The Complete Guide for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Trekking is another renowned and classical trekking for travel enthusiasts. It’s undoubtedly one of the best high altitude trekking trails for the beginners as well.

Nepal is the homeland of the tallest mountains including eights of the world’s highest mountain in the world,  Annapurna massif (Annapurna I - 8,091m):- the most dangerous mountain to climb in the world. Annapurna is a massif that includes six different peaks to form one massif, they are Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna II (7,937m), Annapurna III (7,555m), Annapurna IV (7,525m), Gangapurna (7,455m), and Annapurna South (7,219m). This massif is protected and conserved by the largest conservation area of Nepal - The Annapurna Conservation Area with 7629sq.km. Machhapuchhre is another iconic mountain in Annapurna massif which lies in the southern part of the Annapurna. 

The complete Annapurna trek takes you to its base camp, a beautiful viewpoint Poonhill, and numerous beautiful destinations. It provides a wide landscape, terraced lands, lush rhododendron forests, deep rivers, and stunning mountain ranges. Annapurna region has the dense settlement of Gurung and Magar ethnic groups. Name Annapurna, derives from the name of the Hindu goddess which means full of grains or food providers.

Trekking Summary

  • Maximum Elevation: 4,130m, Annapurna Base Camp 
  • Trekking Grade: Easy to Moderate 
  • Duration: 12 days 
  • Best season for trekking: March to May/ Sept to Dec 
  • Food & Accommodation: Twin-sharing/Bed and Breakfast in standard hotel or guesthouse (There is also the option of Luxury accommodation with BLD Plan)
  • Transportation: Kathmandu- Pokhara- Kathmandu luxury tourist vehicle or Flight (For the flight, additional charges are applied), and Pokhara-Nayapul-Pokhara Jeep Transport
  • Permit & Entrance: TIMS, Annapurna Conservation Area Project Fees, and any other permission fees related to trekking but the Entrance fees for Heritage sites and during city tour are not included
  • Total trekking distance: 115km

Major Highlights of ABC Trekking

  • The most famous tourist city of Nepal - Pokhara is the entry point of this trekking trail. 
  • Stunning view of Annapurna Massif, Machhapuchre, Himchuli, Dhaulagiri, and numerous other beautiful mountains. 
  • Trekking across huge no of waterfalls, dense rhododendron forest, bamboo forest, and full of natural glory. 
  •  Diverse flora and fauna across the trail at different altitudes. 
  • A hub of an ethnic group and their culture, tradition, lifestyle, and practices especially Gurung and Magar. 
  • Traditional architecture, local houses, ancient correspondence, and local authentic environment. 
  • Poonhill a beautiful panoramic viewpoint for the mountains and sunrise. 
  • The incredible diversity of landscapes of both high mountains and low hill in one complete trekking. Mostly rare in the world. 
  • Availability of numerous guest houses, lodges, tea houses, and small hotels from the beginning to the ending of the trekking. Since the whole route is inhabited by the people. 
  • Famous hot spring in Jhinu Danda, a perfect place to relax your tired body after the trek

Food & Accommodation

Foods and proper accommodations are vital parts of any kind of trekking. This trekking route is inhabited by the people. So, foods and accommodations are easily available in almost every day as compared to other trekking trails in Nepal. Normally guesthouses and tea houses provide comfortable accommodations services and quality foods. As per your budget, you can select the fancy and normal foods and accommodations in the Annapurna Region.

During trekking, meals will be served as per the lodges and guesthouses menu. Most of the places, you can get almost all the varieties of local foods, continental and international taste. Both veg and non-veg meals are easily available around the trip. The standard package includes normally Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Normally breakfast includes eggs items, toast items, pancakes, oats, porridge, muesli, and tea/coffee. Good breakfast fuels up your body for the whole day trek. 

Lunch camps are easily available on the way and they serve noodle items, dumplings, traditional Nepal meal set, pasta, pizza, sandwich, spaghetti, and Thukpa soup. Trekkers usually take lunch between 12 pm to 1 pm. 

During dinner, there is the availability of soup items, vegetable items, salad, and hot items especially, which helps to keep your body warm and hydrated as well. Some people take a beer at lower altitudes as well.

Accommodations in Annapurna regions are normal and there are enough lodges and guesthouses on the way. But, during the prime trekking season, if you are doing solo trekking, sometimes it might be harder to get the rooms. The rooms have limited facilities and furniture as compared to the room of the normal city area. Some lodges provide the attached bathroom but normally there will be common bathrooms during the entire trekking. 

The rooms are mostly twin-sharing and cheaper (normally 3-7$) per night in a normal guesthouse and lodges. If you want to experience the luxury and fancy accommodations, the options are mostly available in Ghandruk and Ghorepani. AC and heater facilities are not available, so bring your sleeping bag. Normal guest houses and lodges have large sharing dining and in the middle, there is always a typical heater to make the room warm. So, you can take dinner and chat with other trekkers as well as you can play pokers as well.

The Internet and electricity facilities are normally available almost all day. Laundry services are available. The hot shower is available in all the lodges but you need to pay extra ( 5-7$) for it. You can buy trekking gear and other normal stuff in Pokhara, Ghandruk, and Ghorepani. Drinking water is available in all the lodges and guesthouses.

We suggest bringing some protein bars, nuts, candy, and chocolates, which provides additional energy while trekking. As the altitude gets higher, the price of the menu also gets limited and expensive.

Flight & Transportation

Nayapool is the normal starting point of Annapurna Base Camp trekking. From Kathmandu to Pokhara, the flight company charge 120$ which takes 30min flight. There is an option of the Luxury Tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which costs around 15$. It takes a 7-8hr long drive from Kathmandu. From Pokhara to Nayapool, you can get a local bus as well as you can book private cars/jeep as well. It takes a 2hr drive from Pokhara. The local bus may take 3hr to reach in Nayapool.

Permit & Entrance Fee

Government and local bodies charge some fee for the development, safety, and security of this conservation area. Since Annapurna base camp lies inside the Annapurna conservation region, both solo and group trekkers require to collect the individual permit ACAP permit. ACAP permit costs Rs 3,000 ( 26$) for the foreigners and Rs 200/- for the SAARC nationals. 

There is another entry permit card, which is a TIMS card ( Trekkers Information Management System). Nepal Tourism Board and TAN office Pokhara both provide this card to the trekkers. You can collect from anywhere with a copy of your passport and two pp size photographs. It required Rs 2,000 (20$) for the TIMS card.

Trekking Grade

Annapurna Base Camp trekking is considered as the easy to moderately high altitude trekking trail in Nepal. This trail is even more famous for the domestic trekkers as well. You will find a similar number of Nepalese as foreigners on the way while trekking.

High altitude sickness is rare since the maximum elevation that you should climb is 4,130m, which is the base camp itself. All you need is a good health condition, stamina, and can walk 6-8hr daily as per the requirement. This trail is famous for the trekking beginners for the pleasant experience and tons of knowledge about trekking without too much hard work. This trail is quite easy for experienced trekkers.

Best time to trek in Annapurna Region & ABC

Nepal has six seasons: Spring, Summer, Monsoon, Autumn, Late Autumn or pre-winter, and Winter. Among all this season Spring (March-May) & Autumn(Sept-Nov) are the most suitable seasons for trekking all around in Nepal. 

As like above, Autumn & Spring season is the best season for the Annapurna Region trek because the weather conditions are much suitable for trekking. The sky is usually clean and clear and the views of the mountains are so visible. Summer and winter are not the ideal time for trekking but at your own risk, you can travel anytime all around the year. 

During monsoon, the trail is normally wet, muddy, slippery and a difficult pathway with the constant rainfall. The views of mountains and landscapes are less fair as compared to autumn and spring. But if you try to trek during monsoon, then it's full of glory, gloomy, mischievous sky, different shapes of clouds on big mountains, green forest, rivers, and many waterfalls on the way. This trekking could be the new and adventurous experience for the trekkers. The crowd becomes fewer and hotels and lodges are easily available as well. 

Guides & Porters

Trekking in the Mountain regions is not easy at all. But with the help of experienced team members, proper food and drinks, rest and acclimatization can take you to the world’s most famous trekking route. If you are booking your trip through the local travel agency, then they will arrange guides and porters for you. Guides provide you the information on the whole trek, safety measures, arrange your food and accommodations and make sure your permits and all the flight tickets. Porter helps you to carry your luggage normally. 

Guides are normally trained and well experienced with good speaking English. You can check before you depart to Pokhara. Normally, if you are booking a trip through the local agency, you get a chance to meet your guide in Kathmandu and he/she will start guiding from day one.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that, at the end of the trekking, the guide and porter expect good tips from you. These people are hardworking and they put all the efforts to take you and your staff to your dream destinations in an extreme mountain environment.

Travel Insurance

When we are traveling in highly adventurous and risky places, we don't think much about what's wrong might happen to us. Trekking and hiking at high altitude in very remote mountain regions can bring real risks. So, insurance is very important on any high mountain treks and hikes. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is common for beginners and who don’t travel to mountains frequently. In high altitudes, road transportation is not available. So, any kind of serious illness and difficulties can be rescued through a helicopter.

Every insurance company doesn't provide high altitude insurance security. So, make sure if you ate trekking in the Annapurna region then you must have insurance that covers up to 5,000m altitude in the Annapurna Base Camp area and if you are trekking in Annapurna Sanctuary, it requires at least up to 6,000m.

For more details you can visit our insurance policies description: 

Altitude Sickness & Measures

Acute sickness is not a regular condition if it occurs when the body is not able to adjust at high altitude. So, sickness varies from person to person in terms of age, health, and physical fitness. Normally, Annapurna Base Camp doesn’t offer serious Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) but we should know about its symptoms and general preventive measures. If the symptoms of the illness are not taken care of properly, the condition can even turn dangerous.

Common symptoms of AMS

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  •  Tiredness and dizziness 
  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Increase heart rate and shortness of breath

Prevention

  • Keep your body hydrated, take more than 4L of water per day 
  • Take plenty of rest after a daily hike 
  • Take enough food during trekking 
  • Wear enough and keep your body warm 
  • Descend to lower altitude when you feel symptoms 
  • Ascend slowly and acclimate your body as per the requirement.

There are few medicines like Diamox that help to prevent sickness. But, remember one thing, before taking any drugs related to AMS consult with related doctors or medical experts.

Pre-trekking Preparation

Annapurna Base Camp trekking is not that so much easy also. You need some warm-up, little practice, discipline, early preparation, and best guidance can easily take you to the most beautiful base camp in Nepal. It means not that you have to work on like a professional trekker. Anyone can go in this trekking but, good health, physical fitness, and self-motivation are indeed required. There are few things that you can do as naive trekkers before the commencement of the trek: 

  • Do some short hikes and walk around 6-8hr a day in both uphill and downhill. 
  • If you have not a habit of doing exercise, restart that habit at least a month before the trek.
  • Running, Summing, Cycling, and some other cardio exercises can boost your stamina. Which helps you during your trekking.
  • Try some Yoga steps which directly help in your respiration and drink more water and keep your body hydrated even before the trek.

Another important and essential thing is your trekking equipment and gears. Proper equipment includes sleeping bag, a pair of high mountain trekking boots, poles, a duffle bag, essential warm and hiking comfortable clothes, warm socks, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, and so on. Another major thing that we should keep in mind is, comfortable and warm but light things are best for high mountain trekking. Make sure all the necessary papers, documents, ideas of restricted non-restricted things are in that zone.

Normal Itinerary

Normally, our trekking journey starts from the 7-8hr drive or 30min flight Pokhara. From Pokhara, 2hr drive can take us to the hiking place called Nayapool. The landscape, terrain, people, culture, and everything looks so different from Kathmandu. Dense rhododendron forest, wide range valley, diverse terrain, rich Gurung and Magar culture, waterfalls, and rivers are the major attraction on the way. Including sky-touching mountains, fancy and classy markets, and numbers of trekkers on the way make your trekking more awesome.

Day1: Drive to Pokhara 

Day2: Drive to Nayapool and hike to Ulleri 

Day3: Hike to Ghorepani 

Day4: Hike to Poonhill and trek to Tadapani 

Day5: Trek to Chhomrong 

Day6: Trek to Dovan 

Day7: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base camp and Annapurna Base Camp 

Day8: Trek to Bamboo 

Day9: Trek to Chhomrong 

Day10: Trek to Ghandruk 

Day11: Trek to Nayapool and drive to Pokhara 

Day12: Drive to Kathmandu

For detail Itinerary, Check the Packages:

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