13 Days Annapurna Base Camp Trekking
The Annapurna base camp trek gives one the true feeling of trekking. It is indeed fantastic and adventurous for those people who love enjoying the natural flora and fauna with gorgeous snow-capped peaks. This trek has become a classic, where one can experience unparalleled mountain scenery and enormous glaciers, and gain insight into true Nepalese life and culture.
This trek starts and ends in Pokhara being a part of Annapurna Circuit or Jomsom / Muktinath trek. The Annapurna base camp is separated from Tatopani through Ghorepani and Tadapani by joining the main Sanctuary trail at Chhomrong.
The trek involves several ascents and descents but can vary in difficulty, as there are several alternative routes to the Sanctuary, all meeting at Chhomrong. The Annapurna base camp follows the Modi River and passes through welcoming forests of bamboo and rhododendron.
After reaching Hinko cave, we can notice that the vegetation has thinned and the gorge has narrowed to only a few hundred meters wide. Steep snow capped ridges tower from Himchuli on the left and Machhapuchhre on the right as one enters the Sanctuary. Passing through the gate and entering the sanctuary, we will witness this huge natural amphitheatre enclosed by walls of snow-capped peaks. This trek will ultimately end in Pokhara.
DAY 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,370metres)
Upon arrival at Tribhuwan Intl Airport in Kathmandu, a representative will be waiting, well in time, to welcome you to this land of the towering Himalayas. Once reaching your hotel in a car from the airport, all you need to do is check in and enjoy the refreshment served.
We then visit the local office for discussion on trekking, introduction to the guide and porter and settlement of dues if any. Since you often still have some time left for a walk around Thamel, you can do so if you please.
DAY 2: Kathmandu to Phokhara (820 metres)
We head off to Pokhara on a tourist bus early morning. On a highway carved along the foothills and along the banks of the famous Trishuli and Marshyndiriver, this almost 6-hour journey, with guaranteed two stops for breakfast and lunch comes to its final stop in Phokhara, the city of lakes.
Spend the night in a hotel here.
DAY 3: Phokhara to Ulleri (1,960 metres)
After breakfast, it’s time for an-hour-and-a-half drive to Nayapul, With Annapurna Range already in sight, the ride takes us through forests and villages that are typical along the highways in the hilly regions of Nepal.
Once in Nayapul, we start trek and walk for about two and a half hours, stopping at Sudame Village for lunch. A gradual and comfortable uphill with quite a few waterfalls that, more often than not, make many a travelers’ day, the trail finally leads to Sudame – terraced fields, lovely people, wandering domestic animals, well-fed street dogs. The place happens to be a small village with a dozen or so households and this is where we stop for lunch.
After lunch, we walk again for another two and a half hours to Ulleri. Continuing the gradual comfortable uphill for half an hour or so to Tikhedhunga Village and after crossing suspension bridges twice, the route, immediately changes to a steep painful uphill for the nexttwo hours on stone-paved paths towards Ulleri. On a clear day, Ulleri generously showcases the Himalayas in its proximity: the gradual blending of the massive Mt Annapurna South and an almost a replica, but smaller in size, Mt Hiunchuli.
Spend the night here.
DAY 4: Ulleri to Ghorepani (2,860 metres)
After breakfast, we walk all the way to Nangethanti. For about an hour and a half until Banthanti, this walk comes as an uphill, the one not so sharp. The landscape, with terraced farms on hills, highlighting the presence of human settlement in villages pretty close, keeps most traversing the land updated about different ways of life people choose.
There is some more to this, however. For anyone in motion, first Mt Annapurna South and Mt Hiunchuli appear then disappear behind the hills and, after a short while, Mt Machhapuchré (Fishtail) appears then the elevation too disappears from view before long. All the way through a dense rhododendron forest, we stop at Nangethanti for lunch.
After lunch, we continue through the forest on similar routes to Ghorepani. As one of the better equipped settlements to serve the tourist, with restaurants, cafes, pool houses and gift shops, Ghorepani, nestled in the middle of this forest, also offers a beautiful surrounding. In spring, the whole forest is in bloom with rhododendron flowers, mostly in red, some in pink and white sporadic. At around 4 in the afternoon, we head off for Poon Hill. This one and a quarter of an hour journey uphill comes as taxing for many.
Once atop Poon Hill, however, the sunset view, on a clear day, leaves none wanting for more: while the tops of the entire Annapurna Range glistens in shades of orange, the Dhaulagiri range opposite is more in the shadow and appears how it should in any normal dusk light. The walk back downhill from this vantage point takes most people around half an hour.
Spend the night in here.
DAY 5: Hike to Poon Hill (3,210 metres) and Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,630 metres)
Early morning and we walk to Poon Hill once again, but for a sunrise view this time around. The average period of one hour fifteen minutes spent on this vantage point in the early mornings presents everyone with a view that includes the glistening Dhaulagiri Range, the Annapurna Range opposite in shadow along with some incoming or outgoing Jomsom/Phokhharaaeroplanes flying past from a lower altitude.
Once back in Ghorepani and it’s time for breakfast. After breakfast, we start walking to Tadapani. With a sharp uphill for two hours still through a rhododendron forest, the trail continues with the Annapurna South, Mt Dhaulagiri as well as the Fishtail still in view. After about 2 hours’ traversing, the route arrives at a ridge. With the fading of rhododendron forest, the walk, on the ridge lasts for roughly half an hour on gentle ups and downs.
The next to follow is a two and a half hour downhill, through a forest once again, with a gorge sometimes to the left and at others to the right and sometimes along a stream that requires crossing wooden bridges at places. The next one and a half hour takes all travelers to Banthanti, a small settlement and our stopover for lunch. Lunch over and we walk the next half an hour further downhill until crossing a river. From here on, the climb is a sharp one all the way to Tadapani.
Spend the night in this settlement.
DAY 6: Tadapani to Sinuwa (2,360 metres)
After breakfast, we walk for 3 hours to Gurjung. The first two hours is a steep downhill the kind that makes most not-so-used-to-the-terrain legs go wobbling. The only relief for many seems to be the greenery around and the smiling porters carrying loads one would, perhaps, not believe if not for one’s first hand presence. The decline ceases only after crossing a suspension bridge placed over KimrungKhola, but a sharp uphill for half an hour is what follows. Finally, a gradual uphill for another half an hour or so brings everyone to Gurjung for lunch.
After lunch, we walk again for about 3 hours to Sinuwa. A sharp uphill leads the way for the first 30 minutes, followed by an almost flat path for the next 30 minutes to Chhomrong Village, a typical village found in the area and also a popular stopover for many tourists. A stop for tea or coffee or the popular Chhomrong pizzas and we get to see a closer view of Mt Annapurna South and Mt Hiunchuli right in front with Fishtail to the right front.
We start again, a steep downhill of around 40 minutes on stone stairs. Once crossing Chhomrong Khola, the route turns a steep uphill for 70 or 80 odd minutes. Sinuwa, a small settlement with 3 constructions as of January 2016, is in place with one purpose: to facilitate tourism. Weather willing, a sunset view of Mt Hiunchuli and Mt Fishtail is a welcome relief for almost everyone.
Spend the night here.
DAY 7: Sinuwa to Deurali (3,230 metres)
After breakfast, we walk for nearly 3 hours to Dovan. For about an hour, the trail presents a balanced combination of those flats, uphills and downhills. It then changes to a downhill, first gradual then sharp, all the way to Bamboo Village for roughly two hours. Most legs find the next one hour or so a comfortable uphill, which also happens to bring everyone to Dovan for lunch.
A small settlement with only a few constructions mainly to serve the trekkers, Dovan offers a lunch in the presence of the majestic Mt Machhapuchré (Fishtail) up close. After lunch, the walk now heads towards Deurali. The first 30 minutes is a gradual incline, followed by a 40-minute sharp uphill. The next 20 almost flattens out, mostly through parts of a forest, until Himalaya Hotel with two teahouses. From here on the route turns uphill, 20 minutes gradual, 40 minutes sharp, the gradual with the exception of a short 10 minute downhill. This landscape matches the one described just a while ago.
As our destination closes in, WATERFALL, a big waterfall. This is the Deurali Waterfall, which appears to have emerged right from Mt Hiunchuli. Deurali, surrounded by rocky elevations with only a small portion of the peak of Mt Machhapuchré on display, houses four stone-n-wood constructions for tourists.
Spend the night here.
DAY 8: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp/ABC (4,130 metres)
After breakfast, we walk for approximately two hours to Machhapuchré Base Camp (MBC). During this period, the vegetation sees a decline in trees, from dense to sparse, taken over by shrubs and grasses.
The route is first a one-hour gradual uphill and the next one a sharper uphill, with Mt Gangapurna appearing right from the initial stages out of Deurali and other mountains, namely Mt Glacier Dom and Mt Annapurna III, joining in from a little further up. A tea break at MBC leaves everyone facing the magnificence of Mt Machhapuchré and the Annapurna South from a different angle.
We start walking again after the break. After almost an hour up a sharp uphill, Annapurna I appears as soon as this uphill ends. The next hour eases off a little, less in sharpness than the one just before.
Once in ABC, people often find themselves facing Annapurna South slightly to the right of Mt BarahaShikhar; to the right of this, the gaint Annapurna I; further right, Tent Peak also known as Tharpuchuli; to one’s right-back from this position, Annapurna III; to the back, Machhapuchré; to the left-back, numerous nameless rocky structures; to the left, Mt Hiunchuli and to top all this, the stunning sunset view of Mt Machhapuchré.
On a clear night, especially, on a full moon positioned somewhere behind one of the peaks in the east, celestial bodies, including all those stars, appear closer and a lot more sparkling.
DAY 9: ABC to Bamboo Village (2,310 metres)
The morning of this first day of our journey back starts with an early sunrise view, especially, of the gradual lightening up of first only the top, then half of the peaks of the Annapurna South and Annapurna I to the West. After breakfast, we walk back and stop for a tea break in Deurali, then for lunch in Himalaya Hotel.
Today’s stopover for the night is the Bamboo Village.
DAY 10: Bamboo Village to JhinuDanda (1,780 metres)
After a stop in Sinuwa for tea and Chhomrong for lunch, a sharp downhill finally takes us all to JhinuDanda. After checking in and some rest, we walk downhill, for only about 10 minutes, to the hot springs on the bank of Modi River.
DAY 11: Jhinu Danda to Pokhara
After breakfast, we first walk for 3 hours to Siway. A sharp downhill for the first 20 minutes, followed by a sharp uphill for the next 20, the trail from here on comes with gradual ups and downs all the way. Some additional attractions for all traversing are those several waterfalls and wild bee hives on the way. After lunch in Siway, this final 2,5 hour is a ride on a public vehicle to Phokhara.
DAY 12: Phokhara to Kathmandu
We head off to Kathmandu on a tourist bus early morning. This almost six-hour journey passes through numerous important settlements with guaranteed two stops for breakfast and lunch. The bus ride finally comes to its stop in Kathmandu. Back in Kathmandu, you can spend the day as you may please since our arrival is in the afternoon.
In the evening, however, please allow us the pleasure of your company during the fare-well dinner organized by Vista Trek.
Spend the night in a hotel.
DAY 13: Departure from Nepal
If you have a morning flight, we leave for Tribhuwan Intl Airport early morning in a car arranged by the office. If your flight is in the late afternoon or evening, You decide your involvement or indulgence as you may please before leaving for Tribhuwan Intl Airport in the vehicle.