Annapurna trekking is a popular hiking route in the Himalayas of Nepal, known for its stunning mountain views and cultural experiences. Combining trekking with volunteering can provide a unique and meaningful way to give back to local communities while also enjoying the natural beauty of the region.
The Annapurna region, located in the western part of Nepal, is a popular destination for trekkers and volunteers due to its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The region is home to the Annapurna mountain range, which includes the tenth-highest mountain in the world, Annapurna I (8,091m). The diverse landscape of the region includes lush subtropical forests, terraced fields, and high-altitude deserts, making it a trekker’s paradise.
One of the most popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region is the Annapurna Circuit Trek, which takes trekkers through a range of different landscapes and offers stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. The trek is also known for its rich cultural experiences, as trekkers pass through traditional Gurung and Tibetan villages.
Annapurna region is also popular for volunteering opportunities as it has many remote and underdeveloped villages where visitors can help improve the living standards of locals. These volunteer opportunities range from working with local schools and conservation projects to community development programs. By combining trekking with volunteering, visitors can not only enjoy the natural beauty of the region but also make a positive impact on the local community.
Trekking Route Option in Annapurna region:
Annapurna Circuit Trek: This is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region and is considered a classic trek in Nepal. The trek takes around 12-21 days to complete, depending on the route and the speed of the trekker. The trek starts at Besishahar and passes through the Thorong La pass (5,416m) before finishing at Jomsom. The trek offers a diverse range of landscapes, from subtropical forests to high-altitude deserts, and stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek: This trek is a great option for those who want to get close to the Annapurna mountain range. The trek takes around 8-12 days to complete and starts at Nayapul before heading to the Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m). Along the way, trekkers pass through traditional villages and rhododendron forests and have the opportunity to see Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountain. Difficulty level: Moderate.
Mardi Himal Trek: This is a relatively less-crowded trek in the Annapurna region and takes around 5-8 days to complete. The trek starts at Pokhara and takes trekkers to the base camp of Mardi Himal (5,587m). The trek offers stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range and the chance to explore the remote villages of the region. Difficulty level: Moderate
Poon Hill Trek: This is a short and easy trek that takes around 3-5 days to complete. The trek starts at Nayapul and takes trekkers to Poon Hill (3,210m), which offers panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. The trek is also an excellent opportunity to explore the traditional villages of the region. Difficulty level: Easy
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek: This trek is a shorter version of the Annapurna Circuit trek and takes around 3-5 days to complete. The trek starts at Nayapul and takes trekkers to Ghorepani and Poon Hill, which offer panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range. The trek also passes through traditional villages and rhododendron forests. Difficulty level: Easy
When planning for an Annapurna trekking and volunteer experience, it’s important to consider the following:
When to go:
The best time to go for the Annapurna trek is during the months of September to November and March to May. These months offer clear skies and mild weather, making it the perfect time to trek.
“For inspiration on creating itineraries, refer to the section on Dhading village. An example of a combination of charity work and hiking could be…”
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Khahare(Sukaura) via Dhading Besi.
In the early morning, we will take a public bus from Nayabus Park in Machha Pokharai and journey to Khahare. The distance is not too far, but due to the winding and off-road nature of the route after Dhading Besi, it will take approximately 5 hours. The first part of the drive from Kathmandu to Dhading Besi is a smooth 3-hour journey, but after that, we will be on an off-road and zigzag road for the remaining 2 hours. Despite the challenging road conditions, the scenery along the way will be breathtaking as we pass through various villages in a truly tranquil area. Upon arriving in Khahare village, we will have the opportunity to stay with local families and enjoy authentic, homemade meals with them.
Day 2: Explore School where we volunteer.
After enjoying an early local breakfast with the family we are staying with, we will head to the school where we will be volunteering. We will introduce ourselves and schedule a date to begin teaching the children. Afterwards, we will return to the house where we slept the night before, where we will continue to stay with our local hosts.
Day 3: Drive from Sukaura to Pokhara Via Malekhu.
We will depart from Sukaura village by bus at 7 am and travel to Malekhu, a journey of around 4 hours. Once we arrive in Malekhu, we will catch another bus to Pokhara, where we will enjoy the scenic drive along rivers and beautiful landscapes. We will spend the night in Pokhara.
Day 4: Drive from Pokhara to Sarankot then trek to Dhampus.
From Pokhara, we will leave early in the morning, approximately 40 minutes before sunrise, to travel to Sarankot viewpoint. Once we arrive, we will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, as well as the Pokhara valley. After taking in the views, we will have breakfast and begin our trek to Dhampus village via Naudanda. We will spend the night in Dhampus village, which is known for its beautiful local villages and magical mountain views.
Wake up early in the morning for the sunrise view from Sarankot by private car/jeep/Trek to Dhampus village (1600m).
Day 5: Trek from Dhampus to Pokhara overnight in Pokhara.
On Day 5, we will embark on a trek from Dhampus village to Pokhara, where we will spend the night. The trek will take us through beautiful landscapes and local villages, providing opportunities to experience the culture and natural beauty of the region.
Day 6: Pokhara city Tour
Pokhara is a beautiful city in Nepal known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Some major places to explore in Pokhara include:
Phewa Lake: a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and temples where visitors can take boat rides and enjoy the scenery.
Sarangkot: a hilltop village known for its panoramic views of the Himalayas and popular spot for paragliding and sunrises/sunsets.
International Mountain Museum: which provides information about the area’s rich mountaineering history and the culture of the local people.
Seti Gandaki River Gorge: a deep and narrow river canyon, offering an impressive view of the river and the surrounding mountains.
Davis Fall: a beautiful waterfall located on the outskirts of the city.
Mahendra Cave: a limestone cave that is an interesting place to explore.
Peace Pagoda: a Buddhist Stupa that offers a peaceful atmosphere and great views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Day 7: Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
The drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist standard bus typically takes around 7 to 8 hours. The bus leaves Pokhara early in the morning, usually around 7:30 am, and follows a scenic route through the mountains. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the beautiful landscapes and traditional villages that Nepal has to offer. The bus will stop at various places for sightseeing and refreshment breaks. The journey can be quite bumpy and winding in some parts, so it’s best to be prepared for that. It is also recommended to book the bus tickets in advance as it can be quite crowded during peak tourist season.
Day 8: Final departure to the airport by private car/jeep/van.
Our Office staff will be there in your hotel on time and drop to the airport about 3 hours before your flight sceduled.
The itinerary that I provided is just a sample and can be tailored to suit the specific needs and preferences of each individual customer. The travel company, Safe Holiday Adventure Pvt. Ltd, is willing to work with customers to create a custom itinerary that meets their requirements. They will be happy to make adjustments and changes to the itinerary as needed to ensure that their customers have the best possible travel experience in Nepal.
It’s always a good idea to communicate your specific needs and preferences with the travel company before booking your trip, so they can make sure to provide you with a customized itinerary that meets your expectations. And to make sure you have a great trip, make sure to follow the recommended safety measures, respect the culture and tradition of the country, and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
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What is Annapurna trekking?
Annapurna trekking is a hiking route in the Himalayas of Nepal that offers stunning mountain views and cultural experiences.
Can I combine trekking with volunteering in Annapurna?
Yes, many organizations offer opportunities to volunteer while trekking in Annapurna.
What kind of volunteering opportunities are available?
Opportunities can include working in schools, healthcare clinics, and conservation projects.
How long does the Annapurna trek take?
The duration of the trek can vary, but most treks take around 10-14 days.
Do I need to have previous trekking or volunteering experience?
Not necessarily, but it is helpful to have some physical fitness and a willingness to adapt to new environments.
How can I find a reputable organization for Annapurna trekking and volunteering?
Research different organizations and read reviews from past participants.
How much does it cost to combine trekking and volunteering in Annapurna?
Costs can vary, but it generally includes expenses for accommodation, meals, guides and equipment.
Is it safe to trek and volunteer in Annapurna?
Yes, it is safe to trek and volunteer in Annapurna as long as you are well prepared and follow safety guidelines provided by the organization.
How can I prepare for an Annapurna trekking and volunteering trip?
It is recommended to train physically, research the area and culture, and familiarize yourself with the necessary gear and equipment.
What are the best times of year to trek and volunteer in Annapurna?
The best times to trek are from September to November and from March to May, as the weather is generally clear and stable.