The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a classic trek in Nepal that takes you to the heart of the Annapurna range. The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek starts from Pokhara, a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and lakes, and takes you through lush green forests, traditional villages, and beautiful terraced fields. The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek trail passes through the Modi Khola river valley, and the forests become denser as you progress towards the Sanctuary.
The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek offers stunning views of the Himalayas, and as you gain altitude, trekkers will be able to see panoramic sceneries of the Annapurna range. Trekkers will pass through several beautiful villages, where you will have the chance to interact with the local people and learn about their way of life. Once you reach the Sanctuary, you will be surrounded by towering peaks, including the mighty Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountains. This area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including Himalayan Tahr, Langur monkeys, and colourful birds. You will also pass by several traditional Gurung villages, where you can learn about the local culture and interact with the friendly locals. The Annapurna Sanctuary trek is relatively moderate in terms of difficulty and can be completed in about 14 days. However, you will need to be in the good physical condition as the trail includes several steep climbs and descents. The best time to trek is from September to November and from March to May when the weather is clear and the views are spectacular.
You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Tour and Trekking Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square sheds light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at the Tour and Trekking Nepal office. Overnight in Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
At the beginning of the journey today we head to Pokhara. The journey to the city of lakes begins from the valley heading out of its twisty roads and reaching Prithvi Highway and the thrashing Trishuli River. The tranquil journey gives us a peek at the majestic Himalayas right as we enter the mesmerizing Pokhara valley. Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, the five peaks of Annapurna and several others. We pass through sub-tropical valley forests, sometimes on the carved trail on the side of the cliff. We cross the Bhurungdi Khola via a bridge to the village of Tikhedhunga. The Ulleri Hill with thousands of steps and boulders that continually go upward will really prove a test of our stamina. Overnight stay in Ulleri. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We make our way ascending towards Ghorepani. The name Ghorepani in Nepali means ‘horse water’ due to it being an important campsite for traders before it became a trekker’s stop. Ghorepani is an interesting place with small shops and stalls for selling local products and crafts. The town has two parts: one in a saddle and the other a few hundred feet lower. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. Since Ghorepani lies quite higher than our previous stop, we begin to feel the chilly weather, especially in the evenings. Overnight stay in Ghorepani. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Today is a big day for us, so we make an early morning climb along the steep trail to Poon Hill viewpoint (3,210m/10,529ft.) to witness the most amazing sunrise views over the Himalayas. Poon Hill is the most popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region. It is also a great vantage point to enjoy the amazing views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains, including the close-up views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. After spending some time taking pictures and having coffee, tea or hot chocolate, we return to Ghorepani for breakfast. Then we head east and climb a nearby ridge. We descend through rhododendron forests, pass by spectacular waterfalls along the way and reach Tadapani to spend the night. Overnight Stay in Tadapani. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
The trail starts off with a descent through a large rhododendron forest. The forest trail ends and our trail opens up to beautifully terraced fields. We walk uphill for around 5 km and pass waterfalls and reach a suspension bridge. Suspension bridges are very common in the hilly and mountainous regions of Nepal. A few more miles of uphill and downhill trekking and we reach our destination for today, Chhomrong. It is a beautiful village right below the giant Annapurna massive. Overnight Stay in Chhomrong. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We leave Chhomrong and walk on quite a number of stone steps before reaching the Chhomrong Khola. We cross a suspension bridge over the river and begin an uphill climb to Sinuwa. Our trail passes through a beautiful forest to Kuldihar. From here we embark on an easy descent to Bamboo. Overnight Stay in Bamboo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We pass through a bamboo forest which is damp and cold. We then walk uphill on a trail which is sometimes steep. It is only after reaching Himalaya Hotel that the forest opens up and we are out in the sun again with astounding views of the glacial river below. It is a steep climb up through a much drier forest before reaching Hinku Cave. From here our trail descends to a river before ascending to Deurali. From here, we can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding hills and Mt. Dhaulagiri. We notice that the vegetation has become sparse allowing magical views of the valley, the river below and cliffs adorned with waterfalls. Overnight stay in Deurali. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We follow the valley trail on a steady climb after our breakfast. The trail sticks to a rocky cliff and is sometimes steep. We walk on a somewhat flat path for a while before ascending to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. From here, we get excellent views of Mt. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli and Gangapurna mountains. We then turn left and begin ascending gently to the Annapurna Base Camp. During our ascent, we get to admire spectacular views of the Himalayan panorama. Walking further, we reach the astounding base camp of Mt. Annapurna. We are surrounded by magnificent peaks and the only way into this area is through the gorge we just hiked. Overnight stay in Annapurna Base Camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
From Annapurna Base Camp our trail rapidly descends past the Machhapuchhre Base camp, Deurali, Himalayan Hotel and Doban and finally to Bamboo where we spend the night. Today’s trek is downhill so it shouldn’t be very difficult. Overnight stay in Bamboo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We retrace our step back to Chhomrong where we stop for lunch. From Chomrong it is a steep descent down to the Modi Khola valley. The stone steps to Chhomrong are equally tricky as they were before. The trail then descends to Jhinu Danda, where we will be resting for the night. On the way, we enjoy our walking through rainforests and farms. After reaching Jhinu Danda, we can spend the rest of the afternoon taking a rest and relaxing. Overnight stay in Jhinu Danda. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We leave Jhinu Danda and enjoy the final leg of the hike on the beautiful hilly landscapes of western Nepal. On reaching Matque, we will begin our drive back to Pokhara in a private vehicle. It will take us around 2 hours to reach the city of lakes. We have lunch on the way. The actual trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary and back end today. On reaching Pokhara, we check in at our hotel and rest for a while. In the afternoon, we will set out for a half-day sightseeing tour of Pokhara. Overnight stay in Pokhara. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the Tourist bus station and 07: 30 am drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus. This scenic drive offers fascinating glimpses of rural Nepal as you pass through Middle Hill scenery along the famous rafting Trishuli River originated from Tibet northeast of Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Tour and Trekking Nepal representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Note: The above-mentioned program itinerary is a sample. The period and cost of tour and trekking, volunteering and internship can be changed or extended as per travellers or volunteers' availability of duration.