Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It was opened and permitted at first for foreign trekkers and expeditions in 1949. ABC trek offers panoramic mountain views from its trekking starting to the ending points. The sceneries are most admirable. Overall, it is a short and sweet Annapurna base camp trek package for 2023.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide
Table of Contents
Where is Mt. Annapurna located?
Mt. Annapurna is a 55 km long massif, located in the Gandaki Zone, Nepal. It lies in the north-central part of Nepal. It is surrounded by Pokhara Valley and Kaligandaki Gorge on the south and west sides respectively, whereas both eastern and northern areas are bounded by the Marshyandi River.
Since Annapurna is a massif, it includes the 10th highest mountain in the world, i.e. Mt. Annapurna I with 8091m. Besides, its ranges contain thirteen peaks over 7000m and sixteen over 6000m.
Annapurna Conservation Area is the first as well as the largest conservation area in Nepal. It preserves all the floras and faunas of the Mt. Annapurna ranges.
The most prominent Annapurna ranges:
- Annapurna I Main (8,091 m)
- Annapurna II (7,937 m)
- Annapurna III (7,555 m)
- Annapurna IV (7,525 m)
- Gangapurna (7,455 m)
- Annapurna South (7,219 m)
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Highlights
The highlights of the ABC trek are fabulous. The trek offers:
- Beautiful closer views of Annapurna Massif
- Poon Hill Hiking
- Ethnic Villages
- Natural Hot Spring Bathe
- Nepalese Flora and Fauna
- Fewa Lake and other activities at Pokhara
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Annapurna base camp trek always starts from Nayapul, Pokhara. The trekkers can go to Pokhara either by land or by air transportation. Pokhara is a beautiful valley surrounded by lakes and the Himalayas.
ABC trek itinerary can be customized as per the requirement of our valued guests. Normally, there are two popular ways to reach Annapurna Base Camp, i.e. through Ghandruk and Ghorepani. Both are ethnic villages of Gurung and Magar respectively. The typical feature of the former village is the hospitality of the Gurung community. On the other hand, the latter village is the way to go to Poon Hill hiking for looking at the golden sunrise views over the Himalayas.
The ABC trek itinerary is as follows:
- Drive to Nayapul and trek to Ulleri (1960 m)
The trekkers need to have almost one hour of drive from Pokhara to Nayapul. It is the ABC trekking starting point. You have to walk for about 6 hours to reach Ulleri Village. It is an ethnic village. On the way, your trekking passes the places like Birethati and Tikhedunga where you can observe the local shops and teahouses. Your trek crosses the Bhurungdi River before reaching Tikhedunga. En route, you may see the distance views of mountains.
- Drive to Nayapul and trek to Ghandruk (1940 m)
After reaching Nayapul on a private vehicle, the trekking starts to Ghandruk Village. It is the popular Gurung village. The hospitality of these inhabitants is praiseworthy. It is very beautiful that everyone likes and wants to come back again. The Gurung Museum is beautiful.
Your Annapurna base camp trekking trail embarks on from Nayapul. It goes on and reaches Birethanti at first, then to Khimche village and finally to Ghandruk. En route, you are welcomed by the mountain views everywhere, if the weather is clear.
- Trek to Ghorepani (2860 m)
After having your breakfast, the trail starts towards Ghorepani. It is also another beautiful ethnic village. So, the trek goes along the forest of oak and rhododendron by crossing two villages such as Bhanthati and Nangethati. Finally, you get to your today’s destination.
- Poon Hill Hiking and trek to Tadapani (2700 m)
Early in the morning, your hiking to Poon Hill at an elevation of 3210 m goes on. It’s just two hours of walking for going up and returning down.
Poon Hill is a beautiful viewpoint for looking at the gorgeous sunrise over the Himalayas.
After coming down, you can have breakfast and move on to the next destination of today, i.e. Tadapani. So, your trail embarks on upward till to Deurali and descends to Bhanthati along the forest of pine and rhododendron. The trekking turns off at Tadapani at last.
- Trek to Chhomrong (2170 m)
It is one of the easiest trekking days of the entire ABC trek as you can walk only downwards along the forest and Gurung village. Then your trail takes you to Chhomrong Village.
- Trek to Dovan (2600 m)
Today, the trail descends along the Chhomrong and Upper Modi River Valleys. Conversely, it ascends then till to Sinuwa Gaun. It is the vantage village for looking at the gorgeous Mt. Fishtail. This place offers very vivid mountain views.
Then the continuation of walking goes through the forest of rhododendron, crosses the Bamboo village, and reaches Dovan.
- Trek to Deurali (3230 m)
This is the shortest but most adventurous trekking day of the whole ABC trekking itinerary. Today, the trail enters the high-altitude area. So, it ascends through the bamboo and rhododendron forests. The trek continues and crosses the Hinku cave and finally to Deurali, the gateway of Annapurna Sanctuary.
- Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m)
Today, your trail takes you to your final destination. So, it goes on and crosses the beautiful Machchhapuchchhre base camp with seeing astonishing views. After about two hours of walking, you can reach Annapurna Base Camp. From there, you can look at the surrounding mountain views, clicks the photos, and do other things you want to do in front of the Annapurna massif.
- Trek back to Bamboo (2310 m)
After having breakfast by sitting before the Himalayas, your trail goes back to Bamboo village by retracing the previous route.
- Trek to Jhinu Danda (1780 m)
Again the trail follows the same previous route till to the Chhomrong village. Then it goes very steeply to Jhinu Danda. After reaching there, you can have a natural hot spring bathe, and get refreshed.
- Trek back to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara (800 m)
This is the last day of your ABC trekking. So, you go down to Syauli Bazaar at first, then to Birethati, and finally to Nayapul. After reaching there, you can have a drive to Pokhara.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Accommodation
Trekking accommodation is the most integral concern of every trekker. Regarding the Annapurna base camp trek accommodation, the teahouses are the popular accommodation. However, you can find the normal to deluxe and luxurious hotels and lodges en route to the ABC trek, especially in the lower elevation. It provides equal facilities as the hotels of the city based on your payment style.
Besides, Annapurna base camp teahouse trekking is being popular day by day. Actually, the teahouse is also like a normal hotel and lodge. It also includes the same facilities as provided by the hotels and lodges.
The most important thing is that whether it’s a hotel or lodge or teahouse that provides the best services in the lower altitude in comparison to the higher altitude where only the normal facilities can be expected like sharing based restrooms, lights, and blankets, bed, drinks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Another noticeable thing is that you need to share the rooms, especially in the higher elevation if it’s a crowded season.
What is the best time to go to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Trekking in Nepal is possible in all seasons based on the elevation and rain shadow areas. However, the best time to go to the Annapurna base camp trek is from late October to November and from April to May because the former offers dry and warm weather with vivid mountain views while the beautiful flowers blossom in the latter seasons, but weather may be wetter for sometimes, the day would be cleared otherwise.
Is it needed to hire a trekking guide to go to ABC trek?
Annapurna base camp is not a trekking restricted area of Nepal. So, if you have previous trekking experience, the ABC solo trek is possible as you can see the signboard with kilometers in order to find the route. But it may be quite difficult to arrange the accommodation in the peak season because of the crowd of trekkers every hotel and lodge would be packed already. Besides, you have to arrange the TIMs and permits yourself which can be bought in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
If you hire a guide, the company itself arranges everything like TIMs, permits, other necessary papers works, hotel arrangements, and so on. Similarly, the company takes responsibility, if any bad things happen and also arranges the helicopter rescue in case of emergency if your insurance covers it.
If you are a solo trekker, please be careful of the people you may find en route to your destination because every person is not honest. They may guide you wrongly and may steal your valuable things.
At last, hiring a guide would be the best recommendation for your safety and security. The knowledgeable and experienced guide makes your trekking meaningful. He/she can give you the company and makes you feel comfortable. His/her guidance helps you to get the answers to your queries.
How difficult is the ABC trek and is it needed to hire the porter?
Annapurna base camp trek is neither difficult nor too much easy a trekking trail. It is a -moderate trekking with a 7-10 days itinerary. But ABC trek can be categorized under the easy trekking destination too in terms of altitude and walking trail’s structure.
Besides, it is true that carrying stuff is a hard job. However, it’s up to your physical capacity. If you cannot carry your baggage, you can hire a porter. One porter can carry the bag pack of two travelers up to 15 kg. So, you can share a porter with other trekkers which would be cheaper as well. But it means not that you should overpack. You can drop your unnecessary things at the hotel in Pokhara and pick them up after finishing the trek. It does not cost extra for dropping off your stuff, but you have to stay there before and after trekking.
More importantly, please, make sure not to give the porter to carry valuable things like ornaments and money.
What to pack for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
You need to pack the Annapurna base camp trekking gear based on the trekking season. The followings are the list of trekking gears; some of them can be hired in Kathmandu and Pokhara on the basis of per day rent.
- Sleeping bag (down or synthetic fill and rated to at least 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Hiking sport shoes
- Bag pack (the bag can hold all your gear)
- Lightweight trekking pants (synthetic and loose or fitting pants)
- Lightweight Shirt (fleece or wool)
- Socks minimum 4-5 pairs (wool or synthetic)
- Trekking shorts
- Sports bra (only for women but no cotton)
- Heavy down jacket
- Lightweight trekking boots (would be better waterproof)
- Long underwear (all synthetic and light)
- Winter gloves (fleece or wool)
- Winter hat (fleece or wool)
- Winter scarp
- Woolen/fleece sweater
- Waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket and pants
- Gaiters (no zipper and should be knee-length)
- Water bottles
- Water purification (tablet or chlorine or pump)
- Hiking poles (if required)
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Camera with extra batteries
- Sunglasses (dark glass with side shields, with full UV protection and IR blockage)
- Day bag pack (to carry mineral water, camera, and rain jacket)
- Luggage locks (for locking your bag)
- Lip care for lip protection
- Anti-bacterial hand gel
Drinking Water during the Annapurna base camp trek
Each and every trekker must drink safe and sufficient water in order to reduce the risk of dehydration as well as altitude sickness.
During your Annapurna base camp trekking trail, you can find lots of natural water resources, but you should be aware that drinking such water is not healthy. It means you should drink purified water only and you can buy such water from every teahouse and lodge of every village. It would be cheaper for you to refill a bottle with water if you carry your own water bottle. Besides, using some water-purified medicines would cost too much cheaper to make success your budget ABC trek.
How many times do you get meals during your ABC trek and what kinds of food do the teahouses of the Annapurna region serve?
Normally, you can get 3 meals during your ABC trek i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most of the teahouses serve almost the same kinds of foods like tea/coffee, egg, and bread and butter/jam as breakfast. Similarly, lunch and dinner include rice, lentil, vegetables, and pickle. It is called Dal and Bhat in Nepali. Besides, some trekking guides may carry some fresh fruits on the basis of budget and serve you every day during the Annapurna base camp trek.
Porridges and pancakes also come under the breakfast category. Some teahouses serve meat as well. Typically, you can get yak steak in the Himalayan zone of Nepal.
More importantly, everything except meat can be found fresh in the mountain region of Nepal so, you must be careful while ordering meat. But it means not that every hotel serves stale meat.
Do you need permits for going to the ABC trek?
Yes, you must have a permit for going to the Annapurna base camp trek. You can buy it either from Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or from the trekking companies like Rising Adventure approved by Nepal Government.
TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System) is another compulsorily needed thing for entering the Annapurna Conservation area. You can get it too from trekking agencies or from Nepal Tourism Board.