Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek - 7 days takes you across the shortest route to Annapurna Base Camp, one of the topmost trekking destinations in Nepal. Experience ethnic Gurung culture and breathtaking Himalayan scenery. Stay in teahouses run by hospitable local families. Enjoy freshly cooked meals prepared from products sourced from organic vegetable gardens. On reaching Annapurna Base Camp, walk close to the Annapurna I - the 10th highest mountain in the world, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, and enjoy a 360-degree view of these mountains.
A chief highlight of this trip is you get to set foot on two mountain base camps – the Annapurna Base camp and the Machhapuchhre Base Camp. You get to stand under the shadows of Fishtail Peak or Machhapuchhre, one of the few unclimbed peaks in the Nepal Himalaya.
The exploration of the Annapurna Sanctuary, a sacred glacial basin where locals believe their gods dwell, is almost magical. Surrounded by towering peaks covered in ice it is a sight to behold. If you want an adrenaline-packed trekking adventure, then this is it, folks. Grab your gear, put on your hiking boots, hold your camera, and head to the Annapurna Base Camp. This is the perfect itinerary for those on a short vacation.
|Day 1||Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) Duration: 6-7 Hours (200 km)|
|Day 2||Drive from Pokhara to Matque (1,070m/3,510ft) and trek to Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)|
|Day 3||Trek from Chhomrong to Himalaya (2,920m/9,578ft)|
|Day 4||Trek from Himalaya to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)|
|Day 5||Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)|
|Day 6||Trek from Bamboo to Matque (1,070m/3,510ft) and Drive to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)|
|Day 7||Drive from Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)|
Voted as one of the best treks in the world, the Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek – 7 days is a must-do if you are on an adventure holiday in Nepal. This trek surely makes it to the bucket-list of all trekkers and hikers who love walking across the Himalayan trails.
Annapurna Base Short Trek takes you past a typical Nepalese countryside dotted with terraced fields, traditional villages, green hills, snowy mountains, and gurgling rivers. Your trip begins with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. After an overnight stay in the lakeside city, we drive to Matque, the trailhead of the trek. A short walk from Matque past a verdant trail brings us to the first stop of our journey, Chhomrong. A traditional Gurung village, Chhomrong offers awesome views of the Annapurna Massif.
Following a typical, up and down the mountain trail, we cross paddy fields, wooden bridges, farms with mud houses, rivers, and rhododendron and oak forests. The trail is filled with the scent of wildflowers during spring. The chirping of birds and the chatter of wild creatures are the only sounds filling the quiet forest.
The route traverses the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, a protected zone that is home to several endangered Himalayan flora and fauna. Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Musk deer, etc., roam through the jungles of this region and we may spy them on the trail if we are lucky enough.
The route takes us past charming Gurung settlements where we can enjoy the Annapurna Massif and other mountains' soul-stirring views. There are many steep stone steps en route which may prove physically demanding at times. But the magnificent views of the mountains are rewarding and motivate us to move forward.
Before we reach Annapurna Base Camp, our destination, we stop for a while at Machhapuchhre Base Camp and enjoy the view of the forked summit of Fishtail Peak. Machhapuchhre or Fishtail Peak is a holy mountain and the sacred abode of the local gods. The locals prohibit anyone from stepping on it or killing any creatures around it.
A short ascent from the MBC brings us to our destination Annapurna Base Camp. As this is the highest point of our trek, it is normal to feel a little out of breath and dizzy. But if you feel the symptoms of altitude sickness do alert your guide. He will decide on the best course of action.
After spending a night at ABC, we wake up before dawn to enjoy a magical sunrise from Annapurna Sanctuary. Surrounded by the Annapurna Massif, Gangapurna and Hiunchucli, we watch the sun slowly rising and lighting up the white snowcapped peaks in red, pink, orange, yellow, and golden colors. It is a magnificent sight, one that we will cherish forever. Leaving ABC, we descend via the same route and reach Matque. From Matque we take the highway to Pokhara. Our trip ends with a pleasant drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Please note that a high level of physical fitness is essential to complete this trek. You should have enough stamina to walk 7-8 hours daily. There are steep ascents on stone steps and a rough gravel trail en route. If you hike regularly and have embarked on multiple day treks, this adventure will be easy for you. To learn more about how to train for your Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek - 7 Days, please check the essential information section.
You leave your hotel in Kathmandu and board a vehicle bound for Pokhara. The drive is filled with amazing sights of the countryside and busy roadside settlements. The highway follows the Trishuli River, one of the major rivers in Nepal. After Mugling the road follows the Marshyangdi River which flows down from the mountainous district of Manang.
As you approach Pokhara the massive summits of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu greet you. Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal, is located on the banks of the beautiful Phewa Lake. On reaching Pokhara head to your hotel and take a rest. You can take a stroll around the lakeside in the evening.
You can also fly into Pokhara from Kathmandu if you want to cut out the travel time and journey in comfort. It takes only about 25-30 minutes to reach Pokhara by flight.
Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
Your trek begins with a delightful ride from Pokhara to the village of Matque, where the trailhead is located. It is a scenic drive filled with views of the green hills, paddy fields, and farms. Once you arrive in Matque you follow your guide and head to Chhomrong. The walk to Chhomrong is filled with amazing views of the Annapurna mountains. Machhapuchhre or the Fishtail Peak and the Annapurna Massif look grand and majestic. You follow an uphill and downhill trail.
Though the walk is tiring, the abundance of nature feels refreshing. Walking to the sounds of birds and other wild creatures in the forest feel therapeutic. You are in the Annapurna Conservation Area Project zone where plastic mineral water bottles are banned. You will find filtered drinking water booths en route where you can fill your water bottles.
Annapurna South looms over Chhomrong, a picturesque village with cute cottages. Soak in the views from the patio of your teahouse once you reach Chhomrong.
Overnight at a teahouse in Chhomrong.
The early morning views of the peaks are inspiring. After breakfast, make your way down the village passing traditional whitewashed houses. The sights give you a glimpse of the village lifestyle and Gurung culture. The trail leads you to more ascents and descents on stone steps.
Walk past a dense forest of rhododendron and oak. Cross Bamboo, a popular stop for trekkers with a couple of teahouses. Hike up a shady trail covered by thickets of bamboo. Stop for a quick rest in Dovan, a beautiful small settlement with a micro hydropower plant and a small local shrine. Walk across the Modi Khola and cascading waterfalls before reaching Himalaya, your overnight.
Overnight at a teahouse in Himalaya.
This is the day you have been waiting for and you can't help feeling excited about the prospect of finally walking up to Annapurna Base Camp. A flight of steps takes you to the famed Hinku Cave used as a camp by the first western explorers in the Annapurna Region.
The Fishtail Peak or Machhapuchhre rears right above as you reach Machhapuchhre Base Camp. This is a sacred peak and one of the few peaks where climbing is banned. As the locals worship this mountain no expedition groups are allowed on this peak. You stop for lunch at Machhapuchhre Base Camp and enjoy the views before continuing your ascent to Annapurna Base Camp.
The majesty of the Annapurna Massif, Gangapurna, and Hiunchuli stuns you with their grandeur as you reach ABC. You walk slowly to your lodge enjoying the awe-inspiring sights.
Annapurna Base Camp is one of the best sites in the Himalayas to stargaze. The Milky Way appears very close and you can gaze at the constellations at night. Create a time-lapse of the night view in your camera and share it on your social media pages. You are sure to get a whole load of likes and shares.
Overnight at a teahouse in Annapurna Base Camp.
Wake up before sunrise and head to Annapurna Sanctuary, a glacial valley surrounded by Annapurna I (10th highest peak in the world), Annapurna South, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna, and Hiunchuli. The sight of the snow-covered peaks changing color from orange to golden as the sun rises will stay in your memory forever. Capture this beautiful sight in your camera and head down to your teahouse. After breakfast, head down to Bamboo. It is a long descent and your knees feel thankful to reach the teahouse where your room is booked.
Overnight at a teahouse in Bamboo.
The final leg of your trek brings you to Matque. The return trek, though long and tiring is filled with heartwarming views. You stop at intervals to take in the views for the last time. After reaching the highway at Matque you board a vehicle and drive to Pokhara. On reaching the lakeside city, check-in at your hotel and rest your tired muscles.
Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
Your trip ends with a drive to Kathmandu via the Prithvi Highway. A comfortable option is taking a flight. Booking a flight will shorten your journey. It takes only 25-30 minutes to reach Kathmandu by flight.