Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most beautiful treks on Earth that takes you through different climates, diverse landscapes, and culturally enriching villages. From the Annapurna Base Camp, you can witness the stunning views of Fishtail, Hiunchuli, Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho, Pisang, and Pungda Danda, in addition to numerous other peaks. Along the way, you will be visiting the famous Poon Hill viewpoint and relaxing in the natural hot water pool at Jhinu Danda. While going to Annapurna base camp Trek you should always understand and study the risk factors. The local weather and climate are the key factors. Depending upon the region and the season, weather and temperature in Nepal vary drastically. And as you go higher, it gets unpredictable. So it`s best to be prepared accordingly before you make your decision.
The mountain ranges included in this tour bring you through Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, and lush green rice fields engraved with a diamond-like carpet of snow amidst majestic slopes of misty valleys. Since the Annapurna Base Camp Trek happens around a vast area of the Annapurna Conservation Area. You will be walking across the Modi river and discover some of the massive peaks of 7000-8000 meters. Thousands of Tourists visit Nepal to trek to the mountains every year. There are a lot of trekking destinations in Nepal and it has grown popular over the past decades. Among many famous trekking routes, Annapurna Base Camp Trek has become every trekker’s dream vacation when it comes to trekking in Nepal. It is an easier trail compared to the Everest Base Camp.
Coming to the best season, the autumn season is considered the best season for trekking in Nepal but even in such a season, the weather could be unpredictable at the higher altitudes. With proper research and gear, it is quite an adventure. But, every season has its own beauty and uniqueness.
Why go Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in Autumn Season?
The autumn season is the best season to trek anywhere in Nepal. It is time to visit Nepal and explore the mountains in their best state. Starting from September till November is the autumn season in Nepal. Reaching an altitude of 4130 meters, the Annapurna Base Camp trek in autumn is an ecstatic journey. The leaves start changing their colors and the wind blows the leaves all over the place covering the paths with bright vibrant leaves as if it was to welcome you. The hills and the mountains of the Annapurna region will remain fresh and clear after the monsoon shower. The forest is still alive and the mountains look spectacular.
The Autumn season is a mixture of two seasons. In Nepal, the monsoon season drags out a bit. So, early September is more likely to receive a little rain here and there. However, mid and late September provides you with no rain and beautiful views throughout your journey. The endpoint of the autumn season has few cold days and nights as the winter will be arriving soon. So you will need to get a lot of layer clothing. The weather is warm in the daytime and quite chilly in the mornings and evenings. The average temperature ranges from 15 to 17 degrees. Though the weather may change up in the mountains as the weather is quite unpredictable up there. So the temperature might drop below freezing point up in the higher altitudes.
Some more reasons are mentioned below
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in autumn is pure bliss based on the temperature aspect. As the summer is too hot and humid and the winter is too freezing cold, the temperature in autumn is the best. With the average temperature being around 25 degrees Celsius the trek will be easy and comfortable to complete without any heat, strokes, and other cold problems.
Clear Views of the Mountains
Autumn means clear skies and no more clouds to block the views or your plans for the day. The view of Mt. Dhaulagiri with the rising sun shining on it is one of the best views of this trek. At the highlight of this trek, you will climb Poon Hill at dawn to enjoy one of the most brilliant mountain views on Earth. As the sun touches the snow-capped summits the Himalayan Giants, (Dhaulagiri 8,167m) and the Annapurna (8,091m), among many other peaks, gradually become visible magically before your eyes. This trek offers great opportunities to witness the beauty of the Annapurna region within a limited short time of trekking. Not just the mountains but the autumn season are also free of fog or rain making the valleys on the trails look mesmerizing from a height.
Apart from just being a beautiful season with the best weather and temperature for trekking in the Annapurna Region, the autumn season has another importance in the Nepalese calendar. It is the month when most of the major Nepalese festivals are celebrated. The major festivals of the Nepalese people like Dashain and Tihar along with Indra Jatra lie in this month. Celebrating the festivals with the local people will be a unique and memorable experience for all.
Autumn may start the peak season but the Annapurna Region only gets crowded in Late September. Being the peak season and all the region is packed with trekkers in late September due to the chance of rain in early September, the trails are comparatively empty in early to mid-September. So you can enjoy walking the trails and looking at the beautiful views instead of hordes of people.
People and Culture in Annapurna Base Camp
During this Annapurna trek, the major cultural groups you visit are Gurung, Magar, and Brahmin. Along with this, other minority groups are also living in the region to enhance your cultural trek experiences. There are Brahmin and Chettries in lower elevation and Mongoloid Himalayan people in Himalaya. Mostly there are Gurung and Magar people in the area, famous for the Gorkha regiment. In a very short time span in the trek, you can experience the colorful culture of these people and you meet Buddhists and Hindus living in harmony. The main occupations here are agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism business, and Gorkha soldiers (the world-famous brave soldiers working under the British, Indian, and Singaporean Governments).
Interesting Facts about Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Autumn Season
- Breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the whole Annapurna region and Dhaulagiri region, including Macchapuchhare, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, Singu Chuli, Annapurna I, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli
- There are tea houses at Annapurna Base Camp surrounded by snowcapped mountains
- Annapurna Base Camp trekking is the easiest and the fastest trek to the Base Camp
- Beautiful Flora and Fauna throughout the Annapurna Base Camp Region
- Ghandruk village (located on the way to the base camp) is the model village of Nepal
- During the trek, trekkers can bath at a natural hot spring at Jhunu Danda
- Relaxing in the city of seven lakes in Pokhara
- Annapurna conservation area contains 474 birds, 39 reptiles, 22 amphibians, 102 mammals, the world`s deepest George, and the animal-like Blue sheep, Red panda, snow leopard, etc.
Why Annapurna Base Camp is easier than Everest Base Camp?
Talking about Mount Everest Base Camp, the first thing that comes to mind is climbing, while talking about Annapurna Base Camp, the first thing that comes to mind is trekking. However, you can go climbing at Annapurna Base Camp and go trekking at Everest Base Camp. One of the main reasons for choosing the Annapurna Region over the Everest Region is access and altitude.
Trekking to Annapurna is much easier than trekking to Everest Base Camp. The Annapurna Base Camp trek is more manicured with more stairs as trails and is better maintained. There are fewer people on the Annapurna Base Camp trail. The starting point for the Annapurna Base camp is Pokhara. Pokhara, the city of lakes, is also the second largest city and the capital tourist city in Nepal. Guesthouses and hotels are well accommodated for trekkers and there is plenty to do before and after your trek. Whereas, in Mount Everest trekking, your trek is dependent on the flight schedules of the plane from Kathmandu to Lukla.
The level of challenges also varies between the two adventures. Everest Base Camp is higher and has a more abrupt ascent, making it both harder to acclimatize and demanding more vertical distance to be covered. Apart from this though, Everest Base Camp is also a lengthier trail than the Annapurna Base Camp trek, covering 120 kilometers.
Difficulties during Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Though Annapurna Base Camp Trek is not a difficult trek, there are some challenges during the trek. But, this doesn’t mean that you cannot complete or do the trek. Factors like duration and distance of the trip, altitude sickness, preparedness, trekking season, and so on affect your trekking journey. The hikers must be moderately fit as you are trekking through the Himalayas of Nepal. Before embarking on the journey, you need to know about the Annapurna Base Camp trekking difficulty and the prevention tips to deal with all those difficulties.
Some of the challenges you need to know during the trek are as follows:
1: Distance and Duration of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Distance is the major determining factor of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This trek covers 115km in total where you will be walking 10 to 20 km each day. The distance covered by this trek is short as compared to other long-distance treks like Manaslu Circuit Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek, and many other treks. Annapurna Base Camp Trek usually takes 11 to 14 days complete, but if you are short on time and want to do it within a short time, you can complete this trek in 8 to 9 days. On average, you have to walk for 5 to 6 hours daily.
The best duration to choose during the Annapurna Base Camp trek is 11 to 14 days itinerary as this will give you more days so that you can complete the trek even if you walk at a slow pace. If you choose an 8 to 9 days itinerary you need to walk a long time a day which might lead you to anxiety and other various problems.
2: Altitude Sickness
As you are trekking to a high-altitude region, there is always a possibility of being hit by altitude sickness. The Annapurna Base Camp starts from Kathmandu, situated at an altitude of 1300 meters and this journey ends at the Annapurna region, situated at an altitude of 4130 meters. So the oxygen level is at lower to higher altitudes which might be hard for your body to adjust to the new environment. Once you cross 3,000 meters you may start to feel uncomfortable and get the symptoms of altitude sickness like headache, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and so on. This might make your trip difficult. High altitude can create serious problems for some trekkers.
If you are noticing any of the altitude symptoms it is better to return to a lower altitude region. Ignoring the symptoms will worsen the situation.
3: Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Trail
Annapurna Base Camp Trekking trail is not as hard as other mountainous trails. Though there are many twists and turns, ups and downs, rocky boulders, and steep stone steps, which might add difficulty to the trek. This trek doesn’t require any fitness level, but you should at least be in good shape and possess good stamina to pass through the moderately difficult hiking trail. To minimize the risks associated with trekking trails, you should always be aware of your physical strength.
Keep the slow pace and always have someone by your side like a guide who can provide guidelines about ways to walk safely even on a difficult route.
4: Packing List for Annapurna Base Camp Trek
While trekking in this region, you must make sure that you have a proper packing list for the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Packing a bag with essential items for around 2weeks can be demanding itself. One thing to remember is that you will not be able to buy anything that you require for the trek on the Annapurna Base Camp trekking trail. Thus, packing the necessary essentials during this trek is a must. Reliable and qualitative clothing and shoes are the most important thing as your whole journey entirely depends upon them. If you avoid excess packing and focus on the right clothing, then you can enjoy a comfortable trip.
Since the weather at Annapurna Base Camp is unpredictable, it is always best to pack both light and warm clothes and thick woolen clothes. The right shoes are key to increasing the success rate of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Make your backpack as light as possible by including only the essential items.
6: Annapurna Base Camp Trek without Guide
Most of the trekkers plan for the Annapurna Base Camp trek without a guide. But, trekking is fun only when you get to know more about each destination, village, and the local people and their cultures. If you visit this region on your own, there will be no one to elaborate on the historical sites, narrate stories or translate the local language. Likewise, you can’t get to the best viewpoint of the Annapurna region without the help of a guide. Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp with a guide helps to boost the local economy and break the language barrier.
There is no restriction regarding solo trek to Annapurna Base Camp but hiring a guide for Annapurna Base Camp trek is always the best option for both safety and exploration purposes. Annapurna Base Camp difficulties can be minimized if you are with an experienced and qualified guide.
Documents Required for Annapurna Base Camp Trek
For trekking in Annapurna Base Camp, there are some important permits without which you are not allowed to trek in this region. As you will be entering the Annapurna Base Camp, you will need a permit. TIMS cards along with the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit are important for entering this region as proof that you are here for trekking purposes and mean no harm to the locals and the natural resources of the region.
Before getting all these permits, you will need your passport with the Nepal entry visa stamp. The passport needs a six months validity and also you need two passport-size photos.
Best Itinerary for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking
Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival
Namaste!!! Welcome to the country of the Himalayas, Nepal. You will be warmly welcomed by the Well Nepal Travel representative upon your arrival at Tribhuban International Airport, Kathmandu, and shift to the hotel our representative describes the itinerary of the tour. Overnight at the hotel, Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is an incredible mixture of legend and modern development with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Kathmandu has been a traveler’s center for many years, reflected in the International flavor of the bright lights and Coca-cola culture of the central Thamel district.
Day 2: Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara, Drive to Nayapul, Trek to Ghandruk
Early morning, Pickup from Hotel and shift to Tribhuban Airport, fly to Pokhara which takes 25minutes to reach. Then drive to Nayapul in a private car which is approximately one hour drive. Trek to Ulleri, overnight at Ghandruk.
In the rugged mountain scenery, you stay in mountain communities and meet friendly Nepali hill people as they go about their daily lives. You will also get a chance to learn about the local cultures. Along the way, see thundering waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers and reward yourself with a soak in natural hot springs.
Day 3: Ghandruk to Chhomrang
After breakfast, you will trek to Chhomrang and along its trail, you will enjoy spectacular views of Mount Annapurna south (7219m) and Himchuli (6441m) and places like Banthali and Tanfethati from where Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), the highest of Annapurna region looks stunning. Overnight at Lodge, Chhomrang.
Day 4: Trek Chhomrang to Dovan to Deurali
After breakfast you climb up trails to Dovan, you cross the small village of Sinuwa Dada and making through beautiful thick Rhododendron forest, Khuldighar, and a rocky cliff of bamboo you will find yourself at Dovan. Then headed for Deurali. Along the way, you will be enjoying the silent jungle and visiting a temple within the same jungle. Enjoying some waterfalls and a lake called Hinku you reach Deurali. Overnight at Lodge, Deurali.
Day 5: Trek Deurali to Macchapuchhare Base camp to Annapurna Base Camp
After breakfast you trail down through the rugged path, a bit dangerous for avalanches, you will find yourself in Macchapuchhare Base Camp with few lodges. From here you will keep walking up through grassy land for two hours and you are at Annapurna Base Camp. Overnight at Lodge, Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 6: Trek Annapurna Base Camp to Chhomrang
After breakfast, you will enjoy the beautiful Annapurna Mountains and others from a close distance with beautiful natural scenery and vegetation you head back the same route to Chhomrang. Overnight at Lodge, Chhomrang.
Day 7: Chhomrang to Jhinu to Kyumi
After breakfast, you trek from Chhomrang to Kyumi and Jhinu. Jhinu is located at an altitude of 1,690 meters above sea level. Overnight stay at Lodge.
Day 8: Kyumi to Nayapul to Pokhara
After breakfast, you trek from Kyumi to Nayapul. From there you will drive to Pokhara. Overnight at Pokhara, Hotel.
Day 9: Final Day (Fly back to Kathmandu)
Today is the last day of the trek. Transfer to Pokhara airport and fly to Kathmandu.