Following an evening at Ghorepani, the trip culminates the following day on top of Poon Hill, also known as the "Wonder of Asia," where you can see the best sunrise view in the Himalayan garden. Mt. Fishtail 6997M, Mt. Annapurna South 7219M, Mt. Annapurna I 8091M, Mt. Nilgiri 7061M, Mt. Gangapura 7455M, Mt. Dhaulagiri 8172M, Mt. Dhaulagiri I 7751M, Mt. Dhaulagiri II 7715 M, Mt. In Poon Hill, you will enjoy the glowing colours of nature from one side to another, the rising sun, and its reflection on the mountain before you actually see the sun. The Tibetan plateau, the city hidden behind the mountains, the world's deepest gorge, the world's seventh-highest Dhaulagiri range, and many other sights can be seen from the top of the hill.
Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1992, covering 7629 km2.
Annapurna Conservation Area, the first conservation area and the largest protected area in Nepal, is managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). Annapurna Conservation Area covers an area of 7,629 sq. km. and is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups. Annapurna Conservation Area is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 1,226 species of flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles, and 23 amphibians.
Several features make the Annapurna region a unique place in the world. It has the world’s deepest river gorge—Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, is a valley with fossils from the Tethys Sea dating back 60 million years. The region contains the world’s largest rhododendron forest in Ghorepani. Tilicho Lake, located in Manang, north of the Annapurna massif, is the world’s highest-altitude freshwater lake.
The biological diversity of the Annapurna region is equalled by its cultural diversity. Gurung and Magar are the dominant groups in the south, whereas Thakali, Manage, and Loba are dominant in the north. Each of these groups speaks its own dialect and has unique cultures and traditions. Besides, there are also Brahmins, Chhetris, and other occupational castes, although in comparatively smaller numbers. Hindu, Buddhist, and pre-Buddhist religions, along with a mixture of all these, are prevalent across the region. The local people reside in the five districts of the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA).
The Annapurna region is famous for the mountain ranges and Himalayan peaks of the Annapurna massif. Mt Fishtail 6997M, Mt Annapurna South 7219 M, Mt Annapurna I 8091M, Annapurna II 7,937 M, Annapurna III 7,555 M, and Annapurna IV 7,525 M, Mt Gangapura 7455M, Mt Himchuli 6441M, Dhampus Peak 6012 M, Tuckhe Peak 6920 M, Gurja Peak 9193M, Nilgiri North (7061 m), Nilgiri Central (6940 m), and others.
The natural and cultural features of ACA have made it the most popular trekking destination in the country, attracting the majority of the country’s total trekkers. Over the years, tourism has been firmly established as one of the most important sectors of the local economy. There are over 1,000 lodges, tea shops, and hundreds of other subsidiary services to cater to the thousands of trekkers, pilgrims, and their support staff. The soaring number of visitors, whose fuelwood consumption is twice that of the local people, has exerted immense pressure on forest resources already stressed by the growing local population. Similarly, litter, particularly the waste produced by trekkers and hoteliers, is another major concern. It is estimated that an average trekking group of 15 people generates about 15 kilos of non-biodegradable and non-burnable garbage in a 10-day trek, producing tonnes of garbage in mountain regions annually.
The multifaceted problems of ACA have been addressed through an integrated, community-based conservation and development approach, an experimental model that has been in the vanguard of promoting the concepts of "conservation area" through an "Integrated Conservation and Development Programme" approach in the country and abroad. ACAP was first tested as a pilot programme by the Ghandruk Village Development Committee (VDC) in 1986. After being notified in the Gazette as a "Conservation Area" in 1992, ACAP’s programme covered the entire area. Additionally, ACA is the first protected area that has allowed residents to live within the boundaries, own their private property, and maintain their traditional rights and access to the use of natural resources. It is also the first protected area that has refrained from using army assistance to protect the dwindling natural resource base on which the region depends. Instead, it invests whatever financial resources are available for community development and social capital building in the region.
In the Annapurna Conservation Area, the altitude varies from 1,000 m above sea level to 8,091 m. This drastic change in altitude in the 50-kilometre stretch makes Annapurna naturally rich and diverse. On one side, Annapurna is known as the wettest area in Nepal, with lush green forests and dense rhododendron forests in the south, whereas Annapurna massifs prevent most of the rain from reaching the upper part of the conservation area, creating a dry, high-altitude desert environment in the north.
Note: The Poonhill trek can be completed in 7 days if we return the same way via Ulleri.
This journey of excitement and adventure takes us deep inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. At an altitude of 3210 m, Poonhill is one of the best sunrise viewpoints in Annapurna. This trail fits all kinds of trekkers. The path to legendary Poon Hill climbs up the famous Ulleri uphill, which, if walked steadily, takes 2-3 hours to reach the top, but if you take it easy, it takes a whole day to climb up to get the day's destination, Ghorepani.
After an evening at Ghorepani, the pinnacle of the trip is the next day when we reach the top of Poon Hill, also known as the "Wonder of Asia," where we will get the best sunrise view in the garden of the Himalayas. Mt. Fishtail 6997M, Mt. Annapurna South 7219M, Mt. Annapurna I 8091M, Mt. Nilgiri 7061M, Mt. Gangapura 7455M, Mt. Dhaulagiri 8172M, Mt. Dhaulagiri I 7751M, and Mt. Dhaulagiri II 7715M
Early in the morning, a determined traveler climbs up to reach the top of the hill to capture the beauty, both in heart and soul and for the beloved camera. On Poon Hill, you will enjoy the glowing colors of nature from one side to another, the rising sun, and its reflection on the mountain before we see the sun. From the top of the hill, we see the Tibetan plateau, the city behind the mountains, the world's deepest gorge, the world's seventh-highest Dhaulagiri range, and many more. Here at the top, you become an artist, critic, environmentalist, and happy soul to see one of nature's beautiful creations.
At Poon Hill, joy and love are tender and bless each soul with passion and a sign of victory. The differences in topography and climatic conditions amaze you with the variety in vegetation at each step and at each corner. After spending one beautiful morning on the hill with other happy travelers, you know you'll return someday.
The way down to Ghandruk's "Ethnic Gurung village" makes one wonder which way was good climbing up or climbing down. Nonetheless, the walk down is enjoyable, with a long stretch of easy trail. We will walk through the rhododendron forest with occasional encounters with Himalayan trucks (mules) passing by with loads on their backs.
Walking through the deep valley foot trails, the green surroundings, the river, and watching birds climb down from the top of the cliff to below the free-flowing river to a short uphill to one of the mountain views at Tadapani is another beautiful destination from where Annapurna South is just Our path then takes us to stone-tiled, sleepy Ghandruk, where we can rest and reflect on the journey with beautiful culture and nature.
Back in Pokhara, warm music and the cool Fewa Lake water welcomes you back to enjoy the evening.
Itinerary in detail
Day 01. Arrival in Kathmandu:
On arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to the hotel in Kathmandu. Briefing about Kathmandu City, climate, and the pre-trip meeting. Afternoon or evening for independent activities overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Full-Day Tour:
Visits in Kathmandu: Swayambhu Stupa (a World Heritage Site), also known as the Monkey Temple, with its 2500 years of history. Later, visit Kathmandu Durbar Square (WHS). Here we can see the Newari culture and architecture, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Temple, the ancient royal residence, Kasthamandap, the Living Goddess Kumari Temple, etc.
Finally, another visit to Patan Durbar Square (WHS), also known as Lalitpur, which means The City of Fine Art. The square is famous for good examples of wood and stone carving temples, masterpiece wood carving windows and doors, Taleju temple, the Royal Bath, Krishna Temple, etc. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara:
After breakfast, we will travel to Pokhara (either by tourist bus, by air, or by private vehicle). The transport by road will take about seven hours whereas taking a flight will take half an hour to 45 minutes.
At Pokhara, we walk around the lakeside and make final preparations. Depending on your arrival time, the activities may vary.
Day 4: Pokhara-Uleri:
After breakfast, we head towards Birethanti in a jeep. We will begin our walk after reaching just above Birethanti. As our final destination for the day is Uleri, we will have lunch along the way and keep climbing up to reach Ulleri. Once you reach Ulleri, you will get a glimpse of the majestic Annapurna South.
Day 5: Uleri-Ghorepani:
The next day, after breakfast, we will begin our trek again to reach Ghorepani. The name Ghorepani came to be because it used to be a place for horses to drink water; "Ghore" means horse and "Pani" means water. Ghorepani is one of the most beautiful places on the whole route, as it also serves as a hill station for Poonhill. From Ghorepani, different mountain ranges such as the Annapurna range, the Dhaulagiri range, and many others mountains can be seen.
Day 6: Ghorepani-Poon Hill-Tadapani:
At Ghorepani, we will wake up early to climb (for 45 minutes to an hour) before sunrise to witness the wonder of Asia. With the spectacular light on the mountains at Poonhill, we could see the trail we had walked so far. After enjoying one beautiful morning on top of the hill with fellow happy travelers, we will continue our journey to reach Tadapani.
Day 7: Tadapani-Ghandruk
Today we will have a relatively easy walk to reach Ghandruk to spend more time in nature and local culture. The downhill walk to reach Ghandruk is about 4-5 hours and we will arrive just in time for lunch. After lunch, exploring the Ghandruk village will be on the agenda. The maze-like village will take a little while to comprehend as you navigate through the village. You can visit the Gurung museum and also the old Ghandruk village and get lost in the history.
Day 8: Ghandruk-Pokhara
The three-hour ride will take us to Pokhara, our mystical city. After lunch, we will explore Pokhara. You will have many options to choose from, such as boating, cycling, shopping, food tours, relaxing, etc.
Day 9: Pokhara to Kathmandu
From Pokhara, we will take a late flight back to Kathmandu. We will discover the city's diverse cultural and natural beauty in Pokhara.
Day 10: Kathmandu
Rest day or free day in Kathmandu for shopping or independent activities as well as farewell Dinner.
Day 11: Departure
We will transfer you to the international airport for your departure. Your journey with us ends for now and hopefully, we can assist you again in the future.