The Spectacular Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Community Eco-lodge Trek

There is little doubt that Nepal offers some of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world. The Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Community Eco-lodge Trek offers trekkers the opportunity to walk through the forests of colorful rhododendrons, interact with the local magar communities, view the peaks of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains from different vantage points, and see local wildlife. Moreover, while enjoying the beauty of the scenery and the warm local hospitality, trekkers are assisting local communities in making a living in a sustainable and eco-friendly way.

Different trekking options are available to accommodate various levels of experience and fitness. A twelve-day trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness as it meanders through the local communities, starting from Galeshwor and continuing to Banskharka, Dandakateri, Nangi, Hampal, Mohare, Dandakharka, Tikot, and ending on Tiplyang where trekkers are collected by bus and transported to Pokhara, before returning to Kathmandu. The route includes an orange farming village, the viewing point at Mohare Hill at an altitude of 3300 meters, and the amazing rhododendron forests where there are at least sixteen different species of these colorful flowering plants, as well as forests of pine, fir and other indigenous trees.

The sixteen-day trip is rated as moderately difficult and starts at Galeshwor following the same route as the twelve-day trip as far as Dhandakharka, where it branches off toward Khopra, which at 3650 meters is the highest point of the trek. It then continues down to Narchyang and on to Tatopani where trekkers can enjoy the hot spring before being transported back to Pokhara by bus.

Accommodation on the route is in eco-lodges run by local communities. Food is mostly sourced locally and includes organically grown rice, corn, millet, buckwheat and wheat, with fresh vegetables, mushrooms and noodles. Eggs form an important part of the diet, and meat is only used occasionally. Trekkers will have the opportunity to experience the customs, traditions and hospitality of the local communities. Birding enthusiasts will find the trek very rewarding as they are likely to spot grosbeaks, yuhinas, magpies, tits, pheasants and more, while wildlife includes Himalayan bears, monkeys, deer and leopards.

Tours start and end in the mystical city of Kathmandu, where trekkers will have plenty of time to explore and experience the capital of the mountainous country of Nepal.