Kopra Ridge Trek –Trekking in The Nepal Himalaya

There is no doubt that Kopra Ridge is one of the best short treks in Nepal. This trek contains all of the elements of a classic Nepal trekking experience including villages, wildlife, panoramic mountain views and range of landscape from forest to high alpine.

Kopra Ridge trek is located away from the busier trails of Annapurna region of Nepal and for four nights of the itinerary you stay in community lodges set up local villagers. The mountain views from Kopra Ridge are superb and include Mount Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Fang and Nilgiri and also from Ghandruk one can see Mount Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail) and Mount Hiunchuli. We start the trip from Pokhara, for the first two days of the trek we follow the popular trails of the Annapurna foothills passing through terraced fields, rhododendron forests and Gurung villages such as Ghandruk. After Tadapani we leave the main trail and for the next five days we walk along a remote trail while staying at the community lodges. We reach our high point at Kopra lodge at 3,660m and it is well worth getting up early before breakfast to see the sunrise across the panorama of Himalayan peaks.

On the descent from Kopra Ridge we pass through alpine pastures, oak forest and rhododendrons to Swanta village where we stay in another community lodge. After a night at Swanta village we walk up to the popular viewpoint of Ghorepani and then descend to Ulleri. The next day is our last one trekking where we walk out to Nayapool to meet our private transport for the drive back to Pokhara.

 DETAILED DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
 

Day 01  Arrive Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be met and welcomed by our representative/guide. Please look for signage with your name once you come out of Arrival Terminal Hall after collecting your luggage. Group will be escorted by our representative/guide to Yatri Suites and Spa (www.yatrikathmandusuite.com)

Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal!
 
Kathmandu is the bustling capital of Nepal and the country’s largest city. Away from the modern parts of the city is an intricate maze of narrow streets, great for exploring and observing the traditional culture and Nepalese way of life with hidden temples, local markets and old workshops. Actually formed of three ancient cities, Kathmandu has always been a melting pot for the different ethnic groups of Nepal, and therefore boasts an unbelievably rich cultural heritage that has remained largely unchanged since the Middle Age.
Upon arrival, check in at the hotel
Overnight at Yatri Suites and Spa (www.yatrikathmandusuite.com)
 Included Meals:

Day 02  In Kathmandu

Morning sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Stupa

Kathmandu is one of the most dreamt about cities and also one of the oldest cities in the world. With more temples than homes and the narrow winding streets in the medieval centre Kathmandu offers something new to discover behind every corner.

This morning we have arranged a walking tour visiting the bazaar and the Durbar Square area, the centre of old Kathmandu. Much of the day to day life of Kathmandu takes place in the bazaar: a fascinating mixture of people selling fruit, vegetables and spices; potters spinning their wheels to produce small household bowls and containers for temple offerings; devotees visiting their favourite gods at temples and small shrines dotted along the sides of alleyways; rickshaw wallahs honking their horns and the ever present sacred cow wandering amongst it all.

Then, we will visit Swayambhunath Stupa (also known as the Monkey Temple) The world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaityas built 2000 years ago situated on a hillock about 77 m above the level of the Kathmandu valley. Visitors will also have a grand view of the valley from this spot.

Swayambhunath Stupa, which is considered one of the most imposing stupas in the world, rises high. One can reach the stupa by going up about 400 steep stone steps. The four sides of the stupa depict Buddha’s eyes of wisdom, which see through all existences.

The third eye is the symbol of Buddha’s insight. In the location where the nose would be, Nepalese numeral “one” which expresses “harmony” is depicted. The 13-tier spire part symbolizes the 13 stages to enlightenment, and the tip has a golden umbrella which represents nirvana. The flags coming out of the spire each has sutras written on them.

Afternoon we will drive to Patan and visit Patan Durbar Square

Next you will drive to Patan, a beautiful city in its own right which rivalled Kathmandu in terms of the splendor of its temples and squares and is now better preserved, less polluted and less crowded. You cross a bridge over the Bagmati River that links Kathmandu with the city of Patan, its neighbor to the south. Patan boasts of many famous sites and unique architecture. Krishna Mandir in this Square was built to honor an incarnation of Vishnu. One of the best examples of stone architecture in the world, scenes from Mahabharat, Asia’s greatest mythological war, are carved on the temple’s walls.
Overnight at Yatri Suites & Spa

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 03 Fly to Pokhara & trek to Ghandruk (1920m) 

Fly to Pokhara, drive to Syauli Bazaar (2 hrs drive) and trek to Ghandruk (1920m) – 3 hrs trek  – After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kathmandu Domestic Airport for fly to Pokhara (approx 25 minutes flight ) early in the morning. We can catch amazing views of the Himalayas from the right side of our airplane. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, the beautiful lake city, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, the five peaks of Annapurna and others. Later, we drive to Syauli Bazaar and start the trek to Ghandruk. The village is a major recruitment centre for the famous Gurkha soldiers and is the hub of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which promotes many varied ecological projects.
Overnight in local lodge (Teahouse) in Ghandruk
Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 

Day 04 Trek to Tadapani (2,590m)- 4 hours walking.

 From Ghandruk continue upwards through Deorali and into the forest then through hododendron forests and over a small pass to Tadapani. This place is surrounding by rhododendrons forest so you will have an opportunity to see lounger monkey. You will see fabulous sunrise over fish tail, Gangapurna and Annapurna range. Overnight teahouse lodge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 05 Trek to Bayeli Kharka (3,420m)- 5 to 6 hours walking.

After Tadapani we leave the main trail and for the next five days we will walk in more remote area of the Annapurna region while staying at a network of community lodges. This is a lovely walk through rhododendron and oak forest following a trail originally used by villagers from Ghandruk to take their buffaloes, sheep and goats to the higher pastures in the summer months. The trail starts to ascend above the tree line and follows a ridge to Deurali (small pass) and then continues up to Bayeli Kharka where the first community lodge is located. From the lodge the view to west is dominated by Mount Dhaulagiri at 8,167m is the seventh highest mountain in the world. Overnight community lodge.
Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 06   Trek to Upper Chistibung (2,975m)- 4 hours walking.

This section of the trail is on a grassy slope and traverses through pasture with a number of herder’s huts and dzo grazing (crossbred cow and yak). Look out for the colorful Danphe pheasant, the national bird of Nepal, as well as Himalayan tahr on the grassy ridge high above the trail. Overnight community lodge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Day 07  Trek to Kopra Ridge (3,660m) -3 hours walking.

From Upper Chistibung lodge there is a steady ascent through alpine meadows and pastures then as one approaches Kopra Ridge one sees the tip of Annapurna South. However it is only on arrival at Kopra community lodge that the full panorama is revealed: Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Fang and Annapurna South can all be seen. After lunch it is well worth going for a short walk down Kopra Ridge to a viewpoint overlooking Kali Gandaki river far below in this deep valley. Overnight community lodge. In the afternoon we will organize a walk from Kopra Ridge towards Kaire Lake where the views of the Fang and surrounding mountains are superb.
Overnight at community teahouse lodge in Kopra Ridge.
Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 08 Trek to Swanta Village (2,200m)- 5 hours walking.

It takes an hour of descent to get back down to Upper Chistibung community lodge, it is worth stopping for drink then carry on down to Swanta village. Along the way we got more views of Mount Dhaulagiri with this mountain providing a lovely backdrop to the terraced fields and traditional houses in the nearby villages. At Swanta village it is worth visiting Swanta Primary school where there are two teachers funded by the profits from the community lodges. Overnight community lodge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Day 09 Trek to Ulleri (2,050m)- 5 to 6 hours walking.

An hour or so after leaving Swanta village we join the main trail to Ghorepani where there are of course far more others trekkers making one appreciate the quieter days walking along the Kopra Ridge. After Ghorepani we descend through rhododendron forest to Ulleri where we stay in a teahouse for the night. Overnight teahouse lodge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10 Trek to Nayapul- 5 hours walking, then drive to Pokhara.

This is our last day trekking where we walk out to Nayapul to meet our private transport for the drive back to Pokhara.

Arrive Pokhara and check in at Hotel Utsab Himalaya (www.hotelutsabhimalaya.com)

Pokhara valley is one of the most picturesque spot of Nepal. The beauty of Pokhara is enhanced by its lovely lakes, which have their source in the glacial region of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. Situated 200 KM west of Kathmandu at an altitude of 827 meter from sea-level. For the mountain viewers Pokhara offers a magnificent view of Dhaulagiri, Machapuchre (Fishtail), five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is the only place in the world to provide such a dramatic views in a sub-tropical setting. Machapuchre, for example, is only 28 km from Phewa Lake and not a single mountain range intervenes between the two.

Free time or walking around lakeside market

Lakeside-The eastern shore of Phewa Lake, popularly known as lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite home base for travelers and is where most of the hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located.

Overnight at Hotel Utsab Himalaya

Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 11 In Pokhara

An early morning, you will drive to Sarangkot for sunrise view over the western Himalayas (weather permitting)

Sarangkot is the highest point on the Pokhara valley rim. It is located an altitude of 1592 m above sea level. This place provides the best view of Pokhara Valley, Phewa Lake and beyond to the main spine of the Annapurna ranges (Annapurna South 7195, Annapurna I 7647, Machhapuchhre 6997, Annapurna III 7555, Annapurna II 7937, Annapurna IV 7525, Lamjung Himal 6986.).

Drive back to the hotel for breakfast (Hotel Utsab Himalaya)

Drive to World Peace Pagoda

World Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa is situated on the top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa Lake. Besides being a impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers the spectacular views of the Annapurna range, Phewa Lake, and the Pokhara city. We will pass through  Raniban forest crossing the suspension bridge. After the 45 minutes drive, you reach stupa and enjoy the spiritual and scenic beauty.

Afternoon approx one hour boat ride at Phewa Lake and visit Barahi Temple and Lake side

Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Kingdom, is the center of all attraction in Pokhara. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across the lake to visit the island temple in its middle. The eastern shore, popularly known as lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite home base for travelers and is where most of the hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located.

The Barahi temple is the most important monument in Pokhara, Built almost in the center of Phewa Lake, this two-storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protector deity representing the female force Shakti. Devotees can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying male animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the deity.

Afternoon, we’ll also visit Tashiling, a long established settlement of Tibetan refugees. We spend some time here watching wool being sorted, dyed and eventually made into Tibetan carpets which are exported all over the world.
Overnight at Hotel Utsab Himalaya
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 Pokhara/ Kathmandu flight 

After breakfast, you will transfer to Pokhara Domestic Airport for flight back to Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu, you will be met buy our representative and transfer to Yatri Suites and Spa (www.yatrikathmandusuite.com)

 Rest of the time for free for own activities

 Evening Farewell to Nepali Dinner with a local ethnic cultural show at one of the finest Nepali Restaurant

A mixture of various ethnic groups have made Kathmandu Valley a unique place not only for its cultural and tradition, but also for its authentic cuisine. Decorated in traditional Nepali ambience, soft lights cast long shadows in the room. Tradition paintings along with old handicrafts and soft melodious music makes for a truly enchanting evening. Another feather in its cap is the traditional folk music and cultural dance program performed every evening.

The idea behind it is to familiarize the guest(s) with the costume, traditions and life styles of various ethnic groups in Nepal.

Overnight at the hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 13 Depart Kathmandu

Breakfast at Hotel Yatri Suites and Spa

You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us and we expect that you plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal again.

Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight time, our representative will transfer you to the airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

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