Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

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Easily accessible from Pokhara, the hidden stronghold of the Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. From the terraced farmland above Pokhara, we trek on good trails through scattered Gurung settlements and abundant forest, climbing gradually into a world of ice and snow. The combination of picturesque rice-fields and villages, with the panorama of high peaks in the backdrop offers extraordinary experience to the visitor.

Max. Elevation :  4130m Grade : 
Best season :  Oct-Dec&Mar-May Type of trek :  Tea house/Lodging
Duration :  17 Days Starting point :  Pokhara
Ending point :  Kathmandu Highlights :  Nature/Culture

The Annapurna Sanctuary - also often referred to as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a hike into the dazzling natural amphitheatre encircled by the famous Himalayan peaks – the 'fishtail' spire of Machapuchare (6997m), Gangapurna (7454m), Annapurna 1 (8091m), the unclimbed Fang (7647m), Annapurna South (7273m), Varahashikhar (7847m.) and Gangapurna (7455m). The approach to Annapurna Base Camp -ABC trek, as it is most commonly known follows the Modi Khola valley through forest of dense rhododendron and bamboos subsequently arriving  and passing through  different rural communities  to a world of soaring Himalayan peaks.

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  • Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu International Airport (1300m/4264ft), transfer to hotel
  • Day 02: Guided sightseeing of Kathmandu valley’s cultural, historical and religious sites followed by welcome dinner in the evening with live Nepalese culture shows.
  • Day 03: Drive (6 hrs) or fly (35min) to Pokhara (820m).
  • Day 04: Drive to Nayapul and start trek to Ulleri (1960 m.) – 4 -5 hrs.
  • Day 05: Ulleri - Ghorepani (2750 m.) – 5 to 6 hrs.
  • Day 06: Morning excursion to Poon hill (3193 m.) -trek to Tadapani (2590 m.) – 6 to 7 hrs.
  • Day 07: Tadapani - Chhomrong (2340 m.) – 5 hrs.
  • Day 08: Chhomrong - Doban (2505 m.) – 5 hrs.
  • Day 09: Doban - Deurali (3100 m.) - 3 hrs.
  • Day 10: Deurali - Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m.) – 4 hrs.
  • Day 11: Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) - Bamboo (2335 m.) – 5 hrs.
  • Day 12: ABC - Jhinudanda (1610m) – 4 hrs.
  • Day 13: Jhinudanda - Landruk (1565 m.) – 3 hrs.
  • Day 14: Landruk - Dhampus (1650 m) – 5 hrs.
  • Day 15: Dhampus - Phedi (approx. 1 hr) and drive to Pokhara, rest of the day at leasure.
  • Day 16: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu.
  • Day 17: Final departure

Option 2:

Day by day itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu International Airport (1300m/4264ft) and transfer to hotel.

Day 02: After breakfast we set out for an extensive guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley’s cultural, historical, religious and world heritage sites. During the course, we visit the famous Pashupatinath temple of Lord Shiva situated at the holy bank of River Bagmati where we will also observe the Hindu cremation ritual. We then proceed to the Boudhanath stupa, a major pilgrimage centre for the Buddhist faith which also is the largest of its kind in the world. We then have a short break for lunch followed by a visit to Swoyambhunath stupa also known as the Monkey Temple from where we can have a bird’s eye view of whole of Kathmandu valley. Following this we then proceed for a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square, the oldest royal palace of Kathmandu and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The whole are of Kathmandu Durbar Square is dotted with numerous fascinating Nepalese architect dating back many centuries. The site is also the home of Nepal’s living Goddess – Kumari, where we will also have the opportunity to experience firsthand this unique Nepali tradition.  In the evening we will attend the welcome dinner hosted by Makalu Adventure.

Day 03: Drive (6 hrs) or fly (35min) to Pokhara (820m).
After an early breakfast, we fly or drive to Pokhara. Upon our arrival, the rest of the day is kept free for you to explore this beautiful lakeside city on your own or if you would like you can just sit back and relax. Nestled in a tranquil valley at an altitude of 915m, Pokhara is a place of natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fish-tailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6977m) rising behind it create an ambiance of peace and tranquility. The most stunning of Pokhara's sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna range.

Pokhara lies on a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. The enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks - creating the ambience that has made it such a popular place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Relax in a café, hire a boat and float around the lake, or shop for Nepali and Tibetan souvenirs in the endless stalls and shops.

Day 04: Drive to Phedi, and trek to Tolka
We start by driving a short distance to Phedi where we begin the trek in earnest. Starting from an altitude of 1180m, we climb steeply to the ridge at Dhampus at 1750m and get our first views of the huge mountains that surround us. We continue on through a rhododendron forest to the village of Pothana, and eventually reach the small settlement of Deurali at the top of the hill at 2150m. From here we get superb views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. From here we make a steep descent on forested slopes into a side canyon of the Modi Khola, passing through the settlement of Bheri Kharka. The trail then climbs gently and emerges into the main Modi Khola valley, and finally reaches Tolka, a small settlement, at 1810m where we spend the night.

Day 05: Tolka - Chhromrong
 From Tolka the trail quickly reaches the flagstone streets of Landruk, a sizeable Gurung village at 1620m. From Landruk the trail descends and crosses the river at Shiuli at 1340m before climbing steeply up to Jhinu Danda at 1750m. After a long steep climb we reach Taglung at 2180m, where the trek joins the Ghandruk to Chhomrong route. Shortly after this we reach the Gurung village of Chhomrong at 2040m, where we spend the night. Chhromrong is a large village that is spread along a huge stone staircase, which drops to the Chhromrong Khola. From Chhromrong there are tremendous views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre.

Day 06: Chhomrong - Bamboo Lodge
Leaving Chhomrong the trail descends to cross the Chhomrong Khola on a suspension bridge, then climbs high above the Modi Khola on its west bank. The trail then ascends through the villages of Tilche and Sinuwa and finally reaches Kuldi at 2350m. From here the trail descends a long, steep stone staircase into bamboo and rhododendron forests and eventually we reach the small settlement of Bamboo Lodge at 2340m, which is a collection of small hotels - none of which are made of bamboo!

Day 07: Bamboo Lodge - Himalayan Hotel
The trail continues along the west bank of the Modi Khola valley through dense bamboo forest, occasionally dropping to cross tributary streams, but ascending continuously, and reaches the settlement of Doban at 2630m where there are several good lodges. The trail then continues high above the river to our resting place for the night, the small settlement of tea-houses known as Himalayan Hotel at 2900m.

Day 08: Himalayan Hotel - Machhapuchhre Base Camp
From here it is an hour’s walk to Hinko Cave at 3160m, and a further half hour to Deorali at 3230m where there are good hotels. Above Deorali the valley widens and becomes less steep and at last we feel as if we are getting close to our goal. We can now see the “gates” to the Sanctuary. The trail continues into the Sanctuary to meet the Modi Khola and follows the river to Bagar, a meadow at 3310m.  From Bagar we continue to trek upwards and eventually reach the area known as Machhapuchhre Base Camp at 3720m. This is a collection of tea-houses spread over a large area. From here the mountain views are fantastic and include Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna III (7555m), Gangapurna (7454m) and Machhapuchhre (6997m).

Day 09: Machhapuchhre Base Camp - Annapurna Base Camp:
We start early and make the 2 hour trek to Annapurna Base Camp at 4095m. The trail continues upwards, on a good path, to the south of the moraine. This is the highlight of the trip and affords us marvelous close up views of the mountains that make up this incredible natural amphitheatre. On arrival at ABC we get a superb view of the near vertical south face of Annapurna that towers above the Sanctuary to the north-west and which was climbed in 1970 by Don Whillans and Dougal Haston on an expedition led by Chris Bonington. We arrive at ABC mid-morning which allows ample time to explore the surrounding area and take some stunning photographs.

Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp - Doban
From the Sanctuary we initially retrace our steps, and descend to Deorali, through Himalayan Hotel, and eventually to Doban where we spend the night. We cover the ground a lot quicker on the way down taking advantage of our acclimatization and the reducing altitude.

Day 11: Doban - Chhromrong
From Doban we continue back down the trail, through Bamboo Lodge, and eventually to Chhomrong where we spend the night. This is a short day and allows us to spend some time relaxing in this fascinating village which has some of the best mountain views in the world.

Day 12: Chhromrong – Ghandruk
Today we stop retracing our steps and trek to the Gurung village of Ghandruk. We initially walk west on the trail that leads to Ghorapani, but then descend to the village of Khumnu. We cross the Khumnu Khola and then ascend steeply to a collection of tea-houses at Uri at 2220m. From here we can see Ghandruk ahead, and it is a gentle walk to this amazing Gurung settlement at 1970m.  Ghandruk is a maze of narrow alleyways but is an ideal place to spend an afternoon wandering the streets enjoying the local food or learning about the local handicrafts.

Day 13: Ghandruk - Birethanti
From Ghandruk it is a long descent to the settlement of Shauli Bazaar at 1140m, but we are now down to the Modi Khola and from here it is an easy and pleasant walk along the river bank to Birethanti at 1065m, where we spend our final night on the trek. Birethanti is a beautiful village situated in a fantastic spot on the Modi Khola River. This is a busy village with many trekkers starting and finishing their treks here, and there are many tea-houses and shops.

Day 14: Birethanti - Naya Pul, drive back to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
 Our last day on the trail. We walk the short distance to the roadhead at Naya Pul, where we are picked up by our transport and driven back to Pokhara. The journey by road takes approx. 2 hours and we arrive back in Pokhara by early afternoon, in time to refresh ourselves in the hotel before spending a night in Pokhara.

Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu, rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 16: After breakfast we will set out for a sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur and Patan and return to our hotel at late afternoon.

Day 17: Transfer from hotel to airport, fly home

Trip Cost Includes
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara and wherever stated
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • All accommodation and meals during the trek
  • Domestic flights (wherever stated on the itinerary)
  • Trek leader, assistant trek leader) Sherpa porters including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Down jacket, sleeping bags, Trekking kit bag/duffel bag, trekking map and trekking Poles
  • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit or entrance fees etc)
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Nepal visa fee
  • Airport departure tax
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
  • Extra night accommodation
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, showers etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters

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