- Trek into the heart of the Annapurnas, surrounded by 7000-8000 peaks
- Pass through the beautiful farming village of Ghandruk
- Rest your weary muscles in the hot springs at Jhinu Danda
- Enjoy classic views of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Machapuchhre, and Hiunchuli
|Min. duration||15 days|
|Max. elevation||3,900 m (Basecamp)|
In some ways, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is a less-intense version of the Everest Base Camp trek but can be done in a shorter amount of time. The route ascends a river valley that gradually narrows before opening up into an amphitheater of mountains. While other treks circle around the mountains or take you to panoramic viewpoints, this trek is more about getting to the base of these great Himalayan peaks.
Our suggested itinerary—starting and ending in Kathmandu—takes 15 days and offers a great overall experience of this trek, which gives you a day of exploring the amazing views in the Sanctuary. If you're short on time, it's also possible to do this trek safely in 10 days, in which case the itinerary below will be adjusted for you.
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu!||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Explore Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, drive to Phedi, Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m)||Dhampus|
|Day 4||Trek to Landruk (1,550 m)||Landruk|
|Day 5||Trek to Chomrong (2,040 m)||Chomrong|
|Day 6||Trek from Chomrong to Himalaya Hotel (8,793 feet / 2,680 m)||Himalaya Hotel|
|Day 7||Rest day||Himalaya Hotel|
|Day 8||Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (11,811 feet / 3,600 m)||Machhapuchhre Base Camp|
|Day 9||Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (13,550 feet / 4,130 m)||Annapurna Base Camp|
|Day 10||Explore the Annapurna Sanctuary||Annapurna Base Camp|
|Day 11||Trek to Himalaya Hotel||Himalaya Hotel|
|Day 12||Trek to Chomrong||Chomrong|
|Day 13||Trek to Ghandruk (2,050 m)||Ghandruk|
|Day 14||Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 15||Depart Kathmandu|
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the valley, the Himalaya, and of the terraced fields below. After going through customs, a representative will be waiting to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets and get you settled into your hotel. Once you've settled in, head out and visit one of Kathmandu's cultural highlights. In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Kathmandu has a special atmosphere during the early morning hours when the city is slowly coming to life yet not too chaotic. It's a great time to walk and explore the streets or have a chai overlooking one of the local courtyards or durbar squares. There are a number of ways you can spend the day given the many incredible sights around the Kathmandu Valley. Later in the evening, head out for dinner at one of the city's great eateries, or your specialist can arrange a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 3: Fly to Pohkara, Drive to Phedi, Trek to Dhampus
A short flight takes you to Pokhara. Your guide will greet you at the airport and you will head out to the trek starting point of Phedi, about a half-hour drive. Today the trail ascends through forests of rhododendron, magnolia, oak, sandalwood, and pine until you reach the village called Dhampus. This is an authentic Gurung village, which gives you an opportunity to look at the magnificent views of the Annapurna ranges, as well as notable peaks like Lamjung Himal.
Day 4: Trek to Landruk
After breakfast, we pick up where we left the trail yesterday and head up the ridge at Deurali where we have magnificent views of the mountains, including Mt Dhaulagiri, the highest mountain in this region. We enjoy the views while having a well-earned rest and then we descend through the forest to the small village of Tolka, a small Gurung village very rich in culture and very beautiful.
We proceed on to Beri Kharka and from here, the trail descends through scattered forests and villages to reach Landruk. Landruk is a large Gurung village situated above the Modi River where we will stay the night in a local tea house. Lunch will be served en-route.
Day 5: Trek to Chomrong
Our route now climbs quite steeply, high above the river through bamboo forests and isolated farmsteads. The teahouses at Jhinu provide a welcome opportunity to stop for a drink and a rest on this long, hot climb. Ascending further along a treeless ridge we come to Taglung and just a short distance beyond this is Chomrong. From this Gurung village, there is a tremendous view of Annapurna South, as well as impressive views of Machhapuchhare.
Day 6: Trek from Chomrong to Himalaya Hotel
After dropping down to the Chomrong Khola on steep stone steps, the trail climbs again, initially through terraced fields and then through a forest of bamboo and rhododendron. Today's walk is always either up or down on steep paths which are often paved. Sometimes there are views of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare ahead, but often the forest is too thick to allow more than a tantalizing glimpse.
After reaching the village of Khuldigar, you descend a stone staircase to a section of exceptionally thick bamboo forest which leads to the settlement known as "Bamboo Lodge". From here, you climb steeply through bamboo and rhododendron forest, following the trail high above the river to day's end at Himalaya Hotel.
Day 7: Rest Day
Today is a rest day and we take it fairly easy in order to give our bodies a chance to acclimatize. There are splendid views to be had from the top of the moraine ridge which lies just behind the lodges.
Day 8: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp
After a steep climb, you soon reach a fire-blackened overhang which has been walled-in to make a small lodge. This place is known as Hinku Cave. The trail rises continually now, as you near the entrance to the Sanctuary. Passing the lodges at Deorali and Bagar, you arrive at the level and grassy moraine platform known as Machapuchare Base Camp.
Day 9: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
You'll wake up and have breakfast in Machapuchare Base Camp and then set out for Annapurna Base Camp. Any living vegetation that you may have encountered on previous days will likely be replaced with snow, rocks, and boulders. Dress warm and take the trail slowly so you can acclimatize to the higher elevation.
The path widens as you enter the Annapurna Sanctuary, follows a stream, and then continues uphill. You'll enjoy a rewarding finish with unobstructed views of Machapuchare, Annapurna south, Annapurna I, Hiuchuli, and other peaks.
Day 10: Explore the Annapurna Sanctuary
We spend the day exploring one of the most stunning mountain amphitheaters in the Himalaya. There is enormous potential for day hikes from camp or, if you'd prefer, it's an inspiring place to simply sit around camp and admire the breathtaking scenery.
Day 11: Trek to Himalaya Hotel
After breakfast, bid farewell to the Annapurna Sanctuary and return to the trail. Today you will retrace your steps back to the Himalaya Hotel, passing once again through Annapurna South & Machhapuchhare Base Camps. The last stretch of today's trek is a short but steep descent to the Himalaya Hotel.
Day 12: Trek to Chomrong
Today's trek takes you back to Chomrong. The morning starts with a walk through bamboo and rhododendron forest before ascending a steep stone staircase to the village of Khuldigar. From here, the rest of the day passes through the dense forest but keep your eyes peeled for last glimpses of Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare.
Day 13: Trek to Ghandruk
Today you'll trek until you reach Ghandruk with spectacular panoramas of the Himalayas. You'll stay overnight in this trekker hub with its many lodges, eateries, and shops to stock up on sundry items. Take some time to visit the Gurung museum, a tiny exhibit in an old traditional house made of stone slabs where you can learn about the history and the local way of life.
Day 14: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After breakfast, you may have time to do more sightseeing, relax, or check out one of the Pokhara's coffee shops. About 1.5 hours before your flight, you'll be picked up from your hotel and taken to the domestic airport to catch your flight back to Kathmandu.
In Kathmandu, you'll be transferred to your hotel and can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Explore Kathmandu's streets on foot, bicycle, or rickshaw, perhaps shopping for souvenirs or seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip.
In the evening, choose from a selection of Nepali, French, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern dishes in Kathmandu.
Day 15: Depart Kathmandu
Time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home. It's good to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.
As with other treks in Nepal, the best time to do this trek is in the spring (Mar-May) & fall (Sep - Nov). It can be done in the summer, monsoon months as well, but be sure to prepare for the rain. You can also do this trek in winter, but best to inquire with one of our local experts if all the necessary teahouses will be open at this time. Avalanches can also be a risk during the winter months, so it's important to trek with a knowledgeable guide who is familiar with the conditions.
Accessing this Trek
From Pokhara, you'll take a 45-minute private jeep ride or public transport to Phedi, the most common starting points for this trek. Almost all routes end in Nayapul, from where you'll catch transport back to Pokhara. Recently, it's possible to take a jeep farther than Nayapul and cut off the first day of the trek if you're short on time.
Permits & Regulations
As with other treks in the Annapurna Region, you'll need to purchase a TIMS card ($10) and an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) ($20 USD). There will be a checkpoint at the beginning of your trek where you'll have to display these.
Accommodation & Meals
You'll find well-equipped teahouses available along the entire trek, and all your meals, snacks and water can be purchased from local shops. Some teahouses will offer hot showers along with battery charging and wi-fi, but reliability varies depending on the village and the season.
Consider combining this trek with one of the following treks, below: