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Around Mt. Dhaulagiri Trekking

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A full circuit of Dhaulagiri massif

Mount Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh-highest mountain, is one of the most imposing mountains visible from all angles of the west of Kathmandu. This beautiful mountain scenery can be enjoyed from Pokhara, from all the route of Kaligandaki valley to Mustang, from the many points of Upper and Lower Dolpo Trekking and also from the far distance of Rara to Mugu and Dolpo Trekking routes and from most the windows of most of the international flight entering and exiting from Nepal.

A trekking route that makes a circle to Dhaulagiri is famously known as Dhaulagiri Circuit, or Dhaulagiri Round Trekking. This trekking starts with a flight or drives to Pokhara and same day drive to Beni or by taking a direct ride to Beni, the trekking starting point. And from there, following the Myagdi Khola (River) and several beautiful Gurung and Magar villages to the wild and remote area of the Dhaulagiri Himalayan massif; crossing the French col, Hidden Valley, and Dhampus pass drops us to Kaligandaki river valley, requiring a long descend.

The views of the hilly regions full of scattered villages, terraced fields, mountain scenery, wilderness and the horizon stretching to another beautiful mountain ranges are common until we don’t sit back into our international flight back home.

Once arrived at the Kaligandaki river valley, the round trip is thought accomplished because of its road and airport facilities, but the actual round trip will end up with few days of extension through Kaliganki gorges to Tatopani and then a short drive to Beni or another two days extended trek via Poon Hill to Pokhara.

Trip Highlights

  • Adventure from warm low area to the arctic zone of high Himalayan Peaks.
  • Enjoy breath-taking scenery of Dhaulagiri range from a hand reaching distance.
  • Take a round of the world 7th highest mountain, the Dhaulagiri and its great ice-falls.
  • Enjoy seeing the lovely paddy fields in the mid-hill slopes
  • Enjoy undisturbed alpine forest ending at never ending fields of ice and glaciers.
  • One of the beaten tracks away from mainstream trails and villages for many days.
  • Crossing the fame filled French pass Thapa / Dhampus pass.

Trip Profile

The total length of the trip: 18 Nights/19 Days from arrival to the departure date
Number of the night in Kathmandu: 4-nights, optionally visit UNESCO sites
Trek starting point: Darbang
Trek ending point: Marpha
Mode of transport: Private vehicle Kathmandu to Darbang and Pokhara to Kathmandu
Domestic flight: Jomsom – Pokhara
Highest elevation achievement: 5,357 metres French Pass
Accommodation: Hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and tented camps on full board basis on the trek
Meals:Each day a wide variety of complete meals will be prepared and served by our mobile cook and kitchen staff.
Trip grade: Moderate to Challenging
Best season to trek: from the end of March to mid-June and mid-September to mid of November

Short Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu 1,350m

Day 02: Sightseeing and resting day in Kathmandu

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 820m. A 6 hours’ drive /(30 mins by air

Day 04: Drive to Darbang village 1,230m. via Beni town 900m. A 5 hours’ drive

Day 05: Trek to Riverside 1,700m. A 4 hours trek

Day 06: Trek to Bagar 2,375m. A 6 hours trek

Day 07: Trek to Dovan 2,600m. A 6 hours trek

Day 08: Trek to Chartare / Bhainsi Kharka 3,110m

Day 09: Trek to Pakhaban (Japanese Camp) 3,745m

Day 10: Trek to Dhaulagiri Basecamp 4,750m

Day 11: Trek to Hidden Valley 4,890m. via French Pass 5,357m

Day 12: Optionally at Hidden Valley, a contingency day

Day 13: Trek to Yak Kharka 4,890m. A 6 hours trek

Day 14: Trek to Marpha 2, 675m. A 5 hours trek.

Day 15: Fly to Pokhara 22 mins and transfer to hotel by the lake Phewa

Day 16: Pokhara

Day 17: Pokhara – Bandipur – Kathmandu

Day 18: Kathmandu

Day 19: Departure

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu 1,350m

Our personnel will be waiting at the Kathmandu international airport to receive you with a traditional welcome. After checking into the hotel and refreshment, your guide of the circuit will inform you about the necessary formalities and the upcoming program. Depending on arrival time, you will have the choice of visiting nearby shrines or resting.

Day 02: Sightseeing and resting day in Kathmandu

Optionally take a round of Kathmandu and Patan cities where one gets to see and experience fascinating aspects of Buddhism and Hinduism and many other charms. Those not willing on visits are in rest while we finalize trekking area permits. O/N in Kathmandu.

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 820m. A 6 hours’ drive /(30 mins by air

After early morning breakfast, we start the day with a long drive. The first phases of the journey take us out of Kathmandu valley, which crosses the busiest section of Thankot pass, the main entry, and exit toward the south. Just after crossing Thankot there is a fantastic view of the Ganesh Himal, the Manaslu Range and even the Annapurnas on a clear day. From here the road drops to the valley bottom and follows the Trishuli River enjoying a thrilling high way drive to Pokhara. The beautiful scenery along the way includes terraced fields, vast river valleys and villages and on a clear day, sights of the snowy mountains. Arrive at our hotel and get distributed to the rooms. In the evening we stroll around the lake to enjoy the evening atmosphere and at the same time choosing one of its best restaurants for dinner – Overnight in hotel.

Day 04: Drive to Darbang village 1,230m. via Beni town 900m. A 5 hours’ drive

Breakfast and take a drive to Darbang, our trek starting point. The first part of the ride takes through over the Pokhara city which offers us a complete and beautiful view of Pokhara city and the entire Himalaya range that decor to Pokhara. Then the road goes down through a beautiful valley full of scattered villages and farmland to Beni, the headquarter town of Myagdi district within the Dhaulagiri region. The drive further continues west to reach a farm village called Darbang, located around low and warm areas, which lies on the trail to Dhaulagiri basecamp. We will arrive earlier with time to explore the village around and to prepare our trek from the next day. Darbang is home to Magar people, one of the dominant tribes of mid-hills of Nepal and one of the colorful ethnic groups.

Day 05: Trek to Riverside 1,700m. A 4 hours trek

Start the walk following the river upstream past farm villages and terraces by the bank of Myagdi River through a cool shade of the forest and into gorge till we approach our camping site for overnight stop by the Riverside, with a small farm village and paddy field.

Day 06: Trek to Bagar 2,375m. A 6 hours trek

From here the trail takes us along an upstream to reach an isolated small farm village at Juge Pani (Meaning - leech water), where we will stop for lunch. The afternoon walk leads with a steep climb to reach a ridge top, and then on downhill through a cool forest until we arrive to at Bagar, the last village on our trek for until we reach at Marpha, on the main circuit of Annapurna.

Day 07: Trek to Dovan 2,600m. A 6 hours trek

The morning trek goes into a forest area for an hour and begins with a climb through bamboo, oaks and rhododendron forest. The trail again drops down-hill to Dovan, a lovely forest area with a temporary teahouse and shop.

Day 08: Trek to Chartare / Bhainsi Kharka 3,110m

A 5 hours trek.
Cross over a small bridge at the confluence of Myagdi River and continue into forested path until at Chartare, also called Bhainsi Kharka, situated amid a dense forest, a rich grazing area for local herders.

Day 09: Trek to Pakhaban (Japanese Camp) 3,745m

A 5 hours trek. 
The morning walk starts through a complete wilderness. We slowly come over the tree lines and arrive at the south-west of Mount Dhaulagiri massive. This point also knows by the Italian camp. The views of Putha Huinchuli, Manapathi, and Dhaulagiri south flank are impressive. After good hours of walking within the glacier, moraine and then climb over a rocky ridge to reach Pakhaban or the Japanese camp. From our campsite, there are excellent views of Dhaulagiri South-West Face, Manapathi, Puttha Hiunchuli and the massive ice wall of Tsaurabong Peak.

Day 10: Trek to Dhaulagiri Basecamp 4,750m

A 6 hours trek. 
The trek continues over moraine, glaciers, and boulders of the iceberg at some sections on the faint trail, where the trail follows over the glaciated area. After a tough walk over the glacier, we reach a rocky open space, the Dhaulagiri basecamp. We have some of the closest views of Mount Dhaulagiri-I towering above us, its icefalls, glacier and Tukuche peak, the Western mountains of Dhaulagiri II (7,751 m.), Dhaulagiri III (7,715 m.) and Dhaulagiri IV (7,618 m.), one of the greatest mass of peaks just in your hand reaching distance.

Day 11: Trek to Hidden Valley 4,890m. via French Pass 5,357m

A 6 hours trek.
Today we cross the fame filled French pass, at above 5,357 metres. Just after the crossing, the downhill brings us to a wide grassy field of best known by the hidden valley, where we will camp for overnight. The views of Sita Chuchura, Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang 5,386 meters, Tukche Peak and Dhaulagiri-I, are awe-inspiring and in their full majesty.

Day 12: Optionally at Hidden Valley, a contingency day

Our body probably requires a rest day. We need to give a rest, a recharging day, to our porters as well. The rest day get decided on the evening of yesterday. If all are in sound and if the weather is appealing for continuing, then the camp will go ahead. A rest day may be enjoyed at Marpha, Jomsom or in Kathmandu.

Day 13: Trek to Yak Kharka 4,890m. A 6 hours trek

The morning walk starts with a gradual going up for a few hours until we approach the last high pass of the circuit, the Thapa or Dhampus pass, at above 5,250 metres above sea level. Crossing over with great views of Annapurna Himal, Nilgiri peaks, and then descend to Yak Kharka, an open place for Yak Shade, we are back into green vegetation of Juniper, Burberry and rhododendron bushes.

Day 14: Trek to Marpha 2, 675m. A 5 hours trek.

An exciting day for all members to end the trek. The trail is a long downhill. The views of the Kaligandaki valley and across are breathtaking. The trail again enters into the bushes and forest of firs, pines, and rhododendron and to the charming village at Marpha, on the ancient salt trade route to Tibet in the bank of famously known Kaligandaki River. Marpha is one of the villages located around the Kaligandaki river bank of lower Mustang district and is among one of the ancient villages of the area. A limited region of Kaligandaki river also known by Thak Khola (river of Thakalis) is also known as the apple pie route. Several apple gardens are enabling them to fame with apple pie, apple cider, apple brandy, juice, dry apples, and apricot fruits. Enjoy the afternoon in the comfort of a lovely lodge and get relaxed for a memorable accomplishment around Dhaulagiri Trek.

Day 15: Fly to Pokhara 22 mins and transfer to hotel by the lake Phewa

In the morning, we take a short drive to Jomsom airport and then board in a small aircraft (Twin Otter / Dornier or similar types). The flight offers fantastic views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna range of mountains on both sides of the plane. A great mountain scenery last till it touches at beautiful Pokhara city airport. Once we get out of the plane, the panorama to the northeast of Pokhara, filled with high mountain rows, greet you back. Transfer to Pokhara Lakeside and get distributed your room. The rest of the day is free for rest and refreshment. In the evening, we stroll around the lake of Pokhara while choosing one of its best restaurants for a hearty dinner.

Day 16: Pokhara

A lately wake up and a hearty breakfast at your hotel. At around 10 am we walk to the Fewa Lake and take a boat to cross the lake to hike to Peace Stupa, Above the Lake Fewa. The stupa known by Peace Stupa, in Pokhara, is located to the west of Pokhara on a beautiful hill saddle facing to the northeast and west is one of the must-visit places in Pokhara. A pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, a significant monument inspiring peace. The Peace Pagoda is designed to provide a focus for people of all race and creed and to help unite them to live harmoniously in peace. Most of the Peace Pagodas, though not all, built since World War II are built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, 1885–1985. Nichidatsu Fujii is a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order. Fujii, much inspired by his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931, devoted his whole life to promoting peace, a non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas as shrines to World Peace. Peace Pagodas built as a symbol of peace in Japanese cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the American atomic bombs took the lives of over 150,000 people, almost all of whom were civilians, at the end of World War II. By the year 2000, eighty Peace Pagodas had been built around the world including in the United States, Europe, and in Asia. The Nipponzan-Myōhōji monks of the New England Peace Pagoda were awarded the Courage of Conscience award on June 5, 1998, in Sherborn, Massachusetts. We then descend back to the Lake and take our boat back to Lakeside. Then we proceed for lunch. Then we will go to visit the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara, where we will see and understand the history of mountains and mountaineering on the tallest peaks in the world. We will know about the importance of the Himalayan range of Nepal and the benefits given by the Himalayas for billions of people and to the natural habitat. The rest of the evening is to rest and relax.

Day 17: Pokhara – Bandipur – Kathmandu

In the morning, at around 08:30, we head to Kathmandu. The 200 km-will be covered in approximately 6 hours by private car. A beautiful trip from Pokhara passes through several small towns and farmland and brings us to Dumre. From the Dumre bazaar, we leave the main highway to Kathmandu and go up to the village of Bandipur, for our lunch. Bandipur, an old trading post, is situated on a hill halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. This medieval town situates 8 kilometres above the village of Dumre Bazar. Bandipur offers panoramas of Mount Annapurna, Manaslu, and Ganesh Himal. High mountains, the valley of the Marshyangdi River and lush terraces provide an experience of happiness that never ends. After lunch, we continue to Kathmandu. Arrive at your hotel and get distributed into rooms. The rest of the evening is free. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 18: Kathmandu

A free day or optionally take a tour.

Day 19: Departure

Breakfast and free time till the time limit. In the indicated time, our office representative and vehicle arrive at your hotel to serve you till the airport. Drive to Kathmandu international airport to see off formalities and departure.

Cost

COSTS PER PERSON
NUMBER IN GROUP 3-Star Hotels 4-Star Hotels
1 Person 3957$ 4,290$
2 - 3 Persons 2938$ 3148$
4 - 5 Persons 2580$ 2790$
6 - 7 Persons 2390$ 2600$
8- 10 Persons 2235$ 2425$
Single room supplement 395$ 640$

What is included

  • Airport pick-up and departure services as per itinerary
  • 4-nights of hotel accommodation at Kathmandu on twin sharing basis, breakfast included
  • Kathmandu to Beni transportation in a private vehicle
  • One guide, one cook, two kitchen boys and the necessary number of porters/mules
  • Insurance and all expenses of local staff / 3-night hotel accommodation in Pokhara on twin sharing basis, breakfast included
  • Annapurna Conservation Area entry permit and TIMS permit / A small Medial kit box for first add medical purpose.
  • Trek with all meals and accommodations in tented camp service / A satellite mobile phone for communication in an emergency (Personal usage available with 4$ per minute call)
  • Camping material such as a two-men domed tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, dining table and chairs, hard and soft mattresses and all required kitchen equipment and food
  • Airfare Jomsom to Pokhara (tax and airport transfer included) / A good sleeping bag to each member / A pair of a trekking pole to each member / A trekking map and duffel bag
  • Sightseeing tour of Peace Stupa and International Mountain Museum in Pokhara with transport and monument entry fee / Private Pokhara to Kathmandu via Bandipur

What is not included

  • Travel insurance (Should include helicopter evacuation and cancellation eventualities as well)
  • International air tickets
  • Nepal entry visa and visa fee (One can apply on arrival to Kathmandu airport)
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic and mineral beverages during the trek
  • Other charges such as usage of internet, telephone, laundry services.
  • Tips for Nepali staff/porters and those, not mentioned in above price include section.

Best Seasons

Nepal has four primary seasons:
1. Winter: December–February
2. Spring: March-May
3. Summer: June–August
4. Autumn: September – November

General Weather:
The best time is from mid-September to the end of January or from mid-February to the end of May. July and August are rainy months for Nepal, but each season has its richness. During rainy month the jungles will be lush to the rain forest, and the rivers will swell, the lowlands or the fields of the hills will be full of rice and other crops.

During these month Japanese tourists and from other countries, loving the high Himalaya flower, comes to sight flowers. And most of the tourist willing to travel to Tibet comes from May to mid-October. And we also have a lot of Spanish tourists touring and trekking in Nepal in these months.

During rainy months the parts of Terai may see with flood and travelling during these months is hot and temperature may reach to around 38 degrees, but during this time the Indian tourists visit Nepal to escape the heat in their lowlands. During winter months the part of Terai will be misty and may find under winter mist until late morning (11 a.m.).

End of February to mid-May is the best time for fauna and flora both in the mountains and in Terai. During this time one may find a lot of rhododendron flower, magnolia, wild orchids and birdlife. The weather mostly remains fine in all parts of Nepal.

January February are winter, and from the end of January to February, the high passes in the mountain valley will be in the snow. During this time, the temperature around the Everest Base camp will be -17 degrees (after sunset and before sunrise). During day time will be around 5 to 11 degree and more if sunny. Nepal is a sunny country, so the temperature, even full winter, is much better than some European country and in America and in Canada. Many of them from those countries travel to Nepal to escape their cold weather and to enjoy the sunny Himalaya Panorama.

NOTE
The best months to take this itinerary is from the end of March to mid-June and mid-September to mid of November

FAQ

Where do we sleep?
In Kathmandu and Pokhara we stay in comfortable 3-star hotels with private en-suite bathrooms. While on trek we stay at Nepalese lodges which offer welcoming but straightforward accommodation and wonderful traditional hospitality. Lodges typically have one large communal room where you can sit and take meals, and there is an adjoining kitchen where you can order your food and drinks. Bedrooms are twin bedded with or without private bathroom, and dormitories with shared bathrooms.

What Equipment do I need?
You will need to bring appropriate warm outdoor clothing and a good pair of walking boots. A complete equipment list gets supplied when you sign up. Many of the necessary items can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu so don’t worry if you can’t buy everything where you live. The guides will check your equipment and clothing before departing from Kathmandu, so if anything is missing, there will be time to obtain anything necessary.

Can I arrive early or extend my stay?
Yes, you can! All you need to do is to tell us what your flight details are and how many extra nights you need and we will book your hotel accordingly. Additionally, if you would like to arrange a program of activities either before or perhaps after the trek, there are a range of options to choose from including the jungle safari at Chitwan national park, or perhaps white water rafting on one of Nepal’s spectacular rivers such as the Sun Kosi. The Kathmandu has several not to miss UNESCO World heritage sites and to visit all of them with time require at least 3-5 days.

Can I have a single room?
Yes, you can! There is a single room occupancy supplement indicated in the price list.

What about insurance?
It is a condition of joining the trek that you have insurance in place which will cover you for the costs of medical treatment, cancellations, emergency rescue and repatriation to your home country. You must ensure that it provides cover for trekking to altitudes above 4000 metres and includes helicopter rescue. We do not sell insurance scheme so requires to manage on your own.

Do I need a visa?
Yes, you do. Everyone needs to get a visa for Nepal, but you can obtain it on arrival at Kathmandu airport. You will need to bring two passport photos and the appropriate visa fee, which is the US $30 for 15 days, US $50 for up to 30 days, and the US $125 for 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry to Nepal.

How fit do I need to be?
Anyone who is in reasonable shape and good health can accomplish this trek. Some days will be harder than others, but none require much more than 5 or 6 hours of walking each day, with a leisurely lunch stop to break up the day. There is no rush or need to ‘keep up’, and you are free to walk at your own pace. We would recommend that you undertake some form of simple training in advance of the trek, such as a 30-minute walk each evening for a few weeks before the start of the trek. Another exercise, such as swimming, bicycling and playing tennis, is also ideal.

Do I have to carry my pack?
We use porters to carry the majority of our equipment so daily you need only take a very light day pack which should contain no more than the camera, water-bottle, a selection of snacks and a warm or waterproof jacket. Everything else needs to pack into a large duffle bag which will be given to a porter each morning. The kitbag will be carried by the porter each day and delivered to your lodge room each afternoon. You need to make sure you have everything you need for the day before giving your bag to the porter as it can be difficult to access while trekking.

Will I be affected by altitude?
Most of the trek takes place at lower altitudes where you are unlikely to notice anything other than mild shortness of breath at the beginning of the trek. As the days go by, you will gain acclimatisation and feel more adjusted to the higher altitudes. At a height above 4300 metres, one may experience a headache caused by the thin air and lack of oxygen, but these symptoms usually pass quickly. If you experience symptoms of altitude that does not go away, you will be accompanied by one of our Sherpas to a lower elevation, where you should quickly recover.

Do I need vaccinations to travel Nepal?
No vaccination are required to travel Nepal, but we suggest to consult with your doctor before travelling. You can get vaccination in Kathmandu/Pokhara but it is more comfortable if you get them before you travel.

How do I sign up?
All bookings need to be made through Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. and to secure your place we will require a non-refundable deposit of minimum US $200 or as indicated in the booking and payment conditions section.

Payment Options:
1. Bank Transfer -this is our preferred method. Payments in US Dollars should be sent to the following account:

Account Name: Annapurna Treks & Expedition
Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank
Bank Address: Durbar Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. Box 3412
Account number: 001 611710T
Swift Code No.: NIBLNPKT

2. Payment by a Card - payments can only be processed in Nepalese rupees (NPR), so if you wish to pay by card, we will convert the dollar amount to a Nepalese Rupees equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate. Card payment is accepted only on your arrival into the country. There will be a 3.5% service fee on top.

Booking Payment Conditions

Booking and payment conditions
As soon as we have your Booking, with a specific program and more or less number in the group, we will release an invoice for a confirmation deposit as per following.
(A) 200$ per person for trekking and tours
(B) 400$ per person for trekking peak climbing and trekking in restricted areas
(C) 600$ per person for mountaineering expeditions ranging 6,600m to below 8000 metres
(D) 3,000$ per person for all mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m. meter into Nepal
(E) 4,000$ per person for mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m mountain into Tibet.

1. The final confirmation will require at least three months in advance of the tours commence with 50% of the tour payment.
2. The final and total payment will require at least 25-days before the program commences.
3. The banking transaction charges of each time payment will be needed to be borne by the sender, and a net amount of the total amount will require deposited in the company account.

Trip Cancellation

  • To compensate the administrative charges, and other expenses in dealing with the booking process, the following cancellation fees will be charged:Cancellation after the confirmation - loss of the deposit
  • Cancellation 45-days before trip commences - 20% of the total cost
  • Cancellation 25-days before trip commences - 50% of the total cost
  • Cancellation less than 21-days before the trip commences - 70% of the total cost
  • Cancellation after arrival or during the trip - 100% of the total cost
Responsibility
We, Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd., accept responsibility for ensuring that the services booked with us are as close as possible to the itinerary outfitted in our mutual understanding. You agree and understand that it may be necessary to adjust the program due to unforeseen factors. In such a case, the group leader and sirdar/guide, in the team, will make the final decision.

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