Annapurna Base Camp trek (14 days)
This is a moderate trek. The combination of easy walking and majestic scenery makes the trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4200m), commonly known as Annapurna Sanctuary, one of the most popular treks in Nepal. Enjoy mountain views, thick bamboo and rhododendron forests and a mix of cultures unparalleled by other treks as you venture deep into the Annapurna Himal.
The Annapurna Base Camp is a high glacial basin lying north of Pokhara. This magnificent amphitheatre is called a "sanctuary" because of its natural serenity, beauty and the divine presence of the Hindu goddesses Annapurna and Gangapurna. This isolated cirque of peaks can only be approached by one route, a deep gorge that carves into the fortress of mountains between Machhapuchhre and Hiunchuli. Many of the peaks are over 7000m, including the famous twin-peaked Machapuchare, as well as Annapurna I and lll, Annapurna South, Gangapurna and Glacier Dome.
Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.) which takes about six hours. You depart for the six hours drive to Pokhara (915m,), 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. As you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trisuli River, you follow upstream to its junction with the Marsyangdi River. You follow the Marsyandi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Having pleasant weather, Pokhara is tourist's paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to fall in love with its beauty. You can also fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara which takes about 25 minutes.
Trek from Pokhara (915 m.) to Nayapul (1050m.) by car, which takes approximately one and half hours drive. Now you begin your trek from Nayapul (1050m.) to Tirkhedhunga (1577 m.) via Birethanti (1065m.) which takes about four and half hours. After breakfast at hotel, you could drive for 1 and half hours to Nayapul. Then you start your trekking. The first part of your trek is easy passing through numerous small villages and settlements. Afterwards you could ascend gently to the final destination of the day. The majority people here are Gurung and their religion is Buddhist. They are engaged in agricultural activities, tourism business and some are employed in Gorkha and Indian regiments.
Trek from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani (2675 m.) and it takes about six hours. To begin your trek, you could ascend steeply for the early 2 hours and then ascend gently passing through Ulleri (2070m.) and Banthanti, Magar villages. On the way, you could see good view of Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail (6997m.), Hiunchuli (6441m.), and Annapurna (7219m) south. Now your trail is quite easier passing through rhododendron and shadowy trees and descends gently up to the final camp. You could see some of the wild life such as monkey and various species of birds.
Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3180m.) to Tadapani (2675m.) which takes about five and half hours. Early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhare (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snowcapped mountain peaks. After breakfast trek Ghorepani to Tadapani (2650 m.). After walking for almost one and half hour you reach Gurung Hill which has the splendid mountain views as Poon Hill. From here you follow small forests with rhododendron, bamboos until you reach Deurali. The trail goes steeply down through deep forests all the way to Banthati. It takes one hour from here to reach Tadapanil After breakfast trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani (2731m.) through the deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. En route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green scenarios. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, and Annapurna II and so on.
Trek from Tadapani (2675m.) to Ghandruk (1950m.) and it takes about three hours. It is very easy trek by descending gently all the way through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests. You could hear different kinds of birds chirping on the way. This is one of the popular destinations for the birds' lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village. There is a handicraft centre and Gurung museum. From this village you could see good views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m.), Annapurna III (7755m.) and Fishtail.
Trek from Ghandruk to Chhomrong (2040 m.) which takes approximately four hours. At the beginning of the day, you could ascend gently for an hour up to Ghandrukkot (2100m.) and descend steeply to the Kimron Khola (1700m.). Immediately, ascend steeply and walk at a level for an hour and still ascend gently to the final camp. Chhumrung is a gateway to Annapurna Sanctuary trek and inhabited by Gurung, one of the major Ethnic group of Nepal.
Trek from Chhomrong to Bamboo (2340m.) and it takes about five hours. Leaving Chhomrong, the trail descends on a stone staircase and crosses the Chhomrong Khola on a swaying suspension bridge, then climbs out of the side valley. High above the Modi Khola on its west bank, the trail passes through the tiny settlement of Tilicho in forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak. Climbing further on a rocky trail (beware of the stinging nettles) you reach three hotels at Sinuwa, at 2350m. Climb in rhododendron forests to Kuldi, at 2520m. This was once a British sheep breeding project; now the stone houses are an ACAP visitor centre and check post. In winter, it's common to find snow anywhere from this point on. Descend a long, steep stone staircase into deep bamboo and rhododendron forests. It is then a short distance on a muddy trail to Bamboo Lodge (2340m.).
Trek from Bamboo to Deurali (3230m.) which takes about five hours. You trek gently ascend through bamboo forests with varieties of rhododendron and oak trees. The first town you reach is Dovan (2630m.) where there are few lodges and camp sites. Now you pass through muddy trail which traverses high above the river. There are debris of avalanches except during winter season. After short trek, you reach at Himalayan Hotel (2900m.), the town named after the Himalayan Hotel. Beyond it, the trail is steeply ascent up to Hinko Cave (3160m.), this named as a huge overhanging rock provides some protection against rain and avalanches. It takes approximately twenty minutes through normally ascent path to reach Deorali (3230m.)
Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4170 m.) via Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3820m.) and it takes about four hours. From here, the valley widens and becomes less steep and you can see the gates to the sanctuary. The trail is less steep. As the trail continues into the sanctuary, it crosses two avalanche tracks on a narrow trail that hurdles up against the cliffs. After short trek you will be at Bagar (3310m.), a meadow and some abandoned hotels. The normal trail follows the left side of the valley. Now the trail appears gently ascent until you reach Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3820m.). Here you find almost 6 to 7 lodges. This is one of the places, where you can enjoy the view of Mount Hiunchuli (6441m.), Annapurna South (7229m.), Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna III (7555m.), Gangapurna (7454m.) and Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail (6997m.). The path follows through alpine meadow and after some distance your trails go gently up. After a short trek, you begin to approach Annapurna Base Camp (4170m.). From here, you can see the views of several peaks at 360 degree.
Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Dovan (2630m.) which takes about five hours. It's much easier going down. You should have no problem reaching Sinuwa in a single day from Annapurna Base Camp. Now you trek through Himalayan Hotel to Dovan.
Trek from Dovan to Jhinudanda (1750m.) and it takes about six hours. The path is descent up to Bamboo passing through forests with varieties of rhododendron, oaks and bamboo plants. After Bamboo, the trail goes steeply up to the Kuldi Ghar and now the trail is quite flat until you reach Sinuwa. You trek gradually descend to the Chhumrong Khola and you have to follow stone staircase for almost an hour to reach Chhumrong. The last part of the trail is steeply down to Jhinudanda. From the town you should walk down for 20 minutes to reach Hot Spring at the bank of the Modi Khola. You can relax at Hot Spring.
Trek from Jhinudanda to Pothana (1600m.) which takes about five hours. The first part of the trek is descent and then appears through flat land until you reach Himal Pani. Here you find beautiful waterfall. Beyond this town, the trail ascends gently crossing numerous streams and terraces. After short trek, you will be at Landruk (1640m.), a pretty big village inhabited by mixed community of Gurung, Magar and Brahmin as well. Now the trail gently ascends to Tolka (1850m.) and then ascent and level path to Bherikharka. From here, the trail goes steeply up to Deorali (2100m.) with a view of different mountain peaks in panorama. Now the trail gradually descends to Pothana passing through different oak forests. Pothana is a small town resided by Gurung, a ethnic community of Nepal. From here too, you can enjoy the splendid views of various mountain peaks.
Trek from Pothana to Dhampus Phedi and it takes approximately three hours and drive from Dhampus Phedi to Pokhara by car. The trail is gently descent up to Dhampus, a village mainly inhabited by Gurung. Now you trek through flat land for some distance and steeply descend to Dhampus Phedi. Now you take vehicle to drive from Dhampus Phedi to Pokhara.
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist mini bus that takes about seven hours. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where the Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes.