From: June 6 to June 22, 2015

Destination: Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Trekking in Nepal: the Mustang Region

    Originally an independent kingdom, and then part of the Tibetan empire, Mustang has been a Restricted Area in Nepal, open to trekkers only since 1991. Tibetan culture has been preserved here and since the Chinese takeover of Tibet, it is sometimes called "Tibet outside the Tibetan culture". Our trek through this arid region (it's in the rain shadow of Dhaulagiri) up the Kaligandhaki valley traverses over high mountain passes, passes red-gold cliffs and windswept villages, ending at the capital, Lo Manthang.  Download Trip Summary and Packing List
  • All flights cross the international date line so a day is lost. Thus in order to arrive June 6, from the US you will most likely need to leave June 4. June is the beginning of the monsoon season. Although our trek is in the rain shadow and this is considered one of the best summer treks, flights in and out of Pokhara can be affected. For this reason we have built some flexibility into the itinerary. You may want to add an additional day at the end of the trip; trip interruption insurance is essential.

    For each day we have given the length of time  the trek typically takes. As is always true, we may take more or less time.

    Saturday, June 6: Arrive in Kathmandu / Elevation: 4,383 feet 
    Arrive in Kathmandu anytime today.  After clearing immigrations and customs, you will be met by our local partner who will take you to our hotel. You may want to sleep but try to resist the urge and spend some time  exploring the streets of bustling Kathmandu. We'll meet about 5pm in the hotel lobby and start getting to know each other before going out for a Welcome Dinner.  Overnight Kathmandu. 

    Sunday, June 7:   Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation / Elevation: 4,383 feet 
    You may think you're going to sleep in but the fact is, you won't. So today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. We will be visiting the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath), a Buddhist temple that sits on top of a small hill with sweeping views of the city (and yes, there are lots of wild monkeys lurking there). We will also visit Patan Durbar Square and have time for some last-minute shopping in the Thamel District.  After dinner that evening, we will meet our trek leader and receive an orientation to the trek.  Overnight Kathmandu.  

    Monday, June 8:   Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, 6 hrs drive / Elevation: 2,952 feet
    Early this morning at around 7 am, we set off for Pokhara on a tourist bus. Along the drive we will see more of the countryside of Nepal with its greenery, rivers, villages, farms, and beautiful mountain scenery. We will reach Pokhara around mid afternoon, and after checking into the Hotel, rest of the day is to relax and explore Pokhara on your own. Pokhara (which is the starting point for the Annapurna Trek is a very scenic lakeside town with amazing views of the Annapurna Range.  Overnight Pokhara. 

    Tuesday, June 9:   Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni, Hike 3-4 hrs / Elevation: 8,760 ft
    After an early breakfast we'll transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom. This is a super scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains, with stunning views of 8,000ers such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri and the Kali Gandaki River that flows between them (and which we follow for part of the trek) and cuts the deepest gorge on the planet, three times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Arriving in Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang, we will meet the rest of the trekking staff. Finally, our trek begins! Our trek today is on a gradual path along the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hours, finally reaching Ekley-bhatti village. After a good stop here, an hour of easy walking takes us to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers.  Overnight Kagbeni.

    Wednesday, June 10:   Kagbeni to Chele, Hike 5-6 hrs / Elevation 10,006 feet 
    Today we will be hiking to Chele, a small village right after Chusang.  At Kagbeni, we will be checking the special permit and will be hiking upstream along the banks of Kaligandaki.  Climbing over many ridges, we reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, and fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. From there we trek to Chusang,  crossing the river and climbing up to a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kaligandaki follows. Our path now leaves the Kali Gandaki Valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele. From here the Manangi culture is replaced bu the Tibetan culture of Lo.   Overnight Chele.  

    Thursday, June 11:   Chele to Syangboche, Hike 6-7 hrs / Elevation 11,483 feet
    We have a couple of big passes today! After an early morning breakfast, we trek today to Syangboche, a relatively big village compare to Chele.  Our trail continues through steep, treeless, dry terrain, along the sides of the spectacular steep canyon, crossing Taklam La (La means "pass") at 11,923 ft, then gradually descending through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak to the village of Samar. The next 3 hrs is similar as we climb above Samar to a ridge, then descend again into a large gorge, and then climb another pass (12,467 ft) and follow a ridge before descending into Syangboche.  On this hike, we will also be passing by the famous cave known as Ramchung Cave. Overnight in Syangboche

    Friday, June 12:   Syangboche to Ghemi, Hike 5-6 hrs / Elevation 11,483 feet
    Our days begins with - you guessed it, climbing another pass, this one at 12,370 feet. Our trail passes a few chortens which are unique to this area- generally white but with muted stripes of ochre, terracotta and sage. From the small village of Tamagaon we pass an avenue of poplar trees and fields of barley, and then begin a long slow ascent over Nyi Pass; at 13,193 ft, this is the highpoint (literally) of our trek. The views from the top are amazing and once again the terrain changes, with gray/green hills and snowclad peaks in the distance. From here we descend to the village of Ghemi, a relatively large town with colorful prayer flags and firewood stacked on the square flat-roofed houses.  Overnight in Ghemi

    Saturday, June 13:   Ghemi to Tsarang, Hike 4-5 hrs / Elevation 11,877 feet
    We start with crossing a river on a bridge near a confluence of two rivers, one blue and the other brown. And then once again we start ascending. At the top of this climb we see the longest Mani wall (a wall of prayer stones) in Nepal. As we have come to expect, we descend and then once again start climbing up to the Dhakmar, the red cliff. From here the route makes a long, gentle descent to Tsarang. Tsarang used to be the capital of this region and is known for its huge five -storied dzong (a combination of palace and fort), red Gompa, and collections of thangka art and statues. Overnight Tsarang

    Sunday, June 14:   Tsarang to Lo-Manthang, Hike 5-6 hrs / Elevation 12,598 feet
    Today, we trek to Lo-Manthang with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. After crossing over the Tsarang River, we hike along the high plateau, reaching the high pass of Lo.  From here, we descend to Lo-Manthang; views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. Overnight in Lo Manthang 

    Monday, June 15:   Explore Lo-Manthang / Elevation 12,598 feet
    Lo Manthang or "plain of the south" is a walled city with only one entrance gate at the northeast and one back door. The walls are as high as 15-20 meters. There are about 400 houses within the city, the pavements are narrow, and the streets are quite confusing. The king of Mustang, "Lo Gyalpo," lives in the city. Although his position is now ceremonial, he is still revered and seen as someone who can help resolve local issues. His palace is situated in front of the main entrance. The palace is a huge old white building; with luck we'll see his mastiffs barking from the palace. Other places of interest are the four monasteries. Choede monastery is the largest one, and it follows the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a school for the young monks studying here. Jampa monastery has a large and old statue of the future Buddha, "Jampa Gonpo", measuring some 50 feet. At some point we'll get on one of the roofs and see the city stretching below us, an ancient civilization that still reflects a vibrant Tibetan cluture. Overnight in Lo Manthang 

    Tuesday, June 16:   Lo-Manthang to Dhakmar, Hike 6-7 hrs / Elevation 12,405 feet
    While returning from Lo-Manthang, we take a different route than the one we came by, staying in different villages after the path rejoins. Today, though, the only backtracking is up to the pass outside the city. From here we turn towards Ghar Gompa, a Tibetan monastery that was built in the 8th century at the place where the Guru Rimpoche, the founder of Tibetan buddhism, slew a demon. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. After leaving the gompa we have two passes with amazing mountain views before reaching our destination, Dhakmar.  Overnight in Dhakmar

    Wednesday, June 17:   Dhakmar to Ghiling, Hike 5-6 hrs  / Elevation 12,192 ft
    Our route rejoins the one we came on at Ghemi, but today we continue on to the town of Ghiling. We'll have some time to explore the area, but with a dusty wind in the afternoon, it's better to walk in evening time. Overnight in Ghiling

    Thursday, June 18:   Ghiling to Chuksang, Hike 5-6 hrs  / Elevation 8,640 ft
    We re-track back to Ghiling for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view.  Overnight in Chuksang 

    Friday, June 19: Chuksang to Jomsom, Hike 6-7 hrs 
    Our last day of the day will be a long one, a fitting end to our adventure. The trail goes through Jharkot, home to a monastery, a Tibetan herbal medical center, and an old fortress that once served as a palace. We'll arrive in Kagbeni in time for lunch, and then continue on to Jomsom for our overnight stop.  Overnight in Jomsom

    Saturday, June 20:   Fly back to Pokhara 
    This morning, with any luck, after breakfast we check into the airport and fly back to Pokhara. On arrival at Pokhara airport guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. Pokhara is the main village in the Annapurna region and today we'll have the afternoon free to explore the lakeside and perhaps just take a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Pokhara

    Sunday, June 21   Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu 
    After breakfast, we transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to Kathmandu.  It is approximately a 23 minute flight; once we arrive in Kathmandu, we will drive to our hotel. You will have the afternoon free before we gather again for a final celebration and Farewell dinner, toasting the amazing beauty of this country and our own accomplishments.  Overnight at Kathmandu 

    Monday, June 22 And then it's time to leave! We will be transferred to the international airport at least 3 hours before our scheduled flight. Unlike the trip over (which by now will seem very long ago!), you will likely get home the same day.
  • $3895  (click here for travel discounts) $400 deposit. If you prefer a single room, the additional cost is $400 but does not guarantee a single room on the trek. You can find our cancellation policies here. 

    Trip Includes

    • Adventures in Good Company group leader, local English-speaking guide, and porters (1 for 2 people)
    • Sixteen nights double occupancy lodging 
    • All meals from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Saturday except for lunches when not on the trek. Meals on the trek do not include desserts and appetizers
    • All transportation during the trip, including roundtrip airfare between Pokhara and Jomsom and Pokhara to Kathmandu on the return 
    • Restricted area trekking fees ($550 per person)
    • Airport transfers in Kathmandu and Pokhara
    • Tours of Swayambhu and Patan
    • Staff and porter insurance
    Not included: international flights to Kathmandu, beverages, lunches in Kathmandu and Pokhara, extra costs for entering monasteries in Mustang, guide and staff gratuities, emergency evacuation/medical insurance 
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Trek through old Tibetan villages
  • Visit the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang
  • Learn about a culture that is unique in Nepal
  • Gaze at snow capped peaks and red sandstone cliffs
  • Wander the bustling and vibrant city of Kathmandu

 

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