Annapurna Base Camp is an incredible trek with a diverse landscape of excellent mountain views, green hills with verdant forest and terraced fields. It is one of the popular treks in Nepal offering the breathtaking, serene range of Himalayas, quaint settlement of indigenous ethnic groups like Magar and Gurung and a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is classical and one of the acclaimed trek in the vicinity of some of the tallest mountains in the world at an elevation of 4,310 meters/13,456 feet. Annapurna is a great massif in north-central Nepal including one peak over 8,000 meters, thirteen peaks over 7,000 meters and sixteen over 6,000 meters. The main and the tallest peak known as Annapurna I range at an elevation of 8,091 meters making it the tenth highest mountain in the world. Trekking to the base camp of one of the eight-thousander in a classic and much loved trail is a once in a lifetime trek.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is best for the newbie trekkers to experience the beauty of the Himalayas in stunning trails and distinctive culture of Nepal. It is even better to the experienced ones and those who have already been to Annapurna region, as every trek gives you a new experience and chance to explore something. This trek is not a long and strenuous trek; it can be completed in 11 days starting from Kathmandu.
Taking you along the picturesque view of hills and mountain, lush green forest of pine, rhododendron, bamboo and alpine, charming traditional village; Annapurna Base Camp has the best to provide you.
Attractions of Annapurna Base Camp
Awe-inspiring mountain vistas
The base camp trek of Annapurna isn’t limited to the panoramic view of Annapurna mountains. The trek offers the view of Annapurna I at 8,091 meters, Annapurna South at 7,273 meters, Gangapurna at 7,454 meters, Annapurna Fang at 7,647 meters, Machhapuchhare at 6,997 meters and several big and small peaks.
Close to nature
The route of Annapurna Base Camp is an absolute delight for nature lovers. Along with the mesmerizing view of snow-capped mountains, you will have a nature walk in the delightful forest of rhododendron and other floras which will leave you with a feeling of being inspired and awed. Alluring picturesque of Himalayas, traditional settlement in remote areas and fresh and serene environment with surely win your heart and soul.
Hot Spring Bath
You will come across several natural hot springs depending on the route as Annapurna region offers many en route. Nothing can be more relaxing and relishing than easing yourself in a natural hot bath. Also, it is believed that the natural hot water possesses some healing power to different kind of diseases which has attracted many people from around the country to bath in hot spring for at least once. Trekkers often choose to take a bath to feel relaxed and boost the energy.
Annapurna Base Camp takes you along the settlement of mix ethnic groups. You will encounter Brahmins and Chhetris in lower elevations and Gurung, Magar and Sherpas in upper regions. Landruk, Ghandruk, and Chhomorung are some of the quaint villages en route. In Ghandruk, you can visit a museum which displays the traditional products and tools like a cloth-weaving machine, flourmill, and other village items. The old-styled lifestyle and distinctive culture and custom have awed the trekkers of Annapurna Base Camp.
Wildlife and Vegetation
As there is diverse geography in Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will see different types of flora and fauna in different altitude range. The trek has a wide range of flowering as well as non-flowering plants, out of which rhododendron and orchid are the major ones. Like the vegetation, Annapurna region is home to many rare wildlife like Himalayan Tahr, snow leopard,and musk deer. However, blue sheep usually seen by trekkers grazing.
Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp, you will go through not just one, but two different base camps, one is the Annapurna Base Camp itself,cand other is Machhapuchhre Base Camp. The base camp of Machhapuchhre has some best view of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna I, II, III, Lamjung, and others.
Best time for Annapurna Base Camp
Autumn is one of the busiest trekking seasons in Nepal and Annapurna Base Camp witnesses a large number of trekkers in this season. This time of year, the monsoon rain has just washed the dust and cleaned and freshened the while trail. Climatic condition is moderate and stable and days are clear giving the perfect view of mountains.
In autumn, days are usually warm with average temperature and nights are cold but not to the freezing level in lower region. But moving on to higher regions, the temperature starts to decrease and even goes below the freezing point in nighttime.
Spring is another popular season for trekking in Nepal. It is the season characterized by beautiful flowers of rhododendron, magnolia,and other alpine flowers.
In spring, nights and morning are bit chilly but the days are just warm. In daytime the temperature remains around 10 degree Celsius while night and morning temperature drops below the freezing point. With the moderate temperature and crystal clear days, you can have an awesome glimpse of mountains.
Summer (June-Mid September)
In summer days are much warmer, however, gradually monsoon takes over and then comes torrential rainfall. There is a high possibility of rainfall almost every day in monsoon. So, during this season, very less number of trekkers embarks in this trek.
However, the forest gets very lush and delightful,and as the trail are also peaceful, hardcore adventure lovers still go for this trek even in this time of year.
Annapurna Base Camp is the most thrilling and adventurous in winter season. The temperature goes below freezing level, so you need to take warm fleece jacket. Trekking in winter shows you exotic beauty of Himalayas with white and shining snow along the way.
But, as winter gets heavy snowfall in higher elevation, the passes and route might be blocked because of heavy snowfall. So, winter is not an ideal season for trekking.
Difficulty in Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp trek has a very moderate level of difficulty, so you don’t need any extra physical fitness or experience. You can just take the pleasure in your current state. It is also one of the best family treks in Nepal, so taking your loved one will add more meaning and joy. Experienced trekkers with good physique can complete the trek in short period of time.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The classic trek of Annapurna Base Camp starts from the beautiful valley, Pokhara. In a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, you can get the beautiful view of mountains from right side of plane. From Pokhara, we drive towards NayaPul and start trekking to Ghorepani, a typical indigenous village of Nepal mostly inhabited by Magars and Gurung. We will stay overnight in a tented camp in Ghorepani.
Leaving Ghorepani behind, we trek towards Poon Hill to view spectacular sunrise view and back to Ghorepani. Getting further we move along the trail to Tadapani, another typical village dominated by Magar ethnicity and to Chhomrong. Ascending uphill we can have the stunning view of Annapurna South, Hiuchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre. After an overnight stay at Ghandruk, we will hike to Dovan. While trekking to Dovan we will descend through stone staircase, cross Chhomrong Khola and climb up to Sinuwa.
From Dovan we will walk through the serene jungle and make our way towards Deurali. The day after Deurali will be to Annapurna Base Camp. Witnessing the view of snow-capped mountains, we continue to trek towards base camp. Gradually, the vegetation disappears, and path widens as we enter the Annapurna Sanctuary from where an excellent view of near-vertical south face of Annapurna towering above us can be seen.
There is another route to reach the base camp which is via Machhapuchhre Base Camp. From Dovan we trek in narrow valley of Modi Khola which brings us to the base camp of Machhapuchhare. From there it will take us about a few hours to reach Annapurna Base Camp.
After exploring the base camp, we ascend on a long, steep, slippery stone staircase from the village of Dovan. Then climbing out of the side valley and passing through deep forest of bamboo, rhododendron, and oak we arrive at Chhomrong from where it takes less than an hour to Jhinu. Jhinu is the place where you can enjoy the natural hot spring.
By this point, we are almost at the end of our trek. From Jhinu we walk down towards Nayapul from where we can catch a jeep to Pokhara.