Annapurna Region Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek probably the simplest legendary and classical treks within the world offering you the most breathtaking Mountain Views along with the opportunity to experience the local Nepali life, local cuisines, people, and their way of living a traditional life in the Himalaya of Nepal. The Annapurna Base Camp route passes through spectacular and tranquil landscapes, beautiful Gurung and Magar villages, lush green Rhododendron, bamboo, and alpine forests, and finally to the trip’s major destination, Annapurna Base Camp at the peak of 4130m (13546ft.)
The trekking into the Annapurna region offers splendid views of the Great Himalayan ranges of Nepal such as Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Nilgiri (7,061m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Annapurna First (8,091m), Fishtail (6,997m), Mardi Himal (5,553m), and Manaslu ( 8,156m). Ghandruk is one of the major villages during the trekking expedition in the ABC trek. There's even a thermal spring on the way back while coming back from the bottom Camp.
Travelers' accommodation and transportation during the ABC trek are handled by the respective Travel Company if you prefer to go through the various travel agencies available while you can still manage everything on your own throughout the whole trekking which might be a little challenging as well as cheaper too. There are numerous guest houses with the best service available but make sure to do proper research and prior contacts with the homeowners of the tea-houses regarding your arrival. You don’t have to worry about a single thing if you travel through an agency. Everything will be pre-arranged and that’s the advantage of traveling with a travel company in Nepal. Spring (Mar-May) and Fall (Sep-Nov) seasons are the best time to trek Annapurna Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit.
Moreover, the cost of the Annapurna Base Camp trek is additionally considered one of the simplest value-for-money circuit treks in Nepal.
A representative from your associated travel company will come to pick you up at the airport. After that, they'll be taking you to your hotel. You'll have a short briefing session where you can feel free to ask any question you might have regarding the trek. If you want to explore the city, they might as well take you to the walk around the streets of Thamel and it's even possible to do some last-minute shopping. There are no further activities for the day so you might as well check into the hotel or even go clubbing.
Before heading to the Himalayas you must be familiar with quite a few things. Guidance and research for the trek are mandatory for everyone. You will be dealing with a strange experience but finally, with some groundwork, you can deal with it. You should be cautious with your bag pack. Carrying needless equipment will make your journey difficult. We will grasp up on some final shopping if there is free time. You will get the opportunity to explore Boudhanath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, and Swayambhunath Stupa. They have been scheduled in the UNESCO world heritage sites. These sites display the full range of historic and artistic achievements. Kathmandu Valley is world-famous for such beauty. Overnight stay will be at this city.
The next day you'll be heading to Pokhara. There are two options regarding your travel to Pokhara; by air travel or by luxury bus. A flight would take around 25 minutes to reach whereas driving to Pokhara might take around 7 hours. It depends on how you want to travel. Whether you want to enjoy the scenic highway drive of Nepal or a short scenic flight and enjoy the rest of the day chilling or exploring Pokhara. If you drive by bus, you could observe local markets, the lifestyle of people, waterfalls, rivers forests, etc. Similarly, a flight will show you scenic views of snow-covered mountains.
The trail starts at the bottom of the river valley and passes alongside the Modi river and rice terraces. After 2 hrs of the walk, you’ll reach the base of Syauli Bazaar, from where a slightly tough part of the hike starts. Following the man-made stone trail for 2353 steps from Syauli bazaar, you’ll reach Kimche, from where you still have to walk 4252 steps to reach Ghandruk. Further walking 2 hrs, you’ll reach the gate of Ghandruk, a large & prosperous Gurung village, beautifully set against the backdrop of Annapurna South (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), and Mount Machhapuchhre (6993m).
The next day, you will trek from Ghandruk to Chhomrong (2170m). It is a 5-6 hours of walk. The trail from Ghandruk to Komrong Danda is slowly uphill from where you will trek down to Komrong Khola. Then, finally, climb up to Chhomrong, Chhomrong is another beautiful and big Gurung village where you’ll be accommodating for that day.
Then, you’ll again begin your trek with a series of ascents and descents on the stone steps. The tip of the Fishtail (Machhapuchhre) mountain will keep you motivated throughout the trail. The trail ahead crosses through the dense forests of oak, rhododendron, and cedar trees. You’ll then a stopover at some lodge in Sinuwa for a quick tea break, and finally, continue hiking towards Bamboo where you’ll be spending your night.
You will stopover at Dovan for a quick tea break on your way to Deurali. The location of Dovan on the upper edge of the deep gorge has been well utilized for a micro hydropower plant. Another steep ascent will get you to a beautiful location called Himalaya, where you’ll be having your lunch. Then, you’ll climb the endless stone steps towards Deurali. On your way to Deurali, you will walk past a huge rock formation called Hinku cave. Then you will be following the trail with a gradual ascent along the river Modi Khola and finally arrive at Deurali.
You will trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp on this day. Annapurna Base Camp is located at 4130m. It takes a 5-6 hours walk. The trail is all the way uphill. When you arrive at Machhapuchhre Base Camp, you will again have the majestic view of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gandharva Chuli, Glacier Dom, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, etc. You will continue to Annapurna Base Camp and stay overnight at Lodge there. If the weather stays clear, you will get to experience a beautiful sunset from here.
You will wake up early in the morning to see the spectacular view of Annapurna I, Barahi Shikhar, Tent Peak, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gandharva Chuli, and sunrise. After that, you will have breakfast and start your trek from ABC to Bamboo via Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Deurali, Himalaya, Dovan, and Bamboo, all the way down which is located at 2340 m. It takes 6-7 hours of walk and then overnight stay at Lodge.
After breakfast, you will start your trekking day from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda via Sinuwa and Chhomrong Village. Jhinu is located at 1690m elevation. It takes 4-5 hours to walk. The trial is up and downhill. In the afternoon, you can enjoy the Natural Hot Spring and spend overnight at Lodge.
After having breakfast, you will be trekking back to Nayapul, the place from where the trek began. It will also be the last walk of this trekking journey. After walking for about 3-4 hours, you’ll reach Nayapul from where you'll drive back to Pokhara. You can spend the evening in the lakeside Pokhara and enjoy its nightlife as you head back to Kathmandu the next day.
You'll then return back to Kathmandu via the mode of transportation of your choice (i.e. by air flight or by drive) and finally back to your hotel. After resting for a bit, your travel company will also be organizing a dinner party for their fellow guests where you'll be taken to a traditional Nepalese cuisine restaurant.
Finally, on the 13th day, your travel journey will now come to an end and your guide will take you to the Tribhuvan International Airport 2 hours prior to your flight time.
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1. Best Time To Travel
Spring from March to May and autumn from mid-September to November are considered to be the best seasons to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. The weather is dry and clear during these times making it ideal for trekking and enjoying majestic views of mountains. The days are mild while the nights are chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons and the trails get crowded and busy.
You can also go for a monsoon or winter trek if you want to avoid the crowds when you can even enjoy some off-season discounts at teahouses which remain mostly empty during these times. But you should be aware of some discomforts (rain, snow, and extreme cold) if you take to the trail at these times.
2. Entry Permits & Requirements
The permits you need for Annapurna Base Camp Trek includes:
You can obtain both Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit and TIMS Card from the Nepal Tourism Board’s Office in Kathmandu or Tourist Information Centre in Pokhara.
To get these permits, you will need to provide the listed documents and information:
3. Altitude Sickness
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness may begin once you reach 1500-2000 meters and upwards. If you gain a sudden height rapidly without letting your body adapt to the thin oxygen at higher altitudes, you are most likely to suffer from Altitude Sickness. But if you plan for acclimatization days to your itinerary, you are good to go.
Acclimatization days are included in your trip to avoid Altitude Sickness. The sickness is common at high altitudes. Please remember that altitude sickness is a topic to be taken very seriously. Here are a few extra prevention tips:
4. Safety and security
You can have Travel Insurance while trekking which is the safest measure. However, there are some measures following which you can implement to ensure safety:
5. Trekking essentials
People, often you don’t need a lot of complicated gear and equipment for an Annapurna adventure. Here’s a basic checklist of the most essential items that you should not forget to take with you during your Annapurna Base Camp Trek:
6. Walking hours
On average, walking hours per day is 5-6 hours below 3,000m. For altitudes higher than 3,000m, the average walking time is 3-5 hours per day. The walking hours may vary according to conditions but do not exceeds 6 hours mark per day.
7. Hiring a Guide
Do good research before hiring a guide. However, if you plan your trip via travel agency, an experienced guide will be provided for a group of 1-5. A group consisting of 6-12 individuals will be provided with 2 professional guides. Moreover, the package might also include a porter for every 2 individuals.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek via Ghandruk in Nepal is a moderate level trek that requires some level of experience. Our professional travel experts suggest that it is mandatory to attend a short training before beginning the trip. While the trek is still possible for those with no experience at all, a brief warm-up trek would definitely help.
The best time is during the pre-monsoon months of March through May. It is also favorable after post-monsoon. This starts from late September till December. However, it is also possible to trek in February and early September.
During the trek to Annapurna Base Camp via Ghandruk you can expect 5-7 hours of trekking per day, a scenic tour of Pokhara, and the beautiful Fewa Lake, Ghandruk village, Chhomrong Village, Annapurna Base Camp, and natural hot spring at Jhinu.
The food is generally traditional Nepali lunch which is Dal (Lentil Soup), Bhat (Boiled Rice), Tarkari (Veggies), and Achar (Pickle).
For the accommodation, there are especially Hotels & Lodges, Tea houses, and Camping facilities. However, due to easy accessibility of hotels & lodges throughout the trial, camping is usually avoided during the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal.
If you have booked a package with a travel agency, you won’t be spending much as accommodation and 3 meals are already included in your trip price. You may have to personally pay for items like beverages and drinks, extra snacks, hot showers, electronic device charging, wifi, etc. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per day will suffice.