The Ultimate Guide to Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Overview
If you are a trekking enthusiast, traveling in/to Nepal, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Annapurna Base Camp (also known as ABC and Annapurna Sanctuary) Trekking is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal after Everest Base Camp trek. The ABC Base Camp Trek offers the grandiose mountain vistas and amazing trekking experience, which is why it is a must trek for all the trekking lovers.
The trek to Annapurna Base camp offers the beautiful nature at it’s best with the well-maintained paths and alluring views around. It is a deep glacier surrounded by majestic peaks like Annapurna South, Annapurna I and III, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Hiun Chuli and Fang. This awe-inspiring trail runs through forested hillsides, terraced fields and ethnic Gurung settlements to the ice and snow-covered base camp, the sanctuary of Gods.
The trail offers the exceptional experience of natural and cultural splendor. One can witness the culturally rich diversities on the way to ABC. This place mostly comprises of Gurung, Magar and Thakali community people among other minorities. The warm hospitality of people, enthralling landscapes, diverse floras and faunas, and taste of delicious foods are surely the memories from ABC trek to be cherished for the lifetime.
General Information about the trip
- Trek Difficulty: Moderate
- Duration: 10-15 days
- Elevation: 4130 meters
- Trek Total Distance: 40 Kilometers (KM) equivalent to 24.8548 Miles.
- Accommodation during the Trek: Teahouses and Hotels
- Transportation: Bus and Jeep/Car or flight (if you prefer to travel (KTM to Pokhara to KTM) on a flight).
- Duration of the trek: Depends on your walk and your desire. Normally it takes as less as 7 days and if you want a slow and steady trek enjoying the beautiful trail (walk less and get acquainted with the places more) then the trek can go up to 12 days.
- Permit needed? –Yes, if you’re a foreigner.
- When to travel? The ABC trek can be done all year around. It is because of the easy access to the hotel/lodges and teahouses on the way to ABC. However, the best seasons to trek to Annapurna Base Camp are during spring and autumn. Spring season falls in the month of early March until the end of the month May. Autumn season falls in the month of September (starting days of September) to the early days of December.
ABC Trek Map
Itinerary of the trip
Day 1: Kathmandu – Pokhara (Bus ride of 6-7 hours)
Day 2: Drive to Nayapul (1.5 hrs) – trek to Ghandruk (1940 m) 5-6 hours of walk. Ghandruk is an amazing village densely populated with Gurung, Poon Magar, and Thakali people. You can witness their cultures there.
Day 3: Ghandruk (1940 m) – Chomrong (2170 m) 5-6 hours of walk. You should not miss the sunrise view from Chhomrong.
Day 4: Chomrong (2170 m) – Dovan (2600 m) 6-7 hours of walk.
Day 5: Dovan (2600 m) – Machapuchare Base Camp (3700 m) 7-8 hours of walk. Amazing view of Mt. Machhapuchhre and the way back that you walked.
Day 6: Machapuchare Base Camp (3700 m) – Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m) 3 hours of walk. Congratulations!!! You’re at your destination of the trek!!! Cherish the moments of desperation, hardships along the way and more than that cherish all the beautiful moments being in that destination.
Day 7: Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m) – Bamboo (2310 m) 7-8 hours of walking.
Day 8: Bamboo (2310 m) – Jhinu Hotspring (1780 m) 6-7 hours of walking. Take a warm bath in hot spring. You’re re-energized and warmly bid goodbye.
Day 9: Jhinu Danda (1780 m) – Nayapul (6-7 hours of walking). Drive to Pokhara (1.5 hours of bus ride). The final day of the trek in Pokhara before leaving to Kathmandu the next day, so have fun in Pokhara.
Day 10: Pokhara – Kathmandu (By bus or by flight).
What to carry while trekking?
- Down Jacket
- Rain/Wind Jacket
- Trekking Boots
- Sun hat/cap
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- First Aid Kits
- Small Towel
Highlights of the Trek:
- Mount Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhere Himalayan range. Base camps of Mt. Annapurna and Machhapuchre.
- Machhapuchhre base camp (MBC), (the literal English translation of Machhapuchhre is fish-tail). Because of the steep and unique structure, no one has ever been able to summit Mt. Fishtail until now. So it’s a virgin mountain until now. From Machhapuchhre Base Camp, the trekkers will be able to see the close-up views of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, and Hiunchuli.
- Picturesque beauty along the way. Panoramic view of Mt. Annapurna, Fishtail, and Dhaulagiri. You should not miss capturing these moments during the trip.
- Beautiful landscapes during the trail. The trekkers can see the rhododendron blooming, oak trees, fern and bamboos on the way. The sound of a river flowing on the way takes away all of your exhaustion and rejuvenates with positive energy.
- Amazing view of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South and surrounding villages from Chhomrong. One should not miss the majestic view of sunrise (sunrays striking in Mt. Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South in the early morning) from Chhomrong while in ABC trek.
- A number of Tea houses and lodges at regular intervals. You can stop in the tea houses and lodges for small tea and coffee break in a span of 2-3 hours. Also, you can have Dal- Bhat or any other preferable lunches in between as well.
- Typical Gurung, Poon Magar and Thakali cultures and villages. You can see the people in these places with their cultural dresses.
- Natural Hotspring (Jhinu Danda). Nothing gets better than taking a bath at Hotspring in Jhinu Danda surrounded by the dense forests and a river flowing by the side. With a glass of chilled beer in the hand, sipping it and cleansing all the tiredness from the trek. What a beautiful way to end the memorable trek. The farewell gets even joyful and worth remembering with such a warm goodbye.
Learn more about Trekking in Nepal.