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Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. With breathtaking scenery and cultural diversity, this region has stayed as a fan favorite for long. A blend of such culture and nature makes this region a top destination for foreign visitors.
The trek to Annapurna Base Camp starts from the crowded city and goes into the green hills of Western Nepal. Slowly, you will come across the greenery of the hills and the patios formed for vegetation as you keep moving forward. Enjoy the first views of the Annapurna peaks. Also, find the humble hospitality of the Gurung and Magar tribes at the villages of the Annapurna Region.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trekking trail takes you closer and closer to one of the ten highest peaks in the world, Annapurna I (8091m). Besides it, you can also have landscape views of the Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, and Dhaulagiri peaks.
The trek to the Annapurna Base Camp stays as a standout amongst other wonderful treks to the country as it offers a fairly easy trekking route alongside breathtaking scenery and meek hospitality. The trekking trip also offers insights into the courageous Gurung and Magar community.
Most of the hike is uphill as Nepal is home to a series of high hills. Keep your chin up to experience the majestic views of the Annapurna and such other high snow peaks. Also, look at the forests of oak, bamboo, and most importantly, rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal along with the Annapurna Region.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek trail slowly makes way for the Annapurna Base Camp (Annapurna Sanctuary trek). You will have 360-degree views of the Annapurna Mountain Ranges alongside the Machhapuchhre and Dhaulagiri peaks. Enjoy the trekking to the base camp of Annapurna during the best seasons in Nepal, Spring and Autumn for more fascination.
You will be welcomed by a Great Nepal Representative at the airport. You will be transferred to the hotel. Meet the representatives once again after freshening up to get a brief about the trekking itinerary. In your free time, you can stroll around the capital city of Kathmandu. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, you will board a vehicle to start the drive to the Pokhara Valley. On your way to Pokhara, you can enjoy the beautiful picturesque scenes of the countryside. Enjoy the green hills, rivers, and every other thing you see during the drive. Also, get several opportunities to look at the high peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchhre. Among such peaks, you will also have the chance to encounter the cultural diversity of the region. Overnight in a hotel in Pokhara.
(Optional Trishuli River Rafting can be added on request)
Start early after breakfast. You will drive to Nayapul to get there within an hour’s drive. The small village is the starting point of the trek. Just follow the Modi Khola through picturesque farmlands and rice terraces to get to Tikhe Dhunga. Today, is a relatively easy day of hiking. Overnight in a tea house in Tikhe Dhunga.
Fuel yourself up with a delicious and nutritious rural delicacy. From today, the real trekking starts as you will have to hike up and down the strenuous hills of the region. Start with a steep climb on the stone steps to reach Ulleri. Ascend somewhat 3300 steps to get to Ulleri. Further hike uphill will end the strenuous trail and make the trail easier. After a few hours of trekking, you will reach Ghorepani. Along the trail, experience the beautiful views of the rhododendron forest, diverse flora and fauna and the scenic hillside. Overnight in a tea house in Ghorepani.
Today, we will start at pre-dawn. Hike along the steep stairs to get to Poon Hill. The hike will take us about an hour. The sunrise views from the stunning viewpoint is breathtaking. Poon Hill is one of the best vantage points in the Annapurna Region. Enjoy the 360-degree views of the high Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks with uninterrupted sights. During the spring, the hillside of the surrounding areas gets covered with stunning paletes of red color with the blooming of rhododendron. This photogenic place has been staying as one of the highlights of this trek. After breakfast, you will continue the trek on an easy walk to Tadapani through the dense forest alongside green hills and diverse wildlife. Overnight in a tea house in Tadapani.
Hike through a steep descent through rough and dense forest to get to the village of Chomrong. The village stays at the lap of the Annapurna Massif and offers extraordinary views of the Annapurna South and Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Follow the west banks of the Modi Khola before arriving at the Chomrong village. Overnight in a tea house in Chomrong.
After breakfast descend down for a while to Chomrong Khola (River) and continue ascending and descending through bamboo and Rhododendron forests until you reach Himalayan Hotel. Overnight in a tea house in Himalayan Hotel.
Today, the trail climbs up to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp before getting to the Annapurna Base Camp. The hike to the MBC slowly gains altitude as you hike uphill. Upon our arrival at the MBC, the vista opens up and you are greeted with the stunning panorama of the mountains in the Annapurna Sanctuary.The trail to the Annapurna Base Camp takes us along the small streams into the sanctuary. The vegetation starts to disappear and the trail starts to widen. As the path widens, you will see the 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The Sanctuary boasts stunning views of the Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, and such other peaks. The hike today is an easy incline along the epicenter of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Overnight in a tea house in Annapurna Base Camp.
At dawn, you will have the opportunity to have glimpses of the golden sunrise over the Annapurna peaks. After breakfast, you will start to descend from the ABC to Bamboo via the Machhapuchhre Base Camp. You will finally get to Bamboo after a full six-hours with small breaks in between. As the mornings are quite clear, you will likely experience the 360-degree views of the Annapurna mountain range along the route. Also, enjoy the views of the waterfalls that drop down from the icy glaciers to the rocks below. This should be a fairly easy downhill walk. Overnight in a tea house in Bamboo.
From Bamboo, it is a steep ascent to the KhuldiGhar. The ascent is followed by another hike uphill along the stone steps to Sinuwa and Lower Chomrong. An ascend along the stone steps will take you to the Upper part of the Chomrong valley. From there, it’s an easy steep descend to Jhinu Danda. Overnight in a tea house in Jhinu Danda.
You will have a relaxing hike today. Follow the Modi Khola stream to Nayapul via Birethanti where you will board your vehicle and drive back to Pokhara. Upon arrival at Pokhara transfer to Hotel. Freshen up and stroll around the Pokhara Valley. Overnight in a hotel in Pokhara.
Today, you will return to the Kathmandu Valley by a tourist bus. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be guided back to your hotel. Freshen up and stroll around the Kathmandu Valley for souvenirs. Later, in the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a Nepalese Restaurant. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Your trip concludes this day. A Great Nepal representative will guide you to the airport some 3 hours before the flight. Have a safe journey ahead.
You will be staying in 3 star hotels (as mentioned in itinerary) while you are in Kathmandu and Pokhara. While visiting the rural areas, especially high altitudes, you will be staying in teahouses. It is important to note that teahouses are small lodges run by locals and are a very popular type of accommodation in high altitudes and rural areas. They tend to be quite on the cheaper side and only offer limited services. It is important to be open-minded and not expect all the services you get in city areas.
The rooms are typically small with twin beds, clean blanket, pillow and bed sheet. Normally people tend to carry their own sleeping bags for sanitary reasons. The only area, that is usually heated is the dining area, so be ready to face some cold night. Toilets in teahouses are typical squat-style and are very small but clean. Likewise, hot water is not available, but you can easily get some for a small fee. If you have any other questions related to accommodation, food, and other details during your visit to Nepal, you can always contact our operators who are available 24×7 at your service.
To enable all trekking & expedition members to acclimatize well and hence maximize their chances of success, our trekking & expedition programs are prepared with sufficient time for acclimatization. Adaptation to the altitude takes time and there can be no short-cuts, even if supplementary oxygen is used in the final stages. The atmospheric pressure at the base camp is half of that at the sea level. A thorough program of acclimatization is built into the itinerary which consists of regulated height ascents, followed by descents and rests before the final ascent to the summit. Yes it is very important for all trekkers and climbers because this will prevent the climbers to get rid from altitude sickness.
Although our guides from Great Nepal Treks carry first aid medical kit, it is better to carry a supply of first aid items for your own personal use according to your health conditions. Here are the list of some general as well as some special medications you may require:
– Antiseptic cream (Betadine)
– Sunblock SPF 30+
– Throat lozenges
– Painkillers and anti-inflammatory such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen etc.
– Band-aids, bandage, compression bandage and ‘Second Skin’ for blisters
– Re-hydration salts. (Trioral, Electrobin, Oral Rehydrating Salt)
– Dextrose glucose tablets
– Water treatment tablets
– Your prescription medications
– Antibiotics for longer climbing and expedition style trips
You will be affected by high altitude problems if it is your fist trip at a high altitude. The altitude has some important beneficial effects on the human body and your trips have been designed to enable these. Please familiarize yourself with the information on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and understand how to avoid it and read on benefits of high altitude and take advantage of these to improve your body’s metabolism.
Altitude sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amounts of oxygen. The high altitude slowly decreases the flow of oxygen means the higher you climb, the flow of oxygen is very thin resulting the malfunction of body. Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2,800 meters (9,200ft) but this is different for everyone – there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at altitude thus it is vital for you to monitor your own health. AMS occurs when the body is unable to adopt at the higher altitude having less amount of oxygen. At an altitude of 5490m (18000 ft.), the oxygen availability becomes just the half of the availability at sea level. While only a third of oxygen is available at the summit of Mt. Everest. Symptoms may be mild and subside/go away after a day’s rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to death.
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
• Headache: Due to the less amount of oxygen in air, the blood influences the blood vessels to spread wide in order to supply more oxygen to the brain and which cause them to show the early symptom of AMS.
• Dopiness: The trekkers or climbers feel very sleepy but could not.
• Shortness of breath: The breathing pattern changes as the breathing becomes faster and deeper than normal in order to get enough oxygen and rapid pulse
• Loss of appetite and nausea: Despite of physical exercise, the trekkers don’t have an appetite to eat.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
If one accumulates of fluid in the lungs and mild fever then, there is a chance of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). The filling of fluid in the lungs is Pulmonary Edema. The fluid blocks the passage of fresh oxygen to get into the lungs which causes the shortage of oxygen. Though the exact reason for the HAPE has not been identified, scientists think that pressure of blood vessel around the lungs is directly proportional to the altitude. As a result the smaller blood vessels leak allowing the fluid to escape to the lungs. The treatment for the HAPE victims is to give the oxygen at the rate of 4 liters a minute, using Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC). In case of unavailability of PAC bag or oxygen, one is taken down to the low altitude which is the only way of life-saving. HAPE can also lead to unconsciousness which may also results to death in a short period of time.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
HACE is the accumulation of fluid in the brain due of the swollen blood vessels to the brain. HACE is also seen within a couple of hours and can send the patient to coma and take his/her life in just few hours likewise to HAPE. The excessive flow of blood to the brain due to the low-level oxygen causes vasodilation which eventually leads to leakage of blood vessels to the brain. A 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first dose to those who suffer from such sickness and then 4mg Diamox is given an every six hours gap. Similarly, 2-4 liters/minute oxygen is given and one is taken to down if it is necessary.
– A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
– Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
– Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
– Severe fatigue, progressing to coma
– Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
– Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
– Loss of balance or coordination
– Blurred or double vision/retinal hemorrhage
Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness – it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness by:
– Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration
– Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
– Drinking plenty of water – the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colorless urine
– Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
– Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m/2000ft above 2,400m/8000ft
– Climb high but Sleep at a lower altitude if possible
– Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness
Since our Guides from Great Nepal Treks are very professional and well trained about altitude sickness, they will guide you during your trekking and expedition activities in Nepal.
Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatize by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for acute mountain sickness (AMS) is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages. The guide will monitor you all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.Cooperating with the guide and reporting if any of the above-described symptoms are seen allows your guide to undertaking appropriate and timely action to minimize your exposure to AMS. Sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters) is also another method to minimize AMS. Following precautions can be done in order to get rid of AMS:
Don’t ascent up rapidly.
• Never use alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
• Drink more fluid 3-4 liters a day, clean boiled water / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
• Climb high and sleep low.
• Don’t go trekking alone, take guide/porter.
• Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local people, guidebook.
• Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
• Never leave or descent sick person along.
• Avoid getting cold.
• Take an easy and comfortable trekking route even if it is longer.
• Sleep more than normal.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest for medication such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.With severe cases of AMS, our guide will contact our office in Kathmandu and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.
You never know when the unexpected situation comes and put you in hearse condition whether you are professional or beginners. Our professional guides do their best to make you well with first aid support. If the situation goes worse, you will be evacuated by Helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation. So, before coming to Nepal, please make your travel insurance. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. For evacuation, we require the name of the sick person and the exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. You should not leave the place after calling Helicopter for evacuation though you are feeling better than before.
On the trek, there is a facility of purchasing safe drinking water in teahouses.It is better if you carry the water purifying pills on your own. On camping trek, the water will be treated with Potassium permanganate or Iodine. On the trail, water from the streams is safe to drink, but better not to use it directly for drinking.
Security and a safe journey is our core objective of trekking. Our guide holds licenses issued by the Nepal Government and our staffs are local, honest, kind and genuine. But we also insist you to take care of your own personal belongings. If you are on ‘camping trek’ please take your main bag inside the tent once you reach campsite and put all bags and belongings in the middle of the tent when you feel sleepy. Your guide assigns a Sherpa on turn wise basis to guard the campsite throughout the night. If you are on ‘Tea house arrangement, never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out. Feel safe since you are in the hands of ethical trekking company in Nepal.
We spent 3 weeks in Nepal, and it was the most wonderful holiday we have ever had. It started with an idea (to go to Nepal) and after a bit of research of where to go we found Great Nepal Treks and really connected with all their staff, who put together this amazing trip for us. They really listened to what we were after, read between the lines, filled in the gaps we had not thought about – and turned it into a smooth operation. We saw Kathmandu, Pokhara, hiked in the Annapurna region, enjoyed a homestay in Tansen, visited Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, saw rhinos in Chitwan National Park, … so many small extras, so many small acts of kindness, such hospitality and generosity. Wherever we went, we had wonderful guides to show us around.