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Annapurna Sanctuary Vs. Ghorepani Trek

Nepal is among the most popular trekking destinations, especially the Annapurna Region. It is also one of the world’s top spots for trekking adventures. With well-marked trails and various routes, Nepal is the perfect location for beginners and seasoned hikers.

Annapurna Sanctuary Vs. Ghorepani Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Vs. Ghorepani Trek, which one is better? Regarding duration, Ghorepani is better, while Annapurna Sanctuary is good regarding views. Are you planning your trek in the Annapurna Region? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are a government company offering the best customer satisfaction service. One major reason for choosing us is that we offer you a trek customization service.

Introduction to Annapurna Sanctuary Vs. Ghorepani Trek

Two of the popular treks in the Annapurna region include the Annapurna Base Camp trek, also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary trek and the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. This region of Nepal provides diverse landscapes. It is one of the well-maintained trekking destinations with moderate difficulty. 

Furthermore, people recognize the locals for their warm hospitality and friendly behavior. Regardless of your chosen trekking spot, both treks offer unique experiences and unforgettable memories in the majestic Annapurna region.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

One of the spectacular short trekking destinations starts from Nayapul. The trek will lead you on a deeper journey into the heart of the Annapurna range. Depending on your chosen route and trekking package, it lasts 9 to 14 days.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Vs. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

The trek usually takes you to a huge terrain ranging from terraced raised fluids and glacier moraine to shimmering lakes. One major highlight of the trek is Annapurna Base Camp, located at 4130 meters. Also, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the snow-capped mountain ranges like Macchapuchere, Hiuchuli, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, and Annapurna.

Along the way, you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself in the cultural and traditional practices of the local place. Gurung and Sherpa mainly inhabit this region. Also, explore Jhini Danda, a hot spring’ to relax and rejuvenate your body.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Also known as one of the shortest trekking destinations in the Annapurna region, it is one of the finest and most satisfying trekking routes. Poon Hill is perfect for those with limited time or trekking experience. When trekking through this trail, you will pass lush forests, charming villages, and terraced fields with stunning views of the Himalayas.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Vs. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

One of the key highlights of this trek is reaching Poon Hill. It is a famous viewpoint renowned for its panoramic sunrise views over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. Immerse yourself in local culture by interacting with the friendly villagers from the Gurung and Magar communities.

Offering the perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and moderate trekking challenges with the shortest distance, Ghorepani is the second most popular trekking destination in the Annapurna region of Nepal.

Comparing Trekking Routes: Poon Hill Vs. Annapurna Base Camp

Both Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek are fantastic options in the Annapurna region, each offering unique experiences.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Route

The trek to Annapurna is longer and more challenging, usually lasting 10 to 14 days. It begins in Nayapul, a small town about an hour from Kathmandu. You start your trekking journey along the Modi Khola, passing through Birethani and Tikhedhunga.

The trekking routes in the Annapurna region ascend steadily through the rhododendron forest, reaching the popular spots Ghorepani and Machhapuchhare Base Camp. Finally, passing through many ups and downs, you reach the Annapurna Base Camp. It gives mesmerizing views of the Himalayas like Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Machhapuchhare.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

On the other hand, Ghorepani is the shortest trekking option, with just 4-5 days. Similarly to the Sanctuary Trek, this trek starts from Nayapul and heads towards Birenthanti and Tikheldhunga. You walk alongside the Modi Khola and follow the same trekking path until you reach Ghorepani.

The trail is now versus off, and the route changes. From Ghorepani, you should wake up early and start your walk towards the Poon Hill viewpoint. When you reach the top, you will see breathtaking sunrise views over Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The same day you can descend to Ghorepani and continue your journey back to Tadapani and Ghandruk.

Highlights and Attractions

What are the major attractions of the trek? Looking for what both treks offer? Here are some major highlights of two trekking destinations in the Annapurna region.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

  • Sunrise at the Annapurna Base Camp with a view of Annapurna I (8,091 m).
  • Stunning views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre peaks along the way.
  • Passing through traditional Gurung villages and terraced farmland.
  • Hiking through diverse landscapes, from lush jungles to rugged rock formations.
  • Opportunities for hot springs and spa treatments in the town of Jhinu Danda.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

  • Spectacular sunrise view over Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains.
  • Exploring charming Gurung and Magar villages.
  • The spot has diverse wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and occasionally mountain goats.
  • Paranomic snow-capped mountain views: Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare.
  • Witness the mesmerizing views of Modi Khola Valley

Best Time to Visit

Having four different seasons, similar to all other regions of Nepal, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, temperature and weather vary. No matter the perfect time you choose, the weather patterns in the Himalayas are unpredictable. 

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Many consider the Autumn season, from September to November, the best time to trek the Annapurna route. This is the per-winter season in Nepal, offering the most favorable weather conditions for trekkers. The average daytime temperature ranges from 12 to 20 degrees, while the temperature can drop to 3-5 degrees at night. If you trek in this season, expect crowded trails.

Another good time to explore Sanctuary is the spring season, from March to June. During this time, the weather is comfortable and warm. However, prepare for temperatures to drop below -8 during the night. Traveling in this season, you can explore the lush green forests with hues of rhododendrons and magnolia blooms. 

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Similar to Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, the best time to visit Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is Spring and Autumn. During this peak season of the trek, you will find clear skies, a stunning view of the Rhodonderns forest, and clear mountain vistas. The temperature during this season ranges from 10 to 24 degrees during the day, while you notice a temperature drop at night.

Cultural Experience

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

While trekking to the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, you will pass through more remote Ghorepani villages and interact with local communities. You can engage with diverse ethnic groups such as the Magar, Gurungs, and Thakali people. You can experience all the culture, customs, traditions, and way of life while simultaneously enjoying the beauty of the Himalayas. Try its local dishes and immerse yourself in cultural ceremonies to learn more about the region’s heritage.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

On the other hand, the trek to Poon Hill also offers cultural immersion in a more condensed manner. You can learn about the daily routines, language, customs, and festivals of different people-inhabited villages like Ghorepani and Tadapani. Most people living in the areas are Gurung and Magar. With the focus of this trek being primarily natural beauty, you still have an opportunity to explore the local culture and gain more understanding of the area.

Accommodation and Facilities

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Located at higher elevations, there are fewer tea houses and basic lodges. There are only three to four teahouses at the Annapurna Base Camp. The tea houses offer rooms on a twin-share basis. After departing the Ghorepani, you will find basic amenities hotels that provide food and a day stay. With limited hotels available, you may have difficulty finding hotel rooms. So, early booking is mandatory.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

You will also find simple accommodation on this trail. Fortunately, nice rooms are available in the majority of teahouses. Most rooms have twin beds, and a few have attached bathrooms. Based on your room preferences, one night costs around $3 to $6. Compared to the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, hotels at lower elevations offer many better options and more amenities.

Cost Comparision

The cost of trekking in the Annapurna region typically depends on various factors. It includes the duration of the trek, accommodation, permit fees, guide and porter services, and additional expenses like food and transportation.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

The cost of the Annapurna Sanctuary trek package mainly depends on the facilities you wish to use during the trekking. In general, it can range from $900 to $1500. The cost usually includes accommodations in teahouses or loges, three meals, permits, and the service of a guide and porter. Despite the area’s reputation for being expensive, the final view will make every penny worth it. If you are traveling in a group, you can decrease your cost.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Taking for just around 4 to 5 days, the cost of the Poon Hill trek is comparatively less than the Sanctuary Trek. It ranges between $300 to $500 only. However, the lower cost does not mean you have less adventure and more views. You can explore some views and can create unforgettable memories. 

Pros and Cons

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek


  • Deep immersion into the heart of the Himalayas.
  • Longer duration allows for a more adventurous experience.
  • Opportunities for wildlife seeing like red pandas and blue sheep.
  • Chance to visit Machhapuchhare Base Camp.


  • Longer trek duration may not be suitable for beginner trekkers.
  • It requires a high fitness level, located above 5000 meters.
  • Unpredictable weather conditions
  • Limited accommodation options along the trail.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek


  • Stunning views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
  • The shorter duration makes it ideal for all fitness-level travelers.
  • Well-established trails with ample treehouses.
  • Opportunity to experience local culture.


  • Crowded trails as most of the people visit it because of its business.
  • Limited time for exploring the surrounding areas.
  • It may not offer the same level of sightseeing as the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.

Preparation for the Trek

Are you planning for trekking in Nepal? If that is true, you should prepare yourself. Preparing for a trek in the Annapurna region involves careful consideration of your packing list and physical preparation.

Packing List

  • Clothing: Dress in layers and wear a waterproof jacket to protect yourself from unpredictable weather.
  • Footwear: Wear sturdy boots with good ankle supports.
  • Backpack: Choose a comfortable and properly fitting backpack to carry all your essentials.
  • Trekking Gear: Pack trekking poles for stability on uneven terrain and even carry a headlamp.
  • Personal items: Include toiletries, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and other personal essentials.
  • First-aid kit: Carry a basic first-aid kit with bandages, pain relievers, and wipes.
  • Snacks: Bring energy-giving snacks like nuts, fruits, and apples.

Physical Preparation

If you want to be physically fit, consider regular cardio exercise. It helps to increase your stamina. Participate in hiking, walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming. Strengthen your leg muscles, core, and upper body with exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups. Besides, you can also build endurance and test your gear by going on a practice hike. Also, maintain a healthy diet of 3/4 months before you trek to the Annapurna region.

Safety and Preventions

It is always better to consider your safety during trekking. To have a safe and memorable Annapurna region trekking, consider the following things:

  • Hire a Guide or Porter: Having someone local with you who knows the area well is good. They can help if there’s trouble.
  • Be careful with Heights: Going up high can make you sick. Take it slow and listen to your body. If you feel uneasy, it’s okay to back down.
  • Watch the weather: Always Google and learn what the weather will be like on your trekking days. If it is not good, consider rescheduling your trip.
  • Drink and Eat Well: Maintain your diet before you trek. Also, drink lots of water and snacks during the trek to remain safe.
  • Stay Connected: Always carry a phone as needed in emergencies. It’s good to have a way to find help if you need it.


Offering unforgettable memories in the stunning landscapes of the Annapurna region, both Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp trek take you into the heart of the Himalayas. The Sanctuary Trek takes you deep into the mountains for a longer time. At the same time, the Poon Hill Trek offers stunning vistas views and a cultural experience in a shorter trek. 

The choice between the two treks depends on individual preferences, time constraints, and trekking goals. Whether seeking solitude in the wilderness or iconic sunrise vistas, both treks promise lasting adventures amidst Nepal’s majestic Annapurna region.

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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