The Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Trekking Nepal’s Annapurna Base Camp trek, (also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary trek) is arguably the most intensely scenic trek in Nepal. From the Annapurna Base Camp the towering peaks of Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7273m), Annapurna Fang (7647m), and Machhapuchhare (6997m) bathed in snow set the scene as one of the most spectacular mountain settings in the Himalayas. En route to the base camp we visit Poon Hill for its world famous mountain panorama which includes three of the worlds highest mountain ranges: Manaslu, the Annapurnas and Dhauligiri. Whatever you forget – don’t forget the camera!
This is a tea house trek, basic but the best hospitality you will find anywhere!
COVID UPDATE – We’re really sorry, but until the whole world is a safer place, and there is far less uncertainty with overseas travel, we will not be running any overseas adventures. At the soonest, we anticipate running our treks again starting in October 2022.
Outline Itinerary – Annapurna Base Camp trek
Note: one or two extra nights in Kathmandu can easily be arranged upon request and will cost around £25 per person per night – and are well recommended!
Arrive in Kathmandu. You will be met at the airport and driven by private car to the Sacred Valley Home in Thamel. (If you to choose to arrive earlier than the itinerary dates, that is fine and we can still arrange your hotel accommodation and pick up accordingly).
We start early today, since we have a long drive ahead with a journey by private bus to Pokhara. The distance is not great, but the roads in Nepal are poor, and so the pace is slow. On the way though you will get a great chance to witness everyday Nepali life including a lunch stop at a roadside service station. (The food at these is superb!) Once in Pokhara, we settle in and complete our final pre-trek preparation.
The trek starts with a 2 hour drive to the trek’s road-head at Naya Pul. We meet our support team and commence the trek. The pace is easy as we allimitise to the trail and to trek life. En route to Ulleri we stop for a tea break and late lunch. Before we reach our destination there are the mandatory 3000 steps! (Whilst you climb these, just remember that by completing them today makes tomorrow so much easier). Arrive at the tea-house, settle in, maybe buy a beer and admire a sunset view of Annapurna 2! (4 to 5 hours of walking)
The second day of our trek is a relatively easy affair leading us to Ghorepani. Our route leads us through richly scented rhododendron forests and before you know it you’ll be settling into the evening’s tea house at our destination. If the weather looks like it might be clear this is a perfect opportunity to walk up to the hill top Poon Hill to experience a sunset panorama of the Himalayas.
|5||Day three is my personal favourite. It could begin with a dawn trek up to Poon Hill (if you didn’t trek up there the night before). The day’s walk continues through the Rhodendendron forests and for the morning follows the line of a ridge. Down to your right, through the trees you will glimpse views of from the previous two days. Over to your left you will keep stopping to snap pictures of the snow-capped Annapurnas. (You won’t be able to help yourself). Eventually we arrive in Tadapani. (5 to 6 hours of walking)|
|6||The fourth day of this trek is the toughest day, but with a bit of endeavour, this is perfectly manageable. We head down down down for a quick tea break before starting our long ascent for Chomrong where we stop for lunch. From the top of Chomrong we head back down down down, over a suspension bridge and then head up for Sinua. The day is long, but the walking and scenery are superb. Walking past fields of maize and wheat, children playing, fellow-trekkers and porters calling “Namaste” as they pass: it’s a full on techi-colour experience! The day’s end in Sinua is on the threshold of the next phase of scenery, for now you will be in the bamboo forest! (8 to 9 hours of walking)|
|7||Our walking today leads us through the bamboo offering us glimpses of the river down below and of the wonderful and majestic snow-capped Machapuchare (“Fishtail”) up above. It’s a steady day and eventually we emerge into the alpine tundra and Annapurna Sanctuary at Deurali. (6 to 7 hours of walking).|
|8||Today is a shorter day, and takes us to Machapuchare Base Camp (MBC) in time for lunch. We will quite possibly be trekking through the snow, depending on how severe the winter has been. The day has a very alpine feel, and whilst we will be well acclimitised by now, we will be taking it easy in this high altitude atmosphere. After lunch we will head up to the actual Annapurna Base Camp (which was demolished in a snow storm in 2018. If it has been rebuilt, we will make that our day’s final destination). (5 to 6 hours of walking)|
|9||We head back down through the bamboo forest, and down to the lodge at the aptly named, Bamboo. (6 to 7 hours of walking)|
|10||From Bamboo we make easy progress for lunch in Chomrong before heading down to Jinu Danda where we will spend the night. For those that want to experience the hot springs here, we will head down to the riverside and bathe in the naturally flowing hot waters pumping out from the earth below.|
|A short walk leads us down to the new bridge (at New Bridge!) This the last day, but it still offers new experiences, with more views of local life, farmers and their families working in the fields around us. From Naya Pul we head back to Pokhara and two nights in our hotel!|
|Day resting in the beautiful lake-side town of Pokhara.|
|Return bus to Kathmandu.|
A chance to have a final look around old Thamel before flying home.
Spring and autumn are the best times of year for a walking holiday in Nepal and certainly for the Annapurna Base Camp trek. In turn visibility should be great with some excellent sunrise views in particular. In spring, at the higher altitudes you can expect to walk within the snowline but in turn it can rain in the afternoons. Also you should note that spring is the season for the Rhododendrons – wonderful for all the senses! Autumn is typically dryer but without the snow and Rhododendrons: though there will be plenty of Marigolds.
The kit list specifically required for the Annapurna Base Camp trek will be sent to you once booking is received. But in the meantime consider buying some good walking boots and start wearing them in . . . now. No technical kit is required, though a good 3 season plus sleeping bag will be much appreciated at the higher altitudes.
Level of Fitness
The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a nine day trek taking us to 4130m. It does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience and neither does it require any technical skills. Experienced walkers and trekkers will manage this easily within their stride. Days will on average involve six hours walking time including a lot of height gain, though some may be shorter or longer according to weather conditions. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy yourself on the trek. If you don’t normally get out much it is never too soon to start. Exercise regularly each week to develop your cardiovascular system and stamina. At weekends, go and explore some countryside, maybe take a pack and do some camping. As a rule of thumb, if you can comfortably walk 10 miles (16km) in hilly countryside then you should be fine on this trip. Finally, take some tips from here to get trek fit!
All our trips involve a degree of ‘roughing it’. On trek, showers are available for example – but they won’t necessarily be hot. However, the facilities are generally good, and in our experience hygiene is of a high order in the tea houses in which we visit. Back in Kathmandu and Pokhara, the hotels we use are friendly, clean and comfortable and great places to relax, though not ostentatious.
Price (excluding flights) : £1195 (GBP)
Maximum number of places on this trip :
The number of places available on this trip is limited to a maximum of twelve (12) people.
Price includes :
- Qualified British mountain leader
- Local specialist guide
- Fully supported trek with porters
- All accommodation
- All in-country transport
- Meals on trek
- Park permits
- TIMS insurance for guide and porters
- Transfers from the airport to the hotel and back on the itinerary dates
Not included :
It will not cover your meals when not on trek, such as when you are in Kathmandu, nor will it cover any individual sightseeing undertaken. Other items not included: travel insurance, passports, visas, inoculations, excess baggage, tips, and items of personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs and laundry. Hot showers are sometimes extra when on trek. We recommend bringing another £20 per day to cover meals not provided and snacks etc. This should easily cover it.
Why book this trip with us?
It’s true that we’re not the cheapest to book with – but we do believe that we offer a great holiday at the best value. So why should you book this mountaineering adventure with us?
- Many of our competitors won’t send a British or western leader as standard – we do. Our teams are led by a western qualified mountain leader and expedition trained first aider/medic as well as a local Nepali guide. This is critical for a continual risk assessment, ensuring safety, medical support (more than just first aid) and quality control throughout your holiday. Quality control also extends to maintaining safe and fair working conditions for our porters.
- Our teams are small. Our competitors will tell you their teams are small too – but ours will not exceed 12 in number. In our experience a good team dynamic is lost when teams number more than 12.
- We don’t force a fast or slow pace. Because our teams are supported with two leaders and a team of porters who walk with us, individuals can go at their own pace – fast or slow. Many other teams will be kept together unnecessarily meaning faster walkers are frustrated and slower walkers are under pressure. We let you walk at the pace that is right for you.
- Our pricing is transparent. We make it clear here and now what you need to pay for this trek and what that includes – there are no extra “local payments” to cover feeding for example.
- We take care of our local staff. The guide and porters are insured when they work for us, we pay fair wages and we don’t allow our porters to be overly laden.
- And as if all that wasn’t enough to convince you that we’re the best – come and meet us free of charge on one of our Free Walking Weekends and then decide. And again – this is not something you’ll see offered by our competitors …
Be sure to reconfirm all flights prior to departure. Also, if you can stay a while longer – we’d well recommend it – there’s plenty more adventures to try- we can help you arrange:
- Sight-seeing in Kathmandu
- Sight seeing flights to Everest
- White water rafting
- A visit to the Royal Chitwan Safari Park
– you won’t regret an extra day or two spent in this fine region!
How about carbon offsetting your flight here? Climate Care allows you to offset your flight’s emissions by funding sustainable energy projects. From £3 for return flights to Morocco to £47 for flights to NZ – this trip needn’t cost the Earth. Thanks.
There are many travel insurers out there, and you are free to choose who you use for this trip. You must ensure that you are covered for trekking to 4700m and that your cover includes full repatriation. Two options that you might consider are:
- The BMC travel insurance
- Any standard travel insurance plus annual membership of the Austrian Alpine Club (which includes free rescue insurance)
Please refer to our booking conditions.
This trek is limited to a maximum of twelve (12) people. To gain a definite place a payment of UK£200 is required.
All payments should come with the following reference: NEPABC2020
This trek is limited to a maximum of twelve (12) people. To gain a definite place a payment of UK£200 is required.