Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a fantastic opportunity to witness the gorgeous Annapurna Massif, located in the northern region of Nepal. There are very few mountains in the world that can compare to the unparalleled beauty the Annapurna possesses. During the trek, explorers will see six impressive Himalayan peaks. In Sanskrit, Annapurna means the “Goddess of Fertility,” which is shown in the verdant, vibrant forests, vast gorges, and spectacularly terraced fields along the trek.

During the 7-8-10 or 11 days that it takes to hike the entirety of the Annapurna Base Camp trek, adventurers will climb to altitudes of 4,000 meters above sea level and witness mountainous peaks stretching over 55 km. They will trek through oak, pine and rhododendron forests, sloping, green valleys, massive rice fields and snowy trails all in a single trip through Annapurna.

At the beginning of the trek in Pokhara, explorers will immediately find themselves immersed in the glorious views of mountain ranges. As they travel to Ghandruk, the picturesque views of Machapuchare, Annapurna South and other peaks will grow in the distance. Machapuchare, also known as the “fish-tailed mountain,” is fiercely protected by the local population as it is believed to have been home to Lord Shiva. Tourists have the rare opportunity to experience its exquisite beauty during the Annapurna Base Camp trek. From the base camp here, trekkers can see views of Annapurna 1, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

Phewa Lake And Annapurna

The Annapurna Base Camp is home to a cluster of small lodges that offer mystical sights of the Annapurna glacier, which sits on the opposite side of the base camp along with the Gangapurna, Gandharvachuli and Machapuchare glaciers.

Throughout the trek, explorers will see a vast array of vegetation as they hike the long and difficult trails that weave through ancient forests full of rhododendron, fern and bamboo. As they pass through Sinuwa and into the Annapurna Sanctuary, the greenery and dense forests present themselves in the stunning display. Here, oak trees seamlessly become the dominant species and continue on until trekkers reach Machapuchare Base Camp. The tall grasses and trees make way for flowering varieties. Along the long but enjoyable journey, explorers are sure to be satisfied with the serene environment they are surrounded by.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Trekkers will have the opportunity to see the famous lake city of Pokhara, Nepal. This serves as the starting point of the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
  • Explorers will witness diverse and gorgeous scenery, including multiple high-altitude mountain peaks and lowland valley regions.
  • Tourists will learn about the local culture and traditions of the Gurung, Magar and Thakali people. Explore the settlements and experience the hospitality of the villagers.
  • Trekkers on the Annapurna Base Camp trek are able to stay in guest houses and homestays and visit tea houses on their journey through the Himalayas.
  • Gorgeous sunrise and sunset views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and Machapuchare from Poon Hill are awaiting adventurers on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Trek Map Of Annapurna Base Camp

The Annapurna Base Camp, also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, is located near Pokhara in the Annapurna Conservation Area. It’s east of Poon Hill and Ghorepani and just west of the Mardi Himal trekking trail.

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is best known for the base camps at Machapuchare and Annapurna. The trek explorers stone-built villages, mountainous farms, and native species of flowers and wildlife.

The first several days of the trek involve steep uphill hiking, but the landscape then flattens out and trekking becomes easier. A detailed itinerary is available for interested explorers. There will be frequent rest stops along the way so trekkers can relax in between long hikes. It’s advised to watch out for symptoms of altitude sickness, although this isn’t generally an issue.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Route Map

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Dеtаіlеd Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Today, explorers will arrive in Kathmandu and then transfer to a local hotel. Enjoy your day resting before your big adventure.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara

Early in the morning, the guide will pick up trekkers and escort them to a Pokhara bus station. The bus will travel west of the Kathmandu Valley towards Western Nepal via the Prithvi highway. The road travels along the Trishuli river as explorers make their way to Pokhara. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and rest for the evening.

Modi Khola river on the way from Deurali to Machapuchare Base Camp-min

Modi Khola river on the way from Deurali to Machapuchare Base Camp

Day 3: Pokhara to Nayapul to Thikedunga

Explorers will leave by 8:30 am and travel by car through the beautiful countryside for about an hour and a half to Nayapul. Your trek officially starts here, at the confluence of the Modi river that flows from the Annapurna Base Camp and Burungdi river. We will follow the river upstream, hiking for about 4 to 5 hours to the village of Thikedunga. Here, explorers will spend the night in a local lodge.

Day 4: Thikedunga to Ghorepani

Today will begin with a steep 2-hour hike up to the village of Ulleri. 3,000 magnificent stone steps lead travelers up to this quaint village. As the day progresses, the trail weaves through the forest for another 4 to 5 hours until explorers reach Ghorepani, seated at 2,800 meters above sea level. Ghorepani is located between a mountain pass overlooking the massive Kali Gandaki valley, which is nestled between the two 8,000-meter massifs Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.

Poon hill altitude sign with Annapurna range in the background, Nepal.

Day 5: Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani

The morning starts with a 50-minute sunrise hike to Poon Hill, at 3,200 meters. Poon Hill is arguably the most beautiful viewpoint throughout the Annapurna trek. Along the way, you will see 15 different high-altitude peaks including Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Annapurna (8,091 meters), Manaslu (8,156 meters). After a nutritious breakfast, you will head over to Tadapani to stay overnight.

People of Tadapani village

People of Tadapani village

Day 6: Tadapani to Chhomrong

A steep descend down 900 meters brings you into the valley basin of the Ghurjung river. Then, you will begin slowly climbing the mountain into Chhomrong, perched high upon a mountain ridge. The large Gurung village is seated at the corridor of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Chhomrong boasts a great view of Annapurna South (7,219 meters) and Machepuchare (6,993 meters).

View from Chhomrong Village, Annapurna mountain range

View from Chhomrong Village, Annapurna mountain range

Day 7: Chhomrong to Dovan

Today, explorers will take the 3-hour climb up to Sinwa and then down to the Chhomrong Khola (river). Then, you will enter the valley that leads to the Annapurna Sanctuary located between Annapurna South and Machepuchare. From Sinwa, take the 2 to 3-hour descent to the Modi River and the hamlet of Bamboo, then gradually climb for an hour to reach Dovan.

Day 8: Dovan to Deurali

The pace today slows down because of the high altitudes. You will trek to a village called Himalaya (2,900 meters) in about 2 hours. You’ll see rocky terrain on the steep climb up to HInku Cave. The village of Deurali is on the other side of icy crevasses.

Day 9: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

The hike to Machepuchare Base Camp is prone to avalanches, so at times hikers will cross to the other side of the Modi River to avoid these danger zones. It’ll take roughly 3 hours to reach camp, at 3,700 meters above sea level. Magnificent snowy peaks can be seen from the valley. Annapurna Base Camp is located at the edge of a glacier surrounded by the world’s highest mountains.

Snow Mountain Landscape in Himalaya. Annapurna South peak, Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp board.

Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo

Starting at sunrise, hikers will descend into Bamboo. This trail tends to be slippery, so be careful.

Day 11: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

Today, trekkers will descend down the same trail they previously climbed up to get to Chhomrong. Experience the stone steps of Jhinu, check into your lodge and take a leisurely walk to a natural hot spring. Relax for the evening.

Day 12: Jhinu Danda to Nayapul to Pokhara

The drive to Nayapul takes about 5 to 6 hours. Follow the winding Modi river back to where you started your trek. A car will drive you back to Pokhara.

Day 13: Pokhara to Kathmandu

Drive to Kathmandu following the Trishuli river.

Day 14: Departure

Trekkers will be escorted to the Kathmandu International Airport in the morning.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek - Things To know

Annapurna Base camp -Amazing view Of Mount Machapuchare

Best Time to trek the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek can be attempted during any time of the year, although it’s not recommended during the monsoon season. During monsoon season, the weather is rainy, dark and cloudy, making it impossible to see the gorgeous mountain peaks. There are leeches, mosquitos, landslides and slippery road conditions. However, the monsoon season does bode well for biologists, as the native animals are most active during this time.

The autumn season, which runs from September through November, is the most popular time to trek the Annapurna Base Camp trail. It’s a dry season, with clear, blue skies and moderate temperatures. The only downside of attempting the trek during this popular time is that it will be very crowded with other explorers.

The springtime, from March through May, is another great time to hike the Annapurna Base Camp trek, although trekkers should be cautious of possible avalanches. In the spring, the trails will be alive with red and white rhododendron and rare species of flowers, so it’s a perfect time for nature lovers and botanists.

In December, it will be much quieter. While the weather is dry and clear, the temperatures will be much colder. January is known for its avalanches, so be especially careful when hiking from Deurali to Machapuchare Base Camp during this time.

Food and Water on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Proper nutrition and water intake is crucial for your success on the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Since the Annapurna Base Camp route is really popular, there are many more options to eat along the trail as compared with other local routes. Meals will be served at tea houses and subject to their individual menus. When booking through an agency, standard packages include breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea or coffee.

  • Breakfast:– Breakfast is generally oatmeal, French toast with jam, honey or butter, pancakes and eggs cooked in a variety of styles. There are also Muesli and Chapati available.
  • Lunch:- Lunch is usually traditional Nepali food, which includes lentil soup, rice, curry, pickles and meat. The food served is organic and fresh, made with local ingredients. However, if you’d like more Western fare, you can choose that option provided in the tea house menu.
  • Dinner:- There are both traditional and Western food options available for dinner. The specific dishes are subject to each tea house menu.
  • Water:- Trekkers can buy bottled water all along the Annapurna Base Camp trail, although the prices increase the higher you are. It’s recommended to use water filters instead of buying bottled water as it’s cheaper and you produce less waste.

It’s also advised that trekkers carry protein bars, cheese, nuts, chocolate or candy along the trails, as they provide the extra energy you may need.

Accommodation on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

On the Annapurna Base Camp trek, explorers will have the chance to stay in guest houses, basic lodges, and tea houses. The rooms available are very basic, housing only one or two beds with little to no other furniture. While some houses and lodges have a bathroom, most offers shared bathrooms and restrooms. Even though some lodges may have hot showers, in the event that there isn’t one available, trekkers can ask for a hot bucket of water. Extra charges may apply. There are no air conditioners or heaters in the rooms, so it’s advised that explorers bring their sleeping bags and dress appropriately.

If you want an even more authentic experience, you can ask your trekking company about staying in homestays. This allows for a deeper immersion in the lifestyle of the local people, as you share their traditional food and learn about their culture.

Mountain village at sunny day in Ghandruk, Nepal

Transportation on the ABC Trek

The starting point of the Annapurna Base Camp trek is in the city of Nayapul. There is a local bus available for trekkers to get from Pokhara to Nayapul, which takes about 2 hours. If you are starting your trip from Kathmandu, you can drive or fly to Pokhara. A tourist bus takes about 7 hours, whereas a flight only takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Additionally, you can hire a private jeep, although this is a bit more expensive.

Annapurna Base Camp Difficulty Level

Annapurna Base Camp trek happens to be one of the easiest treks available in Nepal and the chance of getting altitude sickness is very low. While no prior experience is required, it’s a good idea to have some hiking, trekking and camping experience beforehand. Trekkers should be in great physical health, with the ability to walk for 6 to 7 hours a day. While this is an easy trek, if the weather is poor or the trail is blocked, the trek can become more difficult.

Recommendations for Solo Trekkers/Female Solo Trekkers

It’s definitely possible for a solo or female explorer to trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal, however, group trekking is highly recommended. During the peak seasons, solo explorers will share the trail with many other trekkers, so you won’t be alone. Solo trekkers can also add on to an existing group if they wish. This is a great option for travelers on a budget or those concerned about safety.

Trekking Permits and Costs for Annapurna Base Camp

In order to trek to the Annapurna Base Camp, you will need to attain two permits. The first is the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) card. This costs Nrs. 200 for SAARC nationals ($2 USD) and Nrs. 2000 ($20 USD) for everyone else. The second permit you’ll need is the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card which costs Nrs. 2000 ($20 USD).

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to provide the clearest picture of what to expect on the Annapurna Base Camp trek, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about the trip.

How fit do I need to be to attempt this trek?

Annapurna Base Camp is rated Grade B, or a moderately difficult trekking route. While there is no experience required to book the trip, a person should be in great physical health before attempting it. Research and be aware of what to expect, so you can mentally prepare it.

How long will we walk every day during the trek?

Trekkers will hike for an average of 4 to 6 hours a day. This can fluctuate from 3 hours on one day to 7 on another.

What is the highest altitude reached on this trek?

The highest altitude reached on the Annapurna Base Camp trek is 4,190 meters. This elevation is reached at the Annapurna Base Camp itself.

Are there battery charging stations and hot shower facilities?

Yes. There are charging facilities en route, so bring a charger with you. There are also hot shower facilities available that you’ll have to pay $1-2 for. Feel free to negotiate. Hot showers may be free at lower elevations.

Are there ATMs on the way to the Annapurna Base Camp?

No. As there are no ATMs along the Annapurna Base Camp trek, be sure to take out enough cash for your trip when you are in Pokhara or Kathmandu. There are many ATMs in these cities. As everything is paid for in Nepali rupees, you should exchange your money before starting the trek.

Is there internet access available on the trek?

Yes. Internet access is available in most places along the trek, however, there may be some technical problems with the connection. Internet in this area of Nepal is generally slower than most places.

Are guides and trekking agencies necessary to hike the Annapurna Base Camp trek?

Not necessarily. If you’d like, the Annapurna Base Camp trek can be attempted independently. You have the option to hire a guide or porter for yourself instead of going through a booking agency, or you don’t have to hire one at all. This can become problematic during the offseason when weather conditions and fewer travelers can lead to dangerous situations.

Before you make a decision, consider a couple questions: Is this your first time trekking in Nepal? Are you confident that you’ll be able to find your way around the mountain trail? Booking through an agency is admittedly more expensive, but you’ll have the convenience of everything being planned for you. It’s also much safer to trek in a group led by an experienced guide.

How much do guides and porters cost?

On the Annapurna Base Camp trek, guides range from $20 to $30 per day, while porters cost $15 to $25 per day.

What are the tipping customs for guides and porters?

While tipping is generally a part of western culture, our guides and porters have become used to receiving tips. Although they would be happy to get any tip for their services, 15% is standard in the area. For example, if your guide costs $20 a day for a 10-day trip, this equals $200. A 15% tip would be $30, or NRS. 3000 (roughly). You can tip them anywhere from NRS. 2500 to NRS. 4000.

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