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The Annapurna Base Camp is one the most popular trekking destinations in its category for a reason. Imagine this: the majestic Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges in the backdrop, scenic landscapes and terrains that vary as you make your move up the altitude, lush rhododendron forests, and several ethnic villages as part of the cultural experience. This is the ABC trek in a nutshell. Of course, the route to the Annapurna Base Camp offers more than just that. Besides its scenic and cultural magnificence, the region is home to exquisite flora and fauna such as the Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan Monal, and plush Chestnut forests.
The trek is basically a backpacker’s wet dream during its peak seasons (September, October, and November). With enticing side treks you can make within the region, trekking the Annapurna Circuit in its entirety may take you a minimum of 17 days. However, it’s possible to reach the foot of the glorious Annapurna mountain range in only 8 days! How? Here’s how:
The buses depart from the capital city of Kathmandu towards the lake city Pokhara (200km) in a 6-7 hour drive. The ride will be accompanied by sceneries of magnificent landscapes throughout Dhading and the perennial rivers of Trishuli and Marshyangdi along with glimpses of the splendid Annapurna Himalayan Range. The buses stop at around 12 pm for lunch.
In the first day of our trek, we drive off from Pokhara to Nayapul- the initial point of the ABC trek. The ride takes no more than 2 hours. We book another jeep to Kimche from Nayapul; ascend to Ghandruk, and stay overnight at a lodge amidst the exotic Gurung village.
Following breakfast, we trudge past Ghandruk towards Chhomrong, another scenic village walled by the pristine Annapurna range. Arguably the most arduous part of the trek, the hike to Chhomrong begins with a steep descent towards Kimrong River followed by a steady ascent up the rocky trails. Overnight stay at a lodge.
After a hot breakfast, we begin our steep climb upwards to reach Sinuwa. You will see a distinctive overhanging rock on a ridge along the way called the Hinku Cave. After passing Sinuwa and Bamboo (2310m), a village shrouded with bamboo trees among other green vegetation, we will ultimately reach our destination for the day– Dovan.
Typically, we commence our journey with a wholesome breakfast in the small but ornate village of Dovan. Then, we will hike along the trails of the Modi River to Machapuchare Base Camp (MBC). We will spend the night at a lodge situated near the foot of the glorious and sacred Machapuchare peak.
After a relatively easy 2 hour hike from Dovan, we will finally arrive at Annapurna Base Camp. A panoramic scene of the majestic Annapurna Himalayan Range comprising of Annapurna 1 and 3, Machapuchare, Annapurna South, Himchuli and Gandapurna is sure to be a feast for the eyes! After exploring the base camp, we will descend back to Dovan.
From Dovan, we will leave for Jhinu after breakfast. Jhinu, a prominent resting point, is home to a natural hot spring at the banks of the Modi River. Surpassing a trail of lush rhododendron forests and thickening vegetation, we will finally reach Jhinu via Jhinu Danda.
On the final day of the trek, we will head towards the significantly dense village of Siwai, walking mostly a seemingly flat trail. From Siwai, we will take a jeep and end our journey with a 3 hour drive towards Pokhara via Nayapul. You can either spend the night in the vibrant lake city Pokhara or catch a night bus to the capital city.