Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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Starts at: Kathmandu Ends at: Kathmandu
Trek Region: Annapurna Transport: Tourist Bus
Duration: 10 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 4130 m / 13549 ft (Annapurna Base Camp) Accommodation: Teahouse

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • No. 1 has to be the 3600  views at Annapurna Base Camp.
  • You get to cover two base camps in one trek.
  • See the amazingly shaped Machhapucchre mountain, aptly named fish tail, dominate your skyline. 
  • Watch the sunrise over the Annapurna mountains from the base camp.
  • See spectacular waterfalls and glacier-fed rivers.
  • Learn about the traditions and culture of the Gurung people in Ghandruk village.
  • Experience hiking through forests ablaze with red rhododendrons in the spring.
  • Enjoy the relaxing hot water pool at Jhinu Danda.

Trekking in the Annapurnas is the one thing everyone aspires to when they visit Nepal. 

For those who may feel some of the other regions are too strenuous a trek, the Annapurnas have everything from mountains to forests and culture. Whether you are traveling with children, are a bit on the older side yourself, are an experienced trekker, or are a newbie, the Annapurna region has something for you. Ranging from a three —or four-day trek to around two weeks, you can choose which trek suits you best.

Also, with the Annapurnas, you don’t need to trek for days until you feel like you are in the mountains.  Even while sitting in Pokhara preparing for your trek, you get close-up views of the mountains, particularly Fishtail (Machhapuchhare).  From day one, you are there, in the mountains.

One of the most popular treks is to Annapurna Base Camp. Here, you get to explore not just one but two base camps: Annapurna and Machhapucchre base camp. Like all the Annapurna treks, you pass through villages inhabited by Gurung people. Those are the people whose tough abilities saw them recruited into the Indian and British armies and as private security guards around the world. And they are very friendly and personable, too.  

The landscape varies – from the hot water pools at Jhinu Danda, the mighty Modi Khola River, and pine and rhododendron forests to the high mountains.  At both base camps, the views of Machhapucchre with its unique fishtail shape, Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, and Annapurna III are astounding.  Other mountains are also on display, but there are too many to mention! Just a 360-degree panorama of the wonderful mountains – who could ask for more?

The trek’s highest point is Annapurna Base Camp, 4,130 m / 13,549 ft. Since there is only one night at high altitude on this eight-day, all-season trek, there is relatively less chance of altitude-related illnesses.  

Starting and ending at Pokhara (we provide transport from/ to Kathmandu in our itinerary), this is an enviable trek full of fabulous flora and fauna, majestic mountains, friendly people, and fun and relaxation by the lake in Pokhara.  

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara (Drive)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 7 hrs

Day 2: Pokhara to Naya Pool (Drive) to Ghandruk

Ghandruk – 1940 m / 6364 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Ghandruk to Chomrong

Chomrong – 2170 m / 7119 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Chomrong to Bamboo

Bamboo – 2310 m / 7578 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Bamboo to Deurali

Deurali – 3230 m / 10597 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp – 4130 m / 13549 ft – 6 hrs

Day 7: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo

Bamboo – 2310 m / 7578 ft – 8 hrs

Day 8: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

Jhinu Danda – 1760 m / 5774 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Jhinu Danda to Naya Pool to Pokhara (Drive)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 7 hrs

Day 10: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 8 hrs

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  • 7 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 2 nights accommodation in Pokhara (Kuti Resort or similar)
  • Guide for 10 days
  • Kathmandu Pokhara Kathmandu Tourist Bus
  • Pokhara Naya Pool Pokhara Private Car
  • Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Trekkers information management system card
  • 8 x breakfast, 8 x lunch and 7 x dinner while on the trek
  • One Porter for 10 days USD 220 (Optional)
  • Lunch and Dinner in Pokhara

Day 1 Kathmandu to Pokhara (Drive) Pokhara

  • Trek time: 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 200 km / 124 miles

We will collect you from your hotel and take you to the bus departure stop.  We will organize this for you if you are traveling by air or private jeep.   Overnight in Pokhara at a hotel is included in the cost. Dinner, however, is not included in the package price. 

Day 2: Pokhara to Naya Pool (Drive) to Ghandruk  

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 54 km / 33 miles

After breakfast today, we leave Pokhara to drive to Naya Pool, which takes around an hour. From Naya Pool, we start trekking, passing through lovely villages such as Birethanti. These villages are inhabited by Gurungs, Magars, and Tamangs, who are local to this area. 

We pass the hot springs at Jhinu Danda on the way.  Whether you wish to enjoy the hot springs is up to you! It takes around 5 hours of hiking to reach our first overnight stop at Ghandruk.  There is time to explore the Gurung Museum at Ghandruk to get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the Gurung people. 

Their working tools, household items, and details of their past and present lives are on display.  Dinner is taken in the teahouse, giving you a chance to get to know your trekking companions and guide. 

Day 3: Ghandruk to Chomrong  

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 9.8 km / 5.5 miles

Leaving the teahouse, stunning scenery greets us as we head up the trail from Ghandruk, following the Modi River.  After ascending, you come to another river, the Kimrong, which is crossed by a suspension bridge before the trail turns steep for a couple of hours of uphill hiking.   Chomrong itself is a small settlement, which we are told is an old off-shoot of Ghandruk and is also inhabited by Gurung people.  There is a Buddhist stupa at the bottom of the village.

Day 4: Chomrong to Bamboo 

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 11.2 km / 7 miles

The scenery around Bamboo offers wonderful views of all the best mountains in the Annapurnas, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, II, and III, and Machhapucchre. Wildlife, such as deer and Himalayan goats, can also be seen.   

Day 5: Bamboo to Deurali  

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 7 km/ 4.3 miles

Setting off after breakfast, we pass through bamboo forests.  This creates a cool atmosphere, which is great on hot summer days, perhaps a little chilly in the early morning.  The trail ascends green hills and opens up.  Below us lies a glacial river. The trail becomes a little more rugged, and there is a steep climb to Hinku cave and more bamboo forest. Vegetation has fallen away as we approach Deurali, but there are waterfalls and a suspension bridge to cross, which makes the trail interesting. 

Day 6: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance:7 km / 4.3 miles

Have a good breakfast today, as the journey starts with an uphill climb over rocky terrain. Since today we reach the highest altitude on the trek, we should pay attention to our bodies and not walk too fast.  Instead, take a steady pace and enjoy the wonderful surrounding mountains. 

We first reach Machhapucchre Base Camp and enjoy some time there, taking photographs of the snow-capped mountains before walking on for approximately another two hours to reach Annapurna Base Camp. From Annapurna Base Camp, some of the mountains we can enjoy include Annapurna South, Annapurna I and  III, Hiunchuli, and of course, Machhapuchhre, which has been with us all along the trek.  Overnight at Annapurna Base Camp and celebrate your achievement with a great dinner. 

Day 7: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo  

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 16.7 km / 10.3 miles

While there are beautiful sunrises every day on this trek, you might want to wake up extra early today to catch the sun rising over the Annapurna range. 

This is something really special and well worth getting up early for!  Then it’s time for breakfast and back on the trail to hike back to Bamboo.  Following the Modi Khola and rhododendron forests, it takes around 7 hours to reach Bamboo.  It’s a long but not too hard trail.  

Day 8: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 8.5 km / 5.2 miles.

Retracing our route through the rhododendron and bamboo forests, we see a steep descent from Chhomrung to Jhinu.  Since it takes around 5 hours and since we have learned from experience the hot springs at Jhinu Danda seem much more appealing than they were at the start of this trek, we suggest leaving Bamboo early. 

By leaving early, you can have lunch at Jhinu Danda and spend the afternoon in the hot springs. It’s time to relax and enjoy the natural hot water! 

Day 9: Jhinu Danda to Naya Pool to Pokhara (Drive)

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 8.5 km / 5.2 miles

This is the final day of the trek, so take in as much of the mountains as you can as you hike for around 5 hours to reach Naya Pool, where transport is waiting to take us back to Pokhara. 

Since it is a long day, we will take lunch on route or in Naya Pool.  After checking into your comfortable Pokhara hotel, there is time for some shopping before relaxing at the lakeside with a long, cool drink before dinner. 

Dinner is not included in the package, but we are sure your guide would be delighted to recommend an excellent restaurant and join you, on your invitation, on your final night. 

Day 10: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive) Kathmandu

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 21 km / 13 miles

Today, drive (or fly) back to Kathmandu. As you leave this special area of Nepal, wave goodbye to the massive, majestic, and magical Machhapucchre mountain.  

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Permits for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

It is impossible to trek in Nepal without a guide (as of 1 April 2023).  The exception to this is (currently) the Everest Region.  In other regions, including the Annapurnas, you must trek with a registered guide from a trekking company.  And you need to pay permit fees. 

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit – Nrs 3,000 per person

The Government of Nepal charges visitors who wish to enter a conservation area. Like those in other countries, these fees are used for the area’s upkeep.  

Magical Nepal issues the required permits for its clients, so you don’t have to worry about obtaining them.

A Typical Day on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek 

While no two days are the same when we factor in weather (are the mountains clearer today than yesterday?), your mood (‘day five and my calves are feeling stronger’), and the surroundings, whether forest, rivers, pastureland, or rocky trails, there is a basic pattern to the daily trek.

Breakfast is taken around 7 am in the lodge/teahouse you spend the night in.  That most likely will consist of porridge, eggs, bread, tea, or coffee.  Then you give your bags to the porters who head off ahead of the main group (being these ‘supermen’ are so much faster).  On the trail, we take lunch at a teashop along the way, usually noodles or rice and curry.  If that doesn’t suit your taste, you can bring some protein, chocolate bars, or Tibetan bread purchased from the lodge the night before.  But eating and staying hydrated is important.

This trek takes us 5 to 7 hours each day. It is not too difficult or technical, but you should have a good general fitness level to make things easier. Your guide will highlight things of interest and ensure you are having a good day. Remember to let him/ her know if you feel unwell. Do remember to look up at the majestic mountains surrounding you. 

Finally, we will reach the next lodge, where we can relax with a hot or cold drink before dinner.  Bedtime is generally early on the trek, and we do not recommend drinking much alcohol.  Save that celebration for the last night or when you are back in Pokhara. 

Important Notes for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

It takes around 7 hours to drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. If you would like to fly, it costs approximately USD 90 and takes 20 to 30 minutes. 

This itinerary includes transport by local bus to Pokhara. If you wish to travel by private jeep, please ask us about the additional cost. 

While this is a moderate trek, you should have a good fitness level to complete the trek.  However, we have had children and senior people who have successfully completed the Annapurna Base Camp  Trek.

Porters can carry up to 20kg. As we normally provide one porter for two trekkers, please pack lightly and under 10kg. Magical Nepal will provide you with a duffle bag for your gear, one designed for porters’ ease. 

Please carry water, sunscreen, snacks, and your camera in your day pack.  

Meals are included on the trek, but extra charges are payable to the teahouse/ lodge for things like hot showers and charging your phone/ camera. 

Meals are not provided in Kathmandu or Pokhara. 

Hotel accommodation (2 nights) in Pokhara is included in the cost. 

Drones are not allowed without prior permission.  As this is hard to obtain, unless you are a professional and have time to spare on paperwork, please do not attempt to bring a drone. 

Although this is not classed (in Nepal) as a high-altitude trek, please ensure your insurance covers you for trekking up to 5,000m.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Map

Annapurna base camp trek map

Arrival in Nepal

On the booking form, you will see a place to indicate whether you would like us to collect you from Tribhuvan International Airport upon your arrival.  If you like, we can meet you at the airport and take you to your chosen hotel – saving you time and hassle on arrival.  There is a small charge for this.

Hotel Recommendations:

Hotels in Kathmandu are not included in your trek, and we suggest you check sites like or for accommodation. There are many hotels and hostels in Kathmandu, mainly in the tourist hub called Thamel, and we recommend you look in that area for accommodation. We also point out that our office is conveniently located in this area.  

Thamel: This area is only second to the original ‘tourist hub’. Known as Freak Street, that area attracted the hippies in the 1970s. Sometime later, the area of Thamel became the new center for tourists, and today is incredibly varied in its atmosphere. There are many restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, and a huge range of hotels, from 4-star to backpacker’s hostels. 

Explore Kathmandu:

If you have recently arrived in Kathmandu, take some time to explore the city. If your time is short, we suggest you go on an organized tour with us—again, saving you time and hassle. We can show you some of the 7 UNESCO Heritage Sites located in Kathmandu, as well as some of the less famous places. Please ask us about the cost of this tour.

Visa for Nepal

Visa on arrival is available for people from most countries via the Immigration Department of Nepal’s online site.   Complete the form, print it out, and bring it with you.  Bring USD cash (exact money) to make payment on arrival at the airport. 

Visa on arrival is valid for 15 days, 30 days, or 3 months and costs:  

  • 15 Days – 30 USD
  • 30 Days – 50 USD
  • 90 Days – 125 USD

Trekking Permits Required for ABC Trek

A trekking permit is required for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal. You need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit, which can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara. But don’t worry—we will arrange that for you.

The ACAP costs Nrs3,000 / USD25 and is valid for the duration of your trek. A TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) permit is no longer required for treks in Nepal.

Why You Need an ACAP Permit

The National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) oversees several conservation areas in Nepal. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project, established in 1986, is the largest conservation and protected area. 

 This area is home to people of different cultures and languages, as well as 1,226 species of flowering plants, 105 species of mammals, 40 species of reptiles, 23 species of amphibians, and 518 types of birds. 

This stunning area, surrounded by some of the highest and majestic mountains in the world, namely, the Annapurnas, has long attracted visitors.  While visitors have brought prosperity to the locals of the area, they have also brought some negative impacts.  We have been advised that the average trekking group of, say, 15 people generates 15kg of non-biodegradable and non-burnable garbage over a 10-day period. 

 To address this and other related problems, an integrated community-based conservation and development approach is used. First tested as a pilot program in 1986, this program was expanded to cover the entire ACAP area in 1992.

NTNC does not get regular government funding but has the right to collect an entry fee from visitors (trekkers) and invest those fees back into the region. 

Goal: The overall goal of ACAP is “To achieve a sustained balance between nature conservation and socio-economic improvement in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), thereby assisting the National Trust for Nature Conservation in achieving its goal.”

Objectives of the permit:

  • Conserve the natural resources of ACA to benefit present and future generations.
  • Bring sustainable social and economic development to the local people.
  • Develop tourism with minimal negative impact on the natural, socio-cultural, and economic environments.

Unique Culture and Wildlife in Annapurna Base Camp

Landscapes: The Annapurna region is quite unique and covers the areas of Mustang, Upper Mustang, Manang, Kaski, Myagi, Lamjung, Manaslu,  and the hidden valleys of  Tsum and Nar Phu.  Biological diversity is extensive. It is home to one of the deepest gorges in the world – the Kali Gandaki Gorge (3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide), home to the largest rhododendron forest in the world (at Ghorepani) and home to the world’s highest altitude freshwater lake (Tilicho Tal). With Mt Manaslu being the 8th highest mountain in the world and Annapurna having several of the same named peaks, this area is one of the best places in the world to see high mountains.

Peoples: Likewise, the people are also diverse.  Gurung and Magar communities dominate the south, and Thakali, Manange, and Loba dominate the north.  In the far north, there are more ethnic groups that originally migrated from Tibet (as did some of these groups mentioned), while those from the Brahmin and Chhetri groups are scattered throughout.  While the latter two groups are Hindu, the former groups are Buddhist, and even pre-Buddhist (Bon).

Wildlife: As more hotels and roads are built in the lower reaches of the Annapurnas, indigenous wildlife has become harder to spot. In the higher, remote areas such as Tsum Valley, snow leopards and red pandas are possible.

Meanwhile, the Himalayan Tahr (a wild goat), goral (another type of wild goat), pika (a rabbit-like rodent), Himalayan marmots, and other smaller mammals are pretty common.

Birds: For those who love birdwatching, the region has many birds of prey, along with pheasants and smaller birds such as bulbuls, thrushes, parakeets, and cuckoos. 

Meals on the ABC Trek

The meals on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek are included in the overall cost: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Should you wish to eat something extra or drink soft drinks or beer, the cost of these items is on you. Please note that although the hotel (first and final night of the trek) in Pokhara is included in the cost, dinner in Pokhara is not.

Breakfast and dinner on the trek are taken in the teahouses (trekking lodges) where you sleep.  The menus provide Nepali, Tibetan, Chinese, and Western cuisine. The menus look something like this:

Breakfast items on teahouse along ABC Trek:

  • Porridge
  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Tibetan bread
  • Rice dishes
  • Noodles dishes
  • Tea/ coffee

Dinner items on teahouse along ABC Trek:

  • Soup
  • Thukpa (Tibetan soup with flat noodles)
  • Nepali Dal Bhat (vegetable curry and rice)
  • Fried rice
  • Noodles
  • Momos (very popular Nepali steamed dumplings)
  • Pasta of different varieties
  • Chicken and buff items (although if you are new to Nepal we suggest you avoid these)
  • Apple pie
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard pudding

Lunch items on teahouse along ABC Trek: 

It is quite similar to the dinner items but with a more limited choice in some places.

Drinks on teahouse along ABC Trek:

Tea, coffee, soft drinks, perhaps fruit juice in places, beer, water. (Cost not included.)

Dietary restrictions on Annapurna Base camp Trek:

Vegetarians are well catered for. Vegans will have a harder time, i.e., no plant-based milk. If you have a special diet, please advise us and your guide well beforehand so we can let the teahouses know in advance. We recommend you provide us with a list of anything you cannot take because of allergies.

Tips on Food:

·       Carry your own snacks!  Dried fruit and nuts, power, and chocolate bars are great. 

·       Do not eat meat or chicken unless you know your stomach is used to eating in Nepal.

·       Tell the teahouse to hold the spice if you are new to Asia!

·       Try not to skip meals.  We know sometimes, when exhausted, it’s hard to eat, but we need energy to keep on.

Sources of Water on the Trek on ABC Trek

Please do not drink tap or natural spring water untreated or unfiltered – you just don’t know what is happening upstream! 

Bring your own straw and/ or purifying drops or tablets, and you can drink from a local water source. Remember to wait 30 minutes after treating the water before you drink.    

Tips on Water:

  • Commercial mineral water in plastic bottles is banned in the Annapurna region. To store water, bring your own reusable bottles or water camels. 
  • To avoid dehydration on the trek, it is recommended that you drink 4 liters of water per day. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks don’t count. Consider them a luxury—drink water!

Accommodation on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Ghandruk has recently (2024) been voted one of the top destinations in Nepal. This small town has long been at the start of many of the Annapurna trekking routes and, as a result, now has many upscale trekking lodges with comfortable accommodations.  Depending on the season and how busy the village is, your accommodation can be the traditional Nepali teahouse with a basic sleeping room and shared bathroom, or one with an attached bathroom.

In the other villages on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, accommodation is much the same—two single beds and a shared toilet/ shower. Dining rooms are the life of the lodge and a great place to sit in the evenings. They are also the only place with heating and sockets to charge electronics. 

Camping at Annapurna Base Camp

There are no teahouses at Annapurna Base Camp. Sometimes, teahouse owners from lower down the trail may set up’ teahouse tents’. However, these are not guaranteed, so we will carry our tents and provide you with dinner and breakfast.

Tips on Accommodation:

  • There is no heating in the sleeping rooms.
  • The dining rooms have heating and can be lively in the evening.
  • Do not enter the kitchen – the staff are too busy to chat.
  • You are expected to pay for hot water for the shower and to recharge your electronics.  Expect to pay around USD 2 – 5 per time.
  • Bathrooms may be shared with other guests. Please keep this in mind and keep the bathrooms clean after using them.
  • Although facilities in this area are somewhat better, please bring your own warm sleeping bag (a four-season sleeping bag is good) for warmth and cleanliness in the teahouses and essential sleeping at base camp.

Porters Versus No Porter on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Although this is not a long, technical, or strenuous trek compared to many in the Nepal Himalayas, hiking for 8 days with your own pack is no joke if you have not done it before. 

The cost of a porter is not included in the overall price of the trek, so should you decide you would like to have one or share one, you will have to pay for that yourself. 

The advantage of hiring a porter is that not only do you not have to carry 10/15kg of weight with you, but it also frees you up to scramble for a better view and photo and enables you to concentrate more on both the trail under your feet and the mountains over your head.

If you can keep your pack to under 10kg, you can probably share a porter with a fellow trekker on the same trip.

Keep in mind you will be carrying your day pack which will weigh around 3 to 4 kg.

Tips on Hiring a Porter for ABC Trek

  • A porter can carry a maximum of 20kg, but less is better. Try to keep your pack light. We will provide you with a duffle bag specially designed for our porters.   
  • Sharing with another trekker is a cost-effective way to hire a porter if you can keep your pack down to 10kg or under.  
  • Porters walk faster than you, and meet you at the overnight spot, so you need to carry your day pack. 
  • By hiring a porter you are contributing to his family’s income and the trickle-down effect this has on his community.

Trek Difficulty for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a wonderful trek for those with little experience. It takes us into the heart of the Annapurna mountain range, right up to base camp. It provides you with a taste of trekking in Nepal and also gives you one night of camping to give you a real sense of adventure. 

There are only two days at what is considered high altitude – at Deurali (3,230 m / 10,597 ft) and Base Camp (4,130 m / 13,549 ft) and there is plenty of time to acclimatize to the thinner oxygen before then.  Hiking times are around 5 hours per day, with one long day of 8 hours. 

Overall, we can recommend this trek for those of moderate fitness (but you still have to do a bit of training before you come) and who are up for the challenge of this trek.  

Safety on the Trek

Number one, before you arrive in Nepal, exercise to increase your stamina and ability. Also, buy the correct insurance for the trip.

The second way to stay safe and healthy on any trek in the Himalayas is to pay attention to your body and look for signs of altitude-related illness. While this is not a high or fast trek, we cannot say who will suffer from altitude sickness. It has nothing to do with age or ability.  In fact, it is often the young, gung-ho people rushing too fast around a trail who fall ill.

Naturally, your guide will ensure you are safe on the ABC trail and will also be looking out for any illness or sickness. Even if it’s just an upset stomach, do let him know. Also, let your guide know if you are going somewhere—even just 10 minutes down the trail to explore the village. Your safety is his responsibility, so let him do his job.

Take the trails slowly and don’t push yourself too hard.  Remember to take plenty of hydration stops (drink water and look at the view!) and eat well.

Your gear can make or break your trip – ensure you have well-worn trekking boots and the correct gear according to the season and predicted weather. 

Ensure to carry whatever medicines you normally take.  Bring extras in case of delays.  Also, bring a small first aid kit with paracetamol, sunburn lotion, and a blister pack.  See our list of gear here. 

Be respectful:

Nepal is not a hard-line country when it comes to dress, but be respectful of monasteries and temples in what you wear. You will see that the people in the village mountain areas are not dressed for Thamel nightlife, so adjust your dress accordingly.

Best Seasons for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The best seasons to trek in Nepal are spring and autumn, and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is no different. We recommend spring and autumn, keeping in mind that the trails and teahouses will be very busy at that time of the year. But that also makes for comradery on the trail and new friends to make in the evenings.

Spring: (March to May) Great time to trek through the rhododendron forests with their colourful flowers and to enjoy the warmer weather.  As the season progresses, the weather gets warmer at the lower altitudes making hiking very pleasant indeed.

Autumn: (September to November) This is another great season. It can start off a little damp as the monsoon draws to a close, but overall, it’s similar to spring. 

Monsoon: (June – September) frequent rainy periods may occur during the monsoon season.  You may be lucky, and there is little rain on your trek, or you could be unfortunate, and it will rain every day.  It is hard to predict the exact weather.  In any case, you will have to bring waterproof clothing and be prepared for rain.  The other downsides of the monsoon are limited visibility and slippery trails.  On the plus side, while more challenging, this is an adventurous experience, and there will be fewer trekkers on the trails.  

Winter (December – February):  We would suggest only considering winter in this region if you are an experienced trekker and if you do not mind the cold and snow.  Temperatures will be very low, especially at night.  We will not be able to camp at base camp in the winter due to snow.  It will not be as cold during the first half of December and the latter half of February, so if you really want to experience trekking in the winter, these are the times to come. Keep in mind that changes to the itinerary may happen due to the weather.

We suggest spring and autumn as the best times to get clear mountain views, blue skies, and good weather.  

Temperatures: In the spring, at Annapurna Base Camp, the temperatures vary from 19oC to minus 9oC, with an average daytime temperature of around 10 degrees. Similar temperatures can be found in the early autumn. It is good to remember that it will be very warm and sunny at the lower altitudes during the day, so sunscreen and a sunhat are recommended. Temperatures may dip to around zero centigrade at night.   


The trek cost is a fixed amount that includes a guide, accommodation, food, and public transport. However, you should note other expenses and bring rupees and dollars (or other currency) to cover them.


It is normal to tip your guide and porter.  You can tip them in US dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, etc.

Other items, such as cold drinks, hot showers, items from shops along the trek, etc, should be paid in Nepali rupees.  Please note there are no ATMs or banks along this route.   Please change the money in Kathmandu. Once you reach Pokhara on the return trip you can change money there if you plan to stay longer in this lovely lake-side town.

Transport for Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

Transport to/from Pokhara by tourist bus is included in the trek price.  Also included is the cost of public transfer to the starting and ending point of the trek.

Food on Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

Three meals daily on the Annapurna Base Camp trail—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—are included. If you wish to eat more or drink soft drinks, extra coffee, beer, etc., you will need to pay for that yourself. Other than breakfast, food is not included in hotel stays in Pokhara.

In the teahouse in Annapurna Base Camp: 

Paying to charge your items is normal, as is paying for a hot shower. Each time, it will cost around USD 2-5 (in rupees). You also have to pay for boiled water, soft drinks, extra food (should you wish it), beer, etc.

Tips: please calculate the tips for your guide and porter.  These can be paid in USD or other currencies.

Other expenses on the ABC trail:

It is normal to give a small donation (USD1-2, again in Nepali rupees ) at any monastery or temple you enter. There are no major religious sites along the ABC route, but keep this in mind when visiting Pokhara and Kathmandu.   

We recommend you bring around USD 15 per day in Nepali rupees, plus tips for the guide and porter.

Before you come expenses: Increasing your fitness might mean joining a gym or swimming in your local pool, which costs money.

Buying gear, including trekking boots, also costs money.

Then there is the flight ticket, visa, and insurance fee. 

Tipping the Guide and Porter after completing ABC Trek

Your guide and porter have worked hard to make your trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.  Please tip them to show your appreciation.  100% of your tip goes to them.  We do not deduct anything from our guides or porters.

The rate is to tip the guide 10% of your trip cost. Porters are paid on a per-day basis, so you should pay him 10% of the total number of days he has carried your gear. If you are sharing a porter, you can share the tip, too. Giving a bit more is always appreciated, of course!

Communication on the Annapurna Base Camp Trail

Many teahouses on this trek have WiFi and good phone network access.  This is not guaranteed of course – bad weather can interfere with the signal.  You are also expected to pay for WiFi use at the teahouses. 

Tips for Communication

You can buy an NTC or NCELL SIM card for data internet packages in case of a WiFi outage. Depending on your use, this may work out cheaper. You can buy these SIM cards at the international airport upon arrival.

Travel Insurance for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Your travel insurance should include trekking and trekking up to 5,000 m  /  16,404 ft. and should cover helicopter evacuation. 

Magical Nepal has insurance for our guides, porters, and other staff. However, we cannot cover insurance for our clients.

Group vs Private Trek:

Generally, if you are one or two people traveling together, we will suggest you join a group trek for the Annapurna base camp trek. This means you join a group of other trekkers doing the same. If you would like to go alone, with your own friend(s), or just by yourself with a guide, this is considered a private trek. A private trek is subject to the availability of guides in the busy seasons.

On the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, it is possible to be one client with one guide.

Getting There and Away – Transport Options

The cost of your trek includes a tourist bus ticket from Kathmandu to Pokhara and return. Also included is the cost of a public jeep or bus from Pokhara to Naya Pool at the start and from Naya Pool to Pokhara at the end of the trek. 

Beyond the Trek – What to do in Pokhara

After completing the ABC Trek, you can return to Kathmandu with us or stay in Pokhara.  The final night in Pokhara after the trek is included in your overall trek cost, but if you wish to stay longer, you should check and reserve a hotel yourself. 

It’s a great idea to stay in Pokhara as it is a chilled place with lots to do.  Whether you wish to relax by the lake, explore the natural beauty and culture of the town, or party through the night in one of the many nightclubs and bars, it’s up to you!

What is more thrilling is that in Pokhara, you can do several adrenaline-rising activities such as paragliding, bungy jumping, and taking an ultra flight—a great way to get different views of the Annapurna mountains.

Trip Variations and Extensions

You can add some side trips onto the basic Annapurna Base Camp.

Poon Hill:

Poon Hill is a very popular destination in itself.  Standing at 3,210 m / 10,500 ft, this viewpoint provides fabulous close-up views of the Annapurna mountain range, including Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Manaslu.  Since this is a sunrise experience, it is necessary to rise and hike up before dawn!  Some enterprising people do provide tea at the top of the hill, then it’s a hike back down for breakfast in Ghorepani before moving on.  Total days added: 2.  

Marpha, Jomson, Kagbeni and Muktinath: 

You can extend your trek by hiking up to Muktinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site with a fascinating temple and 108 sacred water spouts via Marpha, Jomson, and Kagbeni.  You can overnight in either Jomson or Kagbeni (note it is 5 or 6 hours walk from Jomson to Muktinath).  Jomson provides an insight into a bustling market town with an airport, while Kagbeni sits on the side of a river with very interesting and unique architecture, monasteries,   and a view up the valley to the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Total days added: 3.

Machhapuchhre Base Camp:

You can also visit Machhapuchhare  (also known as Fishtail Mountain) Base Camp and make a day hike to Annapurna Base Camp.  If you are worried about or suffering any symptoms from the altitude, it may be good to sleep at the lower altitude at MBC which is around 400m lower than ABC.  This might be an option to consider during the trek itself.

Packing Tips for Annapurna Base Camp

We have a wonderful packing list PDF you can download here. So just a few tips here:

Layering: Layering is always the best in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek! While hiking at lower altitudes, it can be pretty warm. At higher altitudes, it can be very cold, even inside the teahouse. The correct way to pack is to bring clothes that layer well.

For example, thermal underwear (long johns and a long-sleeved top) is an excellent buy.  Make sure they are quick-drying.  A trekking shirt and trekking trousers are also good buys. Again fast drying is the best.  You can buy trekking trousers which zip down to shorts, and back up to full length – great for warm days and cooler mornings and evenings. A fleece jacket is imperative, and a down jacket is an important addition even in the spring season at higher altitudes.  Weather changes fast in ABC Trail.  Naturally, you will add a hat, sun hat, and gloves. And the all-important trekking boots.

Pack Smart: In the mountains, packing smart means packing light.  Someone, you or a porter, has to carry your pack.  Please keep the weight down to a minimum. 

Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, etc., are not provided in teahouses along the Annapurna base camp trail, so you should bring your own. There is no need to bring full-sized bottles on the trek; you will probably not shower that often anyway. Pour into travel-sized containers.   

Why Book with Magical Nepal

Value for money, fabulous overall experience, and knowledgeable guides!

The reviews from past clients describe the clear, accurate, and honest information we provided and the great experiences they had on our treks and with our staff. 

Our guides and porters are mainly from the areas we trek through, meaning that they have detailed knowledge about these areas and can provide or locate local support around the clock if required.  

And – a price guarantee:  if you find the same trek at a lower price, we will match it – no questions asked.

Ask a Question

Feel free to ask us anything about this tour. A travel expert will then get back to you as soon as possible.

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