Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary 12 days From Kathmandu: – The track around Annapurna Circuit Trek, also known as the Annapurna Ring is a multi-day hiking route in Nepal.
The route passes in the Himalayas along trails connecting settlements in the vicinity of the Annapurna massif. The length of the path, depending on the choice of the starting and ending points, is from 140 to 220 km. The duration of the trip is from 10 to 20 days, the maximum attainable height is 5416 meters above sea level ( Torong-La pass).
The track around Annapurna is world-famous, annually about 20 000 mountain tourism lovers from different countries pass the route. The route is popular with novice tourists, as it can be overcome without spending the night in tents.
Tourists make daytime crossings from one settlement to another, stopping for the night in guest houses which are maintained and serviced by the local population.
The classic version of the Track around Annapurna begins at the southeastern foothills of the massif in the village of Besisahar. The route bypasses Annapurna in the counterclockwise direction and ends in the village of Nayapul, located at the southwestern tip of the massif. Despite its name, the route does not lock Annapurna into the ring.
The highest point of the path – the Torong-La pass ( 5416 m ) – divides the Track around Annapurna into two parts approximately equal in length. The eastern one, rising to the mountains along the Marsyandi river valley, and the western one, going down from the mountains to the Kali-Gandaki river valley.
The terrain along which the route passes is inhabited by humans — the distance between neighboring villages, in most cases, does not exceed 5 km cultivated fields are often found, and cellular communication is available. Only a small part of the track at altitudes of more than 4000 meters is relatively isolated from civilization.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary 12 days From Kathmandu – The Complete Guide For Trekkers
A) To Annapurna Base Camp by helicopter
1st day. Kathmandu:
The flight to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is interesting and unforgettable in itself. As you have an incredible view of the snowy Himalayan peaks. Upon arrival, you will meet with a company representative and transfer to the hotel (about 30 minutes).
After a short rest, you can visit the old palace square Durbar, where the palace of the living goddess Kumari, the temple of Taleju, Krishna, Kasthamandap is located. You can also visit a Buddhist shrine, the stupa Swayambhunath, located on a 77-meter hill that rises above the Kathmandu valley. It offers views of the city and the Himalayas.
2nd day. Kathmandu – Pokhara:
On the second day, you can then go to the airport in Kathmandu and catch a 30-minute flight by small plane to Pokhara. Pokhara is a famous Nepali resort.
Its pearl is the sacred lake Fewa, surrounded by green fluffy mountains. Upon arrival – visit the Peace Stupa, which offers a magnificent panorama of Pokhara, Lake Fewa and the majestic Himalayas. Visit the International Museum of the Mountains, the sacred cave of Shiva and the Devi Waterfall. You can stay overnight at the hotel in Pokhara.
3rd day. Pokhara – Annapurna Base Camp – Kathmandu:
Early in the morning, you can then go on an incredible helicopter trip to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m). During the flight, you will see in all its glory the peaks of Annapurna 1 (8078 m), Dhaulagiri (8172 m), Manaslu (8156 m), Ganesh Himal (7429 m) and Lamjung Himal (6893 m).
After landing at Annapurna Base Camp, you will have time to admire the grandeur of the surrounding peaks, after which you will return to Pokhara. You can then fly back to Kathmandu in a small plane as you have come to Pokhara.
4th day. Kathmandu:
After returning to Kathmandu, you can then depart to the destination you have planned from the Tribhuwan International airport.
General Information while you charter the helicopter
Included in cost the helicopter tour agency charged are:
- Accommodation in a hotel of the selected category in Kathmandu and Pokhara;
- Breakfast at the hotel;
- Transfers airport – hotel – airport according to the program;
- Private transport on excursions according to the program;
- Domestic flight Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu (regular flight);
- Helicopter flight en route Pokhara – Annapurna – Pokhara;
- Your preferred language speaking local guide for excursions according to the program;
- Entrance fees to places of visits under the program;
- Medical insurance.
The price does not include:
- Visa to Nepal
- Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu;
- Personal expenses.
B) From Kathmandu to Annapurna Base Camp on a bus and on foot
Trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is a moderate-difficulty route for those who love exotics and mountains but are not ready to strain through measures. Despite the stern glory of Annapurna, you will not even have time to get tired.
Almost every stretch of the way you will pass a new climatic zone (there are six of them). And each time you will be able to experience the amazing diversity of Nepal’s nature. Noisy jungle, fast ice rivers and waterfalls, hot springs and, finally, breathtaking panoramas of the snowy Himalayan mountains.
Trek to Annapurna is a great opportunity to feel in the center of this mysterious country, to face the ancient Himalayas, touch the mysterious temples of Nepal, breathe in the aroma of blooming rhododendrons!
Its advantages are low complexity (relative to other trekking routes in Nepal), high variability (it is possible to adjust the route for a group), the ability to retreat.
At the same time, a journey to the heart of Annapurna makes it possible to see the Himalayas from different sides – and the tropical jungle at the foot and the icy walls of the peaks. The maximum height to climb is 4200 meters.
After the hike, there is time for acquaintance with the sights of Kathmandu and its environs. Royal palaces, Hindu and Buddhist shrines and unusual people meeting on the streets of this ancient city.
Day 1. Kathmandu:
Since the sightseeing of Kathmandu is planned to be at the end of the journey to Annapurna Base Camp. So the immediate process and preparation to travel have to be done on the first day.
An instructor will meet you in the allocated place of Kathmandu. Usually, he arrives a day earlier to arrange passes to the Annapurna Conservation Area National Park for the whole group.
It makes sense to show your instructor your equipment and consult about orientation in the city. After that, you can walk around Kathmandu, buy equipment, and quickly go to bed – get up early tomorrow.
Day 2 Bus to Pokhara – Lake Fewa
Get up very early, so that no later than 6 in the morning you can leave for Pokhara (by custom minibus or bus, depending on the size of the group). You will so spend a significant part on the road (7-8 hours).
This is a little tiring, but informative. Outside the window, the slums of the outskirts of Kathmandu flash first, then the emerald jungle and the endless terraces of rice fields. Over time, more and more often you will open up a view of the snow-white Annapurna massif.
A narrow road winds over the abyss itself, at first it worries a little, but after a couple of hours, the serpentine begins to lull. To sleep better, you will stop at a roadside restaurant and have breakfast.
Arriving in Pokhara, which is such a wonderful place where every newcomer is obliged to ride a boat on Lake Fewa. At the same time, you can visit a Hindu temple on the lake, and then climb the hill to the Peace Stupa.
From the species that open from the top, in the soul and the truth comes peace. Alarms and sorrows go away, only majestic snow peaks remain above the mirror surface of the lake, and an amazing smack of a dream come true.
Day 3 Tikhedunga (1520 m), Ullery (2080 m), Ban Tanti (2210 m)
Again, an early rise (get used to it – this is the norm in the mountains). Have a quick breakfast at the hotel and load into jeeps. In one and a half to two hours, you reach Nayapul.
Then the asphalt finally disappears and offroad begins. So far, there are only dusty shopping malls and children with hammers (they crush stones – they make gravel), but somewhere in the distance a snow-white profile of Machapuchare already flickers.
In just 8 days, you will return to the same village with already experienced trekkers and you will recognize all the peaks yourself, but for now, do not hesitate to ask the instructor.
In Biretanti, you mark passes in the national park and drive another 7 km to the village of Tikhedunga (1520 m). Then you finally put on your backpacks and trekking begins.
You pass over the suspension bridge over the waterfall and begin the rise of a thousand steps praised in the reports. In fact, an ordinary climb (as for Nepal) is 500 meters of the climb on high stone steps, generously spiced with horse manure.
But to you, out of habit, it will seem like a difficult test. Here it is important not to rush and give the body the opportunity to adapt to the load.
At the end of an endless climb, you will then have a long halt (and lunch!) In the village of Ullery (2080 m), overlooking a deep agricultural gorge – endless rice terraces from the bottom to the clouds.
These clouds will part tomorrow morning and show the snow-covered Khinchuli peak (6441 m). In less than a week, you will go around this mountain and find yourselves in the Sanctuary of Annapurna.
After lunch, you will literally walk a kilometer to an overnight stay in the village of Ban Tanti (2210 m).
Day 4 Ghorepani (2860 m), Mount Pun Hill (3193 m).
The climb continues, but much smoother than the day before. Instead of open spaces and rice fields came to the forest. And not ordinary, but that of rhododendron.
Rhododendron is a very exotic tree with large leaves, large flowers and, thank God, without watermelons on branches. Monkeys can hang in trees instead of watermelons – look at both!
Having emerged from the forest, you can find yourselves in a rather large village – Ghorepani (2860 m), with a heartbreaking view of Dhaulagiri (8167 m) and delicious apple pies.
You can spend the night in Ghorepani, but there is still a lot of time before sunset. So leaving your backpacks in the lodge, you can go to the radial acclimatization exit to the neighboring hill – Pun Hill (3193 m).
Most likely, you will go in the cloud and will not see anything, but the point here is precisely in gaining height – you will come to enjoy the views tomorrow morning.
If there is a gap in the clouds, then in the evening you should not miss another show – to see how the rays of the setting sun turn Annapurna red. This colorful picture can be seen directly from the windows of your stay.
Day 5 Deurali Pass, Tadapani, Kimrong.
As usual, get up before dawn, and join the stream of tourists aspiring along the already familiar path to Pun Hill. In such a crowd, it is difficult to coordinate the actions of the group, so everyone goes at their own pace.
From here you can breathe in the mouth the beauty of the Himalayas. You can see Machchapuchare, Annapurna Yuzhnaya, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri. Get down after you’re satiated with the beauty of these mountains, and move on along the forest path.
From time to time, the dense rhododendron forest will part, revealing either the snowcaps of the mountains (on the left side) or the endless green hills drowning in tropical haze (this is on the right). In the first half of the day, you have to devote the ascent to the Deurali Pass (3100 m).
After the pass, the trail will fall several times into relatively shallow valleys of forest rivers, which compensate for the loss of height with picturesque cascades and waterfalls.
Before lunch, you can climb the stone steps to the village of Tadapani (2630 m). The terraces on which the lodges are located are a great place for tail meditation. That is you can admire the memorable silhouette of Mount Machapuchare (Fishtail, 6997m).
Then you only have to make a relatively small breakthrough through the rainforest with completely unruffled wild monkeys. Overnight in the mini-village of Chiul (2200 m), here again warmly and again visible Machapuchare.
Day 6 Roller coaster, Chomrong, Sinuva (2340 m).
This is the day that test the firmness of your spirit. Like the day before, the trail then descends hundreds of meters down to the river itself, then again creeps up the infinite stone steps.
And this is repeated time after time all day. To make the steps more fun for you, you can play music or audiobooks. Doing so time will fly by faster and you won’t even notice how you go through the village of Chomrong.
In Chomrong (2170 m), the people will seduce you with pies, rolls, and cakes. On the other side of the gorge, you can already see the roofs of Sinuva (2340 m) – the village where you can spend the night.
It is clear that in order to find yourself in this very another side of the gorge, you will first need to go down to the bottom (to the mark of 1900 m), then climb again. But in Sinuv you will have a chance to use the last (on the way up) hot shower. You can enjoy the warmth, as the day after the night will be in a very cool highlands.
Day 7 Bambu, Himalaya, Hinku cave, Deorali.
Immediately after Sinuva, the path turns north and the heart skips a beat in anticipation of a miracle when you enter the deepest gorge that divides Machchapuchare and Annapurna.
The trail goes through the real jungle continuing the endless waves. Soon you will pass the village of Bambu (2310 m) – 3 lonely lodges among thickets of bamboo and hemp.
You have to continue to climb the gorge. The river Modi Khola, flowing from the Annapurna South Glacier, carries its waters. Moreover, these same waters run not only along the bottom of the gorge.
They flow from everywhere. Countless streams slide from somewhere beyond the clouds, significantly revising the landscape, which with each step up becomes more severe and majestic.
You can have lunch at the Himalayan shelter, at an altitude of about 2920 m. Rhododendron jungle gives way to low thickets of dwarf bamboo. You can find yourselves in the land of eternal fall.
On the way, you will go to the so-called Hunku cave – a small rocky canopy, under which, according to legend, the holy wanderer lived for many years. Given that in winter and spring, avalanches regularly roll along the slopes of the gorge, the cave seems to be a logical and even cozy habitat.
In the spring, it is on this site that you can usually encounter the first big snow on the route. You cross the avalanche takeaway immediately behind the Hinku cave.
As soon as the sun hides behind Annapurna, the gorge will become very chilly. Do not try to have an evening swim. While spending the night at this height(above3000 meters), you have to be attentive to the body, listen to yourself, dress warmly, and do not make sudden movements. If in the middle of the night you feel unwell – immediately wake up the instructor.
Day 8 : Machapuchare Base Camp (3720 m), Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m).
So that you can have more time to get used to the height, you have to stretch this day’s climb as much as possible. To do this, get up in the dark, go out without breakfast, the sky barely turns gray. The temperature is near zero, but the backpacks behind you will not let you freeze.
Upon reaching Machapuchare Base Camp (3720 m), you can stop here for breakfast. While preparing food, you can sit and acclimatize. You can still slide onto the moraine wall – beyond it is an unreal panorama of the canyon.
After breakfast, rest a little more and move on to the glacier and the stunning amphitheater of the dazzling Annapurna sisters. Now you are not near the mountains, we are inside them. Shining peaks surround from all sides, you are in the heart of Annapurna, in her sanctuary.
After 2 hours, you will arrive at the ABC (Annapurna base camp). The mountains at this time are already covered by clouds, but there is still something to see. The rest of the day you can spend exploring the glacier, breathing in the smell of space.
The night can be more difficult comparatively. You may feel weakness, shortness of breath, crazy pulse, headache, nausea, insomnia and other attributes of the Pit. It makes sense to take Diacarb in advance. Keep your instructor up to date with your condition.
Day 9 Dawn over Annapurna, descent to Bambu (2335 m).
The clouds dispersed even at night, and the Annapurnas appeared in all their glory. The rays of the Sun rising from behind the mountains paint the ice wall with warm crimson flowers, the peaks seem to be enveloped in flames.
When the Sun even illuminates not only the peaks but also the valley, those who wish can, together with the instructor, rise a hundred or two meters up the slope. A new angle, a new height, new pictures. You can get ready for the return trip.
If on the way up you have slowed down your progress for better acclimatization, then you should go faster on the contrary. This day you must go through the Machapuchare base camp and the avalanche zone, dine in the already familiar Himalayan shelter, go down to the tropical zone, and spend the night in the village of Bambu (2335 m).
Day 10 : Chomrong, hot springs Ginu Dunde.
Immediately after Chomrong, the trail dives abruptly with another stone staircase and dives so briskly that knees inevitably pray for mercy. But there will be a pleasant moment – you will have a well-deserved rest ahead.
You will stay in the village of Ginu Danda where you will have lunch, dinner, and overnight and, most importantly, bath procedures. Ginu Danda is known for its hot springs. Comfortable pools with hot water are equipped there, and if you want to freshen up, you can carefully plunge into the bubbling river.
Day 11 : Transfer Nayapul – Pokhara – Kathmandu.
Once again get up in the dark – in order to be in Kathmandu in the evening, by 11 in the morning you need to run to the jeep stop. Moving along the right bank of the Modi Khola River.
You will pass through several villages of the Gurung tribe, which are not very similar to the already familiar villages with colorful lodges. This is a piece of the former pre-tourist Nepal. Archaic buildings are as ancient as the methods of cultivating the land used here. Peasants work in the field, the kids play.
You can hire jeeps, they take you to Pokhara (about 2 hours). Along the way, you can again celebrate at the national park checkpoint. The instructor gives out all the participants stamped badges (as a souvenir) – now you have the official document of this Annapurnian with a wet seal.
In Pokhara, you can take rest to dine for a while. Although it is only 200 kilometers from Pokhara to the capital, the road is so difficult (narrow mountain serpentines) that the bus will need 7-8 hours to cover this distance. On the way, observe the rafters sailing along the river Trisuli.
You will arrive in Kathmandu late at night.
Day 12 : Treasures of Kathmandu Valley – Pashupatinath, Bodnath, Monkey Temple, Patan.
Even in Kathmandu again an early rise, for the whole day you have to go to the cultural program on a custom minibus. Start by visiting the Pashupatinath complex.
This place is on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, where Hindus (in Nepal, the two main religions) perform ritual cremations of their dead. If you decide that this is not for your eyes, you can safely turn your back – there is also something to see from behind. Stray saints (sadhus) usually rest there on the steps.
After Pashupatinath go to the shrine with a completely different atmosphere – the huge Buddhist stupa Bodnath, which filmmakers and photographers of glossy travel magazines have ardently loved for its impressive appearance. Around the stupa are numerous Buddhist monasteries. You can go inside, wander among the monks reading the sacred texts.
Then you can go to the famous Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath). This Buddhist stupa is located on a high hill, offering unforgettable views of the entire Kathmandu valley and the distant snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Impudent monkeys living on a hill will demand handouts from you.
Finally, take a look at one of the suburbs of Kathmandu – Patan. Due to the unique architecture of the Newari tribe, the historical center of Patan has the status of a museum. Inspecting this open-air museum is like a computer game.
If you want to go to the next level, you will have to loop through the narrow medieval streets. Dive into inconspicuous passages to suddenly jump out to a magnificent golden temple or a sacred reservoir. The Royal Square of Patan, where so many exotic palaces, temples, and monuments are concentrated in a small area that you can not turn your neck for long.
- Payment procedure: To reserve a place in the group, a prepayment is required. This money will be used for registration of passes and other overhead costs. In case of refusal to participate, the advance payment is not refundable but can be saved for the future (to pay for other tours). The rest of the cost of the tour you pay directly to the instructor when you meet in Kathmandu. In case of premature departure of the participant from the route, recalculation is not performed, money is not returned.
- The tour price includes experienced instructor, unlimited advice on preparing for the track, assistance in finding tickets, permits (passes to Annapurna National Park). Lodging on the route, hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (1 night before the track and 1 night after the track). Hotel accommodation in Pokhara (1 night before the track), transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara before the track (minibus or bus). Jeep from Pokhara to Tikhedunga (to the beginning of the route), a jeep from Sivai (finish line) to Pokhara. Transfer from Pokhara to Kathmandu after the track (minibus or bus).
- The tour price does not include Nepalese visa, food, medical insurance, porters, visiting paid attractions in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Taxi to/from the airport.
Attractions of Annapurna Base Camp
The main attractions of the Track around Annapurna:
- Annapurna massif: The passage of the track makes it possible to see most of the peaks of the massif. But the main peak – Annapurna I (8091 m) – appears in a not very impressive perspective and only at the final stage of the route.
- Manaslu- mountain massif: Three mountains dominate in the massif: Manaslu ( 8156 m ), Himalchuli ( 7893 m ) and Ngadi Chuli ( 7871 m ).
- The Dhaulagiri massif: The main peak of the massif – Dhaulagiri I ( 8167 m ) – is the seventh highest eight-thousander of the planet.
- Torong La Pass ( 5416 m ): The highest point of the route. A tourist who has climbed the pass is at an altitude of only 226 meters inferior to the height of the peak of Elbrus ( 5642 m ) – the highest point in Russia and Europe. Tourists pass Torong La in the morning, as in the afternoon a strong wind is possible on the pass.
- Lake Tilicho: It is a mountain lake located at an altitude of 4919 meters. Above the southern shore of the lake, a white snow-ice wall rises Tilicho peak ( 7134 m ). Lake Tilicho is located away from the main trail of the route; visiting the lake increases the total duration of the trip by 2-3 days.
- Muktinath: It is a valley revered by Hindus and Buddhists. There are many temples and monasteries built in the valley.
- Pun Hill mountain ( 3193 m ): On the top of the mountain there is a viewing platform with a panoramic view of the eight-thousanders of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. By the observation platform from the nearby villages Ghorepani ( 2860 m ) pathway leads to the rise of the 300-meter. Typically, tourists climb Poon Hill in the early morning to catch the mountains in the light of the rising sun.
Routes that you can take:
The most common options for passing the route:
- Besisahar – Nayapul – full path length of about 220 km and lasts about20 days.
- Besisahar – Tatopani – the full route minus the Tatopani – Nayapul section and the ascent to Mount Pun Hill. The duration of the trip is 16-18 days.
- Besisahar – Jomsom is an abbreviated version of the Track around Annapurna, which, however, includes most of the main attractions of the full route. The route is about 140 km long, the trip lasts 10-12 days.
With the opening of the Besisahar – Manang highway, many tourists began to start the pedestrian part of the path not in Besisahar, but in one of the villages located further down: Nadi Bazar, Syang, Jagat or Camje. Transporting to these villages allows, saving 1-2 days of hiking time, to begin the route in places less affected by civilization than the vicinity of Besisahar.
An interesting non-standard option for passing the eastern part of the track is the path through the villages of Pu and Naar, founded by immigrants from Tibet and retaining many elements of Tibetan culture.
However, it should be noted that these villages are located in the border zone, which foreign tourists are allowed to visit only accompanied by mountain guides from Nepalese travel companies.
The passage of the Track around Annapurna in the opposite direction to the classical one (i.e., from Nayapul to Besisahar) is not popular. Climbing the Torong La pass from the west implies a sharper climb, which increases the likelihood of developing mountain sickness.
The track around Annapurna passes through many settlements, which eliminates the need to take camping equipment and food supplies. The set of clothes should correspond to a wide temperature range since the climate at the foot of the mountains and in the highlands varies significantly.
Many tourists use the services of porters to carry things and equipment – the profession of porter is widespread in the mountainous regions of Nepal. Porters are hired through travel companies, or directly in settlements on the track.
- Sleeping bag. All the way to ABC you will spend the night in guesthouses and, in principle, you can even get by with local blankets that are offered at every point. But in the sleeping bag is much more comfortable and hygienic.
- Fleece jacket. Light heats well, it is comfortable to sleep or to start early in the morning when it is still cool.
- Pants for trekking. Comfortable, durable pants with pockets, from which dirt is easily cleaned, quick-drying and non-binding movements.
- In Nepal, excellent raincoats are sold, of beautiful colors, which will be useful in the future too.
- Flask for water. Bottled water in the track will cost as freshly squeezed juice, and after a certain height, it will not be sold at all for environmental reasons. Therefore, a plastic flask is highly desirable. Collect water from any source along the way or from a tap in the guesthouse (in the mountains it is one and the same thing). For safety, they throw a pill for water purification into it (although there is no particular need, especially at the top points – the Himalayas, after all).
- Special shoes for the track or well-tested, non-rubbing, non-squeezing, non-wet, non-slip and ideally ankle-fixing boots are best suited.
- Compact down jacket. Ideally – Uniqlo, compact, lightweight and warm.
- Thermal underwear. You can do only the bottom, the top is quite enough flisky.
- Lights are often turned off, so a flashlight in Nepal is generally a must.
- Warm socks. Chic knitted woolen socks with a fleece inside are appropriate.
- T-shirts and longslivy. Take 2-3, a maximum of 4 t-shirts. There is time to wash.
- Backpack 45-60 liters. A backpack is one of the most important moments on any trip. Therefore, it is ideal to buy a high-quality backpack in advance, especially if you plan to still use it.
- Sticks for trekking. They remove the load from the legs and redistribute it to the hands. If there are even minimal problems with the knees/legs – sticks are required.
For the legal passage of the Track around Annapurna, tourists need to draw up the following documents:
- TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System) – is intended to analyze information about the route of the tourist traffic (in case of emergency and rescue operations).
- A permit is an entrance ticket that gives the right to visit the Annapurna Conservation Area.
These documents, with payment of the relevant fees, are issued at the offices of the Nepal Tourism Committee in Kathmandu or Pokhara. A separate permit must be obtained for the route through the villages of Pu and Naar. On the track, there are several checkpoints that verify documents and record tourist routes.
Transport accessibility of the starting and ending points of the route:
- Besisahar – has a direct bus connection with Kathmandu and Pokhara. Travel time is 7-9 hours from Kathmandu or 4 hours from Pokhara. Faster and more comfortable, but also more expensive, an alternative to the bus is a trip in a private car, hired through a travel company or hotel.
- Nadi Bazar – connected with Besisahar by local bus service, trip duration – 1.5 hours.
- Syange, Jagat, Camje – connected with Besisahar by private SUV flights, travel time – about 3 hours.
- Jomsom – daily flights to Pokhara, flight time – about 25 minutes. It operates bus service to Pokhara (direct routes and routes with transfers in Beni ), duration of the trip – 10-12 hours.
- Tatopani – regular buses and taxis connect the village with the city of Beni, which has direct bus connections to Pokhara. The total travel time from Tatopani to Pokhara is about 6 hours.
- Nayapul – a settlement connected with Pokhara by bus routes and taxis, travel time – less than 2 hours.
- The track around Manaslu is a two-week hike around the Manaslu-Himal massif, the highest point of the route is Larkya-La pass( 5200 m ). The final stage of the Track around Manaslu and the initial stage of the Track around Annapurna follow the same path, but in opposite directions. As of 2016, the passage of the Track around Manaslu is allowed only accompanied by guides from Nepalese travel companies.
- Trek to the base camp of Annapurna – hike to the plateau to the southern base camp of Annapurna ( 4130 m ). The main attractions of the route: the peak of Annapurna I, the southern wall of Annapurna, Mount Machapuchare ( 6998 m ). The trip lasts about a week. The track to the base camp intersects with the final section of the Track around Annapurna, which allows you to combine these two routes into one long track.
- Jomsom Track – a hike along the valley of the Kali Gandaki River from Muktinath to Nayapul, or in the opposite direction. In essence, it is the passage of the western half of the Track around Annapurna.
- Pun Hill is a 4-day ring route, the main event of which is the ascent to the observation deck on top of Pun Hill Mountain. The route is popular with tourists living in Pokhara due to transport accessibility and the short duration of the trip.
- Mardi-Himal – a route that runs along the crest of one of the southern spurs of Annapurna. The highest point of the route is the base camp of Mardi Himal ( 4500 m ), the duration of the trip is about a week.
- Upper Mustang – a hike along the valley of the Kali Gandaki River to the village of Lo Mantang bordering Tibet. As of 2016, a special permit is required to visit the Upper Mustang. It is obligatory to accompany tourists with licensed Nepalese guides.
What to do on the route to Annapurna base camp?
Enjoy the vibrant rice paddies from nearby Pokhara terraces. This trek offers a panoramic view of more than 10 peaks over 6000m, on Mount Dhaulagiri as well as on the Kali Gandaki Valley of Poon Hill. Besides, you will stand impressive snow-capped mountains.
Visit the fascinating villages of Gurung, Magar, and Brahmin as well as the culture and picturesque landscape. Take a dip in natural hot springs while admiring magnificent views of Machhapuchchhre (Fishtail), Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, and Gangapurna.
Tips for a wonderful journey:
A typical trekking day lasts between five to seven hours and involves a number of climbs and descents. It is rare to spend a lot of time at the same level. On a camping trek organized, the day has a pretty tight schedule and remarkable: raised at 6 am with a cup of tea, packing equipment before breakfast.
Start walking at 7 am stop for lunch around noon for about half an hour, resumed the hike after lunch until about 15 hours. Dinner is served around 18:30 and followed by a briefing for the next day of trekking and it is time to go to sleep.
Be aware that this schedule can be adjusted according to weather conditions, availability of campgrounds, water supply, etc.
To be sure that you can fully enjoy your hike and make the most of it, you should also consider the following tips:
- On the Track around Annapurna, a tourist marking is used, consisting of the following conventional signs: Annapurna Circuit main trail mark, white and red marks – indicate the main path of the route. Annapurna Circuit secondary trail mark, white and blue marks – indicate alternative path options, as well as all sorts of additional routes (for example, the path to Lake Tilicho). Labels are painted on trees, boulders, poles, buildings, etc.
- The main danger on the route is mountain sickness, which can develop at altitudes of more than 3,000 meters. Among tourists who do not pay enough attention to acclimatization to the conditions of the highlands. In order to allow the body to acclimatize, the ascent should be carried out gradually. The elevation difference between the places of consecutive nights must not exceed 500 meters. With the well-being of all participants in the trip, in rare cases, differences up to 700 meters are allowed.
- It is better while passing the Track around Annapurna to spend 1-2 nights in the village of Manang ( 3500 m ) for better acclimatization before further climbing into the mountains.
- Choose the trekking route and the season when you want to go (spring or autumn).
- Decide how many days to add to acquaintance with Nepal and sightseeing.
- As a result, determine the dates of the trip and buy tickets to Kathmandu.
- Buy tickets for domestic flights from Kathmandu to the start of the track.
- After that, you can safely engage in the selection of equipment, reading guides, etc.
- Remember to check: the number of days of walking, the number of hours of walking per day, the elevations (positive but also negative which can be more tiring especially for the joints!).
- Also, be careful not to climb too fast in altitude to avoid altitude sickness. Beyond 2500m, if possible avoid climbing no more than 500m / day. Do not hesitate to come down a few hundred meters if the symptoms of mountain sickness persist (headache, nausea see vomiting, dizziness …). Mountain sickness is not to be taken lightly: it can be deadly! To go down makes it possible to make disappear the symptoms.
- For paths in Annapurnas, a good map is enough because the paths are well marked and there is no real risk of getting lost.
- The safest and easiest is to go through a travel agency specialized in trekking. The price is a bit higher, but at least you are guaranteed to travel safely, to have a knowledgeable guide and a good organization.
- Everything is included in the price of the trek, except for the purchase of water, soft drinks or alcohol and we advise you to always have Nepalese rupees at your fingertips during your re-expedition. The amount will depend on the area and duration of the hike.
- Although trekking in the Himalayas plays a vital role in the economy of many mountain regions, it can also have a negative impact that has become a major concern. From an ecological point of view, keep your waste with you, drink treated water instead of mineral water in order to reduce the use of plastic bottles.
- Be respectful of flora and fauna.
- From a human perspective, please respect the culture and traditions of Nepal. It is a good thing before leaving for the trip to take a look at the Do’s and Don’ts list to avoid having inappropriate behavior that will appear normal to westerners.
- Do not steal images and always ask permission of people before photographing them.
- Do not give children money or candy during your trip: this encourages them to beg and can also contribute to dental problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the trek to ABC, there can be all sorts of questions in your mind. Especially if you’re a tourist coming to Nepal for the first time to experience the adventure you never have. So let’s see a few questions that may come across your mind so that your journey can be as easier as possible.
What is the average price of a trek in Nepal?
This first question comes up very often in the preparation. Know that there are almost all the possible prices depending on the way you travel. Price can range depending on the fame of the agency, and the type of service (with or without a carrier, with or without food, etc.).
Is Trekker in Nepal safe?
Nepali people are very hospitable and kind. During the trek, the roads are sparsely populated, few animals. During the monsoon season, the rain may make the trek more difficult, but apart from that, going to Nepal is rather easy and not very dangerous.
Is a guide necessary?
This totally depends on your choice. The trek is extremely well marked, and often you cross trekkers on the way (even in May, late-season). If you want to do this trek without a guide, it’s quite possible.
Is it possible to do this trek in May?
Yes, it’s possible to do the trek in May as well. Rumor has it that the Annapurna Mountains are believed to be protecting the monsoon circuit, even in May / June. ABC is on the other side of the mountain range, which would be a priori less protected. But that remains a hypothesis.
What is the difficulty of the trek?
The trek cannot be regarded as too difficult. A person who is not used to walking and who is not very athletic may experience difficulties at times. But by going at his own pace and considering that it is not a competition, trekking is largely feasible by anyone.
The road connects Besisahar to Manang, so if you are very tired or injured, you can always ask for a jeep to advance or return to the starting point.
How long does this trek last?
It all depends on your speed. In general, the journey from Besisahar to Jomsom lasts between eight and ten days. If you take a jeep on the first steps, you can also shorten it.
What about the sleeping arrangements on the way to trek?
Each village crossed has many guesthouses that offer accommodation, bathing (shower or bucket of hot water) and catering. At the beginning of Besisahar, the tourist office gives you a paper summarizing all the villages crossed and the number of guesthouses per village (as well as walking times between villages).
Nevertheless, be aware that it is common to ask for a free room if you are committed to eating homestay dinner and breakfast the next day.
What about the quality of guesthouses and comfort? Is wifi available?
The quality is relatively correct for free accommodation. The beds are comfortable in general. Some guesthouses do not have a shower but offer a bucket of hot water, which allows to wash properly.
The wifi is available in almost all guesthouses. But the quality of the wifi is restricted, or even zero in some places (Annapurna base camp for example, or Manang.
Where and what to eat?
Each guesthouse offers something to eat. You can order any type of Nepalese dish, from chowmein to veg fried rice. The map is pretty general. Prices increase gradually as the village moves away from the main road.
What if I don’t want to carry the extra weight for the trek?
It is very easy to drop off your belongings at the hostel or hotel in Pokhara. Most hotels are used for this process. You can recover your belongings without any haste and difficulty.
Is mobile camera enough to carry?
Given the beauty of the landscape, take equipment of the highest quality possible. A tripod can be interesting also for group photos.
What to do in Kathmandu in a day?
- Getting lost in the streets of Thamel: You can not miss Thamel and if you stay in Kathmandu, the majority of hotels are located not far from this area. It ‘s a shopping paradise for Tibetan flags, outdoor clothing or art, you will find here a multitude of shops offering literally everything you are looking for. The restaurants are also numerous and extremely varied both in terms of price and menu.
- The temple of Swayambunath or monkey temple: Not to be missed in Kathmandu, you can easily see it from the many rooftops of the city. To reach it, you will have to climb a long staircase where you will meet monkeys and many other tourists. Enjoy the view that is offered to you and let yourself be impregnated by the atmosphere of the place.
- A visit to Durbar Square: Durbar Square is clearly an inevitable place in Kathmandu and it is an extremely touristy corner of the city. Hence the impressive number of vendors, guides, drivers, sadhus and other characters who will try to catch your eye. Do not be afraid, they are at times a little insistent, but a polite no will make them understand your lack of interest if this is the case.
- See the Kumari a living goddess: The Kumari (virgin) is a young girl who meets certain selection criteria (especially physical) is selected to embody a deity. If you are wondering what to do in Kathmandu, this is probably your only chance to meet a living goddess. You may have the chance to see her during your visit to Durbar Square since she lives in a temple bearing her name on this site. She appears a few times a day at the window of her home. These girls lose their title at the first appearance of blood on their body, either from their first period or injury and they will be replaced by a new Kumari.
- Moment of rest in the gardens of dreams: It’s not the most typical and confusing place in Kathmandu, but it’s a real balm for the ears as for the spirit. Sit quiet and breathe fresh air, you will have more energy to face the city after it’s guaranteed!
- Bodnath the biggest stupa in the world: The atmosphere here has everything to make you zen. And it is with great pleasure that you can take a few rounds of the stupa by following the monks and Buddhists who turned the prayer wheels while walking. Not far from the entrance, there is also the Tharlam temple where you can hear the monks singing if you go there at the right time.
- The temple of Pashupatinath and the cremation ghats: The temple as such is accessible only to Hindus and unless you have a dark complexion and a bindi, you will not be able to access it. However, the surroundings are fascinating and culturally stunning. The cremation ghats are something extremely upsetting to watch. However, this custom is both so beautiful and unusual. There is also Siddhi Shaligram Briddhashram. Here elderly people without family or financial means come to finish their days. People are a kindness that goes straight to the heart and they do not skimp on the smiles and namaste.
By Ankur Pradhan