Asia, Nepal

Trekking in Annapurna: a spectacular mountain adventure

They say Nepal is the paradise for trekkers. We absolutely agree! There are so many trekking routes and they all look amazing. After a long reflection, we decided to go for the Annapurna Conservation Area and to combine two trails: Annapurna Sanctuary (also known as Annapurna Base Camp or ABC) and Ponhill. 

Sunrise at Annapurna Base Camp

No words can describe the beauty of the Himalayan landscapes and how we felt when we reached the frozen hearth of the Annapurna mountains range, surrounded by 7000m or 8000m peaks in every direction.

We spent 11 days hiking through Gurung villages, going up and down between 1100 and 4100 meters of altitude, eating delicious vegetarian Nepali food and seeing beautiful sceneries ranging from rice fields to bamboo forests, from jungle to rocks and glaciers.

We will definitely go back to Nepal! 

Thanks Chiara for the beautiful drawing!

Do you also want to trek in Annapurna mountains? Then, continue to read 🙂

Our itinerary: Annapurna Base Camp + Ponhill

Day 1: Phedi (1100m) to Landruk (1565m)

View from our room in Landruk

Day 2: Landruk to Chhomrong (2140m)

Super long and scary suspension bridge in Jhinu

Day 3: Chhomrong to Dovan (2505m)

Day 4: Dovan to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m)

View of Annapurna I Peak (8091m) from Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Day 5: Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)

Namaste!

Day 6: Annapurna Base Camp to Dovan (2505m)

View of Machhapuchhre Peak (6997m) on the way down from ABC

Day 7: Dovan to Tophill Guesthouse (1h from Chhomrong)

Fede washing the clothes

Day 8: Hilltop Guesthouse to Tadapani (2630m)

One of the many suspension bridges we crossed

Day 9: Tadapani to Ghorepani (2874m)

Day 10: Ghorepani to Ulleri (1500m)

Sunrise at Ponhill Viewpoint

Day 11: Ulleri to Naya Pul (1070m)

Rice fields everywhere

We walked around 5-6 hours per day without rushing and following our own pace. We usually started hiking at 7.30-8am and stopped around 2pm or 3pm. You can do it faster or slower but remember: acclimatization is crucial!

What’s the best period to go to the Annapurna Base Camp?

We decided to trek in early November as this is supposed to be the best season of the year, with clear skies and not too much cold. We could indeed enjoy the stunning views every day and had temperature below zero only at the base camp.

Being the high season, we met many other trekkers on the way but not too many. We were most of the time alone and were actually happy to meet other travelers who were living the same incredible adventure. 

Sunset at ABC

Also, we didn’t have any issue in finding private rooms in guesthouses, a part from ABC where we shared the room with other 2 people. Not too bad though. At the beginning and at end of the trek we even had a private bathroom 🙂

Can I trek in Annapurna without guides and porters? 

If you are fit, have a good backpack and have downloaded MapsMe (or another offline map) on your phone, then yes, you can. It is always better to be at least two people to be on the safe side. If you are traveling on your own, you could consider finding travel companions on internet, you can find many websites on this topic.

There are villages with guesthouses every 1 or 2 hours so you don’t need to worry about carrying tent, food or water. To reduce the weight of your backpack you should take with you a washing soap and clean your clothes instead of carrying extra kilos.

What about altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is unpredictable but you have better chances not to get it if you go up slowly. We didn’t have any issue a part from sleeping problems. 

Useful tips for trekkers 

  • If you need a hot shower, choose a guesthouse with gas showers instead of solar panels.
  • Try to stop around 2pm if you want to get a private room in guesthouses, above all between Chhomrong and ABC. 
Our room with a view in Tadapani
  • Big groups have breakfast at 7am. Wake up early and have your breakfast at 6.30 to avoid loosing precious time… 
  • Eat Dal Bhat for lunch not only because it’s good and gives a lot of energy but also because restaurants serve it very fast while it can take ages for other dishes… you can have momo for dinner 🙂
  • Book the room in ABC in advance as all four guesthouses are fully booked in high season. 
  • After the trek, relax in Pokhara where you can easily find good spa for a regenerating massage and inspiring yoga centers 🙂
Steam Bath at Purna Yoga Retreat

We look forward to going back to this beautiful country, full of great treks and delicious vegetarian food!

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