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Annapurna sanctuary trek is a relatively easier hike in comparison to the Everest Base Camp trek. The reasons behind it is because hiking in the Annapurna region involves shorter days of trekking, reaching elevations of maximum 4,130m/13,550 feet, and staying for a minimum number of days on higher elevations. Also, because of the green forests in the low altitudes of the Annapurna region has more oxygen level in the air as compared with EBC trek. Annapurna sanctuary trek begins at an altitude of 1,070m/3,510 feet thereby allowing sufficient days for acclimatization.
Although Annapurna sanctuary trek may be easier than EBC trek, the fitness level required on both the treks isn’t any different. Trekkers do not require technical expertise or rock climbing and mountaineering skills as the trek is basically a long hike on low elevations in the green hills of Annapurna massif’s southern flank. The trek is only taxing because of its duration of 10 days hike with lots of uphill and downhill walks (14 days, including arrival, departure and one day each in Kathmandu and Pokhara). However, the trek can be accomplished by hiking for 7 days taking the shorter route if you are time-restrained.
The best time to do the Annapurna sanctuary trek is during the pre-monsoon months of March through to May. It is also favorable to trek during the post-monsoon months from late September till December. It is also possible to do the Annapurna sanctuary trek in February and early September but the most preferable time for this trek is as stated above.
Yes, absolutely! Under normal circumstances, all our booked trips are guaranteed to run. Please note that you will still be doing your Annapurna Base Camp trek even if other hikers cancel their trip. This is one significant reason why Himalayan Glacier is different from other operators, who usually cancel their whole trip a month or even a week before the actual trip date. We are a specialized tailor-made company, so the number of participants does not stop any of our trips. Remember to find us in case your trip has been canceled by your operator and you are in a last-minute stress so that we can assist in sorting out your trip decisions. Unless there is a situation which is out of our control such as a political riot, natural disaster, pandemic, epidemic or weather catastrophes, our trips are 100% guaranteed to run.
Himalayan Glacier offers a lifetime deposit policy which allows you the flexibility to transfer your deposit to anyone or any other trip. If you wish to cancel your booked trips, certain cancelation charges apply. Please visit our booking terms and conditions for detailed information.
You will be guided by our experienced trek leaders who have been to the base camp and back multiple times for years. All our guides are locals who communicate very well in English and acquire deep knowledge of the mountain, people, culture, health, hygiene, and most importantly your safety.
Accommodation in the Annapurna region is considered by far the best with upscale service than anywhere else in the upper Himalayas. It’s all up to you to decide where you want to sleep – guesthouse, hotels or resorts, or teahouses. Guesthouses vary from upmarket to the extreme low-budget with the poor quality. For having a comfy lifestyle, especially after tramping all day, there are hotels and resorts some of which boast costly amenities. These hotels or resorts may not be as much deluxe as those in the urban areas but they are definitely well off than the cheap lodges or budges guesthouses. Teahouse accommodations are the most predominant amongst hikers in the Annapurna region and they are equipped with furnished wooded bed and solar hot showers. You will have a pillow, mattress and a blanket in the two-bedded room plus western toilet facilities. As you keep ascending higher, the accommodation will be more and more basic, perhaps with shared toilets and bucket showers.
You will enjoy 3 hearty meals each day. Generally, you will have your breakfast and dinner at the same lodge you will be staying. Lunch will be provided at tea houses or small restaurants along the trail. The meals contain fresh fruits and organic ingredients sourced from Kathmandu or local villages throughout the trek. The meals include a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats designed by the nutritionist. The chefs are trained in hygienic food preparation. If needed, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher diets can be arranged with prior notice.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary trek wherein both the routes take you to the base camp with a little variation. The 14-day Annapurna Sanctuary trek starts at Nayapul, trekking to Ulleri, then onto Ghorepani, Tadapani, Poon Hill and Chomrong to meet up the regular base camp route. This trek takes a small circular route allowing more acclimatization days and offering diverse sceneries while the 11-day Annapurna Base Camp trek is the shorter version of this trek and meant for those who have time limitations.
The 14-day Annapurna Sanctuary Trek offers better views in comparison to the 11-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The 14-day trek makes a small loop from Ulleri at 2,050m (6,725ft.) onto Ghorepani and Tadapani at 2,700m (8,860ft.) and then a short early-dawn hike up to Poon Hill at 3,210m (10,529ft.) is simply magical. The vantage point offers 360-degree views of more than 20 snow-clad mountain peaks, spectacular hills, gorgeous valleys and terraced fields. You will not be able to experience the heavenly views of this section if you are on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. So, we strongly recommend you this route if you can afford a few extra days for the Annapurna hike.
You will be traveling with like-minded travelers from all round the world. As such, there is no age limit for doing this trek, but we are highly concerned about your physical and mental fitness as well as your previous hiking experience. As far as possible, we try to include the same age-group persons in a group so that the hiking pace among trekkers match and it becomes easier to walk together.
Yes, cell phone networks can be found throughout the trails in the Annapurna region. Most of the small villages and the hiking trails get cell phone coverage either by NCell or NTC networks. However, in certain areas, network coverage may be very poor or not available at all.
The weather in the Annapurna region varies differently in different seasons. The snow-capped Himalayan region is never really hot, not even during summer season. The maximum temperature during the day reaches up to 25°C/77°F while the night temperature falls as low as -20°C/-4°F or sometimes lower. Considering the whole trekking journey, the lower hiking regions are much warmer than the base camp. Spring season is relatively hot especially during the daytime when there is no cloud or snowfall.
Generally, the first symptoms begin to show 12-24 hours after arriving at high altitudes. The different levels of altitude sickness have different symptoms. Symptoms of mild, short-term altitude sickness are dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeping problems, general loss of energy, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, these symptoms may be accompanied by headache, nausea and vomiting.
Altitude sickness has been a major setback in most high-altitude treks in Nepal. Although there are no major risks involved, here are few tips tried and tested by our professional trek leaders and travel planners to avoid high altitude sickness during the trek:
• Slow ascend with proper rest and enough acclimatization
• Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated at all times
• Eat sufficiently a healthy balanced diet during the entire trek and sleep well
• Avoid alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco products on the trek
• Be head-strong and mentally prepared
• Train your body to cope with uphill hikes with enough cardiovascular or gym workouts, at least 3 months prior to the trek
No. Normally, oxygen is not required on the trek itinerary is designed in such a way so that it allows enough acclimatization. In addition, we provide Diamox, a medication that suppresses altitude sickness symptoms, from the beginning to prevent falling sick. However, in case of severe altitude sickness, we will descend to a lower altitude immediately, which is extremely rare in the Annapurna region trek.
Diamox is a medication which is generally taken as a preventive measure for altitude sickness and not to cure its symptoms. There is less risk of altitude sickness in this trek in comparison with the Everest base camp trek. However, we will give you the medication from the beginning as a precautionary step. There is nothing to worry as your trekking leaders are well equipped with first aid kits and sufficient Diamox pills. It is advisable to consult with your doctor about any allergic reactions or side-effects that the drug may have on you.
During the trek, electricity is available at all the teahouses where you will spend the night. You can recharge your phones, laptop or iPads from micro-hydropower and solar panels by paying a nominal charge. Regarding Wi-Fi, there are no free hotspots along the trekking trail, so we do not encourage carrying your laptop. Some teahouses do offer paid Wi-Fi services on hourly basis, but don’t expect high speed connectivity on the remote trails.
All the sections of the Annapurna regions are not accessible by road. However, in case of an emergency, rescue by air ambulance will be made available as long as the weather is favorable for evacuation to either Pokhara or Kathmandu. You will then be taken to an international class hospital for your rehabilitation. Our operation team will be in contact 24×7 if any such emergency occurs during the trek.
In general, crampons are not required for this trek if you are trekking during the season. But if you want to do the trek during mid-winter or monsoon season then crampons may be required. You will really not know what conditions you will encounter on the trekking trail until you get there, so it is better having your crampons and not using it rather than needing it and not having it if required.
Caffeine might contribute to altitude sickness as it could lead to dehydration triggering altitude sickness. Caffeine, on the contrary, is known to stimulate your brain, kidneys, and breathing, all of which are helpful at high altitude. For people who are into caffeinated beverages for a long time period and abruptly stopping to consume them on the trek may trigger profound headaches in them.