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Exploring the beauty of the Himalayas | Annapurna Base Camp Trek

15 Apr 2020 hgn

Explore Annapurna Base Camp Trek with incredible Mountains view

Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Sanctuary trek, as it is popularly known, is a moderate level trek in the Annapurna region. Exploring Annapurna Base Camp Trek leads to the center of the Annapurna Mountains which is home to the breathtaking high altitude peaks and icy glaciers. All these elements make up this magnificent piece of eerie and an extravagant natural art form.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

After exploring the capital of Kathmandu, and most importantly the UNESCO World Heritage sites, you have the option of taking either a 25-minute flight or a 6 to 8 hours/ 200 km long drive to the city of lakes – Pokhara. The morning atmosphere of Phewa Lake is truly mesmerizing. The following morning you will drive for 45 km approximately to start the trek to Annapurna Base Camp through Poon hill. You will get there by following Burundi River. Along the way is the magnificent rhododendron forest.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek begins at Dhampus Phedi or Nayapul. Both of these places are around 1.5 hours long drive away from Pokhara. A few hours into the trek, you will reach Birethanti, which is the entry point to Annapurna Conservation Area. It is a natural heritage of Nepal, and one of the richest protected areas in the country. It is managed by Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Before entering the protected area, you will have to cross the Annapurna Permit and TIMS checking points.

Annapurna Base Camp view with trekekrs
Annapurna Base Camp

Upon embarking on the Exploring Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will witness the natural paradise of forests with Rhododendron and a vast diversity of flora. You will get to enjoy the extravagant view of Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna Massif, and Mt.Dhaulagiri (8167m) from numerous points on the trek. And especially from the top of Poon Hill, which has an altitude of 3210m. Annapurna Base Camp Trek route develops through terrace fields, various local villages home to Gurung, Magars, and a variety of other ethnic groups, each with their own unique cultures and traditions. After crossing the last village on the trek route, Sinuwa.

March and April Ghorepani view of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
March and April Ghorepani view of the ABC Trek

You will move through a nice ravine until Annapurna Base Camp. It is situated at an elevation of 4130 M. From here, you can see the main attraction of this trek, Mt.Annapurna (8081m), as well as various other peaks such as Himalchuli, Tent Peak, Manaslu, and Machapuchhre (6947m).

During the journey, after exploring Poon Hill, which offers the views of 14 snow-capped peaks, including Annapurna South, Hiunchuli , Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri, the trip proceeds towards Annapurna Base Camp. You will have to cross a suspension bridge before reaching Chhomrong. On the way back from Annapurna Base Camp, you can also enjoy a natural hot spring at Jhinu.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Trekkers are standing on poon hill 3210M and during their Annapurna base camp trip.
Poon Hill 3210M

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, or simply the Poon Hill Trek, is a classic short trek within the Annapurna region. Throughout your journey, you pass through ethnic villages, magnificent rhododendron forests, and come face to face with some of the major mountains of Nepal, which include Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, and Annapurna Main. You will get to view most of them from the top of Poon Hill.

Khopra Trek

Dhaulagiri ranges view from Khopra Trek
View from Khopra Trek

On the Khopra Trek, you follow the same path that you do while walking on the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. The path then descends into the Khopra valley, before ascending back again onto the Khopra Danda ridge, just north of Poon hill. The trip takes a day unless you wish to stay at a teahouse in Swanta village.

The view from here is truly mesmerizing. During both sunset and sunrise, the valley is filled with clouds. Below us is the sight of the towering Mt.Dhaulagiri. During the evening, local yak herds are brought for overnight grazing on the slopes just below us.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty

It goes without saying that physical fitness is required for this journey. The Annapurna Base camp Trek involves, from the beginning of the adventure, quite a bit of walking particularly as you make your way through the numerous villages and wilderness between them. Stamina and leg strength, as well as a good balance and coordination, is a must. Similarly, upper body strength and a strong core are also important as a lot of these activities involve carrying supplies across difficult terrain.

As with most treks, any of the Exploring Annapurna Base Camp Trek routes cover high altitude places. Thus, acclimatization days are accounted for in the itinerary to prevent altitude sickness. A typical trek lasts 5 to 6 hours. Although feasible for people with an average level of fitness, the trek is still quite strenuous and will require a bit of determination.

The trek itself can easily be simplified as a long hike in a high altitude, and so it doesn’t quite require technical or mountaineering skills as a lot of people assume about the journey. However, a moderate amount of fitness is still required, particularly, stamina and leg strength. It is recommended that you start preparations 6 to 8 weeks in advance. You could go for activities that focus on improving your stamina, for instance, cardio. Similarly having a high level of determination is also important for completing the task.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost

There are several factors at play that can determine the cost of your trip. The season you choose for travel is an important factor. Spring and Autumn seasons are best for trekking and hence more expensive. Off-season packages include summer and winter packages offered at a lower price. The online agent, guides, local guides, and so on are also significant factors. Similarly, visa, insurance, flight costs, and general costs of travel are also factors to be considered. For an average 12 to 13 days trek, prices range from $820 to $ 916 approximately but price determine as services and volume of a group.

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) entry fee itself costs approximately 3000 NPR ($30) for non-SAARC nationals and NPR 1000 ($10) for SAARC nationals. Children under 10 are not charged. In conclusion, Nepal is in no way an expensive country, so you should find your Annapurna base camp trek budget to be quite reasonable

Annapurna Circuit Trek Description

Opened in 1977, the Annapurna Circuit Trek route has arguably become the most popular hiking route in Nepal, and a must for anyone keen on experiencing the most breathtaking and vibrant adventure holidays in the Himalayas. The Annapurna Circuit Trek provides a diversity of trekking experiences owing mainly to its broad terrains, which range from green pastures to dry desert climate. There are numerous viewpoints throughout the route that offer stunning views of the Himalayas.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Group capture in Ghorepani Poon Hill 3210M.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Group

The Annapurna circuit trek begins at Besisahar, which is 8 hours long drive away from Kathmandu. The trek lasts from 10 to 17 days depending on your choice of the detour to the Annapurna Base Camp and Sanctuary Area. The trek covers 150 to 250 km of distance, depending on when you stop the tour. You can cover major places on the route in a vehicle. One of the natural attractions covered in the trek is Kali Gandaki Gorge.

During the Annapurna Circuit trek, you will follow the route in a counter-clockwise manner circumventing the Annapurna Massif, and through significant places of western Nepal like Annapurna, Manang and Mustang regions. The highest altitude covered during the trek is 5416 m, which is that of Thorong La Pass 5416M. From here, the path descends to Muktinath.
Another thing to note is that the classic route to Jomsom from Muktinath is affected by adverse road conditions. The New Annapurna Trekking Trail was offered to counter this. The NATT routes are marked in red, white, or blue in the trekking map and offer a more relaxed experience.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is somewhat strenuous. The journey requires you to walk for around 7 hours on average, every day, on a variety of terrains, some of which involve steep surfaces. The most rigorous journey is, however, through Thorung La pass, a mountain pass situated at an altitude of 5416 m. Aside from that, the weather is also quite aggressive, and in comparison to hills or the plains, it significantly changes in the mountains.

For an easier journey, a trek during the autumn and spring season is the most suitable, as the temperature is warmer around 20° C. Similarly, high levels of physical fitness, stamina, and leg strength is an absolute must for the long journeys. Altitude sickness is a concern as the atmosphere is thinner at higher altitudes. Acclimatization and rest, as well as hydration, is an absolute must. No more than 20 kg in baggage weight is recommended for the trekker to carry by himself during the trek. A potter can also be hired to assist you with carrying additional weight if necessary.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Map

The Annapurna Circuit trek is an exciting activity to try partly due to the variety of attractions found in the region. So, a general understanding of the area of the visit is important. Unfortunately, time is limited and not all parts can be explored. Thus, selecting the most interesting sites to explore in such a vast area would require an Annapurna circuit trek map. With its help, you will have the freedom to select your sites of interest, the routes, and side routes and overall discretion regarding how you wish to conduct your journey.

Making plans, dictating your journey through the area, anticipating the challenges ahead, and deciding whether to face them or take a detour becomes very convenient with the help of an Annapurna Circuit trek map. A similar principle also applies to any of your general visits to Nepal.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek

Jomsom Muktinath Trek in Annapurna Region of Nepal
Muktinath Temple

The Lower Mustang trek or the Jomsom Muktinath trek as it is popularly known as is a part of the Annapurna Circuit trek. The trek route lies towards the north of Pokhara, and it starts from Nayapul, which is only an hour-long drive away from the city. We go through numerous settlements and Mustang villages including Gurung villages of Landruk and Ghandruk, Marpha, Tatopani, and so on. Within days, we reach the edge of the Himalayas. Going through the trail of the world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki valley of Mustang valley, we arrive at Muktinath, whose elevation is 3800m. The floor elevation of the gorge is 2520 m. We also cover Poon Hill during the journey, which has a height of 3210 m. The Lower Mustang trek ends at Jomsom Nepal, the district center of Mustang.

Nar Phu Valley Trek

Nar Phu Valley in Annapurna Region Nepal
Nar Phu Valley Trek

The Nar Phu Valley Trek, on the other hand, diverges from the traditional route of the Annapurna Circuit and into the remote valleys of Nar and Phu, home to the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetian people. The Nar Phu Valley Trek is suited for those who wish to experience life in the depth of the mountains of Nepal.

Accommodations

Hotel in Manang 3560M

Accommodations include a 2-3 star hotel during your stay in Kathmandu, and the best lodges picked by our guides on the route. All accommodations will be on a twin shared basis with the showers and lavatories being on a shared basis as you reach the mountains.

Vaccinations

Health and safety are paramount concerns. Although the risk of contracting diseases is extremely rare, it is highly recommended that you’re inoculated for tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, polio, and typhoid. It is also recommended that you remain careful regarding drinking water. The average cost of vaccinations is around $200.

Visa

Similarly, visa, insurance, flight costs, and general costs of travel are also factors to be considered. The visa to Nepal costs $30 for 15 days, $50 for a 30-day stay, and $125 for 90 days. In conclusion, Nepal is in no way an expensive country, even from the perspective of travel and stay visa.

Travel Insurance

It is also highly recommended that you carry travel insurance as trekking always comes with risks. The basic insurance needs to cover events such as flight cancellation, tour cancellation, and medical costs. Insurance policies may not cover trips over 4000 m, so it is important that you acquire details confirming that you are covered for both high altitude travel and medical air support. The insurance cost varies greatly but on average around $150.

Trek Guide and Porters

Guide and Porters on Thorong La Pass 5416M
Guide and Porters on Thorong La Pass 5416M

A licensed guide is available throughout the trek and ready to address any concerns you may have. Our guides are well experienced, when it comes to traveling the trails, and dedicated to making your journey a memorable one.

Safety is always the first and foremost priority. For a group exceeding six people, there will be two guides leading the journey. Porters are a must for carrying luggage. For teahouse treks, there will be a porter for every two trekkers. A camping trek will require more potters as food and necessities will need to be carried.

Himalaya Guide Nepal Pvt. Ltd. is a registered trekking company with professional guides and porters. We have been working for 18 years in the tourism industry of Nepal, organizing trekking, peak climbing, expedition, hiking, tours, air ticketing, hotel reservations, and adventure activities. From the side of Himalaya Guide Nepal, we give you all heartfelt welcome, and we wish for your secure and unforgettable holiday in Nepal.

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