Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Resort:Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Asia, Nepal
Price From: £1949.00


One of the best treks through some of the most diverse scenery of Nepal

The Annapurna Himal is a vast massif with several peaks above 7000m. Part of
the range forms a natural amphitheatre known as the Annapurna Sanctuary,
ringed by such giants as Annapurna 1, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Fang and
Machhapuchhare. The trek starts through forested hillsides before arriving
into the Sanctuary with its panoramic views of the Annapurna. At higher
altitudes the close-up mountain views are perhaps the finest in the world.
There is a day to explore this breathtaking mountain arena before returning
to Pokhara via a different route.


* Stay overnight at Annapurna Base Camp surrounded by mountains
* Explore the Annapurna Sanctuary, a huge amphitheatre ringed by glistening
* Enjoy sunrise views of Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhare and the Annapurnas from
Poon Hill
* Trek through magnificent forests, terraced fields and pretty villages
* Time in historic Kathmandu and lakeside Pokhara


Day 1 Depart London.

The group flights depart London this evening.

Day 2
Arrive Kathmandu.

The group flights arrive into Kathmandu this afternoon. There will be a full
trek briefing this evening.

*Hotel Ambassador / Manaslu (or similar)*

Day 3
Drive to Pokhara and on to Naya Pul; short walk to Birethanthi.

We leave early and drive westwards to Pokhara. This town is set in a
beautiful valley and is overlooked by the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare, one
of the most distinctive of the Himalayan peaks. We continue through Pokhara
to Naya Pul and from there have a 30-minute (2km) walk to the village of
Birethanthi, where we stay overnight. Birethanthi is a riverside village at
the confluence of the Modi Khola and the Burungdi Khola. If there is time we
can bathe in the clear but cold pools of the Burungdi Khola.


Day 4
Climb to lower Banthanti.

We start our trek by following the Burungdi Khola upstream. After a lunch
stop in Tirkhedunga (renowned for its variety of local beer called chang) we
start the long steep climb up a stone staircase through the neatly terraced
hillsides to the top of Ulleri. Continuing through Ulleri we stop tonight at
lower Banthanti.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,240m)

Day 5
Ascend through rhododendron forests to Upper Ghorepani.

The trail winds its way onwards and enters rhododendron forest. In spring the
forest is ablaze with colour. Trains of mules provide colourful and noisy
interludes to the continuous ascent today (there are many stone staircases).
Carrying rice and other supplies north to the kingdom of Mustang the trail
resounds with the sound of their bells. Finally, we emerge from the forests
at Ghorepani and suddenly a splendid mountain vista appears before us –
Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhare, Lamjung and other Himalayan
giants. We continue up through Ghorepani to our lodge in Upper Ghorepani
(2,900m), usually arriving by lunchtime.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,900m)

Day 6
Optional early morning ascent of Poon Hill for incredible views of the
Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare and Dhaulagiri at sunrise. After breakfast head
through rhododendron forests to Chuili.

This morning there is an optional ascent of Poon Hill (3,210m – about an
hour’s walk uphill) to see the spectacular sunrise over the Dhaulagiri and
Annapurna Himals. As the sun emerges from behind the mountains the sky glows
red and pink in the first rays of the sun and the panorama is surely one of
the world’s great mountain vistas. Best seen at dawn, the climb is well worth
the effort. After breakfast we head east, following a ridge to cross a pass
at 3,150m. We pass through more forest and some tea houses and then the
descent becomes steeper as we descend on stone steps through jungle to a few
lodges in a clearing called Banthanti at 2,760m, where we have lunch.
Descending further to a small stream, we cross a bridge and climb back up to
2,690m at Tadapani where we have a superb view of Annapurna South and the
peak of Machhapuchhare. From here we descend for a short while to our lodge
at Chuili, where we have great views of the mountains from the lovely garden.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,290m)

Day 7
Descend to the Kyumnu Khola and climb up into the Modi Khola valley to

The trail descends steeply through the forest to the Kyumnu Khola, a
tributary of the Modi Khola. From here a steep ascent brings us to Chhomrong,
at 2,220m, another Gurung village and the last permanent settlement in the
valley. Beyond here we shall see yersas, the shelters used by herdsmen in the
summer months. From Chhomrong we have good views again of Annapurna South and
from this point onwards the twin-peaked mountain Machhapuchhare (‘fishtail’)
which gives the mountain its name.

*Teahouse* (sleeping altitude 2,220m)

Day 8
Trek up the Modi Khola valley towards the Annapurna Sanctuary; overnight in

The trail from Chhomrong descends first on a stone staircase to cross the
Chhomrong Khola and then climbs steeply on another stone staircase out of
this side valley to Sinuwa, where we enter the main Modi Khola Valley. From
Sinuwa the trail descends on stone steps through dense jungle and then
undulates to lunch at Bamboo, a cluster of lodges in a forest clearing. The
forest around us is full of bamboo thickets. These are cut extensively to
make ‘dokos’ – the carrying baskets as used by our porters – and woven mats
for floors and roofing. Undulating further through the bamboo forest we reach
Dobhan at 2,500m, another small clearing in the forest where there are
several teahouses.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,500m)

Day 9
Continue up the valley to Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m).

A tough day today as we walk above 3,000m. The trail continues up through the
forest, passing the lodges at Himalaya Hotel. From here the trail gets
steeper and rockier as we climb up past Hinko Cave, where the first
expeditions to the Base Camp used to camp. Crossing a ravine, the trail
continues to climb steeply among boulders, leaving the trees behind us. We
have lunch at Deurali and from here the valley broadens out and the scenery
becomes wilder as we approach the gates of the sanctuary. From Deurali there
are two trails. The one on the left side of the valley is the main trail but
especially in spring when there is a lot of snow it is not used and an
alternative trail on the right side of the valley is used. Your leader will
decide which trail to use. Both trails finally meet for the last 1.5hr climb
up between the heights of Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare, to Machhapuchhare
Base Camp (3,700m), where we spend the night. The views are stupendous and
the panorama includes Huinchuli, Annapurna 1, Annapurna 3, Gangapurna and

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,700m)

Day 10
Explore the high alpine wilderness of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Stay at
Annapurna Base Camp.

In the early morning, we walk for 2 hours up to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m),
surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of some of the highest mountains in the
world. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang, Annapurna 1 and 3,
Gangapurna and Machhapuchhare all encircle us with unbroken soaring ramparts
but for the route by which we entered. The sunset and sunrise are truly
magnificent in this mountain arena. We spend the day in this special place
with a chance to watch the sunrise the following morning. There should be
time to make an excursion to the ridge overlooking the base camp from which
Sir Chris Bonington led the ascent of Annapurna’s South Face. (Occasionally
there is too much snow to stay at Annapurna Base Camp. In this case, we would
walk back down to Machhapuchhare Base Camp in the late afternoon).

*Teahouse* (sleeping altitude 4,130m)

Day 11
Descend back down the valley to Bamboo.

A long and mostly downhill day as we leave the Sanctuary. We follow the same
trail back to Machhapuchhare Base Camp and further down to Deurali. Entering
the forest, we descend slowly and carefully on a rocky trail through Himalaya
and Dobhan back to the lodge at Bamboo.

*Teahouse* (sleeping altitude 2,330m)

Day 12
Ascend and descend stone steps to Chhomrong. Descend steeply through terraces
to Jhinnudanda.

A rollercoaster walk today with lots of ups and downs. We start with a climb
up to Sinuwa, then we descend to the river and climb back up the stone steps
to Chomro. A final steep descent on stone steps brings us to Jhinnudanda.
Close to Jhinnudanda, there are some hot springs that you can visit if you
wish; getting there involves descending for twenty minutes or so down to the
river, and the climb back up takes a little longer (around 30 mins).

*Teahouse* (sleeping altitude 1,710m)

Day 13
Trek to Sinwai; transfer from Naya Pul to Pokhara.

The trail today undulates down the Modi River Valley. We follow the valley
down to the road head at Sinwai. If the road is in goodcondition, we will
pick up our transport here (sometimes our vehicle cannot get to here) and
drive back to Pokhara. If we have to walk to Birethanthi this will add an
additional 3 hours/10 km.

*Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia / Mount Kailash Resort (or similar)*

Day 14
Free day in Pokhara.

A full day to relax in Pokhara. There are plenty of cafs and restaurants
along the lakeshore where you can watch paragliders in flight. You may wish
to take a rowing boat across Lake Phewa and walk up to the World Peace
Pagoda, set on a hill overlooking the lake with fantastic views. There are
also plenty of shops and a traditional bazaar where you can pick up some
souvenirs. Alternatively, there are several museums to visit, including the
International Mountain Museum and the Gurkha Museum.

*Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia / Mount Kailash Resort (or similar)*

Day 15
Fly to Kathmandu.

We fly to Kathmandu. Weather depending there should be good views of the
western end of Nepal on this flight.

The afternoon is free for sightseeing. You may wish to visit the monkey
temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at
Boudhanath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at

*Hotel Ambassador / Manaslu (or similar)*

Day 16 Fly to London.

The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flight will be transferred
to the airport for the flight back to London. Those not on the group flight
will leave us after breakfast.