Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a spectacular journey on foot to the South Face of Annapurna I - a pleasant hike through the diverse Nepalese landscape and culture. On your 14-day journey you will reach the base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain, Annapurna (8,091m/26,545ft); visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, enjoy breathtaking Himalayan vista during the trek and experience the sunrise over the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges from Poon Hill.
The itinerary for Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is designed for trekkers who wish to reach the Annapurna base camp in a relaxed manner with visits to World Heritage Sites and Poon Hill. However, for guests who are constrained time-wise , Annapurna Base Camp Trek- 11 days would be more appropriate.
Autumn (Sept to Nov) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons for this trek. The weather is sunny and warm with outstanding views. If you wish to avoid crowds and enjoy some alone time with nature then taking this trip during winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) could also be an option. However, the temperature during winter could be harsh for most guests. Trekking in the Summer or Monsoon seasons(June to Aug) will be affected by rain but the Summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Everest Trek Nepal who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Everest Trek Nepal’s office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Everest Trek Nepal at Nepali Kitchen Restaurant. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today, after breakfast, we start a guided tour to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. Swayambhunath is located in the heart of the city and is also called Monkey Temple by the tourists owing to the large number of monkeys in the temple area. Kathmandu Durbar Square holds the palaces of the ancient kings who ruled over the then Kathmandu Kingdom. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus all over the world. The Buddhist shourine of Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in the world, and one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage and tourist destinations in Kathmandu. In the late afternoon we visit Everest Trek Nepal’s office for a brief orientation on our trek. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Fly to Pokhara and trek to Ulleri [2050 m/6725 ft]: 30 min flight and 6 hrs trek
We fly to Pokhara early in the morning. We can catch amazing views of the Himalayas from the right side of our airplane. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, the beautiful lake city, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, the five peaks of Annapurna and others. After taking a rest, we drive to Naya Pul and start the trek. We pass through sub-tropical valley forests, sometimes on the carved trail on the side of the cliff. After lunch, we cross the Modi Khola (river) via a suspension bridge to the village of Tikhedhunga. The Ulleri Hill with thousands of steps and boulders that continually go upward will really prove a test of our stamina. We reach Ulleri by late afternoon. Overnight in Ulleri.
Day 04: Ulleri to Ghorepani (2,750 m/ 9,020 ft): 4 - 5 hours trek
After breakfast, we ascend to the Ghorepani village. The name Ghorepani in Nepali means ‘horse-water’ due to it being an important campsite for traders before it became a trekker's stop. Ghorepani is an interesting place with small shops and stalls for selling local products and crafts. The town has two parts: one in a saddle and the other a few hundred feet lower. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. Since Ghorepani lies quite higher than our previous stop, we begin to feel the chilly weather especially in the evenings. Overnight in Ghorepani.
Day 05: Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,700m/8,860ft) with a visit to Poon Hill: 6 - 7 hours
To catch the sunrise over the Himalayas, we make an early morning climb along the steep trail to the viewpoint of Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft), the most popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region. It is also a great viewpoint to enjoy the amazing views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains including the close-up views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The snowy peaks of the high mountains loom above and around us glowing in the morning light. After taking photographs and having some coffee or tea or hot chocolate, we return back to Gorepani. After breakfast, we head east and climb a nearby ridge. We descend through rhododendron forests, pass by spectacular waterfalls along the way and reach Tadapani to spend the night.
Day 06: Tadapani to Chhomrong (2170m/7120ft): 6 hours trek
We descend from Tadapani on a steep trail through a dense rhododendron forest. The trail opens up to perfectly manicured terraced fields. Next, ascend steadily and pass a few surging waterfalls before reaching a suspension bridge. A few more miles of uphill and downhill trek and we reach our destination for today, Chhomrong. It is a beautiful village located on the lap of the giant Annapurna massive. Overnight in Chhomrong.
Day 07: Chhomrong to Bamboo (2310m/7578ft): 4 - 5 hours
The trail out of Chhomrong descends via 2500 stone steps and crosses the Chhomrong Khola on a swaying suspension bridge. It is an uphill climb to Sinuwa. Next, we pass through a beautiful forest to Kuldihar followed by an easy downhill walk to Bamboo. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 08: Bamboo to Deurali (3230m/10,595ft): 3 - 4 hours
We pass through the bamboo forest which is damp and cold then ascend steadily with fewer steep sections. It is only after reaching Himalaya Hotel that the forest opens up and we are out in the sun again with astounding views of the glacial river below. It is a steep climb up through a much drier forest before reaching Hinku Cave. From here we can see the trail drop closer to the river before climbing again to Deurali, the most scenic stretch of the day. The vegetation is sparser, allowing magical views of the valley, the river below, and the sheer rock face cliffs above with bands of wispy waterfalls. Overnight in Deurali.
Day 09: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,545ft) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m/12135ft): 5- 6 hours
Climb gently thorough a river bed then over a steep trail over to the mountain side. The hike from Bagar to Machhapuchhre Base Camp is somewhat strenuous. From Machhapuchhre base camp we get excellent views of the majestic Machhapuchhre along with Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli and Gangapurna which is certainly a rewarding experience. The vegetation disappears on our way to ABC and the path widens as we enter the Annapurna sanctuary. From here, we get sensational views of the near-vertical south face of Annapurna towering above us. The sanctuary boasts of a dynamic view without anything impeding the 360-degree panorama. From the base camp we again get to savor mesmerizing views of the Machhapuchhre, Annapurna south, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli and other peaks. Overnight at Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo: 7 - 8 hours
From the Annapurna base camp we retrace our steps to Bamboo. Today’s trek is downhill so it shouldn’t be very difficult. Besides, we will always have the company of the extraordinary landscape to cheer us up. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 11: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (1760m/5770 ft): 5 - 6 hours
From Bamboo, it is an uphill trek to Kuldighar followed by a downhill walk to Chhomrong Khola. Then climb the stone steps to Chhomrong. The trail then descends to Jhinu Danda, where we will be resting for the night. Today we will have an opportunity to enjoy hot springs just 15-20 minute downhill walk from Jhinu Danda to soothe our aching body. Overnight in Jhinu Dada.
Day 12: Trek to Naya Pul then drive to Pokhara: 6 hours trek, 1 hour drive
On our way to Naya Pul from Jhinu danda we get to enjoy the amazing hill landscape of western Nepal. We have lunch on the way. Our trek will end at Naya Pul where we board our vehicle to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
*If the road construction connecting Jhinu Danda to Naya Pul is complete, driving from Jhinu Danda to Pokhara could be another option.
Day 13: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
We fly to Kathmandu in the afternoon. The left side of the airplane offers some amazing views of the Himalayas. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel. We enjoy the day leisurely or catch up on some last minute shopping or explore any landmarks we missed during our first day in Kathmandu. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner at Nepali Kitchen Restaurant where we can pick our meal from their carefully crafted menu that offer a wide range of choices. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Final Departure
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Everest Trek Nepal representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.