The Sikles trek is one of the best, short mid-elevation treks in the Annapurna region, yet it is not overly traveled by tourists. It begins near the lakeside town of Pokhara, ascends at a moderate grade (by Himalayan standards), taking you through charming farming villages and picturesque terraced fields, along creeks and through thick forests, and within a stone’s throw of towering Annapurna range (left, with Sikles Village).
On the three-day trek, you’ll camp in two-person tents, with meals prepared by our trekking staff. Hiking time varies from 3-4 to 6-7 hours/day. You'll carry just a day pack; porters will carry your gear.
While in Sikles (three nights), you’ll sleep in a well-appointed lodge with mattressed beds, solar hot water shower and electricity.
In line with KarmaQuest's commitment to supporting nature conservation and local communities through ecotourism, you'll meet with a village women's group in Sikles that is keeping the footpaths clean and preserving and sharing Gurung traditions. In association with a non-profit that KarmaQuest Director Wendy Lama leads -- Chandra Gurung Conservation Trust (CGCT). Please inquire how your visit can
help contribute to ongoing assistance to village women weavers.
After the trek, you’ll overnight in Pokhara and then travel to Chitwan National Park for a two night visit to one of Asia’s best national parks for viewing wildlife. You’ll go on jungle safaris with trained naturalists who know the plant and forest ecology well. There is a good chance of seeing a One-Horned Rhinoceros, as well as several types of deer, monkeys, wild boar, sloth bear, crocodile and perhaps even the Royal Bengal tiger. Birding is excellent as well.
The trip begins and ends in the Kathmandu Valley, visiting several of the historic World Heritage sights, with time to stroll the ancient cobble stone lanes of Bhaktapur and to shop in Kathmandu's flurry of arts and crafts shops at your leisure.
Time and the school schedule permitting, you'll pay a visit to the Paropakar Girls' Orphanage in Kathmandu. KarmaQuest is a long-term supporter of
Virtues Children Nepal, which provides scholarships and enhanced educational opportunities to disadvantaged children of Nepal.
Alternative Non-Trekking Trip to Sikles: If you prefer not to trek and camp in tents, you can be driven to and from Sikles, spending an extra night in Pokhara, Ghalekharka, or Sikles. Please see the alternative itinerary below.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu: Rest and overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 2: Hike to Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in Nepal with 4th century sculpted images. Explore Bhaktapur, the loveliest of the Kathmandu Valley ancient cities. Overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 3: Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley: Visit several of the Valley’s impressive historical sites, all of UNESCO World Heritage status, including Patan and Boudhanath. Overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 4: Fly to Pokhara, drive to the trailhead and trek 3 hrs to Ghalekharka. Camp or overnight in a homestay at approx. 5900 ft.
Days 5 & 6: Trek to Sikles: Trek up to a ridgeline (8,850 ft) through a primevial forest of giant rhododendrons, ferns, and colorful fungii adorning fallen trees. Descend and camp in a forest clearing. Continue hiking to Sikles (6,560’).
Days 7, 8 & 9: Make your home in Sikles: Savor the majestic views of the some of the Annapurnas and the traditional life of the Gurung people in this picturesque hillside village rimmed by marigolds and terraced farmlands. Enjoy time with the villagers including cooking lessons, weaving, and singing and dancing. Take an optional day hike to 8,000’ for views of Annapurna IV, II and Lamjung Himal. Overnight in a lodge.
Day 10: Drive to Pokhara: Overnight in a hotel near Phewa Tal (lake).
Days 11 & 12: Chitwan National Park: Fly south to Nepal’s Terai lowlands, bordering the India border. Explore Chitwan National Park by elephant-back safari and on jungle walks, jeep rides and a boat excursion. Overnight in a comfortable jungle lodge on the edge of the Park.
Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu: Rest or explore Kathmandu on your own. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Day in Kathmandu: Visit Swayambhunath, an iconic Buddhist stupa on a hill and an orphanage (school schedule permitting), with time for shopping before a Farewell Dinner. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 15: Depart Kathmandu: Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
Alternative Non-Trekking Trip to Sikles:
Alternative Day 4: Fly to Pokhara, drive to the trailhead (1 hour). Hike 3 hrs to Ghalekharka, a quiet village in the lap of forests and snowy mountains. Overnight in a homestay at approx. 5900 ft. Hike back to the trailhead and drive to Pokhara; overnight in Pokhara. Alternatively, spend a second night in Ghalekharka. Or drive directly from Pokhara to Sikles.
Alternative Day 5: Drive to Sikles: Drive approx. 6 hrs on a well graded dirt road to Sikles, with vast pastoral scenes along the way.
Trip Cost: From $3,250/person
Optional Trip Extensions: Should you wish to extend your stay in Asia, please inquire. We organize tours throughout India and South East Asia that can easily to tagged on to this Nepal trip.