This 17 Days Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is also known as Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek into the heart of Annapurna Himalaya is intended to fulfill the dream of many people to experience the significant mountain holiday at the base of the world ́s famous Mt. Annapurna (8091 m), the region’s most beautiful peak Machhapuchhre (6997m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Gangapurna (7455 m) and Hiuchuli (6441 m), etc. in the region. The place is a high glacial basin lying forty kilometers directly north of Pokhara. This oval-shaped plateau sits at an elevation of over 4130 meters and is enclosed by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are above 7000 meters. With the only access a narrow pass between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre, from where Modi Khola River run-off glaciers drain into, the Sanctuary was not penetrated by outsiders until 1956. Because of high mountains on all sides, the Annapurna Sanctuary receives only 7 hours of sunlight a day at the height of summer. The unique combination of heights and depths in the Annapurna Sanctuary gives rise to an astonishing diversity of ecosystems. The south-facing slope is “covered in dense tropical jungles of rhododendron and bamboo”, while the north-facing slopes, in the rain shadow, have “drier colder weather similar to that of the near-by Tibetan Plateau.”
The entire sanctuary was considered as a holy place to the Gurung people, one of the many residents to inhabit in the area. They believed it was the storage area of gold and a variety of resources left by the Nags, the serpent-gods worshiped by Hindus. The sanctuary was believed to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well the older animistic gods. The peak of Machhapuchhre at the doorway was said to be the home of Lord Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow were thought as the smoke of his divine incense. Until recently, the local Gurang people forbade anyone from bringing eggs or meat into the Annapurna Sanctuary, and women and untouchables were prohibited from going there as well.
The trek begins with lowland bamboo forests and rhododendrons before making it up through the Modi Khola Gorge into the mountain amphitheater that is the Annapurna Sanctuary. If you visit the Annapurna Sanctuary during the good weather months in the fall and spring, you can expect clear mornings and evenings and a glowing panorama of snow-capped peaks and starry skies. More than half the trial is an up-and-back, meaning that you will be hiking down the same trail you hiked up. This is the reality of the geography—the Modi Khola Gorge is the only way into the Sanctuary for trekkers. Second, the gains in elevation are quicker than preferred, rising from Pokhara at 940 meters (3,085 feet) to Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130 meters (13,550 feet) in 5–6 days. This elevation change isn’t optimal, but the highest point on the trek is considerably lower than other major treks in Nepal, many of which reach 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) or more. Trekkers should be particularly aware of the issue and follow closely the rules of acclimatization.
Day 1 - Landing at Kathmandu
On your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, our representatives will pick you up with your name on a sign board and will escort you to the hotel.
At the hotel, we have organized a small welcome program just for you.
Day 2 - Kathmandu Sightseeing
After breakfast, we will be taking you to a short walk around Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kumari’s Palace and the Durbar Square Museum that once used to be a palace where the kings lived.
On this day, we will be having a short presentation describing entire journey for the great expedition ahead. We will also be visiting local hire shop to pick up last minute equipment required.
Day 3 - Fly to Pokhara and trek to Dhampus (1650 m)
After having breakfast, we will depart from Kathmandu to Pokhara by flight which takes 25 minutes to reach. Pokhara is one of the popular tourist destinations of Nepal admired as a natural paradise by its amusing views of Himalayas including Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, as well as the five mountains of Annapurna.
Upon landing Pokhara, we will be meeting our trekking guides and drive for approximately an hour to reach Phedi (1130 m) from where we will begin our first day trek to Dhampus. The mountains we see from Dhampus include Annapurna South, the Fishtail, Hiunchuli and Lamjung. We spent our first night in Dhampus.
Day 4 - Landruk (1620 m)
5 to 6 hours of walk takes you to Landruk.
We ascend through the forest on a trail which is often made up of stone steps on the steeper sections. Passing through Pothana, we reach a clearing on a pass, at a place called Deurali (pass). At this point we are high up on the east side of the Modi Khola, the river which flows out of the Annapurna Sanctuary. From Deurali we descend steeply down through forest then contour around through villages and terraced fields to camp in the picturesque Gurung settlement of Landruk, which affords spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.
Day 5 - Chhomrong (2210)
Descending all the way down to the river, to cross at New Bridge, our route climbs quite steeply, high above the river, through bamboo forest and isolated farmsteads. Reaching Jhinu Danda, we take a short break, on which you can enjoy natural hot spring.
Continuing our journey, we reach Chhomrong where we will be staying overnight. The entire day trek takes approximately 6 hours of walk.
Day 6 - Trek to Bamboo (2310 m)
After an early morning breakfast at Chhomrong, the trek of 5 hours takes us to Bamboo.
The trial consists of climb through terraced fields, through forest of bamboo and rhododendron to the ridge at Sediwa getting more views of the Annapurnas and Machapuchare and Contouring around the forest (with chance of seeing a troop of monkeys) we reach the abandoned ACAP check post at Kuldi, we reach Bamboo, where we will camp for the night.
Day 7 - Bamboo to Deurali (3170 m)
From Bamboo we continue upwards through yet more attractive forest, past the lodges of Dobhan and Himalayan Lodge. Climbing steeply we reach a fire-blackened overhang of Hinko Cave. After the trek of 5 hours, we can see the lodges of Deurali; where we stay overnight there.
Day 8 - Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700 m)
Trek from Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp is about 3 hours of walk.
Leaving Deurali, we enter the gateway to the Sanctuary. We climb up to the area which is called Machhapuchhre Base camp, a level and grassy moraine platform with several lodges. In the afternoon we can go up to the ridge behind camp to look down onto the glacier and absorb the distant view of Annapurna 1 & 3, Gangapurna and by straining your neck upwards; the now nearby Fishtail.
Day 9 - MBC to ABC (4130 m)
We have a short trek on this day with a fairly gentle ascent from our camp to Annapurna South Base Camp with a distance of only about 4 kilometers or 2½ miles. Increasingly impressive views reward us for our efforts as we climb the last steep section before reaching the base camp area. The afternoon is free to relax and admire one of the most stunning mountain amphitheatres in the Himalaya.
Day 10 - Sunrise at ABC and trek back to Bamboo (2400 m)
Get up early in the morning and savor the magnificent sunrise over the Himalayas from ABC. Watching enormous snowscape mountains up close, devouring the hypnotizing scenes, our journeys motive is fulfilled.
After taking breakfast, we start descending from ABC back through MBC, Deurali, Dovan and finally reach Bamboo. We pass through the forests with great views of Fishtail and Hiunchuli mountains. The entire day trek is about 6 hours.
Day 11 - Descending to Chhomrong
Trek from Bamboo back to Chhomrongis about 5 hours walking.
Today we move back into the forests again until Sediwa, where we rejoin the stone steps down to the Chhomrong river and final steeply track back up to Chhomrong for overnight.
Day 12 - Chhomrong to Tadapani (2650 m)
From Chhomrong, we take an alternative route back to Pokhara via Ghorepani (2900 m) on the west. This takes us to an additional episode to explore the paths of ABC panorama trek.
We contour around pleasant terraced fields, villages and forest to finally descent to a bridge crossing of the Kymnu Khola. We now climb up though more fields to Chuile, where we lunch, after which we climb steadily through rhododendron forests to Tadapani where we spend our overnight.
Day 13 - Tadapani to Ghorepani (2900 m)
Leaving Tadapani and walking along side of river, we reach Banthanti from where we start climbing steadily up through a beautiful rhododendron forest alongside a river in a narrow rocky gorge to another Deurali (3100 m). From Deurali we again descend down to reach Ghorepani. At this point we are on the main Annapurna Circuit route and there are likely to be many travelers passing through this ridge-top village in both directions.
Day 14 - Poon Hill view point (3195 m) and Trek to Hille (1524 m)
Getting up early in the dawn and climbing a steep ascent to the top of Poon Hill, we will be able to catch the magnificent view of the first light of dawn illuminates Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak with a surreal pink glow. After imprisoning the mesmerizing scenery into our camera, mind and heart, we descend back to Ghorepani.
After a break on Ghorepani, we will set up for a long day of trekking. The route is always downhill today and mostly on stone steps. The first couple of hours to Ulleri are through dense forest, passing the occasional lodge in a clearing. Then, a steep section, with 3767 steps, leads down to Hille (1524m) for overnight.
Day 15 - Trek till Nayapul and drive to Pokhara
Today will be the last day of your trek. On this day, we will be trekking for 3 hours from Hille to Nayapul. From Nayapul, we will be taking an hour long drive to pokhara, where we will be spending a lovely evening by the lake-side of Pokhara enjoying the sensational landscape.
Day 16 - Back to Kathmandu
In the early morning, we will be returning back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. We take the Prithvi Highway which is approximately 7 hours drive to reach Kathmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu, we return to Hotel and have time to rest and relax. You can enjoy spa and massage treatments to soothe the body pain from trekking.
Day 17 - Final Departure
It may be an end to one journey, but another will surely begin! Your journey to Annapurna Panorama Trek has officially came to an end on this day.
Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight time, our representative will transfer you to the airport.
We will be staying at 3 Star Standard hotels which have deluxe suite in Kathmandu. All accommodations are on twin-share basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 300.
All meals will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners for guests. While on the short trek, we have breakfast and dinner in the tea-houses/lodges we spend the night and lunch on our way to the next destination. The teahouse menu includes Nepalese, Tibetan and the more common continental cuisines for us to choose from.
This trek’s itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Experts agree that gaining elevation without proper consideration of AMS could be fatal. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. Therefore, our body needs time to adapt to an environment with less oxygen.
For our trek, There will be one guide (5 trekkers: 1 guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that even if anybody in the group gets sick or is unable to carry on, the trip can still go ahead as planned for the rest of the group. We can run the trek for groups of any size, but usually, it is a maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the best size for a successful trip. If you would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Messenger Travel & Tours is definitely committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
Travelers who can walk up to 6-7 hours a day on an uphill and downhill trail will find this trek fulfilling. It is best that we prepare ourselves for the Annapurna trek by jogging and exercising regularly at least a month prior to the start of the trek. Trekking to Annapurna Region should be relatively easier for those who have experience walking/trekking in a high altitude environment. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skills are required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should inform Messenger Travel & Tours before booking the trek.
Best Time to Travel
Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The weather is sunny and warm, with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, only colder (obviously). The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature. However, please note, there may be snowfall / avalanches during the winter.
Note:There will be 2(percent) additional discount per person, if the group of people exceeds the minimum group of people (Min. 2 Pax)