion in everything this beautiful country has to offer. Spanning the elevations of 2,000 ft-16,500 ft, the Manaslu Conservation Area has incredible diversity of culture and environment. Snow Leopards, Blue Sheep, Red Pandas, and Himalayan Tahr are just a few of this conservation area’s diverse protected population. Hidden gems of Kathmandu, a traditional Gurung village, a trek around Manaslu, and the full Pokhara experience- complete with Paragliding and yoga, make this truly our most diverse trip
Day 1-3: Flying into Kathmandu, you’ll be greeted by our Dharma Trip representatives and taken to the Shangri-La Hotel at the heart of the city. Meet with fellow travelers for an orientation and get-to-know you dinner where we’ll smooth over any questions you might have. The next day we’ll explore the ancient royal Kingdom of Kathmandu with the Himalayas as your backdrop. Home to a whopping seven World Heritage sites, you’ll visit some of the world’s largest Buddhist stupas—Boudhanath temple and Swayambhunath, the famed Monkey Temple. Feast on Tibetan momos before shopping for any last minute trekking supplies.
Day 4-5: Embark for a scenic 4x4 journey on possibly the most windy and exhilarating mountain road you’ll ever experience. After lunch in a tranquil village, we’ll ride past wild rivers and never ending rice terraces before overnighting in the village of Arughat Bazaar. After a short ride in the morning we’ll arrive in Arkhet Bazaar, our last stop before trekking. A short yet steep hike up stone stairs (3-4 hours) ends in the small villages of Pokhari-Nebot, your home for the next four days. A welcome ceremony and traditional dinner in the village leader’s home awaits.
Days 6-9: Cultural Village Life Immersion Program
The days spent in Pokhari are a magical time where locals of all ages share their unique Gurung culture with you. You’ll immerse yourself in the daily life of a working Himalayan village, learning the simple yet oh-so-intricate dealings of villagers. Together, we’ll assist in an earthquake rebuilding or community betterment project. Help plow the fields with oxen, thrash freshly harvested millet or read English to the local school children, all while taking freshly made chai breaks from Ama (your host “mother”). Learn the secrets behind the traditional lentil and rice dish of Dal Bhat, and Rhaski the local millet wine. In the evenings we’ll listen to locals play traditional Nepali folk songs around a campfire. Simply relax and unwind, you’re on “village time”.
Day 10-22 Trekking the Manaslu Circuit
Say so long to village life as you embark on a hiking journey like you’ve never encountered. For the next 12 days, we’ll be following the Buddhi Gandaki river to it’s headwaters. Along the way we’ll stay in small village teahouses, and visit a hot spring in the village Tatopani
Once in the village of Sama, we’ll take a rest day to acclimatize to the higher elevation. We’ll visit a Nyingma Buddhist Monastery on the border of Tibet that we’ve been aiding with building supplies since 2016. As we get deeper into the mountains, the influence from nearby Tibet becomes very palpable. Once the Buddhi Gandaki slowly shrinks to a trickle, we turn west to head over Larke La—16,500 ft mountain pass and the highest point of our trip.
From the top of the pass, we will see three 8,000m peaks (Manaslu, Annapurna and Dahlugiri). This pass is nothing more than a hike, yet with the high elevation we will account for plenty of time to ensure we all make it over safely. From here we start descending, now following the emerald Duhd Kohla, known as the “milk river”. Once we make it to the well traveled Annapurna Circuit trail, there will be jeeps waiting to take us to Pokhara for some much needed rest.
Our hiking days and elevation gained will vary from day to day. Expect to hike between 4-6 hours each day, with moderate to strenuous activity levels.
Days 23-24: The second biggest city in Nepal and a travel hub for trekkers coming in and out of various routes, Pokhara is a great place to indulge in everything you have wanted while up in the mountains. With yoga classes, massages, paragliding and as much food as you can eat, this will be an excellent place to end your trip. We’ll celebrate our Manaslu adventure with a final dinner at one of our favorite eateries.
Day 25: We arrange for transportation back to Kathmandu, and stay our final night at the Shangri-La hotel. Say so long, not goodbye, as you fly out the next day or embark on whatever journey you have next.