A classic walk right into the heart of the Himalayas. This popular trek ascends through charming mountain villages to the center of the Annapurna range offering spectacular mountain scenery. Standing at Annapurna Base Camp, surrounded by towering walls of snow and rock reaching as high as 8000m, is a truly awe-inspiring experience. There is nothing like watch the sun glitter of the peaks of Annapurna 1, Annapurna South, Annapurna 3, and Machapuchare. The maximum altitude reached on this trek is 4,400m at Annapurna Base Camp. The trail up is often steep and the Sanctuary trek is considered one of the more challenging of the teahouse treks. If you allow the time to ascend at your own pace this trek is open to the moderately fit. A minimum of 7 days should be allowed to complete this trek . Best time for trekking: October to November and April to May.
|Day 1 Namaste and welcome to Kathmandu where all our Nepal trekking adventures begin. Day 1 is the day that you need to plan on arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal. After clearing immigration and customs, you will be be met by our trekking staff and transferred to the domestic airport. From there you will catch a short flight to Pokhara, Nepal. At the Pokhara Airport you will be greeted by our professional staff who will then transfer to your hotel in Lake Side.|
|Day 2 Explore Pokhara’s Lake Side area and prepare for the trek. Today is a change to enjoy the beautiful sites around Pokhara, Nepal. This is also a good time to browse the many shops and rest from your long journey. There will be a briefing for the trek today as well as time for permit preparation.|
|Day 3 Van ride to Naya Pul and begin our trek. We’ll leave the hotel first thing in the morning and head out of the city into the foothills of the Himalayas to begin our adventure. You will be able to leave a bag securely at the hotel so no need to worry about carrying everything with you. From Naya Pul we will make our way to Syauli Bazar where we will spend the night in a Tea House. We’ll ease into our first day with two hours of trekking and a 250 meter elevation gain.|
|Day 4 Hike from Syauli Bazar through terraced rice fields and small farming communities to arrive at Ghandruk for the night. Today we will climb 1500 meters over 8 Kilometers. We will sleep in one of the many tea houses Ghandruk has to offer.|
|Day 5 Today we will make our way to the mouth of the Annapurna Valley from Ghandruk to Bamboo. It is a beautiful day of rolling hills as we slowly gaining elevation ascending to the beginning of the Annapurna Valley. We will sleep in the beautiful little village of Bamboo overlooking the Modi Kholu River.|
|Day 6 Hike through bamboo forests with spectacular mountain views to the village of Deolari. Now we are starting to gain quiet a bit of elevation as we climb another 1500 meters and sleep at over 3,300 meters above sea level. The weather will start to become cool and crisp as we leave the jungle and enter into the Himalayan realm.|
|Day 7 From Deolari we will ascend to Annapurna base camp. Along the way we’ll have lunch at Machapuchhare Base Camp spectacular views of the sacred peak along with Annapurna I, and Annapurna III. Machapuchhare is considered a sacred mountain by the Hindu people and has been declared off-limits by the government of Nepal. The summit of Machapuchare has never been reached. The weather will be noticeably colder and your breathing will be labored.|
|Day 8 Spend a day exploring Annapurna Base Camp at over 13,400 feet. This is the highest point of our trek, with a 360 degree view of the soaring peaks. The morning is always the best time to be up and about at ABC. Clouds usually set in mid day blocking the view of the summit. For those more adventurous there will be a day hike offered to over 15,000ft to get better view of the surrounding range. With luck we will be able to see a few climbing parties high on the mountain. Annapurna is one of the hardest 8000m peaks in the world. Only about 150 people have made the summit while more than 60 have lost their lives trying. It is a spectacular experience to stand below this epic peak marveling at it’s size, listening to the avalanches and the living glacier grown beneath you. After lunch we’ll start to make our decent to Dovan and spend the night there.|
|Day 9 From Dovan we will make our way down to Jihnu and a well earned rest at the natural hot springs. The air is warmer, the breathing is easier and the hot springs are wonderfully refreshing.|
|Day 10 After a restful stay in Jihnu we will make our way out of the Annapurna Sanctuary through Naya Pul. In Naya Pul we will meet our van and drive back to Lake Side. At our hotel in Lake Side we will celebrate our trekking adventure and our last night in Pokhara.|
|Day 11 Our last day in Pokhara will be filled with cultural experiences no other company can provide. We will visit with the local church and hear more about the vision and the fruits of this company. We will catch an afternoon flight back to Kathmandu and take short taxi ride to our hotel. Our afternoon will be spent exploring the Kathmandu valley from the Swayambunath Temple to Boudhanath Temple, Patan’s Durbar Square and more.|
|Day 12 Today our wonderful adventure comes to an end. Transfers are provided to the airport for flights home or you are welcome to stay and explore on your own.|
Note on Itinerary
We will do our best to adhere to the schedule above, however this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
National Park fees, 1 night in Kathmandu and 3 nights in Pokhara, all meals unless otherwise specified in itinerary, expert local guides, airport transfers and in country airfare.
Air transportation to/from Nepal, Bangkok hotel costs (if routing requires an overnight), visas, any necessary emergency evacuation arrangements, optional tips to guides and staff, airport taxes, cost of obtaining a passport or medical immunizations, insurance, and items of a personal nature such as liquor, laundry fees or souvenirs.
Trekking in Nepal is for active people in good health who enjoy vigorous hiking. Nepal has an “up and down” topography, there is very little level walking. We expect participants to be strong, experienced hikers in good physical condition. Gear and supplies can be carried by porters and/or pack animals, leaving members free to carry only a daypack (additional costs may apply). No technical climbing or other special abilities are required. This trek spends several days at altitudes above 10,000ft. The trails themselves are only moderate, but at these altitudes hiking will feel more strenuous. A good physical conditioning program must be undertaken several months in advance to get into shape.
Nepal is a mountainous tropical country, which means it experiences climatic extremes. Night and day temperature differences can vary between 10C and 30C (50F to 86F) so you need to be prepared with a variety of clothing. The key to staying comfortable on a trek is layering.
- Valid passport
- Copy of first page of passport
- Airline tickets
- Visa form for Nepal (or obtain at Kathmandu airport)
- 4 extra passport photos
- Trekking Pack – Preferably 30-45L
- Duffel bag – for non-trek items left at the hotel in Kathmandu
- Daypack to carry your camera, water bottles, extra clothing (ideal if you hire a porter)
- Luggage tags and luggage locks
- Sleeping bag and stuff sack, rated to 15 degrees or less
- Rain jacket with hood, water repellent and roomy
- Rain pants
- Insulated parka/ski jacket, down or synthetic filled
- Backpack rain cover
- Midweight fleece jacket or wool sweater
- Fleece pants or tights (see ‘optional’)
- Midweight thermal underwear top & bottoms, synthetic or wool
- Expedition-weight thermal top & bottoms
- Hiking pants/skirt (1)
- Long-sleeve shirts (1 or 2)
- T-shirts, synthetic are best
- Hiking socks (4), wool or synthetic
- Liner socks
- Wool or fleece hat (over ears)
- Wool or fleece gloves
- Thin liner gloves
- Snow gaiters (Winter treks only)
- Hiking boots, sturdy, ankle-support, water-resistant, well broken in
- Camp shoes: trail shoes or running shoes (optional but nice)
- Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel
- Comfortable shoes
- Reliable flashlight or headlamp, plus spare batteries and bulb
- Ear plugs
- Small quantity of favorite energy snacks
- ‘Potable Aqua’-type water treatment tablets or drops
- Hiking staff or trekking poles (recommended)
- Two 1-quart water bottles or hydration system
- Sunglasses with strap
- Sunblock and lip balm – SPF 30+
- Toiletry kit
- Small quick-dry towel
- Personal first aid kit / medicines
- Hand sanitizer gel or Handi-wipes
- Several Ziploc plastic bags
- Large, heavy duty plastic trash bags (2)
Extra Field Gear
- Camera, film/memory cards, spare batteries
- Down or synthetic-filled pants (Fall treks these are a very wise addition)
- Down booties (Fall treks around camp at nighttime)
- Knee supports
- Spare contact lenses or glasses
- Trekking poles
- Games and toys: Frisbee, cards, etc.
- Reading and writing materials
Things to Consider
- Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed. Cameras should also be packed in your carry-on bag.
- Culturally sensitive dressing tips: For women, pants (or Capri length pants) and/or a skirt (mid-calf or longer) is recommended. Skirts are quite comfortable for trekking (mid-calf length is ideal). Tights, hiking shorts, sports tops or tank tops are inappropriate unless worn under other clothing. For men, pants are best. Men may wear hiking shorts, but they should be longer, near the knees. Men should never go shirtless.
- This gear list can fit into one large duffel. You may want to consider using an extra large duffel so that you have space to carry home all the great gifts and souvenirs you’ll be wanting to get. Most airlines allow for two bags with a maximum weight of 70 lbs each and linear dimensions not to exceed 62 inches. Additional charges may apply if you exceed these parameters.
- Some trekkers like to hike with a backpack and carry their belongings with them. A 30-45L pack is recommend for this. You will need to carry a sleeping bag, extra clothing and any other personal items needed. If you prefer a porter can be hired and you can just carry a day pack. If you are worried about the vigorous nature of the trek then this option is recommended. Small additional fees may apply for hiring a porter ($5-$10/day).
- Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
- You may find that you will not use every piece of clothing that is on this gear list. However, the list has been created to provide for the full range of weather conditions that MAY be encounter during your trek. Should the weather be unseasonably cold or wet, you will appreciate having this gear.
- Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
- Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
- Travel clothes, extra gear and purchases will be left in a storage room at our hotel. Please bring a small bag, luggage tag and lock for this purpose.