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All About Annapurna Base Camp Trek In 2021

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By Author: Rabindra Adhikari
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Annapurna is the massif in the central Himalaya jagged with some of the loftiest peaks including Annapurna I (8,091 m), the tenth highest in the world. The 7,629 sq km area around the Annapurna massif protected as Annapurna conservation area makes it Nepal's largest conservation. Trekking in the Annapurna region has the benefit of overlooking at neighboring eight thousand meter peaks of Dhaulagiri and Manaslu.

Among the treks in the Annapurna region, Annapurna base camp trek is the most popular for several regions including easy access, well established teahouses and of course beautiful scenery. The base camp is a small glacial valley surrounded at 360 degree by snow peaks including Annapurna I and Mt Fishtail.

Why is Annapurna base camp so popular?

The view from the base camp is one of the most spectacular in the whole Himalayas as it offers 360 degree view of Machhapuchhre (6993m),Annapurna III (7555M), Gangapurna (7454m), Singu Chuli (6501m), Annpurna I(8091m), Annapurna South (7219m) and Hiunchuli (6441m).

The ...
... trek is in easy access from the nearest city Pokhara. It just takes about a week from Pokhara and back.

8 days Annapurna base camp trek takes a detour from Ghorepani allowing trekkers to have another famous panoramic view from Pooh Hill.

The trekking route winds through one of the biggest and most diverse Rhododendron forests in the world.

The foothills of Annapurna are home of Gurung and Magar ethnic groups of Nepal. They are the most preferred recruits for British Gurkha soldiers.

Well established teahouses run by families cater delicious foods in the basic but cozy accommodation laden with western toilets, hot showers and basic en-suite bathroom in most of the places.

How many days do I need for the trek?

Annapurna base camp is ideally an 8 days trek with a detour of Ghorepani / Poon Hill which is another popular view point in Annapurna. The detour also helps to acclimatize better. The extension of the dirt road further into the valley has made it possible to do the trek in about 5 days as well. Annapurna base camp trek is possible to do in 5 days if the trekker is acclimatized from another trek recently. Otherwise one week is ideal for the trek following the straightway upstream Modi River valley.

When is the best time for the Annapurna base camp trek?

Spring and autumn are the best time for the trek. Snow starts to thaw and the sky clears up from March. Blossoms in alpine flowering plants make the trek extraordinary in spring. The trail is overcrowded from mid March till mid April. The good weather continues through mid April till mid May with fewer crowds in the trail. The monsoon rain makes it pointless to trek from June till mid September. Monsoon clouds start to clear from mid September. The sky clears up and the summer relents making it again perfect for the trek. October till mid November is the biggest trekking season in Nepal. Coming in mid November you can enjoy the good weather and fewer crowds along the trail.

Visa and Trekking permits

You can get a Nepal visa on arrival at Kathmandu airport. A Nepal visa costs US $ 25 for 15 days. Two types of permits are required for the trek in Annapurna. Normally permits are included in the trekking package and the trekking company issues the permit prior to your arrival. The permit for the Annapurna conservation area project costs USD 30. The other permit required is TIMS (Trekking information management system) which costs USD 20. Make sure to bring passport copy and passport size pictures for the visa and permits.

Transportation

You can fly or drive to Pokhara from Kathmandu. If you are arranging the trek with a trekking company, you can fly directly to Pokhara without wasting much time in Kathmandu. All tourist buses for Pokhara leave at7:00 am. The driving takes about 7 hrs on the winding mountainous road. From Pokhara, the trekking starting point Nayapul is about one and half hours drive away. For a shorter trek to Annapurna base camp, 4WD will take you further into the valley.

Food, water and accommodation

Annapurna base camp trek is the most popular trek and the locals have been running teahouses for over 30 years. Teahouses are like homestays run by the local families. Staying in the teahouse gives you an opportunity of cultural immersion. With time, teahouses have upgraded themselves into lodges with western commode, reliable hot showers and en-suite bathroom in most of the places. They also cater choices of western and local food following basic standards in taste and hygiene. Trekkers need to carry reusable water bottles for the drinking water. Trekkers can refill boiled and filtered water at every teahouse for a small fee. Bottled water is banned in the conservation area.

Annapurna base camp trek is one of the sustainable Himalayan treks offered by I Tour Nepal P Ltd. I Tour Nepal P Ltd have been promoting sustainable Nepal tours for over a decade. Unlike organized treks, trekkers stay with local family and consume local products. Guide and porters employed are a great way to connect with locals and know about the people, culture and the adventure stories. We request all trekkers to choose responsible travel to sustain the unique culture and fragile environment while boosting tourism.

More About the Author

I am an adventurer from the Himalayas of Nepal. I like trekking and discovering new places. I have a degree in culture and love to read non fiction books. I also write travel journals and blogs.

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