There are few treks that combine so many different landscapes and bring you so close to the base of 7,000 and 8,000 meter peaks in a such a short period of time as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna region. The trail goes alongside terraced rice paddies, lush rhododendron forests and high altitude landscapes with the Annapurna Range in view most of the times.
The setting of Annapurna Base Camp at 4130 m is unique and incredibly spectacular, set amidst the majestic peaks of Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Machapuchhre (6993 m) and Hiunchuli (6441 m).
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes 7 to 11 days, depending on your itinerary and length of walking days. The itinerary presented here takes 11 days, starting from Nayapul (a 1 1/2 hour drive from Pokhara) and going north up to Gorepani and the famous viewpoint of Poon Hill. From Gorepani you go eastward to Chomrong and then north again entering the Modi Kola Valley which leads up to the Base Camp.
Many people trek the circuit Nayapul-Ghorepani-Ghandruk-Nayapul, which is very rewarding in itself. This trek can easily be done with children as well.
You can return via Jhinu Danda and give your tired muscles a well deserved rest in the delightful hot springs. Upon your return it is worthwhile visiting one of the Gurung villages of Ghandruk or Landruk.
The lodges in the Annapurna Trekking Region are well equipped with extensive menus ranging from the typical Nepali dahl bath (rice with lentils) to pizza and chau mein. Hot showers are readily available as well. If you are planning to trek in the winter months please check with a travel agency to confirm which lodges are open.
The Annapurna trekking region is easily accessible with different trailheads starting just an hour or two away from Pokhara.
Between Himalayan Hotel and Machapucchre Base Camp there is a risk of avalanches so make sure you have the latest information on trail conditions before setting off or hire a knowledgeable guide.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek can easily be done independently. It is possible to do this trek in all seasons, however, in the winter the Base Camp can sometimes be closed due to the snow level. In spring time the huge rhododendron forests are in full bloom which gives the trek an extra appeal.
Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
After arriving in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the afternoon, we may take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, you will be served authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the country’s food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2 – Fly to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft), trek to Ghandruk (1940m/6360 ft): 30 minutes flight, 5 – 6 hours trek
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara, the beautiful lake city and catch great views of the Himalayas from the right side of our airplane. After landing in the Pokhara airport, we drive to Naya Pul (1 hour and 20 minutes) and start the trek. From Birethanti, we trek to Ghandruk, a beautiful village mostly inhabited by the Gurung community. If time permits, we also visit the Gurung museum today. Overnight in Ghandruk.
Day 3 – Ghandruk to Chhomrong (2170m/7120ft): 5 – 6 hours
At this juncture, we climb up for around an hour up to Kimrungdanda. On the way, we can enjoy great views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail Mountain (Machhapuchhre) and Ganggapurna. A steep descent takes us to the Kimrong Khola. After another steep ascent from Kimrong Khola to Chere Danda, we descend for a while and then it’s a gentle walk to Chhomrong. Chhomrong is a beautiful village located on the lap of the giant Annapurna massive. Overnight in Chhomrong.
Day 4 – Chhomrong to Bamboo (2310m/7578ft): 4 – 5 hours
We descend via 2500 stone steps and cross the bridge above Chhomrong Khola. From here it is an uphill climb to Sinuwa. Next, we pass through a beautiful forest to Kuldihar followed by an easy downhill walk to Bamboo. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 5 – Bamboo to Deurali (3230m/10,595ft): 3 – 4 hours
We pass through a bamboo forest which is damp and cold then ascend steadily with a few steep sections. It is only after reaching Himalaya Hotel that the forest opens up and we are out in the sun again with astounding views of the glacial river below. It is a steep climb up through a much drier forest before reaching Hinku Cave. From here we can see the trail drop closer to the river before climbing again to Deurali, the most scenic stretch of the day. The vegetation is sparser, allowing magical views of the valley, the river below, and the sheer rock-face cliffs above with bands of wispy waterfalls. Overnight in Deurali.
Day 6 – Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,545ft) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m/12135ft): 5- 6 hours
Climb gently through a river bed then over a steep trail over to the mountain side. The hike from Bagar to Machhapuchhre Base Camp is somewhat strenuous. From Machhapuchhre base camp we get excellent views of the majestic Machhapuchhre along with Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli and Gangapurna which is certainly a rewarding experience. The vegetation disappears on our way to ABC and the path widens as we enter the Annapurna sanctuary. From here, we get sensational views of the near-vertical south face of Annapurna towering above us. The sanctuary boasts of a dynamic view without anything impeding the 360-degree panorama. From the base camp we again get to savor mesmerizing views of the Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South , Annapurna I, Hiunchuli and other peaks. Overnight at Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 7 – Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo: 7 – 8 hours
From the Annapurna base camp we retrace our steps to Bamboo. Today’s trek is downhill, so it shouldn’t be very difficult. Besides, we will always have the company of the extraordinary landscape to cheer us up. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 8 – Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (1760m/5770 ft): 5 – 6 hours
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 resting for the night. Today we will have an opportunity to enjoy the hot springs which is just a 15-20 minute downhill walk from Jhinu Danda to soothe our aching body. Overnight in Jhinu Danda.
Day 9 – Trek to Naya Pul then drive to Pokhara: 6 hours trek, 1 hour drive
On our way to Naya Pul from Jhinu Danda, we get to enjoy the amazing hill landscape of western Nepal. We have lunch on the way. Our trek will end at Naya Pul where we board our vehicle to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
*If the road construction connecting Jhinu Danda to Naya Pul is complete, driving from Jhinu Danda to Pokhara could be another option.
Day 10 – Fly to Kathmandu
We fly to Kathmandu in the afternoon. After arriving in Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel. We enjoy the day leisurely or catch up on some last minute shopping or explore any landmarks we missed during our first day in Kathmandu. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 11 – Final Departure
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Himalayan Glacier representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Glacier inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.
Important documents and items
- Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
- Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
- Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
- Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler’s checks, etc.
- Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of Hiking shorts
- 1 pair of Hiking trousers
- 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
- Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
- 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
- Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
- 1 large duffel bag *
- A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
- Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
- 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
- Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
- 1 skin-blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
- Water purification tablets or water filter
- 1 set of earplugs
- Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
- 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
- 1 compass or GPS(optional)
- 1 alarm clock/watch
- 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
- large Ziplocs
- 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
- 1 small folding knife
- Binoculars (optional)
- 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks
- 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Female hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Reading book
- Trail map/guide book
- Journal and pen
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
- 1 modest swim suit
- Binoculars (optional)
- Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
- Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
- Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow