Annapurna Base Camp Trek – In The Throne of the Gods

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On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Route Overview

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the most popular hikes in Nepal. Why? Quite simply: the mountain scenery is INCREDIBLE!

To main a few of the mountains you will be trekking amongst, there is Annapurna I (26,505 feet), Annapurna South (23,684 feet), Machapuchhre (22,943 feet) and Hiunchili (21,131 feet). These are arranged in a circle roughly 10 miles wide with a glacier-glazed amphitheatre at the centre which the locals, Gurungs, call the ‘Throne of the Gods’ (more commonly known to Westerners as the Annapurna Sanctuary). Machapuchhre is considered sacred by Gurungs and climbing it is forbidden, although a British party came within 200 feet in 1957.

The Annapurna Base Camp trek usually takes 10 to 15 days, depending upon how relaxed you take it, and the trek is of moderate difficulty.

Although the valley floor affords good camping if the weather is fair, you will usually stay in tea houses along the route. Please note that single rooms are rare. Cold showers are free, but hot ones must be paid for. Electricity usually costs NPR100 per hour. Read more Tea Houses – What to Expect.

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is the only trekking route in the region untouched by road construction. There are more than 100 kinds of mammal in the area, 60 kinds of reptile and amphibian, 450 kinds of bird and nine kinds of rhododendron!

The Annapurna range features some of the highest-possible mountain views. The finest moments of this trek are at sunrise, when the sun dances across the mountains. You will occasionally be granted 360-degree vistas at some of the higher points along the trail.

Regional Map

The Annapurna Conservation Area is in the mid-western part of Nepal, from the Kali Gandaki river in the west to Marshyangdi in the east.

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Recommended Map

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There are quite a few good maps available of the Annapurna region. The one we recommend is called Around Annapurna 1:125 000. It provides full coverage of the Annapurna Conservation Area and Annapurna Sanctuary, with detailed trails, walking distances and altitudes.

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Itinerary

Please note that there are several Annapurna Base Camp trek itineraries that can be done.

Below we have laid out the most popular version – 11 days, including a pre and post stay in KTM. It is possible to do the trek in a shorter time, but you would need to be very fit and well acclimatised. Equally, you could take a few more days and build in some time to rest and acclimatise.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11​​​​

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Video Overview

An absolutely brilliant video overview of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek by Ben Southall from Best Life in the World. It’s 07:29 long, but worth every minute. ENJOY!

Recommended Guidebook

In terms of guidebooks we highly recommend Trek to Annapurna Base Camp by Brian Lawrenson or Annapurna: A Trekker’s Guideby Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons.

For amazing photography check out Annapurna Base Camp Trek: A Photographic Journey by Sanjeev Mathur .

For a super entertaining read on the Annapurna region we recommend You Couldn’t Make it Up!: Ordinary Guy, Extraordinary Life by Mike Freedman.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?


Insurance Information

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Trekking insurance is vitally important in Nepal. This is particularly true on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek which is remote. If an accident should occur that requires medical assistance and evacuation you will most certainly want the right trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and further treatment.

Make sure to have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like damaged, lost, stolen or delayed baggage; flight delays and interruptions; and tour operators default.

This article on travel and trekking insurance provides great information on what type of insurance you need, as well as provides an easy quote calculator from a leading travel operator.

Other Routes

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Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular and iconic treks in Nepal. Trekkers get to retrace the early footsteps taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on their historic Everest expedition in 1953. Discover the Everest Base Camp Trek.

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Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley Trek is a relatively easy trek and is often far less busy than other popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. The trek can be done in seven days, however, it usually takes 10 to 12 days. Discover the Langtang Valley Trek.

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Manaslu Circuit Trek

Robin Boustead, author of Nepal Trekking & the Great Himalaya Trail: A route and planning guide, pronounced, “Many would argue that the Manaslu Circuit trail is the best general trek in the country.” Discover the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

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