One of Nepal's most classic short treks, this route takes you to the foot of some of the tallest mountains in the world. Along the way, you'll spend the night in two famous base camps with close-up views of Annapurna I and Machapuchare.

Highlights

  • 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

Trek Overview

Fast facts
Min. duration 15 days
Max. elevation 3,900 m (Basecamp)
Start/finish Dhampus/Tikhedhunga
Difficulty Moderate
Accommodation Teahouse

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.

Brief Itinerary

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 Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m) Dhampus
Day 4 Trek to Landrung (1,550 m) Landrung
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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

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

Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
Boudhanath Stupa

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: Trek to Dhampus 

Sunset above village of Dhampus in Nepal
Sunset over Dhampus 

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 Landrung

Day 5: Trek to Chomrong

Sunrise over Chomrong village Annapurna conservation area ,Nepal
Sunrise over Chomrong village

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

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 

Annapurna I (8,091m) with prayer flag from Annapurna base camp ,Nepal.
View of Annapurna I and prayer flags from 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

Day 11: Trek to Himalaya Hotel 

Today. retrace your steps back to the Himalaya Hotel.

Day 12: Trek to Chomrong

Retrace your steps back to Chomrong

Day 13: Trek to Ghandruk

People at a teahouse on the hill in Ghandruk, Nepal
People at a teahouse on a hill in 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

Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal
Swayambhunath Temple

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.

Best Season

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.

Machhaphuchhre Base Camp
Machhaphuchhre Base Camp at 3,700 m
Annapurna Base Camp
Full moonlight on Annapurna I in winter
View of Annapurna South (7,219 m)
Fall season at Annapurna Base Camp

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.

Trail to Annapurna Base Camp
Climbing up toward ABC
Nepali village
En route to Annapurna Base Camp

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.

View of Annapurna Himal
Sunrise view of Annapurna I from Annapurna Base Camp

Consider combining this trek with one of the following treks, below:

Map

Map of Annapurna Base Camp Trek - 15 Days
Map of Annapurna Base Camp Trek - 15 Days

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I am so very grateful that we stumbled on KimKim. From the moment we inquired with KimKim about a trek in Nepal and then ultimately connected with our local organizer, Ngima Dorji Sherpa with Nepal Mountain Trails in Nepal, we were very impressed with the responsiveness, organization and professionalism of our communications. I can not say enough positive things about our experience, especially with Ngima. Planning a trip for a family of four including a trek in the highest mountains in the... read more

I am so very grateful that we stumbled on KimKim. From the moment we inquired with KimKim about a trek in Nepal and then ultimately connected with our local organizer, Ngima Dorji Sherpa with Nepal Mountain Trails in Nepal, we were very impressed with the responsiveness, organization and professionalism of our communications. I can not say enough positive things about our experience, especially with Ngima. Planning a trip for a family of four including a trek in the highest mountains in the world is no small task. KimKim and especially Nigima made it manageable and enjoyable. Five stars!

I cannot say enough positive things about Ngima Dorji Sherpa!!!! His professionalism, responsiveness and courtesy are top notch! From the moment we were connected with him virtually while we were planning our trip to our first meeting in Kathmandu to our final encounter at the airport, we knew he was holding our trip that included a two week trek with care and professionalism. Also, through the course of our experience, we learned how important he is to the development of his home community in the Solu-Khumu region - he gives back incredibly by helping build schools and a monastery - it was an honor to support his business. Another thing I would like to note is how comfortable we felt with him - it was easy to communicate and connect on both a professional and friendly level. I hope to go back to Nepal - I would absolutely hire Ngima and his company and our fabulous guides Lahkpa and Tashi and our dedicated, strong and trustworthy porters Nima and Tara again in a heartbeat.