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Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Annapurna Sanctuary Route

Trek via Poon Hill to the scenic Annapurna Base Camp with a 360 degree panoramic view. 14 days.

I'M UP FOR
Wild Hikes
DURATION
13 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
Nepal
SEASON
February—May, October, November
NEAREST AIRPORT

Take on one of the most famous treks in the Annapurna region surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Trek through snowcapped mountain faces, rhododendron forests and the settlements of Gurung before reaching Annapurna Base Camp. On your way back, you can even relax in the natural hot springs.

All meals and hot drinks are included on the trek, scroll below to find out why this is better for you and for the environment.

You may also want to check out the 19 day Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 12 days of trekking
  • 11 nights of accommodation along the trek
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Local, professional English-speaking guides
  • Porter on 2:1 basis to transport your overnight kit
  • All meals during the trek
  • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • Transfers to/from Kathmandu city
  • Airport transfers

Perfect for:
Keen hikers who want to immerse themselves in the stunning Himalayan mountains - as well as tick off the bucket list one of the most famous treks worldwide.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Tips for the guides (optional)
  • Snacks

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but the norms in Asian culture means there is an expectation to tip. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Porters: You will have a porter per two people - we suggest US$1-$2 per person, per porter, per day. Assistant Guide: We suggest US$2-$3 per person, per assistant guide per day. Guide: You may also consider tipping your guide for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however, as a guideline US$3-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

This trip will run with maximum of 12.

We choose to include all the meals and hot drinks while you are on the trek. Although this isn’t industry standard we think starting each day sorting a bill isn’t exactly ideal - and this means that the guide can ensure we are getting the best freshest produce available. Groups sometimes choose to eat the same dish which also means less cooking so fewer trees felled to fuel the fire!

Having all meals included certainly doesn’t mean a lack of variety. Breakfast is usually either hot porridge, muesli or Tibetan bread served with an omelette or boiled eggs. The menus in the teahouses are very similar at every stop and there will usually be a choice of traditional Nepalese dhal bhat (a mixed plate of lentils, rice, vegetables and pickles - delicious and healthy!), Nepalese dumplings (momo’s), mixed noodles, pasta and even pizza. Although meat is available at some teahouses, we suggest you ask your guide for their advice re consumption as it tends to depend on how far it has travelled as to whether it is a safe option

Specific dietary needs can be accommodated - just make a request when booking.

Although most teahouses have the option to buy bottled water, we advise against it to reduce the use of plastic in the mountains. You will instead be provided with cold water that needs treating. There is a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - some trekkers like to use UV handheld devices such as a Steripen but other options are available (just check the performance in freezing conditions). You can also buy boiled water if you would rather.

You’ll hike from 4 to 6 hours a day, averaging around 10km per day and gradually ascend from 1050m to 4130m. While the trail is generally good, there are some more challenging uphill sections of the journey.

The Annapurna Sanctuary is the ideal trek for those who are keen to experience the Himalayas but aren’t quite ready for the longer higher altitude treks. You should have some experience trekking but the trip is designed so that each day has plenty of time factored in for you to take your time and enjoy the incredible views.

When you trek in the mountains, there always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most trekkers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3500m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind so acclimatisation days have been built in and our experienced guides follow advice to ‘walk high and sleep low’. The Annapurna Sanctuary trek isn’t at high altitude for prolonged periods so serious altitude sickness shouldn’t be of concern.

There are 3 different seasons for trekking in Nepal:

Winter (Dec-Feb): Despite being seen as ‘off-season’ this is often the best time to trek in Nepal. The nights can be very cold (down to minus 20ºC) but the trails are quieter and the mountain views are often at their best due to the clear sunny skies.

Pre-Monsoon / Spring (March-May): Temperatures rise significantly in Spring and flowers are in full bloom in the lower lands. Although it can still drop below freezing at night, the daytime temperatures tend to sit between 10-15ºC.

Post-Monsoon / Autumn (Sept-Nov): This is the most popular time to trek in Nepal with sunny and mild days generally. It can get cold and windy at higher altitudes however skies are usually clear.

Of course, mountain weather is notoriously hard to predict and snow can be expected on any trip so come prepared.

All of our trips include a porter per every two trekkers. They will carry up to 15kg of kit so your overnight bags and spare clothes will be transported for you (7.5kg per person). You will only need to carry a ‘day pack’ with essentials in (extra layer, snacks, water, suncream, camera etc).

Your host recommends packing the following:

  • 1 rucksack/duffle bag for the porters to carry with your overnight kit.
  • 1 day pack as above (approx 30ltr) with waterproof cover
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 1 pair waterproof trousers
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 pair lightweight trekking trousers
  • 1 set of thermals (merino is ideal)
  • 2 trekking t-shirts/shirts (shoulders covered)
  • 1 mid-layer (fleece or similar)
  • 1 pair trekking boots (must be worn in)
  • 1 pair lightweight trainers for evenings
  • 1 pair waterproof thick gloves
  • 3 pairs thick walking socks / 3 pairs lighter walking socks
  • 1 warm wool hat
  • 1 buff or similar
  • 1 sunhat or similar
  • Spare underwear
  • Swimming costume

Kit - 4 season down sleeping bag - Sleeping bag liner - Trekking poles if needed - Travel towel - Sunglasses - Personal medication and first aid kit - Hand gel - 2 x 1ltr water bottles - 1 x headtorch - Suncream - Water purification tablets/system - Small biodegradable bags to take toilet tissue off the mountain/to camp each day - 2 x passport photos for trek permits

On some trekking days/acclimatisation days there will be some downtime at the teahouses. A pack of cards and a book may come in handy here.A metal SIG bottle can also be useful to fill with hot water before bed and used as a hot water bottle.

Please remove all unnecessary packing before you leave home and ensure you take all plastic off the mountain to be disposed of in Kathmandu.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here. For trips to Nepal please ensure that your insurance covers trekking at altitude and includes helicopter evacuation.

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal so check with your embassy before leaving - there is usually the option of obtaining before or upon arrival. All nationalities also require a passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

Location

View map

Kathmandu is famed for its World Heritage sights with include of the holiest Hindu temples and one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world. Despite the 2015 earthquake which brought devastation to parts of the city, the heart of Kathmandu is as intoxicating and exciting as ever.

Annapurna Base Camp (4130m) is incredibly unique and jaw-droppingly spectacular as it has panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range. From the camp, you can see the peaks of Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna South (7219), Machapuchhre (6993m) and Hiunchuli (6441m). These unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime views put the Annapurna Base Camp trek at the top of many trekkers’ bucket lists.

Poon Hill (3210m) is one of the most famous viewpoints in the world and has magnificent views of Machapuchhre and Annapurna. In this trek, you will reach the summit of Poon Hill in time to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas.

Start point

Kathmandu Airport - anytime

Your adventure begins at Kathmandu Airport (KTM) with your private airport transfer. Private transfers are included, so you’re free to book any flight. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area and will take you to your hotel. You’ll meet your trek leader and fellow adventurers for dinner later that evening.

Finish point

Kathmandu Airport - anytime

At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Kathmandu Airport in time to meet your return flight. You’re free to book any flight.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Kathmandu

Once you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), your host will pick you up via private vehicle and drop you at your hotel. After checking in, you will have a 5:00 pm pre-departure meeting with the guides to run through the final plans and arrangements for the upcoming trek.

You’ll finish your first day with a team dinner to get to know everyone before you head to Pokhara tomorrow!

Day 2: Kathmandu - Pokhara

To get the most from the day, your bus to Pokhara leaves early in the morning, so grab a strong cup of coffee and head to the bus park. You will be driven through the beautiful landscapes, passing by rivers, terrace farming settlements and waterfalls, with the Himalayan mountains looking down from the hilltops. Alternatively, take a 25-minutes flight to admire the views over the Himalayas from the top.

Once you arrive in the beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara, you will be taken to your accommodation by the lake to make final preparations for the trek. Soak in the peaceful tranquillity of the landscape and relax in this trekking gateway.

Day 3: Pokhara - Nayapul - Ulleri

In the morning, you will be driven from Pokhara to Nayapul where the hiking will begin. Your first day of hiking will warm you into the trek as you spend the day walking through the forest and past waterfalls as you gradually ascend into the Ulleri village. At your lunch stop, you’ll be able to see Mount Machpucchare for the first time.

4 hours of hiking

Day 4: Ulleri - Ghorepani

Wake up to panoramic views of the mountains as you enjoy your morning coffee before heading off to Banthanti.

This day’s hike is quite challenging as it is straight up the face of the mountain, but the stunning views will make every step worthwhile. The lunch spot comes with more mountain views, today of Mount Machapuchare, Hiun Chuili and Annapurna South so make sure your camera is ready for action.

Your guide will take you to Ghorepani, a village of Magar peoples, in time to watch the sunset over the mountain tops.

4-5 hours of hiking

Day 5: Ghorepani - Chuile

Before dawn, you will hike for 40 minutes through rhododendron forests to reach Poon Hill, famous for its scenic and frankly jaw-dropping views of the mountain range. Here you’ll be able to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas before walking back to Ghorepani for breakfast.

The trek will start with a short but steep ascent to Deurali before passing Tadapani village and finally descending to Chuile, where you will spend the night.

5 – 6 hours of hiking

Day 6: Chuile - Sinwa

Your trek will start through the jungle and continue to descend until the trail reaches Ghurjung. From here, you need to follow to steps upwards until you reach your overnight stop at Sinwa, for dinner overlooking Machapuchare peak.

4 – 5 hours of hiking

Day 7: Sinwa - Himalaya

As the second half of the trek begins, the trail continues from Sinwa to Bamboo. This part of the trek follows the river uphill, which can be challenging at times. However, the mountaintop views make it worthwhile.

Your dinner and overnight will be spent in Himalaya.

4 – 5 hours hiking

Day 8: Himalaya - Machapuchare Base Camp

Today, your guide will take you along the river shore, before climbing a steep trail over the mountainside. It takes a few hours of ascent to reach Machapuchare Base Camp.

The views are particularly spectacular on this part of the trail as you can see Mount Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharyachuil and Gangapurna.

4 – 5 hours hiking

Day 9: Machapuchare base camp - Annapurna Base Camp

Today’s trek is the final stretch before you reach Annapurna base camp and the trek’s summit.

As you leave the greenery behind and head into the snowcapped, rocky landscape, the 360-panoramic views of the mountains make it obvious why thousands of trekkers head to the Annapurna trails each year. Once you reach ABC, you will be able to spend the night at the base camp of this breathtaking setting, swapping stories with those who have summited the giant before.

5 hours hiking

Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp - Bamboo

As you head out of the snow-covered mountains, and back into the greenery, you can spend some time taking in the scenic views of the mountains as you continue the trek to Bamboo, for your overnight.

5 hours hiking

Day 11: Bamboo - Jhinu Danda

The penultimate day of trekking starts with an uphill hike to Kulldighar, followed by a downhill walk to Chomrong Khola.

Once you arrive at the stone steps that ascend into Chomrong, it’s not far until Jhinu Danda. Here, the hot springs provide some much-needed relaxation and relief as you reflect on the trek and enjoy the last night sleeping in the mountains.

4 hours of hiking

Day 12: Jhinu Danda - Nayapul - Pokhara

The last day of trekking begins with the mesmerising views of the mid-hills of Nepal. Breathe in that mountain air and enjoy your descent into Naya Pul where you will be driven back to Pokhara.

Spend your last night relaxing, partying, eating, sleeping – whatever you want, you’ve deserved it!

4 hours of hiking, 1 hour of driving

Day 13: Drive to Kathmandu

The 7-hour drive back to Kathmandu is the perfect time to reflect on the trip (or maybe just catch up on sleep!). Once we arrive in Kathmandu, you will have some leisure time to buy some souvenirs, before we meet up for a celebration dinner upon completing the trek.

7 hours of driving

Day 14: Last day in Kathmandu

Enjoy a lie and breakfast in at your hotel. You can spend your last day exploring the city or take the transfer back to the airport, and back to reality.

Note: The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

Generally, most adventures to Nepal are based in remote areas where the accommodation will be basic. On the trek you will stay in ‘teahouses’ - these are mountain lodges that tend to have a communal dining area and basic toilets. The bedrooms are almost all twin-share however there may be the odd night where a triple room will be used in peak season. There’s no heating so your warm sleeping bag is needed. Wifi is often available for a small cost, and many places offer hot showers for a small surcharge. There is usually the option to also pay a small amount to charge your goods so pack an adaptor if needed.

In Kathmandu, you’ll stay in a centrally located tourist hotel so can expect an en-suite room with air-con and wifi included. The hotel is located in the heart of Thamel, close to the main shopping area and the heritage sites.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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These dates are guaranteed to run! As soon as you've entered your payment details your booking will be immediately confirmed. Then you can make your travel arrangements in a state of zen-like tranquility.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Upgrade to KGH Hotel in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Upgrade to KGH Hotel in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Additional Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Night in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Additional Night in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Night in Pokhara · · ·
Additional Night Accommodation Payable Before Departure
Additional Night Accommodation · · ·
Transfer Kathmandu - Pokhara Payable Before Departure
Private Vehicle (offers the most flexibiity) · · ·
Flight ( 35min, incredibly scenic) · · ·

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