If we’re making a list of the Best Places for Trekking in Nepal, Mardi Trek will not make it up there. But, there are countless places for trekking in Nepal. And so, not being one of the top 10 doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to trek. The Mardi Trek or Mardi Base Camp Trek is a hidden gem for the most part. And even though it’s located just east of Annapurna Base Camp Trek, one of the most popular destinations, it is not as popular. But those who have been can tell you that this is one of the legendary trekking destinations. Mardi Trek in Nepal is a great trek because it is relatively easy, relatively non-expensive and also has a suitable duration.
It is located at the base of the Mardi Himal, at a max. elevation of 4500 m (at the base camp), and Mt. Machhapuchhre. Just like most treks in the Annapurna region, you start at Pokhara as well. For the most part, it is a “tea-house trek”, meaning most of your lodging and fooding will have to be done in local tea-houses that are quite a few in number. And also, you will find them almost up to the end of the trek. The trail is full of winding paths through beautiful forests of rhododendron and wildlife until an altitude of 3300 meters. From then on, spectacular views of the mountain peaks and ranges will welcome you.
There are variations of the trek, but most trek routes follow this itinerary. You start at Pokhara. First a drive to Kande and then a hike to Deurali. Next, you make your way to Forest camp, which is where you are surrounded by pristine flora and fauna. After that, you go to the Low Camp and next day to the High Camp. From then on, it’s a day’s hike to Mardi Base Camp and back to High Camp. That is the rendezvous point where you will be able to catch the best views of majestic and iconic mountain ranges. After you get back, you go to Siddhing, and to Lumre village next. From then on, it’s back to Pokhara.
The best thing about the trek is that it is highly customizable. You can do this trek in 4 days or extend it up to 8 days as well, which depends on your fitness level. You’ll have to walk for an average of 4-5 hours per day, with the longest being the 6-7 hours hike to Mardi Base-camp and back to the starting point. If you go to this trek through travel agencies, then, most of them will offer you an 8-day package which can cost up to the US $ 400 – 500. But if you can go on your own, without guides and such, you can do it for cheap. However, foreign trekkers require a permit, so, it is best for them to do it via agencies.
As for the nationals, the trek can be concluded for some Rs.10000 – 12000 (equivalent to about $100) for 5-6 days. Lodging can be cheap, but it is the food that’s expensive. A plain breakfast consisting of eggs, curry, bread, and black tea can cost Rs.350 ($3.5) at the highest point of the journey. So, it is wise to carry food items in your journey as well.
This trek is not very difficult, as it involves very less climbing. However, long walking experiences and on rocky trails is recommended. Mid-September – October is the best season when winter is just approaching and the climate is very favorable. Be sure to carry monsoon gear, though. Spring is the second best season to be here, as there is less fluctuation in the weather.
All in all, it is one of the best trekking destinations, which is yet to become popular. And I believe once it does, it won’t be as fun as it is now. So, get your fill of the Mardi Trek as soon as possible.