Nepal Annapurna Base Camp
One of the classic treks in Nepal offering you the best of Nepali mountain landscapes: high peaks, alpine pastures, dense forests, terraced fields and rural villages. In Annapurna Sanctuary (4120m) you literally stand face to face with peaks of more than 8000m.
Price: as from € 1250 depending on group size and type of accommodation
A trek to Annapurna Base Camp or Annapurna Sanctuary still is one of the best treks you can make in Nepal. Depending on your physical condition it will take about 10 – 12 days to reach this natural arena where you will be surrounded by stunning peaks of 8000m high.
On the way to Base Camp you pass through the whole range of Nepali landscapes: pine forests, terraced fields, dense bamboo forest, glacial moraines and high alpine pastures. It offers outstanding mountain views, but you also have enough time to meet the Nepali people in their villages.
Although from Chomrong there is only one trail leading up to the Sanctuary, we normally make some small variations on the walk to Chomrong and even include the famous Poon Hill.
From Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek starts near Pokhara, the second town of Nepal. It takes about an hour’s drive to the roadhead at Nayapul where you will leave the paved road. Via Ghorepani, Poon Hill and Tadapani, you will finally reach Chomrong, the gateway to Base Camp. Well acclimatised you start the climb to the Sanctuary through small hamlets like Dovan and Deurali untill you reach Machapuchare Base Camp at 3800m. The next day it only takes a couple of hours to reach ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) where you spent the night under a canopy of stars and with views on Annapurna South, Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli and Gangapurna.
On the way back you take a different trail from Chomrong bringing you to the large Gurung villages of Ghandruk and Landruk and ending finally near Dhampus where a steep descent bring you down to the roadhead in Phedi.
During this trek you sleep in (basic) lodges with shared facilities. Dormitories are no longer used, so it is perfectly possible to sleep in twinrooms during the trek, giving you a bit of privacy. Meals are served in a communal dining hall, most of the time with a table heater.
This Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be easily extended with some relaxing days in Pokhara or a visit to Chitwan National Park on the way back to Kathmandu.
You can also extend this trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp. Contact us for a tailormade offer.
This is a sample itinerary that can be easily adapted to your wishes and suggestions. For those with limited time shorter versions of this trek are also available.
Day 1: Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu International Airport where you will be met by our representative. He will bring you to your designated hotel in the center of Kathmandu. Depending on the time of arrival one of our guides will take you for a citywalk or even up to the monkey temple of Swayambunath. In the evening you have a welcome diner with our local crew.
Day 2: Kathmandu
Although Kathmandu has a growing population and is sometimes very polluted, it still remains a nice place to spend a couple of days visiting some of the cultural highlights.
A local guide will take you first to Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu-temple of Nepal. Entering the inner timple is not allowed to non-hindus, but from the opposite side of the river you will have a good view on the whole temple site. Pashupatinath is famous for the cremation ‘ghats’ where every day corpses are cremated. You can witness these open air cremations ceremonies from the riverside.
Your next stop throws you back in ancient Tibetan times. The giant stupa of Bodnath is one of the iconic images of Nepal. Buddhist pilgrims from all over the subcontinent come to Bodnath to make a kora (ritual circumnavigation) while making their prayers. The streets around the stupa are full of monasteries and Tibetan shops. It is a nice place to have lunch on one of the rooftop terraces and see the Tibetan community in their daily life.
After lunch you go for a visit of the central area of Old Kathmandu with the famous Durbar Square and you can walk back through the bustling medieval shopping streets to your hotel.
Day 3: Pokhara
Make sure you can sit on the right side of the plane, on a short 45 minute flight to Pokhara. If weather permits you will have good views on the snowcapped peaks of Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal.
Pokhara is the 2nd town of Nepal. This easygoing town is the main base for treks in the Annapurna. Most travellers stay near the Fewa Lake where lots of hotels, bars, restaurants and shops have come up. Because it is lower than Kathmandu and definitely less polluted, it is a nice place to spend some time before or after a trek.
From the lakeside you already have good views on the peaks of the Annapurna-range. The views are even better if you take a boat and go to the opposite side of the lake. Here you can even walk up a hill to the Peace Pagoda for the best views.
Day 4 : Trek to Ulleri
A private transfer brings you and your guide to the roadhead at Nayapul. After crossing a bridge, you leave the paved road and start your trek to the hamlet of Bhiretanti and further to Thirkedunga. The day ends with a steep climb over thousands of stairs to Ulleri (1980m, 4 to 5 hours)
Day 5: Trek to Ghorepani
It will take 4 – 5 hours to reach Ghorepani, your stop for today. The trail goes up and down with steep stairs now and then. You pass through terraced fields and thick forests and of course also through some interesting villages. In the afternoon you reach Lower Ghorepani, but the best places to stay are a bit higher up in Upper Ghorepani (2750m). Ghorepani litteraly means ‘horsewater’ as it was once an important stop for traders on their way from Tibet and Mustang.
Day 6: Poon Hill and trek to Tadapani
Before sunrise you walk up to Poon Hill (3200m), one of most famous viewpoints in the Annapurna’s. It takes about 1 hour to reach the top and it can be freezing cold. Once you reach there, however, you will be granted a spectacular sunrise with views on Annapurna I (8091m), Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Annapurna South (7219m) Fishtail mountain (6993m) and dense rhododendronforests beneath you.
After breakfast in the lodge in Ghorepani, you start the day with another small climb up to a ridge at 3200m the trail continues past Deorali and Gurung Hill. Almost the whole day you will have inspiring views on the mountains, so have your camera ready.
A last climb through the forest brings you to Tadapani, a small cluster of lodges on a ridge with views on the Annapurna’s. (5 hours walk, 2710m)
Day 7: Trek to Chomrong
Leaving Tadapani you descend through fairy tale forests to a small river. Once this river is crossed a long climb follows which finally brings you in Upper Chomrong, a very popular place to stay with several lodges. This is the gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary and you already have close views on Annapurna South and Machapuchare (Fisthail Mountain) (6 hours walk, 2200m)
Day 8: Trek to Doban
It takes about 2500 stone steps to go down from Upper Chomrong to the suspension bridge over the Chomrong Khola (1860m). Via the small hamlet of Tilche and through bamboo and rhododendron forests you climb up to Sinuwa (2340m). Another hour brings you to Kuldi (2470m) in the upper Modi Khola valley. You can already see Doban, your overnight spot at 2500m, but it will take a slippery descent to Bamboo (2310m) and a steady climb of 45 minutes to reach there (4 hours walk)
Day 9: Trek to Machapuchare Base Camp
You gradually climb further to Himalayan Hotel (2840m) and Hinku Cave. The scenery is getting more and more barren with old moraines and remnants of former avalanches. Snow is possible from this part of the trek on. After Deorali the valley becomes less steep until you reach Machapuchare Base Camp at 3800m. (4 hours walk)
Day 10: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC, 4120m)
It only takes about 2 hours to reach Annapurna Base Camp, but remember you are walking on more the 4000m, so just go slow and admire the scenery.
Once in the Sanctuary you will have plenty of time to relax with a beautifull 360° view on the Annapurna range.
Day 11: Trek to Himalayan Hotel
After an early sunrise you descend back to Himalayan Hotel (2840m).
Day 12: Trek to Chomrong
You retrace to Doban and descend even more to the suspension bridge at the Chomrong Khola. Now it is time for a last climb of about 500m, all the way up to Upper Chomrong.
Day 13: Trek to Ghandruk
A short day of about 3-4 hours brings you down to the largest village of the area: Ghandruk. The village is spread out along a hillside and has some of the impressive views on the Modi Khola valley and on Annapurna South and Fishtail. It is a good place to spent the afternoon wandering around in the small alleys and visiting the small Annapurna Conservation Area Museum.
Day 14: Trek to Tolka
If you have limited time you can walk down to Nayapul and go straight to Pokhara.
This option however gives you some more time in the mountains, offering you a leisurely ‘walkout’.
From Ghandruk you descend steep down to the bridge over the Modi Khola, followed by a long climb through terraced fields to the prosperous village of Landrung. Along a jeeptrack you continue to Tolka (1790m) (4 hours walk).
Day 15: Trek to Dhampus and Phedi – Pokhara
The last trekking day takes you to a small pass at Deorali (2510m) from where the trail descends to Dhampus, that you normally reach for lunch. A steep post-lunch descent to Phedi brings you back at the road where your driver will be waiting to bring you back to Pokhara.
Day 16: Relax day in Pokhara
Pokhara is the best place to unwind after a trekking, but if you still have energy you can go paragliding (tandemflights) with views on the Himalayas, take an ultralight flight over Pokhara valley. Most travellers however stick to a cold beer at one of the many lakeside terraces.
Day 17: Back to Kathmandu
Drive back to Kathmandu by private car. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 18: Airport
Depending on your flight schedule your guide will bring you to the airport in time.
This 18-day itinerary can be easily adapted to your wishes and suggestions. Contact us for a tailormade offer.
Visa and formalities Nepal
For entering Nepal you need a valid pasport and a visum.
Visa can be easily obtained in Thribuvan Airport Kathmandu upon arrival. You just need 1 pasportsize picture, 1 visaform and some cash. Visa come for 15 days or 30 days.
Best Travel Period for Nepal
The best season for trekking and travelling in Nepal is from October to May*, depending of course of the altitude you’re on. For lower treks in the foothills of the Annapurna and in the Kathmandu-valley you can easily come for a Christmas holiday e.g. without having too cold. Higher up in the mountains the months of December to February can be really cold with temperatures dropping under -10°C -15°C at night.
October – November is the ‘classic’ main season for travelling in Nepal and on most trails you’re likely to meet other groups and people from different nationalities. The weather is fairly good with blue skies, lots of sun and mild temperatures. Normally you also get good views of the mountains.
Although winter really starts in December, it is a pleasant month to travel around in Nepal. In recent years the temperatures didn’t drop too low and there are less tourists than in October.
March and April are also very nice months for trekking and travelling in Nepal. Temperatures are rising, people are working on the fields planting new crops, nature is awakening after a long winter.
Some areas in Nepal like Dolpo and Mustang who are behind the main Himalayan range have a different season: they can be visited best between May and October.
What to bring to Nepal ?
For most of the classic trekkings and trips in Nepal you do not need any special equipment.
When you book a trip with us we provide you with an specific equipment list for your tour.
If you go on a cultural tour or only go for dayhikes in the lower hills, you can just wear light normal clothing as you would wear for a dayhike at home.
Following items however are essential if you go trekking in the mountains.
- Good sturdy walking boots, preferably waterproof
- Trekking trousers
- Warm Fleece and windstopper
- Thermal underwear for chilly nights and cold days
- Sleeping bag ( type depending on the type of trek – can be rented)
- Gloves /scarf / hat
- Daypack (40-50 liters)
- Sunglasses and sunscreen lotion
- Torch or headtorch
What’s included in your Nepal trip ?
As we work completely on a tailormade basis, we can offer you the full package or a basic trip with lots of personal freedom.
As most travellers however don’t have the time to organise everything themselves, most of our clients go for a full package.
All our Nepaltrips normally include:
- All airporttransfers in Kathmandu (international or domestic)
- Meet and greet by our local partners
- Welcome diner in Kathmandu
- Hotelnights with breakfast (as per your program)
- All transportation in a private vehicle with experienced driver
- Domestic flights (if in the program)
- Local cultural guide for sightseeing
- Full board (3 meals a day) while on trekking
- All necessary paperwork: TIMS, trekkingpermits, parktaxes
- Local trekking guide and enough porters for the luggage
- Insurance for guides and porters
- All necessary taxes
- 24/7 assistance of our local partner in Nepal
Annapurna Base Camp trek is a perfect trek for hikers who are in good shape and want to get very close to the high peaks. Physically the trek is not really demanding as you climb gradually to a height of 4200m. However to fully enjoy the trek it is best to get some exercise before you come to Nepal.
In this sample itinerary we make a loop to Poon Hill before walking up to Base Camp. If you have limited time however shorter alternatives are possible.
Accommodation during the trek
During this trek you sleep in simple and basic lodges, mostly with shared facilities. We normally use small twinbedded rooms, but in peak season and on places where accommodation is limited it might be necessary to share a room with other travellers.
Part of the trip can be upgraded to more luxury lodges.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara the whole range of accommodation is available from luxury boutique hotels to standard hotels and guesthouses.