Top 10 Great Reasons to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Top 10 Great Reasons to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is an iconic trek in Nepal that is counted as one of the world’s best Himalayan treks. The trek takes you to the Annapurna Region in the western part of Nepal. It goes through the mountain villages of Gurung and Magar villages of brave Gurkha soldiers to the foothills of the Annapurna Massif. The route also cuts through the largest rhododendron forest in Nepal and a typical Nepalese scenery filled with terraced fields and traditional farms. The trek culminates at the spectacular Annapurna Base Camp, close to Annapurna South, Annapurna I (the 10th highest mountain in the world), Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak), and several other peaks.

Commercial trekking first started in Nepal with treks to Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit when Colonel Jimmy Roberts, a retired British army officer took his first group of clients trekking along these trails in the mid-1960s. He is credited with establishing the first tourism agency in Nepal, ‘Mountain Travel Nepal’.

Apart from being one of the oldest trekking routes in Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is also one of the best long treks for trekkers trekking for the first time in the Himalayas. There is not much of an altitude gain and one gets to reach the base camp of the Annapurna Massif without much difficulty. Numerous trekkers choose this trek each year, as it is one of the least demanding traveling trails in Nepal. The grand views of mountains en route extending from 6000m to 8000m will leave one awestruck.

If you are deliberating why you should do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, here are 10 reasons to help you make your mind and choose this incredible trek.

1. Get close to an 8000m mountain (Annapurna I) with the least effort

Top 7 Reasons to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you close to the Annapurna Massif, a chain of stunning peaks that also includes the 10th highest mountain in the world, Annapurna I (8091m). The ABC trek starts from Pokhara, a popular lakeside city, and weaves past thick forests, traditional villages and terraced farms to Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Sanctuary. From the base camp, you can enjoy a 360-degree perspective on the astonishing Annapurna Massif, Machhapuchhre, Nilgiri, Hiunchuli, etc. The sheer size and grandeur of the mountains will leave you staring at them in wonder and disbelief.

2. Typical Nepalese Trekking Experience

Budget Friendly Trek, Poon Hill

You will get to experience a typical Nepalese countryside during the trek as the trail goes past villages filled with quaint mud houses and terraced fields. There will be numerous crossings of small brooks and rivers via wooden bridges. The pristine waterfalls and springs will be ideal places to catch your breath and refresh yourself.

The trail to Annapurna Base Camp goes through ancient villages of Gurung and Magar communities whose men serve in the Gurkha Battalions of British and Indian armies. They are fierce warriors and have earned accolades and medals for their valor in both the world wars as well as other battles. Overnight stops at these villages will offer you ample time to interact with them and learn more about their culture,

3.Marvelous Himalayan Mountain Views

From Pokhara, the starting point of your trek you will be presented with amazing views of the Himalayan mountains. The forked summit of Machhapucchre or Fishtail Peak will delight you throughout the trek. Many times you will forget your exhaustion and pain when your gaze falls on the row of glistening peaks rising in the horizon as you pause to rest.

By the time you reach Annapurna Base Camp (4130m), you will be standing next to Himalayan giants like the Annapurna I (8091m),Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna South (7219m), Gangapurna (7454m), Tharpu Chuli Peak (5663m), Singu Chuli Peak (6501m), etc.

4. Enjoy a Teahouse Experience

teahouses

During your trek, you will get to enjoy rural hospitality and culture. The trekking trails along the Annapurna Region are facilitated by traditional teahouses, which offer food and shelter to trekkers for a fee. These teahouses are actually mountain lodges or large family homes that have been extended to take in guests.

These mountain lodges are called ‘teahouses’ because in earlier times these local homes before they became commercial establishments, used to provide tea and food to expedition groups. Thus they were called ‘teahouses’ and the name has stuck. Any place where you rest for food and shelter is called a ‘teahouse’ (provided it’s not a luxury resort!).

At the teahouse, you will get a room, usually with a twin bed. Though some teahouses offer rooms with attached toilets, some may have communal toilets, where you will have to share that facility with other guests. Taking hot showers, charging your electronic devices, and using the wifi will all incur an extra cost. There will be a large communal area where you can meet other trekkers from all parts of the world. You will also get a chance to interact with the local owners and see how food is prepared in rural areas.

As the Annapurna Region is one of the developed trekking regions in Nepal, the teahouses along the Annapurna trails offer better amenities than on the other Nepalese walking trails. As far as food is concerned you will get choose from a wide variety of items. Some of the local bakeries en route will have some of the best brownies, apple pies and pastries you will ever taste in Nepal.

Though far from comfortable like city hotels, these teahouses offer you a warm bed, food, and shelter which are enough to save you from the harsh elements in the mountains

5. Visit Annapurna Sanctuary – A Sacred Glacial Basin

Annapurna base Camp in winter

One of the chief highlights of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the excursion to Annapurna Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a sacred glacial basin believed to be the abode of local gods. The locals believe their gods reside below the mountains and no one is allowed to kill any living creatures around this area. For this reason, no climbing is allowed in the Machhapuchhre or Fishtail Peak. The peak is regarded as the abode of gods and stepping on it is considered blasphemous.

Annapurna Sanctuary is a frozen valley surrounded by Annapurna South, Annapurna I, and other peaks. The mountains provide a protective wall to the valley making it one of the most spectacular spots in the Nepal Himalaya. Sunrises and sunsets look magical from the Annapurna Sanctuary. The Milky Way and other constellations also appear nearer during the night from this spot.

6. Perfect for Rookie Trekkers

Annapurna Base Camp trek - Modorate

As far as difficulty is concerned Annapurna Base Camp graded moderate. Any trekker who has a little bit of hiking experience and enjoys a good level of physical fitness can do this trek. No technical climbing is involved. The trek involves regular walking on gentle up and down trails and ascending stone staircases. The trail is well maintained and well-marked.

The trail generally passes through little settlements, terraced farmlands, and dense timberland with intermittent steep ups and downs. There is a low chance of suffering from altitude sickness as the journey commences from low altitude and gradually increases to 4,230m, the highest point of the trek.

Though no prior trekking experience is needed to do this trek, you need to be in good health and have a high level of stamina and endurance to complete this trek. You can prepare yourself physically by doing cardio and other exercises to increase the endurance level. Children as young as 10 years have been able to complete this trek.

7.  Trek through Annapurna Conservation Area Project

Annapurna Base Camp is off the easily accessible trekking routes of Nepal.

The trail to Annapurna Base Camp Trek passes through the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) a rich storehouse of Himalayan biodiversity. Covering an area of 7629 sq.km. the conservation area is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna. Here you will find 518 species of birds, 105 mammals, 1,226 flowering plants, 23 amphibians and 40 reptiles. Apart from the wild creatures, the park also protects the ancient villages of Gurungs and Magars which are living museums of their age-old cultures and traditions.

8. Rhododendron Forests

side trip

During your Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will walk past the largest rhododendron forests in Nepal. Many trekkers term it as ‘a walk through heaven or paradise’. During spring, when the rhododendrons are in full bloom the trails get covered with red and pink flowers. It is indeed almost a magical and surreal experience to walk through a trail covered only with flowers.

During the spring season, the trail to Annapurna Base Camp possibly becomes the best looking trail. The scenery is simply outstanding with snowy white peaks, green terraced fields, picturesque villages and rows of pink and red trees lining the trails.

9. Two Base Camps – Machhapuchhre Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp

Hot Spot Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

One of the highlights of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is you get to visit two base camps – The Machhapucchre Base Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp. While the Machhapuchhre Base Camp lies at the foot of the iconic Machhapuchhre or Fishtail Peak, the Annapurna Base Camp lies below the Annapurna Massif.

From these base camps, you get close up views of the summit of these peaks and glaciers. It is indeed a rare experience to get so close to these mighty mountains within a short trekking period, without resorting to technical climbing. So many of these mountains are taller than the highest peaks of the rest of the continents.

10. Exciting Options for Detours and Side Trips

Annapurna Region has several trails that offer majestic views and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you have a flexible itinerary, you can enjoy side trips and detours during your Annapurna Base Camp trek. You can extend your trek by walking to Mardi Himal or Khopra Danda after visiting ABC. You can also continue and take a much longer and adventurous route to Upper Mustang. Combining Annapurna Circuit Trek with Annapurna Base Camp Trek will amp up the thrill factor. There will be mountain lakes like Tilicho and Ice lakes en route which will make your detours more exciting and spectacular.

Annapurna Base Camp trek is like no other trek. There is a reason why it makes it to the top ten lists of Best Hikes in the World time and again. The scenery, culture and mountains that you experience during this trek are outstanding and unlike any other walking experience.  Trust us, this Annapurna Base Camp trekking experience will be cherished by you forever.

Annapurna Base Camp trek is like no other trek. There is a reason why it makes it to the top ten lists of Best Hikes in the World time and again. The scenery, culture and mountains that you experience during this trek are outstanding and unlike any other walking experience.  Trust us, this Annapurna Base Camp trekking experience will be cherished by you forever.

Frequently Asked Questions about Annapurna base Camp Trek

1. What is the accommodation like in the Annapurna region?

Generally while trekking in Nepal, you will be accommodated in teahouses. All the teahouse are run by the locals. Rooms at the teahouse are simple and basic. The rooms at most teahouses are equipped with two single beds. As you approach your destination, the number of teahouses thins. At higher elevations, teahouses may have one room with 4 to 5 beds.

2. What are the toilet facilities like on the Annapurna Base Camp trail?

Some teahouses offer rooms with attached western style toilets with a flushing system. At some places, these toilet facilities will be communal/shared. At some teahouses, you will find toilets located outside the main building. You can also expect to have squat down or Asian toilets. Our advice is to take enough toilet rolls with you to last throughout your trek, as most of the toilets will have no toilet rolls. In squat type toilets, a bucket with water and a mug is offered to flush down the waste. Most teahouses have no running water. Bucket and mug will be provided to clean yourself.

3. Is electricity available to charge our electronic gadgets?

You, electricity is available on the trek. Teahouses charge extra for charging your electronic devices like phone, laptop, camera batteries, etc. Generally, teahouses charge around NPR 100-150 per hour. During peak seasons when the occupancy at teahouses is usually full, it will be difficult to get a port to charge your devices. Take power banks with you to charge your devices. This will save you from extra expenses as well as the disappointment of not getting the chance to charge your devices.

4. Would we be able to gain access to the internet?

Internet, though irregular at times, is available along the trail. Teahouses offer wifi connection for a fee. You can also get a local sim card (Ncell or NTC) and purchase internet data.

4. What type of food is found on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

In teahouses, you can find a menu offering a wide range of dishes. Items include traditional Nepalese ‘dal-bhat’ to Tibetan, Indian and continental dishes. From the variety of dishes offered you can choose your preferred one. The menu includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. But it would be healthier to stick to vegetarian options and the meat used for non-vegetarian dishes may be several days old.

If you are a vegan you need not worry. There will be many vegetarian options available. For people who are allergic to gluten, the choices may be limited. So you can bring your own snacks. Some teahouses do prepare gluten-free and vegan meals on request.

6. How can we get clean water to drink while on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

You can find water everywhere on the trail. There are numerous water taps along the trail, small streams and ponds from where you can get water. You can carry portable water filtration devices like LifeStraw and Steripen. You can also use water purification tablets and solutions. At Annapurna Conservation Area you will find drinking water stations. Boiled drinking water at teahouses costs extra.

7. Can we have a hot shower on the trail?

Yes, you can enjoy hot showers on the trek for an extra fee. Teahouses charge around NPR 500- 600 depending on the altitude and location. Hot water in a bucket is provided for hot showers. Please note most bathrooms along the trail are basic and will have no showerheads or running water.

8. Is foreign currency accepted in the trail?

No, foreign currency is not accepted on the trail. Therefore before the start of your trek, please make sure you have enough local currency to last you throughout your trek. You can withdraw local currency from ATMs in Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can also exchange your currency for local currency at money exchange counters. Please note there are no ATM kiosks or money exchange counters along the trail.  Shops and teahouses along the trail only accept the local currency as payment. Credit or debit cards are also not accepted.

9. How difficult is ABC trek?

ABC Trek is not a difficult trek. The trek starts from 900m altitude which is a normal elevation. The trail gradually ascends with an elevation gain of 400-500 m daily which is an adaptable height. You are advised not to rush or speed to reach your destination faster, as this will cause altitude sickness. You need to be able to walk for 4-5 hours daily carrying a light daypack. Most of the walking is done in the morning and afternoon. You will be reaching your destination for the day late in the afternoon. You can use the remainder of the day resting at the teahouse, socializing with other trekkers, or exploring the village and interacting with the villagers.

10. How can I train myself for the ABC Trek?

Even though Annapurna Base Camp Trek is not that difficult, one has to be physically fit to complete this adventure. You have to walk for 4-5 hours daily with a daypack. There are sections of the trail where you will have to climb long stone staircases. It will be sometimes hard for your knees and ankles. Therefore try to include leg exercises as much as possible while training for your trek.

You can try stamina building exercises like cardio, cycling, swimming, jogging, etc. You can also practice climbing staircases in buildings carrying a light daypack. Go for short hikes if you have hills around your place of residence. It will be easier for you if you experience walking on hilly terrain before the start of the trek.

11. When is the best time to do Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

While spring and autumn are probably the best seasons, Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be done whole year-round.

Spring season lasts from March to May in Nepal. During this season, the trails get covered with wildflowers and rhododendrons.  Sometimes it will be cloudy and there will be snow on the path, but most of the days it will remain warm and sunny. The mountain views are amazing during this time.

The autumn season starts from September goes on till the end of November. During this season, you will experience moderate temperature and crystal clear view of mountains.  The autumn season is considered to be the best season for trekking in Nepal due to the pleasant temperatures, unobstructed mountain views, and absence of precipitation.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is doable in winter also. December and January are winter months. The trail will be secluded and with the absence of the regular trekking, crowd teahouses will be offering hefty discounts. The only downside of trekking during this season is you will face extreme cold and snow while trekking. Instances of the trail getting blocked due to snowfall can’t be ruled out.

A monsoon trek can be a bit tricky and difficult. The rains will make the path slippery and you shall have to deal with blood-sucking leeches and bugs. There will also be a danger of landslides and avalanches. On the bright side, you will be able to experience a fertile landscape filled with green hills and fields lush with green rice paddy.  There will be many waterfalls en route and the forest will be filled with rare orchids and wildflowers. For botanists and plant lovers, this is the best time to visit the region.

12. How to avoid mountain sickness during Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

You can avoid altitude sickness by walking at a slow pace and keeping yourself hydrated. Take a day or two resting at a lower altitude to acclimatize fully before heading to high altitude (3500m-4000m). Do not rush to higher elevations. Descend to a lower elevation immediately if you notice any symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness). Having a Diamox might help if you have mild symptoms. Include hot fluids in your diet and have a good night’s rest. And lastly, follow your guide’s instructions. He or she has been in the mountains and knows how to survive in the wilderness. Listening to your guide will probably save your life in adverse circumstances.

13. Do trekking agencies provide a first-aid kit during the trek?

Yes, guides employed by trekking agencies are generally kitted with a first-aid kit box. Some of them also carry pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of clients. Some of the big agencies provide supplementary oxygen and Gamow bag too for emergencies. All these emergency items are carried by the trekking crew.

The first aid kit may include some basic medicines and materials needed during an injury or illness. Guides are trained to provide first aid when needed. Some of them are also certified Wilderness First Responders.

14. What if someone gets hurt on the trek?

ABC Trek takes you on a mountainous trail. There are many risks involved and injuries during the trek cannot be ruled out. If someone gets hurt, the seriousness of the injury will determine whether the client gets to continue the journey or will have to be evacuated. The guide will decide for the client after examining his physical condition and the seriousness of the injury or illness.

If it’s a minor injury or sickness which can be cured by taking some medicines or extra rest, the guide may allow the client to continue after taking the required precautions. If it’s something very serious, the guide will call for rescue and the client will be evacuated by air ambulance to a medical facility in Pokhara or Kathmandu. Please be informed your insurance will be needed to cover the charges of the rescue operation and medical treatment.

While the injured client is provided the required medical treatment, the rest of the trekking group continues following the itinerary. Their journey will continue as planned.

15. Why do we need travel insurance to do ABC trek?

Travel insurance is very important for a Himalayan trek like Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Travel insurance covers all the extra expenses you will have to bear during the trek, like emergency helicopter evacuation in case of sickness or injury, flight cancellation charge, lost or stolen baggage, etc. An insurance covering high altitude air rescue is a must to book a trek with an agency.

16. How safe Annapurna Base Camp Trek is?

The trail to Annapurna Base Camp Trek is walkable and is not that difficult. Of course like all mountain adventures, there are risks involved in doing this trek too. But with careful planning and by following the safety rules it is possible to enjoy a safe trek. Wear appropriate gear, have a safe itinerary with enough days to reach your destination safely, do not consume alcohol or intoxicating stuff on the trail, lean towards the wall while giving way to pack animals, drink plenty of water and hot fluids, do not trek during night time and follow the instructions of your guide. If you follow these steps, you will be good on the trail.

At Nepal Hiking Team, we take the utmost care in planning our treks. We leave no stones unturned to ensure the safety and security of our clients while they are trekking with us. Our guides have more than ten years of experience and have handled emergencies in the past. If faced with an emergency they will know what steps and precautions to take to ensure the well-being of the client.

17. How long will it take to complete the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

The trek normally takes two weeks or 14 days. But if you are on a short holiday, you can opt for our Instant Annapurna Base Camp Trek which is a 9-day journey. You can finish the whole trek in 9 days to and from Kathmandu.

The 14 days Annapurna Base Camp trek is a standard trekking itinerary. More days are included to let you complete the trek in a leisurely manner, without tiring yourself physically. From Pokhara, it is a 10-day trek. You can visit multiple villages and experience local lifestyles and cultures. The trail passes through numerous villages like Tikhedhunga, Ghorepani, Tadapani, Chomrong village, Dovan, Deurali, and finally reach Annapurna Base camp. After the tour of ABC and MBC (Machhapuchhre Base Camp), you will descend to Bamboo, Jhinu Danda, and finally, return to Pokhara.

Contact Us

About Author

Balaram Thapa

Balaram Thapa, an executive director at Nepal Hiking Team had a long journey before making NHT one of the revolutionary tour operators in this competitive field of Tourism. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism from Tribhuwan University in the year 2000.

He started his career as a trekking support staff in 1998 and gradually earned a status of trekking leader. He has trekked several trekking routes such as Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Mustang, Makalu, etc. Thus has immense knowledge about the trekking routes of Nepal. Alongside this, he has also organized several tours to Bhutan and Tibet as a tour guide. He has traveled to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Italy promoting Nepal’s tourism.

After earning lots of experience in this field, he wanted to explore his own business ideology. He along with his brother- Ganga Raj Thapa start their own company, Nepal Hiking Team in 2009. He is friendly and works side by side with the staff inspiring and motivating them. He is an expert travel consultant and handles all the concerns of travelers regarding their trip. He inspires people to travel new and unique destinations and implement the same ideology on himself as well.

He started his journey 22 years ago and has immense experience in this field. His passion for traveling has made his 22 years of working journey, a precious phase of his life. And he plans to continue doing this and add more years in it.

COMMENTS(2)

  1. Sarah Schu

    Yes, yes, yes! I love trekking in the Annapurnas for all these reasons. <3

    Reply
  2. chandra

    Dear Sir,

    We have a group of 5 Indian nationality .

    please suggest suitable package for seven days trekking until Annapurna base camp and which will be the best month to TREK.

    We currently live in DELHI.

    Chandra

    Reply

Post your views

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Similar Blogs