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The Annapurna Sanctuary trek

Annapurna Sanctuary is a lodge or camping trek.

Grading: Moderate. Maximum altitude 4130 metres. Fifteen days Kathmandu-Kathmandu.

The Annapurna Sanctuary trek is acknowledged to be the most scenic short trek in the country. Ascend to Annapurna Base Camp through bamboo and rhododendron forest, following the Modi Khola away from all roads and towns. Wherever you are within the Sanctuary, you will have 360 degree views of breathtakingly beautiful mountain peaks.

On day one arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer you to your hotel for the night.

Day two gives you free time in Kathmandu to take an optional sightseeing trip or mountain flight. You may want to explore some of the many shops, stalls and restaurants in the heart of the city before returning to your hotel for the night.

On the third day take a scenic drive out of the Kathmandu valley along the Trisuli River to the lakeside town of Pokhara. Stop along the way for lunch and arrive in the afternoon beside beautiful Lake Phewa.

After breakfast on the fourth day make the short drive to your trek start point at Khare. During the afternoon we have a panoramic view of Annapurna South, Hinchuli and Machapuchhare as we walk along the ridge to our night stop at Potana (1990 metres).

The fifth day starts with a climb up to Bhichok Deurali before you make your way down to lunch at Tolka (1700  metres). Your destination for the day is Landruk (1646 metres), a Gurung settlement in a beautiful location overlooking the valley of the Modi Khola. This is a wonderful place to relax and admire the view in the late afternoon.

After breakfast on day six, you walk down to the river through the midst of the forest After an hour or so, you reach Himalpani, an ideal place to stop for a rest before starting the steep climb to Jhinu. Whilst you stop for lunch at Jhinu, you can visit the hot springs for a relaxing dip. Later, begin the ascent to Chomrong (2050 metres), from where you will clearly be able to see why Machapuchhare is also known as the fishtail peak. Chomrong is the last place where there is a proper shop – from here the prices rise even more steeply than the trail!

After breakfast on the seventh day, you make your way down to the river and walk up to your lunch stop at Sinuwa. From Sinuwa to your night stop at Dovan (2286 metres) the trail undulates through rhododendron forest via a settlement called Bamboo.

On day eight, follow the trail to Himalaya for lunch. Throughout the day you will be walking through peaceful forests and during the afternoon you pass Hinko Cave as you climb up to Deurali (3080 metres). Your campsite is protected by the towering wall of Hinchuli from which waterfalls cascade towards the valley below.

The ninth day finds you following the river along the base of Hinchuli with Machapuchhare on your right and Gangapurna ahead of you. Crossing the tree line, you enter the Annapurna Sanctuary and take a long rest at Machapuchhare Base Camp (3720 metres) to prepare for the final trek up to ABC. From here you can walk up to the ridge for a clear view of the moraines below, with Machapuchhare towering above you in all its glory. After lunch you ascend to Annapurna Base Camp, your ultimate destination and the highest point of the trek at 4130 metres.

Make sure you are up early on day ten to watch dawn break from the climbers’ memorial in the Sanctuary. Seeing the sunrise over Hinchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang, Annapurna I, Tent Peak and Machapuchhare will be one of life’s great moments. Rays of light appear over the Fish Tail to bathe Annapurna South in a golden glow, which spreads from peak to peak. Take one last look at these amazing mountains and then it’s all down hill from here to your night stop at Bamboo.

The eleventh day sees you returning to Chomrong, keeping an eye out for langur monkeys as you descend to the river and make the steep climb back up to your night stop.

On day twelve you are off to pastures new, following the ridge from Chomrong before descending to the river at Kyumrang and climbing up to the Gurung town of Ghandruk (1990 metres). Ghandruk is famous as the home of many members of the Gurkha Regiment and is the capital town of the region. From your night stop you have excellent views of Machapuchhare, Hinchuli and Annapurna South.

After breakfast on the thirteenth day, you will descend to the river and have lunch at Syauli Bazaar, an idyllic spot right beside the water. From here it's not far to the exit point of ACAP at Birethanti where you sign out at the checkpost before proceeding to Nayapul and making the transfer by road to Pokhara.

On day fourteen, you return to Kathmandu by road and transfer to your hotel for the night.

On day fifteen depart from Kathmandu airport.