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ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY TREK

(4 Reviews)
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From$1,610
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Duration: 15 days
Grade: 4 - Strenuous
Max Elevation: 4130 m
Accomodation: Lodge

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!

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Trip at a glance

Brief Itinerary

Day Description Overnight Altitude
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    
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 01Kathmandu

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.

Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar

Meals: D

Day 02Kathmandu


After breakfast, drive to Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Shiva, meaning “The Auspicious One”, also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”), is a popular Hindu deity and is considered to be the Supreme God within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in Hinduism. Here, you’ll probably witness a Hindu cremation along the banks of the Bagmati River and many ascetics and Sadhus.

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.

Meals: B, L

Day 03Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara. Drive to Kimche. Trek to Ghandrung


Early morning flight to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft.) is approximately 30 minutes. A chartered 4 x 4 vehicle will transfer you to the starting point of the trek at Kimche. Today is a short day of hiking on gradual uphill (2 hours).

Overnight Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

KIMCHE TO GHANDRUK:
Distance – 1.94 miles/3.122 kilometers
Ascent – 965 feet/294.13 meters
Descent – 32 feet/9.75 meters
Ascent time – 1 to 1.5 hours
Descent time – 5 minutes
Flat time – 15 minutes

Day 04Ghandrung to Chhomrong

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). 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. There are great views of Annapurna South and Fishtail (Machhpuchure) facing across the valley.

Overnight Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

GHANDRUNG TO KIMRONG KHOLA (lunch stop):
Distance – 3.64 miles/5.9 kilometers
Ascent – 1,062 feet/324 meters
Descent – 1,601 feet/488 meters
Ascent time – 1 hour
Descent time – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Flat time – 40 minutes

KIMRONG KHOLA to CHOMRONG:
Distance – 3 miles/4.8 kilometers
Ascent – 1,062 feet/585 meters
Descent – 625 feet/191 meters
Ascent time – 2 hours
Descent time – 35 minutes
Flat time – 50 minutes

Day 05Chhomrong to Bamboo

Leaving behind the permanent settlements, you follow the Modi Khola valley towards the Annapurna Sanctuary. You will shortly be at the foothills of the slopes of the Himalayas. Cross a suspension bridge and then trek up to Sinuwa Danda (7,742ft. /2.360m). The trail passes through thick and dark rhododendron forest up to Khuldighar (8,333ft/2,540m). You then enter a forest of predominantly bamboos.

Overnight Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

CHOMRONG TO UPPER SINUWA (lunch stop):
Distance – 3.08 miles/5 kilometers
Ascent – 1,483 feet/452 meters
Descent – 1,096 feet/334 meters
Ascent time – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Descent time – 40 minutes
Flat time – 1 hour 25 minutes

UPPER SINUWA to BAMBOO:
Distance – 2.51 miles/4 kilometers
Ascent – 606 feet/185 meters
Descent – 686 feet/210 meters
Ascent time – 45 minutes
Descent time – 40 minutes
Flat time – 30 minutes

Day 06Bamboo to Himalaya

Today is a short trek of around 4 hours to aid acclimatization. The trail passes through thick bamboo, rhododendron and oak forest to the village of Dobhan (8,530ft/2600m). Continue to ascend gradually following the trail above the river up the side of the canyon. The trail continues through avalanche chutes and a few landslides to Himalaya.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

BAMBOO TO HIMALAYA (Lunch and Camp):
Distance – 4.47 miles/7.2 kilometers
Ascent – 1,997 feet/610 meters
Descent – 283 feet/86 meters
Ascent time – 2 hours, 15 minutes
Descent time – 20 minutes
Flat time – 50 minutes

Day 07Himalaya to Machhapuchare Base Camp

Today is another short trek day, again, to aid with acclimatization. You will find yourself above tree line with amazing mountain views of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I (26,545ft/8,091m), Annapurna III (24,786ft/7,555m), Gangapurna (24,455ft./7,454m), and Machhpuchure. The trail from Himalaya climbs gently through a river bed and rises steeply over the side of the mountain. Cross Hinku cave (10,400ft/3,170m). and Deurali (10,597ft/3,230m). About half an hour past Deurali, you will find yourself in the middle of a river bed surrounded by giant snow covered mountains.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

HIMALAYA to MACHHAPUCHARE BASE CAMP (Lunch and camp):
Distance – 5.64 miles/9 kilometers
Ascent – 2,931 feet/895 meters
Descent – 227 feet/69 meters
Ascent time – 3 hours, 15 minutes
Descent time – 20 minutes
Flat time – 1 hour, 35 minutes

Day 8Machapuchare Base Camp to South Annapurna Base Camp

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. The vegetation fades and you enter alpine country. The trial takes you along a stream and climbs to a few huts along a moraine. Annapurna Base Camp is a natural amphitheater and offers a 360 degree panorama view of the mountains.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

HIMALAYA to MACHHAPUCHARE BASE CAMP (Lunch and camp):
Distance – 5.64 miles/9 kilometers
Ascent – 2,931 feet/895 meters
Descent – 227 feet/69 meters
Ascent time – 3 hours, 15 minutes
Descent time – 20 minutes
Flat time – 1 hour, 35 minutes

Day 09Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo

Wake up early to witness the sunrise on the Annapurna ranges. Today is all downhill. After breakfast, you start your descent to Bamboo through MBC, Deurali, Hinku cave, Himalaya and Dobhan. After lunch, you re-enter the bamboo forest.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP to BAMBOO:
Distance – 12.25 miles/20 kilometers
Ascent – 510 feet/155 meters
Descent – 6,307 feet/1922 meters

Day 10 Bamboo to Chomrong

Today you continue down through the forest to Sinuwa and on to lower Chhomrong. Then again you ascend on the never-ending staircases to Upper Chhomrong.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

BAMBOO to UPPER SINUWA:
Distance – 2.51 miles/4 kilometers
Ascent – 686 feet/210 meters
Descent – 606 feet/185 meters

UPPER SINUWA to CHOMRONG:
Distance – 3.08 miles/5 kilometers
Ascent – 1,096 feet/334 meters
Descent – 1,483 feet/452 meters

Day 11Chomrong to Jhinu

From Chomrong, it is a short 1 hour descent to Jhinu. At Jhinu you have the option to take a dip in the Jhinu natural hot springs which is a further 30 minute descent to the Modi Khola from Jhinu.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 12Jhinu to Deorali

From Jhinu, descend to the Modi Khola and cross the suspension bridge. Walk along the banks of the river through a forest and begin a steep ascent on staircases to the village of Landrung. From Landrung, the village of Ghandrung where we began our trek is visible across the valley. Continue past the Landrung, and ascend steeply through a forest of Oak and rhododendrons to reach an opening with two lodges at Deorali. Total hike time today is around 5 hours.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 13Deorali to Pokhara

From Deorali, it is possible to see Dhaulagiri. Descend to Pothana and to Dhampus from where you would board a chartered jeep to Pokhara.

Overnight Lodge.

Meals: B, L

Day 14Pokhara to Kathmandu

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)

Day 15Final Departure

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)

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Detailed Cost Information

Per person price (valid until December 31, 2019)

1 persons: US$2,300 per person (includes single supplement)

2 – 5 persons: US$1,840 per person

6 or more persons: US$1,610 per person

Single supplement: US$300

US$ 150 per person discount on December, January and February, May and June departures

Payment policy:

  • A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking.
  • Balance is payable a week prior to departure.
  • Contact us for coupon code if you are eligible for a US$150 low season discount or a US$150 alumni discount. Only one discount is applicable.

Cancellation policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • No refunds for unused services once trek begins.

Price Includes

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

Price Excludes

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.

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Map

Photos

Options

If you don’t have 15 days to spare, we recommend the fast paced Annapurna Base Camp trek. You could deduct up to 5 days from the trip. Contact us for a program that might suit you better.

You can combine this trek to visit Ghorepani and the Khopra Ridge.

And, YES, we would be happy to custom-design any of our program for you for a minimum of two participants.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

When is the best time to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

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.

How much does it cost to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

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.

How fit do I need to be to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

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).

What kind of food should I expect on the trek?

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.

Can I drink the tap water?

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.

Is there mobile signal on the trek? Can I get wi-fi?

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.

How should I prepare for this trek?

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.

Are there ATM's on the Annapurna trek?

No, ATM’s are not available.

What are the toilets like? Will I have a chance to shower?

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.

What gear do I need for this trek? Can I rent some of the gear in Kathmandu?

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.

4 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Penelope Guntermann and Michael Clifford

Group Traveller

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.

August 31, 2017

Kuriappan Allapat

Couple Traveller

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.

August 31, 2016

Chris Sherrat

Family Traveller

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!

August 26, 2016

Lisa MacKinnon

Family Traveller

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

August 11, 2016