The Annapurna Base Camp Trek goes through the heart of the Annapurna Sanctuary and provides three fantastic points from which to view the Himalayas - Poon Hill, Machhapuchhre Base Camp, and Annapurna Base Camp. You will have spectacular sightings of the icy peaks of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Barah Shikhar, and the rest of the Annapurna Mountain Range. At night, the crisp mountain air reveals stars that are scattered brightly across the celestial skies of the Himalayas.
The tremendous scenic diversity on this trek is also paralleled by its cultural diversity. You will pass through the Gurung, Thakali, and Magar communities, which each have their own unique cultures and customs.
This trek is well-suited to those looking for a strenuous adventure with fantastic rewards.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel, and welcome dinner (1350m)
When you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive early in the day, you can explore the city, rest in your hotel, or indulge in the tasty cuisines served up by the many appetising restaurants and cafes that cater to Western tastes. There is also a wonderful array of artisan shops selling everything from masala teas to luxurious pashminas to traditional Buddhist tankas (paintings that represent the images and stories of the Buddha).
Kathmandu is a chaotic yet charming city that can be an experience in itself. Many tourists become simply enthralled while wandering its labyrinthian streets and watching its unique city life unravel before them.
In the evening there is a group welcome dinner of traditional Nepalese food.
Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (915m): 7 hours
Pokhara is a lovely lakeside town that has an ideal climate and is the launching point for trekking in Annapurna. It has a slow and relaxed atmosphere, an abundance of tourist shops selling artisan products and trekking equipment and many delightful restaurants and cafes.
On route to Pokhara, you will stop for lunch and have the opportunity to try dahl baht - a Nepalese staple meal that consists of lentil soup, rice, pickled vegetables, and sometimes meat. Afterwards you can sip on a flavourful cup of Nepalese tea, which is milky, sweet, and slightly spicy.
Arrive in Pokhara around mid-afternoon, where you will have the option to go kayaking on the lake, take a yoga class, or just relax and explore the town.
Day 3: Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, then trek to Tikhedhunga (1577m): 5.5 hours
After a 1.5 hour drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, you will trek for four hours to Tikhedhunga. This trek is a short and relatively easy. It's a perfect opportunity to get used to the trekking days ahead.
Day 4: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2675m): 6 hours
The trail starts with a steep climb to Ulleri (2070m), a large Magar Village. From Ulleri, the trail ascends at a gentler pace through wonderful forests of oak & rhododendron towards Ghorepani, a large mountain village.
Day 5: Trek to Poon Hill, back to Ghorepani and on to Tadapani (2590m): 7.5 hours
Poon Hill is one of the highlights of this trip, so rise early with your torches in hand to trek up to 3232 meters to enjoy a magical sunrise over the Annapurna Mountain Range. From there you will see:
Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri (6940m), Varaha Shikhar (7847m), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna III (7855m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m), and the Lamjung Himal (6931m).
Breakfast will be served back at the teahouse, however hot tea and coffee are available at the top of Poon Hill, making for a lovely reward for such an early morning trek. At the top of Poon Hill, you will have the opportuniy to take many photos in the beautiful surroundings and appreciate the tranquil sunrise over the majestic mountains.
After breakfast, you will trek to Tatopani, which boasts natural hot springs for you to relax in(make sure you bring your swimming gear). After a few days of trekking you will certainly appreciate soaking your muscles in the warm Himalayan mineral water.
Day 6: Trek from Tadapani to Chomrong (2340m): 6 hours
The trail descends steeply to the Kimrong stream and through a rhododendron forest. You then trek to Chomrong, crossing through the village of Gurjung. Chomrong offers up-close views of Mount Annapurna South, Hiu Chuli and the Virgin Peak Fishtail.
Day 7: Trek from Chomrong to Dovan (2505m): 5 hours
The trail passes terraced villages and fields as you descend to the Chomrong Khola. After the bridge, it is mainly uphill through rhododendron forests to Dovan village surrounded by a bamboo forest.
Day 8: Trek from Dovan to Deurali (3100m): 4 hours
You will trek through the rhododendron and bamboo forests to Deurali. The last hour of trekking is on a rocky trail through forests that leads to the Hinku Cave. Afterwards the trail crosses a ravine and a major avalanche track just before reaching Deurali.
Day 9: Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m): 4 hours
The trek leads you into the heart of the Annapurna Sanctuary and through Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3900m), continuing to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m). You will be surrounded by mountains and spectacular views of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Barah Shikhar on every side.
Day 10: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Dovan (2505m): 5 hours
Retrace your steps back to Dovan.
Day 11: Trek from Dovan to Chomrong (2340m): 5.5 hours
Retrace your steps to Chomrong.
Day 12: Trek from Chomrong to Ghandrung (1940m): 5 hours
The trail is wide and you will pass through the potato and wheat fields of Taglung before beginning a gentle descent through the forests to Ghandruk Village.
Day 13: Trek from Ghandrung to Pothana (1900m): 6.5 hours
This long day of trekking is rewarded with stunning views of Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Annapurna South (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Fishtail (6997m), Annapurna III (7755m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m) and the Lamjung Himal (6930m).
Day 14: Trek from Pothana to Phedi (1113m), then drive back to Pokhara: 6 hours
You trek from Pothana to Dhampus Phedi for about four hours. From Phedi, you will be driven for approximately one hour to Pokhara, where you can relax, explore and enjoy in the diverse selection of excellent restaurants.
Day 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu: 7 hours
You will be travelling back to Kathmandu in the same way that you came. The afternoon is free for you to relax and explore the city, buy souvenirs from many artisan shops, visit the attractions, or indulge in the tasty cuisines served up by Kathmandu's many cafes and restaurants.
Day 16: Free day and fly home
What is included in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Airport transfers - collection and drop off
All accommodations - hotels in Kathmandu and teahouses in the mountains
Support staff - guide and porters
Rooms are based on 2 people sharing a twin room.
If you are a solo traveller you will be matched with another solo traveller of the same gender. In the tea houses in the mountains, occasionally the rooms are based on an occupancy of 3. This is determined by the tea house and the rooms available. If you prefer, a single's supplement can be paid so that you have your own hotel in Kathmandu.
What is not included in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Equipment such as a rucksack, boots and a sleeping bag.
When is the best time of the year to go?
There are 2 main trekking seasons in Nepal: October to November and March to May. However you can go all year round.
Flights from London to Kathmandu?
It is very important that you understand that the accommodation on the trek is very basic. Please expect to stay in a room similar to the one below.
Teahouses are basic clean guesthouses made from stone and wood, typically they have rooms that have two single beds with a shared bathroom outside the room. Below is a picture of a basic teahouse and depending on the village, you'll often stay in teahouse of a slightly better standard.
For more information on what to expect please see our article on teahouse accommodation
Fitness level and altitude
The altitude of 4130m and the trekking duration of 12 days make the Annapurna Base Camp Trek classified as strenuous difficulty. The trek ascends very gradually when compared to all of our long treks and you only spend 1 night above 4000m. You are therefore much less likely to suffer from any altitude sickness related symptoms than the Langtang, Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit.
We recommend that all trekkers exercise 2 to 3 times a week prior to the trek as the fitter you are, the easier it will be. A fit person, who can manage a long hard day's walk (6 -7 hours) on a trail that has steep inclines and declines and then do it again the day after, or strenuous exercise classes such as aerobics or spin three times a week, should be suitably fit for the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Spending time on the stair master or a steeply inclined running machine is also a very good form of pre-trekking training. It is not a problem if you are a slow trekker as we encourage people to trek at their own speed and we have plenty of breaks.
To combat the possibility of developing altitude sickness symptoms, our porters will be carrying your heavy items, we will have frequent breaks, and we recommend taking anti-altitude sickness tablets called Diamox or Acetazolamide (generic equivalent). Individuals worried about their physical capacity due to chronic illness or about taking Diamox should consult their doctor.
Temperature and sleeping bags on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
As the temperature gets as cold as -7 degree Celsius at night in high altitude, a season 3 or 4 sleeping bag is recommended.
Season 1 = +5 degrees Celsius
Season 2 = 0 degrees Celsius
Season 3= -5 degrees Celsius
Season 4 = -10 degrees Celsius
Season 5 = -15 degrees Celsius
Do not worry about the cold during the day. At the highest altitude, temperatures can get up to 13 degrees Celsius.
Go with your friends and receive a discount!
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Make the most of being in Nepal and see the world's largest mountain up-close. A small airplane will fly you from Kathmandu and will circle around Mount Everest for mind-blowing Himalayan views of snow-capped peaks and Mount Everest.
The flight lasts around 40 minutes and will depart early morning, giving you the afternoon to explore Kathmandu. An extra night's accommodation is included in the package.
Duration: 1 extra night
You will experience Nepal's tropical weather on your 3-day jungle safari. The highlights include riding an elephant and close-up views of the one-horned Asian rhinos of Nepal. If you're lucky you may even see a Royal Bengali Tiger.
Descend the Rapti river in a hand dug-out wooden canoe and wonder at the crocodiles, aquatic wildlife, and birds. Top it all off with a visit to the elephant breeding and conservation centre and learn about the efforts to stop poaching.
Duration: 3 extra days
The trek was wonderfully relaxing in that it allowed me time with my thoughts, while also remaining challenging enough to keep me interested and motivated. Although I'm fairly fit, climbing six mountains a day can be difficult, so resting and stretching periodically at the teahouses over a warm fire, nice conversation, and some lemon, honey, ginger tea was a big must. Plus, there's nothing like a big bucket of freshly heated river water to bathe your bones in after a few days. I think I probably got the most restful sleep of my life during most of those nights.
The mountains were also a great reprieve from the chaos of the capital and from the pressures of normal life as well. The trek boasted unique and breathtaking views of the lush mountain greenery I was longing to emerse myself in, and all the people we met along the way were all super friendly. Pokhara was also a really awesome little lake town with a manageable selection of shops and a nice variety of goods, restaurants, and things to do. I'd highly recommend this trek and Experience the Himalayas! Amanda P, USA
Approximately 70% of our customers are solo travellers and there are no single supplements. Our trips are very solo traveller friendly.
Rooms are based on 2 people sharing a twin room. If you are a solo traveller, you will be matched with another solo traveller of the same gender. In the teahouses that we use in the mountains, occasionally the rooms are based on an occupancy of 3. This is determined by the teahouse and the rooms available. If required, a singles supplement can be paid so that you have your own hotel in Kathmandu.
Is it safe for single women?
Nepal is safe for female solo travellers. The mountains are very safe and Kathmandu is safe for a large city. However please take precautions when out late at night, where possible you should not get into a taxi on your own.
Visa for Nepal?
What should I pack?
Which hotel do we use in Kathmandu?
In Kathmandu you will normally stay in the Nirvana Garden Hotel
in the Thamel area. The reasons that we use this hotel are:
a) It is located in central Thamel, which has many artisan shops, cafes, and restaurants.
b) It has a very large and peaceful garden.
What will I eat in the mountains?
For breakfast you have the option of porridge, fruit, omelettes, pancakes, toast with fried eggs, or tsampa (Tibetan porridge). For lunch and dinner you have the option of dahl batt (a tasty staple that consists of rice, a lentil soup, pickled vegetables, and curried potatoes), curried potatoes, pasta, spring rolls, lasagne, momo dumplings, or stir fry. It is not recommended to eat meat in the mountains.
Do I need adventure travel insurance?
It is important that you have adequate travel insurance that covers helicopter airlifts whilst trekking. The need for a helicopter is unlikely, but the mountains are remote and not accessible by car. It is essential that you get insurance for the altitude of your trek as some companies only cover treks to only 2000m or 4000m.
We recommend companies the following companies as they currently cover the altitudes of all our treks on their standard policies.
For more information please see Personal travel insurance
Weight limits for internal flights?
If you are flying internally in Nepal (Everest Trek and Annapurna Circuit) there is a 12kg weight limit per person and this is the total weight of both the hand luggage and the checked in luggage.
Can I drink the tap water?
Tap water is not safe to drink in the mountains. To help prevent contamination of the environment, we discourage tourists from drinking from plastic bottles especially when in the mountains. Non-plastic bottle options include:
1) Drinking boiled water from teahouses
2) Drinking ginger and lemon tea
3) Purifying tap/river water using a chloride pump, iodine, or chloride tablets. The taste of the tablets is not appetising, so it is recommendable to use a dissolvable vitamin tablet to add flavour
Toilets and showers
On your trek, your accommodation will have western toilets and you will have access to western toilets during the day. At the beginning of the trek the showers are okay but as you get further up the mountain the quality reduces. You will be able to have a shower everyday but at high altitude it will be very basic and may consist of warm water being poured into a make shift outdoor shower. The good news is that at high altitude you need to shower less as it is colder.
Health and vaccinations?
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