Mardi Himal Trek

The Mardi Himal Trek is a great option if you are looking for a shorter trek in the Annapurna Region that gets off the beaten path. Enjoy fantastic views of the peaks of the Annapurna Range as you visit traditional villages.

This route is a fairly new one so don't expect to see a lot of other trekkers and the condition of the tea houses and trail is more basic and less developed compared to the other treks in the Annapurna Region. That said it's a great opportunity to see a less touristy side of Nepal and the views of the peaks are fantastic. The trek makes a small circuit up to the base camp of Mardi Himal so it also has the advantage that you don’t have to backtrack over the same terrain.

The trail starts out in the forest but after a few days you will have great views of the big peaks like Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre or Fish Tail. The trek ends at the Mardi Himal base camp and if you have a few extra days you might even consider extending this trek and climbing Mardi Himal(5,587 m) which is on the same ridge line as Machhapuchhre.

    What's Included?

  • All airport transfers from arrival to departure
  • Two nights of deluxe accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Two nights of deluxe accommodation in Pokhara
  • One way bus service between Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Private, round-trip land transportation between Pokhara and Phedi
  • Lodge accommodation and three meals a day while trekking
  • One way flight to Pokhara
  • All entrance tickets/fees encountered while sightseeing
  • English-speaking guide
  • Porter service
  • All applicable permits
  • TIMS card
  • Government taxes, entrance fee, equipment fee, and other applicable fees
  • First aid kit
  • Himalayan Wonders T-shirt
  • Final Celebration Dinner
 
* Travel Insurance is required on all Treks (read more)
* No Extra Fees for Solo Travelers (read more)

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Pick up from international airport. Overnight at Hotel Pilgrim in Kathmandu. Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital and cultural hub of Nepal! We'll be waiting with a warm greeting and easy transfer to your hotel. Plan on an evening briefing on last-minute specifics about your trek.

Day 2 - Flight to Pokhara

Hotel in Pokhara
Leave your hotel for a quick morning flight to Pokhara. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in this beautiful mountain city and prepare for the trek the following day.

Day 3 - Trek to Pothana

1,925m - 4 hours trekking
We drive to Phedi a small village about 30 mins from Pokhara where we start the days trek to the small village of Pothana where we take rest in local tea house.

Day 4 - Trek to Forest Camp at Kokar

2,600m - 4 hours walking
The trek is through a beautiful forest of oak and and rhododendron which typically blooms in April. The tea houses in Kokar are quite basic but cozy and you can enjoy a home cooked meal in the kitchen.

Day 5 - Trek to Low Camp

3,150m - 5 hours walking
We continue hiking through the forest which gradually thins as elevation increases. Once you get to Low Camp you get your first good views of Machhapuchhre. The lodges here are basic and one even has an open fire in the dining area where you can enjoy a hot cooked meal before retiring.

Day 6 - Trek to High Camp

3,600m - 4 hours walking
Today you are out of the forest as the trail goes above tree line and you can enjoy views of both Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. Continue along the main ridge line leading to Mardi HImal to High Camp for the night where you will find a comfortable tea houses with some fantastic views.

Day 7 - Day walk to Upper viewpoint

4,200m - 4 hours walking
Today is the high pint of the trek and from the Upper View point you get a fantastic view the south face of Annapurna as well as of the Annapurna Sanctuary and surrounding peaks.

Day 8 - Trek to Siding village

1,750m - 6 hours walking
Heading back down it's a different route and we will visit Siding which is a traditional village that is not often visited by trekkers so it retains some of its historical charm. Enjoy a home cooked meal of traditional dal bhat in the family kitchen.

Day 9 - Trek to Lumre and drive to Pokhara

3 hours walking
It's a short walk down to Lumre and you will pass some traditional villages before you get back to the road where we will have a car waiting to take you back to Pokhara for the evening.

Day 10 - Bus to Kathmandu and overnight in Kathmandu

The six-hour drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu brings us back the way we originally came, ending again in a comfortable hotel. Your long trek is complete: it's time for some rest! After an afternoon to nap and relax, we'll meet up one last time for a celebratory dinner at one of the town's finest Nepalese restaurants, where you can give us your feedback on the trek.

Day 11 - Depart Kathmandu

Every great journey must, unfortunately, come to an end. After breakfast at your hotel, there'll be a last bit of time to return any rental equipment, pick up souvenirs, and grab your things. We'll get you to the airport for your flight home with time to spare!

Travel Insurance

Proof of travel insurance is mandatory before starting the trek. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure the policy you get covers up to 6000m. We usually suggest World Nomads which costs around $125. You only need to be covered on the policy for the days you will actually be trekking.

    Extra Costs and Exclusions

  • Nepal entry visa ($40 USD).
  • Sleeping Bag Rental $12 and Down Jacket $12 if needed.
  • All the meals are included on the trek but we only include breakfast while you are in Kathmandu.
  • We suggest a tip for the guide and porter after the trek - Plan on a at least $80 (more will be appreciated).
  • We don't include drinking water on the trek which you can buy a number of places for between $1 and $3 a bottle (it gets more expensive towards base camp). A better solution is to buy water tablets in Kathmandu for around $2 and treat the water (your guide can help you find the good places to fill your water bottle).
  • The other things not included on the trek are like Wifi, charging batteries and hot showers. Wifi is available in some tea houses for $3 to $5 an hour. Hot Showers are also available in a few for around $4 and charging costs about $1.50 an hour.
  • Unforeseen cost due to flight cancellation, weather conditions etc. You are responsible for extra hotel nights ($30/night) and meals in Kathmandu for any extra days in Nepal due to flight delays.


Solo Travelers

We generally don’t charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request.

If you are a solo travelers and planning and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have booked your flight between Kathmandu and Lukla your deposit is non-refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance is mandatory and obtaining for the days you are trekking is your responsibility. We suggest World Nomads as it covers Helicopter and medical evacuation up to 6000m. Some standard policies only cover up to 4000 meters for evacuation so please confirm with your insurance company if you purchase it from another company. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can help you purchase it for a reasonable price before you start the trek.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

Do you have any extra charges for solo travelers?

We generally don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request. If you are going solo and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Can I get a refund if I don't finish the trek?

Its sometimes the case that trekkers finish ahead of schedule or they end up stopping the trek early for health or personal reasons. If this is the case please understand that we can not offer any refunds for unused days on the trek. Please understand that our costs are the same as we have an obligation to pay our guides and porters for the time they have committed.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!