A Complete Guide of Annapurna Base Camp Trek With Video

A Complete Guide of Annapurna Base Camp Trek

About Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a soul-satiating trek in the Himalayas that showcases Nepal’s most iconic mountain range. This is one of the most satisfying and classical treks in Nepal with amazing trekking infrastructure, magnificent landscapes, diverse culture, and rugged trekking experience. Capture the stunning sights of Annapurna Massif, Machhapuchhare, and other Himalayan peaks. This trek follows a non-strenuous trail, making it suitable for people of most ages. The quaint trail goes through beautiful Gurung villages, rhododendron forests, pristine rivers, glaciers, and gorges. Witness the wide bio-diversity as you hike through the Annapurna Conservation Area and the ever famous, Kali Gandaki gorge, the world’s largest gorge between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peak.

Annapurna Base Camp 360° Image

Trek Overview:

  • Difficulty- Moderate
  • Number of days- 7 to 10
  • Maximum Altitude- 4,130 m
  • Distance-161 km
  • Accommodation Type: Lodge and tented

Where is Annapurna Base Camp?

The Annapurna Base Camp is located 40 km north of Pokhara, in the Annapurna Conservation Area. It lies in the Gandaki Zone of the Himalayas, between the Himchuli and Machhapuchhare peak.

Facts and highlights about ABC

  • The Annapurna Base Camp is located at an altitude of 4,130 meters, which is the highest point of this trek.
  • The Annapurna region has the world’s largest gorge between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Peak- the Kali Gandaki gorge.
  • Visit the hot springs in Jhinu Danda
  • Trek through diversified terrains including forests, bridges, gorges, mountain streams, high passes, etc. 
  • Capture stunning sights of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Himchuli, Machhapuchhare, Annapurna 1, Annapurna 2, Annapurna 3, and Annapurna 4.
  • Interact with the friendly locals and acquaint with the Nepalese culture and traditions
  • Relish authentic Nepalese cuisine 

A Complete Guide of ABC Trek in Video

Essential Gears and Packing

Keeping in mind the intensity of the trek, one should pack moderately and prepare a proper checklist beforehand. The backpack should be waterproof, frameless, and lightweight with 30-40 liter storage capacity. If you’re traveling internationally, please crosscheck with the flight operator, regarding the luggage capacity. Your backpack must include the following items:

  • Comfortable trekking shoes
  • Warm wind cheater/jacket
  • Comfortable pants and tee shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Toiletries including sunscreen, lip balm, and paper soap
  • Umbrella and rain coat
  • Sunglasses, hat, and scarf
  • Water bottle with thermal insulation
  • Water purification tablets
  • First-aid kits, OTC drugs, medicines and prescriptions (if any)
  • Sleeping bag and liners
  • Camera/Camera phone
  • Portable charger
  • Extra stack of cash, because card won’t work during trekking

Best Season for ABC Trek

There are two distinct seasons for Annapurna Base Camp trekking in Nepal: Pre monsoon & Post monsoon. 

  • Pre Monsoon: This season extends from February to May. The weather tends to be warmer and the sceneries of blossoming flora, make the experience even better. The average daytime temperature floats around 10 degrees centigrade, while the nights are generally chilly. During late April and May, the temperature increases to almost 20 degrees centigrade and a cloud of haze gather at lower altitudes that obstruct the mountain views.
  • Post Monsoon: This is the best season for ABC trek and you can find many travelers flocking to the region. This season extends from late September to December. The weather gets clear after the monsoon, and the pollution and dust fade away from the atmosphere. The daytime temperature floats around 15 degrees centigrade and the night temperatures are close to freezing during this season.

Permits Required for ABC

Trekking permits are mandatory for most treks and every trekker should obtain one before the start of the trek. The Department of Immigration has made this compulsory and cannot proceed for trekking trips without a registered trek guide. If you’ve opted for a package trek, then the organizer will take care of all the necessary permits and formalities. Independent trekkers will have to arrange the permits themselves. Following are the two permits that you will require for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
  • Trekker Information Management System (TIMS Card)

Both the above-mentioned permits can be obtained from Tourist Information Centers in Kathmandu or Pokhara. The offices are open between 10 am to 5 pm and you must carry your personal photo ID card and other necessary documents.

Level of fitness required

You don’t necessarily have to be an athlete but you need to be physically active and fit for the ABC trek. You should be able to walk for 6-7 hours a day, carrying a backpack on rough terrains, without fatigue. It is advised to get a medical examination done, at least 1 month before the start of the trek to check for any underlying ailments. An ideal trekker should indulge in basic cardio training, running, cycling, and swimming for at least 1-2 months before the trek to condition and tone the body.

Food& Accommodation

The food offered during the trek is typically Nepalese, along with few popular cuisines. Dal Bhat is the staple dish in Nepal, along with pancakes, pasta, roti, sabzi and chopsuey. You will find various shacks along the trekking trail that serve hot and delicious Maggi with tea. Most trek organizers provide full board meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) during the trek in restaurants, cafes, and lodge.

You will find luxury as well as budget accommodations in Kathmandu and Pokhara. As you gain altitude, it gets harder to find hotels in isolated places, but you will find plentiful homestay and lodge in villages and large settlement areas. The homestays offer a comfortable home-like feel and are usually hosted by the residents. The trekkers are usually provided tented accommodation at the Annapurna Base Camp with organizer packages. Independent trekkers will have to carry their tents and sleeping bags if they intend to spend a night at the ABC.

Cost

The cost of Annapurna Base Camp Trek depends upon various factors, such as the medium of booking, number of days, facilities included, and the group size.

Booking online via private company:

ABC trek packages offered by online portals might be a little expensive but you can rely on their hassle-free service and let them take care of the formalities and necessary bookings. An average ABC trek for 7-10 days that includes a guide, accommodation, meals, and permits, should cost around USD 1000.

Package tours bought in Nepal:

You can even book ABC trek package from local trek organizers in Nepal and they will happily customize things as per your preference. These packages range anywhere from USD 400 to USD 900. 

Self-booked:

Alternatively, you can also refer this guide and make the necessary bookings on your own, closing the deal under USD 700.

Sample Itinerary:

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Map
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Map
Day Route Time (Hours) Highest Altitude(meters)
1 Pokhara to Nayapul and then trek to Ghandruk 6-7  1,940
2 Ghandruk to Sinuwa 6-7 2,360
3 Sinuwa to Deurali 6-7 3,230
4 Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) 6-7 4,130
5 ABC to Bamboo 6-7 2,340
6 Bamboo to Jhinu Danda 5-6 1,780
7 Jhinu Danda to Pokhara via Nayapul 6+1 820

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

If you are traveling to an altitude of more than 2500 meters then you should be aware of AMS. 

Acute Mountain Sickness or altitude sickness can lead to vomiting, nausea, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, headache, etc. If you witness these symptoms while traveling, it is always advisable to retreat back to lower elevation. Spend some time habituating yourself to the high altitude and gradually ascend at a slow pace. 

Also, it is important to keep yourself hydrated at all times. You can also take doses of Diamox after consulting with your general practitioner prior to embarking on the trip. 

Essential Tips for the ABC Trek

  • You should always carry extra cash with you as ATMs are not available in the higher altitudes.
  • Always click photos of people by taking prior permission from them.
  • It is never a good idea to wear revealing clothes. Respect the culture and traditions.
  • If you are ordering Nepali meal which consists of tarkari, dal and bhat then you can refill second and third time for free. 
  • Instead of buying expensive gears which you think will not be used again, go for rented equipments. 
  • Do not litter the mountains with your trash. 

Hopefully this short guide will be of assistance for your trek to the base of the tenth highest mountain of the world. Enjoy the mountains, nature and bring back fond memories of your journey. Happy Journey!!!

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