A pleasant hike in the Annapurna sanctuary trail, through diverse landscape and culture to the south face of Mt. Annapurna
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 its 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 vistas 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.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Our journey in Nepal begins today. A Himalayan Glacier representative will be waiting for us at the airport. He/she will then drop us off at our hotel where we can take a rest. In the evening we can enjoy a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. During the dinner we can enjoy Nepalese cuisine which will introduce us to the country’s food culture.
Day 02: Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
We tour UNESCO World Heritage Sites today. These sites highlight Nepal’s cultural and religious heritages. Our first stop will be Kathmandu Durbar Square which showcases Kathmandu’s rich architectural prowess during the Malla dynasty (c1201–1769),and then Swayambhunath Stupa which tourists commonly refer to as the ‘Monkey Temple’ owing to a large number of the monkey population in the vicinity. Next is Pashupatinath Temple which is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus all over the world followed by the Buddhist shrine of Boudhanath which is one of the largest stupas in the world. Lastly, in the late afternoon we visit Himalayan Glacier’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 hours trek
We fly to Pokhara early in the morning. As soon as we land in Pokhara, we notice the spectacular Himalayan vista the city is adorned with. We can see Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, the five peaks of Annapurna and others. From Pokhara, we drive to Naya Pul and start the trek. We walk through a valley forest, cross the Bhurundi Khola (river) before reaching Tikhedhunga Village. 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 via stone stairs. As we are ascending we admire the spectacular scenery as Annapurna South looms large, coming and going from our view. We pass waterfalls, tiny villages, and several tea-houses before reaching Ghorepani. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. The village has small shops that sell local products such as handbags and crafts. The village also has good wi-fi. Overnight in Ghorepani.
Day 05: Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,700m/8,860ft) with a visit to Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft): 6 - 7 hours
We get up early in the morning to reach Poon Hill just in time to see the sunrise over the Himalayas. Poon Hill is the most popular destination to enjoy close up views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and enjoy the sunrise from these majestic mountains. From Poon Hill, we also get incredible views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains. After enjoying a cup of coffee, we trek back to Ghorepani. We have breakfast here then walk towards the east and climb a ridge. Our trail descends through rhododendron forests and waterfalls before we reach Tadapani. Overnight in Tadapani.
Day 06: Tadapani to Chhomrong (2170m/7120ft): 6 hours trek
The trail starts off with a descent through a large rhododendron forest. The forest trail ends and our trail opens up to beautifully terraced fields. We walk uphill for around 5 km and pass waterfalls and reach a suspension bridge. Suspension bridges are very common in the hilly and mountainous regions of Nepal. A few more miles of uphill and downhill trekking and we reach our destination for today, Chhomrong. It is a beautiful village right below the giant Annapurna massive. Overnight in Chhomrong.
Day 07: Chhomrong to Bamboo (2310m/7578ft): 4 - 5 hours
We leave Chhomrong and walk on quite a number of stone steps before reaching the Chhomrong Khola. We cross a suspension bridge over the river and begin an uphill climb to Sinuwa. Our trail passes through a beautiful forest to Kuldihar. From here we embark on an easy descent to Bamboo. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 08: Bamboo to Deurali (3230m/10,595ft): 3 - 4 hours
We pass through a bamboo forest which is damp and cold. We then walk uphill on a trail which is sometimes steep. 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 our trail descends to a river before ascending to Deurali. From here, we can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding hills and Mt. Dhaulagiri. We notice that the vegetation has become sparse allowing magical views of the valley, the river below and cliffs adorned with waterfalls. Overnight in Deurali.
Day 09: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,545ft) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m/12135ft): 5- 6 hours
We follow the valley trail in a steady climb. The trail sticks to a rocky cliff and is sometimes steep. We walk on a somewhat flat path for a while before ascending to Machhapurchre Base Camp. From here we get excellent views of Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli and Gangapurna mountains. We then turn left and begin ascending gently to the Annapurna Base Camp. During our ascent we can admire spectacular views of the Himalayan panorama. Walking further we reach the base camp of Mt. Annapurna and it is amazing. We are surrounded by magnificent peaks and the only way into this area is through the gorge we just hiked. Overnight at Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 10: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo: 7 - 8 hours
From Annapurna Base Camp our trail rapidly descends past the Machhapuchhre Base camp, Deurali, Himalayan Hotel and Doban and finally to Bamboo where we spend the night. Today’s trek is downhill so it shouldn’t be very difficult. Overnight in Bamboo.
Day 11: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (1760m/5770 ft): 5 - 6 hours
We retrace our step back to Chhomrong where we stop for lunch. From Chomrong it is a steep descent down to the Modi Khola valley. The stone steps to Chhomrong are equally tricky as they were before. The trail then descends to Jhinu Danda, where we will be resting for the night. On the way, we enjoy our walking through rain forests and farms. After reaching Jhinu Danda, we can spend the rest of the afternoon taking a rest and relaxing. Overnight in Jhinu Danda.
Day 12: Trek to Naya Pul then drive to Pokhara: 6 hours trek, 1 hour drive
We leave Jhinu Danda and enjoy the beautiful hill landscape of western Nepal on our way to Naya Pul. We have lunch on the way. The actual trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary and back ends today. 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 morning. After landing at the airport, we will be dropped off at our hotel in the city. We can spend the day taking the much needed rest or catch up on some last minute shopping. Either way, we mark the end of our successful trip with a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier where we can share our experiences of the trek before flying back home the next day. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Final departure
Our trip to Nepal ends today. We will be dropped off at the airport by a company representative 3 hours before the scheduled flight.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Included in the Cost
- Airport pickups and drops ina private vehicle
- 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
- Teahouse accommodation during the trek
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Domestic flights (Kathmandu- Pokhara -Kathmandu)
- Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
- Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
- An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
- Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
- Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
- Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
- Himalayan Glacier’s trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (ACAP, TIMS)
- Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
- All government and local taxes
Not Included in the Cost
- Nepalese visa fee
- Excess baggage charge(s)
- Private transportation except what is mentioned in the What Is Included section
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
- International flights
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)
The Trekking Group
For the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers:1 assistant guide) and porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group become sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek for groups of any size, but usually, it is a maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to book this trip for a large group then that can be arranged too.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
We will be staying at Hotel Moonlight in Kathmandu, Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara and teahouses during the trek. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 330. We will have rooms with attached washrooms in most parts of the trek but this is not possible in a few remote locations. Also understand that single rooms are not easily available in higher elevations like they are in Kathmandu and the lower elevation regions.
All meals will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu and Pokhara. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners for guests. The most common cuisines in most menu will be Nepalese, Tibetan, Indian and the more common continental.
Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes this trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced and helpful trek leader and crew members with the ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trek will be led by the best and professional leaders. All of Himalayan Glacier's trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their experiences, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities, Himalayan glacier only employs local staff who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local region/s. The trek and expedition leaders have undergone the following trainings:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)
To meet our team, check out the Guide Profile
Himalayan Glacier is firmly committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated and well paid. Furthermore, Himalayan Glacier also provides the required level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members. We have previously used helicopters at company's expense to rescue porters from dangerous situations. And for the porter's sake, all trekkers keep the weight of their luggage under 15kgs/33 pounds. We also support the work of International Porter Protection Group (IPPG)
, making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
The Annapurna Region is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. Himalayan Glacier employs a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. Himalayan Glacier, therefore, enforces a number of do's and don'ts. Himalayan Glacier's experienced staff can advise us on how to minimize our impact on the local environment.
Like all Himalayan Glacier’s itineraries, the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is also planned to curb Acute Mountain Sickness which is very common during high altitude trekking. We ascend gradually so that we have optimum time to acclimatize to the high altitude environment. Trekkers with known heart, lung or blood diseases are required to consult their doctors before booking the trek.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a moderate trek suitable for trekkers who can walk at least 6-7 hours a day with a light backpack. No technical skill is required. Anyone who is physically fit with good health can participate in this trek. However, it is always best to start jogging and exercising regularly at least a month before the actual trek. Also, trekkers who have had experiences with high altitude trekking will find this trek relatively easier than others.
Best Time to Travel
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.
Equipments & Packing List
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Glacier inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.
Important documents and items
- Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
- Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
- Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
- Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.
- Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of Hiking shorts
- 1 pair of Hiking trousers
- 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
- Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
- 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
- Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
- 1 large duffel bag *
- A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
- Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
- 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
- Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
- 1 skin-blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
- Water purification tablets or water filter
- 1 set of earplugs
- Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
- 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
- 1 compass or GPS(optional)
- 1 alarm clock/watch
- 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
- large Ziplocs
- 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
- 1 small folding knife
- Binoculars (optional)
- 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks
- 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Female hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Reading book
- Trail map/guide book
- Journal and pen
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
- 1 modest swim suit
- Binoculars (optional)
- Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
- Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
- Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email
. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684