Annapurna Base Camp Trek: Route, Cost, and Key Essentials

Having blessed with an embarrassment of natural delights and bio-diversity, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, one of the most famous trekking destinations in Nepal, takes plenty time to playfully flirt with the ones that venture to the region. The trek takes one through the amazing landscapes, diversity, and culture of the Annapurna Sanctuary. A natural amphitheater of snow-clad mountains along with hot water springs waits for you on this trip as you peek into the lives of the proud ethnic communities residing in the Himalayan periphery.

This trek of moderate difficulty takes about Annapurna Base camp Trek14 days to complete. You will also get to experience some of the highest peaks in the world, namely: Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters above the sea level, the 7th highest peak and Annapurna I at 8091 meters above the sea level, the 10th highest peak.  You can also get up-close views of other mountains such as Gangapurna (7454m), Hiunchuli (6441m), and Tent Peak (5695m) etc. Trekkers will also be able to experience the surreal view of the Machhapuchhre “Fish Tail” mountain on this trek. The trek makes a grand entrance into the Annapurna region, where you can get to be an audience to the stupendous views of the Annapurna Himalayas. There will be opportunities to experience the lifestyle, food, and culture of unique Gurung Villages such as Ghandruk and Dhampus on your way to the base camp. The ideal time to go on this trek is between October and late December or between late February and April.

Trip Route

Typically, travel agencies allocate a day or two to tour the capital Kathmandu. However, the actual trip starts from Pokhara, which is either a 30-minutes flight or a 6-hour drive from the Capital. A short drive takes you to Nayapul where the actual trek begins. The trekkers head to Chhomrong which takes about 6 hours from Nayapul. The gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary- Chhomrong is mostly inhabited by the Gurung community. Then, the journey continues via Dovan to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp. From there, it is around a 3-hour steep trek to the beautiful destination of Annapurna Base Camp. On the way back from Annapurna Base Camp, you trek through Bamboo and Jhinu Dada. Jhinu Dada is famous for its natural hot springs where travelers can choose to relax. From there descend is towards Pothana. From Pothana it is a three-hour walk to the village of Dhampus. Finally, a drive back from Dhampus takes the trekkers back to Pokhara.

Attitude Variation

The trip starts in Pokhara which is at 820 meters above sea level. Trekking begins from Nayapul (1070 meters) and you climb up through the villages of Ghandruk (1940 meters), Bamboo (2310 meters), and Dovan (2600 meters). The Machhapuchhre Base camp is on the way and is at a height of 3700 meters. And finally, there is the Annapurna base camp which is at a height of 4130 meters above the sea level, which is the highest point of the trek. Despite the variations in altitude on this trek, anyone in a good physical shape can easily complete the journey.

Trip Permit and Costs

This trip costs around US$ 700 and includes 3-star accommodations in Kathmandu and Pokhara while tea house lodging is the primary mode of accommodation during the trek. This does not include personal expenses and tips for various service providers on the way. This trip does not include travel and rescue insurance, but it is advised that travelers get one because there are various dangers associated with trekking deep into the Himalayas. The two permits required for this trip are the Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) which is a card required for any trekking adventure in Nepal and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit. These requirements are usually covered in the total itinerary cost, but it is always recommended to double check with your agent before you begin your trip.

Gear and Equipment

Here is a list of some of the basic gear and equipment that you require for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Some of the following might already be provided by the trekking agency or also could be available for rent. Additional gear may be added as per the individual’s need.

  • Good sleeping bag
  • Hiking/Trekking Shoes
  • Durable Warm Jacket such as a down jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Inner Layers
  • Woolen Gloves
  • Hats/beanies
  • Buff
  • Head-torch
  • Trekking poles - great on the hills and steep descents
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Water Purification Iodine Tablets
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle
  • Medications
  • Toiletry Kit

Pick a date and book your tickets to Kathmandu to start your trek to the base of one of the most majestic mountain ranges in the world. The trek is not the easiest but is worth your time and effort. The trek to Annapurna Base Camp lets you walk the walk and talk the talk prevalent in this euphoric region, often deemed to be a grand scheme of nature herself. An enchanting experience this, you will be amazed to see just what wonders are revealed as you pull the curtains of the Annapurna.