Annapurna Base Camp trek – the complete guide & itinerary

Annapurna Base Camp trek – the complete guide & itinerary


The Annpurna Base Camp trek is a spectacular out and back high altitude hiking route stretching through multiple environments in the Annapurna Sanctuary National Park. The trail starts off meandering through beautiful forest and terraces of rice paddies climbing all the way to Annapurana Base Camp at an altitude of 4100m. Scenery quickly changes as you gain altitude from tropical forest to hiking in knee deep snow among spectacular snow peaks. The base camp has an unreal setting being surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the world; Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), the fish tail Machapuchhre (6993 m) and Hiunchuli (6441 m). The hiking trail to Annapurna Base Camp is accessible from several trailheads and depending on your route the duration is between 6 and 12 days, in this post we describe different options to trek to Annapurana base camp. The trail is easy to reach by public transport from the beautiful lakeside town Pokhara. It is a tea house trek, meaning there are plenty of cheap guesthouses to stay and eat along the way. We discuss cost, itinerary, guides, porters, altitude sickness and give packing and planning tips.

Annapurna Base Camp trek overview

  • Distance – 80 km/50 mi
  • Days required – 6-7 days
  • Total ascent – 4975 m/16 322 ft
  • Total descent – 5040 m/16 535 ft
  • Highest point – Annapurna Base Camp – 4147 m
  • Difficulty  – moderate 
  • Permits – TIMS card – NPR 2000/US$17 and Annapurna Sanctuary Permit – NPR 3000/US$25 pp.
  • Cost per day – US$27 per person including permits and transportation.
  • Guide – not compulsory, can be done independently, with a guide/a porter or in a group.
  • Accommodation – guest houses

How to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trekking to Annapurana Base Camp is offered by several agencies in Pokhara as an all inclusive package with a guide and porters. It is also popular to do this trek by hiring your own staff, guides and porters are easy to find in Pokhara and this way is cheaper than a package trek. Trekking completely independent is the cheapest way to get to Annapurana Base Camp and if you can carry your own backpack the route is well marked and easy to follow.

We hiked several routes in the Annapurna sanctuary national park. The direct route goes through Australian camp, Landruk and Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp.The trek is often done in combination with the Poonhill trek, trekking for this route starts at Nayapul from where trekking continues to Ghorepani (2750 m). Trekkers usually overnight here hiking to Poon Hill (3210 m) for sunrise after which the route continues via Thadapani towards Annapurana Base Camp.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost

The cost of your trek to Annapurna Base Camp will be determined by the type of trek you are planning, your trekking route, time on the trail and by the season you choose to trek.

I went to a few different agencies in Lakeside in Pokhara to get prices and information regarding tours and hiring staff.

All-inclusive Trek Packages

You can book a tour when you arrive through a local agency or before hand through an agency online. Most of the international and local companies use the same local guides and porters. Hand your money to a company you trust, because in the end they are responsible for your safety and you want to go with a company using the best staff.

Trekking with a local agency

7 day Annapurana Base Camp trek with a local agency is often all-inclusive; guide, porter all accommodation and food. The price in Pokhara is around $500 You have to pay extra for wi-fi, hot showers and snacks.

Trekking with an international agency

7D6N Annapurna Base Camp Trek with reputable international agency Klook – Start and end in Pokhara, you can choose between an all-inclusive option or a more flexible option only including breakfast. The tour includes guide, porter all accommodation. Wi-fi and hot showers are extra.

10 Day Trek to Annapurna Base Camp and Poonhill with G-adventures – 15 day Kathmandu to Kathmandu tour including 10 day trek. English-speaking guide and full support team of porters and assistants for the Annapurna Sanctuary trek. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Meals are not included in the trip price, there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. The tour price is about $850, budget $300 to $400 for food.

Trek with Porter and Guide

Organizing your own trek with guides and porters sound very expensive, but is actually a very affordable way of trekking. We found the route easy to follow, it is reasonably well marked and the once or twice that we were not sure about the route we could ask someone the correct way. If you are not an experienced trekker or are walking alone a guide is a good idea. If you do not want to carry your own pack, hire a porter. Many solo trekkers hire a guide as company, it is not good to trek alone and is good to support the local economy.

  • Guide 7 days x $25 = $150
  • Porter 7 days x $20 = $140
  • Trek independent = $195
  • TOTAL $485

You can be a group sharing one guide and more than one person can share a porter if you cary some of your own gear, bringing this total price down significantly.

Cost of doing the Annapurna Base Camp Trek Independent

We wrote down every cent we spent and this was our exact budget for a comfortable 6 day trek.

  • Food 22 500
  • Accommodation 1500
  • Transport 5000
  • Shower 1300
  • Permits 10 000
  • TOTAL NPR 40 300 for two people

Our trek cost us a total of NPR 20 150 ($165), thus NPR 3358 ($27) per person per day

Trekking permits for ABC

Two permits are required to do this trek, a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) and a Entry Permit for the Annapurna Conservation Area. Both permits can be purchased at the tourism office in Pokhara, if needed visas for staying in Nepal can also be extended here. The permits are checked along the way.

A TIMS is required for all treks in the Annapurna Sanctuary National Park and costs NPR 3000. The permit is only valid for a single entry into the park, something to remember if you are planning to do multiple hikes in this national park. The local national park permit costs NPR 2000.

Getting to the ABC Trek

Getting to Pokhara

The trek to Annapurna Base Camp can be started from several villages close to the lakeside city Pokhara. Pokhara can be reached from Kathmandu by road or by air. There are several daily flights, the 30 minute flight is definitely the easiest way. Transport by road is very slow and tourist buses and local buses are available. Tourist buses leave from Kantipath, near Thamel, all buses leave at 7am, be there at 6:15am. Tourist bus prices started at about NPR 1000 ($10) and these buses take about 6 hours to reach Pokhara. Local buses leave from the New Bus Station (it is not much of a bus station and is not very new). It was a bit cheaper, seat including luggage costing about NPR 500 ($5). Local buses are minibuses, they load them very full. The advantage is they depart throughout the day, so you do not have to be there early. They leave whenever they are full, so no specific time. The trip can take anything from 6 to 10 hours, depending on traffic and how often your driver stops for breaks and to pick up passengers. Getting from the bus station in Pokhara to the tourist area, Lakeside, costs about 400 NPR by taxi.

Local bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Local bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Getting to the trail head

Kande – The trail head at Kande can be reached from Pokhara by public bus or taxi. The bus trip takes 1h 30 min to 2 hours and costs about NPR 300 ($3), getting to the bus station from lakeside cost NPR 400 ($4). We negotiated a taxi driver to take from Lakeside to Kande for NPR 2000, it took about an hour.

Ghandruk – Ghandruk can be reached by jeep from Baglung bus park in Pokhara for about NPR 6000 per jeep, the trip takes about 3 hours. Getting back to Pokhara from Ghandruk we negotiated with a driver for NPR 3000 (we were only two people).

Different routes of ABC trek

Annapurna Base Camp trek can be started and finished at different places. If you’re going to walk ABC trek as a separate trek without combining it with other routes the best places to start and finish are Kande and Ghandruk. You can do it either way starting at Kande (as we did) and finishing in Ghandruk or other way around. The total distance and the ascent will be the same.

If you want to extend the trek you can combine it with one of the other routes many trekkers combine ABC with the Poon Hill trek. In this case you start in Nayapul. To do these two trek together you’ll need 8-10 days. You can combine our Poon Hill trek itinerary with this ABC itinerary.

Poon Hill + ABC trek itinerary

  • Day 1. Bus Pokhara – Nayapul. Trek Nayapul – Ulleri, 12km
  • Day 2. Ulleri – Ghorepani, 8km
  • Day 3. Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Ghorepani – Tadapani, 13km
  • Day 4. Tadapani – Sinuwa, 13km
  • Day 5. Sinuwa – Deurali, 14km
  • Day 6. Deurali – ABC, 9km
  • Day 7. ABC – Bamboo/Sinuwa, 15km/19km
  • Day 8. Bamboo/Sinuwa – Ghandruk, 14km/10km

Another popular option is to combine ABC trek with Mardi Himal. You can start at Kande and walk to Landruk (the first day is the same as on ABC trek) or take a jeep to Siding and start walking from there. From both places you go up to Mardi Himal Base Camp and down to Landruk. From Landruk you continue on the ABC trek. You’ll need 10-11 days to complete it. You can easily combine our Mardi Himal trek itinerary with this ABC itinerary.

Mardi Himal + ABC trek itinerary

  • Day 1. Bus Pokhara – Kande. Trek Kande – Landruk, 16km
  • Day 2. Landruk – Forest Camp, 5km
  • Day 3. Forest Camp – High Camp, 8,5km
  • Day 4. High Camp – Base Camp – High Camp, 9km
  • Day 5. High Camp – Landruk, 12km
  • Day 6. Landruk – Sinuwa, 12km
  • Day 7. Sinuwa – Deurali, 14km
  • Day 8. Deurali – ABC, 9km
  • Day 9. ABC – Bamboo/Sinuwa, 15km/19km
  • Day 10. Bamboo/Sinuwa – Ghandruk, 14km/10km

If you want to do the big circuit you can combine the Annapurna Circuit trek with Annapurna Base Camp trek. It’ll be a very long trek you need two weeks to complete the circuit and 6 days to finish ABC trek, 3 weeks in total and one or two extra days in case you’ll need some rest or the weather is too bad, etc. We have a very detailed Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary that is easy to combine with this ABC trek itinerary.

Annapurna Circuit + ABC trek itinerary

  • Day 1. Bhulbhule – Ghermu, 15km
  • Day 2. Ghermu – Tal, 18km
  • Day 3. Tal – Timang, 21km
  • Day 4. Timang – Upper Pisang, 27km
  • Day 5. Upper Pisang – Manang, 22km
  • Day 6. Acclimatization day in Manang.
  • Day 7. Manang – Yak Kharka, 10km
  • Day 8. Yak Kharka – Thorong Phedi, 8,5km
  • Day 9. Thorong Phedi – Muktinath, 15,5km
  • Day 10. Muktinath – Jomson, 22km
  • Day 11. Jomsom – Tukuche, 15,5km
  • Day 12. Tukuche – Ghasa, 30km
  • Day 13. Ghasa – Tatopani, 17km
  • Day 14. Tatopani – Ghorepani, 17,5km
  • Day 15. Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Ghorepani – Tadapani, 13km
  • Day 16. Tadapani – Sinuwa, 13km
  • Day 17. Sinuwa – Deurali, 14km
  • Day 18. Deurali – ABC, 9km
  • Day 19. ABC – Bamboo/Sinuwa, 15km/19km
  • Day 20. Bamboo/Sinuwa – Ghandruk, 14km/10km

Annapurna Base Camp trek – the 6-day itinerary

Day 1
Kande – Landruk
16 km/10 mi
Day 2
Landruk – Sinuwa
12 km/7,5 mi
Day 3
Sinuwa – Deuali
14 km/8,6 mi
Day 4
Deurali – ABC
9 km/5,5 mi
Day 5
ABC – Sinuwa
19 km/12 mi
Day 6
Sinuwa – Jeep Station
10 km/6,2 mi

Day 1. Bus Pokhara – Kande. Trek Kande (1850m) – Landruk (1730m), 16km

Pokhara – Kande – Australian Camp – Pothana – Bhichok Deurali – Tolka – Landruk

Bus/taxi Pokhara – Kande

We used to take buses everywhere in Nepal it was the first time we took a taxi for a long distance trip. We’ve done the journey by bus before and it took about 2 hours to get from the bus station in Pokhara to Kande, waiting for a bus to get full, many stops on the way, longer route through bigger villages, etc.

By taxi it took us less than 1 hour to get from our hotel in Lake Side to Kande. The driver drover us shorter and more scenic way. We paid NPR 2000/US$17. It is more compared to the bus but it was much quicker and more comfortable. You don’t have to arrange a taxi beforehand there are usually many drivers waiting along the lake you can just walk out your hotel in the morning and find one.

To get to Kande by bus first you have to take a taxi from Lake Side to the bus station, NPR 400/US$3. Bus will cost about NPR 300/US$3 per person.

Trek Kande – Landruk

  • Distance – 16 km/10 mi
  • Time – 4h10min.*
  • Ascent – 578 m/1896 ft
  • Descent – 700 m/2296 ft

*Our times are usually a bit faster than average times, I’d recommend adding 1-2 hours depending on the distance. All times are walking times they don’t include stops for tea or lunch (we pause our watch when we do long stops).

Elevation profile day 1 of the 6-day ABC trek itinerary
Elevation profile of the first day of Annapurna Base Camp trek. The route from Kande to Landruk

The trail starts right at the bus stop in Kande, you can ask locals to indicate the way. There are several signs along the route pointing to Australian Camp. Free app Maps.me has quite good route map we used it in the beginning of the trek. From Australian camp there are more signs along the trail pointing the direction.

At Pothana there is a permit check-point. Keep your permit and TIMS card till the end of the trek, on the way back you’ll have to check out, the last check-point is just before Nayapul.

The walk was quite easy half of it was on a dust road with not much traffic and with some beautiful views of the river and the rice paddies on the opposite side. You’ll see many signs along the route (mostly in the second half) that suggest shorter or quicker way to Landruk in fact it’s usually not. The owners of shops and guesthouses that are off the trail sometimes put these signs that trekkers walk through their places and maybe buy something. Following the road is the fastest way of getting to Landruk.

There are several villages along the route to stop if you start walking late and don’t have enough time to walk to Landruk. The best places to stop are Pothana that is about 4km from Kande or Tolka – 13km.

Highlights

  • Stunning views from Australian Camp
  • Beautiful scenery along the route
  • Great views from Landruk

Challenges

  • A steep and long ascent right in the beginning from Kande to Australian Camp, about 300m up.

Stops on the route between Kande and Bhichok

Name Kande Australian Camp Pothana Bhichok
Distance 0km 2,5km 3,7km 7,6km
Elevation m 2030m 1980m 1900m
Guesthouse + + + +
Restaurant + + + +
Shop + + + +
Electricity + + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + +

Stops on the route between Bhichok and Landruk

Name A couple of guesthouses Tolka Landruk
Distance 11,5km 13km 16km
Elevation 1800m 1787m 1730m
Guesthouse + + +
Restaurant + + +
Shop + + +
Electricity + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + +

Moonlight Guesthouse, Landruk

We stayed in Landruk before when we did the Mardi Himal trek. It’s a nice village with great views, several guesthouses and shops. We wanted to stay at Maya Guesthouse (the same place we stayed before) but it was full there was a big group staying there. We had to find another place. Moonlight Guesthouse was the next on the way. The rooms look a bit more dilapidated and the dining area is not as good as at Maya but the facilities are quite decent. The view from the porch was beautiful and the ladies who run it were very nice. It was the only place on the trek where they didn’t charge extra for wi-fi, hot shower or phone charging. Price NPR 200/US$2 for 2 people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, solar shower in the room
  • Indoor toilet – yes, in the room
  • Wi-fi – yes, didn’t work when we were here
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room
  • Blankets – yes

Day 2. Landruk (2730m) – Lower Sinuwa (2220m), 12km

Landruk – Himalpani – New Bridge – Jhinudanda – Chhomrong – Lower Sinuwa

  • Distance – 12 km/7,5 mi
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Ascent – 1141 m/3743 ft
  • Descent – 676 m/2217 ft
Elevation profile of the second day of Annapurna Base Camp trek
Elevation profile of the trekking route from Landruk to Lower Sinuwa

It was quite a tough walking day with a lot of uphill in the second half after the long suspension bridge. We decided to walk to Sinuwa but if you’re tired enough after the steep ascent rather stay in Chhomrong, to get to Sinuwa you’ll have to go first downs and then up again. If you decide to stay in Chhomrong you can follow our 7-day itinerary.

There are some ambiguous splits on the route in the first half of the day if you’re not sure which way to go it’s better to around or to use Maps.me for navigation. We took a wrong turn at the split at about 2km; one route goes down to the river (the wrong trail) and one continues up (the right trail). From Landruk to New Bridge there are not many places to stop for tea or coffee but there are many small streams to refill water.

Jhinudanda didn’t fit in our itinerary but many trekkers especially groups stop there because of the hot springs. We didn’t have time to go there, it’s about 1km from the village. I can’t really say if it’s nice and worth stopping or not.

If you decide to walk to Sinuwa I’d recommend stopping for tea and rest in Chhomrong, Hotel Super View Top Lodge has good coffee and food. There is a check-point at the exit from Chhomrong.

From Chhomrong to Lower Sinuwa it’s only 3km but first you go about 200m down to the river and then 200m up to Sinuwa. It took us 1 hour to walk from Chhomrong to Lower Sinuwa. There are two Sinuwa villages, Lower Sinuwa and Upper Sinuwa. We didn’t know about it, on the map there was only one. We arrived at Lower Sinuwa and assumed that was it. Two villages are only 1,4km apart but Upper Sinuwa is about 150m higher. Both places are very similar just a couple of guesthouses and not much else. You can stay at Lower Sinuwa but I’d recommend going to Upper Sinuwa (if you are not too tired) it’ll make your next day a little bit easier.

Highlights

  • The beginning of the walk from Landruk on the right side of the river; lush green forest, many birds, small waterfalls, very peaceful and beautiful.
  • The long suspension bridge just before Jhinudanda, the longest suspension bridge I’ve ever seen, about 350m long.
  • Hot springs in Jhinudanda.
  • Views from Chhomrong.
  • Views from Sinuwa.
A long suspension bridge on the way to Jhinudanda
The longest suspension bridge we’ve ever seen in Nepal

Challenges

  • A very long steep ascent from the suspension bridge to Chhomrong, 500m up.
  • A long descent from Chhomrong to the river, about 300m down.
  • A steep ascent from the river to Lower Sinuwa, 200m up.

Stops on the route from Landruk to Lower Sinuwa

Name Himalpani New Bridge Jhinudanda Chhomrong Lower Sinuwa
Distance 3,5km 4,5km 7km 8,5-9,5km 12km
Elevation 1400m 1500m 1730m 2174m 2220m
Guesthouse + + + + +
Restaurant + + + + +
Shop + + + + +
Electricity + + + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + + +

Preeti Guesthouse, Lower Sinuwa

Lower Sinuwa as well as Upper Sinuwa is a very small place, 3 or 4 guesthouses and not much else. The views of the valley, the river and rice terraces from here are really great.

The guesthouse is nice, the rooms are neat and clean, with no attached bathroom or toilet, only shared facilities. The dining offers beautiful views. The food here wasn’t great, don’t order pizza or soup, rather stick to eggs, pasta or rice. Price NPR 400/US$3,5 for two people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, outside shared gas shower, NPR 200/US$1,5
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 3. Lower Sinuwa (2220m) – Deurali (3200m), 14km

Lower Sinuwa – Upper Sinuwa – Bamboo – Dovan – Upper Dovan – Himalaya – Deurali

  • Distance – 14 km/8,6 mi
  • Time – 4h40min.
  • Ascent – 1396 m/4580 ft
  • Descent – 341 m/1118 ft
Elevation profile of day 3 of the 6-day itinerary
Elevation profile of the trekking route from Lower Sinuwa to Deurali.

It was another tough day with a lot of ups mostly in the second half after Dovan. The scenery was very beautiful take your time stop for photos and enjoy the stunning views. Make sure to stop for coffee (if you like coffee as much as we do) at Himalaya village, the toughest part of the day starts from there. You can get a really good coffee at Himalaya Guesthouse.

Highlights

The scenery was truly fantastic; lush green forest, many waterfalls, huge boulders and gigantic trees covered in moss, many birds, small wooden bridges across the river, etc. It was like walking through an enchanted forest.

An enchanted forest on the way from Sinuwa to Himalaya
For the most of the third day the route goes through the beautiful forest

Challenges

  • A steep ascent from Lower Sinuwa to Upper Sinuwa, 150m up.
  • A steep descent to Bamboo, 150m down.
  • Many short ups and downs on the way from Dovan to Himalaya.
  • A steep and quite long ascent to Himalaya, about 300m.
  • A very steep and long ascent from Himalaya to Deurali, 400m up.

Stops on the route between Lower Sinuwa and Deurali

Name Upper Sinuwa Bamboo Dovan Himalaya Deurali
Distance 1,4km 5,6km 8km 11,5km 14km
Elevation 2350m 2300m 2500m 2830m 3200m
Guesthouse + + + + +
Restaurant + + + + +
Shop + + + + +
Electricity + + + + +
Hot shower + + + + +
Wi-fi + + + +

Shangrila Guesthouse, Deurali

In Deurali it is quite cold compared to Sinuwa even during the day. There are 4 lodges here. Shangrila lodge is the one on the top, from the outside we liked it the most. The place is nice, a typical guesthouse with small rooms two single beds in each, a dining room, and a kitchen. The price is NPR 400/US$3,5 for two people. The food here was good, much better than in our previous guesthouse, prices are about NPR 20-50 higher.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, outside shared gas shower, NPR 250/US$2
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 4. Deurali (3200m) – Annapurna Base Camp (4147m), 9km

Deurali – Machhapuchhre Base Camp – Annapurna Base Camp

  • Distance – 9 km/5,5 mi
  • Time – 3h.
  • Ascent – 954 m/3129 ft
  • Descent – 58 m/190 ft
Elevation graph of the ascent from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp
Elevation profile of the ascent from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp

It’s highly recommended to start walking early usually in the morning the weather is good, later in the afternoon it often gets overcast and windy. We started around 7.30am.

We were very lucky with the weather we had the absolutely clear sky, it was very sunny, no wind a perfect day to enjoy the incredible scenery. From Deurali the trail starts climbing up and the ascent doesn’t stop till you reach Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). It was quite tough to walk up due to a lot of snow and increased elevation. The ascent itself is not steep like the previous days it is very gradual, no stairs just a stead uphill.

There is only one place to stop between Deurali and ABC Machhapuchhre Base Camp (MBC). From there it takes between 1h30min. and 2 hour to get ABC. If it’s a sunny day make sure to put sunscreen on and to wear sunglasses and a cap the sun up there is very strong, at one stage it got so hot on the way to ABC that we took off our jackets and walked in our T-shirts.

We didn’t use our microspikes or walking sticks on the way up but when we went down from ABC having them was very helpful.

Highlights

  • Amazing scenery on the way from Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp.
  • Breathtaking scenery on the way from MBC to ABC on a nice day you get a 360 panoramic view.
  • One of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen trekking in Nepal from ABC, truly impressive.
Snowy peaks, clouds and the blue sky the scenery at MBC
The breathtaking view from Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Challenges

  • Walking in deep snow was exhausting.
  • Very gradual but quite stead ascent all the way from Deurali to ABC.
  • Once you reach MBC elevation starts getting to you, the walk from MBC to ABC is quite tiring.

Stops on the route

Name Machhapuchhre Base Camp Annapurna Base Camp
Distance 4,5km 8,5km
Elevation 3700m 4147m
Guesthouse + +
Restaurant + +
Shop + +
Electricity + +
Hot shower
Wi-fi + +

Annapurna Guest House, Annapurna Base Camp

There are currently 4 lodges at ABC (2 more in building process). All lodges have the same facilities and the same food prices. Lodge has a nice view from its dining hall. It’s very cold up here, inside the room it’s colder than outside. Price NPR 200/US$1,5 per person.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – no, bucket shower, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 250/US$2 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Alternative option. Staying at Machhapuchhre Base Camp

There are two options to visit Annapurna Base Camp; going there and staying for the night (the above itinerary) or staying at Machhapuchhre Base Camp and doing a day hike to ABC. MBC is much lower than ABC, 3700m vs 4140m. If the elevation starts getting to you or if it’s your first high-elevation trek it’s better to sleep lower. If you feel 100% fine and it’s not your first time going that high you can stay at ABC.

I’d recommend checking the weather forecast before making a decision. If it’s going to snow a lot I’d rather stay at MBC and do a day hike to ABC. When it snows a lot up there the risk of avalanches is quite high the trail might be closed and you can get stuck at ABC for a day or two. It’s unlikely to happen in the peak season (warmer months) but in winter it’s very possible. In the winter ABC gets closed quite often due to avalanches.

If you decide to stay at MBC you can come here in the morning from Deurali, 4km, it takes between 1h30min.-2h. Once at MBC, find a guesthouse, check-in, leave you backpack in the room, go to ABC and come back. There are 5 lodges at MBC they all looked nice and new.

To walk from MBC to ABC and back takes about 2h30min., plus about 1 hour you spend up there taking photos, drinking tea, etc. The walk up takes about 1h30min., the descent is much faster 50min.-1h.

Staying at MBC will make your next day 4km shorter and a bit easier.

Campbell surrounded by the snowy mountains on his way to Annapurna Base Camp
Campbell on the way to Annapurna Base Camp

Trekking route from Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp

  • Distance – 4 km/2,5 mi
  • Time – 1h30min.
  • Ascent – 483 m/1584 ft
  • Descent – 57 m/187 ft
Elevation profile route Deurali - Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Elevation profile of the trekking route from Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Trekking route from MBC to ABC and back to MBC

  • Distance – 7 km/4,3 mi
  • Time – 2h30min.
  • Ascent – 456 m/1496 ft
  • Descent – 456 m/1496 ft
Elevation profile of the walk from Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp and back
Elevation profile of the trekking route from Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp and back. The route to and back is the same the curve is different due to the difference in time needed for walking up and down

Day 5. Annapurna Base Camp (4147m) – Upper Sinuwa (2350m), 19km

Annapurna Base Camp – Machhapuchhre Base Camp – Deurali – Himalaya – Dovan – Bamboo – Upper Sinuwa

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi
  • Time – 5h.50min.
  • Ascent – 406 m/1332 ft
  • Descent – 2131 m/6991 ft
Elevation profile of the walk from ABC to Upper Sinuwa
Elevation profile of the longest day on ABC trek, from ABC to Upper Sinuwa

It was a very long day with a lot of downhill all the way from ABC to Sinuwa. There are many places to stop before Sinuwa our plan was to go down till we tired which we did. Despite the distance the descent was much easier than the previous days ascents we could cover longer distance.

The first half from ABC to Deurali was a bit tricky due to a lot of snow but after Deurali it was easier and quicker. If you decide to stop earlier both Dovan or Bamboo are good alternatives to Sinuwa. Dovan is about 13km from Annapurna Base Camp and Bamboo is 15km away. Both villages have many guesthouses and good infrastructure.

The part from Bamboo to Upper Sinuwa has one steep ascent that starts right after Bamboo. You can walk to Lower Sinuwa as well, it’s about 20min. walk.

Highlights

  • Beautiful scenery on the way from ABC to MBC, the most impressive part of the trek.
  • Lush green forest on the way from Himalaya to Sinuwa; small and big waterfalls, a river, massive trees and boulders, etc.

Challenges

  • A descent from ABC to MBC and from there to Deurali is not very steep but if there is a lot of snow it’s difficult to walk.
  • A steep downhill from Deurali to Himalaya, 400m.
  • A steep ascent after Bamboo, about 150m.

Stops on the route from ABC to Dovan

Name MBC Deurali Himalaya Dovan
Distance 4km 8km 10,5km 13,5km
Elevation 3700m 3200m 2830m 2500m
Guesthouse + + + +
Restaurant + + + +
Shop + + + +
Electricity + + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + + +

Stops on the route from Dovan to Upper Sinuwa

Name Bamboo Upper Sinuwa
Distance 15,5km 19km
Elevation 2300m 2350m
Guesthouse + +
Restaurant + +
Shop + +
Electricity + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi +

Sinuwa Lodge, Upper Sinuwa

A typical guesthouse with small room, shared facilities and a dining hall. The views from the dining room are quite nice. Price NPR 400/US$3,5 for two people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, NPR 200/US$1,5
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 100/US$1 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 6. Upper Sinuwa (2350m) – Jeep station, Ghandruk (1730m), 10km

Upper Sinuwa – Lower Sinuwa – Chhomrong – Jhinudanda – jeep station

  • Distance – 10 km/6,2 mi
  • Time – 3h.20min.
  • Ascent – 500 m/1640 ft
  • Descent – 1134 m/3720 ft
Elevation profile of the last day of ABC trek
Elevation profile of the route from Upper Sinuwa to the jeep station

The whole day is just a sequence of ascents and descents, first you go down from Upper Sinuwa to the river, then up to Chhomrong, then down to Junudhanda and then up to Ghandruk. For the most of the day you walk down the same way you walked up but after the long suspension bridge you continue going up to Ghandruk.

At the check-point in Chhomrong you have to check out from the trek. Another check-out point is at the exit from the park just before Nayapul. Buses and jeeps stop there you have to get out and go to the office to check-out. Make sure to keep your TIMS card and permit till the very end.

If you want to visit the hot springs in Jhinudanda you can stop there and the next morning continue walking to the jeep station that is only about 3,5km from there.

Our plan was to walk to Ghandruk but when we reached the jeep station that is about 2,5km before the village and there were several jeeps ready to take us back to Pokhara immediately we couldn’t resist. Ghandruk is a nice village we stopped there when we did the Poon Hill trek. If you want to stay in Ghandruk you can walk there, stay for the night and the next day catch a bus or a jeep to Pokhara. For us taking a jeep the same day was a better option.

We paid NPR 1500/US$12 per person, the jeep left immediately, it took less than 3 hours to get to Pokhara jeep station. From there it’s 10min. by taxi to Lake Side, NPR 400/US$3.

Highlights

  • Great views from Chhomrong
  • Beautiful views on the descent from Chhomrong to Jhinudanda
  • Hot springs in Jhinudanda
  • Long suspension bridge

Challenges

  • A long descent from Upper Sinuwa to the river, 400m down.
  • A long and sometimes very steep ascent from the river to Chhomrong, 300m up.
  • A long and steep descent from Chhomrong to the suspension bridge, 500m down.

Stops on the route from Upper Sinuwa to the jeep station

Name Lower Sinuwa Chhomrong Jhinudanda Jeep station
Distance 1,4km 4-5km 6,5km 10km
Elevation 2220m 2174m 1730m 1730m
Guesthouse + + +
Restaurant + + + +
Shop + + + +
Electricity + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + +
A couple of donkeys going downstairs on ABC trek
A group of donkeys going down from Chhomrong to Jhinudanda

Annapurna Base Camp trek – the 7-day itinerary

Following this itinerary it’ll take you 5 days to get to Annapurna Base Camp instead of 4 day but your days will be shorter and your daily ascents will be less. You can decided on which itinerary to follow after arriving in Chhomrong you don’t have make up your mind at the beginning of the trek.

Day 1
Kande – Landruk
16 km/10 mi
Day 2
Landruk – Chhomrong
9 km/5,5 mi
Day 3
Sinuwa – Bamboo
8 km/5 mi
Day 4
Bamboo – Deurali
8,5 km/5,2 mi
Day 5
Deurali – ABC
9 km/5,5 mi
Day 6
ABC – Sinuwa
19 km/12 mi
Day 7
Sinuwa – Jeep Station
10 km/6,2 mi

Day 1. Bus Pokhara – Kande. Trek Kande (1850m) – Landruk (1730m), 16km

  • Distance – 16 km/10 mi
  • Time – 4h10min.*
  • Ascent – 578 m/1896 ft
  • Descent – 700 m/2296 ft

The first day of 7-day itinerary is exactly the same as of 6-day itinerary. More details on on the Day 1.

One of the many stairs on Annapurna Base Camp trek
Steep stairs on the way from Kande to Australian Camp, the first day on ABC trek

Day 2. Landruk (1730m) – Chhomrong (2174m), 9km

Landruk – Himalpani – New Bridge – Jhinudanda – Chhomrong

  • Distance – 9 km/5,5 mi
  • Time – 3h30min.
  • Ascent – 928 m/3044 ft
  • Descent – 426 m/1400 ft
Elevation profile of the walking route from Landruk to Chhomrong
Elevation profile of the walk from Landruk to Chhomrong

The first half of the walk till the long suspension bridge was easy and enjoyable. After the bridge you start going up, the ascent finishes only in Chhomrong.

Highlights

  • Beautiful forest, a river, nice views on the way from Landruk to New Bridge.
  • A long suspension bridge with stunning views from it.
  • Hot springs at Jhinudanda.
  • Great views from Chhomrong.

Challenges

  • Several small ascents and descents on the way from Landruk to Jhinudanda.
  • A long and steep ascent from the long suspension bridge to Chhomrong, about 500m up.

Stops on the route from Landruk to Chhomrong

Name Himalpani New Bridge Jhinudanda Chhomrong
Distance 3,5km 4,5km 7km 8,5-9,5km
Elevation 1400m 1500m 1730m 2174m
Guesthouse + + + +
Restaurant + + + +
Shop + + + +
Electricity + + + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + + +

Hotel Super View Top Lodge, Chhomrong

Chhomrong consists of two parts you get the first group of houses once you reach the top, the second group is just around the corner, about 100m walk. Hotel Super View is the first guesthouse in the second group of houses. It has probably some of the best food on the trek. A great place to stop for coffee lovers they have an Italian Espresso machine and make good coffee. The views from the guesthouse are stunning. There are two types of rooms a standard double room with shared facilities costs NPR 500/US$4, a deluxe double room with attached bathroom – NPR 1000/US$8.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, NPR 100/US$1
  • Indoor toilet – yes, Western flush toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 200/US$1,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 50/US$0,4 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 3. Chhomrong (2174m) – Bamboo (2300m), 8km

  • Distance – 8 km/5 mi
  • Time – 2h.40min.
  • Ascent – 641 m/2100 ft
  • Descent – 525 m/1722 ft
Elevation profile of day 3 of the 7-day itinerary
Elevation profile of the walk from Chhomrong to Bamboo, ABC trek 7-day itinerary

The beginning of the day is pure descent from Chhomrong all the way to the river. At the exit from Chhomrong there is a permit check-point. From the river the route goes up to Upper Sinuwa. From there to Bamboo the walk is quite relaxing.

Highlights

  • Beautiful views on the way down from Chhomrong.
  • Great views from Sinuwa.
  • Lush green forest with many small waterfalls, big boulders, trees covered in moss, many birds, etc. on the way from Sinuwa to Bamboo.

Challenges

  • A long steep descent from Chhomrong to the river, 300m down.
  • A steep and very long ascent from the river to Upper Sinuwa, 440m up.
  • Several short ascents and descents from Upper Sinuwa to Bamboo.
  • A steep descent to Bamboo, 150m down.

Stops on the route between Chhomrong and Bamboo

Name Lower Sinuwa Upper Sinuwa Bamboo
Distance 2,5km 4km 8km
Elevation 2220m 2350m 2300m
Guesthouse + + +
Restaurant + + +
Shop + + +
Electricity + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + +

If after arriving at Bamboo you feel like walking a little bit more you can continue to Dovan. We liked Dovan village more than Bamboo, it has newer guesthouses with better facilities and the views from there are better. Dovan is 2,5km from Bamboo, about 1h-1h20min. walk.

Trekking Guesthouse, Bamboo

There are five or six lodges in Bamboo, all look pretty much similar we liked Trekking Guesthouse the most. It has standard rooms with two beds, shared facilities and a dining room. There is no wi-if in Bamboo, at least it wasn’t available when we were here. Price NPR 400/US$3 for two people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, NPR 200/US$1,5
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside Western toilet
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 4. Bamboo (2300m) – Deurali (3200m), 8,5km

  • Distance – 8,5 km/5,2 mi
  • Time – 3h.
  • Ascent – 958 m/3143 ft
  • Descent – 117 m/383 ft
Elevation profile day 4 of the 7-day ABC itinerary
Elevation profile of day 4. The ascent from Bamboo to Deurali

It is quite a tough day with a lot uphill walking. From Bamboo to Himalaya the trail goes through the forest, the ascents are not too steep, except the one just before Himalaya village. From Himalaya to Deurali the scenery starts changing less trees, more rocks and some patches of snow here and there.

Highlights

  • A lush green forest with many small rivers and waterfalls on the way from Bamboo to Himalaya.
  • Great views of the mountain ranges and snow peaks from Deurali.
View of Deurali from the trail
Approaching Deurali, from there up the scenery changes completely.

Challenges

  • A gradual ascent from Bamboo to Dovan, about 200m.
  • A steep ascent to Himalaya, 300m up.
  • A very steep and long ascent from Himalaya to Deurali, 400m up.

Stops on the route from Bamboo to Deurali

Name Dovan Himalaya Deurali
Distance 2,5km 6km 8,5km
Elevation 2500m 2830m 3200m
Guesthouse + + +
Restaurant + + +
Shop + + +
Electricity + + +
Hot shower + + +
Wi-fi + + +

Shangrila Guesthouse, Deurali

There are 4 lodges in Deurali. Shangrila lodge is the one on the top. The place is nice, a typical guesthouse with small rooms two single beds in each, a dining room, outside toilet and shower. Despite our expectations there was no stove in the dining room like in guesthouses on other treks in Nepal, it was as cold in the dining room as in our room or outside. The price is NPR 400/US$3,5 for two people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, outside shared gas shower, NPR 250/US$2
  • Indoor toilet – no, outside shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 300/US$2,5
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charge
  • Blankets – yes

Day 5. Deurali (3200m) – Annapurna Base Camp (4147m), 9km

  • Distance – 9 km/5,5 mi
  • Time – 3h.
  • Ascent – 954 m/3129 ft
  • Descent – 58 m/190 ft

From this day you can follow the 6-day itinerary from Day 4.

Day 6. Annapurna Base Camp (4147m) – Upper Sinuwa (2350m), 19km

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi
  • Time – 5h.50min.
  • Ascent – 406 m/1332 ft
  • Descent – 2131 m/6991 ft

Day 7. Upper Sinuwa (2350m) – jeep station, Ghandruk (1730m), 10km

  • Distance – 10 km/6,2 mi
  • Time – 3h.20min.
  • Ascent – 500 m/1640 ft
  • Descent – 1134 m/3720 ft

Accommodation on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

This is a classic tea house trek, accommodation in the tea houses (hotels) are cheap if you buy your meals here, but where else are you going to eat anyway? The tea houses make money out of food not accommodation. The cost for a double room in a tea house on this trek was NPR 400 or NPR 200 per bed. This did not always include a hot shower and internet.

Extra Charges at most guesthouses; Hot Shower – NPR 200, Charging NPR 200 per device in the dining room. Wi-fi – NPR 300

Food on the ABC trek

The food on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is similar to other treks in Nepal. The main local dish is dal bhat, rice and lentils with some curry, this is not the cheapest meal on the menu, but is sort of bottomless, when your plate is empty they come with more dal and rice, if you are hungry and on a budget this is the best way to go. The menu is very similar everywhere, we ate porridge, boiled eggs or an omelette for breakfast every morning and dal, pasta or fried rice for lunch or dinner. Food does get a bit more expensive as altitude increases, this is understandable since porters have to carry everything up the mountain.

Some unique meals to try on this trek is Gurung Bread which is a deep fried bread, Rosti a very filling potato cake that fried in the pan like a patty, order this with two eggs on top if you are very hungry.

Gurung bread with an omelette on top
Gurung bread with an omelette on top

Breakfast ( oats porridge)

  • at lower altitudes, Landruk (1730m) – 350 NPR
  • at higher altitudes, Duerali (3200m) – 400 NPR
  • high altitude, Annapurna Base Camp (4147m) – 470 NPR

Lunch/dinner (fried rice)

  • at lower altitudes, Landruk (1730m) – 390 NPR
  • at higher altitudes, Duerali (3200m) – 400 NPR
  • high altitude, Annapurna Base Camp (4147m) – 530 NPR

Dal Bhat

  • at lower altitudes, Landruk (1730m) – 590 NPR
  • at higher altitudes, Duerali (3200m) – 620 NPR
  • high altitude, Annapurna Base Camp (4147m) – 670 NPR

Drinking water

It is another significant expense if you don’t have any filter or purification. We didn’t buy water on the route we each carried a LifeStraw bottle, we used it all the time and it worked great we could refill it on the way from any water tap or stream which means we didn’t have to carry extra water or buy plastic bottles

Trekking Insurance

Hiking at high altitude in a remote location, there are obviously very real risks.  Insurance is very important on any high altitude trek, altitude sickness is common and since there are no roads in these mountains if you get seriously injured or sick evacuation by helicopter is expensive. Most travel insurance will not cover extreme activities like high altitude trekking.  Get a quote here for World Nomads hiking insurance for Nepal that covers you to 6000m (that is a ‘yes’ for Annapurna Base Camp).

Doesn’t matter where you live or where you are at the moment, it takes less than 2 minutes to get a quote and you can buy it online even if you are already traveling. If you only take out a policy for your trek duration it is not too pricey, starting in a couple of days? it is not too late

Places to stay in Pokhara

Lakeside is the main touristy area of Pokhara it’s full of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, bars etc. here you can find accommodation for any budget from cheap homestays to fancy spa hotels. We stayed a couple of times at OYO 11460 Hotel Romantica and stored our luggage there every time we went hiking. The hotel was nice; clean with good facilities, the staff was great, the girls that work there are very nice and helpful. Another place we stayed in was Hotel Lake Shore; the rooms are smaller but a little bit fancier, great shower (the best shower we had in Nepal), a very good breakfast menu.

Recommended books & guidebooks

If you prefer e-books over paper books don’t hesitate to join Amazon Kindle Unlimited to get access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks. Even if you don’t have a Kindle device you can read or listen to books on your phone or tablet using the app. The first 30 days of the program are free.

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