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Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide

Discover everything you need to know about the trek to Annapurna Base Camp with our comprehensive guide. Get tips, insights, and plan your adventure today.

If you are planning an Annapurna Base Camp Trek and looking for a complete guide before heading out, you are in the right place. Trekking enthusiasts worldwide might have heard about Nepal for its incredible trekking destinations, such as Annapurna Base Camp. The country has other trekking destinations, such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, and Langtang Valley Trek.

Among these many awesome treks in Nepal, the trek to Annapurna Base Camp successfully creates its place in the hearts of the trekkers with its unique trekking trails. Distinct from other trekking destinations, the Annapurna Base Camp trekking trails are mostly covered with diverse landscapes with unique flora and fauna. The trekking time is shorter, too, making it perfect for those looking to relish the astonishing Himalayas but are time-bound.   

If you are also looking forward to picking Annapurna Base Camp as your trekking destination and immersing yourself in astonishing nature, then you have landed on the right page. This article presents you with the ABC Trek Guide, which covers everything you need to know before embarking on your expedition.

Complete Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide

annapurna base camp trek guide

Annapurna Base Camp trekking is suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. However, it does demand physical and mental preparation. So, we encourage you to take the time to prepare well to ensure an enjoyable and comfortable trek. Here are some useful tips for preparing for the ABC trek. Let’s check them out. 

Altitude Sickness and Ways to Acclimatize

While trekking around the ABC region, you must first know about Altitude sickness. Trekkers who do not know about altitude sickness are most prone to it. During your trek to the Annapurna range, you will reach an altitude of over 4130m. The chances of Altitude sickness increase at a height above 3000m. 

As you climb the altitude, the oxygen level and the air pressure are lower. The lower air pressure and oxygen level start reacting with the body, weakening it. If you suffer from Altitude sickness, you will feel symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue.

There are a few types of Altitude Sickness, like Acute Mountain Sickness, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

One easy preventive measure for Altitude sickness is climbing altitude slowly and acclimatizing. When you rush toward high altitude, your body cannot adjust to the lower oxygen levels. So, you must climb altitude gradually. 

This way, you can acclimatize to the climate and altitude. There are a few ways to acclimatize during your trek, and they are:

Climb High, Sleep Low: One of the best and most appropriate ways of acclimatization is to climb high and sleep low. While trekking in the ABC region, you will reach above 4000m, but it is always wise to descend and sleep at a lower altitude. 

Be Patient: During your trek to ABC, patience is a virtue. There is no point rushing to the top. Be patient. Take a break whenever you can so you won’t be fatigued and get used to the climate and surroundings.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids is important to acclimate. Aim for 3-4 liters of water daily. Electrolyte-rich drinks can also help replace lost salts and minerals. It’s best to use simple and familiar words. 

Physical Fitness

On each trekking day, you will walk for several hours with steep ascents and descents. Therefore, Annapurna Base camp trekking requires you to have a good level of fitness. We encourage you to work on your fitness for 12 to 16 weeks before you embark on the trekking trails. Physical activities such as jogging, hiking, cycling, or swimming can achieve physical fitness during trekking. In addition, cardio exercises can help you increase your stamina and achieve muscle endurance. So, give time for those activities; it will make your trek much easier. 

Mentally Preparation for Trek

Along with physical fitness, you must also be mentally prepared for the trek. Sometimes anxiety and fear can take over and ruin your fun. So the best way to prepare mentally is to know about the trek. You can research the trek, its difficulty, foods, and accommodation for the trek, and more. Furthermore, you can also take meditation, yoga, or breathing classes so that you’ll have an easy time breathing at a high altitude.

Accommodation and Food During Trekking

Accommodation and Food are very important during your ABC Trek. You will spend a few days in the city areas, such as Kathmandu and Pokhara, where you can stay in five-star, three-star, or budget hotels and lodges. As you start trekking further, you will come across remote, secluded areas where you will only find teahouses.

Small homes in these teahouses will have a few cozy rooms and comfortable beds. During the peak season, you’ll have to share your rooms with other trekkers. Similarly, you must share your bathroom and sink with other trekkers.

If you are a female solo traveler, you can get a single room without paying an extra amount, but only if the rooms are not prebooked., During your stay in the teahouse, you can get hot showers and drinking water if you pay an additional amount.

Regarding food, you’ll have three meals during your trekking period. Early in the morning, you’ll have a delicious breakfast, lunch at noon, and dinner at night at the place of your overnight stay. You’ll have a chance to eat local Nepali foods like Dal, Bhat, and Vegetable curry and Western foods like pizzas, berries, and dumplings.

What to pack For Trekking to ABC?

Intelligent packing matters for the trek to Annapurna. If you leave essential gear and equipment behind, you may encounter numerous challenges and risks. Overpacking also leads to difficulties. So, pack wisely. 

Your right packing starts with the right backpack, as you will carry all the necessary gear and equipment. A backpack of 40 to 50 L would be an ideal choice. However, we recommend checking it before your trekking days to ensure it is suitable for all the necessary items. So, what should you include in your backpack? Here is the list of important packing.

  • Comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Warm and waterproof clothes.
  • First aid kits and basic medicines.
  • Sun protection gear, including sunscreen and hat.
  • Hiking pants or tights. 
  • A light jacket or fleece jacket 
  • Gloves 
  • Light snacks  

Documents Required For Visa

You need to submit some documents that are required for a Visa, and they are as follows:

  1. Name lists of trekkers
  2. Tax clearance Certificate of Trekking Agency
  3. A license issued by Nepal Rastra Bank allowing exchanging of foreign currencies
  4. A license issued by The Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation to operate a trekking business
  5. Voucher of Bank payment (fees) for permits
  6. Program schedule of trekking
  7. Documents relating to the insurance of the trekkers (foreign nationals) and Nepalese staff accompanying the trekkers
  8. Program Schedule of trekking
  9. Copy of Passport
  10. Copy of valid Visa sufficient to cover trekking days
  11. Guarantee letter of Agency
  12. Registration Certificate of Permanent Account Number
  13. Agreement with Agency

Permits and fees

Annapurna base camp trekking routes lie inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, which requires permits for entrance. The two permits you must obtain from the government authority are The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). 

You can get the permits from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Pokhara. To apply, you must submit 2 passport-size photos and a copy of your passport. Also, you will need to provide a fee for the permits when applying. The permission cost varies depending on the nationality of the trekkers. Here are the details regarding the permit fees.

  • ACAP Permit fees
Nationality Cost per person
Non-SAARC countriesNPR 3000 (US $25)
SAARC countriesNPR 1000 (US $8)
  • TIMS Permit fees for SAARC countries 
Trekker Cost per person
Individual TrekkerNPR 600 (US $5)
Group TrekkerNPR 300
  • TIMS Permit fees for Non-SAARC countries
Trekker Cost per person
Individual TrekkerNPR 2000 (US $17)
Group TrekkerNPR 1000 (US $8)

Safety precautions

As mentioned earlier, trekking in the high Himalayan region involves a certain degree of risk. Therefore, it becomes important to consider the safety precautions before commencing the journey on Annapurna Base Camp trekking. To ensure a safe journey, here are some useful tips to consider.

  • Always choose a licensed guide and a porter. They will not only help you stay safe but also eliminate and manage the consequences of unfortunate incidents.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated. This will help you keep your body energized. Also, it is key to preventing altitude sickness.
  • Always follow a healthy and balanced diet to avoid the risks of sickness and illness.
  • Do not rush on trekking trails. Make sure to acclimatize properly before ascending to higher altitudes. 

Best Time to do the Annapurna Base Camp trek

sunrise view from annapurna base camp

While the Annapurna Base camp trek is open for all months in a year, there certainly is a time of the year, when you make the most of your trek. In particular, Autumn (September to November) and spring seasons (March to May) are considered the best times to do the Annapurna base camp trek.  

In the spring, wildflowers bloom to add beauty to your trekking trails. Vibrant flowers welcome you all around. The temperatures are also mild and pleasant, making trekking comfortable.  

Autumn is considered the best time of the year for the ABC trek, and the trekking route is usually busy. This season is perfect for scenic views and climate conditions. The skies are usually clear with dry weather, presenting stunning views of the region’s sky-touching mountains.

Some trekkers also prefer to travel in the winter to see the mesmerizing glacial view of the Annapurna region. However, they recommend avoiding the monsoon season due to relentless rain, leeches, and insects, as well as the chance of natural disasters.

However, the best seasons also mean the busiest seasons. Therefore, you can expect the trekking trails to be crowded. Be ready for it.  

You may also like- 14 days Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary

Different routes of ABC trek

Wonder how to go to Annapurna base camp following the best seasons of the year? Well, there are two different routes – the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek and the Modi Khola Valley trek. These routes are unique to offer you a mesmerizing trekking experience. Let’s hike through them in detail.  

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Route

If you are looking for a shorter route, then the Ghorepani Poon Hill route is an ideal option for you. By selecting this route, you can complete the Annapurna base camp trek in about five to seven days.  First, you will drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, where you will stay overnight.

You will commence your trek from Nayapul, passing through picturesque villages such as Tikhedhunga, Ghorepani, and Tadapani. These villages are home to Authentic Gurung and Magar groups, and you will experience their unique culture. The villagers are friendly, so we encourage you to talk with them on your way. This will allow you to learn about exciting life under the shadows of the Himalayas. 

Along the trek, you will also pass through beautiful rhododendron forests, which will surely delight you. However, the key highlight of this trek is the hike up to Poon Hill, from where you can witness the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas. During this trek, you can visit Ghandruk and Jhinu Danda and indulge in a natural hot springs bath.

To rate the difficulty level, the Annapurna base camp trek through Ghorepani Poon Hill is moderately difficult. You can complete it with a fine level of physical fitness. We recommend choosing the time during the spring or autumn for easier and more comfortable trekking. In those seasons, the weather is stable, too, offering breathtaking scenic views.  

The Modi Khola Valley Trek

Annapurna Base camp trekking following the Modi Khola Valley trek is ideal if you are ok with the extended trekking period. Following this route, completing the trek will take 10 to 14 days. It means you have ample time and opportunity to explore the remote and preserved parts of the Annapurna region. However, it is a relatively challenging route that takes you through remote and rugged terrain. So, prepare yourself accordingly.  

Just like the Ghorepani Poon Hill route, you will commence your trek from Nayapul and will pass through the same trekking trails until you arrive at Tadapani. From Tadapani, the trail diverges and passes through the Modi Khola Valley. The trekking trails take you through the villages of Chomrong, Bamboo, Dovan, and Deurali, which, too, are inhibited by Gurung and Magar groups. The key highlight of this route is the panoramic view of the Annapurna massif from the trekking trails. The view is jaw-dropping and clicks an image in your mind to relish life-long.  

Additionally, you have more space for yourself as the route is less crowded comparatively. This makes the route perfect for those who love to trek in a quieter environment. Once again, spring and autumn are the best time for trekking through this route. Thanks to stable weather and clearer skies, it provides unobstructed views of snow-capped mountains.  

What should you expect in terms of food and lodging?  

Now that you know that the Annapurna base camp trek following the Modi Khola Valley route is more remote and less crowded, you can expect fewer lodges and teahouses. However, the available accommodations do provide quality food and accommodation services. 

Though the food options on this route are more basic than the alternative route, you will still find various local and Western food options. The accommodations are also clean and facilitated with bathrooms and hot showers. 

Overall, the food and lodging on the Modi Khola Valley trek are more limited than on the Ghorepani Poon Hill route. However, you will enjoy the unique experience of staying in off-the-beaten teahouses. However, be mindful that fewer lodges and accommodations mean that pre-planning is crucial, especially during busy seasons.

Cost to Trek to Annapurna Base Camp

annapurna base camp

The cost of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp varies depending on your chosen option from the above routes. Other major factors influencing your trekking cost include transportation, accommodations, food, gear and equipment, and additional expenses such as hiring a porter or guide.   

Your transportation cost to arrive at the trekking route’s starting point depends on your chosen mode. You can travel via flight or bus. If you plan to fly, you must add up the budget for flights to and from Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, if you prefer to drive, the cost is significantly lower with extended traveling time.  

As we discussed earlier, you must obtain several permits for the ABC trek, and you will have to spend on the permission fee, too. Also, the fee for ACAP and TIMS permits varies according to your nationality.

One major factor influencing your budget is lodging and food costs during your trek. Your spending here depends on your chosen accommodation and food service. You can expect to spend from $5 to $15 per night for a room. You will generally spend around $3 to $5 for food prices for a meal.

Another big factor influencing your budget is trekking gear and equipment, which you can purchase or rent. Your total budget will vary according to your packing list and the quality of gear. Some must-bring items include hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, a fleece jacket, and gloves.

On average, you will likely spend around USD 1000 to USD 1500, depending on your preference, trekking length, and season. It is also important to note that your trekking expenses will be higher when you trek individually than in a group. This is because you will share the fee for hiring guides, porters, and hotels. In addition, many trekking agencies offer good discounts for group travelers, saving you a lot.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Overview

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is all about trekking in the heart of the Annapurna massif, surrounded by jaw-dropping Himalayan views. The trekking trails pass through diverse landscapes and terrains where lush green alpine, bamboo, and rhododendron forest keeps you enticed throughout your journey. As you reach higher, you will arrive at Annapurna Sanctuary. In this naturally wonderful place, you are surrounded by some of the world’s highest snow-capped mountains, including Annapurna I, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna South.

In addition to natural wonders, a hike to Annapurna Base camp is also an opportunity to experience the unique lifestyle of traditional Nepalese villages. These authentic villages are inhabited by indigenous communities such as Magar, Thakkali, Gurung, and Loba. Each settlement has unique costumes, traditions, and languages. During your stay, you will interact with the locals and experience their unique way of life. Their beautifully built traditional houses made of mud and stones, terraced fields, and animal farming offer you a staggering glimpse of life in the arms of the Himalayas.  

You will begin your journey to Annapurna base camp from Pokhara, which is known for offering incredible, naturally beautiful scenery. From the picturesque town, you will glimpse the stunning Annapurna region from a distance.  

Depending on the chosen itinerary, completing the Annapurna Base camp trekking will take around 7 to 14 days. The trekking days are moderately challenging as you will walk on numerous steep ascents, descents, and rocky paths. Plus, there is always the risk of altitude sickness, slips, and trips alongside unpredictable weather when you trek in the high Himalayan region. With the right preparation and planning, it is easy for you to overcome these challenges and risks and make the most of a life-inspiring ABC trek while also ensuring safety. So, how to prepare for the Annapurna base camp trek?  


Considering the estimated cost, trekking to Annapurna Base camp requires less spending than other Himalayan trekking in Nepal to be budget-friendly. However, the experience you get from this low-budget trekking is better than other high-cost trekking adventures in Nepal.  

ABC trek in Nepal presents unforgettable experiences that mesmerize you with an awesome combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical adventure. Walking through the diverse landscapes with a range of scenic trekking routes, it couldn’t get any better to witness some of the world’s most magnificent peaks, including the iconic Annapurna massif. In addition, you can choose the trekking duration by selecting the different routes. So, you do not have to miss the opportunity to witness Himalayan beauty because time is limited. 

Though the ABC trek allows you to experience exceptional Himalayan regions quickly, it can be challenging. This is why you must choose an experienced and reliable trekking agency that assures safety and comfort. Hillary Step Treks is the best trekking agency in Nepal to offer you the best possible trekking experience in the Annapurna region while ensuring safety. We care for everything, from arranging the best logistics and obtaining permits to securing the best accommodation and food throughout your journey. So, you can just focus on living every moment in nature while enjoying the jaw-dropping scenic views that will create a memory to cheer forever. Contact Hillary Step Treks today.  


How difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Trek to Annapurna Base Camp is considered moderately difficult trekking. You will pass through the trekking trails with steep ascents and descents in the high-altitude regions. So, it does provide you with some challenges. However, anyone can complete it with proper preparation, planning, and training.  

Is Annapurna Base Camp for Beginners?

Though Annapurna Base Camp can be challenging, you do not need previous trekking experience. Beginners can also complete the trek. However, proper preparation and training are required to avoid challenges and risks.   

Which month should you trek to Annapurna Base Camp?

In particular, Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are considered the best times to do the Annapurna base camp trek. These months provide comfortable temperatures and clear weather.   

Is Annapurna harder than K2?

Annapurna Base Camp trek is considered moderately difficult trekking. You can easily achieve it with basic physical fitness and training. On the other hand, K2 is considered one of the world’s most challenging peaks to climb. It requires you to have good technical climbing skills and experience. Therefore, Annapurna trekking is not harder than K2.  

Do you need oxygen to climb Annapurna?

You are not required to carry oxygen cylinders for the ABC trek. However, altitude sickness may be an issue for some who need supplemental oxygen. Therefore, taking an oxygen supplement is a good option, though it is not mandatory.  

What fitness level do you need for Annapurna Base Camp?

The Annapurna base camp trek requires a good level of fitness. You will be walking for 4 to 6 hours each day, and trekking trails involve steep ascents and descents. With good physical fitness, it is easy to eliminate or reduce challenges on trekking trails.

Hillary Treks

My name is Hillary. Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal's Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.

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