Classic Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a picturesque walking journey that takes to the foothills of the Annapurna South. It is also popularly called Annapurna Sanctuary Trekking. Trekking to Annapurna Base is highly recommended for those who love to explore the rich cultural diversities, typical Nepalese villages, enjoy the flora and fauna and enjoy the panoramic view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan range in Nepal.
The journey to the Annapurna Base Camp kicks off from Pokhara with a one-hour drive to Nayapul. From Nayapul the trek begins to Tikhedhunga (1540m.) through terraced fields of potatoes, mustard, corn, and vegetables, past small villages of stone-built houses and then, higher altitude, through forests of bamboo and of flowering rhododendrons up to glaciated terrain. While on trek one can enjoy outstanding Himalayan mountain views in the distance. From Chhomrong, we walk up the Modi Khola gorge which takes us into the heart of the base camp and some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on earth.
Walking slowly and steadily takes us to Machhapuchare Base Camp and ultimately we reach Base Camp of Annapurna South. The huge south face of Annapurna (8091 m.) provides an impressive backdrop, while the up-close views of towering peaks over 6000 m. inspires a joy and life experience for every trekker. With superb views of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli in the backdrop, the base camp is a great place to spend one or two days.
The extraordinary variety of ecosystem is compressed into two weeks of Annapurna Base Camp trekking. The Annapurna south-facing slope of the base camp is covered with dense of the tropical jungle of rhododendron and bamboo. On the other hand, the alpine region above 3000 m in the north offers dry rain shadow area with the colder climate similar to the Tibetan plateau.
We return to Phedi via Dhampus (1650m.) and catch our vehicle for Pokhara. This area is well developed with lodge facilities.
Sarangkot Australian Camp Dhampus Trek is one of the short and popular cultural treks in the Annapurna Region. This trek takes you through beautiful villages inhabited by mid-hill tribes called Gurungs, many of them are in Gurkha regiments working for British and Indian armies and some are engaged in agricultural farming. While on trek you will enjoy close up view of Mount Machhapuchhre ( Fishtail) and Pokhara Valley including Phewa Lake from the top of Sarangkot hill.
Arrive at the (TIA) Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your hotel if you have booked Airport Pickup facility at the time of booking your trip. Otherwise our representative will meet you at the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce each other. Overnight in Kathmandu
Hotel Accommodation (Kathmandu)
Little Nepal Inn [or similar standard]
This is an example of the hotel we may use in Kathmandu city. Your actual hotel will be specified when your booking is confirmed. Please check your email or booking confirmation.
Today our representative will work on all necessary permits.
After breakfast in hotel you will make an exciting journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara by road along the Trishuli River enjoying the wonderful view of hills and rural villages. Being a mountainous country, you will experience the drive over winding roads with a steep drop on one side. Of course, this will be done by dedicated Private Vehicle fully loaded with A/C.
After 7 hours of drive you will reach Pokhara (also known as The Lake City of Nepal) where you will check in the hotel and stay at leisure. Overnight in hotel
From Pokhara we drive you to Nayapul from where you begin walking in the Annapurna region. You follow the trail to Birethanti and Tikhedhunga, beautiful villages on the way to Ulleri. On the way you cross the suspension bridge over the Modi River and climb along the stone paved lane to Ulleri. While trekking, you will enjoy the splendor of nature. Finally, after walking for 3 hours, you arrive at Ulleri at an altitude of 2073 m. overnight at lodge
After breakfast you continue the trek to the Ghorepani, one of the popular destinations in the Annapurna region. You will gently ascend steeply up to Banthanti (2250m) through the beautiful oak trees & rhododendron forest. If weather permits, you can see the view of Mount Macchhapuchre (Mt. Fishtail) en-route between Ulleri and Banthanti. You then gently proceed towards Ghorepani through Nangeythanti (2460m). Overnight at lodge.
Wake up before 4:30 am early in the morning and hike to Poon Hill (3100m) to see sunrise over Mount Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, Lamjung Himalayan range. The views of some Himalayan Mountains from the top of Poon Hill are among the best in Nepal. After spending a couple of hours in exploring you will descend to Ghorepani for breakfast and then trek down to Tadapani (2625m) along the ridges of rhododendron and pine forest. From Ghorepani you will walk for about 3 hours and stop for lunch at Banthanti, which is situated on the bank of a small river under the shadow of the large cliff. After lunch, the trail goes slowly up for about half an hour and comes down to the river before you climb up through the jungle to Tadapani. Overnight at lodge.
Today’s trail follows a steep downhill walk up to Kimrong stream through the deep forest. The trail then makes steep switchbacks through corn and millet fields and over an old suspension bridge over the Khumna Khola. There is a climb up to Gurjung and then over a stream and bridge and onto Chhomrong. While trekking you will enjoy close views of Mt. Annapurna South and Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre. Overnight at lodge
We leave Chhomrong along the Modi Khola leaving behind inhabited foothills into the high step and wooded slopes of Himalayas. We cross the suspension bridge then trek up to Sinuwa Danda. The ascent from Sinuwa becomes somewhat flatter. The trail passes through thick and dark rhododendron forest up to Khuldighar( 2380 m.) Then, we descend a long and steep stone steps into deep bamboo and rhododendron forests through which we reach Bamboo. After gentle climb of 1 ½ hrs and walking, finally we reach our destination at Dovan for overnight stay.
We trek past the Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m) (which isn’t really a Base Camp since climbing the Machhapuchhre Mountain is not permitted). It lies on the way to the Annapurna Base Camp. The Mountain and its surrounding areas are under protection of the Government of Nepal. From the Machhapuchhre Base camp, we hike for two more hours to Annapurna Base Camp for an overnight stay. The gigantic mountains, towering above us is a sight to enjoy. Overnight at lodge.
We retrace our steps back through the ‘gate’ on to Doban and through the Bamboo Lodge back down to Chromrong.
From Bamboo, it is an uphill trek to Kuldighar followed by a downhill walk to Chhomrong Khola. Then we climb the stone steps to Chhomrong. The trail then descends to Jhinu Danda, where we will be staying overnight in a lodge. Today we will have an opportunity to take a dip in natural hot springs just 15-20 minute downhill walk from Jhinu Danda village to ease your stressed knees and soothe your aching body. Overnight in Jhinu Danda.
Today is the last day of our trek. On our way from Jhinu Danda to Siwai via New Bridge, we get to enjoy the amazing hill landscape of western Nepal. We will have lunch on the way. Our trek will end at Siwai where we board our vehicle to Pokhara. On arrival in Pokhara, you will get an opportunity to further explore around the city. Overnight in Pokhara.
After breakfast, we leave Pokhara and drive to Kathmandu, the journey filled with the ever diverse landscape and changing topography. We pass the Marsyangdi hydroelectric project on the way and soon afterwards the town of Mugling, at the confluence of the Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers. The road starts to climb once we reach Naubise and reaches a pass on the Kathmandu Valley rim after a series of breathtaking zigzags. Overnight at Hotel
A representative from Trek Himalayan will make departure transfer for you to Tribhuvan International Airport as per your flight departure time.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the airport or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph.
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
On arrival in Kathmandu, our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our pre-booked hotel. There won’t be any activity on this day. We will host a pre-trip meeting at the hotel lobby on the 2nd day of your itinerary in the evening. It will be an opportunity for you to meet your trekking guide and introduce each other. The guide will brief you about the trek and check your gear to ensure the smooth running of your trekking trip.
Tea House Lodge Trek & Meals
All accommodations will be on a twin sharing basis during the trek in family-run teahouse (lodge), with a large sociable central dining area and a cozy chimney burning fire. We recommend you to use your own sleeping bag. A typical lodge in Annapurna region offers muesli, porridges, Pancakes, bread with jam or eggs, fried eggs on toast, tea/coffee in breakfast and in dinner Dal, Bhat, lentil soup and other cuisines.
Most lodges offer hot showers and in the ones that don’t a bucket of water. In Annapurna, we find many western toilets and in some places there are usually just the Asian squat type toilets.
Small groups provide a more intimate atmosphere allowing you to get to know your Sherpa guides better and to develop lifelong friendships. Therefore, the maximum group size for this trek is 16 people. The minimum is 2 people.
Trek Guide and Crew
All our trek leaders and crew come from different parts of Nepal with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, but we all share our valuable experience, accept each other beliefs and work together to give our clients the best experience in Nepal. Whatever the ethnical background they belong to, differ in sex or age all members of our team work together as a family that makes us what we are.
A Typical Trekking Day
At 6.30 am your guide knocks on your door and greets with a cup of tea. Then it’s time to have breakfast, tight up your bag pack and head off for today’s trekking for the next three to four hours then stop for an hour at pleasant spot along the way for a well-prepared hot lunch. Afterward, walk another three hours or so, before you stop for the overnight. The evening can be spent reading or chatting with your fellow hikers or trekking crew about the trip of the day. Pack of games can be an asset to these nights; your trekking crew love teaching various Nepali card games and learning new Western games. Eventually, it’s time to bed for a well-deserved night.
The climate in the Annapurna region varies from subtropical to alpine. The southern slopes of the area has the highest rainfall rate in the country- 3000mm per year, whereas the northern slopes lying in the rain shadow has the lowest rate – less than 300mm per year. The difference in the climatic conditions in this region is responsible for its varied flora and fauna.
Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November
This is the main trekking season in Nepal. While trekking in mountains weather will be sunny and mild with clear mountain views. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to negative 8o C (7.6o F) at the highest altitudes.
Winter: December to end February
Even it is cooler conditions this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to negative 10o C (14oF) to negative 17o C (1.4oF) at the highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at this time of year
Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May
Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but cloudiness will be occurred up in the afternoons. Seasonal flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.
Flora in the Annapurna region
The southern subtropical lowlands are enriched with lush subtropical forests consisting of chirpine and alder and in the northern highlands temperate forests of oaks, rhododendron, fir, and blue pine. The wet regions yield a variety of bamboo species. The higher altitude further North give rise to forests of birch, blue pine and juniper trees, which are replaced by juniper and rhododendron in the far North. In the semi-desert rain shadow region, behind the Himalayas, bushes of caragana and juniper species are found.
Fauna in the Annapurna region
This region is rich with several species of wildlife. There are around four hundred and seventy-four species of birds, and around a hundred species of mammals. The region serves as an excellent habitat for rare and endangered mammals like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, red panda and many of Nepal’s brilliantly plumaged pheasants
Possible views of Mountains during the trek
Annapurna (8091m) Nilgiri(6940m), Tilicho peak(7134m) Dhulagiri (8167m),Manaslu (8156m), Lamjung Himal (6983m),Machhapuchhare(6993m), Tukuche peak (6920m),
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you don’t need it while travelling. Many of hotels in Nepal have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage
Different ethnic communities in the Region
The Gurungs form the largest group in the Annapurna region. They come from Tibeto – Burman stock. Some Gurungs follow Buddhism and others Hinduism. They dwell the higher northern slopes of the Annapurna, Lamjung,Chuli and hills around Ganesh Himal. A large number of Gurung youths serve in the British and Indian armies. The low part of the Annapurna region is largely populated by Chettris and Bahuns (Brahmins). The Magars inhabit the lower trail between Baglung and Dana. They live high on the steep ridges along the tributaries of the Kali Gandaki.
Another ethnic group of this region is the Thakalis. Known throughout the country as accomplished hoteliers and skilled traders, they are noted for their aggressive trading spirit. The Jomsom trek passes through Thak Khola, the Thakali homeland.
In the valley of the Muktinath live the Baragaun Bhotiya. Their lifestyle is similar to that of the Tibetans. Another group of people who share a close affinity to the Tibetans are the Lopa people of Mustang, north of Kagbeni. Some of them practice the ancient pre-Buddhist religion of Bon which is infused with animistic and shamanic belief and ritual. The people living in the upper Marshyandi valley are generally known as Mananges. The Nyeshang area, under which fall the villages of Manang, Braga and Ngawal. The people are of Tibetan origin. But their language Nyeshang is not a Tibetan dialect. This area is popularly known by the name of its largest village Manang.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take out a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Please send us the following details such as your full name, policy number and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number prior to departure. We also strongly recommend that your policy must cover personal liability, flight/trip cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Though we hope for the best trip, you sometimes might be in need of rescue or evacuation in case of a serious sickness or a personal prolonged health issue. During such emergency you will be rescued by a helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation services. We request you to make sure when you purchase insurance from your country that your policy must cover these expenses or you should remain prepared to pay or sign on Helicopter Evacuation Form before you get on the Helicopter.
Overland Transportation Delay or Halt
If the main highway between Kathmandu, Pokhara or Beshisahar is blocked by a landslide or any natural calamity during the transfer, in such a situation the extra cost for food and accommodation has to be borne by the clients.
High Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which can turn if not treated upon recognizing the symptoms. AMS is the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations of 3,000m or above. Early mountain sickness results in headache, loss of appetite and sleepiness. One can encounter such sickness no matter she/he looks physically young, strong and fit. Medicine itself can be on substitute unless patients suffering from such sickness are immediately rushed downhill.
Many trekking porters come from villages. They live hard and frugal lives and work to carry heavy loads using the traditional ‘doko’ (the bamboo latis basket supported from the forehead). Heights up to 3,500m are part of everyday life and they resist wearing what they consider to be unnecessary personal equipment.
Above that altitude, Trek Himalayan urges them the use of kit suited to the varying levels of more extreme conditions. It’s an incredible job that they do and we really appreciate their working nature and try to reward accordingly.
Here are some recommended Equipment’s List for trekking in Everest region
Note: It is possible to buy or rent the above gear in Kathmandu
Cultural Tips to Annapurna Region
Shoes are generally removed when entering into a home. Keep the shoe soles facing the round when you leave them at the door and do not place them on top of others.
Do not share drink or food from your plate with others. Once your lips or the utensils you are eating with are in contact with the food/drink it becomes “impure” for others.
If you are eating in Nepali style with your hand, only use the right hand.
While traveling dress appropriately. Women should especially avoid dressing in skimpy outfits.
Seek permission first before entering a Hindu Temple. Many Hindu Temples do not allow westerners to enter
Walking around temples or Stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
Public display of affection between man and woman are frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to Nepalese environment
Don’t litter local springs as it is believed that this will anger the water god
Don’t put dirty items and food scraps such as meat in fire hearths, as it is believed that offensive odors from such pollution angers the local mountain gods.
Always make a small contribution to any temple or monastery that you visit. This is a time honored indigenous tradition.
Ask permission to take photographs of people, and if you do extensive photography, it is polite to give the people a small gift.
A Khata (white/yellow scarf) is used to welcome, bid farewell, and to show gratitude. It is traditional to put the scarf round men’s neck starting from the right hand and women from the left. Don’t put scarves around the neck of a lama simply offer it to his hand.
Don’t give things to begging children, however, please do give as generously as possible to a begging monk or nun as this is a time honored religious tradition.
The seat next to the fire hearth in a traditional Sherpa home is reserved for the main person of the family whether alive or death. Therefore, please do not sit there.
(Local guide and porter) Tipping is a tradition in tourism in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. We highly suggest you to allow some tips at your own discretion.
The Himalayan Porters