Playground Outdoors

Annapurna Base Camp

A Nepal trekking classic for reasons you will only understand after navigating this amazing route to one of the world’s most stunning massifs, with Annapurna towering at 26,550 feet. En-route, we find thick jungles filled with banana trees, bamboo, rhododendron forests, an up-close look at one of Nepal’s most sacred mountains - the 22,950 foot Machhapuchhre, high-swinging suspension bridges, the hot springs at Jhinu, traditional Nepali food like dal bhat, cozy homestays in rural teahouses and the raw beauty of Nepal’s wilderness.

Difficulty

SAC T3 Demanding Mountain Hiking

Paths are not always visible. Exposed sections can be safeguarded with ropes or chains. The hands might be needed for balance. Can have exposed sections with danger of falling, scree slopes, pathless craggy ground.

Duration

11 days

Delhi to Delhi
4 days travel & rest
7 days hiking & camping

Distance

85 km / 53 mi

Maximum Altitude

4400 m / 14430 ft

Price

₹1,50,000 $2100

Itinerary


Welcome to Nepal! The prayer flag-lined streets & markets are a tempting reason to stay and explore, but use your day in Kathmandu to gather any remaining trekking items you may need (trust us, you’ll find everything here), and have a briefing with us on what the upcoming days will hold. You’ll have all the time you want to explore when we get back!

Our first look at rural Nepal, we head to Pokhara, a city that rests along the shores of Phewa Lake, and is alive and bustling with cozy cafes, regular festivals, local handicraft markets, beach-side restaurants. Pokhara is the gateway to the treks of the Annapurna Conservation Area, and we will spend the night debriefing, getting any last minute supplies and exploring if time permits!

We make the quick drive up and out of Pokhara, with the 22,950 foot Machhapuchhre (fishtail peak) visible the entire time we rise out of the valley. In a few days, we will be standing at the base of this sacred mountain. From Nayapul, we grab our bags and head into the thriving jungle that dominate the lower altitudes of the Annapurna Conservation Area. Passing banana trees, crop fields and the old suspension bridge at Bhurungdi River, we find the cascading waterfall and duck pond at Syauli Bazar, before beginning to climb the stone steps to our left. We will continue to climb through the mountainside villages until reaching the village of Kimche, where the trail levels out slightly. By late afternoon, after passing a temple hidden in the forested undergrowth, we round the bend to find Ghandruk, a cozy village home to the Gurung Cultural Museum and fantastic vistas of the valley below as well as Machhapuchhre and Hiunchuli off in the distance.

Today’s theme is “up and down.” We first have the treat of hiking through the rest of Ghandruk village, getting a chance to see what the daily going-ons of this community, before making the 200 meter climb to the village of Kimrong Danda. From the ridge this village is built on, valley views open up below us on both sides before we plunge back into the thick forest, sunlight barely penetrating, until reaching the bridge crossing Kimrong Khola (river) on the valley floor. The village of Kimrong lies on the other side, our riverside lunch point for the day. From here, we make the steep climb up the terraced crop fields and into the bright rosy-pink rhododendron forest above. At the top, we find the massive village of Chhomrong, with cafes, teahouses and temples, cascading all the way down the other side of the mountain. We follow the stone steps to cross yet another iconic suspension bridge before making the day’s final climb up to Lower Sinuwa.

We start the day off with the forested climb to Upper Sinuwa and then on to Kuldigar, before descending to the village of Bamboo - named for the thick bamboo forests surrounding this area of trail. The forest today is absolutely spectacular, laced with green, mossy vines, natural springs gushing out of trailside rocks (take a sip, it’s delicious!), bridges crossing the ravines and undergrowth so dense, the trees form a green tunnel for us as we pass through. The trail continues on and up past the village of Dovan, where a thundering waterfall can be seen plummeting from the opposite side of the river, and past the quaint teahouse village of Himalaya (yep, you read that right). Just before reaching Deurali, we pass the Hinku Cave to our left and cross an avalanched snowfield.

After yesterday’s 3,000 foot climb, today will seem like a cakewalk. Climbing out of Deurali, we leave the forests below and carry on through scrub across the Modi Khola (River) twice, following along the river up snow fields into the narrowing valley. Here we reach MBC, or Machhapuchhre Base Camp, wedged in between the enormous mountains that now surround us.

Today is long, but it’s what we came for. We head off from MBC before dawn to reach Annapurna Base Camp by sunrise. The route takes up the left side of the undulating Annapurna Glacier’s lateral moraine. No vegetation is anywhere to be found now, and we rise up the constant incline of the snow covered terrain until we stand at the base of one of the world’s tallest mountains. The sunrise on Annapurna turns the entire massif a blinding golden yellow, rising 26,550 feet above sea level right in front of you. It’s a humbling moment. Making our descent, we pass back down by MBC, Deurali, Himalaya and Dovan until arriving in the cozy village of Bamboo, the teahouses surrounded by gardens.

We are in for a treat today. After retracing the ups and downs through the once again thriving forests of the lower valleys, we arrive at the climb up Chhomrong, diverting at the top to the steep ascent to Jhinu, a village perched on a mountainous outcropping. A 20 minute walk below to the river, and we find the Jhinu Hot Springs, three steaming pools along the riverside welcoming us after our long week’s journey.

For 12 final kilometers, we cross the massive suspension bridge just after Jhinu - the longest of the entire trek - and descend back to Nayapul through the thick rhododendron forests one final time. From Nayapul, we grab our return vehicle and head back to Pokhara for a night of good food, rest, exploring and celebration by the lakeside.

Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu

Fly out of Kathmandu for Delhi or elsewhere.

Playground Perks


Handcrafted & Curated

We don’t copy our itineraries off the internet. We scout and design all trip offerings personally. This ensures enough time to acclimatise at high altitude, explore around the campsite, and indulge in authentic local experiences so you don’t miss out on anything.

Everything Included

Honestly, everything. Internal flights, best-in-class travel insurance, personal camping equipment, and all meals - we’ll take care of everything that most travel operators will mark with an asterisk. You pay for nothing except personal purchases from the day your trip starts.

Equipment & Safety

4 season Mountain Hardwear tents and sleeping bags, emergency oxygen reserves & PACs to provide a safety net against AMS, UIAA Safety Label glacier rescue kits for technical trails, WAFA/WFR & CPR certified guides, best-in-class adventure insurance - we’ve always got a plan B.

Personalised & Bespoke

We curate bespoke adventures and trips every day because we recognise that everyone’s travel bug is unique. When it comes to adventure travel, there are different ways to experience the world’s most beautiful places, because every traveler is different - which is why we’ve stepped in to provide a space for environmental advocacy, cross-cultural connections, wellness and adventure to combine - all through travel.

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel starts with acknowledging that travel and tourism often contribute to the global climate crisis. We believe in the positive power of travel to transform mindsets & generate a sense of preservation towards wild spaces. We follow LNT Principles, minimise our carbon footprint, adopt regenerative practices & give back to local communities - from making sure our field staff are well equipped to higher-than-industry-standard compensation.

Self Guided & Operated

We’ll never hand you off to someone else - we run all trips ourselves. We minimise external contracting and only partner with people we know and trust personally. While we employ and collaborate with local guides and support staff for their unparalleled expertise and knowledge of the Himalayan ranges, our trips are led by one of our core team members so you always have a single point of contact.