For trekkers who are moderately fit, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek starting from a base in Pokhara is a fantastic beginner multi-day trek. Without a guide, we completed the Annapurna Base Camp trek in 7 days, though we did take a jeep for a short distance at the beginning and end to speed things up. We had not done any planning ahead of time and had never gone on a multi-day trek. It was difficult, but totally doable and well worth it!
All about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek .
60 kilometers, depending on your starting point and route. Duration: 5-7 days Moderate to difficult in difficulty. High altitude and some very steep terrain, but generally good paths.
About the best time to plan for the Annapurna Base Camp.
In Nepal, there are primarily two trekking seasons. The first occurs in late October or early November when it’s dry and warm outside. The second is the beginning of spring, which lasts from April to May and can be rainier but has blooming flowers.
Permits for Annapurna Base Camp Trek
You need a TIMS card and a permit to trek in most of Nepal. Both Pokhara and Kathmandu’s tourist attractions have these. It is best to go there right away after arriving in Pokhara because it is close to the tourist bus station. Four passport photos are required, which the Pokhara centre will take and print at no cost for you. The entire process takes about 15 minutes, but if the centre is busy, it might take longer.
About the accommodation facilities in Pokhara.
Pokhara is designed for tourists travelling before and after a trek and is full of places to rent equipment, cafes, massage parlours, and cosy lodging. Try the lovely Hotel Batika if you’re looking for a nicer option with private rooms that have balconies and attached bathrooms. View pricing and availability here.
Do you need a guide or porter for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Without a guide or porter, we chose to complete the Annapurna Base Camp trek, and we believe this was the right choice. It’s much less expensive to do it alone, there are signs in each village indicating how far it is to the next one, and there is very little chance that you will get lost along the way. Along the way, we encountered many other travellers, and it was fun to plan to stay in the same towns and hike together. Travelers who were accompanied by guides had more rigid requirements for where they needed to stay and how far they needed to hike each day.
If you decide to hire a guide, make sure they are conversant in English and understand your level of flexibility, expectations, and fitness.
Porters can be hired and can carry the belongings of two people if you feel you are unable to carry your own luggage. However, please don’t overpack just because you aren’t carrying anything; only give them what you need!
Temperatures on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The majority of the time, the daytime temperatures are pleasant, and once you’ve warmed up, a t-shirt is fine for trekking with a warmer layer for when you stop. You will need a few warmer layers at night because the temperature can drop quite dramatically. In April, the temperature at base camp drops below zero, and can exceed -10 degrees too.
About the itinerary for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Your trek’s beginning is entirely up to you. Before beginning the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Chomrong, many people complete the Annapurna Circuit or Poon Hill treks. There are a few ways to start your trek if you’re coming from Pokhara:
, take a bus to Kimchi (it takes about 4 hours), and then start your trek from there. Take a taxi or a jeep to Nayapul (2 hours away), then choose to hike there or continue by jeep to Gandruk ( 2 hours).
The trek before Kimchi and Gandruk is mostly along a dusty jeep road and is not particularly exciting. To save time and energy, I’d advise travelling as far as you can by car. To register your permit, you will need to make two stops in Birethanti, and then another stop in Chomrong.
plan of each day
An overview of the trek by day as we took it is provided below. The image is of a map that was provided to us when we requested our permits and was very helpful. It allows you to plan each day based on your skills, energy levels, and available time because it provides you with an approximate distance, time, and climb between each of the towns. It is best to just go with the flow each day rather than setting goals for yourself because you never know what the weather, injuries, or other factors will bring.
Both a taxi and a jeep can take you to Kimchi. Kimchi to Ghandruk: one hour of arduous stair climbing One hour, mostly flat, from Ghandruk to Komrong
Komrong to Kimrong: one hour of steep descent Chomrong to Sinuwa is reached after 2.5 hours of steep uphill travel from Kimrong, followed by 1.5 hours of steep travel down a valley.
Sinuwa to Bamboo: 1 hour and 15 minutes, downhill and with many stairs Dovan to Bamboo is an easy 50-minute drive. 1.5 hours uphill through a lot of dense jungle from Dovan to the Himalaya Amazing scenery from the Himalaya to Durali in one hour and ten minutes of steep uphill travel Overnight Durali
To get from MBC to Annapurna Base Camp Trek, it takes 1.5 hours from Durali to MBC, mostly flat with some uphill sections of 1 hour and 20 minutes, easy uphill but challenging at altitude.
Sunrise at Annapurna Base Camp, then trek for four hours to Bamboo for the night.
4.5 hours from Bamboo to Jhinu with a stop at the hot springs the next day, Jhinu
3 hours from Jhinu to the road to catch a jeep back to Pokhara
Accommodation on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
There are tea houses along the route that provide lodging. At the beginning of the trek, they are in communities where locals reside and work, but higher up, these huts have been constructed especially for trekkers. The requirements are modest but comfortable (mostly). A room may have two beds or a dorm of seven or eight. Expect a soft pillow, a thin mattress, and a blanket.
If you stay anywhere, you must eat there as well. If you ask the owner politely, many places will let you stay for free if you eat breakfast and dinner there. This negotiation is simpler when a larger group shows up. For an additional fee, hot water is available for the majority of the trek. Beyond Sinwa, almost everywhere WiFi is available for an additional cost, including the base camp.
Food on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The same menu, which is regulated by the authorities and has set prices, is almost always offered by the huts. Prices are reasonable, and the menu is surprisingly good, though they do go up a little as you go higher. Dal baht is a common option that offers great sustenance for hiking. It is one of the priciest options available, but since you get unlimited refills, it is worthwhile. Additionally, a variety of pasta dishes, noodles, rice, and egg and toast breakfast combinations are available.
Make sure you bring a refillable bottle because, thankfully, plastic bottles are prohibited after a certain point. Tea shops sell 1L bottles of sterile water, or you can bring your own. We avoided any issues by using our Steripen (UV steriliser) and drinking directly from streams or taps further up.
Budget-friendly advice for the Annapurna Base Camp trek
Although it is possible to complete the Annapurna Base Camp trek on a very tight budget, most people wind up spending a fortune travelling through Nepal.
- Without a guide, hike to Annapurna Base Camp. It’s very simple and secure to do this, but if you decide you want a guide, wait to hire one until you’re in Nepal because it will be much less expensive than making a reservation through a foreign agency.
- Carry snacks. Although the food at the tea houses isn’t particularly expensive, we saved a lot of money by packing granola bars and nuts to have for breakfast and snacks rather than purchasing full meals.
- Commune meals. Despite only ordering one dal baht and one other meal, we had enough to eat. We were able to order another (less expensive) meal because the dal baht was simple to share and was constantly refilled.
- a water steriliser with you. You can avoid paying to have your drink bottle refilled several times a day by using a Steripen or iodine tablet.
- Take a group trip. Along the way, we ran into several other trekkers, and we banded together later in the day to share discounts at the tea shops.
- Take the bus. There is a public bus that runs between Kimchi and Pokhara, but the majority of people hire a taxi or jeep to and from the trek.
About the things to carry along for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
For when you reach the top, make sure you have enough warm layers. Carry along a single long-sleeved merino wool top, one hoodie made of merino wool, and one down coat.
The best fabric for trekking is merino wool because it is warm, quick-drying, lightweight, and odour-resistant.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a fantastic trekking adventure that provides a chance to appreciate Nepal’s natural beauty. Enjoy the stunning Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Trail and make the most of your vacation.
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