Trek Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO Heritage sites and explore Pokhara valley.
  • Highest Point Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m)
  • Explore charming Gurung village Ghandruk and Chhomrong
  • Unobstructed views of Himchuli , Annapurna South, Barahi Shikhar, Annapurna I, Glacier Dom, Gangapurna , Annapurna III and Machhapuchhre
  • Walk through pine and rhododendron forests
  • Pass through picturesque village and cultivated fields
  • Scenic flight to and from Pokhara
  • Splendid views of sunrise from Poon hill
  • If you are lucky you might encounter with musk deer, ghoral, pheasant

Trek Overview

The Annapurna Sanctuary is a high glacial basin lying 40 km directly north of Pokhara. This oval-shaped plateau sits at an altitude of over 4000 meters and is surrounded by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000 meters. It is a classic trek to Annapurna base camp situated under the immense south face of Annapurna. T

he trek passes through the middle hills of Nepal with Gurung villages and forests of oak, magnolia and rhododendron. The trail then follows the Modi Khola River into the Sanctuary where you enter a hidden amphitheatre with a superb view of snowy peaks. This is not particularly difficult trek although there are some steep climbs and a few narrow bridges. It is a good a trek to do if you would like to get into the high Himalayas without the longer acclimatization period required for some of the other trek.

The highest altitude reached is 4,130m at Annapurna Base Camp.  In recent years, the number of trekkers to the Sanctuary has increased substantially, in part because the Sanctuary forms the base of one of the major routes to the peaks of the Annapurna range. The Annapurna Sanctuary is now part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project.

 

Note: below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for general idea only.

Itinerary

  1. Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1,302m/4,270ft)

    You will be received and escorted to the hotel by our staff, refresh yourself and take some rest or explore the area around your hotel. Overnight at Hotel

  2. Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and Trek preparation

    Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal and has been a famous destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its borders to visitors. Today after breakfast we will explore Kathmandu valley, a guided tour will be conducted to major world heritage sites inside the valley. As Kathmandu valley is a beautiful combination of Hinduism and Buddhism we will visit historical sites like; Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath (monkey temple) and Buddhist shrine of Boudhanath which is one of the largest stupa in the world. After the tour you will prepare yourself for the trek, will be briefed about the trek; buy all the trekking equipments required and overnight at hotel.

    Highlights:

    • Visit UNESCO Heritage sites
  3. Day 03: Fly to Pokhara (895m/2,938ft) – Nayapul (1,074m/3,525ft) - Ulleri 1,309m/4,296ft) 4hrs trek

    We will be transferred to the airport and will take our flight to Pokhara, from Pokhara we will drive to Nayapul from where our trek will start.  We will meet our accompanying trekking crew there and after a short briefing about the trek we will leave for Birethati (1,025m/3,362ft) down the hill from Nayapul. We will walk ascending uphill to Hille and continuing the trek while we pass more villages like Tikhedhunga and we continue a path having 3200 steep stone steps will lead to getting our first view of Annapurna south and finally reach Ulleri by evening, where we will be accommodating in a lodge overnight.

    Highlights:

    • Enjoy spectacular flight to Pokhara where you can see Himalayan vista
    • Pass through picturesque village and cultivated fields
  4. Day 04: Ulleri – Ghorepani (2,750m/9,022ft) 5hrs trek

    After breakfast we continue our trek to our next destination Ghorepani. It is believed that the village was named Ghorepani as in the past it used to be rest place for merchants where they found water for their horses, from where the name became ‘Ghora’ horse and ‘pani’ water.  This part of the trek is the challenging one; the trail is uneven as it leads hills to hill making the trekkers trek down hills and up hills too.  We climb to the ghorepani through stone stairs. As we take ascend you can see beautiful scenery of Annapurna South. We walk through forest filled with trees often in bloom and bamboo plants.  Trekking higher passing through Banthanti and Nagathanti (2,520m/8267ft) we will reach Ghorepani approximately within couple of hours. We will rest at Ghorepani and prepare ourselves for next day’s Poonhill trek.

    Highlights:

    • Walk through rhododendron and bamboo forests
    • Pass picturesque villages and several tea houses
    • Explore Magar settlement
    • Ghorepani village presents panoramic backdrops of the surrounding mountains like Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains.
    • Explore Ghorepani village and shop local products such as handbags and crafts
  5. Day 05: Ghorepani – Poonhill – Tadapani (2,590m/8,497ft) 6hrs trek

    Today we rise up early and start climbing uphill for 45 minutes to see the sunrise from Poonhill. Poonhill offers close views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. After watching a beautiful view of mountains to all the directions of Poonhill we will return back to Ghorepani for breakfast we will then continue our trek that wends its way north along the ridge line of magnificent views of the Annapurna’s stretching out from east to west. Continuing the trail we will descend steeply down to a small settlement and eventually the gorge where the trail enters an open area and descends again before our final uphill climb through dense forest to our destination where we will be lodging overnight at Tadapani.

    Highlights:

    • Enjoy close up vistas of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
    • Splendid views of sunrise from Poonhill
    • Walk through dense forest of rhododendron trees
  6. Day 06: Tadapani – Chomrong (2,170m/7,119ft) 6 to 6 1/2 hrs trek

    After an early breakfast we continue our trek, the trail leads down a steep hill and passing through a jungle of rodhodendron trees to the village of Chomrong. We continue our trek emerging out and into terraced fields on the side of a deep valley, climbing steeply up the opposite side of the valley, we soon enter the larger Modi Khola valley which leads up to the Annapurna Sanctuary. A short distance further on up the Modi Khola valley, we arrive at Chhomrong. We rest the night here.

    Highlights:

    • Walk through rhododendron forests and terraced fields of wheat, rice and millet
    • Explore Gurung settlement
    • Pass waterfalls and reach a suspension bridge.
    • Stay overnight in picturesque village namely, Chomrong nestled right below the huge Annapurna massive
  7. Day 07: Chomrong – Himalayan (2,920m/9,580ft) 7 to 8 hrs trek

    Today the trail descends to cross the Chommro Khola, and then climbs around into the Modi Khola valley up on to the main Sinno ridge high above the river. Through the trail we will see rhododendron, oak and hemlock line the gorge, and the area is a delight for bird lovers. After another two hours of trekking, mostly steep uphill, we reach the village of Sinuwa, the last town before Bamboo. We follow the valley climbing steadily uphill to Doban. Approximately, two hours later we reach our overnight destination called Himalayan. 

    Highlights:

    • Walk along the river and through forest
    • View of rhododendron, oak and hemlock line the gorge
    • Enjoy the melodious sound of varied range of birds.
  8. Day 08: Himalayan - Machapuchare Base Camp (3,700m/12,139ft) 5hrs trek

    With an early start we continue our trek to our next destination Machhapuchre Base Camp; we continue through the Bamboo forest to Hinko cave, finally we now reach the narrow entrance, into a steep gorge until we pass through the “gates” of the sanctuary, formed by Hiunchuli on the left and Machapuchare on the right. The panorama is magnificent and stunning peaks surround us. Above us on a ledge is Machapuchare Base Camp where we will stop for the night.  Avalanches are frequent phenomena on this section so extreme caution is advised.  

    Highlights:

    • Views of Annapurna range
    • If you are lucky you might encounter with musk deer, ghoral, pheasant
    • Pass through Hinko cave
    • Pass through bamboo forest.
    • Experience Gurung lifestyle and tradition.
  9. Day 09: Machapuchare Base Camp – Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,549ft); 3 hrs trek

    Today we start our climb early in the morning so we reach our destination before the clouds blow and block the views. More importantly, the risk of avalanches is at their lowest level during morning. The Base Camp nestled at the foot of the Annapurna Glacier’s lateral moraine. We climb for a few hours up gradual slopes to our lodge in the base camp. We are surrounded by magnificent peaks in every direction where the ridgeline of peaks is almost uninterrupted. You get excellent views of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Machapuchare, Gandharvachuli and others.

    Trip Highlights:

    • View of Annapurna glacier.
    • Unobstructed view of Spectacular views Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Machhapuchare, Gandharvachuli and other several peaks.
  10. Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp – Bamboo (2,335m/7,660ft) 6 – 7hrs trek

    From Annapurana Base camp, we descend towards Bamboo, passing the Machhapuchhre Base camp, Deurali, Himalayan Hotel and Doban, The trek is almost the downhill all the way to Bamboo where we stay overnight.

    Highlights:

    • Walking through forest      
  11. Day 11: Bamboo – Ghandruk (1,970m/6,463ft) 6 – 7hrs trek

    Today’s trek is a long descending trek so we start off early; retracing the trail back to Chomrong village and from there the trail climbs to a spur ridge. Entering Kimrong Khola valley the trail evens out for a while and the walking is easy.  We arrive at the junction with the route from Ghorepani and just beyond the village of Kimrong, the trail suddenly drops in short, steep switchbacks, then through open rock-strewn fields to the ‘Gurung’ village of Ghandruk . We stay overnight in Ghandruk.

    Highlights:

    • Experience Gurung lifestyle
    • View of Annapurna South, Himchuli, Annapurna III, Machhapuchhre from Ghandruk village
  12. Day 12: Ghandruk– Nayapul –Pokhara, approx 4hrs trek

    After breakfast, we join the trail that descends downhill all the way to Birethati and back to Nayapul from where our trek started. As a vehicle will be waiting for us, we will return to Pokhara and stay overnight in Pokhara.

    Highlights:

    • Scenic drive to Pokhara
    • Explore Pokhara valley
  13. Day 13: Pokhara to Kathmandu

    After breakfast, take a flight back to Kathmandu. After landing at the airport, our representative will transfer you to hotel. We can spend the day rest or catch up on some last minute shopping.  You will be accommodating in hotel.

    Highlights:

    • Scenic flight to and from Pokhara.
  14. Day 14: Back home

    Leisure time and explore Kathmandu until the departure time when you will be transferred to airport and fly back home.

Fast Facts

Annapurna Base Camp situated inside the Annapurna conservation area (7,629 sq. km).

Majority of Magar and Gurung reside in Annapurna region

Annapurna conservation area encompasses 474 birds, 39 reptiles, 22 amphibian, 102 mammals, world deepest George and the rarest animal like Blue sheep, Himalayan Thar, red panda, snow leopard etc.

Classic views of Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Machapuchhre (6993 m) and Hiunchuli (6441 m) from closer point

Trekking trail is characterized by picturesque villages cascading waterfalls, terraced farmlands, rhododendron forests and mountain backdrops.

Reviews

 

Annapurna Pranam 2012: An Annual Visit from Students from Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong

Over the past four years I’ve been leading tours to Nepal for high school students from Hong Kong International School. Since we go to the Pokhara area, we call our group “Annapurna Pranam” or “At the Feet of Annapurna.” Each group of sixteen students and two teachers has focused on visiting schools and children’s homes. And each time we have tried to help Nepali students gain access to sources of information our students take for granted. We have provided laptops, Internet service, funds for computer labs, and part of the salary for a full time computer teacher. It is a mere drop in the bucket, but perhaps a few students have benefited. 

Our week-long trips would not be possible without the expertise and experience of Nepal Sanctuary Trekking. From planning before the trips with Prasant and Tulsi to the on-the-spot attention to detail by the Sherpa guides and porters, the organization is smooth and flexible to our needs. We have nothing but praise and gratitude for the professionalism and personal care provided by Nepal Sanctuary Treks. I have been recommending that my friends, my colleagues – and anyone I hear is going there – contact Nepal Sanctuary Treks for any type of visit to fascinating Nepal! 

100
Richard Friedericks,

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