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15 Things You Need To Know Before Trekking To Annapurna Base Camp

Trekking Nepal: Safety Tips and Trek Recommendations
Mountain Sherpa Admin
|
May 16, 2023

If you are considering the Annapurna Base Camp trek, it is essential to have a good understanding of the cost and itinerary involved. At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we strive to provide a high-quality trekking experience at the best possible price. Nepal, with its breathtaking landscapes, is a trekker's paradise, and the Annapurna region is renowned for its majestic mountains. The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a popular choice among adventurers, offering stunning views and challenging trails. Before embarking on this adventure, it is important to familiarize yourself with what to expect.

We offer two different trek itineraries and packages to reach Annapurna Base Camp. The first option includes the most stunning viewpoint of Poonhill, also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary trek. Poonhill offers magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a must-visit spot along the trek. This itinerary allows you to fully experience the beauty of the region and capture incredible photographs.

The second option is a direct route to Annapurna Base Camp. This itinerary is designed for those with limited time but still wish to reach the base camp and witness its grandeur. By taking this route, you can shorten your trekking itinerary, saving time while still experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Annapurna region.

Additionally, if time is a constraint, we also provide the option to fly from Annapurna Base Camp to Pokhara. This allows you to reduce the duration of your trek and return to Pokhara quickly, ensuring a more time-efficient journey.
At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we prioritize providing a high-quality trekking experience. Our guides are experienced and knowledgeable, ensuring your safety and well-being throughout the trek. We also offer comfortable accommodation and delicious meals during the trek, allowing you to focus on enjoying the beauty of the Annapurna region.

Embarking on the Annapurna Base Camp trek is a remarkable adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you choose the Annapurna Sanctuary trek or the direct route to the base camp, our team at Mountain Sherpa Trekking is here to assist you and make your trekking experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

Before embarking on this trek, it is essential to familiarize yourself with several things, including what to expect during the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Here are 15 things to know before trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp:

1) What is the cost of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp?

When planning a trekking trip, it's crucial to choose a company that offers the best value for your money while providing an all-inclusive package. While some companies may offer lower prices, they may cut corners on the quality of services and not include important aspects like hotels in Kathmandu or city tours before flying to Pokhara. 
To ensure that you are getting the best deal, it's essential to compare prices and consider what is included in the itinerary. At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we offer personalized service at a reasonable price with an all-inclusive package that covers everything from your arrival to your departure.We believe in providing our clients with the best possible experience by offering high-quality services, comfortable accommodation, and well-planned itineraries. Our all-inclusive packages include airport transfers, city tours, accommodation in Kathmandu, and all meals during the trek. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer service and ensuring that our clients have a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
When choosing a trekking company, it's important to do your research and select a Sherpa company that prioritizes your needs and provides all-inclusive services at a reasonable price.

At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we guarantee an unforgettable trekking experience that exceeds your expectations. The cost of the trek varies from company to company mainly on the following bases:

  1. Itinerary: The length of the trek and the places it covers affect the cost of the trek. Longer and more extensive treks cost more than shorter ones.
  2. Season: The peak trekking season in Nepal is from September to November and March to May. During these months, the prices of trekking packages are generally higher due to high demand.
  3. Accommodation: When it comes to trekking in Annapurna base camp Nepal, there are a variety of accommodation options available to choose from, ranging from basic teahouses to comfort lodges. The type of accommodation you choose can greatly impact the overall cost of your trek. If you're looking for a comfortable and convenient pre- and post-trek stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara, our 3-star package includes the best 3-star category hotel options in both cities. These hotels provide comfortable and clean rooms, modern amenities, and excellent service, all while being affordable and within budget. For those looking to indulge in a bit of luxury before and after their trek, our 5-star package includes the best 5-star hotel options in Kathmandu and Pokhara. These hotels offer the ultimate in comfort and luxury, with spacious rooms, high-end amenities, and exceptional service. You can relax and unwind in style, and truly make the most of your pre- and post-trek stay. Ultimately, the choice of accommodation comes down to your personal preferences and budget. Regardless of which package you choose, we strive to provide the best possible service and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all our guests.
  4. Guide and Porter: Hiring a guide and porter for the trek is essential. Their cost depends on their experience and the duration of the trek.
  5. Food and drinks: When planning a trek, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost of food and drinks. While many trekking companies offer pre-selected meals, it's essential to have the freedom to choose meals based on your taste and dietary needs. At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we prioritize our clients' satisfaction and provide a more personalized experience.

    We understand that good food and drinks are crucial for an enjoyable and safe trekking experience. That's why we allow our clients to select their meals from the lodge menu, ensuring they are satisfied and that their dietary requirements are met. Our experienced Sherpa guides help clients choose healthy and delicious meals that keep them energized throughout the trek.
    Additionally, we prioritize hygiene and cleanliness in the preparation of meals. We ensure the food is fresh and follow strict standards to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. We also promote eco-friendly practices and encourage clients to bring their reusable water bottles.
    At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we believe that the quality of food and drinks plays a vital role in the overall trekking experience. We stand out from other trekking companies by offering this unique and personalized service. Our commitment to providing high-quality service and exceptional customer satisfaction is reflected in the positive feedback and reviews we receive from our clients.

  6. Permits and fees: Trekking in the Annapurna region requires various permits and fees, including the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card. The cost of these permits and fees is also included in the overall trek cost.
  7. Transportation: Transportation is a significant factor to consider when planning a Annapurna Base Camp Trek, as it can impact the overall cost of the trip. Transportation to and from the trekking starting point, as well as any additional transportation during the trek, can all add up. For instance, choosing to travel by private car/jeep before and after the trek can be significantly more expensive than using local transportation.
    While driving to Pokhara by tourist or local bus may be a cost-effective option, we highly recommend taking a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara instead of a long drive. The road conditions can be challenging and the drive can take several hours, which can impact your overall trekking experience. Flying not only saves time but also provides a scenic view of the Himalayan ranges from above, adding an exciting aspect to your trekking experience.

At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we understand the importance of safe and comfortable transportation. Our packages include domestic flights and private transfers to ensure a hassle-free and convenient experience for our clients. We want our clients to have the best possible experience while minimizing costs and maximizing comfort.

What is the duration of the Annapurna Base Camp trek itinerary?

When planning a trek in the breathtaking Annapurna region of Nepal, one of the most important considerations is the duration of the trek. While the cost of the trek may vary depending on the length of the trip, safety and enjoyment should be the top priority.
It's crucial to allow enough time for acclimatization, as trekking at high altitudes can be challenging and potentially dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. A longer trek duration allows for more gradual acclimatization, making it easier and safer for trekkers to reach the Annapurna Base Camp and enjoy the stunning scenery along the way.
A longer trek also allows for more opportunities to explore the culture and traditions of the local people. You can take your time to interact with the local communities, visit monasteries, and experience the unique traditions and lifestyle of the Nepalese people.

At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we understand that every traveler has unique needs and preferences, which is why we offer two different itinerary options for the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

  • Our 12-day Annapurna Base Camp trek itinerary is the perfect choice for those seeking a shorter and more efficient trekking option. We have crafted this itinerary with the utmost care, ensuring that our clients can enjoy the stunning scenery of the Annapurna region while minimizing the risk of altitude sickness. Additionally, our itinerary includes a comprehensive city tour of Kathmandu, allowing our clients to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Nepal before embarking on their trek.
  • For those who are looking for a more immersive experience in the Annapurna region, we offer a 14-day Annapurna Sanctuary Trek that includes a visit to Ghorepani and Poon Hill. This longer trek allows our clients to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region and truly appreciate all it has to offer. Our itinerary is carefully planned to provide our clients with a safe and enjoyable trekking experience, while still allowing them to push themselves and challenge their limits.

At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, our top priorities are safety, comfort, and exceptional customer service. We strive to ensure that every client has a memorable and enjoyable trekking experience. If our standard itineraries don't quite fit your needs, we offer the option to customize your trek. For example, you can opt for a helicopter flight from Annapurna Base Camp to Pokhara, which can significantly shorten your trek. Just let us know your preferences and we will work with you to create a personalized itinerary that suits your needs.

2) Season: Best season for Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp

The best time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp is in autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May). These seasons offer ideal weather and stunning views of the Annapurna Massif. However, the peak season can be busy, so be prepared for crowds. Additionally, weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, so it's important to do your research and plan accordingly. Rest assured, we will make sure you have the best trekking experience possible by taking care of all the details before your arrival in Nepal.

3) Nature of the trek: Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderate trek

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a 12-14 day journey through stunning mountain landscapes, Gurung villages, and terraced fields, starting from the capital city of Kathmandu. This relatively easy and short trek is ideal for hikers with good physical fitness and excellent health. The trail is moderate, with flatlands and less rugged landscapes, making it accessible for anyone who can walk 5-6 hours a day with a light day pack. Along the way, you'll enjoy a wide variety of flora and fauna, making this trek a memorable and breathtaking experience.

4) Backpacking: What things to carry (Clothes and Gears)?

To embark on the Annapurna Base Camp trek, it is crucial to be well-prepared with the right gear and clothing to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. We have made a comprehensive list of essential items that will help you pack your gear for the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Below is our general guide and recommendations for packing your gear for your adventure. You can customize your packing list according to your specific requirements and preferences.

  1. Trekking Shirts: Pack lightweight, moisture-wicking shirts that provide breathability and quick-drying properties to keep you comfortable during long days of hiking.
  2. Trekking Trousers: Opt for durable and quick-drying trousers with multiple pockets for storing essentials. Convertible pants are a great option as they can easily transform into shorts when needed.
    Insulated and Fleece Jackets: Layering is key in the mountains. Carry a warm insulated jacket and a fleece jacket to provide insulation and retain heat during colder temperatures.
  3. Waterproof Hard Shell Jacket: A high-quality waterproof and windproof jacket is essential to protect you from rain, snow, and harsh winds. Look for jackets with sealed seams for maximum waterproofing.
  4. Hat and Beanie: Carry a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face from the sun and a beanie to keep your head warm during chilly evenings and early mornings.
  5. Gloves: Invest in waterproof and insulated gloves to keep your hands warm and protected from frostbite or windburn.
  6. Hiking Boots: Choose sturdy and comfortable hiking boots that provide ankle support and have good traction for varied terrains. Ensure you break them in before your trek to avoid blisters.
  7. Socks and Gaiters: Pack moisture-wicking and cushioned hiking socks to prevent blisters. Gaiters can be useful for keeping dirt, rocks, and snow out of your boots.
  8. Sleeping Bag: Carry a high-quality sleeping bag suitable for colder temperatures at higher altitudes. Look for bags with a temperature rating that matches the expected conditions.
  9. Daypack and Backpack: A lightweight daypack for carrying essentials during shorter hikes and a larger backpack for porters or yaks to carry your heavier belongings between tea houses.
  10. Sports Underwear: Choose moisture-wicking and quick-drying underwear to stay comfortable throughout the trek.
  11. Trekking Shoes: Carry an extra pair of comfortable shoes to wear around the tea houses during evenings and rest days.
  12. Thermal Socks: Additional thermal socks can provide extra warmth during cold nights or high-altitude treks.
    Rain Cover: Protect your backpack from rain by using a waterproof rain cover.
  13. Towels: Carry quick-drying, lightweight towels for personal hygiene and to dry off after unexpected rain showers.
  14. Sunglasses: Invest in UV-protected sunglasses to shield your eyes from the intense mountain sun and snow glare.
  15. Trekking Poles: These can provide stability and reduce strain on your knees during steep ascents and descents.
  16. Water Bottle: Carry a durable water bottle to stay hydrated along the trek. Consider options with built-in filtration systems for convenience.
  17. Camera: Capture the breathtaking scenery with a reliable camera to preserve your memories.
  18. Portable Charger: Keep your electronics powered up with a portable charger, ensuring you don't miss out on capturing those epic moments.
  19. Headlamp and Spare Batteries: Essential for navigating in low-light conditions and during early morning or late evening hikes.
  20. Waterproof Ziplock Bags: Keep your belongings dry and organized by storing them in waterproof ziplock bags.

As a trusted Sherpa trekking company, we are committed to enhancing your Himalayan trekking experience by providing essential items at no additional cost. These items include a premium sleeping bag, ensuring a comfortable night's sleep even amidst varying temperatures. We also offer walking poles to support stability and reduce strain on joints, especially during downhill walks. Our high-quality down jacket will keep you cozy in cold weather, and a durable water bottle is provided to ensure proper hydration throughout your trek.
Moreover, we provide a waterproof duffel bag for your convenience. This spacious bag allows you to pack all your gear, which will be carried by our experienced porters. You won't have to bear the burden of carrying all your gear yourself, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes with the freedom of only carrying a light daypacks.
You can count on us for exceptional service and meticulously maintained equipment.

5) Currency: You need to carry Nepali currency

You might be wondering why the currency is even a thing for you to know for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The plausible explanation for this would be very basic; carrying Nepali currency helps you in every way for your monetary transactions in Nepal. You can exchange currency at Airport itself in Nepal. Besides, you can readily exchange money around thamel area and in Kathmandu. Exchanging currency in the vicinity of Kathmandu and Pokhara is never a problem, but you may not find it hard in the trekking trails. Therefore it is recommended that you exchange currency while you're in Kathmandu or Pokhara. 

6) Guides and Porter: Whether to hire a guide and porter for yourself or not.

Embarking on a trek in the Himalayas of Nepal is an adventure of a lifetime. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety and proper guidance while trekking in such a challenging terrain. The Nepalese government has made it mandatory for foreigners to trek with a local guide, and we strongly advise everyone to hire a guide and porter for their trip.

Not only does having a guide and porter ensure your safety and successful completion of the trek, but it also supports the local community and promotes responsible tourism. Sherpa guides are particularly experienced and skilled in mountaineering and expeditions, making them an ideal choice for trekking in the Himalayas. As a 100% local Sherpa owned and operated company, we pride ourselves on being the mountain specialists, with unparalleled knowledge and expertise of the region.

If you want a safe and memorable trekking experience in the Himalayas of Nepal, we highly recommend trekking with a Sherpa guide. Our team of experienced and certified Sherpa guides will ensure that you have a fantastic and fulfilling trekking experience while prioritizing your safety and well-being. So, why wait? Book your trek with us today and embark on an unforgettable journey through the majestic Annapurna region of Nepal.

7) Documents and Permits

You will need TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System)  and permit for your trek to Annapurna Base Camp. You can get it from tourist centers in Kathmandu and Pokhara. TIMS  card will cost you around 2000 NPR and 2500 NRS for the permit.

8)  Food and Accommodation: What food you eat and where do you sleep?

When we are talking about foods and accommodation in the Himalayas, they are basic and comfy.  Expect to eat local food and sleep mostly in teahouses. You will be accommodated in hotels/teahouse owned by local people that serves basic food menus like pasta, pizza, garlic soup, momos, noodles. Menus are good with reasonable price; Dal Bhat (steamed rice and cooked lentil soup) is a great option and popular food in Nepal, especially among trekkers in the Himalayas. The room will be clean and basic with a single bed or two beds, a table, a warm blanket, a thin mattress, and a pillow. 

Note: Hot water is readily available almost everywhere throughout the trek.

9) Insurance, rescue/evacuation

When embarking on a trek to Annapurna Base Camp, it is crucial to ensure that you have comprehensive insurance coverage that includes cancellation, medical expenses, and helicopter rescue evacuation. The unpredictable nature of the trek and the possibility of facing dire consequences make insurance a necessity.
Cancellation coverage is essential as unforeseen circumstances can arise before your trek, such as a sudden illness, family emergency, or unexpected travel disruptions. With appropriate insurance, you can recover your non-refundable expenses, ensuring peace of mind and financial protection.
Medical expenses coverage is vital because trekking at high altitudes carries certain risks. Altitude sickness, injuries, or other health issues can occur unexpectedly. Having insurance that covers medical expenses ensures that you receive proper medical attention without worrying about the associated costs. It is essential to prioritize your well-being while trekking and be prepared for any medical emergencies that may arise.
In extreme cases of severe health problems, helicopter rescue and evacuation might be required. The rugged terrain and remote location of Annapurna Base Camp can pose challenges for accessing medical facilities quickly. In such situations, a helicopter rescue can be a life-saving measure. However, the costs of such operations can be exorbitant. Hence, having insurance that covers helicopter rescue evacuation ensures that you can receive prompt and necessary medical assistance, even in the most critical situations.
By securing insurance that covers cancellation, medical expenses, and helicopter rescue evacuation, you are taking proactive steps to mitigate potential risks during your Annapurna Base Camp trek. It provides you with a safety net, offering financial protection, access to medical services, and timely rescue operations if required. Remember, emergencies can happen when least expected, and having comprehensive insurance ensures that you are well-prepared to handle them, allowing you to focus on enjoying your trekking experience to the fullest.

10) Gurung people and their culture

Gurung is an indigenous group of Nepal with their homeland mainly in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. On your way to Annapurna Base Camp, you will witness quaint Gurung settlement and their enticing culture. Their warm hospitality is commendable and will captivate you. Gandruk on the way to ABC  is also called as  the "Land of the Gurung." Gurung people have their own (myriads) festivals and celebrations; Kulpuja (offering for ancestors), Lhosar (New year) are two major festivals. There are many teahouses owned and operated by Gurung people in Annapurna Region. You will thoroughly enjoy their tradition and lifestyle. Relish the enticing Gurung culture and lifestyle while on your adventure to legendary Annapurna Base Camp.

11) Respect Local Culture

'Respect Local Culture' as easy and as simple as it sounds. No matter what part of the world you travel to, you ought to respect the local culture. Respecting local culture is a sign that you are willingly practicing Responsible Travel. It is a way of immersing yourself into the culture with contentment and on the other hand, it is also preserving and promoting the culture.  You may learn how to greet in local language and wear local attire in a festival or celebration. Besides, you can research the local culture of the destination. We urge every client of ours to respect local culture and indulge in it.

12) Practice Responsible Travel

Practicing Responsible Travel has been an indispensable part for both tour operator and travelers. Responsible Travel is all about responsibility; responsibility of tour operator, government, hoteliers, local people, and most importantly tourist to pledge and practice for a better world. It is being socially and culturally conscious while traveling for positive impacts on environmental and social aspects thereby minimizing negative impacts on social, cultural and ecological aspects. It also encompasses activities for booming local economy and contributing to the conservation of cultural heritage and treasure of mother nature. 

13) Morning Views are best 

Views of Annapurna massif and surrounding peaks are best observed in the morning or at sunrise. Spectacular morning views are the major highlight of this trek, making Annapurna region a photographer's paradise in Nepal. The lofty mountains glisten with the sunlight early in the morning rewarding incredible panoramic mountain views. You will be awestruck and completely fixated by the morning views of the mountains. 

14)  First aid kits

The maxim: "Prevention is better than cure" helps us surmount many problems in our life. So is with trekking or any adventures. When you are 10000 miles away from home, you got to be careful, avoiding difficulties in every way possible. And of all, one smart move is carrying first aid kits. The primary items on first aid kits are Antiseptic, ointment, Pain killers, Crepe bandage, Malaria prophylactic tablets, Blister treatment, Throat lozenges, Acetazolamide or Diamox, Scissors, hypodermic needle, Safety pins, etc. 

15) Health Issues

What are the imminent Health issues while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Overlooking this question can be detrimental to you. So it is highly recommended that you be sensitive to health issues. Ascending and descending to high altitude is not a joke. Acclimatization is a must while trekking to the Himalayas. Although the trek is confined to lower elevations as compared to Everest Base Camp Trek, you need to be prepared at least 2 months physically prior to the trek. You got to have the right gears and be mentally prepared. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the trek. Notwithstanding, you are trained, sometimes altitude can affect on your health any moment. So prepare yourself for altitude sickness and altitude-related health issues. We firmly believe in Prevention is Better than Cure. However, our experienced and astute guide will help you throughout the trek regarding health issues. 

At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we are always ready to answer any questions you may have about the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Whether you have concerns about the itinerary, want to customize your trip, or simply want to learn more about our services, we are happy to help.
To get in touch with us, simply send us an email at info@mountainsherpatrekking.com. We will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your trekking adventure.
In addition to email, we also offer the option of contacting us through WhatsApp. You can reach us at any time, and we will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
At Mountain Sherpa Trekking, we are committed to providing our clients with exceptional service and support. We understand that planning a trekking trip can be daunting, and we strive to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. So don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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