The trip to Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most classic trekking tours in Nepal - with good reason. The trail takes you through some of Nepal's most varied trekking areas with lots of quaint villages, terraced fields and rugged alpine areas. From the beginning, the trek offers splendid views of some of Himalayas largest and most beautiful mountains, including Fishtail Mountain – Machhapuchare (6,990m / 22,933ft) and Annapurna I, (8,091m / 26,545ft)
The lush Valley of Modi Kola leads you through dense rhododendron- and bamboo forests up to the high alpine landscape at Machhapuchare Base Camp before reaching Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130m / 13,550ft. Here we are completely surrounded by icy giants like Annapurna I (8,091m / 26,545ft), Annapurna III (7,555 m / 24,787ft), Annapurna Kang (7.485m / 24,557ft), Gangapurna (7,454m / 24,455ft), Annapurna South (7,219m / 23,684ft) and Hiunchuli (6,441m / 21,132ft).
The descent leads back through the Valley of Modi Kola, from where you will follow a different route taking you to the famous view point Poon Hill. In clear weather you have an incredible view of the Annapurna Mountains and of Dhaulagiri (8,167m / 26,795ft).
You will begin and finish the trek in Pokhara.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be picked up in the airiport and transferred to you hotel in the charming district of Thamel. You have the rest of the day to relax and stroll through the narrow streets of Thamel, where loads of equipment shops are located.
After breakfast you local guide will pick you up from the hotel and take you on a full sightseeing day in Kathmandu. You will visit Pashupatinath - the great Hindu temple. Here the human cremations takes place right by the riverside, will make a huge impression on most visitors. There are also good opportunities to greet the colorful sadhues - holy men, who have dedicated their lives to religion.
You will then visit the great Buddhist stupa - Boudanath, as well as a 2,500year old Swayambunath temple, perched on a hilltop high above the city. In the afternoon you will go to the old city center of Kathmandu, where some of the finest pagoda temples are found.
In the evening there will be an introduction briefing on your trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
You will be picked up from the hotel and drive to the airport from where you fly to Pokhara. The city lies at 915 meters altitude (3,000ft) at the foot of the Annapurna massif and Machhapuchare (Fishtail Mountain). On arrival at Pokhara, you will be transferred straight to the village of Sarankot just outside Pokhara. It is from here your trek into the Himalayas will begin. The trekking on this day is about 5 hours and takes you through several small mountain villages. First you will walk up to the pass in Deurali, and then down through the forest and up again to Pothana at 1,990 m / 6,529ft). Here you will spend the night at a teahouse.
You will continue the trek north with a magnificent view to Fishtail Mountain – Macchapuchare. The nickname for the mountain comes from its characteristic looks. Shortly after you leave Pothana, you will pass a check-in post, where you need to get your trekking permits checked. After three hours of walking you will come to the village of Tolka at 1,790m / 5,872ft, and after another hour you will arrive in Landruk where you will have lunch.
You continue downwards through the terraced fields on the eastern side of the Modi Khola River and you will cross the river on a newly built suspension bridge at Himalpani. From here you will ascent smoothly for 1.5 hour before reaching Jhinu Danda at 1,700- / 5,577ft. This charming village is located on a hilltop, and after checking in to your rooms at the teahouse, you can head down for a dip in the hot springs, right next to the river – A 20 min. walk downhill that is definitely worth the effort.
From Jhinu Danda the trek goes steeply uphill to Chomrong. This village is inhabited by Gurung people and is divided into a new part and an old part of the town. The new district is located on a crest of 2,170m / 7,120ft. The village has a breathtaking view to Fishtail Mountain 6,990m / 22,933ft and Annapurna South 7,219m / 23,684ft. The Old district is situated further down the mountain and marks the entrance to the lush Modi Khola Valley, which over the next few days will bring you up to the high alpine Himalaya. The trail leads down to a suspension bridge, on which you cross Chomrong Khola River. On this side of the river the trail runs through a forest landscape that changes as you get up the valley. First you will be surrounded by oaks, but soon you will see more and more of the large bamboo, hence the name of the village Bamboo (2,510m / 8,235ft), where you will spend the night.
After Bamboo the valley gets even narrower, and the forest changes into rhododendron trees. In spring, when the rhododendrons are blooming it is an absolutely beautiful colorful experience to walk these trails. With thick, deep green moss hanging down from the crooked branches on these old mighty trees, the forest almost has an enchanted atmosphere. This area is clearly characterized by the many rock falls, and after passing the teahouses in the village by the name Himalaya you will enter the high alpine landscape. About an hour of trekking in this rough, rugged scenery you will pass the Hinku cave, often used by the local porters as a shelter, on their way up and down the trails with all kinds of supplies. From here the valley opens up and the scenery turns more rugged. In this area there are many waterfalls tumbling down from the steep mountain walls, and several places there are snow patches from old avalanches to pass. You will also gradually start to notice the altitude affecting your breathing, which becomes a little heavier. Overnight in Deurali (3,250m / 10,597ft).
As you get into this higher altitude, the treks shorten to keep you well acclimatized. Therefore you will have plenty of time to enjoy the splendid views today.
At the end of the valley Gangapurna (7,454m / 24,455ft) is towering towards the sky, and by the old ruins in Bagar, the gorgeous Fishtail Mountain rises high above your heads. You will stay at a teahouse in Macchapuchare Base Camp (3,700m / 12,140ft), and you will have the afternoon to relax and enjoy the atmosphere while you take in the breathtaking views of the raw landscape.
There are only a couple of hours of trekking up through the beautiful moraine scenery to Annapurna Base Camp, but it is worth getting up early to see the sunrise and enjoy the cool and clear mountain air. The last ascent is a smooth trek and the views becomes better and better as you approach ABC. You will walk along the glacier, up through the Annapurna Sanctuary, a gigantic bowl surrounded by Himalayas icy giants. You will have 2 nights at Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m / 13,550ft).
You will have all day to experience this magical place. Find a spot to sit down on the grass or snow and take your time to just listen to the sounds of the mountains, such as rocks falling or the echo of avalanches rolling of the mountains in the distance and down onto the huge glacier below you. To the northwest, at the end of the glacier the south wall of Annapurna I rises about 4,000m / 13,000ft up from the icefall, to the majestic altitude of 8.091m / 26,545ft. It is difficult to grasp how the British mountaineer Chris Bonington and his team back in 1960 found a route up through this vertical world of rock and ice.
Further south you will see Hiunchuli standing tall with its, 6,441m / 21132ft, right next to Annapurna South that reaches 7,219m / 23,684ft into the sky. To the west towers one secondary peak to Annapurna - the Bhara Chuli, (7.647m / 25,090ft). To the north dominates Khangsar Kang (7.485m / 24,557ft) and to the east, in the direction you came from, you will have a splendid view of the beautiful Macchapuchare (Fishtail Mountain 6,990m / 22,933ft).
Depending on the weather there are great opportunities to go up on the ridge behind Base Camp or hike up to the advanced Base Camp.
Get up early and bring your morning coffee with you out in the cold and fresh mountain air, and enjoy the magical atmosphere as the first rays of sun strike the Annapurna Massif. After breakfast it is time to begin your descent. After an hour you will pass Maccapuchare Base Camp, and you will follow the same route down through the alpine valley as you came up. It is much easier walking down and you will notice the air getting thicker and your breathing easier. In the middle of the afternoon you will be back in the forest terrain and you will stay in at teahouse in Dovan (2,340m / 7,677ft).
You will continue down through the forest all morning, and in the horizon you will see the characteristic terraced fields near Chomrong, as you approach the village. After crossing the river you will have about an hour of stairs leading you up to the teahouse in Chomrong where you will stay for the night.
After Breakfast you will leave Chomrong in a southwestern direction. From here you are once again out on new trails on where you will reach the village of Taglung and continue through a beautiful, dense jungle-like forest, which will change into a terraced landscape. The trek will take you up and down and after crossing the Kimrong River in the afternoon, you will head up to Tadapani (2,590m / 8,497ft) for you overnight stay.
You will begin the day by trekking along the ridge before descending into the valley of the Bhurungdi Khola River, which you have to cross to begin the ascent towards Ghorepani. You will have a lunch break when reaching the mountain pass at 3,100m / 10,170ft. From here there is another hour of easy trekking to Ghorepani (3,194m / 10,479ft). Ghorepani means "Horse Water", and the village is a traditional stop for the horse and mule caravans transporting goods and supplies north to Mustang. The caravans used to continue all the way into Tibet to trade salt, tea, butter and wool.
Ghorepani is uniquely situated overlooking the world's 7th highest mountain Dhaulagiri and the world's 10th highest mountain Annapurna I. From Ghorepani there are also views into the world's deepest valley Kali Gandaki. From the bottom of the valley the altitude difference is no less than 6,000 m / 19,685ft to the top of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
You will get up while it is still dark, just in time to climb up the stairs to Poon hill before the sun casts its first rays on Dhaulagiri and the other Himalayan peaks. In clear weather it is possible to see three of the magical 8,000’s mountains Annapurna 8,091m / 26,545ft, Dhaulagiri 8,167m / 26,795ft, and Manaslu, 8.153m / 26,749ft.
After enjoying the sunrise you will go back to the teahouse in Ghorepani for breakfast before beginning the trek past Ulleri and down to Thikhedunga. The trek this day is one long descent and a great part of the walk takes you through rhododendron- and magnolia forests. This is gorgeous in the spring when everything is blooming in red and pink colors with magnolia flowers sprinkled like white pearls in the picturesque scenery. During the trek you will meet countless mule caravans transporting goods north to Tibetan areas. After walking down no less than 3,300 stone steps you will reach the charming village of Thikhedunga (1,520m / 4,987ft), surrounded by high Bamboos and beautiful waterfalls, where you will spend the night.
After breakfast you will follow the river and walk through several lively villages, of which Birethanti is the largest of them. After a couple of hours you will reach Nayapul, where your transfer will be waiting to take you back to Pokhara. After checking in at the hotel and enjoying a well-deserved bath, there will be time to explore Pokhara on your own. You can visit the Mahendra cave, the bat cave and Seti River Gorge or the Bhidya Temple and the Tibetan refugee camp. There is also a great Museum in Pokhara that tells the stories of living in the Himalayas and the first climbing of Mt. Everest. You can also go on a boat ride on the Phewa Tal Lake and visit the Barahi Temple situated on a small island. If the weather is clear, there is a magnificent view to Fishtail Mountain and the Annapurna massif.
You will be picked up at the hotel and fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Thamel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or go shopping.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for departure.
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