One of the most popular treks in Nepal, the Ghorepani and Poon Hill Trek gives those short on time a little bit of everything the Annapurna Circuit has to offer. A fairly short and easy trek that takes only four days to complete, it is a journey into the Himalayan wild that offers magnificent views of two major mountain ranges- the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri ranges- and lets you peek into the daily lives of the indigenous culture of the Nepali mountainside. Think majestic grandiose mountains, suspension bridges, beautiful rhododendron forests, chilled waterfalls, green farms, rocky trails, quaint Shangi La villages and some of the warmest people in the world.
The trek starts and ends at Nayapul (literally New Bridge in Nepali) which is a two-hour drive from Pokhara. It will take us through lovely little mountain villages, and the two large prosporous villages of Ghorepani and Ghandruk. The villages are inhabited by good natured people of many different castes and tribes- the Gurungs (famous for their predominance in the brave Gurkha army), the Magars, the Puns – each with their own unique cultures and traditions. The biggest highlight of the trek will be a scintillating sunrise seen from Poon Hill at 3210m as the sun paints the morning mountains red and orange.
Get here and meet a handpicked professional tour guide, one of the finest the country has to offer, who will take you to your hotel and discuss your plans. A good day to wander around Thamel or the famous Freak Street, popular hangouts for locals and foreigners alike.
Arguably the most beautiful city in Nepal, Pokhara is a popular destination in South Asia, a serene lake city which offers most modern amenities without the excessive hustle and bustle of Kathmandu’s busy streets. The Fewa lake is a beautiful body of water where tourists have been known to live around for months at a time. Popular optional activities here include paragliding, ultra light aircraft rides, ziplining, and trekking. Most people prefer to start their famous Annapurna circuit treks from Pokhara, and you can meet people here from all corners of the world. The drive here from Kathmandu takes about 6 hours. At least two nights are recommended in this gem of a city, if you have the time for it.
An early two-hour drive, which takes us to Nayapul, will take us to the starting point of our trek (also the finishing point). a twenty minute walk from Nayapul takes us to the fork in the trail that splits and takes one to either Ghorepani or Ghandruk. This is where we enter the Annapurna Sanctuary. We start walking. We walk past little villages that sport lodges and restaurants till we get to where we want to spend the night at, walking mostly uphill on stone steps surrounded by greenery. Ulleri is farther away from Tikhedhunga and takes more effort to get to, after a long and steep climb, and either village is okay to spend the night at.
‘Ghoda’ in Nepali means horse, and ‘pani’ is water. Ghorepani acquired its name through many years of horsemen stopping here to let their animals quench their thirst at one of the little canals it used to have. Now a large and prosperous village, Ghorepani is a beautiful quaint mountain destination surrounded by hills and mountains of breathtaking beauty. We walk past little villages and get here in the afternoon. We have time to laze around the village, but an early night is advised due to the early rise the next day, and the long walk after it. There are internet places here, and even a place you can play pool at!
An early 45 minute walk in the hours before dawn takes us to Poon Hill where unparalleled sights of a beautiful mountain sunrise await us. The Dhaulagiri range to the left, with the Dhaulagiri itself the tallest 8000m peak to be seen from here, lightens up dramatically as the sun’s first rays hit its peak, while the beautiful Annapurna mountains that are closer slowly wake up from their Himalayan slumber to the right. The famous fishtail mountain, named for its peak’s resemblence to the tail of a fish can be seen in its majestic glory from here.
Come back to the lodge for breakfast before starting the relatively long walk past Tadapani (where the trail splits, one end going towards the Annapurna Base Camp) and other villages, to Ghandruk. The walk is mostly downhill except for a couple of uphill stints. Ghandruk is another large village which is pleasant to walk around in. A visit to its small but interesting Gurung museum is not a bad idea if you feel upto it.
A four hour hike, mostly downhill, takes you back to Naya Pul where the trek started. A vehicle will take you on a six hour drive back to Kathmandu where you can spend the evening as you please.
We’ll drop you off at the airport hoping to see you again soon