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This trek, also called Annapurna Base Camp trek, goes into the Annapurna Sanctuary – a natural amphitheatre surrounded by some of the most spectacular Himalayan peaks. While Macchapucchre – the fish-tail peak – and Annapurna South dominate the horizon at the beginning of the trek, Annapurna I, which rises over 8,000m into the sky, captivates all trekkers at the Annapurna Base Camp. Despite being called the Annapurna Base Camp, most expeditions on Annapurna I choose to establish a base camp on the other side of the mountain near the Annapurna Circuit trail.
The trek passes through several Gurung villages. The Gurung people are one of sixty ethnic groups in Nepal and are the predominant Nepali recruits in the famous Gurkha regiment of the British and Indian army. On this trek, you will climb up and down the infamous, and seemingly endless, Gurung staircases along the Modi Khola. In the beginning, the trek goes through terraced rice fields, gradually ascending to old growth and bamboo forests to the Macchapucchre Base Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp. Macchapucchre is considered a holy mountain by the Gurung people and climbing Macchapucchre is prohibited.
This is a great first time trek in Nepal. Come join us on this spectacular journey and experience the culture and hospitality of the Gurung people!
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||4,200ft/1,340m|
|Day 2||Exploring Kathmandu||Kathmandu||4,200ft/1,340m|
|Day 3||Kathmandu-Pokhara to Ghandrung||Ghandrung||6,400ft/1,950m|
|Day 4||Ghandrung to Chhomrong||Chhomrong||6,900ft/2,090m|
|Day 5||Chhomrong to Bamboo||Bamboo||7,600ft/2,310m|
|Day 6||Bamboo to Himalaya||Himalaya||9,375ft/2,840m|
|Day 7||Himalaya to Machapuchare Base Camp||MBC||12,136ft/3,700m|
|Day 8||MBC to South Annapurna Base Camp||ABC||13,625ft/4,130m|
|Day 9||Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo||Bamboo||7,580ft/2,310m|
|Day 10||Bamboo to Chomrong||Chhomrong||6,900ft/2,090m|
|Day 11||Chomrong to Jhinu||Jhinu||5,839ft/1,780m|
|Day 12||Jhinu to Deorali||Deorali||6,800ft/2,080m|
|Day 13||Deorali to Dhampus. Drive to Pokhara||Pokhara||2,700ft/827m|
|Day 14||Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu||4,200ft/1,340m|
|Day 15||Final Departure|
Our standard program is 15 days. But if you wish to trek at a fast pace we would recommend the 12 day fast-paced Annapurna Base Camp Trek program. Write to us for details.
You will be greeted on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport by a representative of Crystal Mountain Treks holding a placard at the arrival gate. You will then be escorted to your hotel in Kathmandu. Once in the hotel you can refresh and take a rest as the day will be free. In the evening you will be entertained with a welcome dinner (included). During dinner, you will be briefed on the day to day trip and events.
Note: B refers to Breakfast, L refers to Lunch and D refers to Dinner.
Then on to Bhaktapur, which is located about 20 km east of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is known as the ‘City of Devotees’, the ‘City of Culture’, the ‘Living Heritage’, and ‘Nepal’s Cultural Gem’. It is one of the 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. The others are Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Patan. Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs and open courtyards. As a World Heritage site listed by the UNESCO, Bhaktapur has been heavily restored since a 1934 earthquake severely damaged the city.
Overnight at Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast and Lunch)
You trek up through terraced fields to a Pass. Descend steeply through a forest, to the Kimrong Khola (5,807ft/1,770m) before climbing up again to Kimrong Danda (7,425ft/2250m). The trail continues to climb higher before dropping down to Chhomrong. After lunch ascend steeply to another Gurung village of Chhomrong which is the highest permanent settlement in the valley, although there are tea-houses beyond this point. Chhomrong is a beautiful village located on the lap of Annapurna. Upon arrival at Chhomrong, you will witness the peak of South Annapurna with the Fishtail (Machhpuchure) facing across the valley. You will stay overnight at a lodge here. (All meals)
Leaving behind the permanent settlements, you follow the Modi Khola valley towards the Annapurna Sanctuary. You will shortly be at the foothills into the high step and wooded slopes of the Himalayas. You cross a suspension bridge and then trek up to Sinuwa Danda (7,742ft. /2.360m). The climb from Sinuwa turns somewhat flatter. The trail passes through thick and dark rhododendron forest up to Khuldighar (8,333ft/2,540m). Soon after you head on from Khuldighar, you enter through a deep bamboo population. After about an hour you reach your overnight lodge at Bamboo. (All meals)
Today, as you leave Bamboo, the trail passes through thick bamboo, rhododendron and oak forest to the village of Dobhan (8,530ft/2600m). You continue to ascend gradually following the trail above the river up the side of the canyon. You cross by two streams over small bridges. The trail further passes through solitary places. The wilderness and silence is soothing. There is also the possibility of seeing a variety of species of wildlife such as wild pigs, deer and snow leopard. The trail continues through stands of bamboo, and beyond avalanche chutes and a few landslides to Himalaya. You spend a night here at a Lodge. (All meals)
Today, you will find yourself above the tree line. The mountain views from here are marvelous: Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I (26,545ft/8,091m), Annapurna III (24,786ft/7,555m), Gangapurna (24,455ft./7,454m), and Machhpuchure are all visible from here. The trail from Himalaya climbs gently through a river bed and rises steeply over the side of the mountain. As you advance, you come to Hinku cave (10,400ft/3,170m). Further on you pass through Deurali (10,597ft/3,230m), a small village. About half an hour from Deurali, you will find yourself in the middle of a river bed surrounded by giant snow covered mountains. When the sun rises, it reflects the rays from the mountains and the valley is covered with warmth and light. The hike to the base camp is somewhat challenging but the spectacular scenery of the peaks around you takes your mind off it. (All meals)
From Machhapuchare Base Camp, it is approximately 2 hours trek to Annapurna Base Camp – a collection of four hotels on a hillock. The view of the south face of Annapurna is fabulous from ABC! On the way to ABC, the vegetation fades. You will enter the mountainous scene where the large snow bulks melt and form small streams. As we enter the sanctuary, the trail widens. The trial takes you along a stream and climbs to a few huts along a moraine. From here, you have the view of the south face of Annapurna towering above the sanctuary. Annapurna Base Camp sanctuary boasts of a dynamic 360 degree panorama view. (All meals)
Wake up early to witness the sunrise on the Annapurna ranges, a glorious event! Today is all downhill. After breakfast, you start your descent to Bamboo through MBC, Deurali, Hinku cave, Himalaya and Dobhan. On the way you will come to a point where you will witness the waterfalls that drop down from a high point to the rocks below. As you descend, you will pass through the forests with fascinating views of Fishtail and Hiunchuli. After lunch, you re-enter the bamboo forest. You halt overnight at a lodge at Bamboo. (All meals)
Today you continue down through the forest to Sinuwa and on to lower Chhomrong. Then again you ascend on the thousand stony steps taking you to upper Chhomrong. Overnight at a Lodge. (All meals)
Trek to the road-head from where a chartered jeep will drive you back to Pokhara. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Trek to the road-head from where a chartered jeep will drive you back to Pokhara. (Breakfast and Lunch)
You take the mid-afternoon flight back to Kathmandu. After you arrive in Kathmandu, you take some time off to get fresh and get ready for sightseeing in the valley. In the evening you will be entertained to a farewell dinner in Kathmandu. You will stay the night at Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast and Dinner)
The final day, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight home. If your flight is later in the evening then you can take a walk around town. (Breakfast)
Per person price (valid until December 31, 2019)
1 persons: US$2,300 per person (includes single supplement)
2 – 7 persons: US$1,800 per person
8 or more persons: US$1,610 per person
Single supplement: US$300
US$ 150 per person discount on December, January and February departures
All airport transfers; One full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments; 3 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu; 1 night twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Temple Tree (4 star) in Pokhara; Airfare: Kathmandu to Pokhara to Kathmandu; Chartered Vehicle: Pokhara to Kimche and Dhampus to Pokhara; Meals as indicated in the itinerary; Boiled water for your bottles twice a day; Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals; Guide and staff insurance; Use of Steripen for water sterilization; Annapurna Conservation Area Fee; Trekkers Information Management Card
Your international airfare; Nepal Visa; Meals not indicated in the itinerary; Tips and gratuities; Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you); Travel insurance (Required); Other expenses of a personal nature.
If you don’t have 15 days to spare, we recommend the fast paced Annapurna Base Camp trek which will reduce the trip by 3 days (total trip – 12 days).
You can combine this trek with the Annapurna Skyline Trek (to visit Ghorepani) and the Khopra Ridge Trek.
And, YES, we would be happy to custom-design any of our program for you for a minimum of two participants.
There are two preferred seasons for the Everest Base Camp Trek: Spring (March through May) and Fall (October through December). Day time temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s (10 to 15 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s (0 to 5 Centigrade). Expect night time temperatures of below Freezing near the Base Camp. Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is the season for rhododendrons and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains.
We highly encourage you to trek in the winter months of December, January and February when days can be quite sunny and warm (40F – 5 Centigrade) although you should expect temperatures below freezing on most nights starting from Namche (11,300 ft.). But the trails and lodges aren’t as crowded. We offer a $150 per person discount for treks in the Winter.
You can: A) organize your own trek B) choose a Nepali company or C) choose a western guided trek. Option A is the cheapest. If you’re doing the Annapurna Base Camp trek on your own look to pay around $30 per person per day (without alcoholic beverages) for meals and accommodations. Add cost of guide and/or porter plus airfare and permits. Option B is mid-range and can cost between $1,000 – $2,000 with varying inclusions and exclusions. Make sure you understand what is included and what is not included in the package. The best way to choose a Nepali company is to ask for references. Option C would cost above $2,500.
Anyone who is reasonably fit and can hike 8-10 miles a day can sign up Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This is a roller-coaster trek with a lot of ascents and descents (some quite steep). So the better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy the trek. Children as young as six and adults over seventy have walked to Annapurna Base Camp. It is advised that anyone with a pre-existing condition consult their doctor before signing up for a trek.
We rate the Everest Base Camp Trek a 4 on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).
Meals on the Annapurna Base Camp trek start out being quite varied especially at the beginning of the trek. But it becomes sparser as you ascend to the Annapurna Base Camp. In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (any style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables etc for lunch and dinner. And expect Nepali dal-bhat (rice-lentils with vegetables and/or meat) at all the lodges.
Ours is an OPEN menu. Meaning we allow our clients to order anything from the lodge menu besides bottled beverages, specialty coffee and packaged snacks. We also don’t limit the number of items per meal as long as you aren’t wasteful. When choosing your trekking company, ask if meals are fixed or if you are only allowed to order one item from the menu. If this isn’t the case, costs can add up over 15/16 days.
Nepali tap water is NOT safe to drink. Even if you see the locals drinking water straight from the tap, never drink water before boiling or sterilizing. Bring water purifying tablets or other water purifiers. At higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to buy boiled water from teahouses. If you plan to use a STERIPEN, bring wide mouth water bottles. You would need at least 2 one-liter water bottles for the trek. Even if you plan to bring a hydration pack, bring 1 one-liter water to sterilize the water before pouring into your hydration pack.
Crystal Mountain Treks will provide you with a Steripen to use on the trek for no charge.
Most of the places on the Annapurna Base Camp trek route now has cell coverage. In some locations, lodges will offer wi-fi for between $1 to $10 per hour. You can also buy a Sim card with 5GB or 10GB data for under $25: do this in Kathmandu.
The more physically fit you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. There are three aspects to training for any trek. 1) Cardiovascular Training will make your body more efficient in using oxygen. Running, walking, swimming or biking, or any combination of these are great for cardiovascular conditioning. 2) Strength Training by either using free weights or machines at the gym will build hiking strength. Walking stairs, especially with a pack will simulate the hiking environment. We also recommend practicing squats. Trekkers will encounter low hanging obstacles to duck under, and many toilets are at ground level, which requires a low squat.
3) Endurance Training is where you build endurance in the months leading up to your trek, slowly increase your length of training sessions. By the time you are 2 weeks from the scheduled trek date you should be able to ascend 3,000 ft. in a 3-4 hour period.
In the end, the more your training simulates a trek, the better off you will be. So hiking 4-5 hours outdoors, uphill and downhill, about once or twice a week in addition to other cardio vascular training at the gym or at home will greatly benefit and prepare you for the trek.
No, ATM’s are not available.
Most tea houses have a common toilet. Some tea houses, especially those at the beginning of the trek, have en suite rooms. While squat toilets are more prevalent, newer lodges have Western style toilets.
It is possible to shower in a few of the lodges. And hot shower usually means a bucket of boiled water. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $2-$5 for this service.
Layering is key. And it’s always recommended to trek with good branded gear. A good pair of hiking boots that’s been broken in is very important. Good top and bottom base layers, a mid layer (fleece or capilene), and an outer layer (Gore-tex or other material). If you tend to get cold quickly, bring a down parka especially for the evening at the lodge. On most days, you’d be hiking in a convertible hiking pant that can be converted into shorts and one or two top layers.
if you’re trekking with Crystal Mountain Treks, we provide a sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F or -17 degree C), duffel bags, down jacket and Steripen for water purification to our clients for no charge.
It is possible to buy cheap and relatively functional gear in Kathmandu – convertible pants, down jackets, fleece, Gore-tex jackets. But remember, you get what you pay for. Wool gloves, hats, socks are available too.
There are quite a few branded stores too. North Face, Moutain Hardwear, Marmot and Sherpa. If you’re coming from Australia or Europe, items in these shops are probably cheaper than back home. But if you’re coming from the US, it’s better to buy branded gear at home.
We had a great experience on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek. They efficiently planned it with short notice. The guide and porter were very competent, and enjoyable as people. The pre-trip information was extensive and helpful. We appreciated the professionalism of your entire staff, from first email contact through the last farewell at the airport. We would recommend Crystal Mountain and would use them again.
Tessy and I had a wonderful experience in Nepal and we would like to thank Crystal Mountain Trekking for it. The support from you and your staff was unbelievable. The guides and porters were very friendly and they really cared about our safety and comfort. That is part of the reason Tessy decided to make a contribution to Ram’s children’s education.
Our window was 2 weeks. The question became what company and what trek. There are so many options in Nepal. Two middle-aged couples (but the media continually refers to mid-sixties as ‘old’) with a bit of experience (the Tour du Mont Blanc, Chomolahari, Dolomites and several epic tramps at home in New Zealand) we sat down with a beer to consider the best approach. A trekking company that had survived for decades had to be the best option. Crystal Mountain without a doubt was, with impeccable organisation they are a well-oiled outfit. In the Dolomites our via ferrata guide Marco took trekking groups to Nepal. He advised that the Annapurna Sanctuary was an excellent choice and if you had the time, ABC (Annapurna Base camp) going up via Ghorepani and down via Ghandruck made a good circuit. His guidance was spot-on. The die was cast, Crystal Mountain and the Annapurna Sanctuary. For our objectives we couldn’t have made better choices. Our guide Ram had to be one of the most experienced in Nepal. A fountain of knowledge, forthcoming and always attentive we more than enjoyed his company. And our young Sherpa Sunni and porters Puna and Shezwhan were delightful. Now kiwis are a bit different to many nationalities in this respect, but socialising with our support team definitely enhanced our trekking experience. Keep in mind that Nepal isn’t Geneva or Melbourne, things will go wrong. How they are fixed-up is the key and that’s when you need experience, knowledge and friends. Crystal Mountain gets the nod with all three. Crystal Mountain organised an excellent trek for us in all respects, even the weather!
I wanted to post a note on your website to say what an absolutely wonderful time we had on our trek and to recommend yourselves to others. We enjoyed the trip enormously and Manju is possibly the most patient and kindest man I have ever met – nothing was ever a problem for you or your team – thank you