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15 days trekking into the heart of the Annapurna Massif and visit Annapurna Base Camp.

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration: 15 days
Best season: October to May
Trek Grade: Moderate


Nestled in the lap of Mt. Annapurna, the awe inspiring Annapurna Sanctuary is considered to be Nepal’s second most popular trekking destination after Everest Base Camp in the Khumbu Region. From your very own 3900 metre Annapurna Base Camp in the Sanctuary you wake up to truly one of the most spectacular views you will ever see!

Trekkers begin their trek at Phedi after a short drive of 45 minutes from Pokhara and pass through fascinating Gurung villages, forests of flowering rhododendron trees and stunning river valleys set against the awesome backdrop of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks. Your trek concludes at Nayapul after exploring the Annapurna Santuary and many different ridges towards Ghorepani, just below the famous Poon Hill.

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 01: Flight to Pokhara drive to Phedi & trek to Dhampus [1700m]
Day 02: Trek to Landrung [1550m]
Day 03: Trek to Chomrong [2040m]
Day 04: Trek to Himalaya Hotel [2680m]
Day 05: Rest Day
Day 06: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp [3600m]
Day 07: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp [3900m]
Day 08: Exploration of the Annapurna Sanctuary
Day 09: Trek to Himalaya Hotel [2680m]
Day 10: Trek to Chomrong [2040m]
Day 11: Trek to Tadapani [2650m]
Day 12: Trek to Ghorepani [2775m]
Day 13: Sunrise at Poon Hill (3200m) and trek to Tikhedunga (1540m)
Day 14: Trek to Nayapul & drive to Pokhara
Day 15: Flight to Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Flight to Pokhara drive to Phedi & trek to Dhampus [1700m]
From the hotel we head to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 30 minute flight to Pokhara. It is a sensational flight, with the peaks of the Himalayan Range clearly visible through the right-hand window as we travel westwards. Particularly prominent are Manaslu and the Annapurna range as we approach the landing field at Pokhara.

From Pokhara, we set off immediately by bus to Phedi and begin the trek with a couple of hours' walking, principally uphill, on a long flight of stone steps to the village of Dhampus. The mountain views from here are lovely, but are just a taste of what's still to come.

Day 02: Trek to Landrung [1550m]
Beyond Dhampus we get our first clear views of the mountains ahead, as we ascend through forest on a trail which is often made up of steep stone steps. Passing through Pothana, we climb to a small pass, at a place called Deorali (which means 'pass'). At this point we are high up on the east side of the Modi Khola, the river which flows out of the Annapurna Sanctuary. We descend all the way down to the river, passing through the picturesque Gurung settlement of Landrung, which offers spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. After crossing a suspension bridge, we camp on the west side of the river.

Day 03: Trek to Chomrong [2040m]
Our route now climbs quite steeply, high above the river, through bamboo forest and isolated farmsteads. The teahouses at Jhinu provide a welcome opportunity to stop for a drink and a rest on this long, hot climb. Ascending further along a treeless ridge we come to Taglung and just a short distance beyond this is Chomrong. From this Gurung village, there is a tremendous view of Annapurna South, as well as impressive views of Machhapuchhare.

Day 04: Trek to Himalaya Hotel [2680m]
After dropping down to the Chomrong Khola on steep stone steps, the trail climbs again, initially through terraced fields and then through a forest of bamboo and rhododendron. Today's walk is always either up or down on steep paths which are often paved. Sometimes there are views of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare ahead, but often the forest is too thick to allow more than a tantalizing glimpse. After reaching the village of Khuldigar, we descend a stone staircase to a section of exceptionally thick bamboo forest which leads to the settlement known as "Bamboo Lodge". From here, we climb steeply through bamboo and rhododendron forest, following the trail high above the river to day's end at Himalaya Hotel.

Day 05: Rest Day
Today is a rest day and we take it fairly easy in order to give our bodies a chance to acclimatise. There are splendid views to be had from the top of the moraine ridge which lies just behind the lodges.

Day 06: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp [3600m]
Climbing steeply, we soon reach a fire-blackened overhang which has been walled-in to make a small lodge. This place is known as Hinku Cave. The trail rises continually now, as we near the entry to the Sanctuary. Passing the lodges at Deorali and Bagar, we arrive at the level and grassy moraine platform known as Machhapuchhare Base Camp.

Day 07: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp [3900m]
Another short day today, and a fairly gentle ascent through tranquil meadows brings us to Annapurna South Base Camp. Increasingly impressive views reward us for our efforts as we climb the last steep section before reaching the base camp area. From here there are fantastic views of the south face of Annapurna 1.

Day 08: Exploration of the Annapurna Sanctuary
We spend the day exploring one of the most stunning mountain amphitheatres in the Himalaya. There is enormous potential for day hikes from camp or, if you'd prefer, it's an inspiring place to simply sit around camp and admire the breathtaking scenery.

Day 09: Trek to Himalaya Hotel [2680m]
Today we retrace our steps as far as Himalaya Hotel.

Day 10: Trek to Chromrong [2040m]
Today we retrace our steps as far as Chomrong.

Day 11: Trek to Tadapani [2650m]
From here we take a beautiful, alternative route back to Pokhara, via Ghorepani. We follow the trail above potato and wheat fields before descending to the village of Khumnu above the Khumnu Khola. After crossing the river, the trail leads steeply uphill to Melanche before continuing through rhododendron forests to Tadapani, where we camp. There are excellent views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare from here.

Day 12: Trek to Ghorepani [2775m]
We trek gently up and down for an hour or so to Banthanti. The trail then steepens, as we climb through rhododendron forest to Deorali, a small pass, before dropping down to the lodges at Ghorepani.  At this point we are on the main Annapurna Circuit route and there are likely to be lots of travellers passing through this ridge-top settlement in both directions. Ghorepani literally means "horse water" and was a popular stopping place for the mule trains which plied the route from Pokhara to Jomsom and beyond. The impressive peak which can be seen across the broad valley of the Kali Gandaki to the northwest is Dhaulagiri. 

Day 13: Sunrise at Poon Hill (3200m) and trek to Tikhedunga (1540m)
It is a must for those who stay at Ghorepani to make the walk up to the celebrated view point of Poon Hill [3195m], which overlooks the village. Dawn is the best time to go, so our guide will arrange an early wake up call and we crawl out of bed to head up the track by torchlight at first. Arriving at this famous viewpoint we’ll see the first light of dawn illuminating Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak with a surreal pink glow.

We may be able to buy coffee and breakfast from an enterprising local who has carried his produce up to Poon Hill to take advantage of the morning trade. Otherwise, we return to Ghorepani for breakfast, before trekking on to Tikhedhunga.

Our route is downhill and the first couple of hours to Ulleri are through dense forest, passing the occasional lodge in a clearing. Then we have a steep section on steps leading us down to our lodge for the night.

Day 14: Trek to Nayapul & drive to Pokhara
This morning after our last breakfast on the trekking trail we get in a final big stretch of steps (our knees won’t be sad to bid farewell to the ‘Himalayan Stairmaster’) down into Hille and Sudami where it levels out a bit as we start following the Bhurungdi Khola into Birethanti. Just half an hour's walk from Birethanti we arrive at Nayapul, and have a last lunch on the trail. Then we meet up with our van and enjoy the scenery on the hour’s drive back to Pokhara where we bid farewell to our crew and check into our hotel for a welcome shower! We then have the remaining of day free to wander by the lake.

Day 15: Flight to Kathmandu
Today we take the short scenic flight back to Kathmandu.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in the mountains, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of fellow travellers can all contribute to changes. We will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!

 

 

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