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.
The 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.
- 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
- 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 Bouddhanath 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.
- Day 03: Fly to Pokhara (895m/2,938ft) – Nayapul (1,074m/3,525ft) - Ulleri 1,309m/4,296ft) 4hrs trek
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Pokhara; if it’s a clear day then you will be able to see amazing views of Annapurna, upon arrival you will transferred to Nayapul, trek point. We will meet our trekking crew and short hike to Birethati (1,025m/3,362ft). After lunch at Birethanti we walk along Bhurungdi Khola, the trial gently uphill for couple of hours to Hille and continuing the trek while we pass the suspension bridge in Tikedhunga and walk uphill for about an hour to Ulleri (1,960m). Overnight at Tea house Lodge.
- Day 04: Ulleri – Ghorepani (2,750m/9,022ft) 5hrs trek
After an early 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. As we continue a path having 3200 steep stone steps will lead to getting our first view of Annapurna south. Ascending uphill we enter a protected 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 an hour. We will rest at Ghorepani and prepare ourselves for next day’s Poonhill trek.
- Day 05: Ghorepani – Poonhill – Tadapani (2,590m/8,497ft) 6hrs trek
With an very early rise we will start climbing uphill with a 45 minutes hike to witness the sunrise from Poonhill , 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 and 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.
- Day 06: Tadapani – Chomrong(2,170m/7,119ft) 6hrs trek
After an early breakfast we continue our trek, the trail leads down a steep hill and passing through a jungle 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.
- Day 07: Chomrong – Himalayan (2,920m/9,580ft) 7hrs trek
Today the trail descends to cross the Chommro Khola, and then climbs around into the Modi Khola valley and up on to the main 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, Himalayan.
- 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 magnificient, 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.
- Day 09: Machapuchare Base Camp – Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,549ft) 3hrs 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 are at their lowest level during morning. The Base Camp lies 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 snow capped peaks on all the sides, the ridgeline of peaks is almost uninterrupted, including Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Machapuchare and others.
- Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp – Bamboo (2,335m/7,660ft) 6 – 7hrs trek
Today we descend towards Bamboo, retracing the out of the sanctuary downhill along the trail to Doban, down the Modi Khola and carry on to Bamboo for the night.
- 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 , a village which has grown large and prosperous. We will stay the night here.
- Day 12: Ghandruk– Nayapul –Pokhara, approx 4hrs trek
From Ghandruk after a good 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 at Mount Kailash Resort in Lake side.
- Day 13: Fly back to Kathmandu
After breakfast transfer to airport and fly back to Kathmandu, receive and transfer to Hotel, rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.