Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is on the bucket list of trekking enthusiasts dreaming of an adventure in the Himalayas. A popular trek in Nepal, Annapurna Sanctuary trekking takes you from the verdant hills to a spectacular glacial basin. Stand under the inspiring Annapurna Massif at Annapurna Base Camp. These sacred mountains are revered as gods. In addition, a hike to the village of Ghorepani and its viewpoint Poon Hill adds flavor to this classic itinerary. From the vantage point, enjoy a three-sixty degree panorama of the Annapurna mountains.
A short drive from Pokhara brings you to the trailhead at Nayapul. Your first day’s trek involves a long ascent up the stone steps to Ulleri. Before climbing on the epic staircase, enter the lush jungle of the Annapurna Conservation Area. This Annapurna trek takes you through picturesque Gurung and Magar traditional settlements; home to the brave ‘Gurkha’ soldiers. Further, hike to Poon Hill for 360-degree views of the Himalayas. Experience mountain culture coupled with amazing Himalayan views.
The trail cuts along steep gorges of glacial rivers. Walk across a typical Nepali landscape; terraced fields and hillside villages with mud and stone cottages. Step on winding stone staircases and under canopies of blooming rhododendron trees. Following close on the heels of your experienced guide, you eventually reach the awe-inspiring Annapurna Base Camp and the Annapurna Sanctuary. Finally, wrap up your trek with a relaxing soak at the Jhinu hot springs. Graded moderate, one can do this Annapurna trek in Nepal if one is physically fit and has a bit of trekking experience. Join this trek and get the best of the ‘Annapurna experience’!
Looking for something challenging? Please check out our Annapurna Circuit Trek which takes you from the verdant Marshyangdi Valley to the arid Kali Gandaki Valley. Experience diversity in culture and landscapes. For a shorter Annapurna experience, you can book our popular Ghorepani Poonhill Trek. This trek offers amazing mountain views and cultural immersion at Gurung villages en route.
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (late September to November) are the ideal seasons to trek to Annapurna Base Camp as it is neither too hot or nor too cold during these times. Notably, an Autumn trek promises clear skies and stunning mountain vistas, while a Spring trek will have you walking through meadows filled with flowers. The forests are filled with colorful rhododendron blooms during this time. Above 4000 meters, you can expect nighttime temperatures to drop as low as -10 degrees.
Accommodation is arranged on a twin-sharing basis. If traveling alone, you will share the room with someone of the same sex. For this Nepal Trek, in case you need a single room, it will be made available at an extra cost. Simply click on the ‘single supplement’ tab at the time of booking. Though single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and at lower elevations while trekking, at higher elevations it is very difficult to get a single room!
Standard Package: 2 nights’ stay at Oasis Kathmandu Hotel in Kathmandu & 2 nights at Hotel Pokhara Batika in Pokhara. A comfortable bed and breakfast boutique establishment, Oasis Kathmandu is located in the heart of Thamel. The property lies close to all the major sightseeing places and international airport. In addition, the verdant ‘Garden of Dreams’, a landscaped garden built by a Rana nobleman, lies next to the hotel. Hotel Pokhara Batika is located close to Phewa Lake. The establishment offers not only comfortable rooms but breathtaking views of the mountains and Lake Phewa as well. Both the hotels feature rooms with attached bathrooms, restaurant, bar, café, garden and free wi-fi.
On the trail, 9 nights’ accommodation at standard teahouses or mountain lodges with en-suite bathrooms. Kindly note that at higher elevations teahouses are few and far between and may feature shared washroom facilities.
Deluxe Package: Enjoy the luxurious comfort of Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu for 2 nights and Temple Tree Resort & Spa. A heritage hotel, Dwarika’s is located close to the international airport. The hotel showcases intricate wood carving and engraved bricks crafted by local artisans, not to mention valuable relics from the 13th century. At Temple Tree Resort & Spa rooms are allotted in two-storied identically built individual cottages. Additionally, each room has its own private balcony that opens out to a large garden area. Both Dwarika’s and Temple Tree are five-star establishments. The hotels feature tastefully decorated rooms with en-suite bathrooms, multi-cuisine restaurants, bar, café, swimming pool, and garden area.
While trekking, we will try to accommodate you at the best available lodges. Spend 9 nights at comfortable teahouses or mountain lodges. It is important to realize that you are trekking in the mountains where there is lack of proper infrastructure. As compared to city hotels with modern amenities, teahouses along the trail are utilitarian and have basic facilities. To enjoy your trip you need to keep an open mind and look at the positive side of things. It is the experience that matters.
Enjoy Complimentary Breakfast at the hotels (Kathmandu and Pokhara) you will be staying in. You will find plenty of fine dining restaurants and eateries in both the cities. Moreover, there are specialty restaurants serving organic, vegan and halal items. Enjoy complimentary welcome dinner and farewell dinner at the start and end of your trip in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is set in a deep valley surrounded by rolling green hills. A mix of old and new, the city is filled with historic localities dating back to medieval times and new urban structures. Once you land at the airport our representative will meet you at the airport terminal. Drive to the hotel and check in. Later there will be a pre-trek briefing by your trek leader
During the briefing your trek leader will apprise you in detail about the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek itinerary, the trail’s condition and what to expect during the trek. Meet your other teammates and put forward your queries if you have any. Check your gear and if you have missed out on any items you can hire or buy from any of the shops in Thamel. A popular tourist hub, Thamel has a range of shops that sells and rents out trekking gear. Ask your trek leader for suggestions. To recover from jet lag and attend the pre-trek briefing, please do schedule your arrival to Nepal in the morning or during daytime. Attend a welcome dinner hosted by Third Rock Adventures in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Leave Kathmandu for Pokhara. Take the road heading down a mountainside with a lot of switchbacks. The highway follows the Trishuli River and is filled with scenic views of green hills and tiny settlements. Watch people in brightly coloured helmets and life jackets rafting down the gushing rapids of Trishuli. Snow covered peaks spread over the horizon as you approach Pokhara. Lying on the banks of the serene Phewa Lake, Pokhara is the starting point of most Annapurna treks. Check into your hotel and freshen up. Take rest or head down for a stroll by the lakeside. Have an early night as you have a long day ahead of you tomorrow. Overnight in Pokhara.
You feel a twinge of excitement as your trek begins today. Leaving Pokhara take a scenic drive to Nayapul and from there head to Tikhedhunga. From Tikhedhunga it’s a long climb up a steep stone staircase to Ulleri, a large Magar village. It is one of the toughest days of your trek as you climb more than 3000 steps! Find solace in the thought that every step brings you closer to Annapurna Sanctuary, your destination. Once you arrive in Ulleri head straight to a teahouse and rest your aching limbs. Men from this village usually join the British or the Indian army. The world knows them as the fearless ‘Gurkha’ soldiers. Overnight in Ulleri.
Compared to yesterday’s arduous ascent today’s hike is easy. The trail goes through one of the biggest rhododendron forests in the world. Trekkers who have been through this route in spring describe this part of the trail as ‘a walk through paradise’. Red and pink rhododendron blooms cover the trail making it seem like you are walking through an enchanted forest. Get your permits checked at the checkpoint and walk through the arched gateway welcoming visitors to Ghorepani. The village of Ghorepani (literal translation ‘Horse Water’) which has a large Magar (an ethnic community) population is a popular stop for trekkers visiting Poon Hill. In the olden days the place was a watering hole for horses and mule packs of caravans making their way to Tibet. Overnight in Ghorepani.
Wake up early and head to Poon Hill, one of the most popular viewpoints in Nepal. About an hour’s hike brings you to the top of the hill. This vantage point was named ‘Poon Hill’ by Tek Bahadur Poon, a retired major who served in the British Army. Watch dawn breaking over the snowy ridges of the Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) Gangapurna and Dhaulagiri. Take selfies and click as many pictures as you can. Later descend to Ghorepani and head to Tadapani. Take an upward trail through a dense forest of rhododendron and pine. After reaching Deurali Pass, make a descent to Tadapani. Once you reach the village head to a teahouse and take rest. Overnight in Tadapani.
From Tadapani head to Chhomrong, a Gurung village offering close up views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak). The trail to Chhomrong goes via a thick rhododendron forest. Take a downward descent enjoying views of the hillside settlements on the Modi Khola Valley and the Annapurna Himal. Cross the bridge at Kimrong Khola and ascend the Modi Khola Valley. Follow a trail carved on the side of the mountain till you reach Chhomrong. From the village savour views of deep gorges and the Himalayan peaks. Head to a teahouse and take rest. Overnight in Chhomrong.
The near vertical view of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak) from Chhomrong heighten your excitement. Each step takes you closer to these mountains and soon you will be standing at the foot of these snowy giants. Today’s destination is Bamboo, a rest stop for trekkers and travelers with few teahouses. You cross the Chhomrong Khola and take the trail winding high up the Modi Khola. The path goes through thick forests of bamboo and rhododendron. Walk by Khuldighar and climb down a stone staircase to Bamboo. Follow your trek leader to the teahouse where your rooms have been booked. Overnight in Bamboo.
Walk through a trail shaded by thickets of bamboo. The canopy of bamboo leaves soon disappears and you can see the open sky once you reach Himalaya Hotel. As you climb higher, you gain altitude. Walk past Hinku Cave, a spot used by the first Annapurna expedition groups as an overnight camp and supply depot when there were no teahouses along the Annapurna Sanctuary Trekking route. The trail drops down to the river and goes up till you arrive at Deurali. Before reaching Deurali, pass through scenic waterfalls, rocky cliffs and a forest filled alive with chirping birds and colourful butterflies. Once you arrive at a teahouse in Deurali, get some much needed rest as you will be heading to Annapurna Base Camp tomorrow. Overnight in Deurali.
Leave Deurali and head down to a stream. Walk on the rocky banks till you reach what looks like a natural gateway. The trail cuts right through the middle of gigantic mountains. When you see the icy Annapurna Massif and Machhapuchhre staring down at you, you really feel as if you are entering a divine place. Step on the Machhapuchhre Base Camp situated at the foot of Machhapuchhre(FishtailPeak), a sacred peak of the Gurungs. Climbing on this mountain is not allowed as the locals believe it is the abode of gods. Continue walking to Annapurna Base Camp
As you approach ABC, you find yourself staring at the icy walls of the Himalayan peaks. You feel a rush of adrenaline as you step on the Annapurna Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by the snowy walls of Annapurna Massif (including Annapurna I, the tenth highest peak in the world), Gangapurna and Hiunchuli. Take pictures and celebrate with your friends and crew. You have finally made it! Enjoy the glorious sunset before heading to the teahouse. Try stargazing at night if the sky is clear and you can brave the night chill. The galaxy of Milky Way is visible from ABC on clear nights. Overnight in Annapurna Base Camp.
Wake up before dawn to witness the wonderful spectacle of the sun rising over the Annapurna peaks. After spending some time at the Annapurna Sanctuary head back to the teahouse, gather your things and get trekking. Take the trail down to Bamboo. It is a long descent. Tread carefully as you descend the stone staircase. Take a well deserved rest once you arrive at Bamboo. Overnight in Bamboo.
From Bamboo head to Jhinu Danda. The settlement is famous for its hot springs. After reaching the village, take the steps leading down to the river. The hot spring lies beside the river. Soak your tired muscles in the heated pool. Let the mineral rich waters dissolve your aches and pains. After the soothing dip make your way to a teahouse and celebrate your last day on the trail with your teammates and crew. Overnight in Jhinu Danda.
Leave Jhinu Danda and retrace your steps to Nayapul. Today’s walk marks the conclusion of your trek. At Nayapul board a vehicle and drive to Pokhara. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Please note there are no activities planned for today. If you are not too tired you can stroll around the lakeside and enjoy a boat ride on the serene Phewa Lake on your own. Gaze at the mountains, under whose shadows you had walked for the past week, before darkness falls. Overnight in Pokhara.
Return to Kathmandu via the Prithvi Highway. Once you arrive in Kathmandu check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day as you wish. Rest and relax or go souvenir hunting in Ason Bazaar and Thamel. The city is known for its iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Explore some of these by booking a guided city tour at an extra cost. Make your last evening memorable with a farewell dinner (complimentary) at a traditional Nepali restaurant. Try out authentic Nepali cuisine and enjoy a cultural programme. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our representative will drop you at the airport three hours before your flight’s departure. If you wish to explore more of Nepal, do let us know. Choose from one of our standard itineraries or allow us to customize a tour for you.
The dates listed above are for Fixed Group Departures only. In case you want to book a Fixed Group Departure Trip but the slots are already full, we can still reserve a place for you. The itinerary is also flexible and if you want to add or deduct a day or two it can be done. Just send us an email or call us, and we will do the needful.
Before you book this trip we recommend you to go through the detailed information. It is important to know about the state of things in the destination you are about to visit. We believe one should do this before embarking on a journey so as not to get a culture shock. With this in mind, we have tried to incorporate vital information about this trip on our website. You can find additional details (for example Nepal Visa, Travel Insurance, gear/equipment list etc.) regarding this trip in our ‘Trip Note’ and ‘Nepal General Information’ section.
Click this tab for a detailed Trip Note containing essential information about this trip, including gear and equipment lists and practical information.Essential Trip Information
This was our first trek abroad for my friend and I. We identified one local trekking company on Trip Adviser which had excellent reviews but unfortunately they were not terribly responsive to email and WhatsApp communications. We therefore decided to find a trekking company upon our arrival in Kathmandu. We had booked two nights at the Oasis Hotel. The manager there - Tulsi, recommended ‘Third Rock Adventure’. Tulsi helped create an itinerary that suited our capabilities and requirements. This was reviewed by our trekking guide (Jaysram Adhikari) and the porter (Vishnu Bhatta). We were told to us to ask any questions, which was reassuring as it was our first trek abroad
Absolutely, Nepal is very safe for tourists. The most noteworthy feature of Nepal besides the mountains are its people. The people here are very peace loving and are considered to be the friendliest in comparison to other nationalities. For solo female travelers, Nepal could be the safest country to travel. However, one should be culturally sensitive and take care to dress modestly. When you book a trip with us, your safety and well-being will be our responsibility for the duration of the trip
Most of the guides in our adventure company come from the mountainous areas. They are carefully selected on the basis of their experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. We provide guides that are experienced and fluent in English. With the objective of sustaining local communities, we employ guides from different ethnic backgrounds who have adequate knowledge about the culture, ecosystem, flora and fauna, geography and history of Nepal.
Our guides have the required government license to guide tourists. They have all gone through intensive training programmes like wilderness first aid, trekking guide training, eco training workshop and rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering, which are certified and approved by the government of Nepal
We would recommend all our clients to purchase travel insurance before booking any of our treks. Trust us you will have a pleasant holiday knowing that you have a good insurance cover. In the event of any sickness or injury while trekking in the mountains, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation will be considerable. Therefore, traveling with an insurance cover is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up for any of our trips. But be careful while choosing a policy as some policies make special exceptions for adventure travel.
Do read the fine print. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of your travel itinerary and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken during the trip. Such as if you are planning to trek or climb(mountaineering expedition) in the Himalayas your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tour in an urban area, insurance cover of air ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory. While booking a trip with us you need to send us a copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come for the trip.
No, you cannot get insurance in Nepal. Please also note that Third Rock Adventures does not arrange or sell insurance