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Nepal Rhododendron Trek

Nepal Rhododendron Trek is also known as the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek which is undertaken during the spring season when the entire rhododendron forest will be in full bloom covering the whole mountainside. This is a low altitude trek but with spectacular sceneries and beauty of the high Himalayas. The trek is basically accomplished from the terraced rice fields above Pokhara passing along picturesque Gurung villages and towards the immense forest of rhododendron where in spring bursts with many different hues. The trekking trail is filled up with great many Himalayan panorama of mountains like Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m), Mt. Fishtail (6998m), Nilgiri (7041m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna II (7239m,  Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Lamjung Himal (6988m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Tukuche peak (6920m )and many others. Another highlight of the trek is hike up to the Himalayan vantage-point ‘Poon Hill’ from where spot all the Himalayan giants of the Annapurna region like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna  South plus other surrounding mountains. Nepal Rhododendron Trek is fairly an easy trek and witnessing the natural beauty of Nepal coupled up with witnessing local culture and traditions. 

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy guided city tour of Kathmandu visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Visit one of the most beautiful Lakeside town of Nepal – Pokhara.
  • Explore around the world’s biggest rhododendron forest.
  • Carry easy and short hike into the Annapurna region.
  • Witness majestic panorama from the Himalayan vantage-point ‘Pooh Hill’.
  • Discover local culture and traditions and observe daily lives in the high Himalayan settlements.
  • Explore varieties of flora & fauna.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

Day 03 : Kathmandu to Pokhara (915m)

Day 04 : Drive to Nayapul & trek to Ulleri (2050m)

Day 05 : Ulleri – Ghorepani (2870m)

Day 06 : Ghorepani – Poon Hill (3210m)-Tadapani (2710m)

Day 07 : Tadapani - Ghandruk (1940m)

Day 08 : In Ghandruk (1940m)

Day 09 : Ghandruk – Nayapul & drive to Pokhara

Day 10 : Pokhara to Kathmandu (25 Minutes Flight)

Day 11 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

What is Included

  • Airport pick up / drop off by private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast as per the itinerary.
  • Guided Kathmandu city tours inclusive of private vehicle and guide.
  • Necessary permit and monuments entrance fees.
  • Transfers by car/van or flight as per the itinerary.
  • Domestic airport departure tax.
  • Accommodation in Pokhara including breakfast as per the itienrary.
  • Pokhara - Nayapul - Pokhara by private vehicle.
  • Accommodation during the trek at guest houses/lodges.
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
  • Experienced English speaking trekking guide and necessary porters (1 Porter for 2 trekkers) during the trek
  • Annapurna Conservation area entrance Permit and fees.
  • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees. (Please bring 2 passport size photos for TIMS & Permit)
  • First Aid medical kit.
  • Duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole.
  • Farewell dinner in Authentic Nepali Restaurant.
  • All government taxes, VAT and office service charges

What is Not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara if needed.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs for faster service)
  • International airfare and travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
  • Any kind of drinks (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottle water, cola, beer etc.)
  • Tips for guide and porters (Tipping are expected but not mandatory)

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu from your designated destinations, you will be received by a representative of the travel company at the arrival gate who will then transfer you to you allotted hotels.  If the time persists, you can either visit the city or relax at the hotel to overcome your jet lag. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

The Kathmandu sightseeing trip will begin in the morning. After breakfast, you will be taken towards Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square, one of the heritage sites where you can view many historical and cultural monuments. Later, you will visit another heritage site known as Pashupatinath Temple. This is a sacred Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva named which is always crowded by Hindu pilgrims. After lunch, visit to Buddhist pilgrimage Swoyambhunath (famous by the name of Monkey temple among tourists) will be carried forward. Likewise, Boudhanath Shrine will be covered by the evening.  After concluding the sightseeing, there will be seminar for you to attend to discuss about the upcoming trekking plans. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03 : Kathmandu to Pokhara (915m)

After exploring the historic Kathmandu Valley, on the day, you will board a tourist bus which will take you towards Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. During this 6-7 hours bus ride, you can see Trishuli River along the way. You will reach Pokhara during the early afternoon hours. After lunch, you can wander around the beautiful lake city known for enthralling spectators with its superb mountain views. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04 : Drive to Nayapul & trek to Ulleri (2050m)

In the morning after breakfast, drive to the trek-start-point ‘Nayapul’ and begin the trek crossing Birethanti where trek permits are checked. Then the trial passing through sub-tropical forest then stops for a lunch. After lunch, you will descend towards Modi Valley passing along bamboo and terraced farmlands and arrive at Tikhedunga. Continue the trek till Ulleri at 2050 meters perched on a hillside. En-route be mesmerized by great views of the Annapurna region and passing along beautiful villages. Overnight at Lodge. (Walking Duration: 6 hrs)

Day 05 : Ulleri – Ghorepani (2870m)

The trek continues to the Ghorepani village; Ghorepani meaning ‘Ghore’ horse and ‘Pani’ water where in the earlier times Ghorepani used to be the major trading centre where traders used to stop and rest and their horses drinking water in the area thus the name Ghorepani.

From Ulleri, the trail ascends but gentle walk compared to previous day and arrive at Banthati. Then it passes mostly through rhododendron forest and arrives at Nagthanti where you will have lunch. After this point, the forest becomes even more denser with the path leading to stone steps and arrives at the lower section of Ghorepani. After 20 minutes of ascending will arrive at the check-post, the gateway to the upper village where the night is spent. From here get spectacular view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges including Nilgiri. Overnight at Lodge. (Walking Duration: 5 hrs)

Day 06 : Ghorepani – Poon Hill (3210m)-Tadapani (2710m)

Early in the morning, you will hike up to Poon Hill (3180m) from where some great panorama and sunrise view of the majestic Himalayas can be witnessed of mountains like over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhre (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and many others. Then return back to Ghorepani and have your breakfast and trek towards Tadapani passing along deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. On the trail also encounter waterfalls, green valleys and spot birds and animals. Overnight at Lodge. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 07 : Tadapani - Ghandruk (1940m)

Today’s trek will be comparatively easy in the entire trek. First the trial passes through rhododendron and oak forests with soothing sounds of bird’s chirping en-route. This trek is the best alternative for bird lovers and ultimately the trek ends at Ghandruk. Ghandruk is large village of Gurung community where there’s also a Gurung museum and handicraft centre. From here you can get some spectacular views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m.), Annapurna III (7755m.) and Fishtail. Overnight at Lodge. (Walking Duration: 3-4 hrs)

Day 08 : In Ghandruk (1940m)

This day is spent at Ghandruk village areas with visits to the surrounding rhododendron forest and witnessing other varieties of species. Rhododendron is an evergreen flowering shrub with bunch of bell-shaped flowers. About thirty species of Rhododendron with dozen varieties with all sizes and colors are available in Nepal. One such species ‘Rhododendron Arboreum’ (Rose Tree) is the national flower of Nepal. Though the flower is found all over the world but Nepali rhododendrons are remarkable with their colossal size which can grow to 30m tall. The flower blooms later in February to April and usually covers the entire mountainside. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 09 : Ghandruk – Nayapul & drive to Pokhara

After breakfast, trek to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara. The trail first goes downhill till Birethanti and passes through different kinds of rhododendron forests. Then it proceeds on a staircase with stone slabs, curving in and out of the village and then to terrace fields. You will have to go down almost without a break from Ghandruk till Modi Khola ‘river’ Valley and finally reaches Birethanti. After half an hour’s walk from here will reach Nayapul where the trek ends and meet the vehicle awaiting to drive you back to Pokhara which is about an hour’s drive. Upon arrival in Pokhara, check-in hotel and the rest of the day is free to explore the lakeside town of Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel. (Walking Duration: 4 hrs)

Day 10 : Pokhara to Kathmandu (25 Minutes Flight)

After a brisk sightseeing in Pokhara during morning hours, you will have to pack your bags to leave for Kathmandu. For the return trip, you will be fly back to Kathmandu. The day will give you the last chance to add up to your shopping list. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 11 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

As per your flight timings, you will be escorted by one of the representatives of Breakfree Adventures to the international terminal at the Tribhuvan International Airport approximately three hours before your flight schedule from your hotel in Kathmandu. A day to bid farewell to the glorious country situated in the South Asia. While waiting for your flight, you can make plans to venture other destinations of the majestic country in near future.

We hope you had a lovely time with us. Breakfree Adventures would be obliged to be your travel partner during your next adventure in Nepal. Have a safe flight back home!

We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.

When to go:
Spring (Feb - May) and Autumn (Sept- Dec) are the best seasons for the Nepal Rhododendron Trek. The weather is sunny and warm offering outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing in higher elevations. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Nepal Rhododendron Trek, only issue is cold (obviously). Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.

Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use three star tourist standard hotel with breakfast but can upgrade/downgrade upon request. During the Nepal Rhododendron Trek, we provide the best available guest house which is called Tea house(lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a room with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. Keep in mind that there are several places which do not allow single accommodations during peak season, but we will try our best to accommodate your preferences if possible. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.

We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from guesthouses chosen from a menu. While Nepal Rhododendron Trek, your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 11 days Nepal Rhododendron Trek is moderate trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-6 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 11 days Nepal Rhododendron Trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip is good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.

The Trekking Group:
For the Nepal Rhododendron Trek, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (8 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Nepal Rhododendron Trek for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as weve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if youd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Nepal Rhododendron Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
Intensive Wilderness First Aid - KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)

  • Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
  • Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
  • English Language - KEEP(Kathmandu environment education project)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
  • Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association

Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.

Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.

Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.

Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel that you should consider before booking. Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.

Responsible Travel
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.

Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.

What do we mean by trekking?
Trekking is an enjoyable and accessible adventure.  In an area like the Annapurna Region this activity will blow your mind.  It generally involves days on foot and multi-day walks through parks and wilderness areas.  The Annapurna region mainly consists of teahouse treks.  The terrain can often be steep, and we will likely encounter cold weather and possibly snow at higher altitudes above 3 700m.

Is trekking an activity for me?
If you love spending time in the outdoors and going to magnificent places offering spectacular views, then trekking is most certainly for you.  It fills the gap between luxury travel and tented tours at a price that makes sense to most people.

How difficult is trekking in the Annapurna Region?
This will normally depend on the specific trek you are booked on, and to some extent on the preferences of those trekking.  The Annapurna Region is very accessible as one of the classic Nepal trekking areas and is manageable by almost anyone. 

Do I need prior trekking experience before setting out here?
No previous trekking experience is needed but it will certainly help.  Anyone with decent fitness and good stamina should be able to cope with the trekking days and higher elevations.  Hiking experience anywhere in the world is recommended for maximum enjoyment, but certainly not needed.

What permits are required for my trek?
This will depend on your specific trek but all regions have some form of permit system.  Some trekking areas require a special permit for the trekking activity and other areas may only require permits to enter conservation areas or national parks.  Often it is a combination of both.  Nearly all trekking areas require a Trekking Information Management System TIMS card.  As part of your package we obtain all permits on your behalf.

What is the average walking time per day?
On average you will walk about 5 to 8 hours daily.  Distances vary and will depend on trail conditions, weather conditions and the fitness of the group.

What is meant by teahouse trekking?
Teahouse trekking refers to the type of accommodation that is so unique to these mountain treks.  Lodging and meals are mostly at teahouses operated by local people and on a full-board basis.

Where do we get our drinking water from?
Bottled water is available in many places on the more established trekking routes but this will be for your own account. Most villages have a clean and reliable water source and we will utilise locally purified water mostly.  The teahouses can supply you with boiled water at a small fee.  You are encouraged to carry your own purification tablets or drops for your own peace of mind.

How much can a porter carry?
This will often depend on the trekking route and maximum altitude gain.  On average for trekking in the Annapurna Region every porter carries between 15 and 30kg.  A camping porter carries up to 40kg.  For our packages we normally assign one porter for every two travellers.  What this means to you is that on the trek you will be allowed 15kg luggage. This is strictly enforced to ensure the wellbeing of our porter crew. 

Should I tip my guides and porters?
Yes please do!  This is not mandatory but widely accepted as for anywhere else in the world.  Tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks.  

Important Note

If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

Trip Facts

Destination: Nepal

Duration: 11 Day(s)

Trip Grade: Moderate

Activities: Sightseeing & Trekking

Best Season: March to May

Max altitude: 3,210 meters (Poon Hill)

Transportation: Private vehicles, Tourist bus & Flight

Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Full board on trek

Accommodation: Hotel/resort in Kathmandu and Pokhara, lodge/teahouse during the trek

Trip Type: Lodge/Teahouse trek

Starts/Ends: Nayapul

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