Mardi Himal Trek offers you an exciting ridge-line trekking adventure across a pristine and untouched Himalayan trail. Mardi Trek is a short and inspiring trek that takes you to one of the least explored trails in Annapurna Region. Within five days of trekking you reach Mardi Base Camp, close to the forked summit of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak). Filled with stunning close up-views of Mardi Himal, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre and Dhaulagiri, Mardi Himal Trek is a must-do trek for those looking for a short and authentic Himalayan experience off-the-beaten path. Opened recently, the Mardi Himal Trek route is quite new and less crowded than the popular Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp trails.
Your trek begins from Kande, lying just an hour’s drive from Pokhara. Hike through virgin forests of rhododendron, oak and birch. During spring, rhododendron blooms fill up the forest and it’s a dreamlike experience to follow a trail studded with pink and red blooms. The route traverses a wild and uninhabited part of the Annapurna Region, with snow-covered peaks looming close. Don’t forget to stargaze at night as the overnight stops during your Mardi Himal Trek are the best spots for stargazing. The Milky Way and the constellations look amazing from Badal Danda, Low Camp and High Camp.
Mardi Himal Trek involves walking on a narrow ridge line, surrounded by awesome views of the Annapurna Massif and green valleys. The unhindered and exposed views of the frozen mountains and valleys offer ample opportunities for budding as well as professional photographers and filmmakers to capture dramatic mountain shots. Mardi Himal Trek is highly recommended for both novice and experienced trekkers looking for a easy and short trek in annapurna region. This is a teahouse trek where you will be stopping for food and rest at teahouses run by locals. Our experienced local guide will offer cultural insights and will help you reach your goal safely. As the Mardi Himal trail lies between ABC and Ghorepani Poon Hill, this trek can be an extension of either Annapurna Base Camp Trek-11 days or Ghorepani Poon Hill trek-7 days. If you want a more challenging option you can ccomplete the Annapurna Circuit - 16 days. If you want to try out a new route then, anotther off-the-beaten path option is Khopra Ridge Trek-10 days.
Our representative will welcome you at the airport and drive you to your hotel. He will help you check in. Later in the day, there will be a trip briefing where your guide will brief you about the route, condition of the trail and some dos and don’ts while trekking.
Go through your gear list for the final time. If you have forgotten any item, you can buy or hire from any of the trekking gear shops in Thamel. Your guide will help you out in case you need help. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Take an early morning flight to Pokhara. During the flight enjoy mesmerizing views of rolling green hills and Himalayan mountains. After reaching Pokhara, you take a short 1-hour drive to Kande, the starting point of your trek.
Begin with an ascent along a well-laid stone trail. After walking uphill for an hour or so you reach Australian Camp. Enjoy panoramic views of the Annapurna Massif and Lamjung Himal from here.
Walk downhill and proceed to Pothana, a Gurung village and your stop for the night. On reaching Pothana, head to a local tea-house and rest your tired muscles.
Enjoy a hot beverage and gaze at the beautiful forked summit of Macchhapucchre or Fishtail Peak. You will be walking close to this peak in the next few days. Overnight in Pothana.
Today’s trek takes you past a dense forest of rhododendron, oak, birch and hemlock. If you do this trek during Spring season, the rhododendrons will be in full bloom and you will get to walk under canopies of blooming rhododendrons. It will feel like a walk through an enchanted forest. Do be careful while stepping on the gnarled roots spreading over the trail. Covered with algae, these can be slippery and a wrong step will make you fall. After an uphill hike you reach Forest Camp. There are a few teahouses and you head to the one where your room has been booked. Up in the middle of the forest, you can soak in the tranquility listening to nothing but the chirping of birds. Take a well deserved rest. Overnight in Forest Camp.
It’s uphill once again, as you gather your things and head onwards to Badal Danda(Cloud Hill). Walk up a forested path. At intervals you will come across a clearing from where you can gaze at the valley below. Enjoy the view of the Modi Khola Valley that leads to the Annapurna Sanctuary from here. After walking for sometime, the vegetation begins to change. The lush jungle gives way to short scrub and grasses and the iconic Machhapuchhre(Fishtail Peak appears closer). When you reach Badal Danda make your way to a tea house. The place is called Badal Danda(Cloud Hill) as oftentimes the areas below the hill are covered in a sea of white cottony clouds. At night you can stargaze and view the constellations which appear a lot more closer. Overnight in Badal Danda.
From Badal Danda take a leisurely walk to High Camp. The tree line ends and you get a great view of Machhapuchhre. Walk slowly as you are about to reach above 3000 metres.
The air is slightly thinner up here and you start feeling the altitude. You are advised plenty of water to offset the symptoms of altitude sickness. You walk along a ridge line with great views of Himalayan peaks and green valleys. It is a 360 degree extravaganza.
You remain on this narrow ridge facing Mardi Himal with Machapuchhre towering right above. It is a memorable short hike filled with once-in-a-lifetime views as you walk to the final settlement in this ridge line, the High Camp. High Camp is the highest point at which you sleep on this trek. There are only a handful of lodges at High Camp and you head to the one where your room has been booked. Spend the rest of the day at leisure reading by the warmth of the hearth, playing cards or explore the ridge and capture incredible pictures of the Himalayas. Take things easy and don't over exert yourself as tomorrow you have a tough day. Overnight in High Camp.
Wake up early in the morning and hike to Upper Viewpoint or Mardi Himal Base Camp. This hike to the Base Camp is the real highlight of this trek. After walking on further on the ridge you reach the Upper View Point. From here continue to Mardi Himal Base Camp.
Get up early to catch breathtaking views of the Himalayas. After breakfast, begin your journey down to Sidhing, a traditional village rarely visited by trekking groups.
At Sidhing our vehicle will be waiting to drop you to Pokhara. The drive is filled with delightful views of green hills and mountains. Once you arrive in Pokhara, you will be driven to your hotel. Take a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Pokhara.
You have an afternoon flight to Kathmandu. You can spend the first half of the day as you wish. Take rest at the hotel or explore Pokhara on your own. You can stroll down the lakeside and take a boat ride on the Phewa Lake. You can also visit Davis Falls, Gupteshwar Cave and the island Temple of Tal Barahi on Phewa Lake.
You can change this itinerary, services, accommodation, duration of this trip etc.to suit your needs and budget. The choice is yours. Let us help you tailor your perfect holiday.
3-star accommodation in Pokhara with breakfast
All ground transportation by comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
Farewell Dinner at the end of the trip
During your Mardi Himal Trek, you spend 2 nights in Kathmandu and 1 night in Pokhara. You will be accommodated at a 3-star hotel - Oasis Kathmandu Hotel or Thamel Boutique Hotel in Kathmandu and Hotel Pokhara Batika in Pokhara. These hotels are centrally located feature rooms with comfortable beds and en suite bathrooms. Other amenities include in-house restaurant, café, bar and free wi-fi.
While trekking you will be staying at the best available teahouses. These are run by local families and is a source of sustenance for mountain communities. As this is a newly introduced trail, the teahouses only offer basic facilities.
Facilities available at the lodges include bed, shared washroom (western style toilet) and a communal sitting and dining area. You need to pay extra for using the wi-fi hotspot and charging your electronic devices. To save on cost, you can bring extra batteries. Carry toilet paper rolls with you as most teahouses’ toilets don’t have toilet paper rolls.
The rooms have thin walls and are not insulated. Most rooms have two single beds with a small table in between. The beds come with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Using your sleeping bag and pillow liner will be more hygienic. Layer your sleeping bag with the blanket for warmth as it can get quite cold during the night.
Accommodation is arranged on a twin-sharing basis. If travelling solo, you get to share the room with a fellow traveler of the same gender. Single room will be available on request, at added cost. It’s possible to get a single room in Kathmandu, Pokhara and at lower elevations while trekking. But at higher elevations there are few lodges and single rooms are not available during high season.
During your stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara, breakfast will be complimentary. There are many multi-cuisine restaurants and eateries around Thamel in Kathmandu and lakeside area in Pokhara which serve good food. From fine dining options to budget eateries, you will be spoilt for choice. On your last night in Kathmandu, we invite you for a complimentary farewell dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant.
On the trail, enjoy full-board trekking. Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and accommodation cost are already included in the package. While breakfast and dinner will be served at the lodge you will be staying at, lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route.
If you are gluten-intolerant, we advise you to bring your own gluten-free snacks and extra food as there will be limited food options for you at the teahouses.
The meals served at the teahouses are freshly prepared. Items on the menu include the traditional Nepali and Tibetan fare like dal-bhat (rice, lentils, curry), momo, Tibetan bread etc. as Indian and continental dishes (chapattis, apple pie, pancake, pizza, mac & cheese, noodles etc.).
At breakfast you can expect bread, eggs, hash brown, cereal or porridge with tea or coffee. During lunch and dinner, you can choose from the extensive menu. Nepalese traditional meal of ‘Dal-Bhat’ (rice, lentil soup, curry and pickle) with unlimited refills is the most filling and energy-giving.
We urge you to stick to vegetarian foods as the meat served on the trail could be several days old and not safe for consumption. If you feel you need your dose of protein, you can bring canned tuna or sardine. These are readily available at departmental stores in Kathmandu.
It is advisable to stay away from alcohol and carbonated drinks while trekking, as these will adversely affect your body’s acclimatization process.
Choose your own travel dates and book your trip online through our safe and secure online booking portal. Once you have booked and paid, it's 100% confirmed that your trip will run on schedule.
We have more than 23 years of experience in planning adventure holidays in the Himalayas. Our trips are fully-supported and we offer personalized service to our clients. The care and attention that we put in your trip ensures that your holiday is more enriching, satisfying and successful. When you travel at your personal timeframe with your own group it's guaranteed that you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered as the best seasons to trek to Mardi Himal. The weather stays dry and clear during these times which makes it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed views of mountains. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside however, these are peak seasons and the trails get crowded and busy.
The Mardi Himal trail passes through a pristine forest which is filled with wildflowers and orchids during spring. Rhododendron trees burst into colorful pink, white and red blooms. Walking past the hills covered with wildflowers and rhododendron blooms, against the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas will seem heavenly.
Autumn is the most popular season for Mardi Himal Trek. With the end of wet monsoon season which clears the skies of dust and impurities, you can enjoy crystal clear views during this season. Timing your trek around late September or October will allow you to experience the most important festivals of the Nepalese, Dashain and Tihar. These festivals celebrated by Hindus last for several days. Expect good food, merry-making, dance and music at the villages along the trail.
You can also opt for a monsoon or winter trek, if you want to avoid the crowds. Trekking during these times will let you enjoy some off-season discounts at teahouses which remain mostly empty. But you should be ready to face some discomforts (rain, leeches, snow and extreme cold) if you take to the trail at these times.
First you need to travel to Pokhara, which can be done by taking a flight or driving overland. Many private airline companies operate daily flights on the Kathmandu- Pokhara route. Taking a flight maybe expensive but it saves you time and is more comfortable. In less than 30 minutes you reach your destination.
If you are traveling on a budget, you can opt to travel by a tourist coach or a local bus. The journey takes around 6 to 7 hours. Tourist bus to Pokhara departs daily from Sorahkhutte and Thamel at 7 AM. If you want to travel like locals then you need to go to Naya Bus Park in Gongabu and get yourself a bus ticket to Pokhara. There are also micro vans or Hiace vans which leave for Pokhara at an interval of 1 to 2 hours daily. Private vehicles are also available on hire. The vehicle comes with a driver and rental charges vary according to the size and type of the vehicle.
As per our itinerary, you travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice versa by flight. Due to the mountainous terrain, aircrafts used for domestic flights in Nepal tend to be small and light. You will be flying either in a 70 to 47 seater ATR , 30 seater Jetstream or a 18 seater Beechcraft. The 25 minutes flight lets you enjoy incredible views of Himalayan peaks.
On reaching Pokhara, you board a private vehicle and drive to the trailhead of your trek, Kande, The drive, on a pitched highway, lasts for about an hour. From Kande you trek all the way to Mardi Himal Base Camp and return to Sidhing., from where you will be picked up and driven to Pokhara.
The permits you need for Mardi Himal Trek are – 1) Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit, and 2) TIMS (Tourist Information Management System) card.
Both Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit and TIMS Card can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board’s Office in Kathmandu or Tourist Information Centre in Pokhara.
To get these permits you need to provide the following documents and information:
Permit Fees: Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit: NRS 3000 per person for foreigners, NRS 1000 for citizens of SAARC countries, and NRS 100 for Nepalese.
TIMS Card: NRS 1000 if you are trekking with a guide. NRS 2000 for free individual trekker (FIT). For SAARC country nationals, NRS 300 if trekking with a guide and NRS 600 for a solo trekker.
You won’t have to worry about queuing up to get the permits as the company or our guides will arrange all the permits for you.
Mardi Himal Trek takes you very close to Mardi Himal Peak (5,587m), Fishtail Peak or Machhapuchhre (6,993m) and other 7000 and 8000 metre peaks. The highest point of your trek is Mardi Himal Base Camp located at 4,500 metres above sea level. The low levels of oxygen in such an environment will sometimes make breathing difficult.
To let your body, get used to the thin air, you need to walk slowly, steadily and keep your body hydrated. If you try to hasten and walk fast to reach your destination in less time, chances are you may suffer from AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.
AMS symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue etc., are seen at elevations above 2000 metres. Taking diamox and a good night’s rest may work for mild cases. Drinking plenty of fluids (water, tea, soup etc.) and keeping your body hydrated will also help to keep the sickness at bay.
One should take necessary precautions to ensure that the condition does not worsen. But if the symptoms worsen, one may have to return to a lower elevation and get medical help. In the worst-case scenario, an air evacuation will be arranged, where the patient will be flown Pokhara or Kathmandu to receive medical aid. AMS, if untreated or ignored can take your life.
This itinerary has been designed by experts and veteran guides. The trek is well paced and allows your body to gradually get used to low levels of oxygen in the mountain air.
The chart given below will give you a rough idea about the level of oxygen in the atmosphere on the trail.
It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 litres of fluid
To tackle the menace of plastic waste in the Annapurna region, the sale of bottled water has been banned since 2015. Inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will find several safe drinking water stations. We highly recommend you to carry a reusable water bottle with you, one that can hold hot water. You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like LifeStraw.
You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tend to be pure and without impurities, it’s better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.
Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (which are readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium etc.) you lose while walking gets replenished.
Teahouses offer boiled and filtered drinking water at additional cost. Charges vary according to altitude (the higher you reach, the more expensive it will be) and quantity. You will be charged from USD 1 to 2 for a pot of hot filtered drinking water.
Internet connection (though erratic and irregular at some places) is available in the Annapurna Region. You can connect with your loved ones while trekking, post updates and upload pictures on social media. Wi-fi is available at all teahouses. Teahouses charge extra for using their Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also get a sim card (preferably Ncell) in Kathmandu and purchase internet data to use on your trek.
As opposed to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of complicated gear and equipment for this adventure. Here’s a basic checklist of the most essential items that you should not forget to bring with you during your Mardi Himal Trek:
These are only some of the essential items. Find a more Packing List For Trekking In Nepal
Most of the trekking equipment are available on hire in Kathmandu. You can keep your baggage light by only packing the most essential items and renting or buying the rest in Kathmandu. Shops in Thamel offer branded as well locally made gear and equipment.
You can leave your spare luggage at your hotel’s storage room. It is completely safe and free. But do make sure to lock your luggage before leaving it at the storage unit.
Mardi Himal Trek takes you close to Fishtail Peak or Machhapuchhre (6993m) and Mardi Himal Peak(5587m). Having an experienced local guide accompanying you will enrich your trip in so many ways. Trekking with a person who has in-depth knowledge of the mountain will also keep you safe and secure.
When you book a trek with us, we pair you up with one of our local guides. All our guides have an experience of more than 10 years and have a vast knowledge of the area you are visiting. They have completed the trekking guide course and have the required government license to work as a mountain guide. They can communicate in English and have received training on wilderness first aid and crisis management.
The trek will be led by a chief guide or trek leader. For every 4 trekkers, there will be an assistant guide assisting them personally. One porter will carry the luggage of 2 clients. Make sure that your luggage does not exceed 15 kg, as the porter can only carry a weight of 30 kg.
We believe in ethical treatment of our staff. All our Guides and Porters are provided with weather appropriate gear and clothing to battle the harsh weather in the mountains. Before the start of a trek, we ensure that our mountain guides are fully insured. They are given fair wages and treated with respect.
We seriously follow the guidelines set by IPPG (International Porter protection Group) and offer assistance to porters to develop other skills. A portion from the booking fee goes to fund the education of our field staffs’ kids.
For Mardi Himal Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. The highest altitude you reach is 4500 metres and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.
Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.
Walking on a treacherous mountain environment also exposes you to physical injuries. Therefore, make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can possibly face during this trekking adventure.
Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies makes it mandatory to immunize yourself before you leave your country.
Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and don’t forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you also to choose a company that offers insurance cover on both domestic as well as international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.
We ensure the safety of our clients by following all safety protocols during the trip. This itinerary has been designed by travel experts and veteran guides who have trekked on this route innumerable times.
To prevent AMS, required number of rest days have been added in the itinerary. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The guides assigned to you have more than 10 years’ experience and know what steps to take during an emergency. They are well-trained in wilderness first aid and crisis management.
If a client shows symptoms of AMS and needs to descend to a lower elevation, an assistant guide will escort him/her and will follow the safety protocol. He will closely monitor the client’s condition and will take the required steps needed for the well-being of the client.
If he/she feels alright after a night’s rest, the guide will escort the client back to join the group. But if the condition worsens, the client will be escorted down to a lower elevation or get air lifted to Pokhara or Kathmandu for expert medical aid.
A typical day on the trail begins with a wakeup call at around 6 AM by your guide. Freshen up and get ready. Pack your belongings and head to the dining area for breakfast by 7 AM. Check your luggage for the final time and fill your water bottle, before you hit the trail by 8 AM along with your guide.
To avoid walking in the heat and to enjoy clear views of the mountains, you make an early start. En route there will be short breaks to enjoy the views and take photographs. You stop for lunch at a local teahouse around noon or mid-day. After a quick rest of about an hour or 40 minutes, you get back on the trail and continue till you reach your overnight stop.
Upon reaching the stop for the night, you head to your teahouse, check in and have some rest. Tea with some light refreshments (cookies or biscuits) will be served at 5 PM. As the rooms are not insulated, you can warm yourself by the heater or stove in the communal area.
Exchange stories or play cards with other trekkers till dinner is served (around 7PM). After dinner, your guide will brief you about the next day’s trek – the route you will take, difficulty, where you will stop for lunch etc. Afterwards, retire for the night and have a well-deserved rest.
On average, you may have to walk 3 to 4 hours daily. Apart from Day 6, which involves a long hike of about 8 to 9 hours and is probably your toughest day on the trail, the hikes on other days are relatively short. You will get plenty of time to enjoy the scenery at each stop.
Travel responsibly and try to limit any negative impact on the environment. Limit the use of plastic and be mindful about throwing waste in the mountains. When you trek with us, you will be supporting local communities (from the guides and porters to teahouse owners). We as a company support sustainable tourism and patronize local businesses. We partner with service providers who work towards saving the environment. As an active member of KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project) we make sure that our trips are environment friendly.
If you have booked a package with us you won’t be spending much as accommodation and 3 meals are already included in your trip price. You may have to personally pay for items like beverages and drinks, extra snacks, hot showers, electronic device charging, wifi etc. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per day will suffice.
Please do note that if you are traveling in a group, a member falling sick won’t disrupt your trip. While the sick person will be taken care of, the rest of the group will be able to continue with the trip.
If someone becomes ill on the trail your trekking guide will take the sick person’s condition on account and decide he or she shall continue with the trek or return to a lower elevation and wait for the rest of the group. If his or her condition is serious then the person will be flown by air ambulance to Kathmandu or Pokhara for expert medical attention. An assistant will take care of the sick person, while the rest of the group shall proceed onwards and complete the trip as per the itinerary.
If you want to add extra activities and sites to your itinerary it can be done. Our Travel Consultant will help you customize your trip. Just let us know which places you want to visit and what you want to do and we will add these in your itinerary.
We usually provide private comfortable vehicles to individual tourists. For groups we provide comfortable luxury buses for pick up and drop-offs.
While tipping is not mandatory it is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the people who have helped you enrich your holiday experience. It all depends on how far you are pleased and satisfied with their services. There is no fixed amount, but many of our clients offer 8-10 percent of the total tour price as tips.
The permits needed are - Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry fee and TIMS(Trekkers’ Information Management System fee).
The quality of teahouses in the Annapurna Region is pretty good and most of them offer facilities like western toilets, hot showers (may charge cost) and a wide range of items on their menu. The rooms are usually furnished with two separate beds with mattress, pillows, blankets and bed sheets. Most of the teahouses are family or community run establishments. Teahouses are like an extended home and have a warm and cosy feel to them.
We provide sleeping bag and down jacket but you need to bring your own personal gear. We can recommend some good stores where you can hire or buy new ones.
Teahouses offer boiled and filtered drinking water to trekkers for a price. Though you can purchase bottled water, we discourage the use of plastic bottled water on the trail because of the adverse effect on the environment. You can bring along with you a reusable bottle nd fill it up with drinking water.
Your guide will check the condition of the water of the filtered water before you purchase it. Please be assured that our guide will thoroughly check whether the water has been boiled and treated properly before you drink it.
Teahouse trekking is one of the most popular ways of trekking in Nepal. Teahouse trekking has almost replaced old style camping treks in Nepal along the popular trekking routes of Annapurna and Everest regions. Teahouse Trek involves resting or stopping at teahouses or lodges scattered along the trail for the night. The teahouses are locally owned and they provide accommodation and food. While the standard of teahouses varies, most of these establishments usually offer basic services - small rooms (usually on a twin sharing basis with comfortable beds), shared washroom, a heated communal dining area and a menu with a range of dishes. Some may offer wi-fi and hot shower. As these teahouses are located in remote locations, one should not expect the service of a city hotel while staying in one. But in popular trails like Everest Base Camp trail and Annapurna Base Camp trail one can expect luxury standard accommodations too.