The multi-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek from Pokhara is a fantastic introduction to trekking. Without a guide, we finished the Annapurna Base Camp trip in 7 days. However, we did use a jeep briefly at the beginning and end to speed things up. We had not done any pre-trip planning and had never gone on a multi-day walk. It was difficult but doable and worth it!
Basic Information about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Depending on where you start and the path you choose, the distance is approximately 60 kilometers.
Time: 5-7 days
Moderate difficulty is the level of difficulty. High altitude and some very steep terrain, but generally good pathways.
When you can go and climb Annapurna base camp?
Nepal has two main trekking seasons. The first takes place in late October or early November when it’s dry and warm outside. The second is the beginning of spring, which lasts from April to May and can be wetter but has blooming flowers. Mid-April was when we completed the trek to Annapurna Base Camp, and we experienced both fully bright days and some afternoon showers.
Permits for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
You need a TIM card and permit to trek in the majority of Nepal. These are offered at tourist attractions in Pokhara or Kathmandu. Going right there when you arrive in Pokhara works well because it is only a short walk from the tourist bus station.
For foreigners, the TIMS card is 2000 NPR, while the permit is 2260 NPR. You must supply the Pokhara center with 4 passport photos, which they will take and print at no cost to you. It costs 200 NPR for 4 photos if, like us, you want to have them taken in advance (we weren’t aware that it could be done at the center).
The entire process takes about 15 minutes, though it may take longer if the center is crowded.
Where to stay in Pokhara
before and after the hike
With its abundance of cafes, massage parlors, gear rental businesses, and decent lodging, Pokhara is designed for those who are going on or coming off a trek.
We appreciated the conveniences of Pokhara Backpackers Hostel as budget backpackers since it featured spacious, pleasant rooms, alternatives for storing our stuff while we were hiking, and a wealth of useful information. View the prices and availability here.
Try the lovely Hotel Batika if you want a fancier alternative with individual rooms that have balconies and attached bathrooms. View the prices and availability here.
Do you require a guide for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Without a guide or porter, we chose to complete the Annapurna Base Camp trip, and I believe we made the right choice. The likelihood of getting lost along the route is extremely minimal, there are signs in each hamlet stating how far it is to the next village, and doing it yourself will be far less expensive.
If you do decide to hire a guide, make sure they are conversant in English and understand your level of flexibility, expectations, and fitness. No matter the size of the group, a guide was quoted at USD 25 per day. There are less expensive solutions, but this is a little unethical.
What about a porter?
The same is true with porters. We transported everything ourselves after leaving some of our belongings at our Pokhara accommodation (approx. 7kg). It made the journey a little more difficult but also more worthwhile. Porters can be hired for about $20 per day to carry two people’s belongings if you feel you are unable to carry your luggage. However, kindly only provide them with what you require.
Temperatures during the trek to Annapurna Base Camp-
The majority of the time, the daytime temperatures are comfortable, and after warming up, a t-shirt is suitable for trekking with a warmer layer to be worn when you stop. You will need a few warmer clothes at night because the temperature can drop very significantly. When we visited in April, the temperature was below zero at base camp, and it dropped as low as ten degrees Celsius lower down.
Views of Annapurna mountain in the early morning from Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp Trek route and schedule
You decide where to begin your journey. Before beginning the Annapurna Base Camp trip in Chomrong, many trekkers complete the Poon Hill or Annapurna Circuit treks.