Annapurna Sanctuary trek, Nepal. Photo: Customer/Lee Bethell
4.9
| 55 reviews

Trek the Annapurna Sanctuary Route

13 nights
Moderate

Explore remote Himalayan valleys, hike mountain trails and follow wild rivers to see some of the most incredible views on the planet

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with local, expert, English-speaking guides

Hotel & Teahouse

2 nights in Kathmandu, 2 nights in Pokhara and 9 nights in teahouses on the trail

Meals

4 breakfasts and 2 dinners are included

Transfers & Porterage

Airport transfers, local transfers and transportation of your overnight luggage

Permits

All entrance fees and permits are taken care of

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 55 reviews
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Memories for a lifetime
May 2024
Matthew S.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Trip of a lifetime!!
April 2024
Jaimie A.
Unforgettable experience
April 2024
loren-lee k.
Unforgettable experience
April 2024
loren-lee k.
Unforgettable experience
April 2024
loren-lee k.
Unforgettable experience
April 2024
loren-lee k.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.
Jam! Jam!
April 2024
Rebecca R.

Experience views that will leave you speechless, including Hiunchuli, Gangapurna and the awesome Annapurna Massif

Hike to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m) – summit of the trek and the reason this is one of the world's most famous hikes

Witness the endless colours of a Himalayan sunset from Ghorepani and watch dawn break from the top of Poon Hill

Want to extend your adventure in Nepal after the trek? See our alternative trip to add on a safari in Chitwan – eyes peeled for rhinos

Key Information

Day 1

Kathmandu awaits

Aerial view of Kathmandu, Nepal at sunset with a stupa rising into the skyline.

Check into your hotel in Thamel, the heart of the sensory overload that is Kathmandu. After meeting your guides and making any last-minute plans for the trek, finish the day with a group dinner alongside the rest of your team.

Day 2

The road to Pokhara

Pokhara Lake with the Annapurnas in the background, Nepal.

Driving

8hrs

Drive to the lakeside city of Pokhara (approximately eight hours away) – the gateway to your trek. After road-tripping through some mind-bendingly beautiful Himalayan scenery and terraced farmland, settle into your hotel and soak in the tranquillity as you prepare for your first full day of hiking in the morning.

Day 3

The trek begins

Ulleri village, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-1147702793

Hiking

6hrs · 10-11km · 1186m up · 200m down

Take a short scenic drive (about two hours) to Nayapul and set off from the trailhead, taking your first steps along the path that gradually ascends through dense forest, passing remote waterfalls and villages along the way. Tuck into lunch with an epic view of Mount Machapuchare (6993m), then cross a suspension bridge and begin the long, steep climb up a stone staircase all the way to Ulleri. This will be one of the most challenging stretches of the whole trek, but your guide will help with the pace so that it's manageable for your group. Once at the village, refuel with a well-deserved hot meal and enjoy your first night in a Nepalese teahouse.

Day 4

Ulleri to Ghorepani

Ghorepani, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-1138188181

Hiking

4hrs · 8km · 820m up · 80m down

Enjoy a morning coffee as you soak up the panoramic view from your teahouse and prepare for a moderate uphill trail through a mixed forest of oak and rhododendron. If you're travelling in the early spring, the area will be covered in colourful flowers – a true spectacle of nature. Camera ready, head straight up the nearby mountain, catching glimpses of Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m). After another lunch with world-class views, continue on to Ghorepani, home to the Magar people, in time for a special sunset over the Himalayas.

Day 5

Ghorepani to Chuile

Poon Hill, Nepal.

Hiking

8hrs · 15-16km · 923m up · 1453m down

Set off before dawn and hike to the top of Poon Hill (3210m, about an hour's walk uphill), famous for its epic mountain views, just in time for the sunrise of a lifetime. Backtrack to Ghorepani for breakfast, then descend steeply through the rhododendron forest negotiating yet more stone steps to Deurali Pass (3210m). Cross a small stream by bridge, grab lunch surrounded by a beautiful lush forest and begin the short but steep ascent to Tadapani village – eyes peeled for Annapurna South and Machapuchare ('Fishtail' Mountain). From there it’s a slow descent to tonight’s destination, the village of Chuile.

Day 6

Chuile to Sinuwa

Jungle trekking in Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-455616559

Hiking

5hrs · 11-12km · 1006m up · 1330m down

Greet Machapuchare peak from your teahouse as you enjoy breakfast, then set off following the trail downhill through sparse settlements to Kimrong Khola. See the landscape change by the second as the forest thickens into untamed jungle. After following the trail downhill to Ghurjung there's a steep ascent to Chhomrong, the last permanent village in the valley. The route undulates once more as a stone staircase leads down to the river and then climbs steeply up the opposite side of the valley to tonight’s destination, Sinuwa, overlooking again the beautiful Machapuchare.

Day 7

Sinuwa to Himalaya

Annapurna Trek. Photo: GettyImages-588983806

Hiking

5hrs · 9-10km · 840m up · 280m down

Descend via stone steps through dense jungle and follow an undulating trail along the banks of a wild river as it weaves its way through some of the most challenging terrain on the entire trek, until you reach the village of Bamboo. The mountaintop views make all the hard work worthwhile. After resting up, continue through the forest to tonight's stop – the perfectly named village of Himalaya.

Day 8

Machapuchare Base Camp

Machapuchre Base Camp, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-541005288

Hiking

4hrs · 8-9km · 1100m up · 506m down

Start the day with a steep ascent through oak and bamboo forest to Hinku Cave, then push onwards and upwards on a rocky trail crossing some steep ravines as well as a few small streams on wooden bridges. As the trail reaches Deurali, negotiate the glacial river bank and ascend through birch forest, flanked by multiple layers of snowy and sharp ridges on both sides. Finally, emerge above the tree line and over the mountaintop to Machapuchare Base Camp. Try not to lose the power of speech as you look out on some of the most spectacular vistas on the entire trail, including Hiunchuli, Gandharyachuil, Gangapurna and the awesome Annapurna Massif. Relax, recover and then enjoy a Himalayan night sky filled with stars.

Day 9

Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-636974240

Hiking

3hrs · 4km · 430m up · 20m down

Enjoy breakfast with magnificent views of surrounding mountains, then leave the greenery behind and head into the snow-blanketed and rocky landscape that lays above. Though the trail ascends gradually and does not steepen, you may feel the effect of altitude on your breathing and pace. Hike the final stretch to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m) – the summit of the entire trek and a major reason why this is one of the most famous treks on the planet. If the weather is clear, enjoy a magical sunset you'll remember for a lifetime.

Day 10

Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo

Hikers climbing up the steps through the jungle of Annapurna Range on Himalayas, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-521430248

Hiking

6hrs · 18-19km · 60m up · 1860m down

Rise early to glimpse the breathtaking view of giant peaks such as Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli and Machapuchare as they emerge at the glow of sunrise. Then get back on the trail, this time heading downhill, soaking in the 360-degree mountain views before dropping back down to the forested slopes with a long descent to the village of Bamboo for the night.

Day 11

Last night in the mountains

Bridge to Jhinu Danda village. Photo: GettyImages-1174912586

Hiking

6hrs · 10-11km · 498m up · 1235m down

Climb to Khuldighar on stone staircases and follow the gentle downhill trail and stone steps that lead to Chomrong Khola. From there, it's a short uphill walk through the village, followed by a downhill section to Jhinu Danda. From there, you'll head to the bubbling hot springs at Jhinu Danda for some much-needed downtime.

Day 12

Return to Pokhara

Himalayan valleys, Nepal. Photo: GettyImages-1214610622

Hiking

6hrs · 11km · 386m up · 1570m down

Begin your last day of trekking with some mesmerising views of the mid-hills of Nepal. Breathe in that mountain air, take some final photos and then enjoy your final descent into Naya Pul, from where you’ll be driven back to Pokhara. Head out for a celebratory dinner with your crew, then spend the rest of the night relaxing, partying beside the lake, sleeping – whatever you want, you’ve earned it!

Day 13

Back to Kathmandu

View across the rooftops of temples in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Driving

8hrs

Take a bus through the Himalayas (approximately eight hours) back to Kathmandu and your hotel in Thamel. Enjoy some downtime in Nepal’s chaotic but intoxicating capital.

Day 14

Last chance to enjoy Nepal

Tree roots taking over a temple in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Enjoy a lie-in followed by breakfast at your hotel, then spend your last day exploring the city before returning to the airport and back to reality.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Teahouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4 – Day 11

Teahouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 12

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 13

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 14

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Traditional Nepalese meal of dhal bhat.

Breakfast is usually hot porridge, muesli or Tibetan bread served with an omelette or boiled eggs.

The dinner 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), momos (Nepalese dumplings), mixed noodles, pasta and even pizza. Although meat is available at some teahouses, we suggest that you ask your guide for their advice regarding its consumption, as it tends to depend on how far it has travelled as to whether or not it is a safe option.

Dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian diets can be catered for while trekking, although meals may get a bit repetitive – dhal bhat will likely be your go-to staple. Gluten-free/coeliac diets are tricky to cater for on teahouse treks (beware that powdered soups and seasonings used often contain gluten, and cooking oil is commonly reused and may cause cross-contamination). Please explain your dietary requirements to your guide so that they can assist when ordering, and bringing along some extra food/snacks is advisable.

What is the accommodation like?

Kathmandu

You’ll stay in a hotel in Thamel close to the main shopping area and heritage sites. Expect a twin-share ensuite room, with air-con and WiFi included.

Traditional Himalayan teahouse in the lush green valleys of the Annapurna range, Nepal
On the trail

You’ll be staying in teahouses – mountain lodges with a communal dining area and basic toilets, which are usually sorted by gender. WiFi, phone charging and hot showers are often available for a small cost. Some nights the rooms will be multi-share.

Pokhara

You'll stay in a hotel near the lake on a twin-share basis, close to local bars and restaurants.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked – see Optional Extras. This only applies to the nights spent in hotels, and is subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Arrive by 16:00 on Day 1

Ends

Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Any time on Day 14

Transfers

Airport arrival and departure transfers are included no matter when you arrive and depart (even if booking extra nights before or after the trip), provided you have completed your passenger information form and have supplied your flight details in advance. On Day 1, your tour leader will arrange a group briefing before a welcome dinner, so we strongly encourage you to book a flight landing by 16:00 in order to be able to join this on time.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Kathmandu from major aiports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

  • Day pack with rain cover (30 litre +)
  • Rucksack or duffle bag (for the porters to carry overnight kit)
Clothes
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight down jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Lightweight trekking trousers
  • Hiking shorts (if trekking in the summer)
  • Thermals (top and bottom, merino ideal)
  • 2/3 trekking t-shirts/shirts
  • Fleece or warm mid-layer
  • Waterproof thick gloves
  • Glove liners
  • Hiking socks and lighter walking socks
  • Wool hat
  • Sun hat
  • Spare underwear
  • Buff or similar
  • Swimwear (optional, for hot springs)
Shoes
  • Worn in waterproof hiking boots
  • Lightweight trainers (for the evenings)
  • Flip flops or sandals
Sleeping
  • 4 season sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow case (optional)
Other
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel towel
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • 2 water bottles (1 litre each)
  • Metal SIGG bottle (useful to fill with hot water to use as a hot water bottle at bedtime)
  • Headtorch
  • First aid kit and/or personal medication
  • Water purification tablets/system
  • Hand gel
  • Biodegradable wet wipes
  • Small biodegradable bags to take toilet tissue off the mountain
  • Toilet paper/tissues
  • 1 x passport photo for trek permit
  • Powerbank
  • Universal plug adaptor
  • Book/kindle/cards for downtime
Winter departures only (end Nov-March)
  • Gaiters
  • Microspikes
  • Extra warm layers (add an extra warm item to all key items above)
  • Extra set of thermals (pair to walk in, pair to sleep in)
  • Merino trekking socks
  • Merino glove liners

This winter kit can sometimes be necessary even in the high season, depending on weather conditions. Your local host will contact you a week prior departure if any extra items are necessary. If you are unable to get them on time, you can also buy these items locally (see below).

What's available to hire?

The below can be rented in Kathmandu:

  • Down jacket: costs approx. $1.5/day with a deposit of $50
  • Sleeping bag (3 season only available): costs approx. $2/day with a deposit of $80
  • Spikes (for winter departures only) costs approx. $1.5/day.

(Please ask your host if this is needed so they can assist you with how to arrange the hire)

What can you buy in Kathmandu?

Kathmandu has many outdoor gear shops - some are real with kit that is the same price you will find it at home and some are filled with cheaper imitation gear that may not be of the same quality. You will, however, find a soft duffel bag easily that the porters can carry.

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

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Extra night in Pokhara (Single Room)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Pokhara (Single Room)

Extra night in Pokhara (Twin/Double Room)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Pokhara (Twin/Double Room)

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Single)

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Twin/Double)

Matthew S.(May 2024)
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime
Memories for a lifetime

What an incredible trip and no better way to start this review with the the amazing team of guides that look after you. The guides are everything - they guide you on the route, set manageable pace, assist and solve any problems/injuries, translate with the locals, fill your water bottles, take your food orders, serve the food and clear the tables after. They are an integral part on making this tour a success and we were lucky enough to have Sunil, Sibeka and Ujjwal who was absolutely amazing and made this trip a lifetime memory. They were always happy to help and I believe you could do any trip with them and it would be amazing... and this is what Much Better Adventures has done incredibly well - picked the right people to ensure a safe and memorable trip.

I found the ever changing landscapes beautiful and well worth all the steps. We were lucky enough to go at mid April when the rhododendrons we in full bloom making the jungle that much more beautiful. Once through the jungle you are greeted by the steep mountains filled with waterfalls before making a push to the base camps. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and the food is also one of the many highlights. Overall the trip is very well organised and you are made to feel comfortable (even on the difficult days).

A few tips from my experience:

  1. I recommend a 2l hydration pack - it makes drinking water frequently easy.
  2. Stay vegetarian - the food is delicious and we had no problem with our stomachs. We also did the water purification tablets which worked well for us.
  3. Layers are very important - the temperatures are very different (the beginning of the hike was 25 degrees and Basecamp was zero and even colder in the early mornings)
  4. take card games - you have some downtime to kill in tea houses and it's a great way to bond with your group and guides.
Frances P.(May 2024)
We had a wonderful time

We had a wonderful time on this trek - the scenery was beautiful, with amazing views of the Himalaya. Whilst the weather was very hazy for the first few days, once we got to Annapurna Base Camp, it was beautifully clear. I was very glad to have packed warm clothes and thermals, as the tea houses are unheated, so nights are extremely cold once you get high up! Our guide, Tika, did an excellent job of organising accommodation and meals, making sure we had everything we needed, and setting a good pace for the climbs. We always felt safe and all the organisation was taken care of for us, which was very relaxing! Our porters, Kim and Purna, were fantastic too.

Julie B.(May 2024)
An excellent trip with an

An excellent trip with an excellent Guide - Tika - along with Purna and Kim our Porters. Tika was a very thoughtful, kind and a supportive guide who was there for us throughout the whole trip doing what he could to make it the best experience for us. He achieved that and sending him my thanks for such a lovely holiday.

If you are keen to join a group trip then it is a good idea to wait till many people have signed up before you book as the trips will run with one so sharing for anyone new to this site. Whilst only 3 of us, I was lucky to share the hike with two lovely people - so thank you to them for being such great trekking buddies! The organisation with both much better adventures and the local host in Nepal was excellent! Thank you.

Mark R.(May 2024)
Everything I expected. Fellow travelers made the trip.

The important question answered first, “would I recommend the trip, and would I use Much Better/Freedom Adventures again. The answer to both is 100% YES. But there were just a couple of niggles that made it a 4.5*/5 experience (scroll to the bottom).

This was my first multi stage trek and I went as a solo traveler. I was blessed to have a FANTASTIC group of travelers, and I’m sure that’s not guaranteed to be the case of every trip. The guides are excellent, knowledgeable and made sure everyone had the full experience, this included one member spending the entire trip walking with just one person who was not as fit as the rest of us. They still made Base Camp which is credit to how hard the guides work.The trip is well organised and well paced. It delivered everything I expected.

The food is fresh, flavoursome and you’re never left hungry. Allow a budget of £40/day to cover your meals. Another £5/day for showers and WiFi (yes, available at most stops). Allow £100 to cover “tips” at the end of the trip.

Accommodation on the trip is basic but clean. Some toilets are just a hole in the ground, so it’s not for those who like creature comforts.

I would say you need to have a GOOD level of fitness. If you’re not someone who looks after themselves, this may prove a little too much. In total you’re going to climb over 20,000 feet in a week, it’s hard on knees, calves, quads and feet.

Why did I detract 0.5*?

A. There is a lot of pollution (clearly not anyone’s fault) at lower levels which impacts views. No blue skies, just haze.

B. The first day you start the trek on a dusty track, dodging busses, vans, trucks etc. I understand they do this to casually gauge the fitness levels of the team, HOWEVER, you do the same thing on the last day. Having just come down from the majesty of ABC, there’s nothing pleasing about dodging traffic in a dust bowl. If management are listening DROP THIS LAST DAY. I’m sure it’s so they can add ‘another night’ to the trip but EVERYONE agreed it takes the gloss off.

C. The company encourage you to add a few extra days at the beginning +/or end of the trip and if you can, I agree. HOWEVER, book the extra nights yourself. The company charges you £35-50 for something you can book yourself for £10-15. I appreciate these “margin mark ups” are important to their profitability, but for me, this was too much.

brian m.(May 2024)
thank you lead guide Sunil

thank you lead guide Sunil for your support, understanding and knowledge of local customs and history, also guides Ujjwal and Saybica for your unwavering hard work, plus our team of four amazing young "ironmen" who provided logistical support with our duffles along the trek. I will always be grateful to you all for making my dream to see Annapurna come true "namaste" 🙏

Zahidah A.(May 2024)
Amazing

Before the trek: booking via MBA was very easy, and any questions that I had were addressed quickly and competently. We also had a WhatsApp group once on the trek, for questions, and sharing of information, which was very helpful. MBA is very good value for money. One of the main reasons I booked with them was because food is excluded and I know my appetite can vary on treks, especially in high altitude, so this gave me choice and flexibility. On the trek: the route was wonderful - at the right level for me - and in line with my expectations. Some amazing scenery of Nepal's highest mountains. Accomodation was naturally basic but to very good standards. My only criticism would be more space and hanging pegs in rooms and when showers are billed as hot, they should be hot (they weren't in every location). Food at every location was delicious - even the basic soups were well prepared. The Nepalese have cooking in their blood and do local or International food to exceptionally high standards. The local team were excellent - very hard working. Ujjwal and Sebika the assistant guides were hard working, warm, supportive and highly skilled as trail runners. The iron men - in complete awe of their abilities as porters and trail runners. They were friendly, committed, and professional at all times - Ishwor and Nabin especially, went above and beyond to integrate with the group and support us. We made friends and bonded as a group and I won't ever forget this trek. I truly loved the local team - the Freedom Adventures team are very warm, dedicated, passionate, and vested in hiking and trail running. It was a privilege to walk with them - like hiking with Olympians!

Justin C.(April 2024)
Amazing Annapurna

Sunil, Anil and Santos were the most perfect guides. They looked after us so well and safety was paramount. They were great fun, the trek is breath taking and the group were amazing. The Iron men porters would put you to shame. A memory of a lifetime. Nepal is beautiful and so are the people. Can't wait to plan my next adventure with Much Better Adventures.

Jaimie A.(April 2024)
Trip of a lifetime!!