Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Base Camp

One of the world’s classic trekking trails around the Annapurna range with Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit is rightly known as Nepal’s classic trek. Following ancient paths used as trade routes between Nepal and Tibet, it is approximately 300 kms in length. It offers more variety than any other equivalent length trek, taking us through virtually every type of scenery that Nepal has to offer. There are superb views of the Manaslu (8163m/ 26775ft), the Annapurnas (II & IV, III and I) and Dhaulagiri (8167m/ 26788ft), and an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from sub-tropical to alpine to an arid semi-desert akin to Tibet. The high points of the trek are crossing the formidable Thorung-La pass (5416m/ 17765ft), reaching the edge of the magnificent and fabled Tibetan plateau; walking through the world’s deepest river gorge between Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri I, ascending Poon Hill for a magnificent panoramic sunrise of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri, setting foot on Annapurna Base Camp (4200m/ 13776ft) and being part of nature’s amphitheatre – the Annapurna Sanctuary – a veritable home of the gods. Here you’ll be surrounded by giants – Annapurna 1, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Fang and Machhapuchhre. Quite a few high points there!

The Annapurna Himal from the northeast. Left to right: Annapurna II and IV (close together); a major col; Annapurna III and Gangapurna; Annapurna I.
The Annapurna Himal from the northeast. Left to right: Annapurna II and IV (close together); a major col;
Annapurna III and Gangapurna; Annapurna I.

There are four regions that are passed through on the trek: Lamjung, Myagdi, Manang and Mustang. Lamjung and Myagdi of the lower elevations are both predominantly Hindu and with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming. Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations and are predominantly Tibetan Buddhist. The Manang people are Gurung (not Tibetan descent) and are very proud of their unique cultural heritage and merging of lower land Gurung and Tibetan cultural influences. People of Mustang identify themselves a lot closer with Tibet and the Mustang region has actually been part of Tibet in history. Mustang also is one of the last places in the world to view the ancient religion Bonpo in action. Villages to note for Bonpo are Thini and Lupra near Jomsom, and Nargon near Kobang. (Source: wikitravel)

While on the trail you will be overwhelmed by the close-up views of the giant ice peaks of Annapurna I (8091m/ 26539ft.) ~ the 10th highest mountain in the world (it was the first 8000er to be successfully summitted by a French expedition led by Maurice Herzog in 1950), Annapurna III (7555m/ 24780ft.) ~ summitted by Major M.S Kohli (then a lieutenant) on May 1st 1961 , Gangapurna (7454m/ 24449ft) and Machapuchare or the Fish Tail (6993m/ 22937ft), considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in the world. Machapuchare and Hiunchuli are the “gates” to the Annapurna Sanctuary leading to the immense south face of Annapurna I. Further, the central region of the Annapurna Base Camp boasts some of the most brilliant sunsets in Nepal. Five climatic and vegetation zones along with a variety of ethnic groups have found their niche in this diverse terrain.

Annapurna South from Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 m) before sunrise
Annapurna South from Annapurna Base Camp
(4,130 m) before sunrise.

Though demanding enough for the seasoned trekker, the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp trek is also an excellent introduction to trekking in Nepal. This trek is designed to be lodge and tent based, so we spend time in villages inhabited by many of Nepal’s different tribes, both Buddhists and Hindus.

The Annapurna massif is protected and a part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. It’s illegal to trek or visit the area without an entry permit. This project has a total area of 7,629 sq. kilometers. It was launched in 1968 by the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. The biological diversity of the Annapurna Region is equally rivaled by its rich cultural diversity. Since the first trekker came to the Annapurna area in 1957, the natural and cultural features of ACAP have made it the most popular tourist destination in Nepal, drawing more than 60 per cent of the country’s total trekkers. (Source: AHTE)
Annapurna is a series of peaks in the Himalayas, a 55 km (34 mi)-long massif of which the highest point, Annapurna I, stands at 8091m, making it the 10th-highest summit in the world and one of the 14 “eight-thousanders“. It is located east of a great gorge cut through the Himalaya Mountains by the Kali Gandaki River, which separates it from the Dhaulagiri massif. (Dhaulagiri I lies 34 km west of Annapurna I). The Annapurna peaks are the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb, with a fatality to summit ratio of more than 40%.
Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means “full of food” (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is “the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess, the mother who feeds. Without her there is starvation, a universal fear: this makes Annapurna a universal goddess. Her most popular shrine is located in Kashi, on the banks of the river Ganga.” Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.

Trekking Itinerary:

  • Hotels/Lodges
  • Trekking Days: 18
  • Grade: Challenging
  • Food: Included except main meals in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Accommodation: 2 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Pokhara, 19 Nights in Tea-house
  • Season: Spring, Autumn & Winter

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport and transfers to hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu – Khudi and walk up to Bhulbhule; overnight at a teahouse lodge.
Day 03: Bhulbhule – Jagat 1314m.
Day 04: Jagat – Dharapani 1943m.
Day 05: Dharapani – Chame 2713m.
Day 06: Chame – Pisang 3185m.
Day 07: Pisang – Manang Village 3351m.
Day 08: Manang village rest for acclimatization.
Day 09: Manang – Thorung Phedi 4510m.
Day 10: Thorung Phedi – Thorung –La Pass (5416m) & descend to Muktinath (3748m.).
Day 11: Muktinath – Kalopani 2530m (by Jeep).
Day 12: Kalopani – Tatopani 1189m.
Day 13: Tatopani – Ghorepani 2855m.
Day 14: Ghorepani – Poon Hill 3000m. – Tadapani 2700m.
Day 15: Tadapani – Chhomrong Village.
Day 16: Chhomrong – Himalaya Hotel.
Day 17: Himalaya Hotel – Machhapuchhre Base Camp 4000m.
Day 18: Machhapuchhre BC – Annapurna Base Camp (4200m) – Himalaya Hotel.
Day 19: Himalaya Hotel – Chhomrong.
Day 20: Chhomrong – New Bridge and drive back to Pokhara; overnight at hotel.
Day 21: Pokhara – Kathmandu by tourist bus. Then transfer to hotel.
Day 22: Kathmandu free
Day 23: Transfers to the airport and back to India (Bombay/ Delhi)

Options to exit early:
Day 21: Morning 10 am flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara and afternoon flight to India or
Day 22: Transfers to Kathmandu airport and back to India (Bombay/Delhi)

Tea-house lodge trek cost includes:

  • All land transportation by van, hiace or tourist bus (airport /hotel/airport & trekking pick up & drop).
  • 2 Night’s hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, 1 night in Pokhara, at bed & breakfast basis.
  • 3 major meals; B/L/D (by lodge menu) and accommodation at best available teahouse lodge during the trek en-route.
  • One professional english speaking trekking guide, necessary Sherpa and porters.
  • Life insurance for all support crews and their daily wages.
  • Per member 25 Kg. luggage allowance while trekking.
  • Trekking permit & National park permit fees.
  • Medical kit box for Nepali support crews.
  • All official taxes and service charge.

The cost doesn’t include:

  • Personal transportation except those mentioned in the above program.
  • Air Ticket: Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu and airport tax.
  • Major meals lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu & Pokhara.
  • Personal trekking gears as well as sleeping bags.
  • Expenses of a personal nature.
  • Emergency evacuation (if required).
  • Drinks, except tea and coffee.
  • Airfare to & from India.
  • Nepal entry, re-entry visa fees & international airport departure taxes.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Tips for trekking crews.

Annapurna Base Camp

One of the best alpine trekking trails to Machhapuchhre, Annapurna Base Camp & the Sanctuary of the Gods

This trek is popular as it offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes, nature and culture of the central mountains of Nepal. The Annapurna Mountain is a vast massif with several peaks above 7000m. Part of the range forms a natural amphitheatre known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, ringed by such giants as Annapurna 1, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Fang and Machhapuchhre. We trek through forested hillsides to Ghorepani where we ascend Poon Hill for a magnificent panoramic sunrise of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri. Entering a narrow valley we pass directly below Machhapuchhre before reaching the Sanctuary, a veritable home of the gods. We have a day to explore this magnificent place before returning to Pokhara via a different route. This is a fairly strenuous alpine trek offering close-up mountain views equal to any in the Himalayas. This area also offers several treks from visiting the hospitable village of Ghorepani, Poon-Hill, Chhomrong, Landruk, Pathana & Dhampus to viewing the exquisite mountains.

Trekking Itinerary:

  • Accommodation: Hotels/Lodges/Camping
  • Trekking Days: 10
  • Grade: Moderate Plus
  • Food: Included except main meals in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Accommodation: 4 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Pokhara, 9 Nights in Tea-house
  • Season: Spring, Autumn & Winter

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport, meet our staff then transfers to Hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing: Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath temple and Patan durbar square with professional English speaking tour guide. 4/5 hrs.
Day 03: Kathmandu – Pokhara by tourist Bus then by Car to Nayapul then trek to Birethanti.
Day 04: Birethanti – Ulleri Village (2073m.).
Day 05: Ulleri – Ghorepani (2855m.).
Day 06: Ghorepani – Poon Hill 3000m. – Tadapani 2700m.
Day 07: Tadapani – Chhomrong Village.
Day 08: Chhomrong – Himalaya Hotel.
Day 09: Himalaya Hotel – Machhapuchhre Base Camp 4000m.
Day 10: Machhapuchhre BC – Annapurna Base Camp (4200m) – Himalaya Hotel.
Day 11: Himalaya Hotel – Chhomrong.
Day 12: Chhomrong – New Bridge and drive back to Pokhara; overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Pokhara – Kathmandu by tourist bus. Then transfer to hotel.
Day 14: Kathmandu free
Day 15: Transfers to the airport and back to India (Bombay/ Delhi)

Note: Days highlighted in Blue remain the same as the Annapurna Circuit itinerary. Group A and B meet at Ghorepani on April 13th, 2012. Group A (Annapurna Circuit) will arrive from Tatopani while group B (Base Camp) from Ulleri. Both groups merge into one to continue the rest of the trek. Group A leaves city of origin on April 1st, 2012. Group B leaves COO on April 9th, 2012.

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