Rhododendron Flower Trek to Annapurna Base Camp April 2017
Red Rhododendrons in Spring
Poon Hill Sunrise
Annapurna Base Camp
In April the Annapurna Region comes alive with the vibrant red colours of rhododendron flowers that carpet the hillsides. Our rhododendron flower trek allows us to experience the beauty of spring flowering rhododendrons before continuing onto Annapurna Base Camp.
This incredible trek allows us to experience some amazing mountain scenes at a moderate pace and with very little risk of altitude sickness. It’s a beautiful trek through hillside villages and dense forest which in parts provides incredible waterfalls and cascades. Another feature is the proximity of the peaks of Annapurna South and Fishtail (Machhapuchhre) which provide an amazing backdrop in nearly all of the villages we pass through.
Highlights of the trip include sunrise at Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp with both locations offering 360 degree panoramas and countless photo opportunities. In April the area is a carpet of red from the rhododendrons that flower on the hillsides.
This trek is within the capabilities of most trekkers of good fitness but does include a lot of stairs and daily ascent/descent.
- Rhododendrons in flower on the high hillsides around Poon Hill resulting in a carpet of red flowers.
- Pokhara – the beautiful lake side city and a wonderful place for photo’s.
- Poon Hill sunrise – incredible views of both the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges with the first rays of light of the day bathing them in pink and then golden light.
- Ghorepani – a gorgeous village with incredible views over the surrounding ranges.
- Waterfalls and cascades between Ghorepani and Tadapani.
- Chhomrong – a lovely hillside village with amazing views of Annapurna South and surrounding snow capped peaks.
- Machhapuchhre Base Camp – at the base of Mt Fishtail (Machhapuchhre) with incredible mountain panorama around.
- Annapurna Base Camp – the best part of the trip, surrounded by mountains and epic photo opportunities.
- Hot springs at Jhinu Danda – warm and relaxing at the end of our trek.
Day 1 – Kathmandu Arrival
Today is arrival day. You will be picked up at the airport by our staff and transferred to your hotel. At 4pm we meet for our tour briefing and final preparations for your trip.
Day 2 – Fly to Pokhara
It’s a very easy start today with a short flight to Pokhara. On arrival in Pokhara you have the day free to explore and relax or do some shopping. The lakeside area is a beautiful spot for sunset photos and Pokhara is one of the most scenic locations in Nepal. It is a beautiful lake side city with the peaks of the Annapurna’s close by. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 3 – Drive to Naya Pul then trek to Ulleri (2050m) 5-6 hrs
Our day starts with a drive to Naya Pul (1 hour) and from there we trek to Ulleri today. The trek starts easily with a gradual climb mostly through farmland and villages. The final section is quite exhausting with a long haul up Ulleri hill consisting of thousands of steps. The effort is worth it though. From Ulleri we spend the night with a beautiful view over the surrounding terraced farms and villages.
Day 4 – Ulleri (2050m) to Ghorepani (2750m) 4-5 hrs
Today we have our first experience of some of the beautiful thick forest with waterfalls and streams running through it which is quite a feature of this trek. Ghorepani is a beautiful village that is a popular place for handicrafts. The location of the village is stunning with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Day 5 – Ghorepani (2750m) – Poon Hill (3210m) to Tadapani (2700m) 6 hrs
It’s an early start this morning with a walk to Poon Hill for sunrise. It’s a 1 hour walk up stairs to the top (500m ascent) but from here we are rewarded with incredible views of both the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges. This is one of the most stunning photo opportunities on this trek. We then return to our hotel for breakfast before heading to Tadapani. The walk today is through rhododendron forest (often swathed in mist) and then through thick forest along the river where there are waterfalls and cascades around every corner. Make sure you have your tripod handy for this section.
Day 6 – Tadapani (2700m) to Chhomrong (2170m) 6 hrs
It’s downhill from Tadapani this morning, with some fantastic views of the surrounding farmland and hills before descending to cross a suspension bridge and then a climb to Chhomrong. Chhomrong is a stunning village on the top of the hillside with incredible views of Annapurna South and surrounding ranges.
Day 7 – Chhomrong (2170m) to Bamboo (2310m) 4-5 hrs
The track from Chhomrong features a steep descent via stone stairs to the river suspension bridge. From there it’s an uphill climb to Sinuwa which is a great spot to have a break. After Sinuwa it’s a fairly easy walk through dense forest which is the home of monkeys, mostly downhill to Bamboo.
Day 8 – Bamboo (2310m) to Deurali (3230m) 3-4 hrs
We start the day walking through thick forest which can be damp and cold now that we are at higher altitude. Once we reach Himalaya the forest opens up and we are out in the sun with views of the surrounding peaks around us. From here it’s a more scenic trip for the rest of the day before arriving at Deurali from where we have pretty views of the valley below and the sheer rock face of the cliffs above us.
Day 9 – Deurali (3230m) to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) (4130m) via MBC (Machhapuchhre Base Camp) (3700m) 5-6 hrs
Today we see what we came here for. It’s a walk through a rough trail with a gradual ascent along sparsely forested hillside to MBC. This is the entry into the Annapurna Sanctuary. From here we have incredible panoramic views of the surrounding peaks featuring MAchhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli and a host of smaller peaks. It’s a 360 degree panorama all around and the path to ABC is undeniably the most beautiful section of this trek. At ABC there are many photographic opportunities including a small lake from where you can see the reflection of the surrounding mountains in the water. Make sure you are out for both sunset and sunrise as these can provide the most amazing photo’s (weather permitting).
Day 10 – ABC (4130m) to Bamboo (2310m) 7-8 hrs
We head back down the mountain today. The trek from ABC TO MBC can be particularly beautiful in the early morning so be prepared for great photo opportunities.
Day 11 – Bamboo (2310m) to Jhinu Danda (1760m) 5-6 hrs
We backtrack to Chhomrong today and we may spot some monkeys in the forest as we pass through. It’s a steep climb up the stairs to Chhomrong but the going is easier with the lower altitude. From Chhomrong we descend steeply to Jhinu Danda. Here we are rewarded with the opportunity to enjoy the hot springs here. This is a really great way for us to end our day and enjoy the hot bath after our long trek.
Day 12 – Jhinu Danda (1760m) to Tolkha (1700m) 5 hrs
It’s an easy day of walking today through rolling hillside and villages before we reach Tolkha.
Day 13 – Tolkha (1700m) to Phedi 6 hrs
It’s the final leg of our trek today. With a 5 hour walk to Dhampus. Lunch in Dhampus gives us an opportunity to capture village life under the backdrop of incredible views of the surrounding mountains. From here it’s down hill to Phedi where we are picked up by vehicle and taken to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 14 – Pokhara to Kathmandu 5-6 hrs
After breakfast we travel back to Kathmandu by private vehicle. Sit back and enjoy the views of the countryside and villages along the way. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and cultural show to enjoy.
Day 15 – Departure day
You are free to depart at any time. Transfer to the airport will be arranged for you.
Note: This itinerary may differ slightly during your tour. Occasionally itineraries need to change to allow for weather conditions, transportation , travellers desires etc. It is recommended that you allow an additional 1-2 days before your international flight to allow for mountain airport delays and other unforeseen circumstances.
Tour cost includes:
- All accommodation as specified in the itinerary on twin share basis
- All domestic flights and transportation as stated in the itinerary
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
- Entry fees and permits
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- Local guide for the duration of the trip
- Sightseeing as stated in the itinerary
- Insurances for staff and guides
- Farewell dinner and cultural show
Not included in tour cost:
- International flights to Nepal
- Visa costs
- Meals other than those listed in inclusions (this includes additional tea or coffee, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and water)
- Laundry, towels, hot showers where optional, internet access, recharging of batteries and other items of a personal nature
- Donations to enter monasteries, museums etc
- Tips for porters and guides
Book onto one of our fixed departures or contact us to arrange your own departure for this trek.
1st April 2017 Rhododendron Trekking Photography Group
If you have a departure date in mind contact us and we can arrange a fixed departure to suit your needs.